You are probably already aware that I have gastroparesis because I hashtag every single one of my instagram posts #gastroparesis even if the posts are about random things like a new iron-on patch for my jean jacket. With that being said, I should probably tell you that I have a new iron-on patch for my jean jacket that is a pink heart that says GO AWAY. I love it. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. This blog post is all about my broken stomach and how much I hate it and how hangry I am. I’m so hangry, you guys.
I was diagnosed with gastroparesis just before Christmas, after being sick with it for about 6 months prior to that. It all started with an inability to keep some food down, then ridiculous, Guinness Book of World Records amounts of barfing and stomach pain that led me to spend way too much time in the emergency room hooked up to morphine and gravol. Then after way too many months of that, my amazing fantastic perfect doctor got me in to see a gastro specialist who performed a scope on me and told me I had gastroparesis. He prescribed me a pill called domperidone, I joked about it sounding like alcohol, we all laughed (okay just me) and then I went home to start my new life with a paralyzed stomach.
After a couple weeks of adjustments, the pills started working wonders. All I had to do was take one pill a half hour before each meal and it would start working my stomach muscles for me to help me digest food. I could eat more or less normally without pain or barfing afterward. Life started getting back to normal, aside from me not really being able to eat snacks or junk because I could only eat 3 meals a day. But then I got too confident, and too comfortable in my new situation, so my body decided to mix things up a bit and make my stomach stop working again.
So now I’m down to eating 1 meal a day (2 if I’m really lucky) and generally barfing up at least one of those meals. My doctor has doubled my dosage of the domperidone and told me that the most I can do is triple it, so we crossed our fingers that this double dosage would do the trick. At first it seemed very promising, and I started to keep down a few extra meals. But in almost no time at all, my body picked up the signs that I was feeling more or less happy and healthy, and decided to wreak havoc on me again. So the pills stopped working again, and I’m back to spending all of my time in Barfville.
Yesterday I went to get a facial because my health problems have also been destroying my skin, and my appointment was at a spa really close to my house. So I managed to walk there, and when I was done I figured it would be easy enough to walk home. I made it about 3 minutes away from my house when it felt like my body just ran out of gas and I couldn’t get any further on an empty tank. So I had to call Matt and ask him to drive 2 seconds down the street to pick me up. That’s when we realized I’m definitely just not getting enough calories to keep me going, so I picked up some Ensure meal replacements.
Last night I had my first one for supper and it was delicious. It felt like I was having a chocolate milkshake, so I am pretty okay with that. I mean, in an ideal world my stomach would work and I could eat things like steak again, but for now, chocolate milkshakes will have to do.
In my first year with gastroparesis, I lost over 25 pounds but under 27 pounds. You’ll have to do the math on that one yourself. Last week I went to pick up my wedding dress and it fit me perfectly. I told the Wedding Dress Seller-Extraordinaire that I will probably need alterations to take it in because I will more than likely be thinner on my wedding day. She told me I don’t need to diet, I look great the way I am. I thanked her but then said “Oh I’m not dieting, my stomach doesn’t work anymore.” That made her look real sad. Hopefully this losing 25 pounds a year thing won’t catch on and become a trend, because pretty soon Matt will have to carry me around in a little backpack. He promised me he would. We have decided that marriage is carrying the other around in a backpack if need be.
Hopefully I will get in to see my specialist soon and figure out what is going on inside my tummy. I assume there is some sort of civil war happening inside there. I keep trying to come up with a peace treaty, but the battle rages on. And I’m really ready for a cease-fire. I’m so good at metaphors. I wish I was as good at keeping down food as I am at writing.
I miss food so much, you guys. In case you were wondering, which I’m sure you were not, these are the things I miss the most: mini eggs, s’mores, bacon, chocolate cake, chocolate bars, steak, hot dogs, hamburgers, mini eggs, smoothies (that’s right, I can’t even handle smoothies anymore), ummm and mini eggs. Oh and also mini eggs.
My current coping mechanism seems to be watching all of those little videos on facebook of delicious desserts being baked. It weirdly makes me feel better to know that there are people out there who still get enjoyment from food. I just want food to be happy. I want food to be loved and taken care of. When you love something you have to set it free, and then if it comes back to you, you know it was meant to be. So I’m going to keep that attitude about food. Maybe someday I will eat mini eggs again, and it will be a beautiful, joyous day. One that will be written about in history books to come.
Now excuse me while I go watch someone bake a chocolate cake.
P.S. If you have gastroparesis please give me solicited advice about how you cope with it all. I need to be wrapped in a blanket burrito of love and support right now.
P.P.S. while searching for a featured image to go with this blog post I searched these terms: “eating food while crying,” “looking at food and crying,” “sad hungry person.” Anyway, those clearly turned up zero results. But I did find a picture of a neon sign that says basically how I feel about life: Burger Hungry Since 2007. So let’s go with that.