Thursday, October 20, 2016



Did you know that between seventy to eighty percent of your immune system is located in your GI tract? 

Years ago, before I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, I worked as a certified and licensed pharmacy technician. I learned and witnessed first hand the effects of certain germs. A cold can spread very easily and a stomach bug can spread through a family like wildfire. 

A few years after my diagnosis, I had enrolled in an EMT class. I was telling my GI doctor about my future plans and how I was more comfortable and proficient in a medical atmosphere verses an office setting. My GI doctor informed me that as a GP patient, my immune system was weakened because seventy to eighty percent of my immune system was in my GI tract. My GI tract didn't function and work like a normal person therefore my immune system was weak and compromised. If I planned on working in the medical field, I would continually be sick. 

Since then, I have learned to be more cautious around germs and being in public. The first Christmas that Jacob and I were married, I came down with a cold that actually landed me in the emergency room. I had originally went to a local urgent care but due to how my body was reacting to the cold, I was sent to the emergency room. I could barely move from being so weak. It was miserable and somewhat embarrassing.

Whenever our daughter was born, we were cautioned by her doctor that she may have a compromised immune system based on my medical history. Time would tell. Last fall and winter were LONG to say the least but it was totally worth keeping her at home and healthy. Over the past year, she has been sick a couple of times and do you know who caught everything that she had, this mama! With cold and flu season approaching, I am more cautious when we are out and about. 

I realize that I am over protective and a bit extreme at times. I know that she will get sick at some point, it's part of being human but I would like to keep us as healthy as possible. The idea of being of being so sick that I would have to leave my daughter so seek medical attention really bothers me. I want to be there for her.

So as a GP patient and a mama, use good hygiene, wash your hands and stay home if you're sick.

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.

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