Friday, August 24, 2012
You Are Inspiring! by Guest Blogger Megan Kondilas
One of my favorite quotes is “You can’t be brave if you’ve had only wonderful things happen to you.” My name is Megan Kondilas, and I’m twenty years old I live in New Port Richey, Florida. I have had some not so wonderful things happen during my life, when I was sixteen years old I had a horrible stomach virus that lasted for two-three weeks. It wasn’t such a “sweet sixteen” because this stomach virus landed me in the Emergency Room and my health has only gotten worse since. It took me a year to get diagnosed with Gastroparesis.
I had gone through so many tests, hospital stays, and different opinions from people in the medical professions on what I had. I heard the whole “its all in your head”, “you don’t look sick” or “you’re making it up for attention” thing from so many people. That really hurts to hear that from anyone, no matter what age you are. I lost several friends and that was difficult, especially when you are faced with this illness that you find out there is no cure for and you will have it the rest of your life. You need to have people to lean on and support you through the tough times. I have had to grow up pretty fast with having Gastroparesis. Instead of going to high school, football games and prom I was going to doctors appointments, having hospital stays and surgeries.
With having Gastroparesis, there were two options I could do with what I have been dealt with. I could 1. Be down , upset, and depressed that I am sick and feel sorry for myself or 2. I could make the most out of what I have been given and try to stay positive and maybe help others. Well I’ve tried option one and that didn’t really work out that great for me. Option two has allowed me to still feel good… not good health wise but good emotionally. With having Gastroparesis it is so easy sometimes to be upset with the cards that I have been dealt. I find that even though I may not be feeling well, that if I try and find something good in everyday and it helps lift my spirits.
This is an everyday choice that I consciously have to make. There are some days that I still do get upset about being sick. I do have those days where all I want to do is stay in bed or cry and I think that is okay. It okay to have those moments where you do dislike what you are going through and especially when its one thing after another, it does get challenging to look for some positives. You don’t have to be strong all of the time. So go ahead and have those days it is alright, but then pick yourself up. Find something to be thankful for each day, think of something positive to help you get through the tough times. Right now think of three things to that you are thankful for or three things that were positive today.
I love the fact that G-PACT strives to provide education, awareness, and support to others with this disease. It is so helpful to have support and the people that I have met with Gastroparesis whether it be in person or online inspire me to keep going and to keep fighting against this disease. I consider these people some of my best friends. I help with The Gutsy Teen Lounge, one of G-PACT’s support groups, and that is one thing that helps me keep going is to know that even though I may be sick I can still make the most out of my situation and help others. This disease can get so lonely at times and it helps to know that you are not alone in this disease. There are others out there fighting against Gastroparesis that you can relate to, build friendships, and support each other.
Anyone that has Gastroparesis is a hero to me. You are all so brave and even though we don’t always have wonderful things happen to us, we get through it. You are a fighter, you are brave, and you are so strong. You go through more than most people do in a lifetime. Don’t ever give up, you are a hero and your strength and bravery is inspiring.