State of the World Confusion
Anyone else having their stomach turn on a daily basis? Okay, we’re IBS sufferers, so maybe it looks more like your stomach has cramps and gas pains that make it where you can’t move, or you eat something and it goes right through you. Or maybe you win the ultimate prize of never knowing what mood your stomach will be in that day.
The impact of COVID-19 on IBS
If you’re anything like me this past month, you’ve experienced the impact COVID-19 can have on IBS. It isn’t the virus itself, but the confusion, worry, anxiety, sadness, and loss. Maybe even anger? Anger at the confusion, worry, anxiety, sadness, and loss? I thought I was handling things pretty well actually. I wasn’t over the top worried, I was cautiously optimistic, I obeyed safety regulations and suggested means of daily living. I did it all – all without losing my mind – all without getting caught up in it. Then, this past week, it all changed!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still taking all of the safety precautions and doing the right thing here (I wear my mask, I swear! Haha!) The difference is, I now have been exposed to the rantings online of some people who do not believe in the status quo of listening to what we are being instructed to do. I’m not talking about the groups who believe this isn’t real or "it’s a hoax," nonsense. I’m speaking about a handful of individuals online who are educated, intelligent (for the most part), into health/fitness/cutting edge research, and possibly into politics as it relates to the treatment of us as a people. Oh, and one more thing. These people have masses of followers online. Yes, hundreds of thousands of people being influenced by this opposing view of how things are being currently handled today.
This is why my stomach is in knots and feels like it’s exploding! Not because of people having a difference of opinion, but because I am someone that looks for truth…and in this situation, there is no one truth. There is the unknown for the most part, and then how people choose to respond to those variables.
Looking for truth during the pandemic
I hate the fact that businesses are failing due to lockdowns by the government, people hurting financially/mentally/emotionally, and families and friends separated. I hate it, I do. But, I also hate that there are some people who do not believe everyone deserves the right to be protected from this virus. The clear message these online influencers are sharing is: They believe the majority of people are healthy and our immune systems were made to fight off whatever comes, they believe only the compromised should be the ones quarantined so it’s not at the expense of others, oh, and they seem to be very verbal about people being at risk because they are sugar-craving, donut-eating, Netflix-watching, lazy people. What?
How about the tri-athlete who recently died of COVID-19 but had lived and breathed a “healthy” lifestyle? Well, their response to that was, “They put stress on their bodies by training hard.” Just writing this is starting the rumblings in my tummy again – the mix of emotions that stir things up. Hold on to your hats though…there’s more!
Now, there are “doctors” (yes, they really are MDs, but most have been discredited by one medical group or another) that are posting videos on YouTube about everything from COVID-19 conspiracy theories to not needing any social distancing measures or masks (some of these docs do not wear masks at all), to opening up all business, schools, etc. immediately, all the way to welcome a herd mentality exposure solution (there’s plenty of factual numbers/reports to show why this is probably not the best option for the United States, and it’s too large of a topic to cover in this article, ha…ha).
My IBS symptoms have increased from stress
As you can see, there is SO much data out there swirling around! Everything, by everyone, seems to be stated as fact. Obviously, that can’t be the case. Similar to political debates, there are multiple sides saying their facts are correct even though there are conflicting views. Anyone else having a problem with this? This takes stress influencing IBS symptoms to a whole new level. Nausea creeps in, and I just want to hide. Bathroom times go up. Foods don’t play nicely with my digestion. The good news is…well, I’m home anyway! Haha. Thank goodness for small miracles?!? Kidding.
So, where do I leave you…I can’t end this here where I have your tummy in knots too! I know, I’ll leave you with this quote by Andrew Clements, “But fear doesn't need doors and windows. It works from the inside”. What am I trying to say here? I’m saying we have the ultimate power to calm our mind (and tummy) by recognizing where we let our focus rest. I don’t know about you…but, I’m going to look inward! Stay safe my friends! :)
Do you read nutrition labels on the food you buy?