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embarrassing tales page one

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So after my second pregnancy, I had IBS-diarrhea with mucus, blood, severe cramping and abdominal pain. Early in the day, I had a poop attack so I assumed I would be good to go to the park (with a port-a-potty). We were there for an hour having fun. But then I started having gas and cramping. I knew I was about to blow. So I managed to get my two-year-old on board for a potty trip while carrying my six-month-old. But it wasn't there!

I frantically searched for it. I saw one about five blocks away across the park and on the other side of the pond. I made it there dragging my kids but it was too late. As soon as I opened the door and pulled my pants down there was an explosion. I didn't make it to the hole. The poop was all over the floor of the port-a-potty. I've never been so humiliated in my life!

My daughter and I were renting a vacation house by the beach which had only one bathroom. She was in the bathroom when I had to go. I had to use the cats' litter box or have a terrible mess. Needless to say, my cats were very puzzled about this. Many has been the time when I fantasized about having a porta potty in my van. Even with three Imodium, I still can have what I call breakthrough pooping.

I make so many trips to the bathroom that at one point while in the bathroom I started to think about potty as an Olympic Event, with styles of rolling the toilet paper and styles of wiping and toilet dismount. It became very funny and I am almost tempted to write a funny book for IBS sufferers. Of course I envisioned myself as a champion toilet goer!

Seriously though, IBS has ruined all my outings with worry or actually having to tear through places to get to the bathroom.


I was diagnosed with IBS about seven years ago. Like most of us I have had both good days and bad days and the odd truly horrible day.

About three weeks ago I had a lunch meeting with a business associate from out of town. Things went well business-wise and IBS-wise. After the meeting I headed back to my car to drive back to the office. As I was walking to the car I felt the familiar tinge of IBS discomfort but it was relatively mild, and knowing that the office was no more than 15 minutes away I figured I would be OK. If only you could go back in time...

I'm driving along and suddenly traffic comes to a halt on a street that usually moves pretty smoothly. I was at a standstill for about five minutes when I start thinking that maybe I should have used the washroom at the restaurant. I had the radio on in the car and heard the traffic report that comes on every 10 minutes. There had been a crash about half a kilometer down the road that was being cleaned up. They expected delays of about 20 minutes. I was pretty sure I didn't have 20 minutes.

I had a way out because just a half a block away was a street that I could turn left on that would take me to another street that would get me back to the office. Checking that there was no oncoming traffic I turned into the lane on my left and zoomed over to the street that would be my savior and turned left. What I didn't know was that three cars behind me was a police cruiser.

Next think I know I see flashing red lights in my rearview mirror. I pull over and tell the officer that I ordinarily wouldn't have done what I did but I have IBS and need to get to a bathroom yesterday. Unfortunately she was not the least bit sympathetic. Not only was she going to ticket me for an unsafe turn she was also writing me up for an illegal left turn. The street I turned on has a turning restriction between 7am and 6pm.

By the time the officer returned to the car with tickets in hand it was too late. My pants were full and my leather seats were stained. I called the office and advised that I would be gone the rest of the day and drove home to clean myself and my car. Fortunately my wife was not home and didn't come home for a couple of hours so I never had to share the story with her.

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I just turned 20 and I have been suffering with IBS since the onset of puberty, when I was nine, nine and a half. It started off with alternating diarrhea and constipation, and when I was about 12 it became primarily constipation. Through most of high school, grades 9-11, I would go about four weeks without a bowel movement. I would suffer straining in vain for the weeks in between, and the bowel movement I managed to have after four weeks was always laxative-induced.

I remember in 9th grade when I was around five foot three and a slender 110 pounds, yet had a large distended stomach that always bothered me. And what was most embarrassing is how I would soil my panties and not even know it.

