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sad tales: women with ibs-c page nine

The tale of...Lori (February 2006)

I am so grateful I have found this site! I hear a lot of people say they have IBS, but they really have no idea what it's about, or how much someone who has real IBS is suffering. Mine started about two years ago. I was going through several 'life changes' all at once when my symptoms began. I know that IBS doesn't just rear its ugly head during times of stress, and that the stress doesn't have to be bad stress, this is just when my symptoms presented themselves for the first time.

It began with the birth of my first grandchild, which next to giving birth to my own children was the most wonderful experience of my life. The day before she was born my father-in-law died unexpectedly. Then I went to planning a wedding for my daughter - if any of you have ever done this, you know that such a beautiful thing can make you crazy on more levels than you ever thought you could achieve!

During this time, my husband and I began to make plans to move from our home (a suburb of Atlanta) to his hometown in the mountains. We began the process of selling one house while simultaneously buying a new one. Also during this time I got a call from my Dad telling me that for the first time in his 62 years he was to be admitted to the hospital for a procedure to increase circulation in his legs - not a minor thing, but not a heart bypass either.

About two weeks later we found out that he had lung cancer, and the procedure he had had caused it to spread very quickly. He only lived about eight weeks after the original procedure was done. My husband and I moved, and a week later my daughter got married. I forgot to mention that I was matron of honor, as well as mother of the bride, and I was very ill on my daughter's wedding day. I was also very ill during my dad's funeral.

Since then I have struggled off and on with my IBS. I have seen at least 10 doctors who all say the same thing. I finally found a doctor who actually has IBS, so that was a blessing. He prescribed Lexapro (for anxiety) and another drug, the generic form is called Hyoscyamine, which helps me to be able to eat as I go days at a time without being able to eat anything.

Usually I can control my IBS with Mylanta maximum strength and/or Gas-X, but this week I have had the worst bout of IBS ever. I have been in bed most of the week, with pain that I could compare to childbirth, plus vomiting. I've been unable to eat at all, and now everything has broken loose and the diarrhea has begun.

I haven't been able to work, I've had to cancel most of my appointments this week, and it's impossible to get people to understand that this thing is always there lurking, and you never know when or where it's going to strike. It's not something that runs its course then goes away.

Today I feel better. I was actually able to venture out and go to my office, but I'll only stay half the day, as I feel very weak and tired. Yesterday the pain got so bad I thought seriously about going to the local emergency room. I was crying and begging God to just let me have a few minutes without this excruciating pain. Finally after several hours it subsided, but I was so weak I couldn't get out of bed for more than a few minutes, and I couldn't walk from one end of my house to the other.

I am fortunate to be self-employed - I had a regular job when the IBS first started but I was out sick so much that I was fired. So now I have work where I control the hours I work, but I still have clients to see, and I don't like to break commitments to them, it's bad business. I'm thinking of moving out of my office and go back to working from home because it would just be easier.

I am the type of person who needs to be busy, I am very active and the thought of being homebound or having to stay in bed for days or hours at a time is just depressing. Anyway, don't mean to feel sorry for myself, I'm just thankful that I found this site, and maybe through it I can find different ways to treat and cope with IBS.

E-mail Lori: [email protected]

The tale of...Lisa (7 February 2006)

Well, I am 38 years old and have had IBS ever since I can remember, but the older I get the worse it gets. At this point I feel like I have no life at all, it controls everything in my life. I am so tired of this, I sometimes just want God to take me. I still fight, but I'm so sick of all the doctors and pills that don't work and or just make things worse. But here I go to another doc again next week, still hoping.

One of the biggest reasons I have not taken my own life yet is because of my kids, I love them so, but this IBS is starting to make me an awful mother too. It's me saying 'sorry kids, can't go here, can't do this today', not to mention my husband is sick of it too, but no-one is more tired than I am. If anything at least say a pray today for me so I just don't give up one day.

