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You, God, and Gastroparesis

A Glimpse Into Gastroparesis.
By Jennifer Montgomery

It’s 2am…the house is quiet. A silent darkness seems to stretch out for hours. I feel searing pain surge through my torso. My mind is searching, analyzing “the mystery” of gastroparesis.

Finally the question I’ve been avoiding for the last few hours comes front and center — The little voice of logic that forces it’s way into my consciousness asks, “is the pain bad enough to go to the hospital?” My tattered subconscious runs a quick inspection route though my body and returns with my answer….“You’ve got just enough left.” My mind calms, it falls back into it’s rhythm of probing and looking for ways to diminish my level of suffering. The bathroom floor is cold as my 100lb body lays coiled tightly in the fetal position. Gently I untangle my legs, wincing silently as spasms slice through my abdomen.

The agony and the minutes drag on… As my lungs stubbornly push against my rib cage, my stomach begins to pulse in time with my heart beat. Is this the night? The night it all ends? The night when the pain finally lets go and my mind ends it search for answers? Is this the night when my body slides lifelessly into “true and eternal rest” from gastroparesis. Is this the night when I lose the battle? A battle in a silent war that rages through families—ripping apart their health and leaving behind shreds of the people they used to be?

As I carefully maneuver a bathmat to cushion my jutting hipbone, I shift on the floor of the bathroom. I have spent hundreds of hours in this room. I know every detail. Closing my eyes, I let my mind wonder into the dark rooms of my soul.

Smiling weakly, I sigh, as I replay a few of the “exceptional moments” I’ve had in my life. Those moments seem like a lifetime ago as I lay here tonight. Yet, somewhere, in a dark cobweb filled corner of my soul I search for more—I pray for the strength to do what I know I’m capable of. “Just one more time.” I tell myself…”I can make one more run at this life, and make a difference”. My subconscious puffs up her weary chest—as pain rips through my shoulder blades.

My neatly organized prescription bottles have overrun their drawer and stare at me as I lay on the floor beneath them. They are powerless, and they know it. Their sadness spills down on my malnourished body….I find comfort in their incompetence, as it’s all I’ve known.

Visions of my funeral pass through my subconscious. Oddly, I’m not emotional…detached really…just watching with love and concern as I see my loved ones wrestle with the confusion and heartache of this disease. I watch their tears slide slowly down their faces as the heavy fragrance of lilies cling to the words of my eulogy.

Again, my inner voice of logic gently stirs my thoughts — forcing me to interpret, my now massive bloated belly. “Is it bad enough now to go to the hospital?” My logical voice asks. My exhausted subconscious returns with my answer…”you’ve got just enough left”.

It seems as if moments like these bring out the most soulful questions. The questions only “we” know how to ask ourselves. Heart wrenching concerns that are explored only when one is riding the ragged malnourished edge of life.

As I run my hand over my belly, I know a feeding tube will be my next phase [if I can survive that long]. My mind shutters at the thought of a tube coming out of my belly. I feel the fear snaking it’s way into my soul. My voice of logic returns again asking a much more difficult question… How many people are losing this battle?“ My subconscious bristles at this thought. Shifting my focus from my nausea, I see all the faces of gastroparesis sufferers in my support group. I replay their cries for help and I allow myself to feel their feelings of panic and helplessness. Their stories begin sweeping through my mind, one coming faster than the next. My heart is racing. How much suffering must take place before someone takes action? I implore my subconscious for an answer.

My heart is pounding in my ears, my mind is ablaze as it searches for a solution. I can feel a shift in my body. Could this be “my moment”? Is this how it all ends…on the bathroom floor with my life and [the lives of my fellow GP sufferers] flashing before my eyes? I had played this out so much differently in my mind…maybe something exotic like a plane crash, or romantic—like an Everest expedition…but the bathroom floor? In my green frayed robe, with these ugly blue bathmats piled up under me like loose hay bales trying to prop up a scarecrow. I had a fantasy that ended so much differently…

My mind revolts. I am lost in this need to understand. My unwavering subconscious comes back with her remaining answer… “Solutions will come…you’ve got just enough left.”

Now is the time for us to come together. WE ALL have “just enough left” to sign this petition and ignite the change we need so desperately.  Please click the link and sign the petition


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