Melissa's GP Story, Part 1

Copy of original post by Melissa of GP Fight - telling the story of how an accident may have caused her gastroparesis.



3 min read

Image of of car accident using black and white cartoon drawing. Accident caused gastroparesis.
Image of of car accident using black and white cartoon drawing. Accident caused gastroparesis.

Just in case you want to know a little more about me, here is my Gastroparesis Story….

I had been on birth control pills since 2000 when I gave in and started to take them due to dysmenorrhoea. I am the type of person that does not want to take pills of any sort. Especially the ones that alter my body (in this case, hormones). For the first few years, it seemed okay. Then all of a sudden, I was changing them every year or twice a year due to many other issues that came up. Such as high levels of nausea. In a review of my medical records, I can not find the exact year this started to happen. But I feel it was around the time of my accident (story below) and maybe when my gastroparesis started.

In 2004 I was in an auto accident. While driving on the freeway at 70 mph, traffic came to a stop. I stopped and looking in my rearview mirror there was a good 6 car lengths before the pickup truck coming at me could stop. Yet, he didn’t. I saw him coming closer and closer, so I moved my car as far left (I was in the left lane) as I could. The cement barrier prevented me from going any further out of the way. It was a construction zone at that time. He hit my little sports car with great force sending me up the cement barrier, my left wheel caught and the car fell back down, the right front going into the pickup truck in front of me. A few more dollars of damage and the car would have been totaled. I had minor issues and refused the paramedic’s help. This was a morning commute to work, so I called them to say I would not be in. Later I was driven to my doctor. As the whiplash set in, I could not turn my head. My shoulder was in so much pain as well as my leg. During the year I had many MRI’s, other tests, and 9 months of physical therapy (3 different companies). I drew the line of a scope of my shoulder and just live with the pain and numbness in my right hand, including my fingers. The neck still bothers me as well as many migraines and sciatica in the leg still comes and goes with lower back pain. With a small lawsuit, I got my medical paid for, but it is not nearly enough with all the issues I still have 9 years later.

It was around 2006 I started to notice that I could not drink water. It hurt so bad. And I couldn’t eat too much without getting very full, early. This continued and I told my primary care doctor every year during my annual exam. Plus, the nausea of birth control was awful during my period to where I was not going to work. She never did anything, but change pills and suggest I find a different method of birth control if this is making me so sick.

Fall of 2011 I was having bad chest pains and told my doctor during my physical. She did an EKG, but assumed it was GERD and put me on Prilosec. I took it until I had issues with that. I am not having a bowel movement, even with a laxative. Plus it was not helping.

March 2012 I gave in to the daily chest pain –yes, 4 months later! — and went to Urgent Care. I spent more than 5 hours there! I think any test they could do, they tried. Even had an upper GI series. They gave in and told me to double up on the Prilosec. They couldn’t find anything wrong. Really?!

March moved quickly with tests. From an ultrasound of my organs to an endoscope and whatever else they could through at me. In April I had a GI Dr and my first digestive study. I wasn’t going to go do this. First was cost, second was I was so very tired of all they were doing to me. My husband talked me into it. I went. That was when I found out I have Gastroparesis.

I am not diabetic and they have never figured out why I have gastroparesis, so I am ‘idiopathic’. Since my dad and his mother are diabetic, every time I go into a Dr’s office they test me!

It is my belief that the auto accident caused damage to the vagus nerve, but all of my doctors tell me that from the time of the accident (2004) to how bad my symptoms are now (2012), it could not be related. I would love to find out one day!