I am now 39. This story began at the age of 17. 22 years of unknown suffering from IBS. I knew, because I was diagnosed at 17, with IBS-D, others just assumed it was occasional "upset stomach". No one understands unless they have it themselves. The constant worrying and planning out each event of your life because you never know if you will make it to the closest restroom in time. Nor do you even know how long each restroom visit will last or how long before your trip to the nearest hospital will have to be made because of dehydration from severe projectile diarrhea. The cramps and constant gurgling in your stomach is enough to make you want to just roll over and give up. So many missed plans and opportunities with family and friends. So many lost jobs due to maxed out sick days or "poor productivity" at work due to being sick but having to force yourself to make it in to a job that doesn't give to "F's" about your chronic illness. This is not an illness for the weak at heart. You have to be one bad ass human to continue living daily with such an invisible illness that no one else understands. Taking over the counter meds non stop until the point where your body builds up a tolerance to Pepto, Imodium, Gaviscon, Alkaseltzer..the list goes on and on. Then having people judge you by how skinny you are. Thinking your on drugs Or have an eating disorder because you can't keep weight on from having everything you eat come right back out in a flood of water. This feels not like a life but more like a karmic punishment.

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