Posted 01 November 2018 - 08:45 PM
Hello gang. Here's a recap of my symptoms and the things I've tried. I am 30 years old, male, had real bad IBS (worse than what I have now) from 2007-2008, then it went away. It then became a once or twice a year occurrence. It returned with a vengeance July 2017, when my mom had a heart attack (she's alive and well), and continued steadily due to my job being super stressful, then my dad had a stroke, then my best friend (who I will mention again) had a major life crisis. I lost my job in late June, Toys R Us, we were all laid off. Without that stress, the symptoms continued. It got so bad I would go only like twice a week, once normally, then 5 days later, huge flare up, felt like my body was intentionally voiding itself. Then in July 2018, I had to watch my one friends house while she was on vacation. I stayed there with her dogs and cats, painted, worked on our business stuff. That was more or less a real vacation for me, I got away from my parents, who drive me up a wall with all their medical needs, also, our dog is dying, she's crippled and can't walk but is healthy beyond those issues.
I am an only child and it is just hard to balance the needs of my mom, then my dad, then my dog, then my art business with my friend, and now, my new job. First, on July 23rd, I had a huge flare up. That was also the last day I spoke with my best friends. She has disappeared. I did some fishing, she is still alive, but her boyfriend has taken complete control of her. Even other friends, female friends, have been locked away. She is basically Harry Potter living in a broom closet. My friend told me she might disappear a few days before hand, and she asked me how to get rid of him. I told her the usual ways, police, clergy, women's shelters, etc, etc. HOWEVER, since she disappeared, I have had SUCH PEACE with my IBS. From July 23rd 2018 to October 18th, I didn't have a flare up! That was the longest stretch I have gone in over a year. Sometimes I just got the urge and have to go ASAP but it's not diarrhea. Most of the time, I just get horribly bloated. I eat through Gas-X and chew mint gum like I'm addicted. My doctor also lowered my fiber to 1,000mgs a day and put me on 400mgs of magnesium oxide. I go somewhat more regularly now.
However, that big flare up I had in October, that was within an hour or two after getting out of my new job and eating dinner, which was NOT a new meal. Good old reliable Wendy's, that has almost NEVER made me sick. Here's the thing, I can remember that Thursday, before my Friday-Saturday-Sunday shift at work, dreading it. I can remember having such anxiety over it, and anger over it. It's retail, it's boring, we are not allowed to talk to our coworkers simply because that "prevents" work, but we have no business. I once went an entire hour on a Saturday without speaking to another human. Not a coworker, or customer. I have pretty bad social anxiety and it took me 4 weeks to get over my fear of using the walkie talkies, but I did. I can't get over my fear of the phone yet.
I see a therapist for this, and for the cycle of fear my IBS further enforces. It never fails, I feel like I have to go to the bathroom before work, and I sometimes work myself into an IBS flare up and have to call off. This did not happen at Toys R Us, I loved my job. It was super stressful but I loved it. I hate my current job so much that I am considering up and quitting. My therapist says the only reason why I have the job I have is to get social interaction. I had another job offer, would have paid 12 an hour (a lot in my town), full-time, but it was a medical call center, calling to remind people of their appointments and help them with their insurance, etc, etc. That is A ) a phone job, a huge fear, and B ) isolating, and C ) it would mean I'd have to quit my art business and I'd lose my time to hang with my really good friend, the one who I watched her house while she was on vacation. She has helped me so much and was the first to theorize it is the stress. My therapist has been reading into it. I started seeing a psychiatrist, she's CONVINCED it's in my head entirely, since we did an experiment.
The literally next day, after that massive IBS flare up I had in October, I took a benzo (my mom is on them and eats them like candy, sadly), and then went and bought Chipotle, which had a 100% chance of making me sick. It has no effect on me! I didn't get sick at all! The day before, I worked a miserable, boring, heartless 4 hour shift at a register, ate Wendy's, got sick as a dog for HOURS, but the next day, while still half dead, I get more or less high, then eat something that SHOULD have killed me, didn't. Sadly, I am severely allergic to many, many antidepressants! Alcohol is SURELY not a safe "medication" to turn to, not to mention it too, gives me flare ups.
Should I try to find a more enjoyable job, even if it's less money? Should I quit and take some time off and just recover again? I probably can go back on unemployment for a bit. I live in fear of food and almost never eat anything other than the few things that have a habit of not making me sick. I've spent some money on getting pants that are a size bigger than I usually wear, because the bloating is that severe. It gets so bad sometimes that I can't even pee from the swelling. If anyone has any ideas, let me know. Sleeping, used to help, but sadly, I can't sleep anymore. My dog, because she's crippled, cries constantly. Constantly. My mom's a veterinarian and won't dare put our dog down, which, she's so happy and we still put her on a wagon and take her up and down the street, she can still swim, her front legs still work, but today, I got 3 hours of sleep. I put my earplugs in, no help. I put on Skyrim's soundtrack, blasted it, got another 2 hours of sleep. Lack of sleep, eating late due to work, WORK being so frustrating in general, and there is this massive push and pull for my best friend. My therapist summed it up like this "How dare she leave you when you need her most." I have spent years trying to help her get out of her abusive relationship, she's ignored it. Fine, ok, I accept that. But she abandoned me! She was the only person who would actually sit on the phone with me while I had my flare ups, she more or less held my hand through it and it helped. I at least didn't feel afraid of the pain and worrying if I'd just die on the toilet.
I have shared a lot of raw emotion here, I would appreciate any advice.