This article first appeared in the The American College of Gastroenterology Blog.
Diagnosed 12 years ago with idiopathic gastroparesis at age 23 after her graduation from Dartmouth College, Crystal M. Saltrelli worked with her physicians to address her severe symptoms, but almost lost hope. Then in 2009, she had a gastric neurostimulator implanted.
“The device provided much-need symptomatic relief, but, equally important to me, it also provided some much-needed hope. My surgeon was so optimistic, so encouraged that it reignited those feelings in me. This time the message I heard was, ‘There is still hope for you. There is more that can be done.’”
In her moving and perceptive piece, she details her journey to become an advocate. “Six years later, I am now a gastroparesis educator in addition to being a gastroparesis patient. I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of other people with gastroparesis from around the world and what I have discovered is that my experience is not unique. Patients are eager to commit themselves to their treatment plans, as long as there is an inkling that their effort will make a difference in their outcome.”
Crystal Saltrelli shows how she continues to find reasons for hope as a gastroparesis patient.