IBS Ruins Everything!

One of the hardest parts about living with irritable bowel syndrome is putting food into my body. I know how it’s going to affect me, and therefore sometimes I just don’t feel like I want to eat at all! It doesn’t matter if it’s solid food or a beverage, I will soon after start feeling symptoms like bloating, nausea, stomach pain, or worse, immediate diarrhea. It’s a result that never fails, and not eating is obviously out of the question or else I’ll die of starvation. So if I eat, I’m in pain; and if I don’t eat, I’ll eventually be in pain. There’s no winning this battle.

Starting off on the wrong foot

Recently, I attended a friend’s baby shower and it started off being one of the worst evenings ever. Before I attended, I ate something that didn’t sit well with my stomach and IBS, so I was already having a hard time getting prepared for the event. Every time I attempted to put on my clothes, I ended up taking them right back off because my stomach was so distended and uncomfortable. All I wanted to do was strip down naked since every piece of clothing that was on my body intensified my flare up even more. My insecurities make me feel like that last sentence might have been too much information, but hey, I’m raising awareness about what some of us IBS sufferers have to go through in order to cope with our condition. Nonetheless, I sucked up the pain, put my clothes back on and made my way to the baby shower because I felt it was more important to show support and courtesy to my friend on her journey to becoming a parent for the second time.

Throughout the night of the baby shower, the pain got worse and worse. It also didn’t help that the host of the baby shower made sure everyone in attendance had a plate a food, even though I refused to eat anything. I felt so bloated, constipated, and distended that I was ready to leave before the party even got started. For some reason when I’m out in public, psychologically it’s hard for me use a public restroom when I have to go #2, so it wasn’t like I could relieve some pain by having a bowel movement. Again, this is another piece of information that is hard to share but I’m raising awareness and it’s important that others understand the difficulties some of us have to face throughout certain experiences, no matter how personal. Eventually, as the night went on I started developing a sour face and it was becoming slightly obvious that I wasn’t having such a good time.

Trials and tribulations

While I was sitting at the table, clearly uncomfortable, a friend asked me if I wanted a drink from the open bar. That was the point of the night where I was fed up with my IBS. In fact, I gained such a careless attitude that I decided to say “Screw it” and ordered a drink while I did my best to enjoy myself. I know what you’re thinking, I committed one of the deadly IBS sins. This is definitely not a recommended tactic to easing your anxiety or symptoms, and I probably would never do it again only because alcohol very rarely numbs my pain, but for some reason, this night it did. The more I drank, the less I pain felt and I was starting to have a good time by the very end of the party. You’re probably also thinking that if anything, the alcohol would have added to the pain, so why would I still take risk and consider drinking?

You’re right, later that night and the next few days after, I felt horrible trying to recover from what I ate and drank. However, I’m only human and when I see others eating and drinking whatever they want and enjoying it, sometimes I want to indulge as well. When I’m trying everything I can to prevent symptoms and they still come, it’s so upsetting that it makes me want to go off the deep end and overindulge. That night, I told myself that if I had to suffer anyway then I might as well suffer while being a little less sober, and luckily this night it temporarily worked in my favor. However, the moral of this story isn’t to drink to numb the pain, which never works for IBS. The whole point of this is to show how IBS can ruin almost any event, no matter how much you try to prepare yourself physically or mentally. Also, feeling pressured to eat the food that people worked hard to prepare for the event is inevitable. This makes me ask myself, should I even attend these kinds of events at all? Unfortunately, we IBS sufferers must put ourselves through so many obstacles in order to function and enjoy life like a healthy person would.

How do you deal with attending events that serve delicious food and drinks, knowing that it will affect your symptoms?

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