Welcome to My first transparency Feature! I am super excited to shed light on this beautiful young lady story. Most of you don’t know that August is Gastroparesis Awareness Month. Gastroparesis is a condition that affects the normal spontaneous movement of the muscles (motility) in your stomach. Ordinarily, strong muscular contractions propel food through your digestive tract. But if you have Gastroparesis, your stomach’s motility is slowed down or doesn’t work at all, preventing your stomach from emptying properly. (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gastroparesis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355787 )
This is Hannah Richie and her story with Gastroparesis:
Tell us about yourself
- My name is Hannah, I’m 19 years old and I have Gastroparesis. Along with the gastroparesis, I also have postural Orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), Ehlers Danlos syndrome, and endometriosis. I am obsessed with traveling and Disney and have been to 20 different countries! I’m currently going to school to hopefully become a news anchor one day.
Tell us your story
- When I was 12, I came down with a mono infection that never got better. My main symptom was diarrhea (along with vomiting) and nobody knew what was wrong with me. I can’t even tell you how many tests and procedures I went through that all came back normal. I went years without any answers until I was 17 and was diagnosed with POTS. While being on the right medications helped with my POTS, it did not help my GI issues and I was still horribly sick. I wasn’t content with my neurologist so I decided to switch which was the best decision ever. My new neurologist was familiar with Gastroparesis and decided I needed a gastric emptying scan. This showed mild Gastroparesis, which was enough to get me into the Gastroparesis specialist. He decided I needed the Smart Pill test which showed I actually had severe delayed emptying and that it took 24 hours for my stomach alone to empty. We decided my best option was surgery and a couple of weeks ago, I had a Per-Oral Pyloromyotomy. I ended up getting an NJ tube after surgery to help me recover and it will take a few months to see if it works. I still remain hopeful that I won’t suffer forever and that my doctors will help me find relief.
One positive advice for other’s
- My best advice is to never stop pushing for answers. If I didn’t do my own research, I never would have known about POTS or Gastroparesis. You know your body best, and if you don’t think you’re getting the right answers, don’t settle.
A big thank you to Hannah for sharing her story! If you would like to share your story please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you next Tuesday for another story!
If you would like to follow and learn more about Hannah you can find her on Instagram and YouTube!
YouTube: Simply Hannah