Lakshmi Faith’s Story

Hello, my name is Lakshmi, and I’m a 31-year-old female.  I started to get sick at the age of 14 years old.  I’ve been suffering over 17 years now with severe abdominal pain; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; endometriosis, which causes me to bleed heavily, makes me very dizzy, and causes severe migraines that last from 1-2 weeks straight every month; and anemia.  I came into the emergency room on Friday, March 20, 2015, and am currently admitted for dehydration and pain.

I’ve been hospitalized more than 480 days in the last 17 years.  It’s a daily struggle living with gastroparesis; I’m usually admitted 2-3 times a month for it.  I’ve lost most of my veins already.  My IV lines are usually in my neck, fingers, palms, groin, legs, feet, and toes.  I’ve had ports and PICC lines.  I usually get stuck 10-15 times before they find a good line.

Gastroparesis has caused other health issues as well.  I’ve developed over $12000 worth of dental problems that insurance does not cover.  I’ve spent many birthdays and holidays in the hospital.  It’s a living nightmare, and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

Imagine starving to death but not being able to eat, not being able to sit or stand up straight.  Your daily goal to achieve is to be able to eat and drink a little, making sure it stays down, and to be able to stand up long enough to take a shower.

I can go on and on and write a book or two on the daily struggles of living with gastroparesis.  I am one of the 5 million Americans who are suffering from this nasty, cruel disease, and I’m asking you all to please help spread awareness of this deadly disease so that more research can be done and we can have the opportunity to eat every day like everyone else.  Please help!  I’ve already lost one of my good friends, Ashley Gillmore, to this disease (last July) as well as a few members of my Facebook support group.  Recently, we lost a young, handsome toddler boy.  Too many of us are suffering and dying every day.  We desperately need help, so please, I am begging you all to help spread awareness of gastroparesis.  Thank you!

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Michelle Donaldson-Grago’s Story

We all have our own stories with gastroparesis; some may be different, but many are the same.  We never know day by day, hour by hour, or even minute by minute what is going to happen.  We may be fine and pain-free for just a second and then the next we’re on our deathbeds… Every day is a constant battle — not a struggle, but a BATTLE… a battle against our own bodies, a constant fight, a constant WAR!!! We are our own individual soldiers — but we too need help…

This may not be cancer but to us it is our cancer… And we need to find a cure!! This is not a game, this is our lives… Daily nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, liquid diets, feeding tubes, bezoars, malnutrition, dehydration, exhaustion, chronic pain, pressure and bloating… Walking around like we’re 6 months pregnant all because we are packed full of undigested foods creating what we call our food babies. And yet we are the ones who maintain a constant smile on our faces because we are embarrassed and don’t want others to know we are sick.  

We’re not looking for pity or sympathy… Just belief in us and a damn cure…. So please, when we say we are sick, believe us, WE REALLY TRULY ARE SICK…. Please, please, please help us get awareness out there to everyone in the entire world.  Gastroparesis is bigger than just our nation it affects others as well.  Like I said, it may not be cancer, but to us, it is our cancer!!! Please help raise awareness!!!!! Thank you and God bless.

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