It goes without saying that we are all different, but there are often common threads which link us together in certain circumstances. Take a few minutes to read through the ‘IBS Journey’ below and you will find the ‘common thread’.
Before You Knew What IBS was
You knew there was a problem, usually pain in addition to the other symptoms and you were hoping it would pass. Perhaps you tried to ignore it and it didn’t go away, but if it did, it came back again, and usually a little worse than it was previously. People didn’t understand or you didn’t tell them about the problem you were experiencing or the worrying thoughts that just kept going through your mind. And there were the background thoughts too, those that you tried to push back deep in your mind.
You might have done some basic research and hoped that you didn’t have everything that you read about! You may have become impatient with people who didn’t know what you were going through. The embarrassment was not only relentless, but distressing. And it just kept being a problem and in time, perhaps after a lot of time, you just knew you were going to have to do something about it.
You might have even noticed that your moods were changing too. Not only were you having to deal with the physical pain, discomfort or whatever else you were coping with, you were finding your thoughts were changing, and your confidence might be a little less than it was, and also your self esteem perhaps was waning. Even your sleep pattern might have be affected and numerous other things you may have noticed, but weren’t sure if you were imagining it, or if you were just over-tired. After all you have been coping for quite a while now. You had to go and get it checked, finally, reluctantly you listened to that little inner voice which you have been ignoring hoping it and the symptoms would go away.
On the Day You Visited the Doctor
Tense, worried and perhaps thinking that you just had to get it sorted, there was no other option really, you couldn’t bear to think about living like that for the rest of your life. Get a pill or medicine and that will be it, you tell yourself. Or worse still, your thoughts and your research may have led you to sense that your pain and symptoms could be colon cancer, abnormal growths, and all manner of gastrointestinal diseases – thoughts of impending surgery, medical intervention and hospitalizations may have escalated your worry even further.
So an appointment is made with your doctor, most likely a gastroenterologist, who will have heard about symptoms like yours routinely from the many thousands of patients that suffer just as you have, and so you are brave and strong and just want to finally get a diagnosis and end the pain and symptoms.
Maybe the symptoms vanished that day of the appointment, should you really go now, is it starting to get better by itself, perhaps just a bit more time is needed, but then you remind yourself that a great deal of time has passed since this started, perhaps you can’t even remember when it started. Or if you do remember exactly when it started, are you recalling it right?
Or maybe, instead of the symptoms leaving, you could barely get to your appointment, as just the thought of having to be somewhere started your pain and kept you running back to the bathroom “just one more time” before finally getting out the door. And how long has that been going on, you wonder… when was the last time you could leave the house without worrying about bathrooms or being late?
So after giving the doctor the embarrassing litany of symptoms, your physician suggests that your condition could be Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, a common digestive problem which affects one in 5 of the population. And if your research hadn’t taken you to this possibility, you might not have been quite sure of all you were being told, but you are booked in for some tests to make certain there was nothing to worry about, just to be on the safe side. Oh well, more worry, until you get the results.
On the Day You Were Diagnosed with IBS
All the tests come back clear and it was as suspected – the diagnosis is IBS.
The doctor assures you that a diagnosis of IBS is nothing to worry about , and you were informed that you are not going to die due to it, just take some exercise, these tablets and watch what you eat and all should be fine.
“Take the meds and call me if there are any more problems” are the words ringing in the ears of the eagerly departing sufferer. Hopes are high, a little more time and all will be well.
When You Have Suffered with IBS for 6 Months
Back to the doctor again, perhaps several visits are now behind you, new meds, sympathy, knowing nods and acknowledgment that it isn’t easy living with IBS.
And what about your moods, your growing frustration, fear and dread. What can the doctor do to help with the time from work you are losing due to the IBS and what can he/she do to help you to live more confidently and socially?
The world may well seem to be getting smaller. The change of diet hasn’t done much for you, and the change of medications make you feel fuzzy or not all quite here. The exercise hasn’t done anything and worse of all perhaps those you love are finding it hard to understand what it is you are going through. The kids / friends can’t understand why you’re not as much fun, why days out are cancelled, and your partner is making other demands when all you want to do is just get through another day without all the pain and suffering.
The doctor is sympathetic, and tries to be upbeat. You ask what is causing your pain and discomfort, but there is no definitive answer for you because even though medical science may be able to differentiate certain physical elements between IBS patients and non-IBS patients, but there is no known “cause.” But, still, your symptoms could be caused by something else, they couldn’t be this severe to “just” be IBS, so you subject yourself to some more tests, more medical prodding and poking and waiting and worrying, and confirmation, (again) that it is ONLY IBS.
That word “only”, it might be “only” to those who don’t have it, but to you its starting to be a real problem. You found it easier to tolerate in the early days because you thought there was a light at the end of the tunnel, it was something that would pass. But it hasn’t.
Well you have to remember there is nothing really wrong with you, says the doctor.
Remember!!! This hasn’t been said before, you would have remembered this. Nothing really wrong? So why is it so painful, what is making my life a misery, and affecting my work, and my family and social life. The pain and the symptoms and the lower mood are real enough. You are informed that this is just the nature of IBS – severe pain and horrible symptoms with no real cause, and no real cure. Not such a great outlook for the future, and this prospect serves to add to your already full plate.
