Just Simple Times

Every journey begins with that first step!

Day: January 5, 2019

Gastroparisis

Gastroparesis…… any idea what it is?

That’s okay, I didn’t have a clue either til a few years ago.   

Heres my story:

I decided to get braces and had to have jaw surgery during the process.  All of that was fine, but the second jaw surgery was a mistake.  It wasn’t a mistake that I had it, it was a mistake of the timing and the drugs prescribed for the pain afterward.  I knew that morning there was a very uneasy feeling even as I sat in the chair as the doctor came in, but I didn’t follow that uneasy feeling and stop and reschedule, and I have regretted it ever since.

Please don’t get me wrong, he’s a good doctor it wasn’t the surgery, it was the pills he prescribed for the pain after the surgery.  Even when we got to the pharmacy they were concerned, it just wasn’t prescribed much anymore.  Dilaudid, four times a day.  HUGE BIG MISTAKE!!!!

I basically stayed asleep for all seven days except when hubby would wake me up for protein and more medicine.  I guess the purpose of it was to keep me sedated while the worst part of the pain passed.  The medicine did its job but the cost of it was great.  I don’t mean the cash cost, the price I had to pay afterward, the damage it did to my body, the damage that can never be cured….. gastroparesis.

It took a lot of doctor visits, tests, specialists and finally a few trips to the Mayo Clinic in Florida to find out what was wrong.  I had every test there was for a gi problem, and let me tell you, some of them were anything but pleasant.  But at last, thanks to a very intelligent caring GI Specialist named Dr. Wang, I had an answer.  

There were even more tests, and the final one, radioactive nuclear testing.  It was an interesting and tiring and painful day at the Mayo Clinic that day.   At least I made a friend and she and I just spent the day together after eating radioactive eggs, and wondering the halls for hours and then keep returning for pictures every few hours, and for me the next three days.  We would just walk around with our hands on our stomachs like we were pregnant, at least it brought smiles from others instead of strange looks.

So what does it do to your life?  your body?  The answer is simple, it means your stomach is not working, paralyzed, dead nerve.  Things just don’t digest, and your entire gastro system is affected.   

Some people just have a mild case, that can still eat and enjoy life; others moderate that do okay at times, and other times painful flare-ups, and then there is the severe type.   That’s when life changes completely as you know it.  

Food the thing that is meant to keep your body healthy is basically a painful poison to your body’s gastro system.   You eat some type of food, any type of food and it just sits in there, for my body way too long;  causing nausea, indigestion, abdominal swelling, sometimes vomiting, among other things, and enough pain to make you want to scream.  

Does it go away in an hour or two, no try a few days later when your stomach is treated.  So what do I eat, you wonder?  I basically don’t.  It’s down now to where it is liquids the majority of the time.  Protein drinks, not the ones kids love today; its the ones like boost and ensure; and several of them a day, herbal teas, peppermint oil tea, and lots and lots of water.   

I used to hate this routine, it was a very low dark time for quite some time.  But after a few years I finally have a routine, doctor approved.  Proteins, and liquids (Coffee, tea, water) for six days a week.  I eat what I want on Saturday, deal with the pain, GERD, indigestion, nausea and bloating and immense pain til Wednesday morning.  And then I treat it with prescription medicine and proceed.  Each week of every month; every month of every year.

Do I rebel sometimes and eat on days other than Saturdays?  Yes.  And I regret it immediately, but sometimes the hunger just gets overwhelming, and at times you get to where you’re so weak you can’t go on, without a bite of solid food and tired, oh my, I’m always tired, always.   But each time, I eat like that I regret it horribly, even though I needed it, because of the pain, GERD, bloating, indigestion and on and on, it is unbearable.

What’s really hard, people being normal and eating with you in the same room, or Holidays, you want to eat at family gatherings, but you know if you do, it’s going to bring unavoidable consequences.  And I struggle with what to do, so do I just drink some tea, and avoid the food, and physically be okay; or give in to all the smells and eat and suffer for hours and days? 

It really is a horrible disease.  And the majority of people around you can not start to understand how you feel, physically, mentally or emotionally. It’s not a visible paralysis of a limb, a person cant see a paralyzed stomach so they just don’t and can’t understand.

This blog isn’t for any of you to say bless you, or have pity or anything else.  

I wrote this very personal story so that others can understand that pain pills can be very dangerous, even when prescribed by your doctor for just a short time.  Please, people, be careful, with what you take, and what you do.  And if you have this disease don’t give up, life is still worth living, yes there are changes to be made, but you can adapt to anything if you put your mind to it.

