Chronic Illness

The Personal Hell That Is My IBS

Unfortunately, my gastroenterologist is now starting to suspect that my IBS may actually be something more than IBS. I have been dealing with my severe IBS-C for more than 20 years, so this is both not surprising and very frustrating. (Yes, I am only 26. I literally cannot recall a time in my life that I have not been constipated unless I was horribly ill and afflicted with diarrhea instead.) If I was told to name one singular illness that causes me the most negative impact on a daily basis, and that I have to most carefully plan my life around, I would choose my IBS. Yes, above the POTS that makes me so dizzy I can’t think straight, above the fibro that can make a gentle breeze feel like I’m being sand blasted, above the allergies that make my eyes feel like they’re full of sand, and above the asthma that can make me feel like I’m trying to run a marathon on top of Mt. Everest. My IBS literally runs my life and it is relentless.

gastroenterology

(Disclaimer: This post is going to talk about poop, just in case you hadn’t figured that one out; you might not want to be eating.)

What is IBS? Well, the name is extremely misleading. IBS itself stands for “Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” Now isn’t that a happy sounding illness. So my intestines get a little cranky, big whoop. Right? Oh, but you are so wrong. Have you had food poisoning? The kind that makes you have uncontrollable diarrhea? That makes your stomach feel like a giant fist has decided to take up residence in your stomach and squeeze your intestines into a ball and contort them into shapes they just shouldn’t make? Well guess what, that is what an “irritated bowel” feels like. Now imagine that for absolutely no reason other than your intestines just decided they got a little cranky all of a sudden, like a toddler throwing a tantrum. Actually, pretty much exactly like a small child throwing a tantrum. And it’s on a spectrum. Anywhere from age 10 (mild) to newborn with colic (extremely severe). The younger means the more tantrums means the more severe the case. Some people have very few “flare ups” and can live a fairly normal life, some people end up on disability and live a life chained to their toilet.

Now, it’s not always diarrhea, though it appears to be the more common form of IBS. Well, IBS-D (diarrhea predominant). Some people have specific triggers that will trigger one type and then some triggers that will trigger the other kind, so they just have a “general IBS” (like a good friend of mine). Mine, however, is IBS-C. I have constipation predominant IBS. I don’t think this one tends to put people on disability as often, even in extremely severe cases, simply because I am not having to run to the toilet every ten seconds and don’t run the risk of gross dehydration and multiple hospitalizations because of such. I can leave my house, usually. However, I do have symptoms that people cannot see that make life extremely miserable. The only person I ever let “see” these symptoms is Dan.

What are these symptoms? Well, let me try to explain a few.

  • The feeling of a knife being stabbed into my abdomen, usually just to the left of my belly button. I am not exaggerating. It will get so bad that I will fold in on myself and cry. This always scares Dan because of how high my pain tolerance is with everything else. It is caused by my intestines trying to squeeze down on constipation to move it through my system. Sometimes, though far less often, it can be caused by gas that is trapped behind constipation and is deforming my intestines.
  • Extreme gassiness. It gets so bad that I will have to ask for a pass from Dan from saying “excuse me” when I pass gas because it is literally happening every two seconds for over two minutes. This is by far the most embarrassing symptom. I have actually turned down invitations to attend things I really wanted to do because I couldn’t control my gas. If I try to hold it in, then I get extreme pain and discomfort in my abdomen, and my abdomen will visibly swell. If I try to just stay in a restroom until it passes, I will cause my hips and back to shift out of place and there will be big problems to work out in physical therapy because I will be in there too long (these attacks usually will last for over an hour). This is not related to what I eat.
  • Intestine spasms. I will go to the restroom, sometimes just peeing, and suddenly my bowels will start to spasm. These HURT. They hurt a lot. The muscles will suddenly decide they need to get something out, or they pretend they need to. However, the spasms are just completely uncoordinated. Every now and then, they do actually result in something coming out, so I can’t get off the toilet until they subside, but usually they are just a bunch of random spasms. This usually results in my trips to the restroom taking about thirty minutes. Sometimes I’ll even space out and forget where I am (especially if I’m really POTsie that day). This is part of why I try to avoid using the restroom anywhere buy my own home. I really can’t control when these will happen. Sometimes I can force these to come to an end by pushing or clenching pretty hard, but I’m always worried that I will somehow damage something.

