My Experience

This is where I talk about my personal experience with a chronic GI condition – gastroparesis.  If you’d rather learn about my credentials and medical training, click on over to this page.

I do not want to use this page to describe my experience in painstaking detail.  I would rather take this opportunity to explain the journey that I found myself on that eventually brought me to start Your GI Journey.  I understand all too well what it feels like to be caught in the medical system with a poorly understood chronic diagnosis, and my heart breaks every time I see someone else go through the same thing.

So here goes!

The Beginning

My story with gastroparesis started in the spring semester of my senior year in high school.  I had a really bad flu that had me under the weather for about a week.  After I recovered from the flu, however, I never really stopped throwing up.  All of the other symptoms went away, but my food kept coming up.  It became really frightening when I realized that the food I ate the night before was coming up in the morning.

Things became increasingly worse over the next few years.  At my worst point, I was in constant pain and felt bloated, nauseated, and full at all times.  I would randomly get shake attacks and pass out from sugar lows.  The pain and nausea would leave me doubled over at times, and knock me flat at other times.

It took 3 years to get an official diagnosis.  Over the first 5 years, I ended up seeing a total of 5 GI specialists, trying 4 medications and getting Botox injections twice.  In the end, it all got me nowhere.  I was nutrient-deficient, exhausted, depressed, and hopeless.  And it was at that point of genuine despair that I realized the only tool I had left was myself – my brain, my creativity, and my determination.

The Shift

So I set about learning everything that I could, and taking a cold, hard look at myself and the ways that I could change in order to improve my condition.  I also took a cold, hard look at the way that I was interacting with the medical system that I had learned to despise.   I finally let myself see the ways that I was working against myself, after trying to ignore them for so long.  And I also realized that I needed to completely reorient the way that I viewed my participation within the medical system.

My diet and lifestyle underwent a complete overhaul.  My outlook improved and I finally felt healthy enough to think about the future again.  Eventually, after changing doctors 1 more time, fighting with insurances, and then changing insurances completely, I had the gastric neurostimulator placed.  It was by no means a cure, but in combination with my diet and lifestyle changes, it elevated me to a point where I felt that I could truly live well with this condition.

Present Day

The gory details of my personal experience with this condition are recounted in my book.  But for the purposes of this page, I will leave it at this:

There were many lows for a very long time, but that is no longer the case.  While my condition remains un-cured and un-improved, my health now is more than I could ever have hoped for.  And I genuinely hope that this website will allow others to embark on a journey that bypasses some of my mistakes and many of these lows.

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