Life with IBS update: November 2016

The wifi has just cut out at home and I have nothing but my laptop… so what’s better than to write my next blog post…

It’s been a long time since I last wrote, yet again. I am in the grips of uni deadlines, which are proving majorly stressful, and unfortunately I can feel the hands of anxiety and stress dragging me closer into their den but I will not be caught – that is one promise I have made to myself after a very stressful year 1 at uni. It is a promise we should all make to ourselves actually, and it’s very nearly time to make promises (aside from the usual ‘I will get fit’ resolutions) to ourselves for 2017… this got deep v. quickly…

Anyway, as promised, I have been meaning to do a blog on my IBS timeline for a while now and so here it is. I like my title in the form of a quotation of a blog of this kind(from Albert Schweitzer, feels criminal not to be footnoting that lolz…) It is ironic since good health is questionable for us IBS sufferers. But we do most certainly have a good memory, since we are able to remember random episodes of cramps, good patches, and every single visit to the doctors/gastro docs ever. It does make me remember how difficult it is to live with something like IBS – the nature of it means we go through several tests and then more tests and then a few more because it is so hard to diagnose, and for this reason: anyone going through this at the moment, you are not alone, you will get through it, you will get a treatment plan sorted eventually and side note: I honestly understand how horrible stool tests are…

I was diagnosed officially with IBS around the age of 14/15 after having had a year/couple of years of undiagnosed symptoms, the usual symptoms and as I’m sure you can imagine, they were unpleasant. Being as young as 14/15 (lol I sound like some kind of wise old woman) and sitting in Dr Thomas’ office being asked things like ‘Is there blood in your poop’ ‘How often do you go to the toilet in a day’ and ‘Can I feel your stomach again’ (I’m really ticklish ok) is a bit overwhelming, mainly because I was in the midst of (a ghastly) puberty and I just wanted to focus on growing up and blending in with the crowd, I didn’t want to stand out because I had some kind of stomach issue which was embarrassing, not least on school residential trips (trust, those were some rough days especially on trips to Germany when their diet does not go hand in hand with IBS at all.. lol still spending my year abroad there tho!1!1!)

But it was just something I had to get on with, and I didn’t really anticipate the extent of the effects IBS could have until I was in the last year of sixth form, as this was when it got worse. A-Levels are not easy, GCSEs weren’t either, but the pressure of getting into somewhere for uni was undeniable. I’m so glad I chose UCL now, because I don’t know how I would’ve coped with everything that was thrown at me in year 1 if I had not been in the city I feel comfortable in and still relatively close to my family. However, let’s not get all emosh and cringe because if you know me, you know I despise that ha ha ha.

It’s funny because I think back to school and I remember a convo with my friend Katie (hey on the off-chance you’re reading this babes) in a German lesson one time (lol always German soz mate but ich liebe es) and I remember having eaten porridge for breakfast. I remember saying to her ‘omg my tummy aches so much I have no clue what is wrong with me it’s so painful’ and that pain I remember came every morning. Now I realise what was wrong – I can’t eat non GF oats because they’re cross contaminated with gluten (dammit I love oats tho fam) but it was also the stress of school getting to me (German lessons were v stressful and now I do it as a degree ok great choice mate). Just these little throwbacks/flashbacks remind me that I did suffer back then but just dismissed it more.

Coming to uni was much different because I was on my own. Well no, I’m never on my own, but I was living on my own which made all the difference. I no longer had my mum to complain to every morning about my stomach cramps or the fact I sat on the toilet for 30 mins and still couldn’t go. No. I had to just get on with it, but not like how I had got on with it at school, more I had to deal with it with more awareness and whilst I was more conscious about it, rather than just tossing it away. I think that’s what made last year quite hard. And it is still very hard *queue sob scene and sad music*. I think about my stomach every single day; I can’t go out the house or even just get up out of bed in the morning without worrying about my stomach just a little bit. But that’s ok, and I know it is, because eventually I will get to the stage where I will embrace it just a little more than I have been recently. But positivity is best, even though I of all people know how hard this is to keep up, but I remember it is something that will eventually be brought under more control than it already is under. And that is that.

On a related note – I am doing my last HBT (hydrogen breath test yooo) tomorrow. Thank god!!! They’re v tedious, as is the fact I can’t eat for hours before them, and I’m sure I mentioned that in my last post but at least it is one step closer to treating whatever it is that is going down in my abdomen cave (lol wanted to make up another word for stomach #creative).

On a very unrelated note, enjoy the photo at the top of the post. Feel like it’s appropriate because Bonfire Night is so gr8 even tho I look about 14 years old lolzlolz. October and November may be a bit gloomy but I do still love this time of year – the trees and their leaves are pretty, the air is cold and fresh (jus’ the way I like it yeeehh) and the atmosphere is positive. Well, positive until the world goes into meltdown Trump wins the election. But that’s another story… #makeamericagreatagain

So back I go to the world of essays, readings, decision-making for my year abroad. Just realised this post has been a bit of an essay, should I reference, WHERE ARE MY FOOTNOTES. Lol. Bring on whatever the rest of this year has to throw at me –  2017 is going to be a big one foo suuuuuureeee!

Over and out xo

Categories IBS

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