I am Scared. Neuropathy for this Diabetic?

Posted on May 11, 2011


Tomorrow morning I am having a gastric emptying study done.  This test will measure how fast or slow food leaves my stomach and enters my small intestines. 

For over six months now, I have had GI issues.  Whenever I eat, my stomach bloats and usually starts to hurt.  I feel very full and uncomfortable.  In fact, I look pregnant. 

The symptoms are worse in the evening and healthier foods rich in fiber seem to aggravate the situation.  I have taken antibiotics for H. Pylori (diagnosed with this bacterial infection of the stomach in September) and have tried a gluten free diet.  Probiotics were in the mix since my gut flora was out of synch. But nothing has provided long term relief. 

I would have days of improvement and then back to where I started.  It never crossed my mind that I could have gastroparesis – neuropathy of the stomach.  Ooooh…Neuropathy.  The word scares me.  Damage to the nerves – pain and dysfunction.  It just sounds unpleasant.

The gastroenterologists did not believe this was a possibility since I did not have neuropathy anywhere else.  But my endocrinologist said “no, you need to be tested for it”.  

So tomorrow morning at 6:15 am is the test.  I do not fear the actual test.  Apparently, they will mix radioactive dye with a solid food like eggs and a liquid like water.  I will eat the mixture, and then a Geiger counter will measure how long it takes the radiation (mixed in the food and liquid) to leave my stomach. 

I have mixed emotions about the outcome.  I want an answer so I know what to eat or what to do.  While these symptoms have not stopped my life, they have definitely slowed me down.  The discomfort is annoying and painful.  The symptoms progress as the day goes along.  By evening, I just want to crawl into bed.   

Yet, when I awake in the morning, I feel great.  Almost like a renewal happens overnight.  My stomach feels and appears normal.  I am able to run and carry on all my regular activities.  But the symptoms ramp up as the day moves along.

The fact that I may have neuropathy is a reminder that I  have diabetes.  This would be my first complication as a result of diabetes.  Ouch.  A complication.  Fear.   

 I have to remind myself, I have had this disease 38 years.  While I have never let it slow me down,  diabetes has been part of me for a long time.  Even though I have taken really good care of myself, perhaps my body is breaking down a bit.  Hopefully, just a bit.  I am only 41 years old with two small kids.  I want to live forever.

Sigh….Why am I even talking about gastroparesis and nerve damage?  Why worry about it when I don’t even know the diagnosis?  Because I am a human being.  And then thought of complications makes me wonder what else is going on inside my body.  What is next?

I can’t get caught up in all the “what ifs”.  What if it is something totally different?  What if it is gastroparesis?  I am not going to shut down and stop living.  Like I do with my diabetes, I will continue to do everything in my power to live with whatever diseases are given to me. 

In the process, there will be moments of fear and frustration.   Part of me will feel like I failed.  I try so hard to eat well, exercise, control my blood sugars and possibly neuropathy?  “Stop it” I tell myself.  I cannot beat myself up over this. 

The only thing I can do and control right now is my thoughts.  Think positive.  Do not let fear and negative thoughts overcome me. 

An early morning run definitely did help soothe my soul.  And at noon, I am going to a meditation class to calm my thoughts and nerves down.  Being frazzled will not do any good. 

Everything happens for a reason.  I was given the gift of diabetes and maybe another gift is on the way.  I would  learn more about myself, body, mind, and spirit.  And is that such a bad thing?  I have survived diabetes this long, and I will keep on moving forward no matter what other variables are given to me.   Taking it one run at a time. 

Will keep you posted!