Those are the non-stool related symptoms that most impact my life on a daily basis. I also have to deal with: delayed gastric emptying (pretty much gastroparesis but caused by full intestines instead of paralysis of the stomach, but it has the same symptoms), visible bloat that varies constantly and is painful to touch that makes me appear overweight even though I actually have a small waist, constant nausea, and lack of appetite.

Then there is the obvious one: constipation. I don’t have some constipation, either. I didn’t realize my thought of what constipation was and what most people thought of constipation was different until I needed Dan to fix the toilet once either.

First, some background.** I have some massive emotional/mental trauma in regards to the restroom thanks to my IBS. My parents didn’t understand it and were extremely frustrated by it while I was growing up. As I said, I’ve had it my whole life. Because of such, they didn’t handle it well. As a kid, they would stand in the restroom with me (while I was sitting on the toilet in immense pain) and yell at me about how I wasn’t trying hard enough while I choked down milk of magnesia and tried to push it out. It hurt, and they were telling me I wasn’t pushing I was clenching and I needed to push and how if I would just drink water then this wouldn’t keep happening but we weren’t going anywhere until I was done even though my feet were asleep and my butt hurt from the seat. Yup, a bit traumatic. Then, as I got older and the problem continued, I got banished from the downstairs bathroom, and was only allowed to use one bathroom in the house, and I had to break up the poop with popsicle sticks or corndog sticks or fish it out with trashbags and throw it away in the large trashcan (by the way, you could only get to the large trash can by going out the front door and walking across the entire front of the house to get to the trash can on the opposite side of the house from the front door and my parents don’t live on a super isolated street) if the sticks weren’t available because I wasn’t allowed to clog the toilet at all anymore, and I wasn’t allowed to walk outside at night so the few times I was out of sticks at night and there weren’t any bags in the restroom without holes I actually used my bare hands because I was so afraid of getting in trouble and that smell just doesn’t wash out until all your skin falls off and that much scrubbing really hurts over the course of a week. By the way, the only restroom I was allowed to use is the only restroom in the house with a working shower. I got really good at washing poop out of my underwear. They would force me to choke down Metamucil and Citrucel (both make me WAY worse, as I’ve discovered, even at half doses which they were having me do full doses), and I was drinking more than eight glasses of water (which I actually hate). I ate bean burritos for lunch every single day, which is also a lot of fiber, and I did actually get a decent amount of exercise. They would take me to the doctor and be like “she’s constipated because she isn’t doing the right stuff” and the doc would be like “okay, then she needs to do the right things” and I’d just be all weak voiced on the table and say “but I am” and no one would listen. It got to a point where I actually thought this was just how it had to be forever. Until:

