So whats GP you ask? GP stands for the not so awesome disease called gastroparesis. In a nut shell my stomach is paralyzed and either will not digest food or on a good day it takes its sweet little time. Ive had it my whole life, but was only diagnosed about 3 years ago. Every doctor before then just told me to take nexium and call it good. Perfect fix if the issue was just acid reflux I suppose.
To say Ive been nauseated my whole life is an understatement. Ive probably spent more time praying to the porcelain gods than a freshman sorority chick during penny beer night. Ive been in and out of the ER for IV treatment and woke up many nights gagging on stomach acid (so attractive I know). When I eat Im almost instantly full like its Thanksgiving or during remission Im like a raging stoner with the munchies (minus the weed ofcourse). I will spare you all the other awesome details, but just drinking water is a major task that my stomach doesnt not take too kindly to...isnt water key for hydration??? Tell that to my stomach!
All of it is emotionally draining more than anything. I think Im used to the nausea and fatigue at this point. Its quite depressing to feel crappy all the time. Its even more taxing when the people around you think its all in your head. Finally getting a diagnosis was a relief because in all honesty I started to think it was all in my head too. It was a major ahhhhhhHaaaaaa moment when I was told, "0% of your food moved out of your stomach in that 2hr scan...results state significantly abnormal."
So what does this mean for running? It means that any day at any point during a run I can become violently ill. It means that Ive taken a few trips to the med tent and it also means a whole lot of finger crossing before a race. For races it means smalls sips of water, small bites of bagels, no gu, no gatorade, acid reducers, immodium, gasx and B12. GP may be paralyzing my stomach, but in no way will I let it paralyze my spirit. It makes running difficult and it can be difficult for those running with me too. One day I may end up with a pacemaker in my stomach or on a feeding tube, but that day is NOT TODAY!!! "With every broken bone...I LIVED."
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My first steps as a baby according to my parents was actually a run. At 5yrs old my dad took me to the NYC Marathon, but truth be told I had no idea why people were running down the street. All this was foreshadowing for what was to be a life of running almost 30 years later. "If opportunity doesnt knock...build a door."