Story by Katie Seternus
I lived with an intestinal parasite in my body for two and half years that basically destroyed the function of my intestines and in turn, my body’s ability to function
My condition began over four years ago with chronic GI pain that has progressed over time. My body is not digesting solid foods. I live in constant pain, I am close to 25 lbs underweight, I experience extreme chronic fatigue on a daily basis, and have had to give up so much of what I used to be able to do. All forms of physical activity are extremely draining and fatiguing. All food I eat has to be blended or pureed. I live off of soup, protein powder, applesauce and tea. I spend countless hours cooking and preparing all my own food. I have cut out gluten, dairy and sugar and tried just about every diet out there which has made no improvement.
I have seen over eight gastric specialists in South Jersey and Philadelphia. I have gone through countless procedures and tried ample medications that gave me more side effects than benefits. All of this have left me undiagnosed and with no treatment. In addition, I have seen integrative and alternative doctors, a chiropractor, an endocrinologist, a biofeedback & neurofeedback specialist and multiple nutritionists. Seeing doctor after doctor over these years, I have spent more time fighting with them to convince them it is not an eating disorder and I’m not “putting myself in this state,” begging them for help or treatment. They’ve called it IBS, gastritis, colonic inertia, or chronic idiopathic constipation (which I love, because it sounds like they are calling it “idiotic constipation” because they find nothing wrong on all the tests) but no GI doctor believed that parasites could be causing all my problems. Now as a result, my intestines are not functioning, my body is extremely frail and deteriorated causing deficiency in many other areas and where I am living in chronic pain.
It has been a battle to say the least to try to get doctors to understand what I am going through, but I am not giving up. I have been more than proactive about seeking treatment and finding an answer. I am determined to one day restore my body’s ability to function and not live in chronic pain. I invite you to read more on my blog and hope that you are able to find inspiration and encouragement to persevere through the struggles you encounter in your own life!