The morning was fairly normal,
when compared to my normal at least.
My fatigue and nausea, more pronounced,
but in my experience they are always a beast.
I rode with my son on an errand
looking for where at his school he's to park.
Not knowing what lay just ahead
was my body preparing to spark.
I infused my regular lactated ringers
using my PICC line, like every other day.
Fueling my body with needed fluids
to keep my dehydration at bay.
But hiding beneath my skin
were embers that were no longer dormant.
Out of nowhere chills overcame me
with pain in my legs a boiling torment.
The internal blaze combusted
My body radiating such heat.
Intense freezing yet also burning
Fever scorching over 103
Unable to sit still or even to walk
I was in such tormentuous misery.
An infection was clearly simmering,
uncontrolled wildfire burning within me.
I tried denial and avoidance
For at home is where I wanted to stay.
I didn't want another line infection
My mind unsuccessfully tried to will it away.
But, my family saw through my anguish
urged me to get promptly checked out.
Sluggishly I made my way
for another hospitalization, no doubt.
Real Life Diaries: Living with Gastroparesis by Lynda Cheldelin Fell and Melissa Adams Vanhouten, includes personal heartfelt and thoughtful responses to inquisitive questions that other gastroparesis patients, as well as patients with chronic GI illnesses, family members, friends, or even medical professionals may have regarding life with Gastroparesisis and/or other chronic digestive disorders.
The narratives provide readers with an inside view of the impact that chronic illness can have on one's physical, mental, and emotional health as well as their day to day lifestyle and the connections with those around them. Each of the stories are different, unique, and individualized while also sharing insight that others can appreciate and relate to. This book is not intended to diagnose or treat conditions, but rather an opportunity to learn more about some of the various symptoms, treatments, and knowledge that we've learned from our health experiences. The intention of the book is to make others more aware of their condition(s), recognition that they are NOT alone, and share ideas about treatments or procedures that one may choose to discuss with their personal medical team.
If you are expecting to read a cure all, happy feel good, happy ending book - this is not the book for you. Instead, this is a realistic look into what patients feel, see, think, hear, fear, and even hope while learning how to live and cope with being chronically ill. Not only will you discover the impact that being sick may have on the patients' personal lives, but in some cases, how it impacts their social and family circle as well.
In addition to this book, I have also found the following books to be enlightening, educational, thought-provoking, encouraging, and/or helpful along my health journey. I will add to this list as I read and discover new books that I find to be beneficial.
(Clicking on the title will take you to the book's amazon page.)
Gastroparesis Healing Diet by Tammy Chang
Info regarding healthy eating and recipe advice from nutritionlist and patients.
Changes that Heal (Book & Workbook) by Dr. Henry Cloud
Book and workbook for deeper understanding in developing and healing yourself emotionally.
A Blessing In Disguise by Kristen Fox and Mel Kenaston
Blessings in Hidden Places by Kristen Fox and Mel Kenaston
Both autobiographical books are from Kristen's personal perspective and experiences. Sadly, she has passed away since publishing her books. Kristen was also an online advocate, writing numerous articles for various sites, one of which was MTV.
After the Diagnosis: from Crisis by JoAnn LeMaistre
Written by a clinical psychologists, the reader is introduced to the six stages of emotional response to chronic illness that they, as a patient, may experience. The reader is walked through the stages of crisis, isolation, anger, reconstruction, intermittent depression, and finally renewal.
Gastroparesis: A Roadmap for Your Journey by Chelsey M McIntyre
As a pharmacist and person living with gastroparesis, Chelsey McIntyre shares what she has learned and experienced along her health journey. "Topics covered include foundational material on evaluating information, understanding what is happening to the body, and navigating medications, nutritional supplementation, and alternative therapies."
Gastroparesis: My Personal Journey by Patricia L Rosati
Autobiographical book about Patricia Rosati's personal experiences with gastroparesis. As a nurse living with gastroparesis, she describes how gastroparesis entered her life and how she managed to accomplish her goals while dealing with symptom management on a daily basis. "From doctors who told me it was all in my head to doctors who took the chance and gave me a new lease on life."
After the Diagnosis: Transcending Chronic Illness by Julian Seifter and Betsy Seifter
Dr. Julian Seifter was awakened to life with chronic illness when he discovered that he had diabetes. His life changed in many ways as he began seeing and experiencing the patient experience. In this book he "teaches you how to contend not only with the physical problems, the social stigma, and the emotional fallout of illness, but also with the medical establishment. Convinced that a deeper understanding of the spiritual, emotional, and physical challenges will bring not only comfort and support but also better care, he emphasizes truths rarely acknowledged in medical writing."
Eight Days by Scott Thompson
This book is not about illness itself, but I found it to be spiritually comforting as you journey with the character through thinking back over his life, prior to death. "Life's short when compared to enternity, but eternity is only worth it because of life."
30 Days of Hope for Strength in Chronic Illness by Elizabeth Evans
Daily devotionals and prayers about life with chronic illness.
Miracles from Heaven by Christy Beam
This book, also made into a movie, was a true account written about Christy's and her daughter's experience with Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction and a form of gastroparesis. She describes not only the physical impact that illness had on her daughter, but also the emotional toll that it had on her and family, the dismissive attitudes from medical staff. The mission and advocating she had to do for her child as a result. But all is not bad, when faith is involved and certain people enter your life.
If you have a book that you have found to be effective with coping and/or understanding life with chronic illness, please post in the comments below. I'm always looking for new thoughtful and helpful books to read.
A proud mother, educator, Gastroparesis & GI Motility Disorder Advocate,
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