So where do I go from here? You are comforted with the comment – ‘Well the good news is there is nothing life-threatening going on, so that’s something to be grateful for’. Sorry it doesn’t feel that way. Let me know if it gets worse.
When You have Suffered with IBS for 12 Months
Several more visits to the doctor have passed. Now you may be greeted with a resigned look of understanding, but you realise that the medical arsenal for IBS is drying up. You have visited the doctor more in the last 12 months than the previous 12 years!
The moods and faltering confidence are now just accepted. The physical symptoms are being endured, at times perhaps you’re coping but other things are getting away from you. Social life may now be less than it was, at home people are coming to terms with the fact you have an ongoing problem, they are finding it more difficult to understand, but they are trying.
Or worse still, they may see your problem as not real, since there is no known cause, and they may want you to ‘snap out of it.’ Your concentration is not as good as it was, the IBS seems to be draining you physically and mentally. You do your best to try and remain positive, but it is not easy.
When You Have Suffered with IBS for 5 Years
It has been a long five years. You have decided you are on your own. Over the last five years you have been doing your own research, spent a fortune on all sorts of over the counter medicines, taken the advice of your friends on other products and none were right for you, infact some were simply a rip-off, false promises, cruel false hope.
The IBS is an unwelcome part of your life, your quality of life is now much less than it was, and yet you have managed some new routines. Hopefully not lost your job, or changed hours to make it easier for you. The mornings are definitely the worst, and yet you have heard for others it’s the evening times that are difficult. You are well aware of your change in your wardrobe, the elasticised waistbands help cope with the stomach distension.
You have spent a great amount of time and energy trying to find the solution to this problem. You hear of alternative treatment methods and you may have unsuccessfully tried a few or otherwise have decided they are not for you, and your search continues.
Perhaps there have been more medical tests, another colonoscopy, but nothing is different. The hope is still dashed, it is still ONLY IBS!! There are days better than others but the overall quality of your life is significantly lower than it was. You still feel tired, resigned to the fact that IBS is with you forever. But then there are other days when you feel a little stronger and more determined to carry on with the fight. It is not easy, but no one has told you anything different. You acknowledge the fight has to go on.
When You Have Suffered with IBS for 10 Years
A great deal of money has been spent, people around you, acknowledge you have your ‘off days’, and you are not happy very often. Little do they know the pain and the problems continue. There may have been other tests done again just to be sure. More ‘helpful’ advice from friends, doctors and acquaintances and you try them all out of desperation.
How can this be, in this day and age, how come there is still no medical answer to this? The doctors are just as frustrated as you are. They want to help but their arsenal is well depleted, you are on your own. Maybe you are just resigned to putting up with it, perhaps there is still some fight in you.
There are days when you can cope better than others, but your quality of life is perhaps a shadow of how it was, before the days of IBS. But you keep going, see new adverts for ‘amazing cures to cure IBS in days’, new alternative treatments and you are tempted to try them all, but you have been disappointed so many times before. Perhaps this is how it is meant to be, but you know deep down inside there has to be an answer somewhere.
When You Have Suffered with IBS for 15 Years
All those years, all that expense, all that hope, all those disappointments! How time flies, perhaps you now think you are too old to change, perhaps this is your lot and you just have to get on with it. IBS, has now taken residence in your life as that cruel shadow that has affected you so deeply, for so long.
And how you have had to adjust your life, the days out you have missed, the socialising circle is much smaller than it was, going out remains problematic, needing great planning by you and understanding by others. Nothing you can say now that has not been said before, so you keep quiet, and put up with it. But your thoughts are with you, the hope that there may be just one thing you find that can help, perhaps tomorrow is that day?
When You Have Suffered with IBS for 25+ Years
You have heard it all, you have tried it all, you have spent a fortune, you have little confidence in the doctors, you’ve had other tests over the years but all come back as IBS, you know that your life has been affected significantly with the IBS, and yet you can still acknowledge there are days when things are better, it hasn’t all been bad you tell yourself. There have been easier days and there have been difficult ones too, but you have survived and you can be pleased at that.
All those years, and you have been looking and searching and pondering and trying the occasional new treatment or idea. You are still looking forward to that one day that you might just stumble across something that just might help, but there again you have heard it all before.
But have you?
The fact that you are reading this text, which most likely parallels much of your own journey in many ways, shows that you are still searching, you still have hope that there may be something out there to help.
And there is – because the journey of an IBS sufferer has been told over and over again by thousands of IBS patients all over the world – and because word gradually spreads that someone was helping sufferers. The common thread that helped those sufferers was made known to many…
And that common thread …
is a home use audio program developed specifically for IBS sufferers known as The IBS Audio Program 100 . This program was specifically developed for those who have taken the hard and arduous IBS journey and has helped people from those early in their IBS journey to those who have had IBS for many years.
With many testimonials from users it has a proven history of helping many, even when everything else has been tried and failed. The sessions have been developed to address a wide variety of the physical and emotional aspects of IBS. It has been proven very helpful for both men and women age 13 and over.
With over ten years of symptom management and testimonials from grateful IBS Audio Program 100 users over the years, it is the common thread of sufferers who continued to search. You may be able to count yourself among them, knowing that the program was developed by a therapist who really cares about and understands IBS patients and the journey they have taken.