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The Struggle of Getting Ready for Work with IBS

The Struggle of Getting Ready for Work with IBS

If I may, I would like to relive a moment before I started working from home and share how much of a struggle it was for me to deal with my symptoms and work a regular 9-5. At the time, I had just learned I had IBS and was starting to realize some of my triggers. Here are some of my inner thoughts while getting ready for work just years ago:

April 2015 – working at the bank

Ever since I got IBS, it has always been tough for me to make it to work on time. Especially since I started working mornings because my IBS is always at its worst first thing after I wake up. The reason could either be because of what I ate the day or night before, or maybe it’s because subconsciously I am worried about dealing with my IBS in a stressful environment, also known as “work”. If you know anything about IBS, then you know that anxiety is one of the major triggers, and it doesn’t matter to what degree you’re experiencing it. Needless to say, getting ready for work is always my least favorite part of the day.

Whenever I decide to prepare myself for work, my anxiety starts getting the best of me for numerous reasons. One of them is because I can’t seem to stop feeling pain in my lower left abdomen, which is something I don’t want to suffer through all day at work. Another is because all I can think about is the possible worst-case scenarios that could happen while I’m there, like having to urgently run to the toilet while I’m in a meeting, or even while just trying to be productive. What if my boss asks me to do something but I can’t perform right there and then because my IBS is really acting up at the moment? I also left early yesterday (which happens very often), leaving all of my work to my colleague and I’m feeling guilty about it. So inevitably, these worries develop into my anxiety, which then triggers my IBS symptoms, and I end up on the toilet at least six times before I leave my house. It’s a never-ending cycle, which slowly but surely is affecting my quality of life in a negative way.

Before I knew any better, I would eat something substantial before I went to work, which would make things worse than they already were. Eating a meal on top of having anxiety before going to work is not the best combination when you’ve got IBS. However, if I don’t have food in my system, then I’m at risk for having lack of energy at work, which could affect my productivity while I am there. But then again, if whatever I eat triggers my symptoms, then it’ll still affect my productivity regardless. There goes my anxiety again… Eating or not eating seems like a catch 22, either way I’m screwed. OH CRAP! It’s 8:45AM, let me text my boss and let him know that I am running late AGAIN.

(End of reminiscence)

Due to my crazy IBS-related symptoms making it hard for me to leave my house and make it to work on time, I have lost quite a number of jobs in my days. Those experiences forced me to take a step back and evaluate my life because clearly my IBS and career just weren’t getting along. Unfortunately, finding a job that can accommodate someone with my condition can be difficult, so I decided to make a huge life change by finding work I could do from home. Eventually and thankfully, I succeeded in that department, and I must say that this career decision has worked out so much better for me when it comes to managing my IBS symptoms, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Do any of you IBS sufferers find it a struggle making it to work on time due to your IBS? If so, please feel free to share with us below in the comment section, and thank you for taking the time to read my article.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.