Hi my name is Rebecca and I was diagnosed with Mild Gastroparesis in 2006. I have always suffered with constipation from childhood and was very familiar with laxatives growing up. I also had a lot of tummy aches. However when I became a young adult; I found a way to keep my constipation under control for first time in my life; and, that was simply by drinking a 6 oz. glass of Prune Juice followed by a glass of water each night before bed. This worked for me for about 17 – 20 years. And for the first time in my life, i did not suffer with tummy aches, bladder issues or any digestive issues at all. I truly knew what it meant to feel good.
However probably about a year before I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis; my constipation came back with a vengeance!! And this was in spite of drinking plenty of water; exercising 5 – 7 times a week; and, eating relatively well-balanced meals. In other words trying to take care of myself. I went immediately to have a colonoscopy done because of my age at the time, which was mid 40’s; and, I just thought it would be a good idea to have that done sine I had issues from childhood. They found nothing and I was told to eat more fruit, which ended up making matters worse. Due to work; raising children; and, taking care of three elderly family members; I was forced as I waited on the doctors to come up with a solution, to start using laxatives. At some point during that time, I gradually began to experience the horrible bloating and indigestion that are part of Gastroparesis symptoms; and, I could not eat or drink without blowing up like a balloon. It was unbearable; and, when I was in that condition I could not empty my bladder. So for approximately two years I was taking Castor Oil and or Milk of Magnesia just to get through my days; and, I spent my nights cat- napping on the bathroom floor. I could not understand what was happening to me.
No matter how hard I tried, I could not get the doctors to listen to what I was telling them; and, I could get no relief whatsoever. I sunk into deep, deep depression; and, I tried to kill myself one day when everyone was gone, because by this time I had been out of work for two (2) months and weighted only 85lbs; was not being taken seriously by doctors; and, could not eat and could barely drink. What I thought would be fixed in a few visits to the doctor had turned my life upside down; and, I saw no way out and could not imagine another 30 years or so of living this way.
At this time I had not heard of Gastroparesis; and, even though I had had the Gastric Emptying Study (GES); the doctors did not mention that I had “Mild” Gastroparesis. I found out about it on a show; and, then asked the doctors about it at that time; and, the answers where very elusive for a long time until they finally did tell me. But at this time I was unaware of Online Support Groups and knew nothing about this horrible illness. I felt very alone and isolated.
Nine (9) years later I am still here and still living with this illness; and, I am not sure how this story for me is going to end. I finally went down again in August of 2014, and am in the process of filing for Disability because I have fought this for nine (9) years and pushed myself to the point of utter and complete exhaustion; but, I have since found the Online Gastroparesis Support Groups; I have started one of my own; I have met some amazing people – STRONG WARRIORS!! I have also learned much about this horrible illness; and, I am trying to help educate other’s through my GP Group. I have also met an amazing man with a colon irrigation device that he is trying to help me get through my insurance company because I also have colonic inertia. So we are hoping that if I can get some relief from that, then maybe I can better manage my Gastroparesis; which I now know can be brought on by laxative abuse; but, then we do what we have to do when it comes to functioning.
I hope this illness will not beat me. I have a different perspective than I did nine (9) years ago. I have a wonderful GI doctor now after going through five (5) GI’s; I have a wonderful psychologist whom helps with the depression associated with this or any chronic illness; and, a psychiatrist whom has given me some mild meds to help me cope and get sleep. Sleep which I missed out for a very long time. So my goals today are very different than they were nine (9) years ago. They are to Spread Awareness and Bring About Change; they are to Educate People who are new to the illness so they can be better prepared to talk with their Physicians; and, to be supportive to those who are struggling to come to terms with this horrible illness.
Gastroparesis is real. It is not in our heads; and, everyone that I have talked to whom has this illness has said all of the same things: it has completely changed their life; sometimes they feel like giving up; doctors don’t seem to understand; and, they would not wish this illness on anyone.

Share this page
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print
Want to share your story?

Share your experience of living with a digestive disorder – it can be therapeutic for you as well as others who suffer.

Skip to content