New Normal, Part 2

Making a decision to leave your job you love and move 6 hours back to "home" was one of the hardest decisions I have made. COVID, not only scared me due to seeing it daily, my mother caught it. Then my sister-in-law's father passed away from complications due to it. On Thanksgiving 2020, we lost my aunt. This was a sign to me. A sign that I needed to be closer to my family.

Being close to family

My daughter and I sat down with my family and friends and discussed in length this decision. It was hard but I – quite literally – felt it in my gut this was the right thing for us. Within hours the symptoms I had been dealing with for months started to go away. No more migraines, upset stomach, decrease in IBS flares, and overall I just felt better. Days later we found our new home and made the drive back to Illinois to get our things.

Being back in Tennessee has been really good for us. I still have IBS-D – that’s not leaving any time soon but I am able to control it better. One of the perks of living in a tiny town is there is literally nowhere to get fast food unless you feel like driving 15 minutes. This has helped me to make better choices about what I am putting into my body. Southern cooking is a perk too – there’s just nothing like being home.

Deciding to work from home

I also decided it would be best for me to work from home. This has been the biggest and best change for me yet. All the stress of worrying about making it to the bathroom in time and having my co-workers have to pull my slack is gone. I know this isn’t the best option for everyone but for me – it made the difference.

Focusing on my health

I now am focusing more on my health. The biggest thing I have learned over the last 6 months is portions really make a difference for me. Through all these changes babysitting my niece during the week has been the biggest help. Anyone who has or is around kids much know that chasing a 3-year-old around makes sitting down to eat a meal almost impossible. Most people consider this a burden but for me, it was a blessing.

Dealing with IBS

In my lifelong battle with IBS-D, I have tried all the diets, tricks, plans, and such with little to no results. I have had all the tests ran and procedures done with much the same. BUT not being able to sit and eat a whole meal has been my game changer. What I noticed is the smaller the meal is for me, the better my gut does with it. I don’t mean graze all day though. I have figured out if I eat much smaller meals and don’t snack my flares don’t happen as often.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have diarrhea daily. With being at home more, I don’t find the need to take something like Imodium just to make it through the day. Something that was a routine part of my day like making sure I had taken Imodium before work is now part of my past. I have my bad days still but they are slowly getting better. Sometimes you really just have to look at the bright side of things to see through to the positive. Without COVID-19 I wouldn’t have gone the path I did to be a better me.

Have you gone through something that looked to be a stressor for you but turned into a blessing that helped your IBS?

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