Thank you so much for all of your prayers regarding my last post. This issue has been such a test of my faith and it is taking everything that I have within me to work through this.
Just to share a little background information regarding what is going on right now, I don’t really know. I have been to 2 doctors, 2 gastroenterology specialists, and a dietician in the last month and a half. I’ve also had 7 viles of blood drawn, a gastric emptying study, and will be having an endoscopy this Friday.
They’ve diagnosed me with what they think is gastroparesis. Essentially what that means is that my stomach is paralyzed; it doesn’t digest food–instead it just sits in my stomach. After visiting a dietician who actually has this, she said that she doesn’t think it is permanent since I don’t have all of the symptoms and because it started at a stressful point in my life. She said that stress on the body can mimic this condition.
When our bodies are stressed, we handle it in different ways. A lot of times our bodies can just push through it and recover from it quickly; however, prolonged stress can cause our systems such as the digestive system to slow down or shut down.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I am scared. I don’t know what is going on with my body other than the fact that my stomach can not handle solids at this time. It started back in January and has been getting significantly worse each week. A few bites into something, I would get so sick that I’d have to lay down and could hardly move.
I felt really full way too fast and my abdomen would get rock hard and stay that way for a couple of hours. The best way to describe it is I feel like I have the stomach flu 24/7 even though I look completely fine on the outside.
It has gotten to the point where I am scared to eat because I’m not sure how I’ll feel afterwards. Living off of pudding, yogurt, and nutrition shakes was fine for a few days, but now it is getting old.
I used to eat a ton of healthy, clean foods such as broccoli, chicken, fruits, and whole grains but now am on a very strict modified diet that is super low fiber and low fat. I feel as though this has put my body through even more shock since now all I am eating is processed junk. I would kill for a bowl of cereal or popcorn right now.
This post isn’t to whine and complain or to feel sorry for myself. Instead, it is to tell you a few of the neat things that have happened as a result of this. For example, the one dietician at the GI clinic I go to happens to have this same condition. It is extremely rare to have gastroparesis, so the chances of me being matched up with this young dietician is amazing.
Also, last night I went to a church event and ended up meeting some really great people. One of the girls in the group mentioned that she had been dealing with a painful stomach condition for 10 years and was finally healed two years ago. This was so encouraging to hear that I am not alone in this.
Right before I left, one of the leaders came up to me after recognizing my name from a submitted prayer request the day before and prayed over me–sharing encouragement, hope, and compassion.
That’s exactly what I needed yesterday to get me through the rest of this week. What I’m going through right now is really hard. I don’t feel good everyday and most days consist of laying on the couch or going for a light walk. I feel like God is forcing me to slow down, and being the Type-A that I am, it is really hard to just rest and try to de-stress.
Things that seem to help are hot baths, laying down and reading or watching movies, going for a walk, light workouts, and just getting out of the house some days. I’m really looking forward to meeting up with my friend, Kara Lynn tonight!
Hope on the Horizon
A song that has been coming up on my Pandora station a lot lately has really helped me to put things into perspective. Sometimes we make God too small–we put him in a little box and we only pull it out when we need things. This situation has forced me to take him out of that confinement and realize that he is so much bigger than me. Below are some of the lyrics from “What Do I Know of Holy” by Addison Road. You may click here to check it out.
I made You promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all No
If You touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?