I’m about to start studying, which will hopefully lead to part time work. I’ve been out of the workforce for three years. The work I hope to be able to do will be involving working in a classroom environment which means I can’t be in crippling pain or running to the bathroom every five minutes. My irritable bowel syndrome controls a lot of my life and I have missed a few important events due to it.
I will take Imodium on a day that is sure to be stressful or a new experience that I know my stomach will react to. Even though I able to calm my mind down I seem to be unable to calm my stomach down.
My ultimate goal was to work from home for two reasons, one being available to attend my children’s school events and the other being my IBS. Anyone who has ever experienced this knows how fickle IBS can be. You eat something one time and you’re fine then next time you have it, it makes you incredibly sick. An experience you have had many times before like dinner out somewhere or even at family’s house can still lead to a flare up. I know my non-safe foods and I don’t tempt fate so it’s extremely frustrating when you have a flare up and someone tells you not to eat the food you can’t have. I try to explain that I didn’t but it seems to fall on deaf ears.
I have been known to plan what we eat with the events of tomorrow in mind. No new foods or foods that once made me sick five years ago. No spices and nothing to rich. Bland trusted foods, not that you can really ever trust a food when you have IBS in my experience anyway. The morning of my wedding I took half an Imodium. Weddings are stressful and being the centre of attention can be scary for someone like me and my dress was not bathroom friendly. Taking medication may work for major events but I can’t take it every day just to attend work. Some users of Imodium find that they can build a tolerance over time and need to take more for it to be effective. Another side effect for me is not being able use the bathroom for up to four days after a small dose.
My study will include attending campus sometimes and work placement. That’s even before I gain employment. Honestly I don’t know what I’m going to do, or how I’m going to plan for a flare up. I hate not being able to trust my body to just behave normally. I hate having to think about what to bring with me every time I leave the house. A long drive can be emotionally taxing for me and everyday events can be a source of anxiety. When you mention to someone that you are sick they expect you to be unwell for more than one day when really sometimes a flare up will only last a day and you can seem perfectly fine the next day.
I hope that once I have settled into a new position when I begin working that flares up will be less common but I can’t fully rely on that to happen. As other sufferers will know you can only ever take each day as it comes with a condition like IBS.