Chained to the Porcelain Throne
Have you ever eaten something you probably weren't supposed to that had you using the bathroom several times in just a few hours? Well, I go through that almost every day due to my IBS and many times it doesn’t always matter what I eat, and also some days are worse than others. In fact, as I write this article, I am currently going through the worst with my condition. I’m not sure what I ate that is causing my IBS to misbehave so badly, but what I do know is that I’m beyond tired of sitting on the “porcelain throne”. So far today, I’ve literally sat on the toilet six times within a 5-hour period, and I know it’s not going to stop there. Most people without IBS only use the bathroom on average three times throughout their entire day. I’ve been dealing with this condition for so long that I could never fathom that being a reality for me.
Although it’s at times referred to as a “throne”, we all know that toilets are not comfortable to sit on for longer than a few minutes, leaving us with numb legs, back pain, and not to mention the pain and discomfort that comes from straining for so long. Its days like this that I feel like I’m imprisoned in my own home, in my small, dimly lit bathroom. This type of pain can become unbearable and overwhelming, and I want to describe to you all, whether you have IBS or not, how intense my pain is during moments like this.
Hunger and stomach pain
Right now, my insides, including my intestines and colon, feel so sensitive and overused. As I walk, with every step I take I can feel the pain throbbing from inside my gut to my anus. The more I use the bathroom due to the urgency that overcomes me every half hour or so, the emptier my stomach feels, which eventually causes me to become extremely hungry. However, I’m afraid to eat anything because I feel that it can possibly intensify my current pain. Then again, I’m also trying to give my body the chance to clear out what’s troubling my digestive system, if what’s causing the diarrhea is actually from something I ate (it could also be from the stress I’ve been under recently… hard to tell).
Either way, the hunger mixed with the stomach pain doesn’t help with my overall mood, and especially with my productivity. I can hardly think straight or focus on anything for too long due to my IBS symptoms constantly sending me through a never-ending cycle. My entire body and mind feels extremely weak and fatigued, and I don’t know how I’m going to get much done today. In fact, I am only mustering up so much energy to write about my current experience at this moment due to my medical cannabis, which is thankfully giving me some relief, but not quite enough.
Just trying to work
At this point of the day I just want to get my work done, but every time I sit down at my desk, the pain in my lower back and anus becomes too much to handle and I quickly get very uncomfortable. I constantly have to take breaks during my work time, which the best thing for me to do is lay down and try to relax. However, after a while, even lying down still doesn’t stop the feeling of urgency and yet again I’m rushing to the bathroom.
It's days like this that I’m so thankful that I work from home because if I didn’t, then I for sure would have called out of work today. Going through this makes me remember the horrible times when I had to deal with an IBS attack or flare-up at work, and I could barely get anything done. In fact, I’ve had a number of awful experiences at multiple jobs in my past due to my IBS, which is what actually forced me to find a way to work from home. Working from home definitely makes dealing with IBS less embarrassing because I don’t have to explain my situation to my boss or coworkers who might not understand, but the pain and discomfort that occurs when I am trying to be productive is something that seems to never go away.
Coping by writing
I felt like I needed to write about the current flare up I’m experiencing for a couple of reasons:
- I want to get this out before my depression decides to kick in and take over. Writing about my experiences is one my best ways of coping with my illness.
- I truly believe that being open and vulnerable can eventually help someone else feel less alone in their suffering. Some people need to hear raw stories like this to give them hope that if other people going through the same thing can keep going, then so can they.
Can any of you with IBS relate to this experience? If so, what is the most number of times you have used the toilet in a short period and how would you describe your pain? Well, thanks for reading and I look forward to your responses.
Do you have difficulties with setting boundaries and saying no?