It’s Labor Day Weekend here in The States which means lots of picnics and potential challenges with foods, energy, sitting in the heat, and countless other potential triggers to a Gastroparesis Flair. For me, it means going home to the local fair to watch a demolition derby, eating french fries made by the local fire department, and seeing great friends. It is an annual homecoming & one that I hate missing.
This year at the fair, I was eating my french fries and reflecting on how far I have come in the past year. Before, discussing this I have to say that I planned to have the french fries even if it meant being sick. These aren’t any french fries. They come once a year and taste amazing. They don’t have anything on them and are just plain potatoes that are fried, but there is something delicious about them.
Okay, back to how far I have come in the past year. As I was watching the demolition derby (a contest where people smash old cars into each other until only one is left running), I couldn’t help but think about how it is a metaphor for Gastroparesis life. We get hit from all sides. We get smashed up. We get written off but yet somehow we keep going. We keep fighting back. We keep trying to get out of the mud. We keep trying not to get stuck. We keep trying to start our engine. We keep driving even with a flat tire. We keep driving even if our wheels turn one direction. We don’t quit!
The crowd cheers every time there is a large crash, something catches fire, or mud flies. But the one thing I noticed is that some of the largest cheers came from when I car looked like it was down for the count would some how pull a miracle, get the engine going again, and fly across the track. This is what happens with GP. We look stuck, we look down for the count, but somehow we get our engine going and fly across the track. Our true friends cheer so loud when this happens. They have watched us stuck in the mud with our engine dying but they cross their fingers and hope we can overcome it. When we do, they celebrate with us!!
There will always be people that cheer when we crash but we need to focus on the louder cheers that happen when we get going again. These are our true friends and the friends that we need to make sure to thank for their support and wave to when we win the demolition derby of life!