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embarrassing tales page nine

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When my two kids were younger is when IBS started for me, about 13 years ago. We were on our way back from the mall (about a half hour drive). I told my husband to take the back roads. We live out in the country, it was the middle of winter and I felt that feeling of a washing machine in my belly.

I asked my husband to pull over because I could not hold it anymore. I pulled my pants down and let it rip on the side of the road in the dark. Just as I was about to finish, a car started coming down the road. My hubby says 'Here honey, hide in behind the door.' Well the car slows down and who was it but his parents asking what was going on, had we broken down? That was truly the most embarrassing moment of my entire IBS life.

I have had IBS since I can remember, but not constipation just diarrhea, and with pain so bad I feel I am in labor. Now let me tell you one of my many humiliating IBS tales. I had eaten out with my son and husband. I told them I have to find a bathroom. As usual they are annoyed.

We stop at a store, and by now the waves of cramps are well on their way down through my guts, I can hardly walk and it's hard to speak. I double over, walk through the store and then I urgently ask a clerk where the bathroom is. He tells me it is down the aisle, in the back and way around the corner. By now it is too late and I feel the oil leaking out my butt. With each step more squirts out. I hope no one can see it, but I know they can smell it as I pass by.

I get into the bathroom, a two stall one, and just as I get my pants down, diarrhea sprays the wall behind the toilet and is seeping like fast lava into the stall next door. It was a major blast, a machine gun powerfully violent explosion. I am in vain trying to clean up the diarrhea in the other stall from my stall while sitting on the toilet exploding some more with only toilet paper to clean it up with.

When suddenly some lady comes in and goes in the next stall. She makes a nasty comment about the smell and then goes out and gets the can of air freshener and sprays the whole can in the bathroom under my stall (kicking up my asthma) and comments 'It's called air freshener, use it!' and she storms out.

I could not leave the throne, only gasp for breath, close my eyes from the lingering spray and send my explosions into the toilet doubled over with tight pinching cramps. When I could get up I threw away my underwear and scrubbed my hands and was going to try and clean up the mess when another lady came in and said 'Oh my god.' She asked if I did it and I said, 'No I used the other one. That stall is too gross.' I was ashamed for lying but once again my gut had humiliated me.

I dread eating. I have a map of every public bathroom in my vicinity. I prefer the two stalls, in case I get stuck. Oh, when I went back out to the car my son and husband said, 'Where have you been, it's been over an hour!' I go through these gut IBS attacks three to four times every single day. I'm tired of doctors telling me I must have food poisoning, or must be stressed, or it's something I'm eating. It doesn't matter what I eat, it happens.

They tell me to drink water: one glass of water has me rolling in pain and chained to the toilet all day. I wonder why I keep on living.

E-mail address: [email protected]

I have had IBS for 26 years and find that the most difficult thing to cope with is the unpredictability. A few years ago I had to drive my son back to university. We were on an interstate in Michigan. We had just passed the rest stop when IBS hit even though I had made a point of using the bathroom just before we left home.

Just then the traffic came to a dead stop. I never did figure out what the problem was. The pain and cramps came in ever more intense waves. Finally I climbed into the back seat of our van and squatted on the wastebasket into which I had stuffed a plastic bag.

I think the people in the vehicles around me must have been wondering what I was doing. I don't think they could see me, but at that point I didn't care. We were stuck in that traffic jam for at least an hour and I really don't think I could have lasted. My poor son was mortified.

My most embarrassing time had to be in the middle of grocery shopping in Australia on vacation a year ago, I knew I needed to go the bathroom. It was nowhere to be found. Despite all my efforts at holding it in, I passed stool in my underwear. I had to waddle through the store, pay for my purchases, then hunt up the rest room. The fact that I was a foreigner somehow made it worse. Ugh!

I'm improving. My energy is better, pain is down, and my weight is regained to near normal. I have not been on suppositories for months, despite my ulcerative proctitis and IBS.

E-mail address: [email protected]

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