Where Do I Even Start?
I contemplated posting this, mostly because I don't really even know where to begin and I'm afraid it might get long.
I always see where people got diagnosed when they were in their teens or later. For me, it was when I was younger than 8 and probably had the symptoms even longer. Back then doctors kept trying to put me on anti-depressants or just roll their eyes thinking I was seeking attention. IBS was so misunderstood and though things are getting better, it is still hard to get treatment.
I finally found some good doctors but because of the way I was treated when I was younger I have a hard time opening up to them when I know I shouldn't.
I even had one doctor tell me that if I believed a medication would work, then it would. Like magic. Pretty crazy, right?
Most of my life was fighting with the schools on how many days I have missed, fighting with doctors that didn't understand the diagnosis, and just feeling all alone and miserable. I had to get out of school and be home schooled at some point.
At the age of 28 things took a turn for the worst. I noticed that I wasn't going to the bathroom for over 3 weeks. You might be thinking, how can I not notice for three weeks? If you suffer with IBS-C for so long you start to forget just when your last BM was.
My OBGYN doctor was even so worried she had to urge me to talk to my PCP or Gastro doctor. It was a good thing she did because I kept calling my doctor until he threw me into the hospital for observation. After my CT scan they saw I had a partial bowel obstruction. I had to go into surgery the very next day.
It was a hard recovery, but I was lucky that I had some of the best care.
Unfortunately, it did not end there. I was hospitalized a good 5 times after that, one more surgery, as well, thanks to my gallbladder giving out on me.
Now, at 30 I finally made it one year without being put in the hospital but my symptoms are not over. In fact, they are changing. Let's add arthritis, migraines, muscle pain and nerve issues to the list. Every test they do is negative and blood work is normal. The pain in my body got so bad I could hardly walk. My doctor kept trying and put me on celebrex once a day and it seems to work.
I'm back at work, trying to eat healthy, drinking lots of water, and going to the gym for cardio. I have my good days and bad days and sometimes I get really miserable again thinking how it never seems to end but I count my blessings in that I have a family who is very supportive, a pcp who takes me seriously and cares, and a gastro doctor who will not give up on finding something to keep me with more comfortable days than bad ones.
I share this story in hopes of connecting with others who are feeling really down and miserable about their IBS. Not to feel sorry for myself but to share that we are not alone.
Did you start experiencing IBS symptoms before adulthood?