Veronika was diagnosed with gastroparesis as a young girl. The cause was unknown. Her symptoms were demoralizing. Veronika found ways to stay positive and combat her illness. Read more below, or view her original story to find out more.
Veronika was diagnosed with gastroparesis in fifth grade. She was about ten years old. Based on her experiences, she’d been living with it for quite a while before. Feelings of nausea were constant for Veronika. Eating and drinking made it worse, so she rarely did either. Doctors, as a result, commonly misdiagnosed her with dehydration. A few IVs later they would send Veronika on her way. The cycle repeated. Veronika describes the process leading up to her diagnosis as lengthy, exhausting, and irritating. With a bit of luck, however, she finally received a proper explanation.
Radioactive eggs were the secret. One of Veronika’s doctors performed an endoscopy in pursuit of answers. Using the ingested eggs, they would be able to track the progress of Veronika’s digestion. Baseline for a healthy digestion is about seven hours to digest the eggs. Veronika’s doctor reported it would take her about 15 hours.
Finally having a diagnosis gave Veronika a sort of giddy feeling. She knew what she was fighting. She was also frightened. Gastroparesis has no cure. Veronika remained constantly nauseous no matter what medication was prescribed. She became depressed.
Veronika describes her struggles with gastroparesis as 75% mental. She felt like there would never be an end to her illness. Maintaining hope is difficult when nothing ever gets better. Eventually, Veronika decided she had to try and get better even if nothing would work. She had a good day, and wrote herself a note. In the note, she reminded herself how strong she was. She also wrote about the tireless support of her family. Despite previous dread, she even wrote that there must be an end to the maddening state of her disease.
Veronika kept this note for whenever she had a bad day. On those days she would get the note out and feel better just reading it. She also kept a journal. Having a space to record her negative feelings gave her freedom from them. She no longer had to keep them all bottled up inside. Step by step she was getting better. Despite the nausea, she even began taking steps to eat and drink. This too helped her improve.
Veronika had her worst struggles with gastroparesis for about a year and a half. Afterwards, the symptoms seemed to fade away. While there is no known cure for gastroparesis, it is not uncommon for symptoms to wax or wane, even vanish for periods of time. Veronika views her experiences as a test. Her current state is a triumph. She feels she’s proven how strong she is. By sharing her story, Veronika hopes to inspire courage and strength in others.
“I want to tell everyone going through it that you are not alone, there’s always someone out there willing to help.this won’t ruin your life, and most importantly, you have to be strong. [Gastroparesis] won’t go away unless you persevere and stand up to it and show it that you’re stronger than it. I hope this helped!”