How supportive are your family and friends?

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New Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/15/2006 10:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey everyone :-)

I was just wondering, in dealing with your IBS or whatever you suffer from, how understanding and supportive is your family?

For me, my actual family is not that bad to deal with, they pretty much understand as most of them have some sort of stomach problem. (we actually think IBS runs in our family). But my boyfriend, it took him a long time to understand I wasn't just faking sick or something to get out of going somewhere. I always worry about having to use the bathroom like at a family get together because i think people will call me out on my bathroom time or the smell or the noise or i dunno, something. but he gets so frustrated because he just does not understand how embarassing it is for me. He was like "just go, everyone has to go, and no one is going to say anything." But I fear I am scarred because my terrible coworkers will call you out on your bathroom habits.

I think he is begining to at least understand why I am absent from parties and such more, but I still think he is disapointed in me that I can not overcome my fears. I think all the stress of thining about when i might have to use the bathroom just makes everything worse. Plus i used to just not eat very much food becuase i hated the diarrhea i would have. his family basically thought I was anorexic and that was miserable. I dunno which is worse, never eating or being in the bathroom all night lol.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 5/15/2006 11:03 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi maystepher,
My boyfriend was the same way!  I think there was a little part of our break up that had to do with me not being as social.  Oh well...
Anyway, you are lucky to have family that understands.  Mine say that they do, but unless I am glued to the toilet they don't believe it.  When I say "I don't feel well, I think I'll stay home tonight" I get a bunch of grief.  Same goes for my friends.  Most are jerks when it comes to IBS.  They don't get why I can't eat the last bite of my food or why I can't drink a liter of beer or why I don't want to go camping.  It's frustrating for me that I am always defending myself.
Here is a link to a brochure about IBS that you can print out and give to your boyfriend/family/friends to help them understand:


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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 5/15/2006 11:21 AM (GMT -7)   
I am new with dealing with IBS with diarrhea.  (Just Dx 2 weeks ago.) and I'm having a hard time coming to terms with it.  I just think it is so wierd how I'm perfectly fine on a Wednesday and then on Thursday, I'm having full blown diarrhea that hasn't let up for one day over a period of 2 months and all my GI specialist can tell me is that it's IBS-D and "learn to live with it".
I feel like family and friends understand that I'm having a poo-poo "problem" but I think they don't realize how it is mentally making me feel.  It's almost as if deailing with the mental part of it is worse than dealing with the physical part of it. 
My husband is becoming short-fused with me because IBS-D and other problems is ALL I'm talking about.  It's consuming my life.  I just want to be NORMAL again.  We wete trying to concieve and this has really put the end to that.  It's just depressing and I htink that family and friends don't know what us "IBSers" are really feeling.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/15/2006 12:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm really lucky; my mother and stepfather are in the medical field, so they have always supported me when I've been sick. And most everyone in my family has had a bad gall bladder, so I get a lot of sympathy. Even my futher m-i-l and I commiserate over our bowel problems/ lack of gall bladder. My fiance has been very supportive as well--I had my gall bladder surgery the day after our first date and he sent me flowers. :-)

When we've gone anywhere on vacation or anything, and I say that I don't feel well, he always asks if I'm up for this or that or if I need to stop for the bathroom, or where can I tolerate eating. I think he respects me for trying to go out and do things, even if I'm not up to par, and he tries to make sure that I'm not so bad off I can't enjoy it. I got a bad bout of diarrhea last summer, that came on after we'd already made plans to go to Kentucky on vacation. Boy, booking a tour for Mammouth Cave when you have diarrhea is scary!!! I really popped the imodiums before I went in, and made sure to use the bathroom right before our tour left. Stuart kept asking me if I was sure I could go, since it's an hour and a half tour that you can't leave, but he was willing to tackle the stairs with his bad knees, I thought I could surely tackle it with the three or four imodiums I had already had. And it turned out very nice. I just kept popping imodiums every morning and at regular intervals and ate lightly and we had a good trip. Spent a day in a museum, went to an 18th century fort, just had a good time. We do medieval reenacting/camping together all the time, but this was our first real vactation. I came back home and started having diarrhea again!!! Weird, how vaction relaxed me enough to not have diarrhea, but home made it come back.

Stuart's been having some gut problems lately--we think it's his pre-cut/bagged lettuce--and I have to admit I was a bit peeved with him Saturday when I started cleaning house and doing a bunch of chores and he never offered to help. He had mentioned needing an imodium that morning, but I hadn't really noticed him in the bathroom anymore, so I thought he was over it and was just too wrapped up in his game to finish mowing the lawn or to help me clean up the mess he helped create. But in the afternoon he admitted that the diarrhea was back (or had never really left) and that he felt bad and was going to try and sleep it off. I felt a lot less disgruntled at that point. I hadn't known that he was still having gut problems (Lord knows I know how draining they can be); he's been getting over it in the morning and being okay in the afternoon. I mean, you can still have diarrhea without going to the bathroom; after you've gotten everything out, there's just the urge left and there's really no need to go to the bathroom, so how often a person goes to the bathroom actually isn't a real good indicator of whether they are better or not.

So, I learned form first-hand experience that it's important that people know exactly how you're feeling, or they will just assume that you are okay or that your medicine worked and you're fine now.

New Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/15/2006 12:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone. its so comforting knowing other people have the same social anxieties as I do. I am pretty lucky with my family being mostly understanding, but I do get the impression that they do believe that at least sometimes i am exagerating to get out of something. Oh well... just wait until they eat something that doesn't agree with them :-P.

