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A man in shown slightly reclined, looking annoyed and staring at a clock. He is shown lying on a hospital bed, sitting on a toilet, and lying in bed at home.

Patiently Waiting

Most of us in this community know that dealing with IBS can become what seems like a never-ending waiting game. It took many of us years to finally get diagnosed, and even after that, we find ourselves striving to maintain patience with this condition. There are many scenarios I can think of where IBS tested my patience and continues to do so. Here are a few cases where I feel like I’ve been tested the most when it comes to my condition.

Waiting in the ER

I recall leaving a job in a stretcher, somewhat unwillingly, because my stomach pain was so excruciating. Being wheeled past some of my coworker’s confused faces into an ambulance was definitely one of the lowest points of my life. When I arrived at the emergency room, I felt completely out of place and uncared for, maybe because I’d been through that scenario time and time again with hardly any answers.

All I wanted was to be in the comfort and privacy of my own home because I knew I could best manage my symptoms there. Nonetheless, I stayed in the ER for hours until a doctor who spoke to me for five minutes while looking over my chart presumed that I still had a bacterial infection, which I knew I got rid of with prescribed medication. He suggested that I reached out to my PCP for further care and finally sent me on my way. I wasted over five hours of my time just to be told something that wasn’t helpful, which can be very infuriating for someone who has been disappointed in this same scenario over and over again.

Waiting on the toilet

Because I have IBS-D, I am used to using the toilet a numerous amount of times throughout the day. However, I occasionally have false alarms that feel very real and I end up sitting on the toilet for so long thinking that something is going to happen which causes my legs to fall asleep and makes it hard for me to stand back up. This may not happen daily, but it certainly happens weekly, and it’s a kind of pain and experience I do not look forward to dealing with. Let’s be honest, who wants to be in the restroom sitting on the toilet for so long and so often that it drains you of all energy to be productive again? I can’t imagine how many hours of my life have been wasted just sitting on the toilet. No one should have to go through that kind of torture.

Waiting in the bed

Almost every night when I lay my head on my soft and comfortable pillow I am filled with anxiety because I’m constantly concerning myself with the worries of tomorrow. I pretend that I’m tired, but I’m filled with so much worry that it keeps me awake. Worrying about how my IBS will behave the next day or if I’ll ever be able to figure out how to make living with a debilitating condition any easier for myself. I don’t give myself enough credit for how far I’ve come with managing my symptoms, but I still struggle with balancing my work, social, and love life due to my IBS. As these thoughts run through my head, I am waiting, yet again, for IBS (and my anxiety from it) to allow me to fall asleep. I feel like IBS controls me more than I can control it.

It seems as an IBS patient my main job is to patiently wait. Wait for the right doctor to give me the proper respect and care that I deserve. Waiting on the toilet to finally be relieved of the excruciating pain. Waiting in my bed for the anxiety to allow me to get some proper rest. I’m tired of waiting, just downright tired.

Do any of you reading this feel tired of waiting when it comes to your IBS? If so, in what ways are you tired? Please share with us below and thank you so much for reading 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.