I have always had tummy troubles, even as a child I was told I had a nervous stomach. As a teenager i had bulimia, which I’m sure was easier for me than most because I was already so used to throwing up it seemed natural to me. Fast forward I was married to a man who for 20 years was both physically and emotionally abusing, it did not help my nervous stomach to constantly be in fear. In 2011 I was taken to the emergency room and was diagnosed with bleeding ulcers and spent 3 days in the hospital. I was later informed that I needed an emergency blood transfusion, my ex husband had refused to let them do one in the hospital apparently. I found out I needed this procedure one day because a nurse called me and told me I needed to come in right away and explained to me what had happened. Needless to say I was more than a little upset but I secretly went to the hospital and received the transfusion without my ex husbands knowledge. Upon release the only instructions I was given was to take over the counter (OTC) Prilosec. So I did for the next 5 years. In the summer of 2016 I began experiencing horrid pain in my stomach and I was vomiting all the time. After much prodding from my husband and children I made a doctor’s appointment. They did every blood test known to man I think with all the blood they took and i had numerous other tests. At this point the doctor refered me to a GI doctor for an EGD (Upper endoscopy, also known as EGD, is a procedure in which a thin scope with a light and camera at its tip is used to look inside the upper digestive tract — the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum.) This is when I found out that I had so much scar tissue in my stomach from years of ulcers that it was creating an obstruction between my stomach and my small intestines. OK, finally some answers. Well the primary doctor handed me off to the GI doctor who handed me off to the primary doctor and it became a vicious cycle. So I fired both and went on the hunt for a new doctor! I was luck enough that I found a family doctor that was part of a much larger organization with many doctors that specialize in a wide variety of illnesses. Once the new doctor looked at my records, yes I took everything I had, test results, ct reports and pictures from my EGD, he immediately referred me to one of the GI doctors. Great I thought let’s get this moving. It took 2 months to get an appointment with the GI doctor but at least the primary was able to give me medications to help in the mean time. I received a call from the GI office and was told that before I see the doctor he wanted to redo the EGD, great! So I go to the office and they put me out for the procedure, once I wake up I was told that I have a complete obstruction and he is sending me to a surgeon right away, that was on a Thursday. By Tuesday morning we were sitting in the surgeons office going over what was going to be happening. The first thing the surgeon said to me is we do not do this surgery anymore, modern medicine 9 times out of 10 take care of the issue but nope not me, I gotta “kick it old school” honest to goodness quote from the surgeon. So 2 weeks later I’m in the hospital for a partial gastrectomy, simple terms they were removing part of my stomach and small intestines and reconnecting them to remove the obstruction. The goal was to eliminate the obstruction and things should go back to normal, well that was the goal anyway. After a two week stay in the hospital I was release but still had my site drain because there was still a lot of stuff coming from my wound site. As the days went by nothing improved. Frustrated and unsure what was going on we had another EGD done, and that’s when it became clear what was going on in my system. My stomach had forgotten how to work, like at all. I had food in my stomach that was a week old, not the words we were hoping for. After numerous tests if was determined that I had Gastroparesis (A condition that affects the stomach muscles and prevents proper stomach emptying.) Ok more answers that’s good right, now we know now we can treat it. We tried medicine after medicine and nothing worked and the vomiting was back. It was decided that I need tube feedings because I was not getting the nutrients I needed to heal properly. Sweet, let’s get this party started and I will get to feeling human again. So we go to the hospital for the procedure, first the radiology department tried placing the tube, nope we cant do it there is not a clear path for the tubing. Ok so the GI doctor comes in and tries, nope not enough space to not damage other organs, damn! So back to the surgeon who we had discussed with earlier the what ifs if the non surgical placement would not work, back to surgery. This time to reroute the plumbing and place the feeding tube. So basically i have a big loop in my small intestines that wraps around and then is reconnected to the bottom part of my stomach, the idea being the food will bypass the stomach and go right into the intestines, not an ideal option but it’s what needed done. So I spent 19 days in the hospital this time. They could not get the feedings right for me to tolerate so we had to find the right combo for me. 3 different formulas later hurray I think we found one. I was still not able to tolerate the amount they wanted but I could work on that at home. First couple of weeks home we ok, not great but ok then things started to take a turn for the worse again, the vomiting, the heartburn and the most awful belching I had ever experienced and it tasted like the nasty formula. Great my body has developed a sensitivity to the formula. Here we go changing the formula again. This time though its been better, no more belching or burping the formula taste. So here we are still trudging along trying to figure out how to make this new life work. It’s a journey, its my journey!