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.
Category: Chronic Pancreatitis
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.
A New NORMAL
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 and Diabetes
25-80% of people with chronic pancreatitis will develop diabetes due to their condition. The specific diabetes is called type 3c diabetes, otherwise known as pancreatogenic diabetes.
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.
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.
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.
Some Things Can Only be Carried
It’s not a linear path we walk when a relationship ends. We push, we pull, we trudge, we hold fast, we deny, we hope, we rail, we move forward, we fall back, we stand still.
The Cost of Being Chronically Ill
The truth is, living with chronic illness and managing multiple diseases is costly – physically, emotionally and financially.
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.