Let me start out by saying that the photo above is false advertising. No one looks that good in a spin class. Sweat is dripping everywhere. It smells. People are grunting. If there is a pause in the music you hear people sucking wind. People’s bangs are sticking straight in the air because the people can’t handle having them on their forehead anymore and there is enough sweat to spike them straight into the air. Oh wait….that’s just me and I don’t care! I have Gastroparesis and am just happy to be there.
Okay, I’ll fess up. Several people are looking like a hot mess in spin class, but only I have the spiked bangs. I think that I might bring back the 80s headband. As I mentioned, I’m just happy to be there. Today I had A LOT of frustration to get out of my system. Frustration over how so many people are fighting Gastroparesis and in constant pain. Frustration over the lack of treatment options for Gastroparesis. Frustration over the lack of knowledge of Gastroparesis. Extreme frustration about how we receive this diagnosis and then basically told to “live with it” with no end in sight.
All of this was going through my head and the more frustrated I got, the faster I went. I was wishing that if I could pedal fast enough that a cure would magically appear for all of us. It is still absolutely mind boggling how in this day in age we are just left to the wayside to fend for ourselves and frequently treated by the medical profession as if we are a bother.
I know that there are A LOT of GPers struggling right now. My heart breaks when I read some of the posts about how debilitating Gastroparesis can be. About how the medical bills pile up. About how our lives have been ripped away from us and we have to sort out a Plan B. I wish that I could give everyone a big hug. I wish that I could pedal us a cure.
However I do know this. My Gastroparesis is mild compared to most (which in and of itself is mind boggling, because I know how bad I get.) This means I have more energy available to fight for us. A fight that I take extremely seriously. I promise all of the GPers having a bad day that I have so much fight in me that I am on a mission to make Gastroparesis a household name so that one day we can have better lives. Do NOT give up hope (I know this is MUCH easier said than done on some days). We are a strong group of people and we are determined to have our voices heard and make a change!
This entry is dedicated to Kristi Jewel. You are stronger than you know! 🙂
Take that Gastroparesis!
Guess who made it to spin class two nights in a row?!
I must confess that tonight I wasn’t completely motivated to go. On the way home I hit a rather large traffic jam and was beginning to feel a bit nauseous. Fortunately I had some time for a nap before spin class was scheduled to start. I also knew that I was meeting a very good friend there and really wanted to say hi. (Plus, she was making it to class at 8 months pregnant so it is a constant motivation that I can do this!)
I barely made it to class in time and within the first 5 minutes I was so glad that I did. I was spinning out all of my frustration with Gastroparesis and how it has been dictating my life. Then I began to think about how I was conquering it and that I wasn’t going to let Gastroparesis have the majority of my days. I was becoming stronger and stronger as the class went on. I was becoming more and more determined to show Gastroparesis whose boss and who was going to start reclaiming as much of her life as she can. I was pedaling as fast as I could away from those pesky GP Elves! (Seriously, I closed my eyes and pictured that at one point. When I opened them, my RPMs were the highest they were all class!)
Now I am exhausted, but so glad that I accomplished something two days in a row. There is a storm brewing outside that rivals that of the Wizard of Oz and I’m clicking my heels saying “There’s no place like pre-GP life, there’s no place like pre-GP life”. Although I don’t want to go back to pre-gastroparesis life. I want to continue living my life with a purpose and that purpose is to continue to educate and advocate for Gastroparesis. I couldn’t imagine life without all of my GPer friends. Life is so much more interesting with my fellow GPers and so much more fulfilling sharing a clear purpose with them!
When I was younger, I never used to get motion sickness. I was able to ride all of the rides at the amusement park or local fair. As I got older, I was no longer to ride the spinning rides such as the tilt-a-whirl, scrambler, etc. For some reason they made me extremely motion sick. I really didn’t think anything of this because I have heard that most people have a problem with these rides as they get older.
However, the further along I am in my Gastroparesis diagnosis, the more I get motion sick on everything. I get motion sick in the car, I get motion sick on a train, I get motion sick on a plane. I’m not sure about boats, because I didn’t have any boats to go on. This latest time flying was really bad. I was popping my Zofran like it was candy. (Probably not the wisest decision & definitely talk to a trained medical professional before copying this tactic.) Now when I fly, I can feel every tiny little speed bump that we go over. My head starts to spin, the pressure builds up tremendously and I just can’t wait to get out of the plane.
All of this complicates the fact that I really enjoy reading on flights. It is a solid 2-3 hours of undisturbed time and I can get through several chapters of a good book in that time. It always makes me more determined to carve out time to read when I get home. Even though I am extremely motion sick, I still read. I will not let Gastroparesis steal something else from me, so I powered through and read my book.
This time I developed yet another symptom. When I got home, I felt like I was still moving. It was the same sensation as after a long day at an amusement park. I’ve never had this happen before with flying, but I guess it is something that I will now have to add to the equation.
I’m just thankful that the GP Elves helped give the plane a push and turned my 3+ hour flight into a 2 hr 15 minute flight. It got me out of the motion sick environment faster and gave me plenty of time to track down some Gastroparesis friendly snacks in the connecting airport!
What tactics do you do to limit motion sickness?
Gastroparesis puts a damper on exercising due to the fatigue, nausea, & cramping. Needless to say exercise and the GP symptoms don’t mix. However, there are rare glimmers when you feel well enough to get some exercise in. Thankfully, today was one of those days!
Growing up I was a runner. I still enjoy running and have completed 2 half marathons despite of Gastroparesis! They are 2 of my proudest accomplishments. Both times I was completely overwhelmed with emotion throughout the entire 3 hours of the race to the point of crying off and on. This has now overflowed into any time that I exercise.
I am fortunate enough to have a spin bike at home so that whenever I am feeling well enough, I can go downstairs, hop on the bike, and quite literally go for a spin! I needed to remove all obstacles, because by the time I drive somewhere to exercise I could begin to feel ill. So tonight I was feeling well and was so excited to go for a ride on the spin bike. As usual with exercise, there were several times during the ride that tears would begin to swell.
Tears come frequently with exercise now-a-days. They are tears of joy over being able to get some exercise in. They are tears of sadness over not being able to have exercise as part of my daily routine any more. They are tears of anger over having Gastroparesis rip so much away from me. They are tears of revenge for telling GP what for. They are tears of frustration for there not being a cure. It is an emotional roller coaster. With every push of the pedal it is a different emotion. With every push of the pedal I start to feel a little more “normal”. With every push of the pedal I feel like I am trying to speed far far away from Gastroparesis.
It feels good to pedal away from Gastroparesis for a night and I will celebrate the accomplishment. I’ll hold on to this for as many days as I can, because today I won! Take that GP!