An Imodium Betrayal

Last updated: January 2022

Getting diagnosed with IBS has had a lot of similarities with the 7 steps of grief. It's not strictly a 1:1 comparison, nor is my IBS journey in the same order as those grief steps, but I constantly find myself denying, bargaining, accepting, etc., with food after every meal. It all depends on how it hits me. Sometimes I'll be surprised with how well I do with whipped cream or cheese and broccoli soup. Other times I'll be wiped down to my bones from a piece of cornbread. It all depends on what lady luck has in store for me.

I trusted Imodium for my IBS symptoms

This little pill has been my saving grace this past year. It's allowed me to go out to a football game and eat BUFFALO WINGS. Like, I'm from Buffalo, NY, and being able to eat them again was a miracle since Imodium had my back. I've been able to go to acting auditions in New York City and out on dates without pooping my pants before, during, or afterward. I lived, for so long, neglecting myself and my schedule because I didn't research to find myself a pill that's supposed to keep my gut closed for business until the next day where I can purge in peace. Away from the thing I wanted to do.

My IBS interrupted a holiday dinner

I pooped twice during Thanksgiving. I didn't go at the table, or like, have an accident or anything. But I had to use the bathroom twice, during the meal. It was extra disheartening that my mom had worked all day, and my uncle drove out to see us after having not visited the previous year due to COVID-19. This was the year for prime thankfulness and togetherness. I pooped in my 2 Imodium and went to town on the fixings spread before me. Turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, salad, cornbread dressing, the cranberry sauce. The whole lot. I was looking at my folks and chatting when my stomach went cold.

My stomach churned and gurgled. I knew it had to happen. There I was, just sitting there, bargaining with time herself. Wanting to enjoy my meal seemed like a fool's errand. Was it really so wrong wanting to look at my family and be present, but even instead of using the bathroom immediately? I even fought with myself and tried to talk, meekly, through blood-boiling cramps. It was time. So I politely excused myself and used the restroom. Twice. Then when I came back, we were wrapping up. I felt so bad! Not that anybody would have judged me, they understand what I face. But the sheer arrogance I had in just popping two pills right before the biggest meal of my life.

The hubris! Imodium has almost always had my back, but that day revealed that, like me, it isn't perfect. It didn't ruin my Thanksgiving or the memories I had with my family, far from it. But it did remind me that I need to take IBS more seriously. Imodium won't make me invincible, no matter how much it might make me feel that way. I need to accept that my body has food and diet limitations, and shutting my guts down for a day won't stop the problem. Doing my due diligence, however, will. There's nothing wrong with admitting to myself, even with family, that I have IBS and that there are consequences that come with it. Just took a handful of 'lil cranberries to realize it!

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