Miracles can happen

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gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 6/10/2008 9:18 AM (GMT -7)   
No, I haven't been "cured" of my IBS.  BUT, this weekend I managed to throw my depression and social phobia into remission by pushing myself OUT of my comfort zone.  The primary motivator?  MONEY.
 
As many of you know, I lost my job in February and have been struggling on umeployment since.  I had the opportunity to make some serious bank this weekend by filling in for a friend who cooks at a retreat center in the mountains, about 90 minutes from my home.  I was to cook elaborate breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts (and snacks!) for 30 people from Thursday to Monday.  Fourteen hour workdays and a comfy private room pursuaded me to stay on the premises, even though I generally don't travel well and never stay overnight ANYWHERE.  I was pretty content until I saw my designated private toilet, which had that handicapped contraption affixed to the top, lifting me so far into the air that my feet literally didn't touch the ground.  Since I've conditioned myself at home to use a stool when sitting on the loo, this position was as counterproductive to a good bm as standing on my head would be!  Lo and behold, the creepy well water or the general stress of so much work contributed to an extreme case of D for three days, so at least things were moving.  Unfortunately, this was not the "good" D, the kind that comes and empties and disappears.  It felt more like the food poisoning type, with the cramps and pain and trips to the bathroom every 20 minutes.  BUT, I managed to soldier on, WITH A SMILE ON MY FACE, and get the work done.  I collapsed into bed each night at 9 pm and literally passed out, stomach rumbling and gurgling but too exhausted to care.  I honestly feel I entered into an altered state, carried along by something bigger than me, forcing me to continue regardless of the discomfort factor.  It really was amazing.
 
So many revelations have resulted. I made a TON of cash so it was all worth it.  I won't have to worry about bills for at least two months now and I also made a great connection with one of the retreat participants who is interested in hiring me to cook for her family.  That would solve my unemployment situation! 
 
I realized that I can move outside the comfort zone when I choose (if the payoff is great enough) and that distraction is an essential part of managing IBS symptoms.  It wasn't until I finished each day and retired to my room that I really focused on my symptoms of discomfort and pain.  While busy and working, it's simply impossible to devote that much time and energy to obsessing about IBS.  Too much to do and people are depending on me!  As a general rule, I try to avoid getting into situations where I might disappoint people but this time, I really pushed myself.  What a joy-filled surprise to discover I have the capacity to function, even when I feel icky. 
 
This opportunity could not have come at a better time both financially and emotionally.  I was really sinking into a rut about the unemployment situation and lack of structure in my days.  I was beginning to question if this chronic "illness" would ever allow me to work efficiently again or if I would find structure and a high stress job impossible at this point.  I am happy to report that I've still got the ability to rise to the challenges of life, even if the gut doesn't always cooperate!

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 6/10/2008 9:26 AM (GMT -7)   

BRAVO!!!!!

Gut, I am sooooo happy for you.  What a relief!  And, what an accomplishment.  J

Isn’t it amazing how the mind and body work?

Hopefully this wonderful experience has opened new doors for you – physically & mentally, as well as professionally!

yeah   tongue yeah tongue yeah tongue yeah

BTW - What a great read!  If cooking doesn't work out, you could always become a writer.  :-)


Co-Moderator IBS Forum
 
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Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 6/10/2008 4:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I second that, I'm proud of you too gutastrophe! I no where near pulled such a shift cooking at a middle school cafeteria (currently off for the summer), but I started many a day with my apron pocket filled with Rolaids or Gavisgon, or both, wore an overnight thin Stayfree maxi pad (they go way up in the back, such a comfort for mild accidents), took a deep breath right before I walked into work and prayed I'd get thru the day. Each and every single time, I made it thru fine and didn't even think about my stomach rumbling to beat all. But didn't dare use a bathroom unless it was gonna be all out D, b/c well I need time and when you're in food service, you're on the run - literally.....

Anyway, it is a strange mix when you think about - IBS and food service. Add a very fast pace to the mix and it is a wonder we both can manage.

But I am so glad that you did! Proud of you. And now you can sit back and relax. You've earned it!

