jt80 - so sorry to read you're still struggling with anxiety part of managing IBS. But I can certainly relate. Sometimes I think we are our own worst enemy. Years ago when I found myself in this situation (from having had part of my colon removed), I imagined others were watching my every move. What I was eating, or not eating, how many trips to the bathroom I was making, etc. Over time I realized that other people are busy and do not always notice what the rest of us are experiencing. Maybe over time we've become even more busy (been at this for 11 years) or my perception of their perception has changed. lol All I know is, if I project on the outside that all is well, when in fact my stomach might be heaving and rolling, then other people just honestly leave me alone. Even if I need another trip to the bathroom when I've just been in there 5 minutes prior, I just use it and never apologize, never try to explain. I just deal with it. That's the biggest change in my approach to this IBS affliction - I deal with things as is. As they are. Not how I wish them to be or they should be, but rather - I'm stuck with this for life and how can I manage IBS in a way that is the most normal (people who have 1 or 2 bm's a day and no bowel issues).
Of course this is just what works for me. You'll have to find your own way to approach the mental aspects of this disease that can really throw things off (physically).
Finally, I haven't done this for a while, but I've utilized this mental trick after recovering from surgeries - I project into the future, when having severe pain or not feeling well. For example, I'd tell myself over and over - in 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, I will be feeling better or this will be over with.
We can't wish away IBS - wouldn't that be nice - but we can think ahead to a time period that you know for a fact you'll be feeling better (for another example, after a food you shouldn't have eaten passes thru your GI tract).
One more thing, because I keep thinking of them! I've noticed that my specific GI tract has it's own way of purging itself or regulating the bowel issues. I maintain the plain diet, the smaller food portions, daily stool softener, nightly probiotic, but once or twice a month by body just seems to go thru it's own extremely wacky purge. Probably what others have described as dumping, I will experience repeated bm's, over several hours, so many it's almost as if I had taken a bowel prep for a procedure. Years ago I used to try and stop these purges, but now I allow them to occur. Why? Because, I know I'll feel better when it's over and for some odd reason, my body just wants to do this. So I let it. I keep lots of magazines in the bathroom, sip hot tea while it's going on, remain on my plain food diet and then when I know it's over, the next day I make very sure to eat the foods that I know agree with my gut the most.
As always, I wish you the very best jt.
- Rectal CA 4/29/99, Stage I, 90% sigmoid/15" of colon/GB removed, temporary colostomy, reversed 6-26-99
- Chronic IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's, on low residue diet
- Colace 50 mg, twice daily + Probiotic: Renew Life/Ultimate Flora/Critical Care/80 Billion daily