My name is Sylvia Platz, I’m 18 years old, and have been diagnosed with gastroparesis.
On August 26, 2009, at age 14, I was in a horse back riding accident. I immediately felt a sharp, stabbing pain underneath my left breast. For some reason, I threw up right then and there.
My mom took me into the emergency room that night because I was in a tremendous amount of pain. There they gave me a CAT Scan, X-Ray, and ran blood work. All of my test results came back normal.
I was sent home and told, “nothing is wrong, take this anti inflammatory, you’ll be fine.”
I went home and had something to eat. Half way through my meal I became severely nauseous and vomited. This became a regular part of my day, every day, for four and a half years, five to 12 times a day. All while still suffering from the horrible pain in my side. I had seen multiple doctors and traveled hours (while nauseous) to find a specialist or anyone that would listen to me.
With the 98% of the doctor’s I visited (85 doctors to be exact), I was given the cold shoulder and told, “Do you really think I’m going to buy this?” Every time they ordered me MRI’s, CAT scans, X-rays, endoscopy, upper GI endoscope, lower GI, mekal scan, gastric emptying studies, ect. They gave me these test multiple times. Every time my results came back the same. Absolutely nothing was wrong. To the doctors I was a young girl with an eating disorder. When in reality I was a young girl, who was in a accident, and developed a horrible illness. But I couldn’t get the doctors to listen to me that something was really really wrong. Until I began bleeding internally.
By age 15 (one year into my illness), I had lost control of my symptoms. I no longer could attend High School because my nausea was so severe, I couldn’t get out of bed, and my vomiting was no longer controllable. I didn’t go out with friends, because I couldn’t do it, I became home bound 24/7. My mom, grandpa, and my small group of friends were the only people who believed me and supported me the entire way through.
Fast forwarding a few years, I ended up in the emergency room because of chest pains. Yet again, I was given a X-Ray, and I was told, “nothing is wrong.” But, the ER doctor refereed to a cardio surgeon. This doctor changed my life forever. I had a visit with him. where he went over my tests from the last four years. He said that three of my ribs had been totally torn from the cartilage from my horseback riding accident. He suggested that he should perform surgery on my ribs. I immediately accepted. I will never forget what he said to me that gave me hope again that I could fight this. He said, “I’m so sorry for the pain you have suffered for the last four years, I’m so sorry that nobody listened to you, I believe you. The pain you have is real, and it’s an extremely painful pain. I will do whatever I can to help you.”
It has been six months since surgery on my ribs and I’m healing wonderfully. My surgeon referred me then to a new gastric doctor who sent me for my third gastric emptying study. I finally showed that my stomach does not digest food. My stomach digests 245 times slower than a normal stomach should. I was diagnosed with an extremely severe case of gastroparesis. Since I’ve been diagnosed doctors treat me like a human and finally believe me. But they have come to yet another crossroads, not knowing what to do for me, because all the pills have failed and there is no where to go from here.
After five long years of fighting to prove I am sick, I did it. My hope was gone, my faith was hanging on by a string, but in the back of my mind, I couldn’t give up.
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.
I did an online homeschooling program, at my own pace, when I was able to. I graduated high school earning my diploma. 🙂
I have good days and bad days. But 97% of the time my day’s are bad days, and they’re bad days all day long.
I know that gastroparesis is such a confusing disease. Because I have good days it’s off putting to the people who are unaware of the severity of my illness, leading them to not believe.
I let that get into my head a lot. But, after reading other stories on here and those of many other GP support groups, I finally have come to accept what I have and that I will always have negative people who don’t understand how disabling gastroparesis is. But now I don’t have to face this alone, and neither do you.
Don’t ever give up. God has a plan, sometimes it’s hard to remember that. But, he knows what he is doing.
My GP seems to be getting worse, quickly. I’m not sure where to go from here, but I’m ready for whatever comes my way.
“If God puts you to it, he’ll get you through it”
The informational content of this article 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.
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.