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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can remember back to when I was a child and we would go on long car rides. I would get very anxious and worried about having to stop to go to the bathroom. Everyone would get mad at me and I was teased endlessly and ridiculed about this problem from day one. The diarehha side of it starts from stress and anxiety and then goes on in a cycle of cramps for over 2 hours at 20 minute intervals. Needlesstosay, I cannot travel well at all and can only go places w/my own family and children as they understand my problems. This is so devistating to have to hide this problem; i have a busy social life but live in fear of having an accident and can't be away from a bathroom in the event of having an attack. I cannot travel w/friends and they wonder what is wrong with me I am sure. I have IBS diagnosis and wonder if anyone else suffers like this. Planes are difficult but on trains I am fine...The stress of it all is just not worth it sometimes.
 

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Dear Gracie,Been there..done that !!! I've had IBS-D for over 13 years and spent a great deal of time "worrying" about how I could get out of certain responsibilities and expectations; living in fear someone would "force" me to make an explanation and basically missing a whole bunch of life out there because of it.Suggestion: Come out of the closet. I started by telling a few close friends and am now at the point where I don't really care who knows it. It is something over which I have no control so I refuse to be held "accountable" as if it was my "fault" in some way. I've been thrilled and grateful that virtually everyone I've told has been more sympathetic than critical.Another suggestion: Preparation. For example, always having a change of clothes available, extra meds if necessary, a large brown bath towel as part of the fixtures in a car, Depends or whatever it takes to get you to the point of "Oh, well".Yet,another suggestion; POSITIVE SELF-TALK. It takes a great deal of practice. It's taken months, maybe years for some but a sure-fire way to reduce the stress. Psychologically, it is totally impossible to have more than one thought on your mind at once. You can choose the negative or pop in a positive. Frequently, when I'm distracted by making conversation with a stranger, I tend to forget about my gut. I also say things to myself like, "It's no big deal. I can turn around if I need to. It will not be catastrophic if...well..blah, blah, blah whatever I'm wanting to go or wherever I want to go doesn't happen." I'm not suggesting I'm happy about missing an event, but I've tried to stop catastrophizing and imagining "what if".Finally..I pray...ALOT !!! With all of this and sometimes humming a nonsense tune in my head (out loud if no one is around)keeps me focused on something other than this stupid gut.Hope this helps..oh, and one other thing that usually works...I try to count all the blessings I have...that takes enough time to get me through several hours. I apologize for the length of this note, but you need to know it took me years to get to this point and change doesn't happen quickly. However, it won't happen at all without trying.Be encouraged..there are more of us out here supporting you and KNOW exactly what you're feeling !! Please don't ALLOW this "condition" to control your life.Godspeed.
 

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Goofygut that was a great pep talk. thanks. I just wanted to say, I agree with the distraction part when in a car. Something that works for me is sucking on a piece of peppermint candy. I don't know why, but if it is just the anxiety (not actual spasms or anything) it takes my mind off of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all of the great replies. My sister called yesterday to tell me that she just had a colonoscopy and the good news is that she doesn't have cancer, collitis or chron's but she does have IBS. This obviously runs through our family and now I suspect that my daughter 11 has it as well. Exactly like mine. I love the idea of handing out the flyer; this is a great way of not having to explain in detail. I also like the idea of "whatever" as I cannot carry this burden around alone forever. My husband thought this was all mental for years and now because of recent publicity, he is a little more sensitive. I do think he is disappointed we can't do more adventurous things. I will say that last year we lived in Europe and travelled extensively. I had no problems w/ibs there (food perhaps or train travel?)and as soon as I got home the worrying set in...thanks again for the pep talks and it is encouraging to know I am not alone!
 
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