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Thursday, July 18, 2013

My New Facebook Page - Emily's Stomach - Please Like it in Support

As many of you know, I've been working on my own page affiliated with GNE. LaShelle and I are trying to branch out to reach a wider audience. If you could give Emily's Stomach a like, it would be amazing. I want to make a difference and this is my way of branching out to help the GP community. If you could share my new page, Emily's Stomach ( with friends, family, and loved ones, I would be most grateful. I will be posting interesting things in the next few days and would like your support. Without your support, I feel useless and unproductive. This gives me purpose right now, since I can barely leave the house.

You can read below of what I plan to accomplished with my page.

Thank you and stay strong in the fight!


Emily's Stomach is my page that I just started. It's my own page but it's affiliated with GNE and the link is here: If you read the About section on my page, there are other useful links that you might be interested in. The more support you have, the better things will be!

My page is different. I will post motivation, inspiring pictures as well as my blog articles, which contains information on Gastroparesis (GP). I will also post any new research or advancements on GP that I can find. I’m a researcher at heart and I love sharing research that I find. However, we ALL stand together, united, for the GP community.

I will still be working with LaShelle, admining the GNE Facebook page, but we're branching out to cover different things and to spread more awareness. We’re also trying to reach out to find those who suffer with GP that may not have anyone with support to turn to.

If you could share my page with family, loved ones, and friends, I would appreciate it. All are welcome to learn about GP and to be motivated. Spread the word about my new page because the more people we can reach, the better our research will be and the more awareness we’ll have!

The link to my Facebook page, and my contribution to the GNE community is:

Stay strong in the fight! You are NEVER alone! You are more than welcome to friend PM or meme on the page or on Facebook if you need someone to talk to. I’m always hereto listen.

Eventually, I hope all of the GP groups will get together and work as one since we are all working towards a common goal, which is to help the GP community.

My motto is: No awareness, no research, no cure.

Stay strong in the fight! You are NEVER alone! NEVER! You can also follow the ES Page on Twitter at:

My Other Pages/Groups/Blogs:

Emily's Stomach Blog - this is a blog I've started to help me through Gastroparesis as well as helping others through my own experiences. The link is here:

Emily's Stomach - affiliated with Green's Not Easy and gives you information and motivation about Gastroparesis. Also, to help out beginners. The link is

Laughing Through Gastroparesis (Public FB Page) - the object of this page is to make people smile because laughter is the best medicine! The link is here:

Laughing Through Gastroparesis (Private FB Group) - A collaboration of GPers and non GPers posting humor to make us all feel better and laugh. The link is here:

Blogs for Gastroparesis - a closed group where people can post their blog entries for others to read. You do not have to be a blog writer to join but GP blog writers are encouraged to join and share so that we can share blog traffic with each other. The link is here:

The pages I admin are:

Gastroparesis - The link is here:

Gastroparesis and Me - The link is here:

Secretly Green - A closed group for those who want private posting. The link is

One Million Likes for Gastroparesis - The link is here:

Gastroparesis and Diabetic Support Group - The link is here:

Tats for Gastroparesis - The link is here:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How to Stay Motivated

Most Gastroparesis suffers have a hard time staying motivated because we are always really ill. We hide it and it's invisible. In reality, we feel like zombies just going through the motions of the day, that is, if we can get out of bed. I found some images on Pinterest (but it didn't have a source) about Motivation that I would like to share with you, to help you through those difficult days that we all have with this terrible condition.

According to Pyschology Today (,

"How to Stay Motivated: Motivation is literally the desire to do things. It's the difference between waking up before dawn to pound the pavement and lazing around the house all day. It's the crucial element in setting and attaining goals—and research shows you can influence your own levels of motivation and self-control. So figure out what you want, power through the pain period, and start being who you want to be."

According to (

"Motivation is defined as the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. Motivation is what causes us to act, whether it is getting a glass of water to reduce thirst or reading a book to gain knowledge.

