Gastroparesis is one of those not-well-known "silent illnesses." What does this mean? A silent illness means that to look at you, one would not guess that you are sick. Because one can't "see" it, it is considered silent. There are many, many illnesses that fit into this category. I am one of the hundreds of thousands of us out there. I am not alone, but it sure feels like it. Gastroparesis, loosely translated, means "frozen (or paralyzed) stomach." But those of us who have it have much more paralyzed (or frozen) than our stomachs. Social circles, employment capabilities, family/ friends relationships, emotional, psychological, and physical turmoil that can turn our worlds upside-down. Depression and anxiety compound ten-fold on the physical symptoms to the point of feeling like you've been beat down into the ground. You can have all the happy, positive intentions in the world, it doesn't matter. No one is immune to the heavy emotional baggage that comes automatically with having a chronic, silent illness. Imagine the horror of having what feels like the stomach flu or food poisoning almost every day of your life, and then having well-meaning folks say things to you like, "Well, have you TRIED to get out of bed?" It can be incredibly frustrating.
I am well-known on Facebook for posting glamorous photos of myself just to show my friends, "I'm ok, no worries." But I'm not. There is an app for that. There is an app for everything. When I take these pictures, no one knows that I've been curled up on the couch for hours with my puke bucket and sick as a dog. The app actually does my hair and make-up for me. Why do I do this? "Why bother?" you might ask. Simply put, because that is what I want to be remembered for. I want to be remembered as smiling, looking beautiful, with actual color on my face. I don't want to show the world how incredibly miserable I feel almost all the time.