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sad tales: men with ibs-d page one

The tale of...John (9 December 2004)

I have had IBS as far back as I can remember. I remember that in first grade (I was painfully shy) I always waited to go the restroom till I got home. But twice the IBS pain got so bad the I had an accident in class, I wanted to die from embarrassment. And then when I got home my youngest sister would make fun of me.

Not only should a child not have to endure that humiliation, they should not have to deal with that much pain so early in their life! I am now 50 years old and the IBS has only gotten worse and worse over the years. For the most part the cramps and the back ache have become unbearable. There isn't a moment of relief.

Dealing with this caused me to be very introverted as a teenager, so I pretty much missed that part of my life. I had girls who I had a total crush on ask me out, but I turned them down for fear of what or how my stomach would betray me while we were out.

At 17 I feel into a deep depression. I was and have been since put on every antidepressant on the market, but to no effect. It was the pain and what it was doing to my life that put me in the depression, so the only thing that would, could help was to get me out of pain and my digestive system working correctly.

Now my lower legs and feet stay swollen, and I have lost the feeling in them. Sorry, not space for the rest of my story, I will sum up. I am losing the ability to walk. In 1999 I had my first heart attack, and in the three weeks to follow I had three more heart attacks. The doctor found no reason for it so they stated it was just a fluke. I knew that it was from the stress of a lifetime of pain that simply isn't bearable.

I have taken all the meds for IBS but none work for more than a week or two. I have recurrent cardiac events, the doctors are puzzled but they just shake their heads and let me go.

People ask me to describe what this pain feels like, I always ask if they ever saw the last scene in Braveheart! I stated I got nothing from the treatment of my depression, well, I did get one thing. The antidepressants keep my mouth dry all my life, so leaving me with no defence for the enamel on my teeth. Last year I had to have them all pulled, and am now attempting to get used to dentures. I have just moved to Boston, have seen five doctors, none would treat me or refill my meds.

Anyway thank you for letting me get this of my chest. May God bless you all. 'Did I not believe to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living', I would not be here today.

E-mail John: [email protected]


The tale of...Joe (February 2005)

Mine started three years ago now. I had a week of stomach pains every time I ate. I more or less fasted for that week. Last year it came back, with the pain starting in the morning and by two or three in the afternoon I'd have to go home. Towards the end of that bout I'd start feeling queasy and throw up.

At the time I thought it was just the pain that made me throw up, since I'd be curled into a little ball wishing that I could die. That went away for no apparent reason, but came back again this year.

This current episode has been going on for four months now, with sweats, vomiting, chronic pain, bloating and gas. The bloating also seems to put pressure on my bladder so I have to pee regularly. I don't seem to get constipation or diarrhea (thank God), but all the other symptoms are there.

The doc has tried me on sulfasalazine, mebeverine and Colpermin, but the only thing that seems to have any (slight) effect is co-codamol (codeine and paracetemol). I've tried a gluten-free diet, but there is no obvious trigger. I've lost two stone this year and I'm now on food supplements to stem the weight loss.


The tale of...Dale (February 2005)

Well I am a firefighter for the air force so you can imagine some situations that I am put in. Anyways one night we had a plane crash so of course I go out to the emergency. About 20 minutes after fighting the fire I have a attack which there is nothing I could do about but suffer. Luckily I controlled myself enough to last till I got back to the station. That's one of many stories that I have.

I do get tired of my friends - fellow firefighters - telling me that IBS is nothing. I'm tired of trying to explain IBS to people, they just don't understand. I tell myself everyday I wish everybody in the world had it so they can understand what we go through everyday.

Right now I'm still trying to accept that I have it. I have not came to terms that I have IBS although I have had it for over 10 years. I just bought The First Year of IBS so hopefully that will help me because I need it. I don't think I have the willpower to stop eating all those foods that irritate my stomach. I just hope that I can get the willpower to follow the diet and hopefully on day I'll be able to control IBS.

E-mail Dale: [email protected]


The tale of...Mike (February 2005)

I've been suffering from IBS for about four years now, I'm 42. When it hits me I am constipated for a few days then diarrhea for a few weeks. This goes back and forth for about four to five weeks. There are times when the pain is so bad, I just lay in my bed in a ball and scream. Nothing I take seems to help.

By the time I hit my third week I've gone through so much pain that it has now worked its way to my ribs and back. But one of the worst things is that no one believes that the pain can be that bad. Friends and family often give me a hard time. I sometimes wish I had cancer or a heart attack, at least then they might understand that.

E-mail Mike: [email protected]


The tale of...Richard (February 2005)

I am 35 years old and have had IBS for over five years. It started for me over five years ago after a second bout of food poisoning. Unfortunately after this I was referred to a gastroenterologist at the local hospital, to which he diagnosed IBS. I at least had a name for my stomach troubles!

I have seen the changes that this condition, said not to be serious but very debilitating, has made to my whole life. First my job as a postman of 13 years suddenly finished because of the constant bouts of sickness and failed attendance due to my IBS, also relationships have failed because of constantly letting girls down at the last minute, and friends in general who although sympathetic do not understand how much of a disappointment it is to not be able to socialize as often as I would like to!

The main symptoms for me are abdominal pain, bloating, indigestion and troublesome diarrhea. I think it is good to be able to talk to other sufferers, perhaps to offer different views on diet, exercise programs, lifestyle, and various other ways that might just help the other person with IBS who has not tried a particular option.

I am now at college studying computers and IT to change my working outlook, and I will continue to discover other ways of coping with my IBS!

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