IBS Success in 2023
Someone asked me how I was doing managing my IBS these days. I had to think about my answer for the first time in a long time. Since the deepest darkest days of COVID, my very quick answer would have been ‘terrible’. While for several years before COVID, I was a very, very active participant in my goal to ‘recover’ from IBS.
I lost my hope, my path, whatever you want to call it sometime during that period. And that desire to feel better disappeared for a very long time.
Yes of course, there was depression. A sort of sad resolution. I had tried so many things and I was still getting awful flare ups and staying in the bathroom for hours. I was embarrassed about it, especially regarding my 18 year old kids. So, I gave up. For a while.
Events in the beginning of 2023 caused a change for the better. I’m proud to be able to talk about that now.
Caring for myself again
I know that most, if not all, parents dread when their children will go away from home for the first time. Whether it's college, the military or something else, we just don’t want them to go very much, do we?
That first seed towards hope and action took root when I realized that I was going to have a lot more time to care for myself. I realized just how little I had been doing that for the previous couple of years.
I started slow. Drinking more water than usual, ditching the wine, coffee and ‘treats’. I graduated to riding a bike, and went back to both my IBS doctor and therapist for the first time in several years. I started feeling better almost immediately. And the better I felt, the more proud of myself I became.
Managing my IBS
When I used to be a social worker, I would warn people about excessive pride in short term achievements. While I still agree with that logic, one can derive strength and power and will from a bit of pride. Kept to healthy level, pride can be the catalyst for the continuation of progress.
I turned 49 years old in 2023. I am proud of who I am, but could be doing more for myself and managing my various illnesses. As I have mentioned in previous articles. I struggle with a mixed episode IBS (IBS-M), gastritis, intermittent ulcers. The fact that I ignored these things for so long when I was so vigilant in previous years, caused me to take a good hard look at my health in general.
I finally got the blood tests I was afraid to get. Got some work done on my teeth and my tummy feels so much better than it did. It’s given me a lot to think about.
So, with that first glass of cold water that I drank to ‘start’ caring for myself, I have learned a lot and l am looking to learn even more.
Until next time.
Are there steps that you've taken on your IBS journey that you're proud of?
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?