19 April 2011


Barfy. Its what I feel about 75% of the time. Which all things consider isn't to bad considering until recently its about about 95% of the time. I wish this barfy feeling came from being pregnant, even though I'm not even sure I want kids, let alone actually have the kid. Because at least pregnant goes away eventually. Which my Barfy does not.

Why the Barfy feeling? I have gastroparesis. Which unlike this blog from Dr. Oz is not actually a Lazy Stomach. Its a Broken Stomach. Most people digest 90% of their food in 4 hours. I digest roughly 65% of my food. Which means the food sits there rotting and making me feel gross. I have to eat a super low fat/fiber diet (under 5 grams of fat and 3 grams of fiber per "meal") and avoid pretty much anything fun or healthy. The more processed the better as far as my GI tract is concerned. I have trouble meeting my calorie load in any given day which although great for my figure (down 25 pounds since Nov) is actually fairly terrible for functioning. I've gotten to the point where I'm no longer constantly queasy, dizzy or weak but I'm not 100%.

There isn't much medical research or time devoted to Gastroparesis, especially not my variety, idiopathic rather than cause by surgery or diabetes. The most effective treatment for it is Reglan, which causes irreversible twitches and has a severe black box warning on it. I refused to take it. There is another medication domperidone which is not legal in the US except by being in enrolled in a study which I took for a month and it did....nothing...Well it did something, it made my boobs hurt (side effect lactation! what fun), made me super depressed and dizzy. Not the intended effect in the least.

I treat my gastroparesis through a combo of sticking to my VERY no fun diet and acupuncture. My acupuncturist is AMAZING. She has gotten me to the point where I can think about food with flavor and down from taking Zofran 2-3 times a day to 2-3 times a week. I actually recently went 3 weeks without taking a Zofran which is amazing. Though this week has been a little rough and queasy and I've needed one each evening.

I give you all this background because it really monopolized a chunk of my life and its been interesting to learn to navigate with it. From finding food at a restaurant that I can eat--I do a lot of modifying which makes me feel horrible because I hated it as a server in college--to figuring out what I can eat at work to not barf on my clients (turkey sandwich every day except Friday which is pasta Friday in the DFAC). I haven't tried to date yet with it but I imagine having that conversation with a date is going to be awkward. The 4 weddings I have to go to this spring/summer will also be a challenge. So far I've made it through one by picking at the chicken and did manage to eat a piece of cake with regretting it which was a BIG step.

I do however refuse to be limited by my GP. I will continue to work, date, go out to eat etc. I may have to only eat out at Asian, Greek or Italian restaurants but I will make it work. I may not ever be able to have a milkshake, eat a burger or run a marathon but I will get married and make a family.

I own my GP, it doesn't own me!

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