It involves the biological, emotional, social and cognitive forces that activate behavior. In everyday usage, the term motivation is frequently used to describe why a person does something. For example, you might say that a student is so motivated to get into a clinical psychology program that she spends every night studying.

Psychologists have proposed a number of different theories of motivation, including drive theory, instinct theory and humanistic theory.

Components of Motivation

There are three major components to motivation: activation, persistence and intensity. Activation involves the decision to initiate a behavior, such as enrolling in a psychology class. Persistence is the continued effort toward a goal even though obstacles may exist, such as taking more psychology courses in order to earn a degree although it requires a significant investment of time, energy and resources. Finally, intensity can be seen in the concentration and vigor that goes into pursuing a goal. For example, one student might coast by without much effort, while another student will study regularly, participate in discussions and take advantage of research opportunities outside of class.

Extrinsic Vs. Intrinsic Motivation

Different types of motivation are frequently described as being either extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic motivations are those that arise from outside of the individual and often involve rewards such as trophies, money, social recognition or praise. Intrinsic motivations are those that arise from within the individual, such as doing a complicated cross-word puzzle purely for the personal gratification of solving a problem.", written by Gleb Reys, has tips on how to stay motivated as well,

How exactly do some of us manage to stay motivated most of the time? Here are just a few ideas you can try:

1) Find the Good Reasons

Anything you do, no matter how simple, has a number of good reasons behind it. Not all the tasks have the good reasons to do them seen at first sight, but if you take just a few moments to analyse them, you will easily spot something good. We also have many tasks which don’t need any reasoning at all – we’ve been doing them for so long that they feel natural.

But if you’re ever stuck with some task you hate and there seems to be no motivation to complete it whatsoever, here’s what you need to do: find your good reasons. They may not be obvious, but stay at it until you see some, as this will bring your motivation back and will help you finish the task.

Some ideas for what a good reason can be:

a material reward – quite often, you will get paid for doing something you normally don’t like doing at all

personal gain – you will learn something new or will perhaps improve yourself in a certain way

a feeling of accomplishment – at least you’ll be able to walk away feeling great about finding the motivation and courage to complete such a tedious task

a step closer to your bigger goal – even the biggest accomplishments in history have started small and relied on simple and far less pleasant tasks than you might be working on. Every task you complete brings you closer to the ultimate goal, and acknowledging this always feels good.

2) Make it fun

When it comes to motivation, attitude is everything. Different people may have completely opposite feelings towards the same task: some will hate it, others will love it. Why do you think this happens? It’s simple: some of us find ways to make any task interesting and fun to do!

Take sports for example. Visiting your local gym daily for a half-an-hour workout sounds rather boring to many of us. Yet many others love the idea! They like exercising not only because they recognize the good reasons behind it, but simply because it’s fun! At certain time of their daily schedule, they find going to gym to be the best thing to do, simply because nothing else will fit their time and lifestyle so perfectly.

I want to add that with GP, it might be hard to leave the house for the severe cases. But you can do basic stretches at home on your couch or in bed. It will make you feel better. I'm going to attempt to take yoga because it has deep breathing and will strengthen my muscles. LaShelle, one of my good friends, rides horses. Just going for a short walk will help.

Depending on how you look at it, you can have fun doing just about anything! Just look for ways of having fun, and you’ll find them!

A simple approach is to start working on any task from asking yourself a few questions:

How can I enjoy this task?
What can I do to make this task fun for myself and possibly for others?
How can I make this work the best part of my day?

The answers will pop up momentarily, as long as you learn to have the definite expectation of any task being potentially enjoyable.

Some of you will probably think of a thing or two which are valid exceptions from this statement, like something you always hate doing, no matter how hard you try making it fun. I don’t want to argue – you’re probably right, and that’s why I don’t claim everything to be fun. However, most tasks have a great potential of being enjoyable, and so looking for ways to have fun while working is definitely a good habit to acquire.

