Stress is a big component in managing my IBS-D like symptoms. I've come a long way in the almost 10 years I've been dealing with all of this.
I am not the same person I was back then as now. I was very embarrassed about my symptoms, almost to the point of apologizing for them or having to cancel an outing. Now I don't even bother. I've discovered that if I remain calm about my IBS, others will too. If I convey on the outside all is well - when in reality it's the opposite - people will leave me be. If I try and explain any of this to someone with a normal colon and normal bathroom needs - they don't understand. How can they? Their life doesn't revolve around a bathroom. Or eating a very specific way. Years ago I tried to educate people about what I go thru. And I began to notice that after 5 min. or so, I'd lose them, each time. They couldn't understand what I go thru.
So again, I'm past trying to make others understand.
What I mostly do now is pretend all is well. I make sure I eat a very specific way, I decline invites if I know they won't work for me and I don't apologize for doing so. I just say - thank you, but I can't do that. And leave it at that.
It's just the way it is now.
But my getting to this point - acceptance, resolve to make my situation the best it can be - was not easy. As I said I used to just stress out so much over all of this. Asking myself many times - how is that going to work (travel, weddings, formal dinners, etc.). I've got all sorts of tricks up my sleeve by now - but again, it took time and years to develop them. Even if I'm dining with other people and can't eat much, I'll order 2 items from the sides section of a menu, a side salad and baked potato. When asked why I'm not eating much? I say I'm not hungry or I ate not long ago - all lies, but I can't eat a full meal and then continue socializing - that's crazy! So I also do a lot of lying too......telling people I'm feeling good when I'm not. Does it work? For the most part it does. I always have an out though. My husband knows that look I sometimes give - time to go. Now. LOL
Then I sit very, very still in the car and pray for no traffic. Until I get home to my beloved bathroom.
Over time you will find your own ways of relieving your stress. It's not easy but in time, you'll find ways to relax. Deep breaths, closing your eyes, imagining a more peaceful place help too.
Wishing you better days ahead!
- Diagnosed with rectal cancer, April 1999 - Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, given temporary colostomy)
- Colostomy reversal, June 1999
- Left with IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's every day
- On a low residue diet at least 75% of the time
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening
All in all I do okay, I just use the bathroom A LOT! But I survived and beat cancer!