I started having stomach problems when I was 8

Rebecca Lucey

Hi my name is Rebecca Lucey and I started having stomach problems when I was 8 years old. I started at pediatric GI doctors and they said that they didn’t know what was wrong with me and that I was just overweight and constipated. They did every test you could think of: upper GI, colonoscopy, HIDA scan, X-ray, cat scan, and finally someone thought to do a gastric emptying scan. Which showed I had gastroparesis.

So I was officially diagnosed in 2012. My doctor put me on Erythromycin for three times a day for three years. Then in 2017 once I saw a regular GI specialist, he put me on Domperidone which didn’t seem to be working and then he just said I was constipated and needed to go make myself throw up. Needless to say I never went back to him. Then I found a new GI doctor who only cared about IBS and that’s the only thing you had wrong with you was IBS (which I don’t have).

A new doctor I found in January 2019 was who was supposed to be very good (if you didn’t have gastroparesis) and I was at the point where I was not able to hold down any food or liquids at that point and was very dehydrated. He thought I was having mental problems. Then I started throwing up blood and they found nothing wrong with me but admitted me to the hospital. The doctor did a gastric emptying scan and still said I had mental problems even when the scan showed that my stomach did not empty. Once I got discharged I found one last doctor and gave him my file, told him my problems and he said I needed a G-POEM surgery.

The surgery helped a lot. Although at the hospital they had me eat a meal the very next day after the surgery and that made me stomach hurt so bad. I was discharged and then two days later I was admitted again for pain and dehydration. All in all the G-POEM helped me very much and I am very thankful for the current GI doctor I have and my mom for putting up with everything.

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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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