3) Take different approach

When something doesn’t feel right, it’s always a good time to take a moment and look at the whole task looking for a different approach.

You may be doing everything correctly and most efficiently, but such an approach isn’t necessarily the most motivating one. Quite often you can find a number of obvious tweaks to your current approach which will both change your experience and open up new possibilities.

That’s why saying “one way or another” is so common: if you really want to accomplish your goal, there is always a away. And most likely, there’s more than one way. If a certain approach doesn’t work for you, find another one, and keep trying until you find the one which will both keep you motivated and get you the desired results.

Some people think that trying a different approach means giving up. They take pride in being really stubborn and refusing to try any other options on their way towards the goal. My opinion on this is that the power of focus is great, but you should be focusing on your goal, and not limiting your options by focusing on just one way to accomplish it it.

4) Recognize your progress

Everything you may be working on can be easily split into smaller parts and stages. For most goals, it is quite natural to split the process of accomplishing them into smaller tasks and milestones. There are a few reasons behind doing this, and one of them is tracking your progress.

We track our progress automatically with most activities. But to stay motivated, you need to recognize your progress, not merely track it.

Here’s how tracking and recognizing your progress is different: tracking is merely taking a note of having reached a certain stage in your process. Recognizing is taking time to look at a bigger picture and realize where exactly you are, and how much more you have left to do.

For example, if you’re going to read a book, always start by going through the contents table. Getting familiar with chapter titles and memorizing their total number will make it easier for you to recognize your progress as you read. Confirming how many pages your book has before starting it is also a good idea.

You see, reading any book you will be automatically looking at page numbers and chapter titles, but without knowing the total number of pages this information will have little meaning.

Somehow, it is in a human nature to always want things to happen at once. Even though we split complex tasks into simpler actions, we don’t quite feel the satisfaction until all is done and the task is fully complete. For many scenarios though, the task is so vast that such an approach will drain all the motivation out of you long before you have a chance to reach your goal. That’s why it is important to always take small steps and recognize the positive different and progress made.

5) Reward Yourself

This is a trick everyone likes: rewarding yourself is always pleasant. I’m happy to confirm that this is also one of the easiest and at the same time most powerful ways to stay motivated!

Feeling down about doing something? Dread the idea of working on some task? Hate the whole idea of working? You’re not alone in that, I’m telling you!

Right from the beginning, agree on some deliverables which will justify yourself getting rewarded. As soon as you get one of the agreed results, take time to reward yourself in some way.

For some tasks, just taking a break and relaxing for a few minutes will do. For others, you may want to get a smoothie and even treat yourself to a GP friendly dessert. For even bigger and more demanding tasks, you may want to reward yourself by doing something even more enjoyable, like going to a cinema or taking a trip to some place nice, or even buying yourself something.

Your progress may not seem to others like anything worth celebrating – but take time and do it anyway! It is your task and your reward, so any ways to stay motivated are good. The more you reward yourself for the honestly made progress, the more motivated you will feel about reaching new milestones, thus finally accomplishing your goal.

Mix and match

Now that you have these five ways of staying motivated, it is a good moment to give you the key to them all: mix and match! Pick one of the advices and apply it to your situation. If it doesn’t work, or if you simply want to get even more motivation, try another advice right way. Mix different approaches and match them to your task for best results.

Just think about it: finding good reasons to work on your task is bound to help you feel a bit better. Identifying ways to make it fun will help you enjoy the task even more. Finally, if you then plan a few points for easier tracking of your progress and on top of that agree on rewarding yourself as you go – this will make you feel most motivated about anything you have to work through.

Here is a Youtube video on how to stay positive and motivated:

Ten Hidden Reasons to Stay Motivated Source:

Everyone tells us to stay motivated. Our friends, our co-workers, our relatives say to keep going, don’t quit. Sometimes, though, you ask, "Why? Why try my hardest when it ends in disappointment? Why go through something when it’s going to hurt? Why?"

