Gastroparesis is a common complaint for those with dysautonomia. The nerves that make the stomach empty or that cause peristalsis of the intestines don’t function properly. This causes a delay in digestion which leads to nausea, pain, bloating, and often vomiting. The gut is one of those things that no one thinks about until it isn’t working properly, and then you realize how much our amazing bodies function without us even thinking about it.
A cold for someone with dysautonomia can cause a flare-up in symptoms. This means the already debilitating fatigue becomes unbearable or the neuropathic pain spikes and spreads. It can mean a systolic blood pressure in the 80’s (or lower) even when lying down and pushing fluids. It can mean jumps in heart rate to the 160’s just to get up to the bathroom. The flu probably means a visit to the emergency room to get IV fluids. I cringe whenever I’m in public and someone sneezes or coughs.
Living with this chronic illness is like being a gladiator with the nervous system playing the part of Emperor Nero. It’s a little crazy (okay, a lot crazy). You never know what battle to expect when you wake up each day. You get good at managing lots of different weapons. You hurt a lot, but sadly, you never get a hot body despite the workout...!