My name is Brooke, and I am 27 years old. It started off two years ago with sharp, stabbing pains every time I ate something. I was in severe pain and had a lot of allergies/intolerances to food and severe heartburn/GERD.
I went to my primary doctor, and she sent me to their recommended GI doctor. He sent me for a bunch of tests, and they showed my gallbladder was working at 5 percent and needed to be removed. I also had a hiatal hernia and an esophagus valve that would never close, so they said I would develop throat cancer if I didn’t get surgery.
The GI doctor recommended I do all three surgeries in one, so I did on Dec 19, 2015, right after graduating college. After surgery, I did not heal as I was supposed to and could not keep any food or liquids down. I dry heaved clear liquids about every 5 minutes. I was nauseous 24/7, in excruciating pain 24/7, no one knew what was wrong, and they did all the tests and said they couldn’t help, so they discharged me.
I continued to get worse until I couldn’t walk by myself without falling down, and I couldn’t bathe myself. I was just so weak from not getting any nutrients/food or fluids. I was in and out of the hospital and had so many ER visits that everyone knew me. All the hospital did were tests and gave me morphine and Reglan to help with the pain and nausea.
I then gave up hope and screamed and cried to God on my living room floor, “Why are you letting this happen to me?” My mom never gave up even though I did. My mom has been my rock through all of this, and I know I could not have done it without her being my backbone, standing up for me, finding me doctors, and taking care of me when I was at my worst, which is the real reason why I’m still here.
Anyways, a doctor told me to go to Tampa General Hospital, and they diagnosed me within a few days with gastroparesis because of my vagus nerve being cut by accident during my surgery. They said there was no cure and that it could grow back or not–slow or fast. The medicines they gave me made me worse, and I felt drugged all the time and would just lay on my couch, withering away, watching TV with caregivers who took care of me (my grandparents hired them because my mom was drowning in hospital bills and had to work). I hit the lowest of lows when my mom’s longtime friend from Tennessee, who had health issues, recommended a response doctor who healed me to an extent with supplements and herbs.
But I still have the symptoms and flare-ups, and when I get sick, I am in bed for days and get so depressed and anxious. I barely eat, and when I do, I have extremely painful gas pains in my ribs, back, and shoulders to where I have to stretch and have my mom literally burp me until I can finally breathe. I feel like I’m starving myself all the time and have lost a ton of weight and just feel weak all the time. All while trying to keep jobs and raise my niece and nephew, ages 1 and 7, with my mom who now has a rare autoimmune disease and is in pain all the time.
I feel scared and alone a lot but know God is with me and that He has a plan and put me on this Earth for a purpose. If you have any tips on how to heal or just a prayer, I would be so grateful. You can find me on Facebook as well (Brooke Edwards).
Thank you in advance!
Submitted December 14, 2018
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.