Because it’s going to be different this time! Because you can’t accomplish anything that you give up on. Disappointments and failures happen to everyone. The difference between those who reach their goals and those who don’t is staying motivated. If you’re motivated, you’ll keep going. If you keep going, eventually you’ll reach your goal.

Need more reasons? Here are 10 of our ‘hidden’ reasons to stay motivated. Use one or all of them to keep the fire burning inside you.

1. Confidence

How did it feel after that first walk around the block? Or when you finally walked the stairs at work without losing your breath? Or even leaving the house? The more you accomplish, the more you’ll believe in yourself.

2. Fit into that dress

It’s been hanging up in your closet for two years now, just waiting to be thrown on for a night on the town. All it takes is for you to go that extra mile and stay on track. Before you know it, those two years will be ancient history. This would probably be better for milder cases of GP.

3. Make the week easier

Ever felt like a week was taking forever? It feels like Friday, but it’s only Tuesday? This happens when you’re not working towards anything. When you have a goal in mind, you’ll want to cook that GP friendly dinner or have friends over 0 or leave the house to meet them. The week will not only go faster, but be more enjoyable.

4. Gives you purpose

Every once in a while, we need a good reason. The ‘wow’ effect

Picture this: Walking into a store, you run into someone from high school, and their eyes light up. They gasp, "Wow, you look great!" (Again, this is probably for the milder case of GPers, but I don't think any of us want to hear the next sentence). By sticking with your goals, this can happen. Watch the "wows" add up.

8. Spread the spark

When friends and family see how hard you’re working, they’ll wonder how they can reach their own goals. Guess who they’re going to look to for help? By staying motivated, you’ll not only help yourself, but others too. This is very true. I've been helping people by admining on Facebook. You don't have to leave the house on your worst days but you can still be motivated to make a difference.

9. Keep gaining experience

The more you do, the more you will learn and understand. You’ll discover which tactics work best for you and which ones don’t. It’s like weeding out the garden - not the most enjoyable job in the world, but when you’re done, all that’s left are beautiful flowers. Keeping sticking with it and soon it will be all flowers for you. Here it is, right in front of you. Eat the GP approved diet (it can be found in LaShelle's blog at: that’s going to jump start your day, go for your morning walk, or walk to the driveway and grab the newspaper. When you’re motivated, you have a reason to do what you do.

5. For your kids

And your grandkids. And their kids, too. The healthier you are, the longer you’ll be around to watch your kids grow and to spoil your grandchildren. They’ll want you to be around as long as possible; consider this just another present.

6. Power of momentum

It’s a scientific fact – something in motion tends to stay in motion. Momentum builds quickly and can lead to great results. Suddenly, you’re not only working for the goal, but also to keep your streak alive. Even more reason to reach your goals.
Stress will take a toll on your body. It's better to set goals and have small victories that will give you a boost and make you feel productive. I know that since I was diagnosed, my independence has been stripped. I've worked since I was sixteen but now, I can barely leave my house because I'm so violently ill. That's why I started my Laughing Through Gastroparesis Page ( I also started a "secret" Laughing Through Gastroparesis group so that people can help collaborate and keep the chronically ill smiling. You don't have to be a GPer to join. You can join the group at this link:

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Relaxation & Breathing Techniques from Mayo in Jacksonville

I know that this is a repost for me but I have better copies of the documents that you can actually read, now that I've scanned them in. The doctor told me that all of my issues stem from anxiety but I believe he's wrong. My anxiety didn't get worse until my stomach issues became worse. However, if you have issues sleeping or if you are having a panic attack, this will help. I've had to deep breathe out of panic attacks and talk myself out of it, especially in the car. I hope this will help you. Again, this was handed to me by Mayo but I wanted to save others thousands of dollars to be handed these pieces of paper.

