Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Chronic Pancreatitis, Diabetes, Health, Self-care

“Just” Another Gastroparesis Flare

I gripped the kitchen counter, my arms straight as a board trying to brace myself against the extreme pain that had begun shortly after eating last night’s small, plain meal. My stomach was as hard as a rock and bloated like I was four months pregnant. It felt like it was being tightly twisted and rung out like an old dish towel.

Chronic Pancreatitis, Health

I’m Still Standing

December 1, 2011. A day of beginnings and endings. 10 years ago today I underwent a 10-1/2 hour surgery that gave me my life back. I was reborn at the age of 52 with the promise of less pain, fewer hospitalizations, the ability to eat again, the ability to live again.

Advocacy, Chronic Pancreatitis, Diabetes, Health


It’s been 10 years since my surgery and I’m living what I refer to as my “new normal” – a life somewhere between the once healthy, active me, and the woman who had physically, emotionally and psychologically hit rock bottom.

Chronic Pancreatitis, Health, Self-care

When Food is the Enemy

Eating is a delicate balancing act; something that requires a great deal of thought and planning, especially if it involves being in public. Putting any kind of food in my mouth is like a game of Russian roulette, never knowing if the next bite is the one that will cause the pain to spiral out of control.

Chronic Pancreatitis, Relationships

Starting Over – Again

The wheel on the hospital gurney made a continuous squeaking sound as they wheeled me down the hall to the operating room. It was one of those incessant noises that would normally drive me crazy, but for some reason that morning I found it comforting. Grounding.

Chronic Pancreatitis

Beginnings and Endings

It’s possible for life to be shattered into a thousand pieces and still be pieced back together, whole but different. It’s possible to be swallowed up by excruciating pain - both physical and emotional - and still find sweet relief. It’s possible to be born and to die in the same moment, only to be born again.

Chronic Pancreatitis

The Painful Truth

In 2011, at the height of my struggle with chronic pancreatitis and before my transplant surgery, my daily pain hovered at a 6 or 7 out of 10 on the pain scale even with strong opiates like Fentanyl and Oxycodone in my system.