Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gastroparesis and a shrinking mCat

My mom can't be the only one noticing that I have lost weight.  In fact, there have been a few sidelong glances and some awkward questions.

Yes, I have lost weight.  Unfortunately TOO much weight.

For a couple of years, I have held a steady 118 - 122 weight range.

Then right after the Riverton Half, I started feeling sick.  Complete loss of appetite, pain when I eat, no cravings, and kinda just blah.  Nothing ever sounded good, and even when I thought about my favorite foods, I felt nauseous.

Family doctor ordered a test and if it came back normal, said to see a Gastro specialist.  While I was there for the original procedure, the blessed GI doc decided to do another one while I was under.

Upper GI with Colonoscopy.  I know right?  From top to bottom literally.  In addition different blood tests to rule out other GI related diseases.

In the end, everything appeared normal, so an actual consult with the Gastroenterologist was next.  After spending some time talking, reviewing my labs and tests, and going over history - she issued her diagnosis.

Basically, a paralyzing of the nerves in the stomach causing slow stomach emptying.  Thus, the myriad of symptoms.  In my particular case, we're aren't sure what caused it.  Sometimes it can be triggered by a stomach virus, or it is triggered in diabetics, but I'm not diabetic and can't remember a stomach bug - kinda stymied.

So now what?  Between Splenda Daddy and me, we have throroughly researched this.  Like COMPLETELY.  We've read articles, medical sites, books.  All tend to give the same information, which is reassuring in one sense - but since it's vague and very personalized, doesn't give a whole lot of concrete answers.

What we do know:
The paralyzation could be permanent or could suddenly heal itself.
It's a real thing and affects more people than I ever realized. (I had never even heard of it)
There are some underlying similarities in all cases, but significant differing responses to a variety of treatments.
There is no medication to take for a cure.
Diet is now key and it goes against anything I ever thought would be healthy.
What works one day, may not work the next so frustration is huge and there is never a SURE answer with anything.

The diet is basically anything easily digestible.  No raw or dried fruits, or veggies.  No extra fiber.  Very low fat.  Easy on the meat, especially red meat.  All food needs to be chewed to virtually a liquid state.  Some days, are simply just liquid diet days.  And above all else, very small portions.  
Ideally, one would eat 6 smaller meals a day, however if food doesn't sound good, it's very hard to force oneself to eat.  Sometimes a particular thing suddenly looks and smells so good but just knowing the pain it will cause to eat it is enough to make me pass.  Sometimes, I just deal with the pain after a meal because I know I need the nutrition and calories.

So without trying, I have watched my weight slip down to (as of this morning) 105.

That's too little.  The biggest problem?  Having enough fuel and energy to run and do the things I love.  Try as I might, it's hard to get enough calories to function.  Maybe that's why my bed is so appealing, and I find myself sleeping alot.  I think I am going to become one of those little old ladies drinking her Ensure every morning.  How pathetic is that?

Anywhoodle - there you are.  
The unasked question has been answered.  No eating disorder.  No terminal illness.  

Just a paralyzed stomach


Lazarus said...

I'm focusing on the "could suddenly heal itself" part and will place my chips there. Hang in mCat, a lot of people are rooting for you; thoughts and prayers are with you!

Mrs. Organic said...

Oh man, eating is such a big part of life and you take for granted that all the parts will work. I'm sorry.what about adding fats to everything?

Sue said...

Oh my gosh!!!!! My sister has this. she has had a paralyzed stomach for years. Hers came from surgery removing an ulcer. Her stomach never could handle food again. she throws up everything. She has lost a ton of weight. I'm so sorry Melissa.

If you want to talk to my sis, let me know. She has 20 years of living with this problem.

I was wondering about your weight loss. Thanks for sharing this.

Tou have always been heathy and have exercised. Maybe this can heal itself.
Hugs my friend.

namaste said...

you are in my prayers, m. thanks for the explanation. you're still beautiful :)

CountessLaurie said...

