Patient Perspective on Gastroparesis
Presented by Trisha Bundy
Trisha is a proud parent and sports enthusiast from eastern North Carolina. She has 2 teenage children, currently 17 and 19 years old. She earned her Bachelor’s for Elementary Education from East Carolina University, married her high school sweetheart, and embarked on her dream career as an elementary teacher in 2000. In May of 2012, Trisha earned her Master’s in Reading Education from East Carolina University. She was an elementary school teacher for 16 years before having to resign due to her health.
In February 2013, her life as an active wife, mother, and teacher changed drastically. The evening of February 16, 2013 she went to bed as a “normal” 35 year old and woke up in the middle of the night to an unexpected life of chronic illness. One where food was no longer a pleasure, but instead a nightmare of pain, nausea, and vomiting. She spent months unable to eat or drink anything without pain and vomiting, in and out of ERs and doctor offices dehydrated, in crippling pain, and in need of someone to listen and be willing to help her. It took countless doctors, some in private practice, others tied to three different hospital systems, until she finally found doctors that took her concerns seriously enough to stick with trying to help her find answers and improve symptom management. Thankfully, through what she credits as determination, family support, and God’s grace, she discovered and currently has a medical team of doctors that she feels authentically cares and works with her on devising the most effective plan for her. Trisha believes that communication, empathy, trust, and compassionate care are all beneficial along with medical knowledge, especially when dealing with chronic illnesses that do not have a cure.
Trisha shares personal health experiences to bring awareness to GI Motility Disorders, such as Gastroparesis and Colonic Inertia, and to assist others dealing with similar illnesses. She has participated and continues to participate in awareness activities when she is able. Some examples would be blogging about her journey, being in online support/advocacy groups such as Gastroparesis: Fighting for Change, sharing on social media, and occasionally being active in awareness events and/or projects with organizations such as IFFGD or AGMD. In the meantime, when she’s not as involved with awareness activities, she continues striving as a loving parent and wife for her two kids and husband. Her son, a college student, is pursuing a degree in pharmaceutical science as watching his mom sick with an incurable illness weighs heavy on his chest. His goal is to eventually work in a medical lab to help develop treatments and cures for other incurable diseases. Her daughter is a young author inspired to write, including gastroparesis in two of her novels. Not only has her daughter included the illness for awareness, but she hopes her books help inspire others to keep going even when it’s hard, regardless of life’s circumstances or hardships. In the upcoming years, Trisha will continue to support and be in awe of her two kids as they pursue their aspirations, while continuing to live her life not only managing her symptoms and conditions as best as possible, but also with gratitude for God’s blessings, big and small, that get her through each day.