IBS and Parenting: Stress, Anxiety, and Frustration

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TheBigA
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 3/24/2010 12:20 PM (GMT -7)   
My son is just over a year old, and the IBS has been much worse since he was born! I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder as well as IBS (they seem to play off one another). Has anyone else had a problem with increased anxiety/IBS after a new addition to the family? Any hints? So many of the relaxation tips my doctor gives are nice, but a 13-month old isn't exactly going to let me lie down for 30 minutes whenever I feel stressed! And his bringing home three stomach bugs in three months isn't helping either!

Between the IBS and the anxiety, I'm fine with him when we're at home but going out stresses me out and having to go out with him alone is terrifying. It doesn't help that I am a man, and apparently putting child changing stations in the men's bathrooms hasn't occurred to everyone in my small town.

I guess that, in the end, I'm just afraid of having to go NOW and having nowhere to put him, which makes me anxious and so I tend to avoid going out. When I do (such as when I have to take him to the doctor and my wife cannot get off from work) the anxiety is terrible and I have digestive pain the entire time. Has anyone else experienced this? Any suggestions, hints, or just "I've been theres"?
Ulcerative Colitis 2000; GAD 2002; IBS-D (occasional IBS-C) 2002

Meds: Pentasa (UC), Synthroid (Thyroid Disease), Lomotil (IBS), Diovan (High Blood Pressure), Prednisone (UC, flare-ups only), Librax (IBS & Anxiety), Lorazepam (Anxiety)


bpmomo2
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 3/25/2010 4:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Well I can definitely give you an I've been there! I have a little one who is 3 now. I suffered from anxiety disorder throughout my entire pregnancy and still have episodes now and then. There was a time when my daughter was just a year old that I had to take her to a doc appt when she was sick with a cold. I was so anxious that I had a full on panic attack while in the waiting room sitting to be seen. When I have a panic attack I get D within minutes so I picked up the little one and ran for the bathroom. I am sitting there with my pants around my ankles and she is crying because she doesn't feel good, crawling on the floor, looking under fellow stalls, and saying in the LOUDEST VOICE EVER--"Mommy that poopy stinks!" I seriously wanted to die! I packed up the kid and drove home in tears without seeing the doctor--I felt like the worst mother that ever walked the earth. I mean if you asked me I would say that I would take a bullet for my daughter---just don't ask me to take her to the doc for a sick checkup, I guess. It was horrible, but you know what I survived. I went home, took a few deep breaths (and a couple immodium) and headed back to the doctor. I called my doc's office on the way and explained that I had gotten sick in the waiting area and had to run out--could they still fit us in please? I didn;t go into details and they didn't ask thank god! They accommodated us, checked out my daughter and we left with an rx for her in hand. Did that whole episode suck--well yeah it did! But you know what, I am here to tell the story-so it didn't kill me. If any thing it helped my anxiety a bit because it made me see that even if my biggest fears came true (having a massive panick attack and then the runs while in public with my daughter in tow and no hubby for support) it wasn't the end of my world. It was embarrassing, but not life altering.

I am telling you all this, so you can know you are not alone. Yes they have diaper stations in women's restrooms, but what are you supposed to do with the kid when you have to use the washroom? Here is my advice that may help you a bit with that. Never leave home without an emergency kit for the little guy--this should consist of entertaining books, some finger foods that don't spoil like cheerios and cookies, a juice box and sippy, clean blankets/wipes/diapers/clothes, hand sanitizer, and a memory chock-full of annoying songs for his entertainment. (think daddy daddy bo babby me mi mo maddy fanana nanna fo faddy daddy...now son who's name is next?) And above all else an umbrella stroller with a seat belt. If an attack hits and you need to run to the john-strap him in and use your bag of tricks to entertain him while you relieve yourself. You will probably feel silly singing and feeding him cookies, but it will keep him calm and people are very forgiving when you are dealing with a child, so you will probably even get a few sympathetic nods from fellow dads. And he can't get out of the seatbelt and touch a nasty urinal cake or something---small stroller is best because of the size of stalls. If you are worried about where you will be able to change him--that is what the blankets are for. Lay them on the seat of your car, park bench, second shelf in aisle two...you get the point. When they are in diapers you can change them anywhere.

