By Maureen DeGarmo and Lisa Mark, C.P.O.
What would you do if suddenly you were unable to eat or drink anything at all? Gastroparesis is a condition that paralyzes the muscles of the stomach and causes them to stop working. This condition makes it difficult or impossible to digest food.
August is Gastroparesis Awareness Month, recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the Health Observances Calendar, which is designed to spread awareness of a variety of health conditions.
At Illness Warriors, our mission is to help others who are experiencing a traumatic illness or injury to learn how to cope, adapt and find support. Through our own experiences and research, we share our wisdom, tips and tools, along with a large dose of empathy for those coping with a traumatic illness or life-changing injury.
Until now, we have not shared our personal illness stories and how we were motivated to create Illness Warriors. Here is Lisa’s story.
“In my case, gastroparesis hit when I was a new mom over 20 years ago. I lost 35 pounds in 3 weeks and nearly died from dehydration and malnutrition. My (former) managed care provider did not know how to treat me, so he alternatively ignored me and accused me of making myself vomit to get attention. His negligence nearly killed me. With support from my spouse, I was able to find a specialist who understood how to treat what I had, even if he didn’t know what it was. It took 15 years for me to get a probable diagnosis and another 4 years for my provider to confirm that I had, indeed, had gastroparesis.”
The blog, A Chronic Spoonful, shares an informative video that explains what it is like to live with this condition.
For more information on Gastroparesis, visit AboutGastroparesis.org.