If you click on the images, they'll open in PDF format so that you can read it better.

I apologize about the spill on the last two pages. I managed to spill soda on it while reading the sheets in the car when my husband jerked the wheel.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Information about Gastroparesis and Traveling with GP

These papers were given to me by the Digestive Health Alliance ( and Crystal Saltrelli, which you can find her link to her Facebook page here: All credit goes to Crystal for writing about traveling, I'm just sharing it because it's great information.

So, What IS Gastroparesis?

I found these three different images that explain what Gastroparesis is. The sources are located on the images above.

I haven't had time to upload these documents to share until now, but they were given to me at the Mayo Clinc. I hope they will prepare you for travel as well as help to explain Gastroparesis to friends and family. Feel free to pass these along but be sure to credit the writers. If you click on the images, they'll open in PDF form so that you can read them better.

Information about Gastroparesis

Treatment options and information about Traveling With a Feeding Tube can be found by clicking here:

These images go into detail about the Gastroparesis diet and nausea that comes with it.

For more information on the Gastroparesis Diet and Recipe ideas, please click here:

Gastroparesis Patients vs Drug Seekers

A few nights ago, my roommate had a friend over who works as a nurse in an emergency room. She asked me about my gastroparesis (GP) and why I've gone to the emergency room for it. I tried to explain the basic symptoms of gastroparesis and how much pain it causes, especially when you haven't eaten in over a week on top of dehydration. The first thing she said to me was,

"Most patients with Gastroparesis I encounter are drug seekers."

I want to explain why we are not drug seekers for those who may know little to nothing about GP and why that comment bothered me so much. I also want to educate people in what gastroparesis is, and does to the body. I wanted to tell her, imagine the worst stomach bug that you have EVER had, now imagine throwing up constantly and projectile vomiting. Your abdomen would hurt, right? You would use muscles you normally do not engage. Now, imagine that not letting up for weeks at a time. When would you go to the emergency room and would you complain of pain?

No two GPers are a like - we are all different in some way, but that doesn't make us any less ill.

According to the Mayo Clinic (

"Gastroparesis is a condition in which the muscles in your stomach don't function normally.

Ordinarily, strong muscular contractions propel food through your digestive tract. But in gastroparesis, the muscles in the wall of your stomach work poorly or not at all. This prevents your stomach from emptying properly. Gastroparesis can interfere with digestion, cause nausea and vomiting, and cause problems with blood sugar levels and nutrition.

There is no cure for gastroparesis. Making changes to your diet may help you cope with gastroparesis signs and symptoms, but that's not always enough. Gastroparesis medications may offer some relief, but some can cause serious side effects. Signs and symptoms of gastroparesis include:

A feeling of fullness after eating just a few bites
Abdominal bloating
Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux
Changes in blood sugar levels
Lack of appetite
Weight loss and malnutrition"

I am also going to add pain to the symptoms. That needs to be taken into account because I know that if I try to eat with Gastroparesis, my stomach starts spasming and doesn't stop until I vomit everything up. That's not even mentioning the pain my esophagus feels after vomiting up so much food/liquids.

Image credit: Flicker

Just like you, probably, I *hate* going to the Emergency Room. But I must go if I want nausea relief because I can't keep down pills, or fluids. I ask for pain medicine after the doctor presses on my stomach because I cry. I've been crying for a week now because of the pain. I read something on Physician's Weekly that I would like to quote that sums up how I feel,

"When a person goes to the ER it’s because their pain has become too much for them to handle on their own. You then need to take into account the fact that anybody who is in pain wants not to be in pain and the faster the better. Please don’t judge us too harshly because people like myself who live with chronic pain want our pain to go away as soon as humanly possible. Chronic pain is a hideous disease. It never gives you a moment’s peace. When we with chronic pain go to an ER then you can be certain that we’re at a level of desperation for the pain to stop that we are willing to endure the terrible irritation of waiting in an ER. Waiting in an ER when they are in pain makes people anxious. It’s a well-establish fact that anxiety magnifies the perception of the pain that someone is experiencing."

