DHA advocate Lindsay has made great strides to raise awareness and funds for gastroparesis. The first annual Go With Your Gut 5K was held in Hilliard, Ohio, on August 23rd of 2014. Lindsay crushed her $3,000 fundraising goal, bringing in more than $9,000 to benefit research into idiopathic gastroparesis through the DHA and IFFGD. Her dedication to improving the lives of all people with gastroparesis is an inspiration. Thank you, Lindsay.
An Advocate’s Story
My name is Lindsay Slivka. I am a 36 year old wife and mother of two children. I have a doctorate in audiology and work for a hospital system performing hearing screenings on newborns.
While training for a half marathon in February 2010, I started having pain in my right side and difficulty breathing. I went through nearly every cardio-pulmonary test imaginable. I remember saying to my pulmonologist, “I have not been able to eat as much as usual for the last six weeks. I feel really full all of the time and just can’t eat what I used to.” His response was “I have no idea what that is all about” and told me there was nothing left for him to do for me.
I figured I had to live with my symptoms and kept going. In the fall of 2012 I called a family friend that is a gastroenterologist. He said to come in for an endoscopy and he would see if he could find anything. He called me the day after the test and was stunned to tell me I had celiac disease. In fact, there was an extreme amount of damage in my GI tract, suggesting a long standing problem. I immediately started following a gluten free diet. Over the next 5 weeks, instead of getting better, I kept getting more ill, until I could not even sip water without feeling like I was going throw up.
That is when I was diagnosed with gastroparesis.
Like many others with gastroparesis, I have gone through a number of medications, procedures, and alternative healthcare practices trying to manage my symptoms of nausea, fullness, stomach pain and chest pain. In March of 2012, a feeding tube was placed through my nose into my small intestine. Still unable to take in enough calories, I had a central line place in April 2012 and use TPN (IV nutrition) daily.
I am able to eat some food and focus on eating high quality, nutrient dense food. I find daily exercise to be incredibly helpful in keeping my symptoms under control and to help me keep a positive attitude.
It is my intention to promote advocacy and raise awareness to help the millions worldwide living gastroparesis. I am determined to find ways to manage symptoms, help others cope with gastroparesis, fund research, as well as promote awareness and advocacy through events such as the “Go With Your Gut 5k” and my websitewww.navigatinggastroparesis.wordpress.com.
Very little is known about GP and without some intense research, those of us who struggle to deal with this disease are in desperate need of help that can only come from a better understanding of why this happens.
The inaugural “Go With Your Gut 5k and 1 mile walk” was held August 23rd, 2014 in Hilliard Ohio. We had a great turn out for our first event, over 175 people registered! We love seeing people in the t-shirts from the event! We raised over $9,000 for research for Digestive Health Alliance. We are planning the second annual event for August 22, 2015. We would love to see you there!