I was always sluggish, tired, could never seem to get enough sleep and would feel depressed and very insecure, I never felt good enough for other people. I isolated myself because my problem made me feel useless and hopeless. I kept a four-year diary for comfort. By 12th grade I was taking castor oil or Dulcolax every night and that helped me a little, flattened my stomach out, gave me a little more confidence, and I made more friends.

Now that I am a sophomore in college at five foot seven and 124 pounds with a nice flat, seemingly normal-looking stomach, I am still suffering profoundly with IBS-constipation even as we speak. I am so thankful that I finally found a place where I feel like people might actually understand me. And I feel like I can finally tell this story I've been too ashamed to tell.

This past summer in July I experienced what was probably the biggest and most embarrassing bout of IBS ever. I had been taking both milk of magnesia combined with Zelnorm and the occasional enema for about five months preceding this incident. I was doing well, having bowel movements after every meal, with a small occasional flare-up only about every four weeks.

Then as summer approached I started decreasing my medication a little, thinking it was all over, and that came to bite me in the butt. Slowly I started getting constipated and backed up.

So I increased my medicine again. But this did not help like I thought it would. Taking two doses of milk of magnesia (four tablespoons each dose) and drinking nearly 3/4 gallon of water per day did not even help it. Instead it got worse.

I strained and strained on the toilet as hard masses reached my rectum but refused to pass, causing ferocious hemorrhoids. So then I made my embarrassing trip to the drug store to buy both an oily enema and an extra volume regular enema.

I used them both only to hear a rush of water stream into the toilet and a few small bits of hardened fecal matter roll out with much straining. Sweaty and exasperated, I went to bed. Shortly afterward, I awakened to the sensation of having to pee and poop very badly. I rushed to the bathroom to discover that not only could I not poop, I could not pee either.

Now this is truly mortifying. It was like 4:00 in the afternoon and I hadn't peed all day. I could see my bladder sticking out, but for some reason I just could not do it no matter how much I twisted and turned. The running faucet trick did not even work.

Anyway, I immediately knew that something was seriously wrong, and I needed to see a doctor fast, but felt unable to drive, so I called my mother at work, and told her what was going on and told her to come get me. She did and the whole ride to the hospital I felt like I was going to pop, my legs and back were in tremendous pain, and I was sucked of all my energy.

I waited in the ER waiting room for about 30 minutes until they took me in. And when the nurse asked me about my pain I just burst out in tears. And I had to take off all my clothes and put on that darn gown that leaves your butt out and I had to spread open my legs on the bed so she could stick a catheter tube inside me. Not fun!

It was very cold and uncomfortable. Finally though I did pee. Then I got x-rays of my stomach and waited for the results. When the doctor came in he told me I had fecal impaction and that the phospho soda laxative which had to be the worst stuff in the world would make me feel better.

He made me drink the whole bottle and lay down with my IVs (since I was so dehydrated) until it started working. About an hour later, I was sent home with another bottle of phospho soda to take later that night to make sure my system got clean.

So I went home feeling awful and drained and went to sleep. Woke up about 9:00 and took the phospho soda at about 10:00. For the next hour I was up and down having a terrible feeling of being overfilled with fluids and having bowel movements consisting of nothing but water.

I think I was overdosed on the phospho soda because like my third trip to the bathroom, as I was having my bowel movement, I suddenly vomited water and mucous all over the bathroom rug. Then I had to clean that up. And I was up and down to the toilet until the next night. And after all those watery bowel movements, I still felt like I was not done. It was a hideous experience.

I started Miralax therapy in September and it has really helped me greatly until December. I keep getting these very sharp and sudden, unpredictable abdominal pains now and the Miralax's effectiveness has not been so hot either.

Plus, I have suffered almost two months of burning knife-sharp hemorrhoids that won't go away even with medication. I resorted back to Dulcolax once a week and have completely given up on Zelnorm because it works too slow.

I just don't know what to do about myself. I drank some Miralax tonight. I have scheduled an appointment with my GI doc two weeks from now. Maybe something good will happen.

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