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The Chronic Games

Posted on August 10 2014

The Chronic Games
Late last year I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, which literally translates to stomach paralysis. My food doesn't empty from my stomach into my small intestine properly. A lot of the time when I eat, my food goes undigested. It will sit in my stomach for 12-16 hours and start to rot, before my body throws it up from not having left my stomach. My abdomen is permanently swollen. I look pregnant all the time. I'm always in severe abdominal pain. My bowels do not move. I have to get enemas, and my medications to make me poop don't work. When I do go, I'm straining so much that my anorectal muscles are shot. In June, I started become fecally impacted all the time, and I had to disimpact myself, and I was having anal bleeding. The bleeding is due to a perineal tear, which is common in women after childbirth from the vagina down toward the anus, but mine is from the anus toward the vagina. Caused from having trouble going poop. So I am in pelvic biofeedback therapy to try and restore them. If they don't get fixed, I am at risk for rectal prolapse, where the colon literally falls out of the anal cavity. I have pain in my rectum even just sitting. I also have sacral torsion, meaning that my sacrum is backwards in my pelvis, and when the doctor adjusts it, it goes right back to being backward. It's painful. I have an overactive sympathetic nervous system, which is the fight or flight system, and my parasympathetic nervous system, which is the rest and digest system, is being overpowered by it. Everything seems to have gotten worse lately. I'm sick all the time. I can't go out and do fun things because I hardly ever feel good. It never hit me how sick I have really been until this week. I've cried a lot. I'm the sick friend, daughter, girl. And it's hard because my friends know that I am sick, but I don't look sick. So far, I'm not malnourished, but if it gets there, I have to have a j-tube feeding tube permanently placed in my small intestine to bypass my stomach.
Medical bills are overwhelming. I had to quit my job and haven't found a new one. I still have to pay student loans with no means of income, so my mom is giving me the money for those. I want to go to grad school, but no way I can afford it. In addition to my physical chronic illnesses, I have struggles with my mental health. I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder nearly ten years ago. In 2010, I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
I am only 23.
Sometimes, I feel like I can't deal with this life. I didn't sign up for this. I'm tired of being sick. It's so hard.