Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Fed Up With Not Being Fed Well
I am tired of fasting. I am tired of being hungry. Irritable bowel syndrome? I am tired of it. It used to be much easier to fast, but I am now bitter, hungry, and angry. Perhaps you are, too.
My family was scheduled to have professional portraits last weekend. As I sat eating tuna and crackers for dinner to prepare to leave home the next day, I was bitter. What could make this worse? Our friends decided last minute to prepare a steak dinner for us. When I thought of the steak knowing I had to skip it, I was angry. When I worried about whether or not our new friends would understand, I was sad thinking of how IBS might affect our new friendship.
Skipping meals to get things done
I had no choice. If I ate beef and salad the night before our appointment, we would have to cancel our scheduled photography session. Instead of eating a steak, I was forced to eat tuna. I was also forced to fast the entire day while we were away from home because we had to drive over an hour each way. I did indeed fast that day, starving and angry. Traveling with IBS is a nightmare.
For those of you who do not have IBS, imagine eating nothing throughout the day and having a dinner of tuna and crackers. You go to bed hungry. Then you wake up the next day starving and cannot eat until that evening. This is how we are living with IBS. We are starving to death or living in our bathrooms, and I am tired of it. It is hard to call this living. We are, in many cases, merely surviving.
Bitter about bland diets and starvation
I know far too many people think IBS is “just diarrhea” or “just constipation.” It is so much more. Irritable bowel syndrome affects your entire life. It is starving to attend events if we are in the middle of a flare. It is being forced to cancel events last-minute due to an unexpected flare. Many of us try to stick to bland diets or resort to fasting to have some semblance of normal life and avoid accidents.
Try eating a diet of tuna, crackers, chicken broth, and plain rice. Do that every single day or stay in the bathroom all day. Do not eat anything if you want to leave home. Now, do that for the rest of your life. If you fail to do this, you will stay tethered to a bathroom, endure relentless cramping and pain, and possibly have an accident in public. You survive by eating what is considered safe foods and hope for the best. That is what IBS is, and then some.
Seeking solutions and a decent meal
Folks, I am sick of starving. I am certain you are, too. Fasting is becoming much harder to do, so I find it easier to stay home as much as possible. I am happy to do so since that allows me to actually eat. Of course, I still suffer the consequences and end up dealing with a good bit of pain. The alternative is to starve, and I am fed up with not being well-fed.
Are you fed up with starving or a restrictive diet? How do you cope? Do you fast for events and appointments? If so, how do you handle feeling like you are starving? I would love to hear how you are managing because I am not doing so well right now.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?