Saturday, December 29, 2012

Its amazing how your life can change.  One day your doing great, the next your in pain.  The only thing we can do is take one day at a time.  We learn to adore the days when your feeling great, no pain, no suffering, just simply feeling alive.  We learn to adapt to the days where it hurts to move, hurts to even take a bite of food.  Looking back and missing those days prior to this disease brings such sadness. Wishing you could devour a pound of BBQ ribs, oh how I love BBQ ribs or even simply enjoy a salad.  Do me a favor...  the next time you pick up your fork and look at yummy food, think of me.  Think of having food all around you and not being able to eat it.  It's like being a child when someone holds up a sweet delicious chocolate chip cookie and telling you, No, you cant have it!  I'm not going to lie, there have been some things that I do eat that I am not suppose to.  What goes through my mind is, will I digest this?  Will I hurt or pay for this later?  Will I develop another bacterial infection just because I crave this food.  Is it worth suffering?  Try having a curfew on the foods you can eat.  I'm not suppose to eat past 9:30 pm.  Sounds like a kids curfew doesn't it?  Being grounded from food.  Seems like a joke huh?  I live that way every day and will continue to live this way for the rest of my life.  I can only consume a half a cup of food at each serving.  If I consume more I will hurt for the remaining of the day, sometimes throughout the night.  As much as some things tastes so good, I know its my worse enemy.  It's crazy to imagine that isn't it?  Today I had a cup of chicken noodle soup.  More broth than noodles and chicken.  Boy, I have been paying for it ever since.  When this whole thing started for me I was 185 lbs and in a size 14.  Yes 185!  Now I am 118 lbs, between a size 1 to 3.  Shocking isn't it.  I look back on my pictures and boy have I changed!!  Wish I could say it felt good loosing all my weight.  Next month I will be returning to my Gastrologist for a checkup.  I'm looking forward to it.  Its been 3 months since my last.visit  We shall see where things go. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Needing hope

I haven't been doing my blog lately due to health issues. I've been in and out of doctor visits. I saw my family doctor about a month ago due to major back pain and nausea. No tests were done, basically told me it was either my Gastroparesis or a muscle strain and was given pain medications. A week later I go into Urgent Care because the pain medication weren't helping. Pain increased and constipation began. A urine sample showed blood in my urine and a bacterial infection. Was put on Cipro and Lortab. A week later I went back to Urgent Care with fever, chills, body aches, constipation, nausea, vomiting etc., flu like symptoms. I've never felt that terrible before. Dr at Urgent Care told me I just had a virus. They gave me an IV with fluids and showed me the door. Needless to say the majority of my symptoms have gone away. However my body tells me something different. I am still extremely constipated and nothing seems to be working. I spoke to a nurse at my gastro doctor, she asked if I was placed on probiotics when I was put on Cipro. No, of course not. Well due to the bacterial medication, it killed not only the bad bacteria but my good bacteria. Killing off the good bacteria wasn't a good thing for me. It weakened my immune system even more making me susceptible to viruses etc. which was the reason why I had flu like symptoms. Now I have to rebuild my good bacteria and get myself back on track. Well that's what I'm hoping for anyway. You see, because of my Gastroparesis and having a bacterial infection could cause death. Very scary but didn't realize how serious things really were. I have been taking over the counter medications to help regulate my body. So far I haven't seen any improvements. If things don't soon change I see another dr visit in my future. My abdominal pain and nausea is getting worse every day. Most days Zofran doesn't help. I can only hope and pray for some relief soon. With that said, say a little prayer for me.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Recent Dr. Apt

Last week I saw my gastro dr.  Needless to say he didn't give me much hope to go on.  I told him all my symptoms I was having; extreme nausea, major back pain, vomiting more during the day and night, diarrhea at least 4 to 5 times a day, stomach spasms, feeling weak, joints hurting due to lack of nutrients, I double over with pain and sometimes I look like I am 6 months pregnant due to bloating.  He said, "Sherry, you do have Gastroparesis.  All of your symptoms come with your stomach disease.  Seems as if your intestines are working against your stomach.  Your stomach is barely working, while your intestines are working too hard.  There really isn't anything we can do at this point." He said I could try doubling up on my medication of Domperidone, instead of taking 10 mg 4 times a day, I could take 20 mg 4 times a day.  But the medication is only to help my stomach contract so my food will enter into my intestines.  As far as the diarrhea, I could always try Imodium but to be cautious with that cause it could cause me to become constipated and cause an infection.  He mentioned that I haven't lost too much weight so he really wasn't too concerned.   I know he is doing his best to treat me but I feel as if I am loosing myself.  Slowly starving.  My bones hurt due to lack of nutrients and am weak most days.  Constant research just depresses me more.  Seeing patients die due to complications scares me.  I always have to remind myself, especially when I am doubled over in pain, others have it so much worse.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

