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January 8, 2001
2:19 pm
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Cici
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Hey everyone...

I just had to vent. I had a doctor's appt. last Friday, one today and another one next Thursday now for a three hour GES test, where I eat a radioactive egg and lay on a table for 3 hours while they scan my stomach emptying times.

The put me on call for a psych consult at the hospital (AGAIN). Possible depression related to chronic illness. This just sucks. I guess that's why they thought I should see the psych doc!

I have (luckily) found a support group for people with gastroparesis. It's online, since there are only 100,000 of us in the U.S. and we're all so spread out.

But it's hard. Going to the hospital is such a dehumanizing experience. I always feel so intimidated. I despair over ever having a fulltime job or carrying a child to term. My fiance has been so supportive, but still. It's not really his problem. He said I should have a counseling website so I could work from home, but I feel like such a shut-in already.

I find myself acting out in childish and sometimes damaging ways. Today, I went to Burger King after spending 2 hours at the hospital. Stupid. I can't eat any fried foods or red meat, but I want to SO BAD. It makes me sick. A leaden weight in my belly. And so tired. Migrane. Neuropathy, now.

What the hell, right? I eat right (though not the right amounts), I drink enough water. I take vitamin supplements. I don't get colds. Why the hell am I so ill? No one can answer that. I get sympathetic nods from doctors. We can't treat you, so sorry. No pharmaceuticals have been developed that I can tolerate, apparently.

I get impatient, I suppose. With my doctors. With myself. My weak body. My dry skin and brittle hair and nails. My lack of motivation to do anything because how are you supposed to function on one english muffin, but you can't force yourself to eat more than that or you'll vomit or writhe on the ground with intestinal spasms.

Huh. Crybaby. I mean, there are a lot of others who suffer from more debilitating illnesses than I do. But when you're sick with something for over 2 years, you start to second guess yourself. There's something wrong with me, what did I do to make it so, you know?

January 8, 2001
2:45 pm
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gingerleigh
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Ah Cici, you're no crybaby. You are dealing with a lot. Some men I've known (and no offense meant to the guys reading) can't even handle a simple cold for a week! And here you are, struggling with this feeling for years now.

I'm extremely unfamiliar with your illness, but I was in the hospital a lot a few years ago. I also could not bring myself to eat, and it really delayed my recovery. Hospitals are dehumanizing, and after a while, you find that your shame and modestly just disappear completely. I didn't care if I was clothed, fed, spoken to, medicated, anything.

You *do* need to eat more, and I know how hard it is. I'm not sure if you literally could "stomach" this, but the doctors started me drinking the Ensure stuff for senior citizens. It's very sweet, comes in different flavors, and has lots of fat and nutrients (help out your dry skin and brittle hair/nails). After a while, you start to feel better, and the idea of eating more than an English Muffin starts to sound not so insane. Ask your favorite doc if something like that would be OK to start on.

Keep the doctors working on you, a reason will be found. But your first priority should be to build up your strength where you can on your own. Then worry about attacking the root cause.

Cici, you are in my thoughts. Stay strong.

January 8, 2001
2:49 pm
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eve
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cici, I wish you all the best for your health and some (not too much) patience whith your doctors. I guess what makes MDs so awkward whith chronic patients is that they can't cope whith being helpless. Most of them have never done much work on their own psychology.This, and the fact that most students start medicine because they want to help people - it's no wonder that they give you the creeps when they find themselfs in a situation where they are helpless. Your situation propably gives them the creeps, too. This is not your fault, but maybe it can help you understand them (I guess you have an advantage here, being trained in psychology, ha ha). Hang on and take care, eve

January 8, 2001
7:14 pm
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Molly
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I was going to suggest Ensure also, I have seen many tolorate this stuff and do well. I guess you are just stuck with eating small amounts all day long. I am sorry, and in light of your troubles, I will quit whinning about my bout of the flu. Your not a cry baby ok.

January 9, 2001
11:56 am
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Cici
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Yes ensure is my life saver. There were times when all I did was drink ensure. I know all the flavors. They make butter pecan and eggnog flavored ensure, did you know that? Hah. It still tastes thickly syrupy sweet. I like glucerna-os better, it's for diabetics and has less sugar.

On a lighter note, I'm starting my internship this Thursday. Hooray! Now I get to delve into clinical psych with the shcizophrenics and antisocial personality disorders. Violent criminals, here I come! Ha ha ha

January 9, 2001
5:36 pm
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Molly
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Consider it good therapy, hehe. Where if you can disclose, this is going to be very interesting for you, how long will the internship last?

January 10, 2001
11:32 am
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Cici
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It's called the N. FL Evaluation and Treatment center. I can intern there for a while. I mentioned I would be interested for htis semester, over the summer adn possibly in the fall and the interviewer said, sure.

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