My story with pancreatitis began when I was diagnosed at 17 years old. For me, it’s hereditary. My mom, son, and multiple family members have it too.
After many years of severe pain, my pancreas had undergone so much damage that I no longer suffered from the intense pain. I still have soreness daily and sleep with a heating pad, but I haven’t been in severe pain in about 5 years. I do, however, have EPI, reactive hypoglycemia, FNH of the liver, gastritis, strictures of the pancreas, and a splenic vein thrombosis – all from my pancreas damage.
Despite these diagnoses, I feel happy and healthy these days. I work, practice yoga regularly, and enjoy gardening. I have an amazing husband, family, and very loving friends. I also try to help families and people with pancreatitis by being supportive, sharing our experiences, and giving them information to advocate.
After being both a pancreatitis patient and a caregiver, I truly know how hard this disease can be. It’s taught me to enjoy the little moments in life and be grateful for the good days. It’s also taught me to have compassion for others because you never know the battles they’re facing.
My number one hope for the future is a cure for pancreatitis; but, for today, it’s to educate the public and advocate for doctors and hospitals to know how to handle treatment in the best ways possible. Remember, never give up and you are definitely not alone.
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