What is my daily life like living with gastroparesis?
I don’t have GP myself but, as the parent of a daughter with GP I can say this: every day is a roller coaster ride. The constant fear and worry never stops. The knowing about the pain, bloating, nausea, etc., looking and seeing that she’s up and dressed and headed to work and still knowing she feels awful is there. The guilt you feel because you can’t afford to let her stay home eats away at you. Knowing that at any minute it could all change again. One day is good, the next three are bad.
She doesn’t scream out in pain any more, not because she doesn’t have it but, because she knows I can’t help her. She hides her pain and the other symptoms behind a fake smile. She gets up, puts on her makeup to hide the circles beneath her eyes and the pallor of her skin. A little blush to add color to her sunken cheeks and lipstick to hide her cracked and dehydrated lips. And, she looks good, she looks….normal but, I can see the pain behind her eyes, I can see the smile that just isn’t as bright as it used to be. The anxiety she hides under a false sense of confidence due to the makeup and clothes. The loneliness she feels because people really don’t understand. The frustration she feels when people ask if she’s better now. The disappointment she has with herself when she just can’t do it today. The guilt she has when she has to call out from work once again due to this illness. I see it all, I bear the brunt of her anger, her frustration, her sadness, her loneliness, her pain, her guilt, her desperation and her anxiety. I feel for her, I advocate for her. She is never a burden, she is not any trouble….she is my baby. Life is not easy, her life is damn hard as is every life with this awful disease. No, I don’t have GP but, my life is affected every day because I love someone who does.
Strength to all the GP warriors out there.