Fortunate & Grateful

I’m fast approaching the one year anniversary of my Gastroparesis diagnosis…and I’m feeling fortunate and grateful…truly, fortunate and grateful if you’re doubting my sincerity.  I know, such an odd way to describe the anniversary of being diagnosed with a chronic illness.  I feel fortunate to have been taken seriously by my doctors and diagnosed very quickly and efficiently.  As I have since learned that hasn’t been the case for some of my fellow GPers who have gone years without a diagnosis and even been told it was “all in their head”.

I’m grateful for this state of “functioning wellness” as I like to call the condition I’m in at the moment.  A year ago, when I was so very sick, weak and tired I honestly thought my life was over never imagining I’d be able to make this kind of progress and have a good life despite Gastroparesis.  Make no mistake, I’m far from cured and still follow the GP diet religiously and would not be human if I didn’t have down days or the occasional pity party with accompanying tears, tirade or both when feeling particularly symptomatic.  I also regularly find myself waiting for “the other shoe to drop” and have to remind myself that the past is finished and although the future is uncertain, I’m in the now and now things are going okay.  I’ve stopped whacking my head repeatedly against the same wall resisting this new way of being.  Instead, I’ve made a concentrated effort to embrace my new life.  I’ve realized that learning to live with and adapt to life’s curve balls expends far less energy than trying to distance myself from them.  Energy I can use for more enjoyable pursuits…like developing Gastroparesis-friendly recipes!

I’m a very private person and find all the “sharing” associated with social media very uncomfortable and would prefer to share recipes instead of information about myself.  I believe that there is always hope so with that in mind I will share that over the course of this past year I have had a horrible experience with Reglan (overwhelming depression and anxiety coupled with a host of neurological side effects), seen a neurologist for right foot paralysis that came on at the same time as GP and was exacerbated by Reglan, seen a therapist to come to terms with this “new life” I’m in against my will and taken my fair share of antidepressants and anxiety medication.  Happily, today, all of that is just a bad memory.  I had Botox injections in May and truly believe that this treatment along with patience, perseverance and baby steps made the transition from liquids to solids, which in turn enabled me to nourish myself properly, possible.  It’s been nine month since the Botox and I’m pretty certain it’s worn off at this point and I’m able to control and minimize my symptoms solely through diet, exercise and lifestyle.

Yes, a year ago, my life was irrevocably changed.  I have no idea what my future holds and certainly don’t expect to eat bacon double cheese burgers ever again but I’m living a good life despite having picked up an uninvited passenger along the way.  If I’ve learned anything over this past year it’s that nothing in life is static and bad things do happen but hope and perseverance are powerful tools.

So, happy anniversary to me…and here’s to many more years of “functioning wellness”!  More GP-friendly recipes are on the horizon and as always…Eat Well!  Be Well!  Enjoy!

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6 responses to “Fortunate & Grateful

  1. Happy anniversary, Mary! Your positive attitude toward “functioning wellness” is inspiring.

  2. What a wonderful post! I am really proud of you!!!

  3. Thanks Mollee and Diane…lets hope my sentiments are the same a decade from now…until then I plan on making the best with what I’ve been given.

  4. Happy anniversary! You’ve got a great attitude and you truly do help others with your posts. Thank you so very much!!

  5. And thank you Donna for being an original reader/contributor…I’ve really appreciated your input and support.

  6. Happy Anniversary! You are such an inspiration!