Seven months ago to the day, I had an almost normal day. I studied hard and worked on writing the second of my two essays due that (and every week at Oxford.) I put on a pretty dress and headed to formal hall, which was a nicer dinner you were supposed to dress up for at Teddy Hall. I donned my black gown and I ate delicious food fixed by the college chef, including a dessert of milk chocolate mousse. I can still remember the way that tasted.
After dinner, we did as we frequently did and headed across the street to the Grand Cafe for half priced cocktails (mock tails in my case.) There was a sizeable group of us there, crowded between the back wall and the side mirrors. We didn’t plan to stay long, as it was a Tuesday and we all had essays and problem sheets beckoning us to the library or bed. I didn’t order a drink, because I was feeling nauseated. Maybe I was tired or the milk and chocolate of dessert didn’t quite agree with me.
I walked home to the nearest reaches of Cowley with my friends. When I got back to my room, I threw up my dinner.
That was the last night I ate normally. That was the last night I didn’t eat according to some kind of regimen in an attempt to keep what I ate down. That was the last time that I ate without the prospect of throwing up.
Seven months later, I’m not throwing up three course meals, I’m throwing a few teaspoons of chicken broth. I keep trying the clear liquids I’m given here – I will never,ever give up and never stop trying – but I’m 99+% dependent on the TPN and saline I get through a jumped up IV.
Seven months ago, I’d never heard of the gastric electrical stimulator and I’d barely heard of gastroparesis. Now, I’m facing imminent surgery to implant a stimulator to treat hopefully my newly officially diagnosed gastroparesis. Seven months ago I never could have imagined any of this.