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I wanted to tell my story of gastroparesis to try and help other people that are going through it. I had idiopathic gastroparesis, which means the cause was unknown, but the doctors believed it was caused by some damage to the vagus nerve. At the time I was in fifth grade, so 10 or 11 years old when I was diagnosed with gp (gastroparesis,) but I had it for many months before that. The process up to the disgnostic was long, tiring, and frustrating. I hated feeling nauseous, and since eating and drinking made me nauseous, I cut out food and fluids almost compltely, so multiple doctors just diagnosed me as dehydrated and sent me on my way with IVs and that was it. Luckily, one doctor was able to perform an endoscopy and tested my digestion with radioactive eggs and diagnose me. He told me it would take about 14-16 hours to digest the eggs, when it takes a normal person 6-8 hours. When we found out it was gp, I was estatic to know what it was finally, but was scared because there was no cure and no matter the medication I took I still felt nauseous. Then came the depression and mental struggles. This was 75% of the battle with gp. I felt like there was no end, no light at the end of the tunnel, and thought I would have this for the rest of my life. I didn’t see the hope, I was only staying the same and wasn’t getting any better. However, I decided finally that it was about time I stopped wallowing in my sorrows and try to get better. On a good day, I wrote a note to myself, saying how strong I was, how supporting my family was, and that there would be an end to the madness. Then whenever I had a bad day, I read that message and it made me feel so much better. I also kept a journal about how I felt, mostly the bad feelings, so I could get them out of my head instead of keeping them welled up inside. I pushed myself to eat and drink, although my brain told me it was wrong, and got better. I had gp for a little longer than a year and a half, then the symptoms almost seemed to disappear. Gp to me was a big test to show myself how strong I was, and I think it teaches us all that. We don’t think of our motility often or at all, but as soon as it starts effecting our lives, we realize how important it is. I want to tell everyone going through it that you are not alone, there’s always someone out there willing to help, this won’t ruin your life, and most importantly, you have to be strong. Gp won’t go away unless you persevere and stand up to it and show it that you’re stronger than it. I hope this helped!

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