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“My name is Tesia Nichols and I was diagnosed with idiopathic Gastroparesis by Mayo Clinic in January 2018. Gastroparesis means paralyzed stomach. It is characterized by delayed stomach emptying which comes along with distressing symptoms such as bloating, cramping, pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation or malnutrition. My stomach is unable to contract and push food through my digestive system properly, leaving me unable to eat orally. Anytime I try to eat food with real substance, I become violently ill. It is basically like a bad stomach flu that never goes away. Because my stomach is unable to break down food, I am fed through my veins by something called Total Parenteral Nutrition. I have been TPN dependent since November 2016. Every week I have my blood taken and my TPN is “tailored” to the nutritional needs of my body that week! I have had four different central lines (tubes) where I am fed intravenously. I have to live with the central line every single and be very cautious that I don’t get it wet or let it become infected. I want to work with A.W.A.R.E. to spread awareness on Gastroparesis as there is no cure and many people that live with it are hopeless. I am here to tell you that things CAN and WILL get better!! I was 98 pounds and severely malnourished when I got to Mayo Clinic. I was in the beginning stages of organ failure from malnourishment and truly didn’t know if I would live. But by the grace of God, I slowly got stronger & learned how to better cope with Gastroparesis! It’s not an easy process, but all of my heartache and trying times led me to this current state of content, acceptance, and interpersonal growth. I also defied all of the doctors odds by miraculously getting pregnant in the midst of my illness and IV treatments. Please, never give up hope. Tomorrow is always a new day." @tesiapatrice


"I have struggled with GI issues for years. But it was only in April of 2017 that we figured out what really was going on. Gastroparesis is what it was called. I remembered being confused and lost. That same admission I had a NJ feeding tube placed. That's where my journey with digestive tract paralysis started. Sense then, I've had many hospitalizations, a J tube surgically placed and a port a cath also, surgically placed. However, recently I lost my port due to sepsis and now I have a PICC line. Feeding tubes and central lines has sense been part of my life. My gastroparesis has also progressed to not only Gastroparesis but intestinal dysmotility and Colonic inertia as well. After J-tube feeds failed, I am now on TPN. It's been a long battle with this chronic illness and a long one still to go. But, wearing A.W.A.R.E causes helps me raise awareness. The more awareness we raise, the more options we have for treatment. I hope one day this will lead to a cure." @ClinicallyChronically



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