For those of you with a loved one that suffers from this, please try to be understanding and supportive.  It’s really hard to accept and deal with.  There is no cure, only learning what works for each individual and doing your best to take care of yourself.  So folks, please do all you can to help your loved one adapt to this new way of eating or not eating whatever the case may be, they need your support, love, and understanding. 

And for those of you with such symptoms, search and find a doctor that is knowledgeable and compassionate that can and will help you.

You can and will get used to this in time, and accept it for what it is.

You can and will get through this. 

Why?

Because your a strong-willed person and life is meant to be enjoyed, no matter what your circumstances.   

So live and enjoy this journey called life.

You are so worth it!!!!

Golf

Golfing…..  have you ever played or watched others in real life?

My husband and I got to this morning, watch that is. 

You would never in a million years get me out on a real golf course.    Putt putt golf with the grandkids for fun, sure, or a driving range to get rid of a lot of built up stress, yep probably, tried each of those once, already.  Enjoyed both, was terrible at both of them, but I had a blast!!  

But a real 18 hole golf course;  nope, nada, no way, not this old girl.

But it was a great time watching others play this morning.  Here they would come every 5 or 10 minutes, in their little golf carts, some all decked out in their golfing outfits.   We were close enough to hear every word they said, watch them tee off, and eventually make it to the green.

As I watched a variety of them, I thought, “Wow, golf is really a very healthy hobby, activity, sport; whatever the proper name would be,”  But when you think about it golf really is good for you.

Think about it, for a minute: Your outside on a huge golf course which means fresh air your breathing into your lungs.  You’re walking a lot, leaning over to place tees and pick up the golf ball, swinging the clubs over and over, which means your using your legs, arms and back muscles, and its a great cardio, because you have that heart pumping and blood flowing.

It seemed to some this morning that it was something they really enjoyed; especially the group of older women that played.  There were four of those dear little ladies, and they would stand and talk, tee off, encourage each other, laugh, gossip, and eventually load up and move on down near the green to proceed. 

 You could tell it was just four friends having a wonderful morning on a beautiful day, with the mountains all around them enjoying friendship, fellowship, golf and gossip.  I really got a kick out of those ladies.  It was fun for them, they weren’t great, some not even good, but they’d just laugh and chuckle and keep on playing.  

Then here come a group of older men after the ladies, our guess, it was the husbands.  Totally different scenario.  They weren’t laughing and talking and enjoying the sheer delight of being together.  Oh no, ain’t no way; its men, they are such competitive folk.  A couple of them was good, the other two not so much.  

But they cracked us up, it’s really wet from all the rain the last few days; so they would hit the ball and it would land over near the wood line, or in one of the many rain puddles; those silly men would just kick it where they wanted it then tee off.  You’d hear them say, “Well, can’t hit it in there.”  or “There ya go,”

They were hilarious, one knocked it way over the green, so I watched him to see what he would do.   He went over to it, kicked it up on the green, then picked it up, walked over near one of the other guys and dropped it.  Never did hit it, the other guy picked it up for him when they were done, and off they went to the next hole.   I guess he thought, well I’ll never make it anyway, so forget it, I surrender on this one. 

They were so funny, and definitely not playing by the book, just a group of old men making the rules up to fit them as they went.  But I suppose they enjoy it or they wouldn’t be out there on a crisp morning playing.

Then I watched a man coming down the fairway playing golf alone, well, let me rephrase that.  He was attempting to play golf.   Bless his soul, he’d get all ready to tee off, and it went maybe ten feet to his right in the wood line.   But he was persistent, he looked till he found it and went from there for the next attempt.  

Round two, he gets ready looks down toward the green, does his practice swing, goes for the real thing and bless him another few feet, definitely nowhere near where he was aiming for.  It took that poor man 15 minutes to get to the green, just a few feet at a time all 200 feet of it.  

I actually felt sorry for him and wanted to cheer him on at the same time.   I really admired his perseverance!   He didn’t quit, he didn’t move his ball to a better position for convenience, and someday I bet if he keeps at it, he will be great at golf.

Everybody has to start somewhere!

I would imagine if I tried, I would be like Goofy in the Mickey Mouse Cartoon.   I’d line it all up, act and look like I got this…..   practice swing, do that cute shuffle and wiggle and swing with all my might. 

Just to find that all I did was get myself all tangled up in a mess, totally missed the ball, but tore up plenty of ground around it, and just made a complete idiot of myself…. and then I know me… I would crack up and burst out laughing, and probably do the exact same thing all over again.

Well, that’s been my day, it has been absolutely perfect weather for such an outing and a very interesting and comical one at that.  

But there’s one thing I learned today to take away with me from this adventure, golfing just ain’t my cup of tea!

Toodles til next time!!!!

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