Hi, my name is Tracy and I was diagnosed with gastroparesis about 3 weeks ago after a year of vomiting, stomach pain, countless trips to the ER, 5 hospital stays and 39 lbs lost. I also have long term back pain after an injury and multiple surgeries, fibromyalgia, Sjogren's Syndrome (an autoimmune disease like Lupus only everything is dry, including my digestive tract), osteoarthritis, and a weak immune system that requires IVIG (IV immunoglobulin treatments ) once a month to try to boost my ability to fight infections and such. I started with vomiting binges five or six years ago. They'd happen once a year at first, then twice until this last year, where was sick more than not. I had Zofran, but just the taste of it started making me sick to my stomach, then my potassium would tank and we'd be running back to the ER.
I wasn't able to have the gastric emptying test because I have an internal pain medicine pump which would have caused a positive result regardless, but I've seen the same gastroenterologist each time I've been in the hospital, and he's done or had done every other test, some 2-3 times, and seems that gastroparesis really fits the bill. The last time I was in, the first week in Jan., he gave me Reglan and Phenergan suppositories for when I can't take anything by mouth. He added Prilosec ER in Dec. and Bentyl as needed up to 4 times a day. He would have liked me to take the Reglan all the time, but my family doctor is very afraid of the side affects, and she's really been up on things since I switched to her about 5 years ago – she did everything she could to get me in to a gastroenterologist in an area where you can wait up to 6-8 months for an appointment, so I've been using it as needed and that seems to be working.
Since my last hopsitalization, I've been on the gastroparesis/FODMAP diet, so I've been staying away from gluten, lactose, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, anything high fiber except 5 doctor approved prunes minus skins each night so that the opioids don't cause more problems that I don't need. I've been doing pretty well. Since I really wasn't eating anything for the past year, I don't feel deprived at all, and I eat smaller, more frequent meals, like everyone else. I've been able to cut back a bit on my pain meds, which I imagine can't hurt, and will talk to my pain doctor next week about the possibility of turning down the internal pump. I know I won't be able to get rid of it completely, it takes care of an area of my spine that had already been fused when I injured it in a car accident, but I figure every little bit can help.
I'm not usually as positive as I sound today, but so far, I've had a good week. My husband's been very supportive (which wasn't always the case). He made a really good soup with things that I can eat and I feel like I've been at a banquet fit for a king since Sunday, But this is a real change for me after a year of hell. I hope it continues and I hope others have some days like the last few I have.
Sorry for going on so long, Tracy