I had the flu or something, or maybe it was just late, I can’t remember. I was really exhausted and didn’t feel that well. I was staying at Dan’s house (I pretty much lived there). He lived in the basement of the house, so that toilet was really finicky, which I was well aware of, and I’d clogged it several times. The plumbing had a root problem thanks to the tree in the front yard so it was just finicky. Anyway, I felt the telltale cramping, and I went to the restroom. I was in there quite some time, and then I came out. I hadn’t flushed, and I asked Dan if he had a grocery bag (which is what we use for trash bags in all but the kitchen trash cans, by the way) that didn’t have a hole in it. He looked at me like I was completely insane, and asked why. When I turned the color of a red crayola and then said, sheepishly, “Well, it’s quite large and I don’t want to clog the toilet, so I was just going to go throw it out…” he looked at me like I had just requested a lobotomy and said, quite blatantly, “Clog the toilet.” I started stammering nonsense about how I really didn’t want to and if he just had a bag it would only take a second and it really was okay, and I think I maybe started to cry and he looked terrified. He was completely confused. Suddenly, I was confused. Why was he telling me to clog a toilet he was always cursing about having to unclog and did he just suddenly tell me to use the plunger to break it up?! (By the way, the plunger was not even kept in the restroom at my parents house but in the garage and it was not supposed to touch poop.) I felt like I was in another dimension. Suddenly he was telling me to sit on the bed. I think I was pale, because I was shaking and getting woozy, which normally happens after I use the restroom. Then I was mortified because, before I could stop him, he was in the restroom! We hadn’t even been dating very long and he was going to see my poop! But it was too late, I could hear him doing something with the plunger. It took several minutes, but then I heard the toilet work normally. He washed his hands and came back in with a VERY concerned look on his face: (him:) “Are you okay?” (me:) “What?” “Are you okay? Do we need to go to urgent care? Do you need anything?” “What are you talking about? I’m fine, I’m just thirsty and tired.” “You’re sure? You aren’t going to pass out?” “It’s 2am, I’m exhausted.” “But, you’re fine? That was huge and there was blood…” “Um, I was just a little constipated. That’s normal… isn’t it?” “WHAT?!” “I think we need to talk…”

I was so used to being HORRENDOUSLY constipated all the time that I thought NORMAL constipation was being so constipated that you bled when you pushed it out. Yes, I thought you were only constipated when you were so badly constipated that you tore your anus. I thought anything small enough that it came out without blood wasn’t constipation. And, remember, I said that I pretty much can’t remember not being constipated. Yes, pretty much every single time I pooped I bled for TWENTY YEARS! The time he freaked out wasn’t even all that big, honestly. I’ve had just a few spots of blood on toilet paper, which I’m always thankful for… because I’ve also bled so badly that I’ve had to put panty liners my underwear to be sure I didn’t get blood on my pants from anus. I have bled so badly from pooping that I’ll get blood on toilet paper for several days (luckily, it only comes off on the toilet paper). I will be so constipated that the muscles in my pelvic floor simply aren’t strong enough to help get the poop out and I have to help by squeezing on the skin to reshape the fecal matter inside of me. I have had stools that are one solid piece that is the width of my wrist (I have tiny wrists for an adult, so about three inches wide) and at least six inches long, and completely solid, and that is completely normal for me. I have gone three weeks without having a bowel movement, and not noticed until suddenly I have an urge to go and the dread creeps in and I start thinking about when I went last and then the fear creeps in as I start to think about how much it’ll hurt and how much trouble I’ll get into. TMI, but it’s the truth.

Why am I sharing this? Because I have felt so helplessly alone and I thought it was NORMAL. I was trapped in hell for twenty years and I don’t want anyone else to be trapped there. I have developed an actual fear of using the restroom. I’m not just afraid of using the restroom in public, I’m actually afraid of going to the restroom, period.

I’m not just afraid of pooping, I’m afraid of peeing because I don’t know if suddenly my body will decide it wants to poop. I don’t actually have complete control of my bowels, so it’s actually a very real fear. I also will suddenly get a very strong “I must find a restroom NOW” sensation when my bowels do decide to move, in which I have exactly one minute to find a restroom or I will risk pooping in my pants. It’s the most terrifying part of this whole thing, because I’m always afraid it will happen when I’m out. I think it’s also a result of twenty years of untreated bowel and sphincter stretching: I think it broke my nerves. Thankfully, Dan knows about it and will find me a restroom if I say, “I need a restroom right now” and won’t let anyone try to make me hold it; he recognizes the terror in my eyes and knows exactly what it means.

Dan is the first person that truly listened. He was the first person I let past the wall I’d built to hide my digestive distresses. He was the first person that said “this isn’t normal, I think you should see a doctor.” Because of him, I finally took the steps necessary to start getting help. It’s taken way too long though. I only got my first IBS diagnosis at Metro and was given antispasmodic drugs because of stabbing in my abdomen around exam time, but I brushed it off after I could manage it again when I quite school. I didn’t go to a GI until I started choking on food, then decided that “you know what, enough is finally enough and this stomach stuff is getting ridiculous” because it started getting worse and I trusted my doctor.

