Hello! My name is Amanda (or Mandy, I go by either one), I’m 24, and I’m a “spoonie for life.” I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis in 2010, and it was decently well managed (only 1-2 ER visits a year) until early 2015. At that point, my overall health took a big turn for the worse, I was in and out of the hopsital, and my health was an absolute wreck. This year has been filled with new specialists, many hospitalizations, countless tests, and new diagnoses. I have a decent list, but my “main ones” are Gastroparesis, Fibromyalgia, Celiac Disease, and Dysautonomia… and there’s an unfortunate possibility there’s still something going undiagnosed.
Every day is a struggle— a struggle to eat, to not lose my balance when I stand up, to walk up the stairs without taking a break, to push through the pain and the awful fatigue… but I’m a fighter!
Despite all this, I still work, in fact I own my own business! I’m self-employed as a horseback riding instructor. When my health allows it, I’m also a horse trainer. But I can teach while sitting down or while having a bad health day, so I try to make teaching my focus. I work 6 days a week, just not very many hours at a time due to fatigue.
My doctors have thankfully found a good mix of medications for me and I’ve been staying out of the hospital lately. Now that I’m stabilizing, I hope to start volunteering at a therapeutic riding facility this upcoming spring. I eventually want to become a therapeutic riding instructor, or perhaps even get into hippotherapy. I strongly believe in the healing and strengthening power of horses. The horses I work with keep me sane and focused through this crazy life I’m living 🙂