kalen's CVS Story
I had my first episode following an abusive relationship. One night at work in late December 2016, I had intense stomach pain and the most unbelievable nausea I'd ever felt in my life. I vomited for four days, violently and became dangerously dehydrated, I went to the hospital and was told I had gastroparesis. I started the medication with not the slightest bit of relief. My episode continued for 2 months. By February 2016, I was barely alive. I went to my childhood family doctor who began the process of direct admitting me to any hospital that would take me. When I got to the hospital, my potassium was so low that "my heart could stop at any beat", my heart dropped...I was 23. My blood pressure was within stroke territory due to the weeks of retching and vomiting, I was severely dehydrated and my kidneys were on the verge of shutting down. I was in the hospital for a week, and set up with an internist for my diagnosed gastroparesis. I began seeing the doctor, who insisted a fundoplication (a surgery to wrap my stomach around my esophagus) was necessary. I scheduled the surgery and decided to try and take a trip before my procedure. I was doing slightly better with the medications, but still getting sick every morning. So, a bunch of friends, my boyfriend and I load up a minivan for a trip out west to visit our friends. Needless to say, the vomiting reared its ugly head after not even 24 hours. I threw up in the back of a minivan through Kansas, Missouri and into Colorado before I had to give up and fly home to my doctor. I moved up my surgery and went for my procedure four days later. After the procedure, I was worse. Much worse. I couldn't keep down medications, liquids or anything else. I went back to the internist who did the procedure who told me this was normal and I would probably be this way for about six weeks, take it slower, give it time. Feeling my face tingling from my blood pressure sky rocketing and my muscles locking up from my potassium dropping, I went to the University of Tennessee ER, where i FINALLY received decent medical treatment. I was referred by the ER physician to a GI specialist who diagnosed me with cyclic vomiting syndrome. He put me on cvs medications that slowly gave me some slight relief. I saw him one time before my insurance dropped me. Since then, I've been my own doctor and advocate. I joined cvs support pages and talked to everyone about this condition. I did my own research and have read just about every medical cvs article on the internet. Through my own research, I could identify my own triggers and find over the counter medications that help immensely. I learned about meditation and yoga and how important a sedentary lifestyle is for me. I still struggle, most days, especially with no medical assistance...but my ER visits are down to once a month or so, and episodes to once a week or so. I won’t stop fighting this until I have my life back!