sad tales: men with ibs-c page three
The tale of...Wouter (3 January 2007)
I am Wouter and I am 22 years old. I come from the Netherlands. My life basically is a hell...I am always paranoid and always down. I don't show it to other people and I always act happy and am always smiling to other people. But deep inside I am really depressed. It's so hard to always act...I am tired of acting. My mom told me to see a physician because in my free time I don't want to hang around people but I only want to (sort of) lock myself in my room and watch movies and TV shows.
My life before I was sick wasn't like this at all. I was happy and liked everything and my social life was good, always partying, hanging around with my friends and seeing girls. But these days only my father, mother and brother understand me. I told a friend of mine and tried to explain why I don't always hang around with them, and he (I think) thinks that I am lying. So that is why nowadays I don't like people...they don't like what they can't understand.
On my good days I don't feel a thing, but I am still paranoid about getting sick, and there are good days when I only feel my stomach and feel pain but I take a painkiller and it goes away (I take a lot of those painkillers). On my bad days I can have diarrhea or constipation for days and can't even walk because of the pain.
Being depressed feels normal and I am sick and tired of feeling depressed. I learned a lot from all your stories and I want to thank you all. I hope for all of you that the pain, paranoia and all the other things will go away and you will live normally.
E-mail Wouter: [email protected]
The tale of...Bruce (23 June 2007)
I am a 39 year-old who has been diagnosed with IBS-C a little over a year ago. I was always constipated for as long as I can remember. I believe this is in part due to my own self-consciousness that I had as a child and a fear of sitting on the toilet. I had this fear because back when I was in grade school, the classrooms had a unisex bathroom in each classroom, and the door didn't lock, so there was no privacy whatsoever. So as a result I always suppressed my need to have a bowel movement during school, and just tried to go at home.
This was the beginning of a long, ongoing problem that was going to get worse. To make matters worse, I had open heart surgery at the tender age of four years old, which I feel has contributed to this problem because of all the medications that were pumped into me, which caused me to be corked up. In my junior high and high school years the pain of constipation continued, again because of the suppression I had to exhibit. The stalls in the boys' bathrooms had no doors on them, so again there was no privacy.
There was one day in junior high when I had to go so bad that I went to the boys' bathroom and pooped, but not before a fellow classmate walked in and saw me on the toilet. Needless to say that kids are mean and I was ridiculed and teased for performing a normal bodily function. Anyway, I began to suppress my need to use the toilet. I was fine for a while after that, going about four times a day, but that was short-lived.
At the age of 31 I had a second open heart surgery. Before my surgery I had an enema, which proved to be a cathartic experience but didn't help me afterward. I was in pain while I was recovering because I had a terrible time. Could not go if my life depended on it. I would be on the toilet every hour hoping for relief, but got only gas, and once (not to be gross) a small pellet came out, with lots of straining. After that, I began to gain weight, have abdominal pain, and always feel bloated. I disappear to the bathroom for at least 10 minutes, and I have been on the toilet for as long as an hour, in the hope of that ever-evasive bowel movement.
This darn issue has affected me with things like my mood, work, and even my weight. I can start with my work, because as anyone knows, how do you explain to your boss that you have a bowel problem without being mortified afterwards? There have been jobs that I have lost because of using the toilet a lot. I cannot understand why employers are so heartless to people's medical issues. There have been times that I have the urge, go to the bathroom, and sit there in pain for what seems like an eternity, hoping for a super poop, only to pass gas.
At the employer I currently work for, a manager accused me of using the bathroom as a library, because she found a magazine in there one time which didn't belong to me. This condition has affected my mood because when you have this miserable problem, you feel helpless and alone, and most of all chained to the toilet (because you never know when the constipation will let up and how).
It also makes me feel jealous of people who do not even have to think about this. The people who I have had enough nerve to tell about it, reply to me 'Well, I go to the bathroom like clockwork'. And then the unsolicited advice begins. With this I get depressed and feel even worse. Every time I am on the toilet I think 'Is this what will be for the rest of my life?' It has also affected my weight (I have been overweight most of my life, maybe this is part of the reason). I feel like every time I do go to the bathroom, my bowels do not get completely emptied, and feel that I should sit there longer, but with no luck.
My doctor diagnosed me last year and put me on Zelnorm, which worked for a while, but that too was short-lived. But as we all know, Zelnorm was pulled a couple of months ago. Now what, will there never be normal bowel movements in my future? I saw her last week, and she put me on this new drug called Amitiza. We will see what happens, and I will be seeing the doctor again later this month for a follow-up. Hopefully, there will be a happy tale to follow, sooner than later.
If anyone who reads this wants to share your thoughts with me, you may e-mail me. Also, to the creator of this site, thank you very much for showing me that I am not alone.
