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sad tales: teenagers with ibs-c page four

The tale of...Jerracah (16 August 2006)

I've been suffering with IBS for about four years now. I have read other people's stories on here and I'm pretty glad I don't have it as bad as some. I was diagnosed with IBS about four years ago when I was 11 years old. My mother finally took me to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh after much complaining of nausea and abdominal pain.

IBS has put me through much trouble since then. I was put in the hospital for a full week because I could not eat anything, and when I did eat my stomach would either kill me or I felt like I would vomit. I have been scoped multiple times to check my intestines and have been on several medications that really haven't worked. Laxatives don't really affect me that much unless I take the maximum dosage and stool softeners don't help at all.

I think the most effective medicine I have taken is Zofran. Zofran is used for kids that have chemotherapy. It helps with severe nausea and pain. IBS has also given me panic attacks when I get the pain. I get nervous when I go out to the movies or anywhere where I know I won't be home for a while because I know I will get discomfort.

For a while my IBS settled down but has recently flared back up. At the moment I look slightly pregnant and the left side of my stomach is bigger than the right. I feel discomfort and I don't even want to stand upright because it puts pressure on my stomach. I haven't gone to the restroom in about five days now and if I do it's not very much and doesn't take my bloating away. I am very thankful for my family and friends for helping me when I get my IBS 'attacks'. I am also very thankful to my boyfriend, who will sit there and talk me through the pain.

I have been looking toward the medicine called Zelnorm. I am the right height and weight for it but the doctors say I am too young to take it. My Mom is planning on taking me to the doctor to see if I can get on it. If anyone has any information about this medicine please contact me, if it has helped you or done the exact opposite.

E-mail Jerracah: [email protected]

The tale of...Megan (7 March 2007)

I'm a 14 year-old girl suffering from...sigh...IBS. Unlike most IBS sufferers, I don't get much constipation or diarrhea - just horrible burning, stabbing, agonizing pain. It began about a year ago. It wasn't so bad back then; it would just hurt after meals and then it would go away. But now it is constant. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night crying because the pain is so bad...

I'm doing badly in school because I'm too tired or in too much pain to focus. I've been to two GI doctors, and so far they haven't been able to find anything wrong. By default, because they saw some constipation on a CT scan, I have been diagnosed with IBS-C. I feel like no-one - especially not my doctor - listens to me or cares about how I really feel.

The main advice I've been given is to cut down on stress, and I've been told several times that it's just all in my head. What a laugh. If any doctor tells you this, tell him or her to swallow some flesh-eating bacteria and see how stressed that makes them feel. Or just reach over and bite off their ear. Well, you probably shouldn't do that - but you can still imagine doing it!

Every day is torture. My whole body is in constant pain. I pray that they find a cure for this condition, because I don't know how I can live my life this way. Feel free to e-mail me at any time - I know how isolating IBS can be and my heart goes out to anyone who has been diagnosed with it.

E-mail Megan: [email protected]

The tale of...Molly (2 November 2007)

I'm 17 years old, and I've suffered from IBS since I was 12. I have sat through classes at school for years, enduring the most embarrassing feelings when my stomach would make these horrible noises (almost all of the time), and wincing to myself when the the feelings of a non-relieved bowel movement would make my stomach clench in pain. Teachers were not sympathetic - they laughed off bathroom excuses with raised eyebrows. I guess they thought I wanted to skip class, since I needed to go to the restroom so often.

I was a laughing stock, because of my constant gas. I couldn't even sit in a quiet room without being filled with fear of someone knowing about my stomach problems. Pretty soon this fear turned into something else; I began having full-on panic attacks in the 10th grade, causing me to be unable to breath or even think properly. I was taken to both a psychologist and a psychiatrist, and both recommended putting me on different medications.

Eventually they decided I was 'a threat to myself, because of serious depression' and I was sent to a medical center for suicidal and depressed teens. I only stayed there for a week, but it was the worst week of my life - IBS was truly taking over my world, and I felt like an imitation of a real human being. I felt worthless.