Unfortunately, this post is the first time I have been able to fully disclose all of this to anyone other than Dan because of the trauma. But I need to. I know that I can’t be the only one that is living in their own person hell with IBS or something similar. As a culture, restroom discussions are taboo. I know it’s unsanitary and uncomfortable, but unfortunately, it makes people like me suffer for far longer than necessary. Why is it that we can joke about married couples and best friends not shutting doors when we pee/poop, but we can’t talk about serious medical conditions that involve the digestive tract? I think it’s time we talk about it, and without the snickering.


** I love my family. I truly deeply love my family and would gladly do anything for them. There were some things in my childhood that caused trauma for me as an adult, but part of being able to move past them is accepting them. Writing about it is part of that acceptance. I only put it on the internet as part of this blog post because it is an integral part of understanding the entire story and my mental issues involving the restroom.

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33 thoughts on “The Personal Hell That Is My IBS

  1. This post was a true triumph and you should be super proud to open up about it. I’ve had stomach problems for well over 4 years but was only diagnosed with IBS-D in 2016. Unfortunately my biggest ‘set-off’ is stress which I suffer with anxiety anyway so it’s almost 100% accurate that a panic attack in a day will cause excruciating pain on the loo later. You are so not alone either with your fear of the toilet, I have been fearing the loo for too long. But when that horrible first spasm sets in and the realisation that your surrounded by hundreds of people and you need to get to a toilet – it is seriously distressing. Thank you so much for posting about all this though, there’s only so much a doctor can explain about IBS but only someone who suffers with it can tell you the ins and outs; literally. I hope your phobias lift and I hope your intestines give you plenty of moments of peace.
    Much love,
    Saranaran.

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment ❤
      The urgency is so terrifying! I imagine it's a little scarier with IBS-D, but it's still quite terrifying with IBS-C! I'm sorry you understand what I'm talking about in this post. I'm just glad I was able to connect ❤
      (Stress is a big trigger for me too!)

      Much love ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. To Elizabeth. Thank you for your concern. IBS is a trip to hell that is for sure. What kind of symptoms do you experience? Anything helped you in the past or present? I just received news from my CT scans to abdomen and pelvis, that all is good. No abnormalities were noted. I honestly thought I had cancer. No, I have not had a colonoscopy due to fear of the anesthesia. I am a RN and I have seen things go horribly wrong with patients who have had anesthesia. I have had all the fecal tests done. They all came back negative. My Cologuard test was done six months ago, and that to came back negative.I understand what everyone is going through. Good luck and God bless to all.

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    1. Right now I take two VSL #3 (or Visbiome) capsules every day, and it’s the one thing that helps a little. I can definitely tell if I forget to take it!!!
      I’ve tried Linzess and Amitiza, but they both cases me to have intermittent and horrible diarrhea… Resulting in accidents and days where I could barely move from fatigue and dehydration. Obviously, my body way overreacts to them.
      I also took a course of Xifaxin, which gave me some relief from my bloating for a few weeks, but now I’m back to how I was.

      I deal with early satiety, bloating from food, abdominal cramping, stabbing pains in both lower quadrants, extreme nausea, and severe constipation. 😦

      I’ve been put under several times. I don’t like it, but I don’t have adverse reactions (well, I act a little drunk when I wake up… But that’s it) thankfully. I really wanted to make sure everything was fine since colon cancer runs in my family. Thankfully, it was normal.

      We’re probably going to be doing a gastric emptying test soon. He seems think gastroparesis may be complicating the IBS. 😦

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  3. I have been suffering from IBS for at least 28 years. It gets so bad I begin to think I am suffering from stomach or colon cancer. Colon and stomach test come back negative. My gastro doctor diagnosed me as having functional gastric dyspepsia or IBS. Right now my stomach feels like it is being cut by glass. I also have severe bloating, terrible gas, nausea, and facial flushing. The worst part of the syndrome is the colonic spasms before, during and after a bowel movement. Sometimes the spasms are so severe I actually vomit. Then comes the weakness and sweats. After that bad bm there are several more that follow. It seems one bm triggers a few more with even more cramping. I am to the point now that I have developed a bathroom phobia. A particularly bad case will last for several weeks at a time. I am now suffering a severe bout that has lasted almost 2 weeks. This syndrome will rob you of a quality of life. Meds have not been of any benefit to me. So I have accepted this suffering as a part of my life. I also suffer from panic disorder. Heating pads, alternative diets and such do nothing to help me. So, I am in empathy with all those IBS sufferers out there. God bless all.

