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sad tales: women with ibs-c page fifteen

The tale of...Marion (June 2007)

The biggest problem I have is trying to describe my symptoms to a medical professional. Even during each episode I try to find words that describe what discomfort I'm experiencing. It's not cramps, not pain, just a discomfort which I find hard to describe. Some nausea, movements in the abdomen (but not spasms) sometimes in the upper abdomen, then the middle abdomen, then the lower or sometimes lower-left abdomen, all occurring while in bed in the morning.

They last from 15 to 30 minutes, then a period of rest followed by another episode in a different part of the abdomen. All lasting from about 8am to l2pm or 1pm. The rest of the day is usually pretty good, especially from midnight to 8am when it starts all over again. Has anyone ever experienced these symptoms and has had difficulty describing them so that they can get help, and can you help me?

E-mail Marion: [email protected]

The tale of...Pamela (23 June 2007)

IBS is totally ruining my life. I'm 43, and I have so many days I want to just lay down and die I am so miserable. I was in the hospital six times in three months on IV pain medications, had every test imaginable done, and they never said what I had. A doctor I had years ago told me I had IBS so that's what I am going by.

I suffer just like everyone on this site. I get to where I can't go to the bathroom, or if I do it's runny. I also get vomiting, and gas build up so bad I feel like I'm dying. Sometimes I feel like I don't know what I'm doing because I'm in so much pain. I get to where I can't eat or sleep, and if I do sleep I usually end up waking up sick or in pain. My energy is no good either.

I understand the not wanting to go out in public because of the embarrassment, that's why I only leave my apartment when it is necessary, which is maybe two times a month. I have a boyfriend who does not understand what's happening to me anymore than I really do, but I'm so afraid this is going to come between us some day that's how bad it is. I get to where I don't want to be sexual with him cause I'm in pain so much that I can't think about anything else.

I have tried to do things to keep my mind off the IBS but it doesn't work. I am nauseous most of the time, and I can't eat many foods without getting sick. I don't even enjoy being around people, as a matter of fact I have a few people I'll talk to on the phone but I don't have any friends I can go out and do things with (not that I would). Please get back to me so I have someone to chat with. Some days I think I would be better off dead.

E-mail Pamela: [email protected]

The tale of...Renee (26 October 2007)

Well, the last 17 months have been hell. All the health professionals think I'm mad. My GP told me to pull myself together! I am a single mum of two children, who have watched helplessly as I crawl out of bed clutching my stomach, vomiting uncontrollably. The endless array of symptoms: constipation, vomiting, pains in both legs, severe lower back pain, continuous stomach cramps. The list goes on.

I have gone to accident and emergency on countless occasions - once in an ambulance! It began when I miscarried. After that all my symptoms followed my period - guess what they investigated me for - endometriosis. The GP decided I had gynecological problems, even though on one of my visits to A and E the consultant said I had IBS! Then a pelvic scan, all OK. Then a sigmoid flex, nothing again.

While this all went on everything in my life was going wrong, falling apart. My life was based on going to the doctors and begging them to see I had a severe illness! I am on the verge of losing my job which I love. My employers cannot tolerate my poor attendance due to my IBS. My eldest daughter is on anti-depressants and my youngest is now a mini me!

Finally yesterday I had a colonoscopy. I prayed the night before that they would say 'Hey, you have Crohn's or bowel cancer'. Anything other than IBS - sad but my life is a mess because of this illness in all senses. I'm lucky that I have a wonderful partner (who I don't live with). He has supported me throughout, he found this site. It is frustrating - no, it's heartbreaking. I would love to tell you more, I have more to say.

E-mail Renee: [email protected]

The tale of...Michelle (2 November 2007)

I was finally told I have IBS two years ago by a gastro doctor. I knew before I went through a long list of procedures, from two upper GI tract evaluations to lower GI tract evaluations that I had IBS with constipation. I've had it all my life.

I'm 34 and now I'm dealing with depression, weight gain, and no pain meds to make the horrible cramping/pain go away. Zelnorm was taken off the shelf and now my eight-year-old daughter has it too. I do not want her to go through the same pain I went through. If anyone knows how/what to give children to help with the pain and constipation please let me know. I've taken her to the doctor and they gave her a powder that gets mixed with drinks, but it doesn't seem to help much.

I'm in the military and luckily I've made it to 15 years, but with the weight gain and stomach pain, I'm losing a battle to make 20 years of service so that I may retire. I'm frustrated with the military doctors and the excuses they give me (don't eat this/that, exercise, drink lots of water, eat lots of fiber), it gets old. They gave me a lifetime supply of Colace for a solution!

I've taken the best measures I know of and decided to have a tummy tuck to help with the weight...maybe it will help me. I don't know how I'm going to help my daughter and seeing her cry every week because her belly aches is killing me. I wish we had more doctors paying attention to how much we suffer.

I've spent many nights with a heating pad on my stomach curled up in a ball, not able to walk or sit up straight. My husband gets upset when I'm that way and hates that I have to be in so much pain...I wish all of you guys luck and hope we get relief soon. Thanks for listening.

E-mail Michelle: [email protected]

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