Mary

jt80
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 333
   Posted 6/10/2008 7:20 PM (GMT -7)   
WOW!!!! that is great I hope to one day be able to go outside my comfort zone and be ok with everything I was speaking to a dear close friend of mine.It was mentioned to me by her that I need to stop thinking of this as discusting living with IBS cause I start thinking of myself as discusting and I'm not at all.Living with IBS has changed me and taken apart of me that used to be happy I'm so consumed with fear and what people would think of me if I so happened to pass gas in front of them lol.That is my main issue gas and having it in front of people so what if I need to pass gas I could just excuse myself but I need to get there in my head that it's a normal thing and it's ok it's a bodily function.I'm trying my best really I am to not let IBS have control over me I really hope to get to that day where I'll be like it's ok and it's not some kind of punishment that was given to me.I miss smiling and laughing I want to travel and see the world I want to be in a relationship.I'm counting down the days to my next GI appointment where I will get to really talk to my GI doctor about getting the healthiest digestive system that I can have.I was so mad I completely forgot about my appointment this month and he's booked weeks in advanced so I have to see him on the 31st of July.My appointment is in the morning at 10:45 and that is when my symptoms are the worse early in the morning hopefully things will be fine for me.Other then that I've been staying strong I have therapy tomorrow no real progress in the sessions.I'm still on the probiotic Align it's doing a little something and I hope it will really get rid of the symptoms that bother me the most.I wish everyone the best in their GI health and all my love too. Obama all the way!!!!!!!!! yeah :-)

gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 6/10/2008 11:29 PM (GMT -7)   
7Lil said...

BRAVO!!!!!

Gut, I am sooooo happy for you.  What a relief!  And, what an accomplishment.  J

Isn’t it amazing how the mind and body work?

Hopefully this wonderful experience has opened new doors for you – physically & mentally, as well as professionally!

yeah   tongue yeah tongue yeah tongue yeah

BTW - What a great read!  If cooking doesn't work out, you could always become a writer.  :-)

Wouldn't that be awesome?  I could work from home! yeah Would never need to leave my beloved comfort zone (aka, bathroom). 
It is amazing and something I've always known - the mind - body thing.  Since getting involved with naturopathy and psychotherapy, I've definitely improved in the IBS-related depression and anxiety departments.  But this last year, with the constant one-two punches of losing the job, losing the beloved 20 year old kitty, finding out sis has leukiemia - well, it obviously dragged me down.  It's just so much EASIER to lay around having an extended pity (and potty) party. 
I am already reaping the benefits of the weekend.  The gal who expressed interest in hiring me contacted me today and we are discussing immediate employment.  For those who pray, please offer one or 20 for me!
I've also gone ahead and made PLANS (yes, I said plans) to meet some friends for coffee on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.  I have been avoiding making any plans for months because I've been feeling so icky.  But this weekend I really "got it" that all this self-focus (and particularly the IBS focus) is self-defeating.  The best medicine for pretty much every ailment is getting out of your own head.  And I also realized that if I could pull off such a feat this weekend, then an hour at coffee with friends should be a breeze!

gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 6/10/2008 11:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Marsky said...
I second that, I'm proud of you too gutastrophe! I no where near pulled such a shift cooking at a middle school cafeteria (currently off for the summer), but I started many a day with my apron pocket filled with Rolaids or Gavisgon, or both, wore an overnight thin Stayfree maxi pad (they go way up in the back, such a comfort for mild accidents), took a deep breath right before I walked into work and prayed I'd get thru the day. Each and every single time, I made it thru fine and didn't even think about my stomach rumbling to beat all. But didn't dare use a bathroom unless it was gonna be all out D, b/c well I need time and when you're in food service, you're on the run - literally.....

Anyway, it is a strange mix when you think about - IBS and food service. Add a very fast pace to the mix and it is a wonder we both can manage.

But I am so glad that you did! Proud of you. And now you can sit back and relax. You've earned it!

Mary
Marsky,
I ready your hilarious post about your experience with the "marine toilets" and laughed out loud!  God bless you for even attempting that adventure!  At least the toilet I dealt with had normal plumbing, although there was the bizarre handicapped attachment.  I didn't have to worry about how to dispose of my wastepaper although you will appreciate that the proprietors of this retreat center are earthy-crunchies and there were signs all over the buildings warning poopers to use toilet paper sparingly.  Yeah.  Whatever. cool
I've wondered for decades how someone with IBS could ever choose to be in restaurant work.  Things are much better for me now that I am out of the restaurants themselves and doing the private chef gigs.  There is tremendous freedom and flexibility BUT the downside is there is very little job security.  I am a luxury item for all but the very, very wealthy.  And even that is no guarantee as I worked for 6 years for a 52 year old man who was worth 85 million BUT up and died in his sleep.  And yes, I found him in the morning.  Dead.  In bed.  And poof - I am suddenly unemployed.  So the perfect client must be very wealthy AND very healthy.
 

gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 6/10/2008 11:49 PM (GMT -7)   
jtaurus said...
WOW!!!! that is great I hope to one day be able to go outside my comfort zone and be ok with everything I was speaking to a dear close friend of mine.It was mentioned to me by her that I need to stop thinking of this as discusting living with IBS cause I start thinking of myself as discusting and I'm not at all.Living with IBS has changed me and taken apart of me that used to be happy I'm so consumed with fear and what people would think of me if I so happened to pass gas in front of them lol.That is my main issue gas and having it in front of people so what if I need to pass gas I could just excuse myself but I need to get there in my head that it's a normal thing and it's ok it's a bodily function.I'm trying my best really I am to not let IBS have control over me I really hope to get to that day where I'll be like it's ok and it's not some kind of punishment that was given to me.I miss smiling and laughing I want to travel and see the world I want to be in a relationship.I'm counting down the days to my next GI appointment where I will get to really talk to my GI doctor about getting the healthiest digestive system that I can have.I was so mad I completely forgot about my appointment this month and he's booked weeks in advanced so I have to see him on the 31st of July.My appointment is in the morning at 10:45 and that is when my symptoms are the worse early in the morning hopefully things will be fine for me.Other then that I've been staying strong I have therapy tomorrow no real progress in the sessions.I'm still on the probiotic Align it's doing a little something and I hope it will really get rid of the symptoms that bother me the most.I wish everyone the best in their GI health and all my love too. Obama all the way!!!!!!!!! yeah :-)
You, my friend, were in my thoughts a lot when I got back from my weekend.  You are much like me and I really empathize with your extreme discomfort about your IBS.  I remember that when I was in my 20's I felt very much like a misfit, a defective, because my guts didn't work like everyone else.  It was always a huge embarrassment and even something of a "shameful" secret for many years.  I think age and necessity have changed all of that because as I got older I began to realize that people really are not paying any attention and that contrary to what I thought, I really was not the center of the universe.  One great thing about working in restaurants is that you can pass gas all you want - no one will hear because kitchens are extremely noisy and no one will smell because of the vent fans and the food smells.  So I learned to let fly with the gas freely and once you develop the skill of covert farting, you realize that you feel better once you get it all out of you.  Holding in gas is the primary cause of pain and cramping.  I don't do that anymore.  Since everyone I know is aware of my problem, I just let them rip and claim responsibility.  The one time I didn't claim the fart, two little boys were blamed for it!  Their mom pulled them to the corner and started yelling at their "rudeness".  I had to get her aside and cop to the offense so her children would be exonerated! 
Anyway, you're not alone.  Like I've said before, 20% of the population has some form of IBS.  There are probably people in your life who suffer silently, just as you do.  It doesn't make you wierd or defective - just sick with a stupid, inconvenient, and often embarrassing illness. 

Sarita
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 6/11/2008 12:21 AM (GMT -7)   
gutsy, I am immensely relieved for you :) You are a special soul!
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Please always remember to consult your medical professional regarding your medical questions; this forum is intended to provide patient-to-patient support. Although some of us have healthcare backgrounds, we cannot diagnose or treat patients on the board.


Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 6/11/2008 7:34 AM (GMT -7)   
You are a special soul gutsy! I had to laugh when the facility you recently worked at wanted TP used sparingly. Sometimes I go thru many rolls - a day! Back in Dec. of 1999, with doom and gloom on the horizon with Y2K coming (ha!), I had three 24 packs of TP, about a dozen yogurts in my cart and bottled water. Another PTA mom I knew saw me, saw my contents and then her eyes traveled back up to mine, she was shocked I was stocking up on such items. I had to laugh walking out to my car - and then Y2K was nothing! But anyway, little memory detour there.....oops. I'm glad you enjoyed my marine toilet adventure. I was actually surrounded by marine toilets unless we went to another marina restaurant (one had flushing toilets, I wanted to linger there!) or drove into small towns. We went to a state park once and there were about 6 stalls, all flushing of course. Did I want to check into this state park's bathroom - YES! It was just a day park's museum and gift shop - dang......

I still tell my hubby - the best public bathrooms I've ever found are casino's. Not that I want to develop a gambling habit or anything......LOL The last one we visited in Indiana had no fewer than 20 stalls. 20! I was in bathroom heaven....

But you can relax now, since you're financially set for a few months. Had to laugh at your employer requirements - wealthy and healthy!

Keep up the awesome reads.....

Mary

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 6/11/2008 10:47 AM (GMT -7)   
I really don't have anything constrictive to add.  I just wanted to tell you all how proud I am... I have a gigantic smile on my face from ALL your posts.

~THANK YOU~

 
And please, keep up the positive attitudes and humorous stories.  It's great when we can take our crappy situation (pun intended) and make light of it.  I know it helps to keep smiling. tongue
 

\0/\0/\0/\0/\0/\0/


Co-Moderator IBS Forum
 
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