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sad tales: women with ibs-c page five

The tale of...Yvonne (26 May 2005)

I have suffered from IBS since I was about 14 years old. It started when I had my appendix out, I had to return to hospital about six months later for a laparoscopy. This meant that I was ill for two months for which I was not able to eat, only drink fluids. They tried everything to get me to go to the toilet but to no avail.

Ever since my operation I have suffered from various forms of stomach problems, ie constipation, diarrhea, stomach cramps and bowel spasms. Even now at 37 I'm sat typing this letter and am feeling pretty low. Everyone laughs at the amount of wind I can produce, they should have my bum, it wouldn't seem so funny then.

The tale of...Michelle (19 June 2005)

Hi, my name is Michelle, I am 22 and I am so glad to have found this website. I think when there is no cure for something, the only thing left to do is to turn to others for help and when I found this site I felt like my world just got a little brighter because it helped me feel like I wasn't alone.

I'll try to make my story brief, but if anything, I hope that someone can read this and it will help them - like many of the stories did for me - to keep waking up every day with the strength to keep on keeping on.

When I was young I remember having some issues with eating high-fat meals and then doubling over the next day. It would only come every now and then during gymnastics meets when I would get incredibly nervous. I later went into springboard and platform diving in high school which helped me get into the US Air force Academy and that's where all my troubles started.

I went through basic training the best I could and to put it lightly, it was a hell I will never forget. It was honestly a great experience and I love pushing myself to my limits, but the periods of not being able to eat enough food while getting yelled at, or feeling sick to my stomach because I was so nervous, or the 15-second bathroom breaks, or the lack of sleep for six weeks while missing home and friends so badly is what really kick-started my IBS.

I never asked or wanted sympathy for any of what I went through because I had picked that lifestyle. I did however fall into what I call 'poor me syndrome' after I started feeling sick and bloated every single hour of the day without any help and no-one knew what to do. Being a cadet was hard, but for the next three years I suffered in my own personal hell of bloating, cramping, sharp stomach pains, nausea, and not being able to stand for long periods of time (which a cadet is required to do a whole lot) without having to pass out.

In the military there is not much specialized medical help and you don't have the time to waste as a cadet being seen by doctors who don't have the time to see you. I want anyone who reads this to take this to heart as much as they can to avoid the situation I got in. Depression is a big side effect of IBS, solely because your whole life changes and you have to revolve your life around this syndrome. Once you have it, there really is no proven way to get rid of it and living with it can be very, very lonely.

If anything, this website can be your haven to relate with other people because you are not alone in your suffering. I was just medically disenrolled from the academy after making it through to the first couple months of my senior year and I have nothing left of that experience except: my IBS, an unfinished education, and the strength to go on. I fell into depression at the academy because everybody's life kept going, while I had to lay sick in a cadet room alone and wait until they could let me go home.

Trust me. All you have is your sanity, your friends and family, and your strength to get through the hard days. Even though some people may take IBS lightly because most people will say, 'Well, it's not like you're dying or have cancer. You should feel lucky,' but it's still everyday pain you have to live with. It's still a syndrome that most people don't understand, that every breathing moment from when you wake up to when you fall asleep it's there and it's painful and hard to deal with.

Please, please, there are people who will listen and help and all you have to do is reach out for help from people who know and live with IBS. Comfort will usually come with sharing your experience and seeking emotional help because as we all know, there is no medication that is a quick-fix.

Thank you so much and if anything, I hope I didn't bore you but gave you some hope to keep on keeping on. I would love to hear from anyone who reads this who wants to share their story with me. Sharing stories helps ease the pain.

E-mail Michelle: [email protected]

The tale of...Nicole (2 July 2005)

I am 21 years old and have been diagnosed with IBS. I have had it ever since I was a tiny girl, maybe three or so. I have never been able to go to the bathroom without a laxative or suppository or enemas, but they never could figure out what was wrong with me until in January it got really bad and I felt like my guts were being burned from the inside out.

I have never had a colonoscopy but have been poked and prodded in every way possible. Constantly given more laxatives and saying eat more fiber. I have spent so much money on this I can't even enjoy the money I make since it all goes to medical bills and I can't get insurance now because those companies don't expect to pay for previously diagnosed diseases.

Anyway, that isn't important. The doctors gave me Zelnorm to treat it. At first it worked and he gave me Kristalose to help 'wake up' the colon since he said I have a dead colon, but it stopped working. I have lost weight because I am afraid to eat and I weigh 130lbs when I look like I should only weigh around 115, but my stomach is always so full!

I can go without a bowel movement for at least two weeks (that is the longest) to a few days. People who can go every day like my boyfriend make me so jealous and I often cry. I don't ever want to go anywhere lately for the fear I might throw up somewhere. I can't even go into a gas station to buy a 7-up because I might have to run into the restroom to throw up. I don't know if that is relevant but it sucks so bad.

One thing I have realized through reading everyone's stories is that they have severe abdominal cramps. That is something I don't have! I have burning but no cramps except for my period cramps. So that makes me confused!

If anyone has any suggestions on anything it would be great. I also want to say that I feel a little relieved that I have said all this stuff to someone out there that understands. Everyone I talk to looks at me like I am disgusting or pathetic, but seriously no-one will ever understand what I go through just to get through my day like everyone who is on this site or reading it right now. Thanks so much for creating a website to help us.

E-mail Nicole: [email protected]

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

For the most part I've learned how to eat for my IBS to ease the pain from a 10 (on a scale of one to 10) to a four or five most days. In case it would help anyone else I never touch red meat, lettuce, or fried foods as a rule. I do better when I eat small portions more often rather than three larger meals each day, and lastly I don't eat after 7pm. For me late night eating is worse than any medieval torture I can think of.

I started experiencing pain about five or six months after having abdominoplasty. I had had three C-sections and wanted a new stomach (ah, the vain vein). I just assumed at first it was the healing process from the surgery, considering the doctor told me it would take a full year to recover completely. So I naturally thought my pain was related to that.

Unfortunately it never got better, it just proceeded to get worse as months and years passed. My mom insisted that I go to my OBGYN. I finally did and guess what, I had very severe endometriosis. He told me I needed a hysterectomy and that once that was done I would have no more pain.

So I had the surgery, and I still had the pain. After seeing several different doctors it was concluded that I had IBS. None of the medication I tried worked. I spent tons of money on different types and nothing worked. Thank goodness I work in a place where I can sit in the bathroom for extended periods of time without getting into trouble.

Now I take nothing except Perdiem, which helps with the constipation. I eat better as I mentioned before and I walk. Walking seems to help a great deal. To all sufferers out there, I feel your pain, my prayers and thoughts are with you and I hope each day gets better for each of you.

E-mail Jacquelyn: [email protected]

The tale of...Natasha (2 August 2005)

I'm 22 years old and have had severe IBS since I was 17. Every day is unpredictable since it won't get under control. I am homebound since my symptoms are 24/7 and there are so many. I can't hold a job since it's so bad.

I'm trying everything I can but I still suffer. The only time I have relief is when I am sleeping! It's extremely hard to live with severe IBS when there is no cure out there that will take the misery away for good. I pray to God every day for a cure.

My IBS makes my severe menstrual cycle 10 times worse and my severe periods make my severe IBS 10 times worse. When my menstrual cycle is coming up I get so scared and stressed because I know the symptoms are going to be unbearable. So unbearable that I can hardly move.

I wish people would be more understanding about IBS. So many people brush it off like it's no big deal which is so sad.

E-mail Natasha: [email protected]

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