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sad tales: teenagers with ibs-d page three

The tale of...Katie (14 July 2005)

I'm Katie and I'm 14 years old. I have had a bad stomach since I was born. My mom tells me about me being sick when I was a little baby. I constantly have diarrhea and constipation. My worst year was when I was in Grade 2. I was so sick that I didn't eat anymore. My mom would send me marshmallows to try to get me to eat, but I wouldn't even eat those. I was anorexic, I looked like I was about 5 pounds. I probably weighed about 30 or 35 pounds. My life that year consisted of doctors appointment after appointment.

That was my life until a few years ago. At that time I had such bad pain that I was put in the hospital. I stayed in for seven days while they desperately tried to figure out what was wrong with me. They never did. They tried to pin it on my appendix, but there was never anything wrong with that.

I missed so much school the past two years, they wanted to hold me back. When I was 13, my IBS was bad again. I didn't eat, I didn't get out of my bed. I was put into hospital again.

Now it's a year later...I'm a little bit better, but every morning I wake up sick to my stomach and I absolutely can't eat before noon unless I want to be sick. Well I guess that's most of the facts, not a very good story. But if you ever want to talk e-mail me.

E-mail Katie: [email protected]

The tale of...Milly (22 July 2005)

Hi, I'm Milly and I have only just found out that I have IBS. It all started when I had fish and chips and got food poisoning on Christmas Day. I have always had a bad stomach from an early age, but not as bad as now!

Some days it is worse than others, but I always manage to have a crap even if it is little. The pain is really bad some days, I feel like staying home and dying on my bed as I feel that bad. I have had many doctors but put it all down to growing pains, but finally I had a doctor that did something about it and ever since I had her I have got better and started of with different medications.

At the moment my favorite place in my house is the bathroom and my bedroom. school isn't that bad as my friends help me along and I now have a great friendship with my school nurse.

So from having IBS I have become much stronger, and there is always the good sides of things so people with IBS I'm sure that you understand!

E-mail Milly: [email protected]

The tale of...Sophie (July 2005)

Hi, my name is Sophie, I'm 15 and I think I have been suffering with IBS for roughly five months now. I suffer from constipation and diarrhea which alternates from day to day. I get very bad stomach pains which only last for a minute but they are very sharp. I do not like going to school with this and I am finding it very hard, although I have had help from friends and parents.

I constantly feel uncomfortable and I often cry about it as it gets me down a lot. My friends can all go out and have a good time with no worries but I always feel as though I haven't finished when I have been to the toilet, yet when I go to the toilet I suffer. All of my friends know about it and are very sympathetic although they don't know how IBS sufferers feel. I also don't like being with a group of people with what I have, and I do not like being in my exams with this. I have recently being feeling a little drowsy and having headaches.

E-mail Sophie: [email protected]

The tale of...Melissa (7 August 2005)

At 15, all I want is a normal life. Unfortunately for me, I have IBS. I was diagnosed at nine, and since then my life has been a living hell. No-one seems to understand and I feel alone.

My doctor thinks I am incapable of understanding what is going on in my own body, patronizing me with a different medication or dose of medication each time I visit (which is almost every time I can grab an available appointment). I have had everything from mebeverine to Buscopan (spasm relievers), but nothing has worked for me.

Personally, I cannot define what has given me this 'disease'- stress? Things have progressively worsened as the years have gone on. If only there was a way out. Drink water? Eat more fruit or vegetables? No-one seems to understand, except the people that go through it. I would appreciate advice and support from anyone in a similar position to me. I would like to wish every sufferer of IBS good luck for the future!

E-mail Melissa: [email protected]

The tale of...Jesse (19 August 2005)

I am 15 years old and was diagnosed with IBS in 7th grade. I missed over half the school year due to my fear to go to school because of all the diarrhea I was having and then the pain from constipation. I had the worst doctor, he wouldn't give me a diagnosis, and when all my tests from the hospital came back normal he told my mom I was just saying all this to get out of school.

My mom was furious and switched me to another doctor who has IBS herself. She was totally understanding and diagnosed me right away after seeing my tests were normal. She suggested I saw a psychiatrist to help with the anxiety that was causing my IBS and put me on a dietary supplement for IBS called Digestive Advantage.

I began to see a psychiatrist but since he was a male I wasn't comfortable telling him all my stresses, and so my IBS just got worse since my anxiety wasn't going away. I became even more depressed. My mom was getting frustrated with me not talking to her and being shut up in my room all day crying.

I was afraid to hang out with my friends for fear that I would have an accident. I refused to go to school for the same reason. I was being home-tutored to keep my grades up. My mom's frustration made her less sympathetic and made me feel all alone. I finally told my mom I needed serious help because I didn't want to live any more.

She took me straight to the hospital where I was able to be in group therapy with people who had similar problems, and I also had a one-on-one therapy session and a family therapy session. Finally I was getting the help I needed. I had a doctor who helped me learn to handle my anxiety and learn how to live with IBS.

I was out of the hospital in two weeks and was a totally different person. I could laugh again and I was back to being the crazy fun person I was. I didn't have another IBS attack for a year and when that one come over me I was able to know how to handle the situation and take deep breaths. I do have to take my medicine regularly or my IBS does come back, but with regular visits to my new psychiatrist (who I love and can tell anything to) and my medicine I am able to control my condition.

I just want all you people to know that you can beat this, that it is possible, and when you feel you don't want to go on as I felt in 7th grade remember that there is so much for you to live for and with the right help you can beat this! If you ever want to talk to me about your experiences please email me, I love to talk to others who have been through the same as me.

E-mail Jesse: [email protected]

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