I have IBS-D symptoms because I had my lower colon removed. So I can relate. While I don't quite fit in with any one specific GI forum, I have found support here and just recently the UC forum. I tend to have internal swelling too so that's oh so fun - not.
Been at this for 11 years and it's been a process. I first figured out the diet I needed to be on, low residue for the most part. I strictly ate only foods on the diet for 2 full years. Then I began to tweak it a bit and sneak in more fruit, etc. But I'll never be able to go crazy with a high fiber diet. Unless I want to spend the day in the bathroom!
Early on I wanted to educate others about my situation. Why? I don't really know why! Maybe I was hoping they'd somehow understand and lend support. So I tried THAT approach for quite a while. Then after a few years of disappointments, I decided to give people very short versions of why I have so much trouble. That worked for a while too.
And now? They assume it's my stomach acting up and guess what? I allow them to think it's my stomach! Why? Because they don't really want to hear talk about colons, bm's, D, upheaval in the gut. They seem to stop after stomach. So there have been countless times I've not always felt well, I pat my stomach (which really is for my colon, he he) and they ask - aw, tummy upset? I just smile and nod.
They even like to give me advice. Their Aunt Betsy or Uncle Bob had an ulcer and here's what he tried. And it worked.
I listen intently, nod my head and thank them for my advice.
A therapist would tell me I'm doing myself a disservice by pretending or ignoring what is really going on with me. lol! To that, I say hey walk a day in my shoes. And be surrounded with people who can eat anything they want, when they want and then have one, normal dump a day. And not clog a toilet either.
So this is my approach - I deal with it, I do a lot of pretending on the outside - that growl, sure that means I'm just hungry. You and I know it's not hunger but non-IBSer's have no clue.
I used to want to give them a clue. No more.
Sorry if my post is blunt but it's taken me 11 years to reach this realization. I am definitely in that acceptance place. I accept the fact that I no longer have a normal colon. And make the best of it.
Oh but I have lousy, bad days. I come here when I do. Again, people with normal colons? They'll never, ever understand. Not in a million years. Heck, sometimes even GI docs and colorectal surgeons often do not even understand all that we go thru.
So stick around, vent, post and we'll listen. I'll always listen. And give you that virtual pat on the hand, as if to say - I know this sucks, big time, hang in there.
- 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 + Ultimate Flora Critical Care 50 Billion daily