Step into the world of resiliency and strength as Christina shares her courageous battle and long journey to a Gastroparesis diagnosis. Her story is a testament to the power of perseverance and the unwavering spirit that can overcome life's most challenging obstacles. Continue reading to learn more.
Silent Struggle With Undiagnosed Gastroparesis
Flashback to my freshman year of high school in 2013. A mysterious stomach pain began, but I brushed it off until a shocking comment from my cousin about my appearance made me realize how distended my stomach had become. The pain escalated, culminating in a terrifying moment in English class when I couldn't move due to excruciating pain. Rushed to the ER, I was wrongly diagnosed with an eating disorder and my pain was dismissed. After persistent advocacy from my mom, a CT scan revealed a massive undigested food mass known as a Bezoar, causing Gastroparesis. Despite the diagnosis, I was still dismissed, leaving me to endure years of suffering and discomfort. Looking back, I wonder how things might have been different with earlier intervention.
Finding Strength and Navigating Gastroparesis
Turning 18 was a turning point in my journey with health. After years of struggling, I finally got a new doctor and asked for a gastroenterologist. Pediatric care had its limitations, so I documented my symptoms, waiting for adult care to bring answers. In April 2018, I had an endoscopy and a gastric emptying scan, which revealed delayed digestion. At 19, on June 13, 2018, I got the diagnosis I suspected: Gastroparesis. Living with this condition hasn't been easy; safe foods and constant worry about eating became my reality. Accepting the change and battling guilt over symptoms was tough. To anyone struggling, remember it's not your fault – it's your body's unexpected challenge.
Advice for Chronic Illness Warriors
Our bodies are our compass, and we understand our health better than anyone else. It's disheartening when medical experts don't listen, but after years of struggle, we stand vindicated. The past can be haunting, yet it reveals our strength. Remember when my stomach was an endless pit? Gastroparesis changed that. Eating became a struggle as my stomach felt restricted, a nightmare of limited nourishment.
But remember this: Your pain is real, your voice matters. Your stomach's rhythm is a gift, an unsung privilege. Don't let anyone dismiss your agony or undermine your truth. Fight for your wellness. Let's change the narrative and champion our bodies' wisdom and resilience.
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