After 30 min from waking up this morning, I started getting really dizzy to the point of holding on to the walls so I won't fall, along with massive abdominal pain.  I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to handle this morning.  Taking my son to school, getting ready for work, working 4 hours until my doctors appointment but I knew I had to keep pushing myself to keep going.  I couldn't call into work and say I can't come in, especially since I got a promotion.  I spoke to my family doctor, made an appointment for 2pm.  All morning I tried to not think about the dizziness and the pain.  As the morning passed, I noticed I wasn't as dizzy and the pain had decreased, Thank God!  Finally arrived at doctors office.  After having 2 vials of blood draw, urine sample and speaking to my doctor, it was determined that I have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).  Apparently my spastic colon is working too hard and needed me to have a wake up call.   So not only do I have Gastroparesis, now I have IBS too.  Wonderful, sarcastically speaking of course.  My doctor gave me some samples to help calm my nerves to my colon.  Not sure if they will help or not.  I guess like everything else we shall see...  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I recently found a website for Gastroparesis! Gastroparesis Patient Association for Cures and Treatments.  This website inspired me to buy a cookbook, awareness bands and also a free restaurant card!  Since I am limited to the amount and what I can consume, the cookbook will be great to cook good healthy foods.  Not to mention the free restaurant card is perfect for patients who have Gastroparesis.  It is a card to present to restaurants so that I can receive smaller portions for the price of a child's or senior plate price!!  

On another note, I have lost another 3 pounds.  I am scared I will be skin and bones when I get older.  The only thing I do nowadays is pray.  Pray I don't end up as one of those, in memory of... RIP... kinda thing.  Being a single mom of 3 children, I must stick around for them!  Having a battle with something or someone can be handled or worked out but when the battle is within you, its harder to fight.  But I am ready to put on my boxing gloves cause I'm not going to go down without a fight!  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Life with Gastroparesis: Be aware of your symptoms

My Life with Gastroparesis: Be aware of your symptoms: Many times individuals tend to ignore their symptoms, expect them to go away over a period of time or too scared to be seen by a doctor.  Fo...

Be aware of your symptoms

Many times individuals tend to ignore their symptoms, expect them to go away over a period of time or too scared to be seen by a doctor.  For a year I did that.  I waited and waited, thoughts running through my mind trying to figure it out on my own.  Perhaps I had just a strange stomach bug that only caused me problems every now and then.  It wasn't until my symptoms became worse, occurred frequently and the constant loss of weight that I decided to seek medical advise.  For 2 years after going back and forth to the doctors office, really no answer given as to why I kept having problems, I became extremely discouraged and frustrated.  Was all my symptoms all in my mind?  I couldn't have just made up all my pain and discomfort.  I didn't think I was a hypochondriac.  My point is, no one should ignore their symptoms.  It is a way for your body to alert you that something is wrong.  I really wished I had sought medical attention sooner than waiting a year.  Perhaps I would have been healthier.  I was determined to find an answer to my symptoms.  Now that I know I have a stomach disease, I regret not having that second plate of food or even devouring a huge cake or ice cream.  Now I cant.  Now I can only consume about a cup of food each time I eat.  My symptoms will never get better.  Over the last couple of years I have slowly gotten worse.  There is no cure.  Even though I do not like the fact that I do have a rare stomach disease that limits me on what I can consume or the quantity, I am very thankful I can still eat.  Things could be worse.  I am hoping I will never get to the point to where I would have to need a feeding tube.  With that said, I want to encourage everyone, if you have symptoms you can't figure out, please seek medical advise.  It could make a huge difference in your life.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Have you ever felt all you do is pop pills all day?  With my stomach disease I have to take a total of 4 pills of 10 mg Domperidone throughout the day.  Morning, lunch, dinner and before I go to sleep at night.  Overall perspective, even though I am taking a medication that is not FDA approved, Domperidone has definitely been worth taking.  I just wish it would take away the pain and discomfort.  It seems to really help me with my nausea and diarrhea.   If I forget to take it prior to eating, I am running to the bathroom within 30 minutes after eating.  Not a nice thought is it? On a positive note, I haven't lost anymore weight!  I have been steady for the past 3 months.  I believe with the combination of medication and right foods, I must be doing something right.  I lost over 65 pounds!  WOW!  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I contacted my doctor requesting help.  I still haven't heard back from them.  Due to their lack of concern, I have decided to contact another Gastrologist.   Life is too short to be dealing with pain and suffering.  Its somewhat easy to handle things when you know what your dealing with.  Everyday is completely different, its hard to make sense of my condition.  Gastroparesis is a very challenging, very confusing and poorly understood condition.  It changes your life.  All I want to accomplish is to minimize my symptoms without sacrificing my nutrition.  Since I cant have a cure, I should at least have the satisfaction of  ways I can reduce my symptoms.  With that said, say a little prayer for me in hopes to find a doctor who actually cares for their patients.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gastroparesis is not that uncommon

