When your stomach stops working healdove electricity year 4


On October 31, 2009, I had an emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder. The next day, my grandfather (and hero) passed away. Three days later, I was on a flight to California to attend his memorial service. I decided to stay a week to comfort my mother.

About five days into my stay, I caught a nasty virus that was going around and was vomiting uncontrollably. I spent a day on a gurney in the ER hallway. They had no time to treat me with anything other than Zofran, which did not help. I went back to my mother’s home, got some rest and headed home soon after. Thinking it was all behind me.

One month later, I started having stomach pain and a feeling of fullness after eating only a few bites of food. "I thought I would be feeling better after the surgery.", I told my doctor. He thought I might have re-injured an old ulcer, so he prescribed me some medicine. One week later, I called and asked him I should be feeling better because I wasn’t.

My next medical exam was called a gastric emptying test. I ate radiated oatmeal and the tech reviewed how much time it took to leave my stomach. Two days later, my GI doctor called me with the news that I had Gastroparesis. She suggested I do much on-line research and prescribed me a medication called Reglan. My doctor also said I would have to stop taking the pain medications because narcotics make the condition worse. I asked her what I could do for the pain. She explained to me that nothing would help me and I would just have to deal.

Reglan turned out to be a black box prescription. It has been known to cause permanent neurological damage. Within five days, I was crawling out of my skin. After much research, I found another prescription drug that is not FDA-approved but could be obtained from Canada with a prescription. I called my doctor and asked for a prescription for Motilium.

As my illness progressed, so did my fears. I could not eat any solid food without extreme pain. I found myself not only reading, but obsessing over my health. Some of the participant forums were frightening. I wasn’t losing weight at this time, quite contrary, I was gaining. I was told that my body was in starvation mode.

I would ask the most common question in these groups, "Is this disease progressive?". The answer was, "Sometimes, yes. Not all cases are the same". G-Pact has a support group on Facebook and this became the most useful group to go to for information. Sometimes it could get depressing. We were all suffering. Occasionally we mourned the loss of someone due to complications.

I had wondered if the surgeon had nicked my vagus nerve while removing my gallbladder. If so, I was screwed. But what I kept thinking about was that nasty virus I got while healing from my surgery. Could I have damaged my vagus nerve from the violence of that virus?

With all this information and fear, I found myself suffering panic attacks and depression. I am no stranger to either. I made an appointment with my primary doctor and he gave me some medicine as long as I committed to seeing a therapist. "You are starving and this is stressing you out. The stress is adding to the loss of appetite.", he said. I agreed.

In addition, I saw an acupuncturist and a naturopath. I had greater results from the naturopath. He treated some scar tissue in my stomach and almost immediately, the daily pain went away. Then he had me get some "constitutional hydrotherapy", which also provided some relief.

But whenever I experienced a flare-up, nothing could get me to eat. Sometimes the pain was unbearable, but mostly I just could not eat. I had to add a lot of sugar and cream to my coffees to get my calories, I discovered Enlive by Ensure, and Gatorade was my best friend. Still, there were many trips to the ER due to pain and dehydration.

My weight dropped from 165 lbs. to 117 lbs. in just six months. I decided to call off my engagement and moved out of the home I shared with my fiance. It turned out to be a good time for both of us to reflect on what we really wanted for ourselves.