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sad tales: women with ibs-d page eighteen

The tale of...Carolyn (6 August 2005)

I have suffered with IBS since I had my gallbladder out in the early 1990s. I've had all the symptoms and tests, also medication which didn't seem to help. I'm so glad that there are many people out there who are suffering the same.

I find it is ruling my life. I have to plan a day out well ahead. I don't eat if I have to go out for the day or have to drive a fair way, I always feel bloated and have several size clothes to wear depending on how I'm feeling. I have to carry spare underwear with me and have thrown quite a few away. We've just come home from a camping holiday but forgot to plan in advance just where the toilet would be to where our tent was, so yes I had a few accidents. I felt like crying.

I know my diet is a lot to blame but sometimes you just feel like a treat and it tastes good at the time until the pain starts, and then you think never again. Sometimes I find it hard trying to cater for my dietary needs when I'm cooking for my family, and sometimes it can be just as easy to eat the same as them than make something for myself. I'm suffering from depression and I'm on medication for it, partly because I've had to give my job up due to a shoulder injury, but I think a lot could be to do with IBS.

I don't have anybody to talk to. My husband is great, but I get very annoyed with myself when I have an accident especially if we're out. I've set my mind on changing my diet to see if it will improve my lifestyle, then maybe we can start going out for meals again without worrying.

I thought I would also like to share this sad tale with you. My daughter had a day off school due to teacher training so we decided to have a girlie day out, shopping, lunch then to the cinema. Unfortunately we didn't finish our shopping. While my daughter was trying on clothes I got the dreaded pain and the cold sweats.

I started to panic as I wasn't sure where the toilets were. I told my daughter to hurry up. We didn't even have time to pay for the clothes she had chosen, we ran to the loo and like many other IBS sufferers I had to use the public loo with people waiting to go after me.

We had to cut our shopping trip short, so I took her to McDonald's for lunch. I didn't eat as I knew what the outcome would be if I did. While my daughter was eating I just generally felt unwell, so I asked if she would mind if we went home. She didn't, but you can imagine just how guilty I felt for spoiling her day.

I've had many days like that. I think it's time somebody came up with a medical identity card for us sufferers to carry so we can use any toilet any time, to prevent us having to explain ourselves when we're desperate to go and certain people won't let you use their toilet. I bet a lot of people agree with me on this.

E-mail Carolyn: [email protected]

The tale of...GI (8 August 2005)

Since October last year I have been having very bad pain in my right side between my hip/ribs and belly button. Then I get this feeling that I have to run to the loo. I get diarrhea and the pain is unbearable. After going a few times I then go the opposite way and cannot go at all and feel sick and get very hot.

I have been going back and forward to the doctor, and I have had a camera up the back end which showed nothing was wrong. I have had the pain again this week so I went back to the doctor and she has given me these tablets to take, three a day (mebeverine hydrochloride) and I have to go for a barium meal x-ray.

I am a lady of 56 years and am very frightened I have cancer as I feel so ill, and no-one seems to take any notice of me as they say I am always complaining. I am at my wits' end, a cousin of mine died the other week of cancer in his stomach, and the doctor was treating him for the bowels.

The tale of...Ellie (15 August 2005)

I was diagnosed with IBS seven years ago. For me it's definitely worse when I am stressed. My bowels are all over the place, sometimes I can't go, sometimes whatever I've eaten comes out the other end in record time and it's just bits of food like it hasn't been digested.

I don't go out much, don't like visiting people or having visitors to the house. The only time I don't have stomach ache is when I'm completely empty, no food in there. I've tried anti-depressants and anti-spasmodics. Some worked for a bit but I'm not taking anything at the moment.

The worst for me is the feeling of terror when I feel my colon cramping up and I know I could be in this unbearable pain for ages. It feels like my intestines are twisted. My husband is great but he knows to keep away from me when I'm in this pain. I just have to be alone till it passes off.

The tale of...Kelly (2 September 2005)

My IBS experience began in 8th or 9th grade, I am now 26. I'm convinced it's something else but all the doctors say nope, just IBS. They have done a colon x-ray and a flex sig and I feel too young to have to go through all this.

It began as just cramps and diarrhea, then it turned to cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting (at the same time! I have to sit on the toilet with a garbage can in between my legs so I can poop and puke at the same time!). I've passed out twice on the toilet from the pain (they even thought it was a seizure disorder at one point!) and I get hives now (they say it's a histamine reaction) and my legs and face go numb!

This is horrible! It doesn't happen as frequently now, I had it yesterday but before that it was about two months since the last 'episode' but when it does happen I want to die! I can't do anything after because I am so weak and sore.

I haven't found any trigger foods, and the only thing the doctors will give me is Levsin and that is worthless, you are supposed to take it for cramps, but 30 seconds after I get cramps I am in the bathroom and can't dissolve anything under my tongue while I am vomiting!

I am glad this site exists, it's helpful, but has anyone else had all these symptoms??

E-mail Kelly: [email protected]

The tale of...Tracey (5 September 2005)

I am 31 years old and have suffered from IBS since the birth of my first daughter 12 years ago. It began with severe constipation which would leave me writhing in agony, but has progressed over the years to be a mixture of both and more recently to persistent diarrhea with severe abdominal cramping.

I found I was eventually able to find relief from the constipation after trying almost every available drug for the relief of constipation. Lactulose would take too long to have an effect, senna gave me agonizing stomach cramps, and Fybogel although fairly effective tasted disgusting. The best for me was Movicol combined with a high fiber diet.

I pretty much had my symptoms under control for several years (in part I think due to taking anti-anxiety medication) but over the last six months I have had a lot of stress and terrible bouts of diarrhea. It's been so bad that I've had to cut a much-needed weekend away with my husband short as I was so drained from having a four-hour spell of diarrhea during the night and had to leave half way around a safari (which wasn't really permitted) as I was so desperate for the toilet!

I've also begun to experience panic attacks again and as many of you say live in constant fear of having to go to the toilet while out shopping or in a restaurant or on a day trip, which also spoils the day for my family.

I find my family very sympathetic but suspect that they think I'm obsessed with my bowels! I am planning a big trip shortly so visited my GP today who prescribed mebeverine and also cipramil (anti-anxiety tablets) so I'm praying for some relief fast and hoping to once again feel normal.

E-mail Tracey: [email protected]

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