I eventually was forced to leave the public high school I'd made so many memories in, and I had to start over at a Christian-based private Academy. It's my senior year there, and I am still having the same IBS issues that started my nightmare so long ago...my grandma scoffs at me, and tells me I have made her life very stressful. This hurts me beyond belief. She constantly tells me that if I just had a healthier eating routine, I would not have these issues...I wish she could understand how horrible having IBS is. I feel like I carry a huge secret, and most of my time is spent hiding it.

I have been skipping meals recently in a last attempt to make my IBS less life-controlling. My grandma will not take me to a doctor anymore, because she feels we spent too much money last time. I am depressed and running out of ways to help myself.

It's like losing who you are, and trying to go back to find yourself, but every new turn you make just makes you more lost. Any advice would be appreciated.

E-mail Molly: [email protected]

The tale of...Jana (3 January 2008)

I'm a 13 year-old, middle school girl suffering from severe IBS. Day to day, I have endless stomach cramps to the point where I cannot stand up and it's normal if in the middle of the class, I keel over in pain. I don't even know what to do anymore. Doctors have no idea what to do with me and simply give me a painkiller which has no effect on me.

I'll get constipation for up to a full week and then unbearable spasms, cramps, and gas. Crohn's runs in my family, so stomach pains are definitely not foreign. Although it doesn't seem like such a big problem to others, to a girl my age, or any age, it's a huge setback! I can't go out with all of my friends without the constant nagging fear that I'll get stomach pains, or feel shaky. I don't have the same carefree mindset as others my age do.

I cannot remember the last time I didn't wake up with an everlasting pain in my stomach. Although I was struck with this unfortunate disorder, I'm determined to do the best I can to cope and deal. I can't let my aches and pains affect the way I lead my life, and I want everyone to know that.

E-mail Jana: [email protected]

The tale of...Samantha (7 February 2008)

I have been suffering from what my doctor finally diagnosed as IBS for about eight months now. At first I was very frustrated with this diagnosis because I didn't really understand that it could be this bad (and as bad as everyone's stories), but thanks to this site I finally know that others out there are as frustrated with this ambiguous diagnosis as I am.

I haven't found anyone with my symptoms yet, but mine include pain around my belly-button after dinner every night. Sometimes it happens after lunch when it flares up really bad. The pain isn't stabbing or anything though, it feels like that gnawing feeling when you're absolutely starving, it's almost like a burning. At first I thought it was a stomach ulcer but I tested negative, then they thought it was celiac disease but it wasn't.

I've been seeing a gastroenterologist and have had a colonoscopy, CT scan, ultrasound, blood tests, everything in the book, and they all come out negative. This feeling of being absolutely starving can last 20 minutes to six hours, and I have been on several meds for it. Yesterday I was put on Lexapro - I hope it helps but I'm skeptical.

I also am constipated and it hurts in my pelvis to have a bowel movement. Bowel movements are so embarrassing and painful and strenuous, I'm afraid I will hurt myself more by just straining to go to the bathroom. I now see my OBGYN for terrible pelvic pain and I have recurring urinary tract infections and will have to see a urologist. Nobody can really figure out what's causing any of these three things and I have no idea if they're related. I have panic attacks during invasive procedures so I now have to see a psychologist.

My whole family is frustrated and nobody understands. When I tell my mom it hurts she says 'No it doesn't, think happy. It's all in your head.' It's the most frustrating and estranging feeling, I hate it. I have been depressed for months, I spend more time at the doctor than with my friends, I never feel like initiating anything with my friends anymore and no-one understands.

I cry after every doctors visit and feel like I have absolutely no control over my body. I cry at night very often and my mom thought I was suicidal when she came in on me crying in my closet because I told her I couldn't take the pain every day anymore. My mind associates food with pain and now pain with life. It's so relieving to finally find people who understand.

If you've had any of the symptoms similar to this please let me know. Like I said the stomach pain feels like I haven't eaten for years and happens about 20 minutes after eating, and eating more doesn't help. I've stopped eating pretty much. Whenever I'm alone I don't eat, but when I eat dinner with my family at night I do eat because I don't need an anorexia charge on my medical list too.

It hurts most of the time and I know I'm not who I used to be from the pain, the disappointing doctor visits, the panic attacks induced by the doctor visits, and the fact that no-one understands and no-one can help. Thank you so much for this website. It has really given hope to me.

E-mail Samantha: [email protected]

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