A person with flames in their belly is also surrounded by flames.

2020? More like 2020% Flare-Up

2020 has been such a whirlwind of events, as everyone knows. With the pandemic, and everything going wrong because of it, people have been in pretty low spirits, myself included. For those of us with IBS, this means the time spent hunched over or in the washroom has unfortunately increased. A collective flaming pile of poop. Figuratively and literally.

The entire year has felt like one big ongoing flare-up for me. On top of the pandemic, I have experienced two personal losses, family issues, and the end of my relationship.

Difficult emotions cause difficult poops

Back in April, I received sad, devastating news: one of my parents' best friends had passed away. It was a shocking death. So, my bowels said, "Okay time to clog up everything up!!! You want to grieve? You want to find your way out of your shock? Now you can't poop either!! So ha!!"

I spent a good 2 weeks constipated after the passing of my family friend. It sounds very weird, but I think my whole body just had a major shut down. I was feeling so nauseous and so constipated/bloated during that time that I even took a pregnancy test (or 2) just in case... oops! I didn't turn out to be pregnant but I did go so far as to call my doctor to see if it was something more serious (it wasn't).

After receiving incredibly distressing news a couple of weeks ago now, my bowels initially had a hard time adjusting to the new information my life had become flooded with. For the first few nights, my sleep would get broken up by IBS pain, waking up in the night several times. It also wouldn't help; I woke up a few mornings in a row with my bowels inflamed to the maximum.

Self-care with the flare

It's important to remember self-care. That sentiment sounds especially hard, given the struggle to feel a sense of normalcy during this irregular time.

Over the course of the pandemic, I have definitely noticed an increase in constipation that was never there before, which could very well be due to inactivity. I try my best to workout at the very least once a week, but it's hard to feel the need to leave the house unless you absolutely have to in the current climate.

As I've mentioned before, I love being able to work from home currently, so that if I do have issues, I can take all the time I need to recover. Having more time at home means having more time to balance out the day, so at least that has been helpful.

Here's to 2021

Even though there won't be a magical light that will flick on and solve all of our problems once the clock turns midnight on December 31, I am hoping that the year will prove to be better than this one. As such, I hope that will align with the occurrences of my flare-ups.

Here's to better thoughts and better bowels in the new year.

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