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sad tales: teenagers with ibs-c page two

The tale of...Julie (25 July 2005)

Hi, my name is Julie and I'm 13. Well I've had IBS my whole life and it's a hassle. I never get to go out with my friends or do anything without all the symptoms coming up. It's basically ruined my life and my doctor has yet to give me a medication.

It's hard for me because my whole family doesn't understand what it's like to have the cramps and the whole thing, and the only person who kind of understands is my friend Brittany. Brittany and I have cramps about the same time because we eat the same thing at my house, and when we get cramps we either go outside and walk or talk to each other and help us get through everything.

It hurts to eat so I usually don't eat anything until dinner, and I sometimes don't eat that. If I eat anything during the day it's probably Tums or Rolaids. I hate how my family doesn't understand because I need privacy and they don't allow it, they just get mad if I ask if they could go out of the room because it helps calm me down.

I remember this one time I was on the way back from a camp that I love, and the drive is about four to five hours long on a charter bus. We ate breakfast and so I had a piece of sausage, not knowing that my stomach would hurt. On the way back I was sick with cramps the whole way, and I was crying. The worst thing was that no-one understood, they just kind of looked at me like 'What's going on?'

I never know what to eat because it may hurt my stomach. I wish I could eat what I want when I want but I guess I can't. I just hope that some day they find a cure because IBS is horrible. Thank you for taking your time listening to me talk.

E-mail Julie: [email protected]

The tale of...Lara (July 2005)

I'm 17 and have suffered with this condition for about ten years. It has come to a point now where I feel my life is not worth living. I've spent endless nights with my family crying. While my family are great, they don't really understand what it's like to have irritable bowel syndrome.

The most annoying thing about it is that my best friend can go out whenever, wherever with no problems. I have to constantly make excuses up to why I can't come out. When I heard it's a lifelong condition I wanted to run in front of a bus. Nobody wants to spend the rest of their life trying to go to the toilet. Unless doctors find a miracle cure I feel that IBS will keep making lives miserable.

The tale of...Carol (July 2005)

Where do I begin? I probably had IBS my whole life because as long as I can remember I have had a 'nervous stomach'. I am almost 20 years old but all of this flared up when I was about 17. And I just want to say thank God for finding this site because I felt so alone until I read some of the stories. Well here is my story...

My severe attacks all started when I was about 17. That was the year of stomach viruses - I caught every one that was going around, it was a very bad winter for me. I was so sick all the time that my doctor came to the conclusion that that all of these flare-ups damaged my colon and he diagnosed me with IBS. He gave me a small pamphlet on IBS and said all you have to do is watch what you eat and you'll be fine...wow, OK that sounds easy...wrong!

It is very difficult to know what's safe to eat what's not safe because sometimes you eat something and you're fine, then you eat it again and you're sick as a dog all night long with severe stomach cramps. It has taken me about two and half years to figure out what I can and can't eat and I still get sick all the time.

My boyfriend, who is severely lactose intolerant, is very understanding but he has a lot of trouble sympathizing with me because he just tells me 'Well don't eat what you're not supposed to!' For someone who is lactose intolerant he knows that he can't have any dairy. What he doesn't get is that I don't know exactly what makes me sick.

What makes my situation very difficult is that I am a very small built girl. I am almost 20 years old, I am five foot three and I barely weigh 100 pounds. I have been very small my whole life. What makes things worse is that when I first got sick with IBS I lost 15-20 pounds. I had people saying that I had eating disorders and no one believed me that I loved food but food didn't love me.

The worst thing of all is that I am a baking and pastry student at Johnson and Wales University. I love food so much that I want to work with it for the rest of my life. I want to make people's weddings cakes!

It's very difficult being surrounded by food all day, a lot of my chefs don't understand why I am sick all the time and it's not an excuse to them. It's so hard being in a class for six 1/2 hours with no breaks. I am constantly on my feet and almost constantly nauseous.

Often when I get out of class I am dying to get to the dining hall to eat something, and as soon as I am done eating it's straight to the bathroom. I feel weak and run down and lost. And on top of having IBS I also have acid reflux disease which I am on medication for but doesn't completely help.

My family, my friends and my boyfriend all try to help me in many ways but they don't understand what I go through. I often come home on weekends from the dorms to be home and a lot of people don't understand why...I should be partying and living up college life - ha ha ha that's funny.

I go home on weekends because my mom sits up with in the middle of the night and holds my hand during my pain attacks and my nausea. Thank you for taking the time in reading my story and listening to me complain. Sometimes you just need to tell someone who understands.

E-mail Carol: [email protected]

The tale of...Amanda (July 2005)

Hello, my name is Amanda and I'm 18 years old. I have had IBS for about four years now...It has been awful, this is probably the worst thing any young teenager or adult can go through because hardly any doctors know much or anything about it and it cannot be cured.

It was terrible what I went through before I found out. I was told I was just faking being sick from my teachers and my own parents and I was made fun of at school by kids. Finally, everyone believed me after I collapsed on a field trip in Washington.

After that my doctor gave up and referred me to the children's hospital and I was put through horrible tests. Then the doctor said 'You have IBS.' I then tried several medicines and changed what I ate but nothing worked. Since then my IBS has just got worse.

I miss school a lot...I'm always constipated, I'm depressed, I can't sleep, no part of my body functions right, my back constantly hurts. Now, I'm in my senior year of high school. I just had all my senior credits taken away for missing too much school! So now I cannot graduate this year and I feel like just giving up, the more stressed out I get the worse I feel.

And just about two or three weeks ago I started taking a new medicine called Zelnorm. What is amazing is that it actually works! I do not have to go to the chiropractor anymore, my back feels great. I feel way better. I actually go to the bathroom more than once every two weeks.

I was not even going to try it because I have taken many medications before and they either did nothing or made me feel worse. Anyone who reads my story can e-mail me if they like because you're not alone.

E-mail Amanda: [email protected]

The tale of...Ali (1 August 2005)

Hi, I am 18 years old and soon to be 19, supposedly the best years of my life, but since last September I have been suffering from IBS. Yeah, I know most people have put up with it for so long and my heart really goes out to them, because after only having this about 10 months I really get down.

I used to go out to parties with my friends and most of the time just hang out, but now I can't do any of that because whenever I try I get unbearable abdominal pains. I used to have a band with my friends and a huge friendship group that I loved to spend time with. Now it seems like my life is totally ruined. And many of the foods and drink I came to love I can't eat or drink anymore because of this.

I also missed half a year of college due to not being able to go out because I had the pains. And trying to go to the toilet is hell. Sometimes I won't go for a week and when I do I spend well over an hour on the toilet, and even then it feels like my bowel isn't empty.

Sometimes I cry myself to sleep, sometime I cry on my mother's shoulder (and I'm 18 years old). One time I was in a city center and I started crying because the pain was getting unbearable. And I get very embarrassed crying in front of people, but the worst part is no-one I know understands what it is like.

I have no-one there to support me as they don't know what I'm going through. Yeah I have my friends and parents but it doesn't help a lot. When I want my own personal space in my room, people keep walking in and I end up getting really stressed out and all because they don't understand I want to be alone.

Thank you for listening, and my heart goes out to the people that have suffered for much longer than I have, I would not like to know what it would be like to suffer from this all my life.

E-mail Ali: [email protected]

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