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sad tales: teenagers with ibc-s page one

The tale of...Tony (November 2004)

I'm a short (five foot four) 15 year-old. I've been suffering for about nine months now and I didn't know what was going on until my mom told me that her and her dad have it. Every day when I get up for school I feel very sick, then my stomach makes noises and feels heavy and my bottom makes noises, it's weird. This is so embarrassing.

I will go to school and my stomach makes noises all morning and my bottom also and sometimes people stare at me. I run to the bathroom at school and one time I cried. When I wake up I feel like killing myself because I don't want to go though four more years of this. It's really making me mad. I complain to my mom and I feel lifeless, this thing has taken over my life, it really makes me want to lay in bed all day long.

The tale of...Jessica (November 2004)

I have been suffering with IBS ever since I just turned 15. I am 17 now and I am almost done with high school. My whole high school years sucked basically. Sometimes I have to go to the bathroom at school but I can't because there's girls in the bathroom or a teacher and I'm too embarrassed. When I'm at home I spend a good half an hour in the bathroom and my sister gets mad at me because I take too long.

I have IBS constipation and I hate it. I feel like I can't do anything, like sleep over at a friend's house or go on a trip with my family out of town. I'm scared what the future will bring for me. Sometimes my family members make fun of me because I have this problem. I try to just laugh it off but I just hold my tears inside so I can be strong for myself.

I take medicine every other day to help what I have, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I get so constipated that I can't even sit down and then I miss a week of school and it gets me behind in all my work. I want a job but I feel like I can't get one because of what I have, or I feel like I can never have any kids or have a close relationship with someone that I would like. I feel lonely, my friends try to understand what I'm going through but they get mad when they ask me to do something like a sleepover and I can't.

E-mail Jessica: [email protected]

The tale of...Natalie (November 2004)

I am 19 years old and have just recently been told I may have IBS. My symptoms are similar to those I have read about. However, I have also had a few other symptoms such as blood in the urine, severe headaches, sharp shooting pains in my hands and panic attacks at night to name a few.

I have been off work for two weeks now, and I am still feeling as bad (if not worse) than I did before. This has been the worst two weeks ever. I am constantly tired and have no energy at all. I don't get to sleep till the early hours of the morning and then the stomach pains wake me up first thing.

The medication my doctor has given me does not seem to have worked at all. I want to get rid of this disorder ASAP.

E-mail Natalie: [email protected]

The tale of...Terry (November 2004)

I'm 18 years old and just recently found out that I have IBS. I thought to myself, OK, now I know what I have because I had been having stomach problems. I didn't know the depth of it until I started getting really bad stomach pains and bloating.

I have IBS with constipation and as the days go on I'm starting to wonder if this will ever get any better. I take Zelnorm but that doesn't seem to be helping. I also take Levsin and that doesn't seem to do me much justice either. Nobody my age that I hang out with seem to understand, and I don't expect them to. I just hope that they'll find a cure and quick.

E-mail Terry: [email protected]

The tale of...Gretchen (12 November 2004)

OK, I am only 14 and I really don't know what to do anymore. I eat everything - bran and high fiber foods - so I will go to the bathroom. I swear if I went twice every week I would cry...instead I go once every 9-10 days.

I really don't think this is fair because I only wear jeans and a t-shirt on the days after I go to the bathroom because on the other days I am so bloated that I just wear sweat pants. I am so sick of this and I've told my doctor numerous times that I need to seek some help or I am going to go insane.

She gave me this stuff called Miralax that you're supposed to mix in with your drink every day. I did it for five days and it didn't work, and you're only supposed to take it for 2-4 days. The only thing that ever works is when I take like 40 Exlax pills but when I do this I have to stay home all day because I don't know when the extreme pain that comes along with the pills will come.

I was crying the other day because I had taken Exlax and it felt like I was having a baby. It just hurt so bad. I seriously need some kind of pill to help me or I seriously give up and want to quit school and like live on Exlax. I'm only 14, this shouldn't be happening to me, all my friends go after every meal...

Update on Gretchen...

Well, I wrote my tale a little while ago and I was desperate. I talked to my doctor for the like 50th time and she said since I had been suffering for about two years that there was enough evidence to show that something was seriously wrong. So I went to a gastroenterologist at the hospital a few weeks later and told him about everything that had been going on.

He put me on Zelnorm which is clearly a drug to treat IBS and works only in women. So far I've been taking it for about a month and it's definitely saved me. I've been going to the bathroom almost twice a day. But I've realized that I have to exercise every day in order for the drug to work its way into my system. Hey, I'm all up for exercising if I'm going to go to the bathroom, so you should talk to your doctor too and make sure you're clear so they listen to you.

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