My Crazy, Hectic, Amazing Life.

I first started getting gastroparesis symptoms when I was 16 or 17 years old. I went to my doctor complaining of sharp pains in my lower stomach halfway through the school day after eating lunch. The doctor gave me the run around and sent me to a specialist since she had no clue what to do about my pain. The gastroenterologist did an upper endoscopy on me and found the cheeseburger I had eaten some fifteen hours before still almost fully intact in my stomach. He then diagnosed me with gastroparesis and put me on 40mg of Nexium and 5mg of Reglan. The Reglan reaped havoc on my nerves and after three years of being left to my own devices I was finally clued into the fact that you are only supposed to take Reglan for 3 to 6 months! I immediately weened myself off of it and seemed to have no issue with my digestion after limiting my intake of fatty greasy foods. That is until recently. Fast forward two more years, and you'll find me in an Air Force hospital getting a routine evaluation by my new doctor that has been provided by Tricare. (Did I mention I'm an Air Force wife now? Lol) the doctor immediately was alarmed by the amount of Nexium I am taking and for how long (now five years from my initial diagnosis) and starts messing with my dosage. He later admitted me in one of my many follow ups that he has no clue how to treat a gastroparesis patient. Immediately upon reducing my dosage from 40mg to 20mg, my symptoms came flaring back up. I struggled with a bloated belly all day with tons of fatigue and anxiety and nausea like clockwork every evening. I recently decided to go back to the original dosage of 40mg because well, that's what's been working for me... And the doctor AND nurse lectured me about eating habits. Now 23, I felt incredibly insulted and misunderstood by the fact that they would have the audacity to talk to me as though I were not careful with my own body. Stress makes my symptoms flare up instantly (even discussing this makes my stomach hurt right now). Now stress goes hand in hand with military life with the constant unknown of what tomorrow will bring or when your spouse will be pulled from your warm bed to be shipped off to any number of places where they could be there for weeks or months. Not to mention having to change bases so frequently. Now imagine being uprooted even few years to a new location where you have to deal with a whole new team of doctors who don't know you or your medical issues. Now you know the situation that I'm in at the moment. My husband and I (and our adorable and oh so loved Boston terrier) will be heading some 2600 miles cross country with a month's notice to do so. My stress levels and symptoms are at all time high.

On another note though, after reading some of the other testimonies I sure feel incredibly blessed that my severity is so slight. I've only ever vomited once (knock on wood) from my symptoms (learned that I can't eat two fast food meals in a row) and I'm able to eat most "normal" foods. I'm not severely underweight. In fact, I'm a healthy 130lbs at 5'4". My experiences with my finicky stomach have driven me to study Nutrition and Dietetics with a concentration in Nutritional Disorders. I've taken a year and a half break from school to get married and start my adult life with my amazing husband (and dog) and once we get to our new location next month I will be actively pursuing my degree once more. Thank you for reading my lengthy rant and I hope with deep sincerity that this forum brings as much comfort to you as it does to me. God bless.
Feb 5, 2013