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    1. 😥 I’m so sorry!!! That’s awful!
      I understand the spasms, they suck. My strong dislike (boarding on emetophobia) of vomiting I think is the only reason I haven’t actually gotten sick from them.

      Have you had a colonoscopy? My doctor had decided that mine was bad enough, and so unresponsive to medication, that he wanted to check for IBD. Apparently, sometimes, it can cause constipation if it’s in the right spot. Yours sounds so miserable, I just wanted to throw it out there.

      I’m so sorry that you have to deal with this awful condition… I wouldn’t wish it in anyone! I hope someday you may get some relief ❤

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  4. Try a really tough Paleo diet. It’s mostly low FODMAP veges with not too much animal protein. It works really well and the only time it doesn’t work is when I lose the willpower to stick with it. The hardest thing is having veges for breakfast. And the cost – Paleo is expensive!

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    1. Unfortunately, my food allergies make it extremely difficult to do those diets and actually get the proper nutrition. I’m allergic to all nuts (tree nuts and peanuts) so I can’t use them to get protein… I also have a lot of other random food allergies. I’ve been looking into doing different diets to help with my various conditions, but my allergies all make it so that I can’t really get proper nutrition from them 😦
      At least, not by doing them on my own. I’m going to have to get better allergy testing and go to a dietitian.

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  5. I would first like to applaud your bravery in this post. I know from experience just how hard this can be to talk about much less experience. I am a D-IBS sufferer, and only 33 years old but suddenly in the sometimes disabled crowd. I understand exactly how you feel having someone who can be supportive and non-judgemental with you. I have my own Dan, (who is a girl, and also not named Dan), who has supported me and cared for me the past few years I’ve been sick.
    I have been reading a lot of newer research about IBS, and taken steps towards some treatments which I’m finding to be quite effective against my worst symptoms. Peppermint oil can ease bloating and does not interact with other medications. It can also alleviate intestinal spasming. That’s something you could try which won’t mess with your other medications/supplements.

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    1. Thanks! Do you know if there is a way to take it that you don’t have to smell it? If the smell is strong it triggers my migraines, but sometimes if it’s weaker it makes me nauseous. I really want try be able to use it for some other ailments too, so I’m really curious about that!
      I didn’t know it worked on IBS, so now I’m really hoping I can figure out a work around for the smell thing because it really sounds like I need to get it to work!!!
      Thank you 🙂

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      1. You actually won’t smell it at all. The best way to get it is in enteric gel-coated capsules, that release in the stomach/ileum. I found that even when they release higher up, they have an effect all the way down the tract. What I would advise, is to find the lowest dose possible. It doesn’t take much to be effective, and I am currently stuck with a higher dose one which when taken without a meal causes minty-fresh heartburn and which on several occasions I ‘tasted twice’. This never happened with a lower dose. With your other conditions, either of those could be pretty uncomfortable. 50 mg was good, I’m now taking 180 mg doses, which is too much.

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  6. Hey Elizabeth, great post, i think its really brave to include something like this and so personal, even though these issues shouldn’t be considered taboo. I’ve suffered, and I’ve known others to suffer with IBS, personally I found going to a doctor never really helped and western medicine/drugs were not very useful.

    I’ve created a health and fitness blog http://buffbanana.com/
    trying to reach out and help people with issues like these, as well as other fitness articles. Its in its early stages but I plan to create more posts that address natural ways to heal or manage IBS/ digestive issues.

