My experience of IBS
My experience of IBS – Yes I’m writing my shortened version of my story to tell you how I fixed my IBS after 22 years of complete misery.
I asked my doctor for a colostomy!
Why? Because, I just couldn’t stand it any more.
That was the motivating moment.
I was going to say moving moment but decided not to. I found I developed humour as well as wind when I had IBS – gladly I still have the humour!!
Now, on a more serious note…
My stomach / intestines have been a burden to me for years. It all started off on a business trip to London in the early 1980’s. I had a Chinese meal in a restaurant on Kensington High Street with a colleague after a gruelling day at Earls Court. The event was an agricultural show, the Smithfield Show and there were stock present, (that’s pig’s sheep and cows for the townies amongst us). I was fine until 2.00 a.m. the following morning. Then my world started to revolve, not the beer I thought, I’d only had two pints. We were entertaining customers early the next day so we decided we wouldn’t go mad that night.
Sick, well that wasn’t the word. Pinned to the toilet and the washbasin and all I wanted was to be at home. Hotels aren’t the place to be ill are they? We all need the comfort of home when we’re ill.
Well it had to start somewhere and I guess some of you will have started the same way may be. Others will have started differently or mysteriously. The source of food poisoning came not from my first guess the Chinese restaurant, but from the cows at the exhibition. I hadn’t been near them, but the Environmental Health Officer who came to see me said, ‘May be a stockman had dirty hands and handled the same pack of sandwiches that I had selected for lunch that day. I had passed the contamination from the outside of the packet to the sandwiches themselves’ and hey presto, this was the start of my nightmare life of IBS.
The bug was Campylobacter, no wonder I’m a man on a mission with bleach now, hunting bugs down. This was the start of my antibiotic nightmare. Every time I got sick and had antibiotics, no matter what type, it resulted in a bad gut and IBS flare ups which took progressively longer and longer to recover from. I got to the point of what seemed like no recovery from IBS.
I felt like a pincushion I had tubes and needles from all directions. I must have consumed a load of NHS budget all on my own. Yes like you, loads of hospital visits and I had all the tests, blood tests, stool tests, camera up, up periscope, I likened some of the specialists to U Boat commanders but they never found the target and destroyed it!
Then it was camera down, camera up, barium meal down, barium enemas up, the whole shooting match. You name it, like you perhaps, I had it.
The periods of relative wellness became fewer and fewer. After that were few respites, but if any amount of stress, (good or bad variety) came along – BANG I was stricken with what can only be called explosive diarrhoea, griping stomach pain, wind, sweating and feeling cold. Alternately, feeling like I was about to pass out trying to control the symptoms– great! But then I guess you know the feeling because that’s why you are reading this now.
Culminating with going to the toilet between 7 to 15 times a day on a bad day and 4 on a good day at best.
These attacks or episodes continued for years, tens of years, if I were late for a meeting, stuck in traffic, going out with the family for a meal, special occasion, if I was waiting to board a plane, going out to dinner with friends. It seemed that in the end just about any event no matter how small, never mind how big, it would kick off. I just found it easier to stay home and watch TV so I could be close to the toilet!
I think I could get into the Guinness book of records not because of the colour of it but for the most varied places visited to go to the toilet – yes indoors and out, on motorway embankments in the pouring rain, if you know what I mean. Am I proud of it? NO, but I don’t want to repeat it ever again. Neither do you I’ll bet. The sheer terror that comes over you in a wave is like your own internal tsunami.
I took to getting up at 4.00 a.m in the morning to try and ensure I was ‘Empty’ before I went out to work. I knew every toilet and stopping place between home and the office, or anywhere else for that matter. KFC, McDonalds and Pizza Hut, Little Chef, Sainsbury and Tesco and every petrol company on earth cos they had a Loo. They became my best friends, not for the food, but for the clean toilets. If I could found a public convenience that was bust, then had no paper, or was filthy, I still had to go – desperate times require desperate measures someone once said – ‘How true’.
I kept a change of clothes in the car, water and baby wipes. You know all this. I bought a suit with two pairs of trousers, a ‘just in case pair’, I had toilet paper in the glove box and boot of the car.
Yes life’s a ball with IBS. I once said, when you’re not doing Poo, you feel like Poo, or worrying where you can Poo. IBS is when life’s dropping out of your bottom or is it the bottoms dropping out of your life?
All this came at a time when I had tremendous workload. I changed jobs and got with a better company. More money yes, great, but with that came more responsibility, came even more IBS, came even more stress, came even more IBS. You know how the cycle goes. The company was taken over, more stress, more IBS. That could almost be an advertising tag line for a commercial for IBS! I was starting to have time off. I couldn’t conceal it any longer. Things were coming to a head.
My whole life and that of my immediate family was transfixed on my toileting habits – IBS was a life wrecker. It wrecked your self esteem, everyone knows the problem, ‘you think they see you as weak’. Things got so bad for me that I had to do something about it. I was respected as being good at what I did. In fact two people were eventually employed to replace me. Yes I was doing a great job, but at what cost and to whom?
Reality eventually struck – The colostomy request made to Dr. Blackman my GP was the turning point. He gave me some good advice. You change and things will change. Stay the way you are and the nightmare will continue to happen and get worse if that were possible.
I wasn’t quite sure what to do or how to do it. But things had to change as I really didn’t want the colostomy, a bag on my side. As described by my GP ‘It wouldn’t be good in your 40’s, or any other age for that matter.
How would that do for the self esteem and confidence?’
He said you are good at systems engineering in your work so why not do it for yourself? I was too close to the problem to handle the problem. I suppose I couldn’t see the problem for the trees or was it paper pulp in the form of paper – toilet paper.
So you need a plan.
A bit like trying to eat an elephant, you couldn’t do it all at once. Eat it bit by bit and get the job done – get rid of IBS.
The book tells the rest of the story and more. I am free now of IBS and have been in remission if that’s the right term for 15 Years now. Read the book and bookmark the site to find out what things I used, what I discovered and what’s available now. Find out how you can get back on track relatively quickly – remember IBS didn’t come in a day and it won’t go in a day, but by sticking to the program and doing the tasks religiously, you will be surprised what you can learn about yourself, your body, your mind, your relationships home and at work, that you’ve been missing and best of all get rid of IBS for ever.
Anyone who tells you you can be better in a day is a LIAR! There is no Magic bullet for IBS
How it came to pass, as the saying goes.
I had a radical change of career. I retrained, became a Foot Heath Practitioner, where I learnt about anatomy and physiology, Reflexologist and Yes as you can see now I’m a Clinical Hypnotherapist. The first career change and subsequent life change experience was sufficient to totally readjust the situation and allow me to be the ruler of my stomach rather than the other way around.
Diet, exercise and the strategies contained within (this book) help you readjust, modify your life, modify the actions of your gut, your self esteem and confidence to allow you to go out there and get your life back. Determination and effort, along with the contents of this site (and book) will get you there. If you feel you are weakening you have moved away from the program, get back on the program, you can and you will succeed in mastering your IBS.
Enjoy the Journey
Phil Green Dip.H, Lic APHP (LHS)