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sad tales: women with ibs-d page sixteen

The tale of...Vicky (29 May 2005)

Hi to you survivors. My name is Vicky and after reading a lot of these stories, I also feel so relieved to know that I am not the only one with this curse. As I read these stories I started to think back how long I have had this debilitating curse, and I realize that this started all the way back from when I was in 3rd grade. I had come here to the US from Mexico and didn't speak a word of English and so that's when I had my first accident in the classroom, and I guess since I didn't speak a word of English at the time I didn't pay attention to the other kids snickering.

At the same time I was also going through a traumatic episode in my life and that was molestation. So constant stomach cramps, discomfort, pain, nausea to say the least. I am now 57 years old and have been diagnosed with severe IBS for five years, but I now know that I have had it since 1990 when I had my gallbladder removed together with 25 stones.

Just a month and two weeks ago my partner of five years left me so I'm under a lot of stress (had to move in with my ex-husband because had no place to stay since we (my partner and I) were just about to move to a new place but that didn't happen).

Since I moved in here I have been so depressed that it didn't matter to me what I ate because I felt safe and three feet away from the bathroom, but today my daughter who lives with us and my ex-husband went out to dinner and it all came back, the anxiety, panic attack, hyperventilating, sweats, throbbing of legs and almost tears to my eyes.

My ex-husband doesn't understand. his statement is always 'Drink plenty of water, walk every day, eat foods high with fiber, don't drink pop and so on and so forth', but what he fails to understand is that anything will bring it on.

I find that not eating keeps my stomach quiet, but I am also a diabetic and know that I have to eat. I know all the public bathrooms that I can go into without questions so I developed my own maps from restaurants to get home and I am grateful for them. I also know that my mother has it and so did my father before he died. Lately I've noticed that my daughter is also starting to have symptoms.

I also have spent a lot of time cleaning bathrooms before I use them because when it comes to using public bathroom it's really disgusting what people do to them.

I have been told to carry a change of clothes, to take Imodium and to buy Depends, but I just refuse because I feel that I would loose my sense of strength as a woman and individual. I've had such strong cramping to make me double over and break out in a sweat and then totally but totally be left with no strength whatsoever. Coke and bread is probably the only thing I can eat and be fine. Thank you for now and I'll keep all of you in my prayers.

E-mail Vicky: [email protected]

The tale of...Kelly (1 June 2005)

Well I have been having IBS for a long time now, just didn't know what it was until this year. IBS is horrible, I'm afraid to do anything and everything. I don't want to go out at all, just go to work and that's because I have to go.

I have a husband and he tells me not to let it run my life, he's sort of supportive but gets upset sometimes cause he wants to go out. I haven't been to the movies in three years, we don't even walk the streets of New York city like we used to. I'm really scared that IBS is going to ruin my life with my husband if I don't try and take charge of it.

I also have a daughter. Since I gave birth to her my IBS has worsened. She's two and six months. I'm even scared to go out with her, I feel like I'm holding her back on her fun. This is ruining my life.

I'm 26 years old and feel like I'm 86. All I think about is what if I have to go to the bathroom all day 24/7 from the time I awake until I fall asleep. I'm depressed, I'm tired of taking meds, and as I write this my stomach hurts. I really need some help - anyone out there who thinks they can, or needs a friend to relate to, email me.

E-mail Kelly: [email protected]

The tale of...Rebecca (June 2005)

When I was a young child I had agonizing pain, nausea and violent diarrhea. The doctors had no idea what it was so I wasn't treated. Well it finally went away and so did the memory until shortly after I had my first child, when I was 16. Since then I have diarrhea, constipation and agonizing pain. I am taking Colpermin and co-dydramol and now I'm pregnant the doctors have advised me not to take them. They told me to take paracetamol (like that will work.)

At one point last year for months while I was waiting to see a consultant all I could eat was chicken breast if I didn't want to be ill. When I got to the consultant they gave me an endoscopy and it pushed against my windpipe, and because I was sedated I lashed out at the doctor. Now all I can eat - well, telling you what I can't eat would be easy:

  • Indian
  • pastry
  • fiber
  • Chinese
  • fruit
  • dairy
  • McDonald's
  • vegetables.

The list just goes on, I can only eat a limited amount of food. I also get bad when I'm stressed or nervous, so I'm in for a bumpy ride as I'm getting married in September and that's just got stress written all over it. Now found out I'm pregnant and put a deposit on a dress, and a two year-old who keeps me worn out and moving in late September.

The tale of...Annie (4 June 2005)

I'm so glad I found this site. It is the first time I have ever heard of people suffering in the same way as me. I've had chronic diarrhea for five years, since I was 16. It has gradually gotten worse over the years. The state I'm in now I can't imagine how I managed to get through sixth form! Doctors haven't really made any effort to find possible causes and appear very apathetic to how my IBS is totally destroying my life!

I developed anxiety attacks within six months of initially getting chronic diarrhea. They started due to the fear of needing the loo in the middle of class and having to run out making an exhibition of myself! Now my bowel control is so bad I worry about people discovering a funny smell coming from my trousers!

Fortunately I have not yet suffered a public accident...but this is because I hardly ever go out! My anxiety got so bad I couldn't attend tutorials and seminars so transferred to the Open University where I'm completing my degree from home. (I advise this to others who find attending university difficult!)

I used to be such a sociable happy person with lots of friends. I now only have the one or two close friends who try really hard to understand my problem...but no matter how hard they try...they don't have to handle the constant fear of having to dash to the loo with the possibility of not making it in time, and the cold sweats that flood through my body numerous times a day.

It's the worst when I'm driving somewhere and I desperately need the loo! The lights seems to always be on red, and traffic jams emerge...at times like this I've just cried and cried...praying for the pain to go and that I get home before I soil myself. I now avoid driving!

My strategy of coping with it now is not really eating very much at all! I go out of the house about two days a week after not having eaten for two days and having taken loads of anti-diarrhea tablets. I've managed to maintain friendships this way, however, my degree is coming to a close and I will need to get a job very soon...I hate having to depend on my parents for finance and simple things like going to the shops to buy food because I'm not well enough.

The problem now is coping with anxiety and chronic diarrhea...I don't know how I'll ever get a job or boyfriend at this rate! A day doesn't go by that I don't wish I was just normal...and do simple things like pop down to a local shop. I constantly battle with anger and depression about how IBS has done this to my life. But then remind myself that I am not alone...so many people's lives are restricted by things that have happened to them...I've just got to focus on what I do have...and make the most of it.

If anyone wants to contact me please do...I've become such a recluse and feel very isolated. I will reply. All the best to my fellow chronic diarrhea sufferers.

E-mail Annie: [email protected]

The tale of...Rachelle (28 June 2005)

Hi, my name is Rachelle, I'm 21 years old and I also believe that I am an IBS sufferer. I've been to a specialist and they've taken blood and I've had a rectal examination but nothing more. It is so embarrassing for me to even talk about actually but I think I will also be going for a colonoscopy as my specialist gave me the option.

It is nice to know there are other people out there who know how I feel. You cannot understand what it is like until you have gone through it. My friends make fun of me because I don't go out much anymore, but they have no idea how hard it is to even leave the house when you are feeling this way. I either always have a gurgling stomach which is very irritating or I have the runs.

I started going to university in January which is also when I moved back home with my parents...I think it is stress-induced IBS because it was never this bad until now. My stomach just feels so gassy all the time that it is embarrassing to even go out when you know you might have to run to the can or have gas all night.

I don't even date because of this. I also seem to have much worse symptoms when I am really nervous about something, ie: going to the bar, meeting new people. I just wanted to know if these symptoms sounded like IBS. I am going to go for the colonoscopy but I just wanted to share my story until now because I can totally relate to a lot of them.

I also feel like I am becoming a hermit and I am only 21 years old...it gets really hard when all your friends are partying and having fun and you are stuck at home scared to go out. It does become very depressing! Just wanted to let you guys know that I understand how you feel.

Update on Rachelle...

Hey there....well it's me again. Just letting everyone know that I did go for a colonoscopy and let me tell you, drinking fleet and citro mag in the same day was horrible, but if any of you out there have to go for one don't be too worried....the actual procedure was fine. I was out two seconds after they gave me the drugs.

Anyway, looks like stress-induced IBS is what I've got. I still have to go for a barium x-ray of my small bowel but up to now everything looks normal. I know it's very hard to go out and live a normal life while suffering with IBS; trust me, I know how it feels. But I think the reason a lot of us are feeling this way is because we get so nervous and stress ourselves out about it so often that it makes us feel even worse. You start getting anxiety which makes you stomach feel so nervous and bloated.

In my experience ever since I've started working and going out a little more often it seems to be helping me get over the fear of having to be in the washroom all the time. I think staying home and worrying about it makes you feel a whole lot worse.

Well I just thought I'd try to encourage everyone a little by saying that there is hope and there are ways of going out and having fun...just make sure to take some Imodium with you! We can at least be thankful that it's not a disease, it's a syndrome. I'll keep you posted on what's going on! Hope everyone feels a bit better!

E-mail Rachelle: [email protected]

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