Gastroparesis is a common stomach disease.  Diagnosis often takes years or even decades due to the lack of awareness and is incurable at this time.  Current estimates are 1 out of 15 people in the US are affected by Gastroparesis.  So why is that so many people have this condition and yet doctors really don't knows how to treat it?  Some of my medical books and even WebMD has no information on this disease.  The majority of my information I have received is from the internet, not from my doctors.  Comparing symptoms, diets, what others have experienced, etc.  Not knowing what to expect or how to deal with day to day symptoms is extremely nerve racking.  Feeling bloated, full after a couple of bites, extreme stomach pain, back pain, pain under my right rib cage, nausea, vomiting and lack of appetite.    I can not imagine things being worse for me.  I can not imagine how others may have more severe symptoms.  That is so scary for me.  So what is in store for my future?  Will things get worse?  Will things get better?   Only my future holds this answer and to be honest I don't want any part of this! I miss my ole self.  I just don't want to loose my hope and spirit.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

With Gastroparesis there is always a scare of foods not being digested or in the stomach too long.  Undigested food can cause bacteria to grow.  I was told I couldn't eat any type of skin on fruits and vegetables.  Imagine, no potato skins, green beans, broccoli, corn, grains, lettuce, etc.  Limit myself on dairy products, fatty or fried foods and meats.  Limit myself on fiber.  So what do I eat?  Its not like I can stop eating.  Its almost like a guessing game.  If I eat this, will I hurt?  What about this? What about that?  I miss food. Being able to eat and not hurt or worry how long it will stay in my stomach before I completely digest it.  There are many times I just take a chance on foods.  Things that I miss and would love to experience the wonder taste.  Sounds silly doesn't it?  I recently decided to eat fried cat fish for dinner.  Finished up around 7pm.  It was good, until 2:30 am when I woke up with my mouth full of saliva and had to run to the bathroom to vomit.  It was then that I realized the food I consumed over 7 1/2 hours ago was not digested.  Sad to think, what used to be a pleasure eating food is now my worse enemy.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Diagnoses

May 2012 my life changed.  For the past 2 years I have prayed for an answer as to why my stomach hurts, major back pain, extreme nausea, sometimes vomiting, weight loss, stomach spasms, hurting each and every time I ate and major pressure of fullness.  I finally got my prayers answered.  Although it wasn't the answer I wanted to hear.  I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis.  Its a stomach disease with no cure.  Currently I am taking a medication that is not FDA approved, Domperidone.  It helps with the nausea and stomach spasms but doesn't help with the pain and discomfort.  Gastroparesis... huh... doesn't sound too terribly bad... wrong!  Think about this... it feels as if you have a stomach flu... for the rest of your life!  Doesn't sound appealing does it.  Every day is different.  There is no way to get used to it.  One day your okay... the next, you wish you didn't even wake up.  I often wonder why me?  Why did I get this rare stomach disease?  What did I ever do to deserve this? I decided to do this blog to perhaps help others understand what every day life is living with Gastroparesis, perhaps to help build awareness to others or perhaps help someone who is dealing with the same condition.