Saturday, November 28, 2009

Epiphany on how to live with all my digestive problems

I had an epiphany last week:

If I am feeling sick and nauseated and having very "slow stomach days", than this is, at least up to a certain point, my fault.

The thing is, my biggest problem at the moment is accepting my situation. Yes, I have delayed gastric emptying and a whole bunch of other digestive problems on top of it and no, those digestive issues are not going to magically resolve itself overnight. If I was to finally accept this situation, I would not be as surprised about my "slow stomach". And maybe I would finally stop continually "testing" my stomach to see if maybe I could tolerate that food or if it had gotten magically better overnight.

If I look at the big picture, my situation itself is not that bad. I can drink enough fluids on most days to stay hydrated, I can take in enough calories (plus extra for a few more kilos) thanks to my feeding tube, and I can eat certain foods during the day without getting sick.

When I talk about accepting my situation, I don't mean that I am going to resign myself to it and think my digestive system will never improve. I am just trying to relax with this situation and try to master it with a backpack full of tools. And I really do have a backpack full of tools: domperidone, more tube-feeding, less volume, low-fiber and low-fat foods....

I don't want to pity myself and give up, no, I want to make the best of it and I don't want to question what actually works for me, just because I am getting tired of having a low variety in foods or thinking that I should be having more vegetables because aren't vegetables supposed to be really good for you?

I therefore think that it is largely up to me if I am feeling more nauseated or less nauseated and if am sticking to my dietician's orders on which foods to avoid for delayed gastric emptying (and my many other food intolerances and allergies) and, if necessary, supplement with more tube feeds during the night, I actually feel quite well and healthy and am able to live almost symptom-free.

M's mantra for me always is: patience and consistency - and he is so right, I know :-)

My goal for the next few weeks (actually for longer, but you are supposed to work with attainable goals):
  • be consistent
  • listen to my inner "stomach voice"
  • only eat the things I know I can tolerate
  • take my domperidone (and enough of it)
I want to try and "like" my stomach and my entire digestive system and have positive thoughts about them. Given the fact how barbaric I treated my digestive system for so many years, I want to be grateful that they still function as well as they do, that I can eat orally and don't have to live off tube feeds only and that they are doing such a good job digesting all that tube feeding formula that I feed during the night.


Diane said...

what a neat blog! being a tube feeding mom, I know just what you think about!

what other emptying tools do you have? I can get my normal dumpers to empty with a warm water flush (4 to 6oz of water into GTube and 15 mins later all residual is gone).

Does position help you empty? laying on your Right side to have gravity and food resting on the empty value.

I have to get med's to empty out to save the stomach from upset and watching (via Gtube and residual) what make one empty is interesting!

oleyfriends said...

Good luck with your goal!