Saturday, August 13, 2016

flaws, scars and insecurities...

I recently watched a video on YouTube about flaws which in turn got me to thinking about my physical "flaws" as well as my insecurities. We live in a society today where appearance and looks reign supreme. Take a look at a magazine, the models are airbrushed and photo-shopped to a point where it is hard to tell if anything that you are seeing is actually "natural".

Being a woman in today's society, there are times when I do feel insecure about my physical appearance. If we are honest with ourselves, we all feel insecure about something regarding our appearance at some point in time. As I have grown and aged over the years, my thoughts regarding my appearance, securities and insecurities have changed. As a teenager, I was embarrassed by my ears. I didn't like wearing my hair up in a ponytail because my ears would be visible. There were times when I didn't like my freckles or my slender feet.

My parents always instilled in my brother and I that God made us. How we look is how He wanted us to look. In Genesis 1:27, it talks about how God created man in His own image.

Since being diagnosed with gastroparesis, it brought out a whole new set of insecurities for me to deal with and work through. It took me a long time to become comfortable with my physical appearance when I would bloat. When I worked, I remember there were times when I would be bloated and people would ask if I was pregnant. I had dark circles under my eyes from the clean outs. My stomach had scars from the numerous surgical incisions.

My insecurities don't bother me like they use to. Everyday is a work in progress. There are good days and there are not so good days. Since having my ileostomy surgery, every time I eat or drink a substantial amount of liquid, I bloat not just from my gastroparesis but due to the placement of my stoma. Most days, I go around in athletic wear which makes up the majority of my wardrobe. Jeans irritate my ostomy site. I rarely wear makeup so my dark circles are often visible. My abdominal scars don't bother me anymore. They are there as a reminder of where I have been and what I have been through. They help tell my story. As for my ileostomy, it is what saved my life. Yes, some days it gets in my way but it is part of who I am now.

I want to be the type of parent that my parents were to my brother and I. I want to teach my daughter that she was created by the Creator in His image. I want her to be secure in herself.



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

GP Life After Pregnancy...

I have had numerous people ask me over the past months ask me how I am doing. Generally, like most GP patients do, I answer with a blanket answer. It isn't a lie but it isn't detailed. I usually answer with the words "good" or "fine". I decided that I would finally "answer" the question as to how I am doing.

For the most part, my gastroparesis is the same. It is something that I will always have to deal with. It is chronic but I am perfectly okay with that. During my pregnancy, my GP was more manageable due to the hormones associated with pregnancy. Since giving birth to Chaselyn, I have noticed my GP symptoms are becoming more intense than what they were during my pregnancy. The nausea is greater, my GI tract is slower, my medication doesn't work as well and so on and so forth. Some days I am able to eat what I consider to be my "normal". Other days, I am struggle with eating. It doesn't bother me that things are returning to how they once were before I became pregnant. I knew that this would happen. I am just thankful for the bit of relief that I got to experience during my pregnancy.

As for my clean outs, I have to be extremely careful. I really have to watch my hydration. Whenever I clean out, I lose a lot of fluid. I am constantly drinking something, whether it be water, Gatorade or some type of protein drink. My energy varies from day to day depending on how I am feeling and if I am on a post clean out day. I try my best to manage my energy and time. I don't want to take away from Chaselyn due to me over doing it. I have had it happen several times where I have just had to lay on the couch while Jacob takes care of Chaselyn and I absolutely hate it. I want to be involved. My weight has returned into my "GP range". When I found out that I was pregnant, I was around 87 pounds. When I gave birth to Chaselyn, I weighed 128 pounds. Today, I am just a few pounds heavier than when I was before the pregnancy.




Image Credit: http://www.keepcalmstudio.com/_gallery/1500/12wCRW5.png


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

things that help with nausea...

Nausea.

The dictionary describes the word "nausea" as a distress in ones stomach which inhibits their urge for food as well as a urge to vomit. Generally speaking, nausea isn't something that people deal with on a daily basis or at least I didn't before my gastroparesis. Growing up, I was actually afraid of being nauseous and yes, I realize that it makes me sound like a big baby but I did not cope well with it. I remember on several occasions when I had a stomach virus, I would rock back and forth refusing to get sick. It however never worked for me. I always got sick. 

Nausea is a common, sometimes daily feeling that gastroparesis patients deal with. Over the years and countless times of dealing with nausea, I have learned how my body deals best with the nausea that I experience, what works and what doesn't work. Every person is different, what works for me may not work for you. Years ago, I remember my husband, boyfriend at the time, trying to convince me that drinking regular Coca-Cola would help better when I was nauseous than Sprite. I thought it was a crazy idea. Why would I want to drink something that I wasn't fond of when I felt so bad. Wasn't the nausea bad enough? However after being stubborn, I finally gave it a try and you know what, it helped! I thought I would share a few of my "tricks" or "rituals" that I do whenever I am nauseous.

1. Salty potato chips
  
    I realize that plain not baked, salty potato chips are greasy but I have actually had a lot of success       with them. During the first trimester of my pregnancy, I lived on salt and vinegar potato chips. I ate     them for breakfast some days.

2. Dill pickles

    As crazy as it sounds, I have found that eating dill pickles often help me with nausea. They aren't       the easiest thing to digest but the vinegar seems to help my stomach.

3. Big Red Gum

    When I was working, I was often nauseated. I wasn't able to take a Phenergan and work.                     Phenagren always makes me so sleepy. I discovered that if I'd chew several pieces of Big Red             gum, it would help curb my nausea.

4. Preggie Pop Drops

     One day while I was in Motherhood Maternity store looking for some maternity clothes, I                    stumbled upon these. For the most part, they taste pretty good. I always preferred the hard candy        drops instead of the chews.

5. Coca-Cola

    I am not sure what it is about this drink but it has always seemed to help with my nausea.

I realize that the things that I use to help with my nausea are not all GP diet or FODMAP approved but when I am nauseous, I really don't care about the sugar content or the how easy it will be to digest. I am always careful to chew up my food really well. As with any disease or sickness, you learn what works best for you.