When you have Gastroparesis, you notice that certain topics are discussed in private support groups and not spoken of in the public realm. One of these topics is the financial burden that Gastroparesis places on you. Those who are completely reliant on feeding tubes or PIC lines have this much worse than me, but I feel these topics needs to be discussed publicly. We have been dealt a life altering disorder and it is important to talk about the affect on your finances as well as the affect on you physically and mentally.
For those of us who are still attempting to “eat normally”, it becomes an extremely expensive science experiment. You try to purchase small amounts of new foods, supplements, powders, etc so that you do not waste too much money if you have a bad reaction. I also experiment a lot with alternative medicine (massage, acupuncture, etc) which can become expensive. The other piece of the puzzle is that several GPers are unable to work full time which reduces their income. So needless to say, less income with increased expenses is not a recipe for success. This adds to the stress level of anyone with Gastroparesis.
As mentioned in previous blogs, I am going gluten-free starting on Monday. This means that I will need to pick up some new food items and have to walk the balancing act of how much to purchase to try at first. The last thing you want to do is spend $50 in groceries and only have your body tolerate $5 of it. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to donate food items to friends because my body couldn’t tolerate them. Fortunately, I have several healthy eaters as friends who were more than willing to take my Kale, protein powder, celery, etc. I at least feel better that the food does not go into the garbage.
However, GPers are resilient. We learn to overcome some amazing obstacles. We learn to lean on each other. We learn from each other. We will try anything for some relief and feel better. We just hope that those GP Elves get to work and leave us some money in the corner to help pay for all of this experimentation. However, feeling better is worth whatever I have to pay and I am determined to find a way to keep living and fighting for more good days than bad!