The Conundrum of Gastroparesis


“You should let people in on your pain, rather than hiding it.”

Nobody has actually uttered those words to me. But nevertheless, I hear them.

I’ve mentioned before that I never want to become the old lady who has nothing to say but a crotchety update on her arthritis and bowel movements. Still … there is a need to not live a life of seclusion and suffering in silence. So with that in mind, here’s a bit of an update:

My main struggles right now are:

Continued inability to eat fruits and veggies. I juiced four carrots this week. It amounted to maybe a half cup of juice. I diluted with water and sipped it throughout the day. I had great improvement with my blood sugar, which helped my mood, but lots of intestinal pain along with dizziness and a stomach that quite literally felt like a 20 pound brick rather than a stomach. Oh, and a pretty good headache and intestinal issues of which I will spare you the details.The only thing to do at that point is sleep it off.

Fatigue, fatigue, fatigue. I’m always tired. Sometimes, I have a half day or a few hours a day of terrific energy. Other than that, I simply try and fight through sleepiness and the feeling of treading through water.

Bone pain. Especially if I haven’t had a nutritional IV in a while. I hurt all the time, but if I don’t get IV’s, I hurt everywhere, all the time. (P.S. Please don’t tell me to pop an Advil, as I am unable to take any pills by mouth. There are no pain relieving options for me, unless they can also be put through an IV).

Depression. Throw a Bible verse at me, and I will throw one right back at ya’. The depression is obviously linked to the physical issues, and while I can get depressed about my circumstances, I know how to work through that, Scripturally. That’s not to say I do it perfectly, all the time, but I do try and stay focused on the fact that He is working all things together for my good and His glory. All things. But more than that, there are physical causes for depression, and I have four that are scientifically proven to cause it — low thyroid, low vitamin d, low folic acid, and chronic yeast infection.

Frustration. With the news of another grandbaby on the way, I get frustrated with my lack of energy and I ask myself questions like, “How will I make the trip to the east coast when I can’t make it through a day without a nap and other periodic resting as needed?” Resting is not conducive to helping a new mama. I always make it through these things alive, but not well. For once, I’d like to make it alive – and well. Hence the re-try on the carrot juice.

I have two choices: either keep on as I am and eventually die from not getting enough nutrients, or start feeding my body, whether it likes it or not, and just deal with the sickness caused by eating what my body isn’t able to digest. Either way I am sick, but the sicknesses are different.

With eating, I tend to suffer more from headaches, dizziness, stomach pains, and digestive upset. With not eating, it’s more fatigue, bone pain, and a general feeling that I am wilting away at a slow (but sure) rate. And digestive upset. Truthfully, that’s always there. Socially, it’s easier to not eat, as it’s very difficult for me to carry on a conversation while dizzy and nauseated.

I have felt this to be a moral decision. Do I eat and nourish my body, or do I not eat and (for now) enable myself to socialize and minister to others? I have to look at things in the long run, too. Ultimately, not eating will be a bad decision, and is not eating well caring for the temple of the Holy Spirit as I should? Is it better to not eat well, and enable myself to make it to church, to small group, to the grocery store, to the big events in life — ordination, weddings, arrival of sweet grandbabies …

Do you see the conundrum of living with gastroparesis/celiac?

Do you have any words of wisdom? Because if you do, my ears are wide open.

The news of another grandbaby has brought this all to the surface again. I want to be his or her Marmee for years to come. Will you pray that I want what God wants more? I don’t know what His plans are for me, but for now, they’re not looking too long term. Or, at least they’re not feeling long term.

Thanks for reading and sitting with me in my pit … it gets lonely down here sometimes.


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4 Responses to “The Conundrum of Gastroparesis”

  1. Lois C says:

    I do wish I could give you some helpful advice, but certainly nothing comes to mind. I pray that you will be able to go see the new grandbaby when the time comes. I really don’t mind sitting in the pit with you, being the introvert that I am. Seems like a good place for me.
    God bless you and your family.

  2. Ginger says:

    I am a friend on FB and wondered if this is what you have been struggling with. I have no answers but I have plenty of empathy for you and will be praying about these specific issues for you. I do know what the battle of low thyroid is…and I know that the combination of everything must wear you down quickly. Thank you for sharing.

  3. admin says:

    Hi Ginger,

    Sorry for the delay in answering. I forgot I have to approve my comments now due to spammers. Oops!

    If you go to the “About Me” page, you will get more info. Not all of the info is there, but you’ll get a general feel if you click the available links. It’s such a long story, which is why I don’t typically talk about it. I tend to bamfoozle doctors and people in general, which just adds frustration to the situation. Anyway, thank you for your empathy and prayers. :)

  4. admin says:

    Also, I plan to update this blog (including the about me page) very soon, so hopefully things will make a little more sense.

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