Okay! I’ve had a rather nice break, but now it is time to get back on the blogging wagon. I promise that I will begin to blog again regularly. Over my hiatus, I’ve received numerous messages thanking me for writing about Gastroparesis life. These messages always bring tears to my eyes. When I started this blog, I never dreamed that it would turn into such a strong source of encouragement and inspiration for so many people. My hope was to help a few people some insight into what life is like with Gastroparesis and to provide myself (and others) a forum to vent. I had found myself trying to explain to friends and family what it was like to live this life and always seemed to come up short. I also got tired of telling the same story over and over again, so I thought I would make this little blog so that I could type the story once and they could read it.
Early in my diagnosis, I searched for various Gastroparesis support groups and was fortunate to connect with some amazing people. However, I noticed there was not a lot of information out there about what daily life is like. There is plenty of information out there on symptoms, tests, feeding tubes, pacemakers, etc. But there really wasn’t anything out there about becoming so bloated that you look 6 months pregnant, there really wasn’t anything out there about feeling isolated, there really wasn’t anything out there about trying to keep working, and a whole host of other issues. There also wasn’t anything out there that described the funny parts of these symptoms, the frustrating parts, the things you can do to try to take control of your life and everything in between. So I decided to start this little blog and see what happens.
Well, here we are several months later and the blog is still being viewed at a high rate (even during my hiatus). I’m still receiving messages as to how helpful the blog is. This all reminds me that I need to keep this up. It is important. It is important for others to know that you are not alone in this battle. It is important for others to know that you can begin to feel better (it takes A LOT of work, but it is possible). It is possible to laugh about all of the randomness that we have to go through (brain fog, anyone?!)
So hold on to your heating pads, castor oil packs, and toilets…because Millie is back and has plenty to write about that occurred during the hiatus! 🙂
Thanks for sticking with me & from the bottom of my heart, thank you for believing in this blog and for all of the wonderful messages/comments you have sent me.
One of my favorite quotes is by Teddy Roosevelt, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” The statement is applicable to so many different areas of life, whether you are living with a chronic illness or not. I think it is a great statement to keep in mind as you battle Gastroparesis.
Gastroparesis causes so many things to be out of our control, so we need to learn to focus on the pieces that we can control. We need to focus on doing what we can, with what we have, where we are. Where we are is coping with Gastroparesis and all that comes with it. What we have is hopefully support of at least a few close friends and family. If they aren’t on board with supporting you then it isn’t worth the stress of trying to get them on board. As a friend once said to me “if they don’t have you on your bad days, they shouldn’t get you on the good days.” (Oddly, the friend that said this disappeared on my bad days so now I am practicing her advice and not having her on my good days.)
Now, we get to the interesting piece “Do what you can”. We know we have Gastroparesis, we know we have some options available to us, so now we need to do what we can. We can try to change our diets, we can try new treatment plans, we can try acupuncture, we can try yoga, we can try to disengage from drama which causes us stress. We can try to keep living our lives. We can try to take our future in our hands instead of leaving in the hands of Gastroparesis.
The fact of the matter is that there is a lot of alternatives for those of us with Gastroparesis to try. No two of us are alike, no two treatment plans are alike…we are like snowflakes. However, this shouldn’t be an excuse to give up on life. Yes, sometimes you have to let yourself have a bad day. However, it is much more satisfying to become ill from trying to continue to live your life than giving up.
So I challenge everyone to “do what you can, with what you have, where you are”! This could be as simple as accomplishing washing a dish which on some days is no small task!
You can do it!
Anyone with Gastroparesis has been there. The time when you start to come out of a flair and you realize just how “funky” you are. (And I don’t mean funk in a good way, but in a smelly way!) You wonder…how…on…earth…have I become this stinky. What happened the last few days? Did the GP Elves throw me into a pile of used gym clothes? Did they spray me with “sweaty luxury” perfume? Is this smell coming from me or the dog? Can I pretend that it is the dog? Did Pig Pen have Gastroparesis? He sure exemplifies what we look and feel like at the end of a flair!
It is AWFUL! During a flair you have limited energy and there are certain things that just still have to be done. This means that you don’t want to spend precious energy getting a shower. You also know that if you attempt to get a shower that you might collapse from exhaustion at any moment. Then you not only have an issue with a Gastroparesis flair up but also the issue of a cracked open head. Hmmm…I wonder which is worse….hmmmm. Okay, staying on target. (The GPers out there, know just how difficult it is to stay on target at the end of a flair.)
Today, I FINALLY had enough energy to get a shower. Although there was not enough energy left to dry my hair, so into the ponytail it went. I think that I have somehow lost 5 pounds in pure “funk”. My skin is rejoicing the fact that it can breath again! You might think that I am exaggerating, but anyone with Gastroparesis will tell you that I am not. You quite literally wake up one morning and think “was that all a weird dream”? Did someone take over my life for a few days? It is one of the most bizarre experiences that you can have.
It was amazing that once I washed the Gastroparesis funk off of me how productive I was today. I was on a roll and smelling great! I’m anxiously awaiting my first aqua-aerobics class with a friend tomorrow and I’m sure she will thank me for not having a ring of filth surrounding me in the pool. Although I will make NO guarantees about my swimsuit and Gastroparesis belly combination!