Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Living with Gastroparesis by Guest Blogger Maureen Ray
My name is Maureen and I live near Savannah, Georgia, I was diagnosed two years ago September with Gastroparesis after being hospitalized for Acute Pancreatitis. It was a relief to finally know what was going on with my body! I had, over the years suffered so many days of inability to eat and many days missed from work for nausea. I count myself very lucky as I am still able to eat food unlike so many of my friends who live on tube feedings. I have a strict diet to stay on that consists of mostly meat and potatoes. I miss my vegetables and it is really difficult living in the south. Lots of my family members are farmers and they have such wonderful fresh vegetables that I used to enjoy so much. I never thought that eating a salad could make me sick. I lived on them, and then I found out that I cannot have salads any more since GP. I am retired on disability for other reasons than that of Gastroparesis. My handicap has made me stronger and I truly believe that if it were not for it I would not have been able to accept this diagnosis. I have a wonderful GP doctor, Brandon Hunter MD from Savannah. He has been the most understanding and encouraging physician. I lose weight then I gain it back due to bloating and wonder how I can be overweight with the little I am able to eat.
One of my most favorite quotes "Thank God for my handicaps, for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God." Helen Keller has helped me to overcome adversity and to fight for my health and make sure that others know of this awful disease. Last year I had the opportunity to meet several G-PACT members while attending the Digestive Disease National Collation. I had never before spoken to Senators but found myself comfortable in doing so. It was a privilege to be able to inform them of this disease and the need for treatment options to be explored. Many take Domperidone as I do but insurance doesn’t pay for it because it is not authorized by the FDA and it can be expensive with no coverage available. I use Zofran for my nausea and Aciphex for the heartburn/gas. I have a total of 16 medications I take daily for GP and other health issues. I refuse to allow this disease to rule my life and I pray that more studies will be started and new options available to all of us so that we can have a better quality of life - the kind everyone deserves.