I am glad they found the reason but YUCK. I wish I could take it away for you. Hang in there. You are strong, you can conquer this.

Plain Jame said...

Well crap. That royally sucks. Here's to hoping you can beat this on your own very soon... xoxo

Stephen and Lara said...

Sorry to hear that! My mom has this as well and she has finally found a medication that helps so I thought I'd share.

It's called Domperidone. She takes it usually before every meal and it helps the stomach empty faster so you dont get sick or have bad pain after eating. Of course there are some times where she still gets sick but its really helped her. She buys it from Canada because it's cheaper and most insurances dont cover it in the states. Best of luck!

karen said...

Well, if something weird had to happen, at least it happened to you - only because I know you have the drive to research it to death and find a solution. I don't know whether it would help, but what about digestive enzymes? I see a doctor (she is actually an MD) but she focuses on diet and alternative methods to cure the body. She's helped me tremendously with my RA, with an array of enzymes,etc as my root cause seems to be digestion - or poor quality of. I also take an L-Glutamine powder 3xdaily in water. It's to cure a leaky gut - which isn't your problem, I realize. Just thinking out loud. You might look into alternative methods and supplements. Good luck - I, too, am always on the research hunt!

Heather said...

Dangit, I'm so sorry to hear you're dealing with this! But, in true MCat fashion, you appear to be handling it with grace. I'm with Lazarus and will hope/pray for the sudden healing. You are an inspiration to many; don't forget it!

Pedaling said...

health is huge in life--I am so sorry.
I've never heard of this--but what is going on? So many belly issues today.
I've had them, others have. Never before have I heard of so many issues from Gluten intolerance, to Crones, to things like this. I hope it passes, and so wish I could help.
Sorry. :(

LKP said...

i'm totatlly on the same wavelength with ya, as far as understanding the weight loss is concerned. my mom has been dealing with this on & off for years now. her sure-thing has been angelfood cake. sounds unorthodox, but it's the only thing that doesn't mess her up. you're right, every case is different. similar, but different. sorry it's so frustrating, especially with your high-activity.
(i won't lie. there are days i envy those with a paralyzed stomach. i just can't get mine to stop being gluttonous... and my waistline has paid dearly for it, especially since my surgery at the beginning of the year. i sadly weigh more now than i did just before giving birth to mini-me! grosses me out. hence the envy.) i'll keep you in my prayers, that you'll be able to find the balance just right for you & your tummy. ::hugs::

LKP said...

ooh, a couple other thoughts i forgot to include...
1) i hope you've received a/several priesthood blessings. even for the peace of mind.
2) something that's been a struggle with this is the obvious difficulty for your body to absorb essential minerals, nutrients, and fatty acids. my mom has found some liquid amino acids she takes + even a liquid form of centrum vitamins. has improved the quality of her life a great deal. worth looking into if you haven't before.
(oh yeah, and not to sound too hippy or too on the oils bandwagon, but i've been pleased at some of the results i've seen those around me have with DoTerra oils...especially their frankincense. might be with worth a try as well. ... i'm sure there are a gajillion DT reps near you.) <3 u. ::hugs::

Amy said...

I'm sorry you have this. A friend of mine has this as well. Good luck!

Jamie said...

WOW, no fun at all. I hope it is not long lasting. I told my sister I want to take up being a hypochondriac it has to be way easier than having something for real.

Kristin said...

Ouch! I'm so sorry to hear . . . what a challenge (yes, I'm sure you hear a fair share of folks who WISH they had the problem of the decreasing waistline . . .) but at the expense of your heath - it's an obstacle you wouldn't wish upon anyone.

Hope things look up for you very soon!

tammy said...

Well that just sucks. Sorry my friend. Like Pedaling, I'd been wondering what's wrong with us (or our food) that so many people are having stomach issues now. I would recommend checking out essential oils and homeopathic remedies too. I know a lot of people poo-poo them, but I've seen them do wonders.