Allie recalls her gastroparesis diagnosis and describes how this stomach paralysis condition has changed her life.
My name is Allie Hoeland and I am the executive director of the I Can Foundation. It is an organization that helps people with gastroparesis and dysmotility, specifically funding research.
In 2006, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis and at first we had no idea before that what I possibly had and we went to 8 or 9 doctors and they weren’t able to decide anything.
Everyone said it was IBS or something along those lines, but all of the medications for that didn’t help me at all and so, we went to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale and they diagnosed me with gastroparesis and for the first couple of years I did okay. I went to college. I had a great experience but in 2008, I really started to decline.
I was working in an office where I had to report for work at 7 o’clock, but in order to be able to drive a car and not be dizzy from all my medication I had to wake up at 4 a.m. to be able to leave in time.
So, we decided to move back to Arizona to be close to my doctors and now on a daily basis I have a hard time. I can’t really eat many solid foods. I am not able to go out to any restaurants; I haven’t been to one in probably two years. So it’s just a daily battle of trying to figure out how to get the nutrients that I need while not being able to digest most foods since gastroparesis is actually termed to be paralysis of the stomach.