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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Resources for Help to Explain GP/DTP and/or a Chronic Illness to Family and Friends

I have noticed a trend in comments and questions asking how to go about explaining to people who might believe that GP/DTP is all in your head. I have some great resources to help you explain to others how you feel and to prove that you're not making it up.

The first is THE SPOON THEORY.. It's easier to explain to people when you use this method. It drives the point home. I've used this method myself and it's tried and true. The website that has all of the details is HERE.

Another resource I would recommend is GASTROPARESIS AND ME.. Tanya, the creator of the page, has posted a video showing her during a bad GP Attack that will bring tears to your eyes but it will help show people you love what you go through on a daily basis. She's big on raising awareness and passing legislation to bring funding to GP/DTP.

My blog contains lots of online resources and groups for GP that might help you. Additionally, there's an article I have in there entitled, "When Telling Someone They Look Good Becomes an Insult." The article can be found here: There are a lot of articles that I've written that touch on this subject. They can be found here: along with other helpful information.

I started my blog to help my friends and family understand what I went through on a daily basis. I've written about my personal journey. I actually had a few friends come to me and apologize once they read what I was going through. You could always start writing about your experiences and share it with friends and family like I did. It's therapeutic and it helps.

There is a video that my friend Tanya recorded during her GP attack. If you have family or friends who think this is all in your head, show them THIS VIDEO.

Additionally, there is another video I would recommend that one of my friends with Gastroparesis made of her husband discussing his experience in dealing with his wife's illness. It's a touching video (it made me tear up) and probably will help others understand what it is like to be the loved one of a person suffering from Gastroparesis and how much of a struggle it is. Most importantly, though, that it shows that Gastroparesis is NOT in your head, or that you are making it up, or that it is something you can just bounce back from. The video can be found here:

There is a lot of self-doubt. When you are told constantly that your illness is in your head by doctors (who have the test results in front of them proving that you have gastroparesis but they don't want to deal with you because your case is too complicated - that's happened to me, not all doctors mind you, just some), your family tells you it's in your head, your spouse or partner doesn't believe you - I mean, it all adds up. You feel like you're going crazy and you start to doubt yourself when you are told this all of the time. It really messes with your head and leads to anxiety, which makes gastroparesis attacks (or flares, whatever you want to call them) happen. It hurts and you feel betrayed by your body, family, friends, doctors, etc. It just makes you frustrated and upset. But, you have to let go of the self doubt because YOU KNOW YOUR BODY BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE! You are a lot stronger than you think you are.


I want to make sure that you know that. There are support groups that can help give advice. My group is, Stronger than Gastroparesis (GP Warriors): You are NOT alone. Feel free to join to the group to ask the members in there how they've dealt with explaining things to their family and how they have let go of self doubt. We also have sister groups that can help you in addition to our main group above.

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