My name is Rachel, and I suffer from a rare and poorly-understood digestive disorder called gastroparesis.This word means “partial paralysis of the stomach,” which is about as unpleasant as it sounds. Basically, it means my gastrointestinal system doesn’t properly digest food, which causes severe stomach cramps, loss of appetite, impressive constipation, and a whole host of other issues.
I am lucky in that I can still often eat a lot of solid foods. Some people with very severe gastroparesis are forced to consume an all-liquid diet, and the very worst cases have to have feeding tubes. I have a ridiculously long, ever-changing, illogical list of foods I cannot eat, but that’s way better than all smoothies all the time!
However, sometimes my gastroparesis flares up pretty badly. During these periods, I am forced into a much more restrictive diet, as there are days when my stomach simply refuses to deal with solid food without horrific stomach cramps. While I do have some medication that can relieve the worst of the cramping, it makes me kind of loopy, so I can’t take it at work or if I’m planning to drive.
This means that sometimes my best option for breakfast and lunch is…baby food. Here I shall chronicle my adventures in the often incredibly bland and occasionally outright disgusting taste sensations that we are forcing down the throats of our babies. There’s a reason they spit that shit back up.