IBS and Me, and how I may not be crazy afterall.

If you've read my blog for any real length of time, you may have realized I'm a bit bonkers. Actually, I do have a disorder that affects my mood.  I've known it affected it for a while, but for some reason I never put two and two together. I was never good at math anyway.

I suffer from what's known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and yes it's as bad as it sounds. There are different subtypes of it and you don't need any more detail than that, but it SUCKS!  

For a friendly brochure discussing what those of us who have it don't want to talk about, please go to THIS LINK. If you were so inclined to read more about this affliction, you can go to THIS LINK .  

So, anyway one of the symptoms is Depression. This is usually brought on by the emotional distress of simply HAVING IBS. But I think it goes deeper than that. I think it's become almost Pavlovian for me. 

My IBS is pretty much constant now, but there are times when it really flares up with an "attack". The daily symptoms you kind of just get used to and it becomes the norm, but when one of the big ones attack, it affects me even emotionally. It's like the first twinges of abdominal pain trigger the Depression and moodiness. If I am hurting, especially to the point where I can barely stand up straight, it simply sets off every bad mood I could possibly have... mean, bitchy, short tempered, snarky, even start cussing like my dad, then the sadness and despair. 


I actually used to think I "got sick" because of the emotional stress or moodiness etc, but it's the other way around!  Some of you may be going, "DUH!", but really I never thought of it like that.  There's not a whole lot I can do about a full blown attack other than sleep as much as I can, try not to eat anything to make it even worse, and do not leave the house.  I have to stay near that bathroom (yeah sorry, but I do keep it real here).  I think having to stay home has always just compounded the depression. 


I am hoping now that I am aware that the physical symptoms are triggering the emotional ones, maybe I can start to control them. 


I pray that someday a real name can be given to the condition, because as it is now, it's the catchall term for "I have no idea why that's happening," and that there will finally be a cure. I know it can happen. 


My father had GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) before people even knew what that meant. He died from heart failure due to his esophagus basically being eroded away by the disease and bleeding to death in his sleep. That was in January of 1988 right in the middle of my senior year of high school. Four months before graduation. Prilosec was introduced in 1989 and Nexium soon after. Those medications would have saved his life. So, I KNOW illnesses get acknowledged and get medications to cure them. I am especially grateful because my 14 year old has the early symptoms or GERD, and now my hubby sounds just like my dad did every morning... I guess since IBS is not technically life-threatening it's not at the top of anyone's list, but I can have hope... especially since my oldest seems to also have IBS.


So, thank you for reading, and I hope if you know anyone who has IBS that you'll be able to understand them a little better. It sometimes forces us to live completely different lives than people who are non-IBS. Some of us are able to deal with it and cope in some way, but there must be so many out there who suffer with not knowing what's wrong, embarrassment, even loss of job or having to quit school, or horribly even losing a marriage. Here's hoping for a cure in my lifetime!


 

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