Sunday, July 24, 2011

Update: Treatment Plans

After two months of patiently waiting I finally got in to see a specialist at UW Medical Center in Seattle.  Though I have done extensive research myself on the limited treatments for gastroparesis I was really hoping they would have some ideas I hadn't yet heard of.  The doctor was very patient and kind, taking the time to absorb all my questions and concerns.  She then proceeded to go over her main concerns, being my weight, and treatment options.  There are basically two ways to approach this:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Comforting Congee

This simple rice soup is easily digested and assimilated.  In China it is traditionally eaten as a breakfast food. Ingredients are chosen for their specific medicinal properties. The chicken and broth, for example, builds strength and are especially good for wasting illnessess and injuries. The ginger and cumin all boost flavor and aid digestion plus each offers other medicinal properties.
Congee is easy to make in a crock pot. Put up the soup before going to bed and awaken to this satisfying porridge.  Or, put it up before going to work and the soup will be ready when you come home.
*Note: Can also be made on the stove top.  Bring all ingredients to a simmer, cover and turn low for about an hour, making sure not to let it boil.

Acupuncture and GP

Acupuncture has been an essential part of maintaining my symptoms, particularly nausea and appetite.  I encourage anyone who has the option to do some research on a good practitioner in your area and give it a try.  Weekly visits could significantly improve not only symptoms but state of mind.  Often assosciated with gastroparesis is an increase in anxiety and depression as well as insomnia.  On treatment days I can eat more, have increase in energy and sleep better.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Prayer to Share

Today was a good day.  My sweet and firecracker of a neighbor June, 82 years young, can be often found strolling around the block passing out dog treats, hidden in the deep pockets of her sweater, and visiting with the neighbors.  Since I returned from school 2 weeks ago she has stopped by with a bundle of soft pink fresh cut flowers multiple times.  I'm not sure if she enjoys giving or my sudden weight loss and time at home brought her concern.  Whatever the reason, the cheery bouquets have brought a smile to my face every time along with her company, humor and kindness.

Friday, July 1, 2011

About Me Part I: Diagnostic Journey

I was diagnosed with gastroparesis in 2008.  I've suffered with digestive issues on and off  from the age of 19, shortly after undergoing laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis and ovarian cysts.  At the age of 28, after years of pain and discomfort, a gastric emptying test confirmed mild GP. 

Part II: A Passion Ignites But is Short-Lived

For many years I have been passionate about nutrition, healing and acupuncture.  After what I had gone through with the illness I felt a new spark light up in me.  Life is too short for regrets and I decided to pursue my dream of attending acupuncture school.  In the summer of 2010 I completed all my prerequisites and with the encouragement of family and friends I applied and got accepted to the program at Bastyr University.  

Part III: Reality Check, Grief and Acceptance

It has been 17 days since the botox treatment.  The first few were rough, still feeling full and nauseous.  Since then, I have been able to slowly increase meal portions in addition to drinking 1-2 supplemental shakes and a small amount of coconut milk ice cream in the evening, all high in calories and lactose-free.