Gastroparesis: Life on Liquids

I should start by saying that I’m thankful that her Gastroparesis flares, and she only has to stay on a liquid diet while things are flaring up. Some people are always on a liquid diet, or even need feeding tubes, so we are thankful it’s not worse. We really are.

However, that doesn’t make it suck any less for her when she’s starving and her body can’t handle food. When the pain from the food just sitting there roars louder than one of our most basic desires: to eat.

That first little while after it starts is pretty rough: the vomiting, the all-too-familiar pain, and then the worry and fear. How long will this one last? It’s been as short as a couple of days and has lasted as long as three months. That’s almost the worst part, not knowing when it will end. The big fear, I think for both of us, is that one day it won’t.

Until it does though, we revert back to our liquid diet protocol. Too thin is as bad as too thick, so Boost shakes and Boost pudding work the best for us. Sometimes she can sip Gatorade, or Ensure or Boost fruity drinks, but for the most part hydration and electrolytes are from Boost and Pedialyte pops in the freezer.

It’s hard to watch, so I can’t imagine how it feels to live, when for days on end there is hunger, but no satisfaction because liquids just don’t give you that “full” feeling. Then there’s the anger at having to deal with all of it. (Understandable.) There’s sadness because you’re hungry, tired, and sick of being sick and tired. (Also understandable.) And for teens, well, it sucks to be different. Especially if it’s a “different” you didn’t choose.

This is where we are right now. The latest flare started last night, so of course the emotions come with it, as a zebra and as a Momma. Here’s hoping it’s just a quick visit this time.

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