E-mail Lisa: [email protected]

The tale of...Brooklynn (23 February 2006)

I am 24 years old and I experience severe ongoing constipation. It started when I began taking a colon cleansing supplement I saw on TV. I always thought this was a safe thing to do. What happened was that the pills ended up stripping the walls of my colon. I had a colonoscopy done and found out my peristaltic movement was basically non-existent.

My body is so used to taking laxatives that I can't function normally without them. My doctor gave me Zelnorm, but to be honest I think this medicine is just another pat-me-on-the-back drug to shut me up and appease me. No-one seems to be having any results with this drug and no-one seems to be getting any real answers or solutions.

I feel everyone's pain who suffers like this. I don't know how to wean my body off of laxatives because I have no bowel movement without them, and I get really sick, bloated and crampy when I can't have a bowel movement.

I would like to share a suggestion I heard. My mom's friend had this and went to a chiropractor and it completely helped her. I suppose the nerves in the back are connected to the nerves in the colon somehow and it stimulates activity down there. I am going to go see one soon. Also I heard an acupuncturist was good for stimulating all the areas of the body that have basically gone to sleep (like the colon).

My mom had stomach problems for years with cramping (not sure if it was IBS) and she cured herself by not drinking soda/pop and taking coral calcium - she calls it the fountain of youth, but it helped her tremendously.

I am just glad to know that I am not alone, because when I sit on the toilet (forever) in tears because of being constipated I feel depressed, alone and helpless. Thank you all for your stories. Any suggestions please let me know.

E-mail Brooklynn: [email protected]

The tale of...Patricia (13 March 2006)

I have been in this horrible nightmare for about five years now. My heart really goes out to anyone who lives with this condition. There are no simple answers, and doctors dismiss you as quickly as possible. At first I tried to fix it myself, didn't work. I have tried so many medicines and herbs, acupuncture - you name it I probably have tried it.

My life is so scary and seems unreal. I can't accept that I can't control this condition. Food is now my enemy and isolation my friend. I really can't remember what a day is like without pain. Using the bathroom can be terrifying. Sometimes I have to break off my feces to get things going. I know how that sounds but it's part of my life now.

I never plan anything, do not socialize, me and my husband share the same house, that's all. I feel trapped in my body, you can't escape the terror you feel. Only an IBS person would know what I am saying. If only the pain would stop, if only people could understand what you feel.

I carry so many medications with me I feel like an addict. A certain medicine works one day and not the next. One small thing can set off a raging storm in your body, and it will not stop, minutes can seem like hours. You pray 'God please make it stop, hello God are you there?'

E-mail Patricia: [email protected]

The tale of...Tammy (March 2006)

I am a 27 year-old female who has two kids. I have never been regular when it comes to bowel movements. I never thought too much about it when I was younger. I thought it was normal to not go for a week or two! Boy was I wrong!

I realized that it was really a problem after I had my daughter four years ago. I would get so bloated and gassy. I started to pay attention to how long I would go without going. At times I felt like my intestines were going to rupture. I talked to my OB/GYN about the situation. When I told him how long I go without bowel movements, he was in shock! He told me to go see a friend of his who is a gastro doc.

I went and had an examination and everything. He told me I was a prime candidate for IBS. I was put on Zelnorm. I had to use laxatives a lot in the past. The medicine worked for a few weeks and then seemed to stop working. They upped the dose and once again, it was like my body just got used to it. It is frustrating. I always feel like I am seven-months pregnant when I am only 105lbs! I worry, because I have a fear of intestinal rupture. I have been warned about it by my doctor.

I had another bad episode this week where I was throwing up because I was so blocked. I had to take laxatives for two days before I finally went to the bathroom! Is there ever going to be a solution to this? I'm sure you feel the same way. I just wish there was a better study on this condition. It is something many do not want to talk about. I feel that is why so many feel depressed, because it is difficult to talk about it to other people around you.

E-mail Tammy: [email protected]

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