In the fall of 2003, I had a gastric emptying test done to confirm that I had gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is delayed stomach emptying due to nerve damage in the stomach. The results did not come as a surprise to either my doctor or myself because I had tests done prior to the gastric emptying test that showed I had food in my stomach even though I had not eaten in over 12 hours. What did come as a surprise to me was the lack of understanding/knowledge by doctors in managing blood sugar for someone with gastroparesis.
With gastroparesis, blood sugar can bounce all over the place because if your insulin hits before your food starts to digest, your blood sugar drops. You never know when your food is going to start to digest and chances are, you don’t have insulin in your system to cover it when it does. Even though doctors knew I had gastroparesis, I was still treated as though I must be doing something to cause my blood sugar to bounce all over the place. Once when a doctor was criticizing me, I said, “tell me what to do, I will do it” and I was met with blank stares. I was in the hospital for a week, and as usual, my blood sugar was bouncing all over the place. My last day there, the doctor told me that my blood sugar baffled him. I said “welcome to my world.” Although he did not help me, he was the first doctor to actually believe me that I was not causing it since he was controlling both my insulin and diet.