7Lil, thanks for that brochure, I will print that for Chris

Keriamon, I too, rely on Immodium to make it through any vacation lol

Its so frustrating becuase just weeks ago, i had been through about 5 months of absolutly "normal" bowel movements, and then all of a sudden diarrhea. I am trying calcium but so far no luck. I am going to give it some time though. I feel bad relying on Imodium all of the time.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 5/15/2006 2:57 PM (GMT -7)   
My family is kind of having trouble with the "new" me- newly diagnosed with IBS-D. For that matter, I'm also having major issues with this! I'm sad and I miss my old life. Sorry, guess I sound pretty pitiful. I have major anxiety over this and now to top it off, I seem to be crying all the time so I must be getting depressed, too! My husband seems to be okay with the IBS part of this- the going to the bathroom and not eating or wanting to go places because of it; it's the anxiety and depression he doesn't understand. Hopefully things will brighten up soon!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/15/2006 3:30 PM (GMT -7)   
As I have said before, men pee in front of each other and shower together in gyms; pooping in a public restroom usually isn't a big thing for them. They don't understand that women are much more private than that. That's where the anxiety comes in.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 160
   Posted 5/16/2006 7:48 AM (GMT -7)   
If it's any consulation, lots of us, especially women prefer to keep our bodily functions private. Think it's a genetic difference between men and women just like Keriamon says. They're a whole 'nother breed!!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 5/16/2006 11:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey All,   I have had this crap(no pun intended) for the last ten years..  It all started when I was trying to have a baby..  After going thru infertility stuff for 5 years then a hysterectomy... I still have IBS...  I find that my true friends understand...  My husband of 14 years poor guy only knew me normal for about 4 years..  Is really good..  I finally last week took him to the gastro with me that helped...  If any of us had cancer people would understand..  The problem is that we don't have something that they can see or understand..  I say we all need positive people in our lives not negative..  So the people that don't get it need to start!! haha   This website has been a godsend for me...  Love all of you....


New Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/25/2006 8:46 PM (GMT -7)   
My son- 12- was just diagnosed. It's hard explaing this to a 12 yr old and helping him deal with it all. But, my H is not helping by eating everything my son can't have and whining when I get home from the store saying I didn't get anything for him! (which means anything unhealthy- I got him plenty of real food!)
He hasn't even read the e-mails I sent him about IBS or the new diet our son has! This is odd for him since he's usually a great H and father. Maybe denial?
Sorry to vent on your thread stepher! But, yes, I know what you mean!

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 5/26/2006 9:17 AM (GMT -7)   
My boyfriend is very supportive and mom just asks me if I want some tums and then changes the subject (have one of those families that just ignores any conflicts or problems).  Mys sister (who's 25) makes fun of me.  So yeah not very supportive on the family end.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2844
   Posted 5/26/2006 11:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I have UC, my Mum and Dad, are always asking how I am but because I'm in the Army miles away from home, I never see them anywway so no real support there, my wife has no understanding or time to educate herself on this subject, all she has ever really done or said was that a friend from her work has colitis and she's fine so I should just get on with it! I tell you I have tried so hard to get her to understand but she just isn't interested, funny thing is she had diaharrea (sp) not so long ago hey she had to take a few days off work and was a wreck, I said to her now do you understand her response was well that's how your body is so you have to get used to it ARGHHHHH! She really knows how to say just the right things.

Take care.

Tramadol Hydrochloride
To support, follow the link:



Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 5/27/2006 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
KERIAMON: i don't know where you live, but Dole pre-packaged salads were under a recall recently in several states. the lettuce was becoming contaminated with bacteria while sealed in the bags. Dole claimed it was the bags themselves. i simply started buying a different brand.

as for support, my friends/family finally realized what i was going through when i described what it was like to actually poop in your pants, pack underwear with you, carry babywipes in your bag AND know where every public restroom is on a subway system, and every private tree on your running route.... now they get it...

sometimes people only get stuff when you are graphic and totally honest...
what would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/30/2006 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Mrsghost, you're doing the right thing by not bringing home junk food for your husband to eat that your son can't have. I have learned that if it's in the house, 9.9 times out of 10, you'll eat it, even if you know you shouldn't, even if you know it will make you sick. It took getting really, really sick off sugar alcohols for me to not touch any of Stuart's candy anymore. And I used to crave colas so bad because he kept them in the house and I saw them everytime I opened the fridge (caffeine makes me sick), and sometimes I'd have a little sip or small amount, even though I knew I was taking a chance with it. I finally found some caffeine-free colas (Stewart's Fountain Sodas) that are so good that even when I don't have any, I don't care to drink Stuart's stuff because it tastes so inferior. But I have to be careful of him and not have a lot of sweets available because he's diabetic and he misses things like Oreos, which don't come in a sugar-free version. And if I'm having some, he'll have some; it's just too hard to resist. So I keep a chocolate bar for sweets and he keeps some of his diabetic chocolate and we stay pretty even.

Trust me, once you get used to eating good food, junk food tastes horrible and leaves you unfulfilled (actually it tastes horrible and leaves you unfillled all the time, but it takes eating good food to realize that). You just need to be firm with you husband and say "no" to having things in the house that your son can't eat. Ask him if your son suddenly became diabetic, would he be so cruel as to eat ice cream and Little Debbies in front of him? This is the same situation, different disease; your son has to be on a restricted diet and it just makes it worse if others in the house get to eat things that he likes but shouldn't have (it's okay, though, if other people in the house eat things that your son doesn't like and wouldn't touch anyways). He'll just end up sneaking and eating it and making himself sick.
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