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About a year after I graduated college I began having a lot of health issues. Primarily, I was experiencing extreme nausea on and off as well and vomiting. At the time I was working an overnight shift and most of my doctors blamed my collective health on the overnight shift. After several months of ensuring that as an answer i finally had several tests done ruling out most diagnoses they thought I could have (IBS, IBD, gallbladder issues). Meanwhile my vomiting and nausea were increasing to the point where I was throwing up blood frequently becausey esophagus was torn in spots from the frequency of forceful vomiting. I was told to see a psychologist and my doctor quietly suggested to my mother that I might have an eating disorder (despite the fact I was 22 years old and should have been told this information by my doctor).
I finally saw a new GI specialist in NYC who had me get a gastric emptying scan. My rate of digestion was severely slow (causing all of my symptoms). I was finally diagnosed with gastroparesis. While I was relieved to have a diagnosis I still get angry to this day that my symptoms were continually dismissed by male doctors. My health was in such a poor state by the time I was diagnosed. I was constantly in and out of the hospital because I was continually dehydrated or malnourished because I could not eat. I was eventually placed on IV nutrition for about 6 months, unable to eat and instead living off bags of IVs everyday. I eventually I wasted months of time fighting for a diagnosis instead of getting treatment.
In the 6 years since I’ve had great doctors. While my treatment continues to be a rollercoaster I am grateful for the gastric neurostimulator I had surgically placed that has changed my life. I will most likely struggle with this condition for the rest of my life since there is no apparent reason why I have it.
Moral of the story: if you know something is wrong… trust your gut and don’t give up on yourself!