    Until I write those certain posts, which may take a while for me to get around to them, I want to just list a few things that have really helped me and I can honestly say pretty much have healed my gut/IBS although not totally, I do get food intolerance- but not as much. I’m more familiar with IBS-D rather than C but i hope either way these natural remedies will help:

    Lemon juice- in the morning mixed with warm water on an empty stomach, helps to clear your system
    Ginger/ ginger teas- twinings do a great ginger and lemon herbal teas
    Mint teas etc. in fact all warm/hot drinks really help with digestion i find, i drink a lot of herbal teas everyday.
    Tumeric- if you can juice a tumeric root and drink it, great, if not buy the powder and create a little concoction of tumeric/lemon juice/ cinnamon/ black pepper (tiny bit helps with absorption) – all of these ingredients are great for digestion.
    Bone Broth – If you are not a vegetarian or anything, can really help heal the gut, it tastes great as well, definitely recommend.
    Use digestive enzymes to help breakdown food in your stomach- will give your gut an easier time and it can concentrate on healing if it’s damaged, another thing to use is probiotics, best to take them in natural form like kefir or sauerkraut etc. (dont take too much at the begining! need to let your body get used to it).
    Also I find if you eat more stews/ crock pot/ slow cooker meals that have been slow cooked for ages are easier to digest and give great nutrients.
    Using coconut oil is great too, to cook with/even use as a butter substitute on a sandwich or something like that.
    Also make sure you have your vitamins, usually with the gut, zinc is whats neaded, maybe get a multivitamin with zinc, magnesium and iron.

    Also the part where you mentioned your stomach felt really bloated, I’m not sure but it would seem similar to leaky gut, which i managed to heal! my article on leaky gut: http://buffbanana.com/leaky-gut/
    With leaky gut, after every meal I felt really bloated and i knew it wasn’t going to digest well, healing this took time using methods above, but stick to it. Also I believe i actually got leaky gut from drinking too much alcohol, so avoid alcohol on your healing process.

    Other things to avoid are food intolerance, usually they are grains – so bread might be an issue/ milk (lactose) etc.

    Sorry for the very long reply, I felt compelled to help after hearing your story, if you haven’t already done so, try these natural ways to heal your gut, It may take a while, but I hope you get better, even if it doesn’t cure you, It is definitely possible to get to a stage of managing this issue effectively and getting on with life with out this added burden!

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    1. Thank you for the feedback.

      I have to really watch what I do with citrus fruits and juices because I have contact allergies to citric acid. We discovered it a kid because I was obsessed with orange juice and would play around or citrus trees and would get tons of ulcers in my mouth and on my hands and legs. I did try it missed with water on an empty stomach once and it felt AWFUL. Sadly, I guess that option just won’t work for me.
      However, I have found that some lemon teas and stuff do work really well. Unfortunately, I can only use the hot tea method in the winter because dysautonomia makes temperature regulation difficult in hot months (I don’t have a/c) but they really do help a lot! I don’t like straight ginger (it burns mouth) but I have a ginger lemon tea that calms my belly when I get nauseous.
      I’ve been meaning to try tumeric, I just haven’t gotten a chance to look into making sure it won’t interact poorly with any of my other medications. I know sooner herbs and supplements can mess with medications and I really don’t want to accidentally screw up something!
      I take VSL #3 every other day (usually) or every day if I’m having problems. If I travel I switch to Align since it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. They’re the only two that seem to do anything at all, but I’m hypersensitive to them so I can swing wildly around if my body gets cranky. But they definitely can help!

      I do have several food sensitivities but my (allergist) doctor doesn’t want me to eliminate them from my diet completely so that they don’t become full allergies. It’s frustrating to say the least!

      Thank you for your feedback! I’ll have to read your articles and look into those things a little more. 🙂

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      1. Ah I see, it’s really difficult to hear that, it does sound like a massive burden and you have to be very, very cautious about what you eat, definitely listen to your body and only try what you are comfortable with. I’m sure you will be able to manage this problem if you don’t give up and slowly try new remedies every now and again. Best of luck and stay positive! 🙂

        P.s if its difficult to try new healing foods etc. maybe you could look into meditation, breathing exercises and yoga, there are specific moves to help with digestion, (I’m planning to write an article on that at some point but I’m sure a google search will suffice for now if you ever wanted to try these out).

