Saturday, 29 April 2017

Embarassed by my Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is seen as one of the most embarrassing disorders to have and from experience, I can safely say that some of the obstacles I've faced have proved this to be true. I'm dishing out the deepest pits of humiliation that my IBS causes. After suffering for 7 years not knowing what was wrong with me, I had a laparoscopy done May 2016 which put an end to that mystery. Some of the challenges I face include extreme abdominal pain which I have nearly everyday, feeling sick, bloating, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, painful sex, unstable bowel habits and most recently night sweats and hot flushes. I used to be embarrassed to talk about this disorder until I realised that there was point in hiding what IBS is about. Very few people are aware of this disorder or what it entails and more awareness is needed. With time, I've learnt to manage my IBS through diet by avoiding my triggers (high gluten foods) or limiting my intake, exercise and trying to stay stress free as often as possible. There are some situations where this culprit makes me want to crawl under a rock and stay there, it is such a messy problem.
avoid the library

Being a student, the library is the one place I'm meant to get my work done in peace surrounded by all the materials I need. Unfortunately, I avoid the library because it's too quiet. My indigestion can get really bad sometimes causing my stomach to make some of the loudest noises I've ever heard. When the stomach rumbling starts, I just have to wait it out which makes me feel really uncomfortable, people start looking at me like I've done something wrong. You can just feel eyeballs on you. Solution: I've had to adapt to doing assignments and revising in Starbucks, this has its pecks I guess, endless supply of green tea. Besides my boyfriend prefers studying in Starbucks now too.

Facilities Scouting

When I'm a new environment, being aware of the facilities' location puts my mind at ease. This is because when you have to go, you have to go and there is no time to waste. Of course, you can only hope that the facilities are not occupied.

Gas

This one has to be the worst and most humiliating of them all. If only it was possible to choose the time you could release gas. What annoys me the most is that most of the time, its just sound, no smell; truly a slap in the face.

Explaining what IBS really is

This is a tough one, how do I explain a condition that I had no knowledge of myself? Finding the right words to use so what I'm saying makes sense is not as easy as it should be, it's all dirty talk. Many people go on ahead to say so you just continuously run to the toilet right? No, not right. There's more pain and torture to it than that.

Amount of time spent in the facilities per visit

A quarter of my life is probably spent in the loo, I wish it was an 'in out' kind of thing but unfortunately it isn't. I'm in the middle of constipation and diarrhea so I have to deal with both at any given time, hence the longer time spent using facilities.

Almost anything I eat can trigger my symptoms

Yes, almost anything I eat can drop me from a 10 to a 2 in a matter of minutes and that is not an exaggeration. Eating out doesn't occur often, it would be a disaster if I ate something that triggered diarrhea in public so home-cooked food is the best food for me.


Irritable bowel syndrome ruins relationships, causes stress, depression, anxiety and can be humiliating but staying positive is key. Get to know your body, do things that make you happy to avoid stress and eat the right foods for you.

HAPPY IBS AWARENESS MONTH!
Nokhuthula xo 
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