- CASE FILE
Beginning in October, 2015 I have been hospitalized multiple times due to severe gastrointestinal issues.
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
The first time I had a flare-up was October 31, 2015. I was rushed to the ER and admitted for what they beleived was Pancreatitis. They retracted that diagnosis and were unable to tell me what was wrong (after spending about 9 days in the hosptial). Everything seemed to get worse from there. After two years of being in and out of the hosptial and to multiple doctors and specialists, I was referred to a gastroenterologist in Phoenix, AZ. From there, I had a number of tests completed to see if they would be able to figure out what was going on with me. In June, 2018 I was officially diagnosed with Gastroparesis. They performed a motility imaging test and were able to see that my stomach is digesting food at a much slower rate than the average person. I also found out (a number of months later) that my diagnosis of Gastroparesis is idiopathic (meaning there is no known cause) and it is a bit more rare, but I gain weight with my GP (it is as though my body is storing everything it takes in becuase it does not know when it will get a decent meal, next).
I was also previously diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) (around 2006), Lyme Disease (2010), and Osteoarthritis (2010), and possible thyroid disease. I was also diagnosed with despression at a young age, which has turned into more anxiety.
Due to the Lyme disease (which went untreated and undiagnosed for 3 months), I was also diagnosed with arthritis. I have a lot of joint pain in areas such as my hips, knees, fingers, and elbows. With the PCOS I have a difficult time managing my weight, my blood sugar fluctuates (although I am not diabetic), and I have abnormal facial hair. In 2008 I had part of my thyroid removed due to a large nodule that was growing on it. I have struggled with my weight, hair loss, and other symptoms since. As far as my Gastroparesis goes, I am in discomfort and/or pain almost daily. My stomach usually feels extremely full and I have significant abdominal pain (which when it gets severe enough, sometimes travels around to my lower back). There have been a number of times when I was hospitalized that my white blood count was elevated, but the doctors were not sure why. My blood pressure also tends to significantly increase during a flare-up (possibly due to the pain).
I have been on a number of medications to treat my medical issues and diagnoses. I was on a medication called Reglan for the GP, but was taken off of it as it did not help and I continued to have severe flare-ups. I take antinausea meds as needed to help with the nausea and vomitting. I have been on a number anxiety and antinausea medications over the years, but I currently take Wellbutrin. I also take Tylenol as needed for joint pain and discomfort.
At this point in time, other than medication and different testing, I have not received any other treatments. However, my GI is working to possibly try me on a new medication (I cannot remember the name of it). A future discussion regarding a feeding tube may also take place.
My medical issues and diagnoses have greatly impacted my quality of life. I have missed many days of work due to flare-ups, emergency room visits, and hosptial stays (I just missed a week of work due to a seven day flare-up). I am not able to eat much and cannot go out as often as I would like with family and friends. I was at one point, 120 pounds and fit. I was extremely active with water skiing, hiking, and crossfit. I am unable to do most of the activities I enjoy because I am too sick, tired, and/or weak to do them. My medical issues have affected me in that I may no loner be able to live on my own and I may have to move back home with my parents. I was able to function fairly normally with the PCOS and arthritis, but the Gastroparesis has pretty much consumed my life. I do not know when a flare-up will happen, how long it will last, or how severe it will be. Becuase of that, I am constantly on guard and bracing myself for the next "attack".
I am seeking help so that I may have a better quality of life. I am not looking for sympathy, but for relief. I want to be able to do the activities that I used to without the worry of becoming sick at any moment.