Wednesday, July 2, 2008

IBS: I Can Live With It Now

I remember the first time my stomach lost its mind. We were traveling in Kansas or Oklahoma, near absolutely nothing, and I suddenly thought I would die. My stomach was in despair and suffering and I needed to make the immediate acquaintance of a bathroom.

After that miserable experience, those stomach problems became a fact of life for me. They accompanied me on every date, every social gathering, every school test or presentation, and sometimes, every meal. Those problems also showed up when I was at home happily reading or chatting with a friend. They've accompanied me to bed, to my wedding, and to every job I've ever had. I've left meals abruptly, ended dates way early (early on, Checkered thought I didn't like him because I wanted to go home early on so many dates), hung up on relatives and friends, and chosen not to bike ride/exercise/walk farther than a block from my house. I've also learned that when the stomach is bad, it's simply less embarrassing to avoid friends altogether.

Once Checkered married this stomach, he learned the art of finding a bathroom for me quicker than you could tie your shoes. He knows the look when we are out and about and I need to leave NOW. And boy oh boy did my kids hate to be with me when my stomach got grouchy and we were at a store. It's a long, slow process to get the stomach to return to "normal" after one of these episodes.

So after lots of lay thought and girl friend diagnoses, I went to the doctor who ordered all those messy tests. The diagnosis? It's so unpleasant to the ear that I hesitate to type it. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. There. It's public knowledge now. Let's see how it looks in other languages:

French always looks better than English:

syndrome irritable d'entrailles

I'm not sure this one is much better than its English version:

prikkelbare bowel syndroom

This one sounds serious:

раздражительный синдром кишечника

Anyway, back to ME, ME, ME

At it turns out there really has been no medical intervention available. I was just looking for a little pill, but got told to add lots of fiber or avoid the trigger foods (pretty much every food out there!) I was told to find a counselor to help me deal with stress (but what about the bouts where there was almost no stress in my life??) In short, nothing worked too well and I was left to hunt down bathrooms wherever I went.


Digestive Advantage: IBS

Now this stuff is gold. I am not sure what it's really doing to me long term, but I do know that:

* I went to a banquet last week and never needed to look for the facilities.

*I ate fried foods and ice cream before work, and my students were very sad that I didn't have to leave class early,


*when my stomach did get a little funny the other day, I was in Lowes and that's a very nice place to be indisposed. Unfortunately, I didn't have to stay in there nearly as long as I used to, so I didn't get very many bathroom remodeling ideas.

So there you have it. Good news from the prikkelbare bowel syndroom front (or back, as it were.)
P.S. Do NOT get the chewable version. It tastes so bad that the IBS pales in comparison. Go to CVS and get the capsule.

No comments: