Thought it was about time I provided an update on my own IBS – although I certainly don’t have as many bowel-related mishaps as I used to I’m still not a perfectly-intestined person, and I don’t think I ever will be.
Just as a reminder, or a heads-up to any new readers of this blog, a quick summary of my own IBS situation would be – food poisoning at 12, IBS sufferer ever since (that was 18 years ago now), mainly constipation but also spectacular diarrhea attacks at intervals, lots of pain and discomfort, now largely under control with Normacal, Celevac, magnesium citrate tablets and a gluten-free diet.
To put things in perspective, since the start of 2008 I would say I have probably had perhaps 10 days where something was clearly, tangibly wrong with my bowels. Compared to, say, the same period of time in 2001, that’s an incredible improvement. In 2001, the number would probably have been closer to 150 days, if not more.
I haven’t had a single spectacular diarrhea episode this year, which is fantastic, because they are just absolutely grim from start to finish – so painful, so intense, and just nasty.
What I do have are kind of odd bowel episodes where something is obviously wrong, but not to extremes. So I do have days of the big C, but I am usually back to normal within 24 hours. I do have days where it feels like my guts are over-inflated, and a couple of weeks back I had some impressively loud bowel sounds that were obviously a complaint from the gut department about something or other.
I also have days where, how can I put this politely – oh sod it, this is a bowel blog – my poops are fairly obviously the poops of someone with a bowel problem. Sometimes I care about this, but only really if it goes along with pain or discomfort (as it often does). Mostly I try to remind myself that even normal people have poopal variations.
And there we are. When people tell us to learn to live with our IBS, I imagine that this is what they think we are living with – bits of pain here and there, the odd day of discomfort. And it is pretty easy to live with, although there is always an IBS gremlin at the back of mind telling me that things could get worse at any moment.
But for now, I am, thankfully, amazingly, pretty darn well. Thank the good Gut Lord for that.