Lastly, are you on meds for the anxiety? I was on Buspar ( a relatively low dose) for almost two years and it was a god-send. I didn't feel all drugged up or anything, it just took the edge off so I could relax a bit. I see you are on Lorazepam and personally I think that is not a good drug to rely on long term. It has side effects and it gives you such a euphoric feeling when taking it. The Buspar is more mild and just calms you a bit---but obviously talk with your doc before making any changes with your anxiety meds as some can be dangerous to stop cold turkey-you'll need to wean. And if you are really up for it, check out the book "The feeling good hand book". yes it is a bit cheesy, especially the title, but it has some great cognitive behavior therapy info in there for changing the way you think about things. That book along with meds and therapy have helped make it so I have barely any panic episodes anymore. I haven't been on meds in almost two years.

The book gave me some good ways to sort of talk myself off that ledge before it was too late when I was out. I have a great supportive husband, but its hard for him to understand fully when he hasn't experienced the same problems. I am sorry for the novel, I hope I have helped you at least a little. Feel free to send me a message if you want to talk more about this stuff.

TheBigA
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 3/26/2010 8:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the encouragement. I've used a lot of the other tricks but I hadn't thought about an umbrella stroller: priceless!

Glad to know I'm not the only one out there who struggles with being a good parent (and feeling like a bad one at times) and medical conditions. As to Buspar (and five other meds), we tried it but I had terrible side effects and ended up in the ER twice. The Lorazepam works well for me, and actually doesn't make me feel medicated or euphoric at all. It's cheap and it works; for that I'm thankful.

Thanks again!
Ulcerative Colitis 2000; GAD 2002; IBS-D (occasional IBS-C) 2002

Meds: Pentasa (UC), Synthroid (Thyroid Disease), Lomotil (IBS), Diovan (High Blood Pressure), Prednisone (UC, flare-ups only), Librax (IBS & Anxiety), Lorazepam (Anxiety)


puffed rice
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 3/26/2010 11:18 AM (GMT -7)   
TheBigA, I noticed LOMOTIL  as one of your meds, does this not work for you.  I take it in the morning and it helps all day so I don't have to run to the washroom when I'm out with my 3kids.  I know exactly how you feel, before I started taking LOMOTIL I use to take my mom with me whenever I had to take the kids to an appointment.  The pediatrician office was the worst because you had to ask for the washroom key and then run down the hall to get to it, it always made me panic when I had to go there.  Occaisionally I have taken XANAX for the anxiety and it helps to calm my stomache and mind. 
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 1995
Salofalk Tablets  2pills -3xday
 cortifoam nightly when needed
hycort enemas nightly when flaring/vitamin E enemas
Bio-K Probiotic (evening) + Renew Life - ultimate flora critical care probiotic (morning)
metamucil nightly
cut out all wheat and flour


TheBigA
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 3/26/2010 2:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Lomotil does help greatly with D, but it does not always take care of the urgency issue even when D is not present.
Ulcerative Colitis 2000; GAD 2002; IBS-D (occasional IBS-C) 2002

Meds: Pentasa (UC), Synthroid (Thyroid Disease), Lomotil (IBS), Diovan (High Blood Pressure), Prednisone (UC, flare-ups only), Librax (IBS & Anxiety), Lorazepam (Anxiety)


bpmomo2
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 3/26/2010 3:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Glad my post helped a little--yeah the unbrells stroller is the easiest to maneuver and the lightest to carry when folded up....plus there like $10 at the store! Glad the Lorazepam works for you. It does help to know I am not the only parent out there struggling with this stuff.
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