Image credit: Aubrey O. and Tiffany W.

Now, there's a difference in being legitimately sick and just seeking drugs.

According to Physician's Weekly about drug seeking behavior(,

"Studies have been conducted on screening tools to identify drug-seeking behaviors in chronic pain patients, but few have provided quantitative data on such behaviors in the ED (Emergency Department). With this in mind, Dr. Grover and colleagues performed a case-control study examining the relative frequency of various drug-seeking behaviors in drug-seeking patients as compared with all ED patients. The study was published in the January 2012 Journal of Emergency Medicine. 'Our goal was to provide emergency physicians with information as to which drug-seeking behaviors are most commonly used by drug-seeking patients,' says Dr. Grover. 'Identifying behaviors that are most commonly used by drug-seeking patients may help evaluations of patients suspected of drug-seeking behavior.'”

A retrospective chart review of 152 drug-seeking patients and of age- and gender-matched controls was conducted, with the authors noting several drug-seeking behaviors that were exhibited over 1 year. Drug-seeking patients accounted for 2,203 visits to the ED, averaging about 14.5 visits per patient per year. For the control group, patients accounted for 315 visits to the ED, which is an average of 2.1 visits per patient per year. Patients in the drug-seeking arm reported their pain level as 10 out of 10 more often than control group patients (Table 1). Additionally, drug-seeking patients occasionally complained of pain levels greater than 10 out of 10, while the control group had no instances of these events. Drug-seeking patients were also significantly more likely to request medications parenterally.

The odds ratios for both requesting parenteral medication and reporting pain levels greater than 10 out of 10 were significantly higher than all others observed in the study (Table 2). These were the most predictive of drug-seeking behavior, while a non-narcotic allergy was less predictive. However, the odds ratio for a non-narcotic allergy was greater than 1, and was still a behavior that was more commonly used by drug-seeking patients than the control group. For other studied behaviors, the confidence intervals were too wide to allow the authors of the study to meaningfully interpret the data."

Here are some common schemes of drug seeking behavior according to,

"Most scammers try to get the doctor to write a prescription or gain access to a prescription pad so they can write a script themselves.

Patients will sometimes say they're from out of state and the pharmacy won't fill their prescription. They try to evoke the practitioner's compassion to continue the medication.

Other times, a patient you've never seen before will present with a prescription, ask you to refill it and promise to schedule an appointment next week. If you fill that prescription, you've been had.

Some patients will misrepresent their medical condition to induce you to write a prescription. Others will use the old standby excuses: 'I lost my prescription,' or 'I didn't have enough money to fill the prescription and it expired.'

Drug abuse is a developing phenomenon. It starts with patients losing prescriptions, not being able to track the amount of prescriptions or claiming that the doctor wrote the wrong prescription.

A concatenation of events often indicates abuse rather than serendipity or accident. A single transaction by itself does not mean abuse. But if your record shows repeated violations, you are not only denying what's going on, but also making yourself vulnerable to DEA or even patient litigation."

In conclusion, there are several differences between chronically ill patients who may need medication to survive or even try to function while others just want to get high. At my most recent ER visit, the nurse told me I was the true emergency (dehydration and pain) and that he had gotten things like tooth aches all day. I know Gastroparesis is an invisible illness and most people think it's in our heads until they see our labs. That's another key difference.

Keep fighting to educate those out there who may still be skeptical of the illness. We shouldn't be punished because of lack of education. We should try to educate as many health workers whom we may come across. They need to understand what it's like throwing up or feeling abdominal pain with no end in sight. It IS different for us if we need medication, IV medication, to control it until we can get a handle on it ourselves. Sometimes, we do need that extra help and the hospital is the only way that we can get it.