Hi Laurel, welcome back. I'm sorry to hear you aren't doing so well. Let me tell you that you are not alone, most of us have anxiety towards leaving the house. The key is to know where you are going and know where you can stop for a toilet. Try and enjoy being out. The outside world is so beautiful.
Please don't take offense to any of this.... Are you on any anti-depressants? Are you seeking help for anxiety? If not, have you spoken to anyone about
your anxiety? Are you taking anything for your extra bile and missing gallbladder? Could you be more sensitive around that time of the month? Any patterns you have noticed?
I think the key to feeling "normal" isn't through weight loss, or plastic surgery or being rich. It is being happy with yourself. (Believe me, I'm not there yet.) Maybe if you can get your anxiety (and guilt) under control you will feel better. It is sad to see your kids sad, but it can also be humbling to see. Your kids show empathy. I'm sure they know you don't want to be this way, and you are not doing it to make them feel bad.
I just want you to know that you are not alone with bathroom issues and scares. Maybe you could try posting in the Anxiety forum (or maybe even in depression if you think that is a factor).
I hope you feel better very soon.
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum