A person is standing with their hands on their stomach, a snake with an intestine pattern on its skin and small flames on it's back circles around them mid-air

IBS Is Like a Snake From the Past

When my daughter was 3, I moved back into my dad's house–my childhood home. My sister had just recently moved back as well. My dad had had a few strokes at this point and really needed someone to be close to home. After weeks of cleaning, sorting, and moving things around we got my childhood bedroom set up for me and Z to share. Things were slowly falling into a routine. Little did I know what I was in for.

After a couple of weeks of being back, I was sitting at my computer desk that had a mirror behind it and my daughter was sitting in my bed watching cartoons. I noticed something from the corner of my eye movement. As reality set in I slowly got my daughter off the bed without making too much noise and then took her to my sister. I got my dad and took him to the bedroom for him to be the savior he always was. He didn’t disappoint at all.

IBS stress

What I had seen move in my room was a black rat snake. It had somehow gotten in my room and was moving around the blanket I had up in my window. I know at this point you are probably thinking what does this have to do with IBS? It ties in. I promise.

My dad who was at this point half blind, his depth perception was off, and he had issues with his balance, but that man grabbed that snake by its head and carried it outside. This was my dad though. Always there to be the hero or to make someone laugh. I moved out very quickly because the thought of a snake being that close to my daughter made me panic. So here I am today, sitting in what is now my bedroom, which was my dad's old room. I was writing an article about not being as stressed and things getting better with my IBS. I just moved back into this house a week ago with my now 15-year-old daughter.

Coping with IBS

My dad has been gone 6 years, but my sister is still here as well as my older brother too. Again, things are finally falling into place. Life is beginning to smooth out and we are settling in. As I was writing my article, I heard a noise from the air conditioner in the window beside my bed. I didn’t think much of it until yet again, another black rat snake decided to make my window by my bed (in a whole different room than 12 years ago) a place to say hi.

I don’t know how I kept calm. I yelled for my brother and told him I needed him. The snake was just curled up like it had made the window his home. We got him out and (fingers crossed) hopefully that is the last time I share a bedroom with a snake.

The cycle of symptoms and flares

I write all this to say, even in the worst of your days, whether you are like me, going through a breakup from a 12-year relationship and moving back home or you are having a bad flare up day. Things get better. You may have another day like today but that doesn’t mean it’s the end. Today for me felt like a repeat of 12 years ago. But I held my head high as I got my brother to come get the snake and I will be continuing with my new life.

It may feel like your life is on repeat some days with bad symptoms and flares, but that cycle will end. We just must pick ourselves up and continue.

Do not let the hard days win.

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