Frame #1: IBS has Nothing to do with what you eat!   Frame #2: IBS has Everything to do with what you eat!   Frame #3: The act of eating Itself can cause IBS attacks   Frame #4: All this conflicting advice and continuing IBS attacks reduce my perceived "OK" foods to: breadsticks, water, bread and chicken (celiac disease was ruled out and no one was talking "gluten-free" yet)   Frame #5: And early on, my mother inofrmed me: "I spoke to my friends, and they told me IBS is All In Your Head!!   Frame #6: Then there was the "It's All Stress" contingent: You need to try (fill in the blanks): yoga, meditation, deep breathing, acupuncture, xyz supplement. massage, relaxation tapes, the Alexander Technique, reflexology, reiki, hypnosis, visualization...

This is just a small starter sampling of all the advice (most unasked for) I have received over the years. I have found that many people get angry (I think, with me) when they learn there is nothing “the doctor can give me”. They are also unhappy with the diagnosis of IBS (as am I). They want something more definitive and formidable-sounding, and still ask me, “So, did they ever find out what was really wrong with you?”. I also get a lot of “I hope you feel better tomorrow”, which is sweet, but treats a chronic situation as if it’s a cold. I suppose a better way to say it would be to wish a better day tomorrow. I know, it’s semantics, but it does mean something. There’s a certain impatience out there that I’m not better, and I do believe that leads to the “it’s all in my head” theory. I don’t think people respond that way to diabetics or other, more serious-sounding chronic diseases. Since no one knows much of anything about this functional disease, all of the advice is trial and error anyway. We actually have to be our own Dr’s. Of course, that doesn’t stop those giving the advice from being absolutely sure of themselves, some even fanatically so.

6 thoughts on “Advice

  1. Thank you. As I am welling up, I have to say THANK YOU. I was diagnosed with both Celiac and IBS in quick succession last year (I say quick. Four months?), but I also remember being told at age 15 that I probably had IBS. Everyone is well-meaning, but they don’t want to talk about my bowel — neither do I, frankly — and don’t know how to say the right thing.

    • Thank you for reading and commenting (and laughing, I hope). I hope you keep checking in, as I will have new posts appearing periodically ( I unfortunately have lots of “material”). Soon there will be an option to sign up for new posts.

  2. Howdy, just wanted to say loving the humour on your blog. Sometimes you just got to laugh about it all. It’s insanity at times.

    If you’re interested, maybe one day you can do a cartoon for my particular problem on my blog and i can put a link up to your site.

    Keep em coming, especially the ones highlighting the moronic doctors haha

  3. Jordan,

    Thank you so much for reading and laughing. If I ever do a related cartoon (to your problem), please feel free to post it on your blog. I looked over your site, and you have come a long way. Stay tuned, as a notification option will soon be available on my blog.

    • haha i love them. I remember one time, i needed to a couple of stool tests into these containers. well they needed to be done on two consecutive days and the first one needed to be refrigerated overnight. Well my brother wasn’t too pleased when he saw me putting the empty vegie section of the fridge.. haha priceless. Then you have to go in to thee hospital and hand deliver your own sample to a hot nurse. i was like hey, i just got a sample for you. ummm yep, she says. not very awkward…keep em coming

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