I would like to take a moment to inform you all about an uncommon disease. My world has been turned upside down for a while now. I am not complaining in the least little bit; however, I do want to let everyone know what is happening. A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis (GP).
You may ask, What is GP? GP, also known as delayed gastric emptying, is a disorder that slows or stops the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine. Normally, the muscles of the stomach, which are controlled by the vagus nerve, contract to break up food and move it through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The GI tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube that runs the entire length of the digestive system, from the mouth thru the butt hole. The movement of the muscles in the GI tract, along with the release of hormones and enzymes, allows for the digestion of food. GP can occur when the vagus nerve is damaged by illness or injury and the stomach muscles stop working normally. Food then moves slowly from the stomach to the small intestine or stops moving altogether.
The later of these two options is where I now stand, as my tract is completely shut down and live off of a special nutritional formula – total parenteral nutrition (TPN) – that is taken in thru a Hickman Line, that is surgically place into my chest.
I hope this helps you understand a little better about what my world is like and can see a little into a day in my life. If you are interested in helping people with GI issues, then I would like to ask you to contact me. I am looking for people that are willing to help make a difference in this world. It is a long road back to a normal lifestyle for people that are affected by GI problems, but together we can make a difference.