Things I Learned About My IBS In 2018
I quickly want to share with you all what I have learned about my IBS condition and myself this past year during 2018, in hopes that you all will be willing to share something new you have learned about your condition or yourself as well. I think it’s important to reflect and evaluate how each year of your life has gone, so that you can either appreciate how far you’ve come or know what it is you must improve on to lead a better and happier lifestyle.
One major new thing I have learned about my IBS is that I experience something called visceral hypersensitivity. I have talked about this in my past articles, but it basically means that I feel the normal activity that goes on in my gut at a very heightened and oversensitive level. So, the main example I always like to use in my articles is that when there is a gas bubble flowing through my intestines, it feels like a sharp knife is slicing my insides. It feels extremely intense and painful.
However, for people who don’t suffer from IBS and/or visceral hypersensitivity, they just feel a slight painless vibration or rumble in their stomach. I must say I’m happy I learned the term visceral hypersensitivity because when I explain it to some people, they get a better understanding of my symptoms and daily struggles. It makes me feel more comfortable explaining my condition through this perspective because I don’t always like talking about the number of times I sit on the toilet, even though that’s a major part of my daily struggle as well.
No changes with doctors
Another thing I learned, or better yet relearned, about my condition this year is that every medical doctor is still not fully educated on IBS, and many still lack empathy for those who suffer from it. Earlier this year, I went to see a doctor about my IBS because I hadn’t seen one in years due to many not taking my pain seriously, and they can only do so much for me anyway since there is no cure available to me yet. Long story short, I truly wanted to see if I would have a different experience this time. And, not surprising to me, nothing seemed to have changed.
I was hoping to finally build a relationship with a medical professional who can somewhat guide me in the right direction as I continue this journey of living with and managing my condition. However, I guess I must continue this journey of managing my symptoms and researching new treatments on my own (along with the family and friends who are part of my support system, of course).
One last thing I will mention that I’ve learned about my condition and myself in 2018 is that I am truly growing much stronger mentally than physically. Before, when I would suffer from flare-ups or IBS attacks, I would just complain so much and allow the pain to make me a miserable person anywhere and everywhere I went. I couldn’t attend a family or friend function without showing how miserable I was feeling, and I certainly couldn’t go to work without complaining about my pain all the time.
However, now that I get to deal with my condition under my own terms, like working from home for the past couple of years, I feel that I am in more control over my life. I have been able to practice tolerating my pain and not be such a whiny person at the same time. In other words, I have learned to feel comfortable suffering from a flare-up and still being happy and content about my circumstances. I also get to work on own my schedule and adjust my life to best fit living with a debilitating condition, and I couldn’t be happier because now I get to spend more time with my son who is on the way, coming January of 2019.
I have learned a lot about my condition and myself this year so far, and I feel like I’m seeing things clearer and clearer as time goes on. I have learned more about how my condition affects me physically, and therefore I’m able to develop a new mindset in dealing with the pain and circumstances it brings me. I also have learned that many doctors still don’t perceive IBS to be a serious enough condition, so I’m thankful that I am able to count on myself and my support system throughout this journey.
And this point brings me to the last thing I have learned (and continue to learn), which is I am truly becoming mentally stronger as a person because I have been able to deal with my pain with a sense of positivity and tolerance than I ever had before. Overall, I am learning more and more how to take control over my life and change my environment whenever necessary to best fit me for the sake of my health and happiness.
What have you learned in 2018?