This piece is intended to be informational and in no way is meant to diagnose gastroparesis or suggest treatments. If you think you might have gastroparesis or any other medical condition, talk with your doctor.
Gastroparesis (GP) is a fancy way of saying slowing or paralysis of the stomach and digestive tract. It is thought to affect between 200,000 and 300,000 people in the US a year, and is a relatively rare condition. Diabetes is the most common reason for GP, and other causes include viral infection, connective tissue diseases such as Ehlers Danlos, neurological illness like MS, or damage to the vagus nerve during surgery. In more than half of cases a reason is never found. Major symptoms include constant nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and feeling full after only a few bites of food. Symptoms can get so severe as to prevent adequate nutrition and hydration.
Continue reading You Might Have Gastroparesis If…
When you have a chronic illness that affects multiple functions, your body quickly becomes a major focus in your life. I spend over 8 hours a day doing physical therapy routines, managing my feeding tubes and pump, setting up medical care, working with aides, and doing what I need to do to deal with pain and other symptoms. During periods when I am having new or worsening symptoms, I can have healthcare appointments 5 days a week. Since I use mass transit it usually takes an hour to an hour and a half to get anywhere, making an appointment an all day affair.
Continue reading My Body, Inc.
One of the major illnesses I deal with is called Gastroparesis (GP). GP is a fancy way of saying the stomach and intestines stop moving like they’re supposed to and have trouble emptying food. As a result, I deal with nausea and stomach pain on a daily basis, and fill up after only a few bites of food. I don’t often talk about my symptoms because they seem dwarfed behind all of the other problems from my neurological illness, but they have been a constant presence in my life since 2013.
Continue reading Gastroparesis and Feeding Tubes
This was an exploration delivered at the First Universalist Church of Denver on 7/31/16,
I have always led an active life, and love all sorts of outdoor activities. People ask who I am and “A physician,” is part of the answer. That started to change in 2012, when I developed a progressive neurologic condition. Fatigue was one of my first symptoms and I had almost no energy to go out, let alone work. I haven’t lost interest in motorcycles, hiking, skiing, or skydiving, but many of the activities I love take too much energy to enjoy presently. I developed memory problems and was forced to stop practicing medicine because when a doctor forgets something, it’s usually pretty important. The wheelchair I now use due to mobility problems further limits what I can do and where I can go, as our society still has a long way to go with physical accessibility.
Continue reading Disability and Identity