There is a fine line between Gastritis and Gastroparesis. Namely that one will have you bolting for the bathroom–and the other will make you wish you were bolting for the bathroom. The commonality between the two is that they are almost equally as painful as someone pistol-whipping your colon.
While it’s entirely normal for me to have excruciating stomach pain and constantly be walking through the revolving door of gastric paralysis–I’m no longer entertaining the delusion that a bland diet is going to put everything back together.
In fact, if the last year was any clue–it would be that a bland diet might actually be the worst thing I can do to myself. At least eating healthier means I have the possibility that I might get some nutrients. The downside, of course, being that the pain and other GI symptoms are much worse when I try to eat vegetables. But really–at this point–pistol-whipped colon–Its not like I’m not constantly in some degree of pain anyways.
Then it brings on the decision making which goes a little something like this:
Pain/Extreme Symptoms — > Take pain-killer to knock yourself out —> wake up groggy, dizzy, nauseated and usually with a paralyzed gut for a few days.
Pain/Extreme Symptoms –> Take Immodium/Donatol or some other anti-spasmodic drug —> Feel like I have a metal hook in my gut pulling me from side to side, also have a paralyzed gut for a few days, possibly weeks if I take too big a dose..
Pain/Extreme Symptoms —> Do nothing. Deal with the pain using heat/meditation/breathing techniques (which I generally do before taking any meds anyways)–> Allow my symptoms to get increasingly more painful/serious–reevaluate if I need to check out with pain killers–> don’t take any–> spend the next week recovering from painful spasms, dehydration and the overall stress of an out of control flair (which could reoccur or worsen at any inconvenient moment.) (Probably also be terrified to eat again and through a liquid or bland diet could encounter more gastroparesis.)
I’m still seeing a naturopathic doctor alongside my GP and pain management doctor. I’ve been getting acupressure treatments, homeopathic supplements, and meditation sessions to supplement my other GI medications.
But some weeks it’s just all kind of crappy and awful and nothing feels like it’s working and I worry that I’m making the wrong choices and that I’ll disappoint the people I love if I end up missing out on important events or don’t seem as enthusiastic during dinner because I’m trying to calculate how long I have to get from signing the check to making it home to my bathroom….As if that isn’t hard enough to manage, I’m now in early panicking mode about how bad off I’ll be in three weeks when we take our trip to NY and I have to face getting on a plane, walking around all day in the city, and praying that my port doesn’t have any major malfunctions while I’m the other side of the coast.
It might sound like an emotional crisis, but it’s not. Even though I have options here–I’m not so self-defeating that I think that any of them are realistically good options, or even positive options. They’re just the only options I have right now and I understand that I can only operate within the parameters of those options. I can fight, kick, scream, cry, get anxious, get depressed, get angry, throw a fit, sleep for hours, bury myself in a book or reality show–but at the end of the day I know that for the most part, it’s not even decisions that are really in my hands.
And whether I like it or not–whether I eat the right thing, take the wrong medications, over or under exert myself, plan, prep, prepare–there isn’t anything that needs to be necessarily “worked out.”
I understand what’s happening. I can see it all very plainly. There really isn’t anything to talk over or about. No one knows what will help me exactly–and whether I talk to a doctor, a therapist, a naturopath–it doesn’t really make any of these limited choices any more or less favorable. It doesn’t change my viewpoint about having to make these choices. There doesn’t appear to be a great need for me to even focus on them any more than I do when I’m in the exact moment of having to make them.
It’s like walking around with a tissue and sneezing and either the tissue is helpful or it isn’t–either way you were still going to sneeze.
Maybe it’s not like that at all. I don’t know. Maybe my brain is dehydrated. Maybe I’ve finally passed the limit on how much abdominal pain you can endure before you can actually go insane.
Or maybe it’s all under control as much as it can be controlled.
Maybe I should stop writing blog posts from the bathroom.
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