E-mail Bruce: [email protected]
The tale of...Nick (4 March 2008)
I stumbled upon this website after searching for information on Google on the longest one can go without a bowel movement. This is the really scary part for me, but here goes with my story...I have had IBS since I was 15. My mom and grandma suffer from it and my grandfather died of colorectal cancer in 1992. I thought it would be OK as when I used suppositories or milk of magnesia even, it would usually work.
I am 25 now, and since January of this year it has gone from worse to impossible. I can't seem to have a bowel movement in the morning like I am used to (somewhat), no matter what I try. I use Bisacodyl suppositories that are prescribed and they don't do anything for me but give me a false urge.
After days of not going I went to the ER. They said I didn't have a blockage and sent me home with some Golytely that is meant to clean you out before a colonoscopy. It worked but didn't give me diarrhea for that long, and I drank the whole gallon. Eventually just water came out.
Now every day of my life when I wake up my heart races and I can't go because I'm so worked up with my PTSD and other issues on top of the physical problem. So I have taken the Golytley four times now in a month and a half just so I can go, but then I'm right back to being constipated. The problem is, I eat nothing but fiber and health food, and the next morning it's always the same...
I'm so scared because I fear that this is going to kill me, I know they say you can go 10 days without a bowel movement, but I know my body and how much I'm supposed to go, and now it's just a struggle to get out a very teeny little bit, after hours of straining and suppositories...
I don't know who else can help me or what to do, I've tried everything. Even the doctors don't know why I can't go with everything I try to do to go. I am currently awaiting an appointment with a specialist for a colonoscopy, but I am only 25, it would suck to have colon cancer like my grandfather at my age, which seems impossible. I don't know what else it could be, that would stop my colon from actually working and producing an urge and movement to go.
I have gone two weeks without a bowel movement, and that's when I took the Golytely. IBS and chronic constipation is a very serious and very scary thing, especially for me, and not knowing why I'm going through this and what's really happening.
I hope my story can help others cope with their IBS. I'm scared, and I feel all alone in this, but it feels good just being able to let it out to someone who understands what I'm going through.
E-mail Nick: [email protected]
The tale of...Garret (4 September 2010)
I have had IBS for the last four years. It has been really annoying because I've got school, work, etc. I'm not exactly sure what kind of IBS I have or what I should do. My symptoms are being constipated for about four days and then I get diarrhea for two days. Then it goes back to constipation for about four days and cycles.
I have tried Digestive Advantage for IBS. It worked great for about two weeks but then my symptoms came back even worse. I stopped taking it and I tried taking it again after a year. It worked great again for two weeks and then my symptoms came back again. I have tried different kinds of fiber supplements and foods and they never seem to do anything. I'm not very stressed out, I've been pretty calm. I have also tried being more active and that doesn't do much either. A lot of the supplement things are for diarrhea or mostly constipation but I have both. So if there's anything that anyone could recommend for me that would be great.
E-mail Garret: [email protected]
I just found this site as I desperately seek help after 17 years of IBS and I believe ever increasing refractory, chronic, debilitating symptoms. I hope my story is unique as I would wish it on no-one. My IBS started several months after the World Trade Center disaster and has continued unabated - literally 17 years of chronic abdominal pain, bloating, cramping and constipation. My intestines often feel inflamed to the point I can’t sit at my office desk chair.
I’ve had the typical tests ruling out what the book tells gastros to look for before they tell you it’s stress and all your own problem. I don’t mean to sound angry, just disappointed. I should have been working with alternative docs who considered I have bad bacteria. I’m tired of arguing with gastros to do tests.
To complicate matters I developed a debilitating, chronic daily headache seven years ago. It is literally a 24/7 headache centered in my sinus and the severity of which correlates with how badly my gut is doing. I’ve not been diagnosed with an immune system problem. I’m on constant medication which helps some symptoms but not my gut problems or headaches.
As I have told everyone since this started I feel like my body is fighting an infection and for some unknown reason antibiotics seem to help. I was on a fistful of daily antibiotics last year after suspected chronic Lyme disease and that helped but caused concern about long-term use.
I feel I have a bad bacteria problem in my gut which is stressing my immune system. I had a stool test in 2004 showing as such that was dismissed by every gastro I showed it to and there have been dozens. I’m just about to get another.
My current gastro just prescribed xifaxan with no testing, just to appease me. I thought it should include neomycin since I have IBS-C, but what do I and the research know? The pounding and swelling in my nose worsens after I eat. Now my white blood cells and other immune markers are also falling in addition to my below range globulin levels.
Have you ever heard of IBS severely impacting a person's immune system? I suffered but fought through the IBC-C, but the headaches have completely debilitated me for going on seven years. I live in the north-east and don’t know where to go. I had hydrogen breath tests a couple of years ago that were negative but they didn’t measure methane and with IBS-C they should have. Any thoughts?
E-mail Charles: [email protected]