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        1. It does get really frustrating! I really wish the IBS want there because paired with everything else it just feels like an impossible mountain.

          I didn’t realize there were yoga poses that were specific to digestion. I’ll have to look into that because I love yoga! Thank you and I’ll look for your article!

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  7. After reading these posts, I couldn’t help but reply.
    I was diagnosed with IBS when I was only 11 years old in the 80’s. Even less was understood about IBS back then. It took me decades of research and being my own guinea pig. But, now, I am 41 years old, healthy and strong. I have helped hundreds of others over the last 16 years in my clinic overcome their IBS. I have saved many from having their bowel’s removed their IBS-C was so bad. If you would like to learn more, check out my book, “Combat Irritable Bowels” available on Amazon. I would love to hear from you, to see if I helped you too!
    https://www.amazon.com/Combat-Irritable-Bowels-Dis-Ease/dp/1943753075/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1470724757&sr=8-1&keywords=combat+irritable+bowel+karin
    Dr. Karin

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    1. Thank you.
      Right now I might have stumbled upon another few potential things (that I don’t have enough information to write about yet), but if they don’t pan out, I’ll definitely be keeping this in mind.

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  8. I have IBS-C also. I must have had it growing up and didn’t realize it. I was constipated ate age 16 and had these weird pain-free abdominal spasms (tics?) Which I still have. One night when I turned about 50 I woke up at three in the morning with a knife like stabbing pain where my appendix used to be. It was so painful it woke me up. Then I went to the bathroom and had a huge BM (Poop) LOL. Of course I thought i I had a burst cyst on my right ovary. The OBGYN said nope.. I had a cyst on my left ovary though.. which went away. Soon after that I started experiencing very painful and loud gas. I swear I lost a home health job over that! I was farting all day long especially in the morning. One day I was so bloated I had to go to the thrift store for stretchy waist-ed pants. Eventually I was diagnosed with IBS-C by my gastroenterologist and although I was already taking a fiber drink once a day for my hemorrhoids I was told to now take two a day which I still do. When my daughter married 5 years ago I didn’t eat anything all day until the evening reception because I didn’t want to pass gas during the wedding or reception. Now thank God I have gas, but not so painful,. I do have shooting pains on my right side when constipated though. I’ve learned to live with it. Fiber drinks cause more gas of course by they are a necessary thing.

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    1. Benefiber doesn’t cause me any gas, thankfully, but it doesn’t seem to help me too much. Though it seems to prevent me from swinging to diarrhea when ill.
      The other fiber drinks cause me extend pain, extreme pain, and actually make my constipation way worse. It’s the types of fiber they’re made of, and my body doesn’t need it. I’m glad it helps you though!

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      1. I use psyllium fiber even though it causes gas, I have no choice, Benefiber doesn’t do the job for me. I do get diarrhea and gas from raw fruits especially cherries. Otherwise I’m constipated and the fact that I have POP (Pelvic Organ Prolapse- another can of worms there), I have to be careful not to strain when having a BM or it might make it worse. Believe you me, having your uterus and/or bladder pushing against you vaginal wall and bulging out the vagina isn’t a nice way to live. For your sake I hope IBS is all you have. POP and IBS go hand in hand sometimes.

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  9. Oh girl. I unfortunately get how this can be traumatic. I swap back and forth between ibs-d and ibs-c, and it’s like the most embarrassing thing when you have no idea when our how it’ll take place. I’m sure many of us spoonies completely understand though. I swear, I was in so much pain sometimes, I developed a mini phobia.

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    1. Thank you. It’s terrifying, and it’s nice to know I’m not completely alone (though, I’m sorry).
      I definitely have a lot of anxiety about going, which I’m working on. Hopefully, someday, it won’t be as bad for either of us.

      Liked by 1 person

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