I've had an idea for a blog rattling around in my head for weeks now, but I haven't been able to thoroughly put into words what I want to say. The topic seems simple, but the response is not. While I continue to work through it, I wanted to share something very important to me, but something many people have absolutely no understanding of.
If you know a little something about me, you know I have multiple severe medical conditions. It sucks. That sums it up, right? It totally sucks. (For those who don't know anything about me, please read my sparkpage.) But while several of my diagnoses are rare, one of the worst is so ridiculously common (1 in 25 people in the US are afflicted) while being so disgustingly misunderstood or flat out unknown by most that it'd be laughable if it wasn't so tragic. After all, isn't it true that one of the most basic human functions is to eat? How can one survive without being able to eat? If someone isn't eating, it must be a mental problem, not a physical problem, right? Most people can't even consider the possibility that something could go so wrong in the body that eating is no longer an option. Just because many people don't know about gastroparesis doesn't make it any less dangerous.
G-PACT is a non-profit organization supporting and fighting for people with digestive tract paralysis. The founder, Carissa Haston, is one of TENS OF MILLIONS of people who are living with DTP, some for many years. Please read this blog/note she wrote to help others have a chance to understand what it is like for us:
Please note that there is a WIDE range of symptomology and presentations of gastroparesis, so what is true for one person is not true for another. Still, many of us hide what we're truly feeling and dealing with in order to make others more comfortable. (After all, most of society revolves around food so we must learn to accept our misfortune and watch others partake in the joys of being 'normal'.) Because of another's naivety I will often be cautious about how I present myself. It's not fair, but it is what it is.
But so help me, if I have one more person tell me that I'm 'lucky' to look like I do, that I don't understand physical or emotional pain, I don't know what it's like to be misunderstood or bullied, or that I need to suck it up I am going to lose my patience and go on a tirade of epic proportions. I DO NOT DESERVE TO SUFFER EVEN MORE THAN I ALREADY DO BECAUSE OF SOMEONE ELSE'S PREJUDICE OR IGNORANCE!
Thank you for your consideration. (Sorry I yelled; I get incredibly frustrated when it comes to how unknown and misunderstood GP is and the actions/words of some people in relation to this condition.)