Sunday, 20 October 2013

Spreading Awareness for Diabetic Gastroparesis!

The last 5 months have been amazing compared to the previous 5 months. I am back to eating soft, easy-to-digest solid foods like potatoes, rice, pasta, carrots, cucumbers/pickles, cheese, canned peaches and pears, bananas, melons, eggs, puddings, yogurt, crackers and some cookies, chicken, fish, and turkey. There are foods that I can tolerate when I am at my best that I still haven't added back into my diet like grapes, fresh peaches, pears and nectarines, peeled apples, cooked broccoli and cauliflower, peas, peppers, and popcorn - these foods are considered non-GP-friendly but every GPer is different and while going through a trial and error stage I learned I could handle these foods, at my best. This time around however, I've been somewhat hesitant about adding these foods back into my diet. I admit I'm a little scared to try them even though I am about 95% sure I could handle them, but I am still scared. Things are going so good right now that I just don't want to chance it. This time around I have gone extremely slow with adding foods back into my diet, taking months to get back to my best instead of adding everything in only a couple weeks. After the winter I had last year I think it's understandable. I hate the fear of eating that comes with this disease, not knowing if a meal I'm going to eat will put me in the hospital or not (my average stay in hospital is 10 days/episode). Eating is a fear no one should have to live with.

Speaking of fear, I am working on facing something that I've never really liked doing but I have a very good reason to face it! For awhile now I have been wanting to get involved with my local Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to help spread awareness about diabetic gastroparesis. I want to share my story in hopes of encouraging young diabetics the extreme importance of taking good care of their diabetes and how easy it is to take care of in comparison to having complications on top of it . So I got in touch with the Outreach and Mentoring Program. I told them a bit about my story and they responded by saying that I have a very powerful story and that they'd like me to share it with type 1 diabetics and their families at a speaking engagement sometime this December! Here's where my fear comes in, I am a shy and quite person and public speaking has never been my strong suit BUT this topic is SO important to me that I have to do it. I am hoping that by telling my story I'll be able to
spread awareness and possibly help save someone from having to go through what I go through everyday living with gastroparesis. I know I am going to be nervous before hand but once I start I know I'll be fine. Still, the thought of it gets my heart racing..lol I've been in rooms full of medical professions teaching them about gastroparesis and answering their questions as they try to figure out the how's and why's of GP (I go to a university hospital so there's always a ton of medical students and residents along with the doctors). I am always comfortable talking about my health so I am sure (fingers crossed) that the speaking engagement will go just fine. I'm nervous but at the same time I'm pretty excited about it!

I'll keep you all posted how it goes!