My Search Begins… The Early Years…

frame #1: MY SEARCH BEGINS: THE EARLY YEARS...*around 1988 or so</p><p>Everyone was so sure they had the "answer".</p><p>Dr. says: Everything is caused by candida or yeast. We will cure you! I will give you various noxious things to drink and additives that will proceed to make you worse...</p><p>My first foray into the world of alternative medicine was to a Doctor who believed everything was caused by candida albicans - a yeast that lives in the mouth, throat, intestines and other areas. This was my inauguration into that murky world out there that draws desperate people like me.</p><p>Nothing worked - just produced frustration and discomfort...on to other Doctors!</p><p>frame #2: I am given amitriptyline, an old-timey antidepressant whose side-effects were thought to help IBS. Couldn't keep my head up!</p><p>frame #3: I am given a strong antibiotic: Flagyl</p><p>I get: tongue thrush (ironically- a yeast infection)</p><p>frame #4: And then - my memorable, miserable visit to a noted gastroenterologist in my area...he proceeded to berate and chastise me for even presenting my problem to him...</p><p>Dr. shouts: You're complaining of pain, discomfort? Why don't I take you down to the Stomach Cancer wing in the hospital & show you what Real Pain looks like!!</p><p>(Dr. Sloan gets really angry at me!)</p><p>I am thinking: I feel so bad about myself-and guilty...and yes, angry at him-I want to tip that desk over onto him!

I thought I’d start out with my memory of some of my early visits to Drs, both alternative and “normal”. There were so many (I was “Dr.-hopping”) and so many medications and tests that I will have to ramble a little. Twenty five years is a very long time. This little snippet covers some early theories: candida/yeast, amitriptyline (tricyclic antidepressant) and flagyl (antibiotic). And it also introduced me to what some Docs thought of IBS back in the 1980’s…not much, it appeared. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that nothing out there provided me with any relief. Still can’t, but I accept it more than I did back then.

4 thoughts on “My Search Begins… The Early Years…

  1. Hi, thanks for making this blog and sharing your experiences and frustrations with so many people. I’ve had (supposedly–I still think doctors just use IBS as a cop-out when they can’t figure out what’s wrong) IBS for the past 7 months, and it’s just taken over my life. Can you tell me more about what that doctor told you about candida overgrowth? I’ve been on my computer all day for the last few days constantly researching what could be causing all this. I recently found out about candida overgrowth and think it may possibly be contributing to it. Did they give you probiotics? How much worse did it make your symptoms? Thank you so much!

  2. Hi Mariah,

    I agree with you…I also think IBS is an umbrella category where all the problems the Drs don’t know the answers to can be conveniently swept under. Re: Candida, you will notice my cartoon is dated from the late 80’s so I don’t have a clear memory of what was given to me. Whatever it was, it made me feel a lot worse! Probiotics were not given back then, at least not to my knowledge.

  3. Dear Mariah

    My daughter showed me your website and wonderful cartoons about your own history re IBS etc a little while ago. It made her smile and was very helpful in helping to put the issue in its place (if that is possible?)

    My daughter is 23yrs old and has had problems for the last four years or so – really spoiled her time at Univesity etc and still is to a degree.

    I wondered if you had actually published any books with your wonderful response to the issue as I would love to surpise my daughter Lindy with a copy?

    Please advise Title and ISBN number etc – failing that – if not I hope you do put it into print soon!!!

    Being able to view this with comedy and light heartedness must help !!

    Thank you – and all the best to you for your own health.

    Carole Sharp
    2 Alfred Street
    Blandford Forum
    Dorset DT11 7QS

    • Dear Carole,

      I am so happy that your daughter found some amusement from my cartoons. I am never happy to hear about IBS spoiling the lives of young people when their main business should be having fun. I got diagnosed when I was 35, which is still too young, but not as bad as your daughter. And you are right…creating these cartoons does help me cope quite a bit.

      I am not pubulished in print, but who knows? Perhaps someone will see these cartoons and want to publish them…you never know! In the meantime, please sign up for email alerts for new cartoons. And by the way, my name is not Mariah…that was someone who responded to the blog, just like you. I am going by “chronically me ” right now so that I feel free to be as honest as possible when doing my cartoons. Thank you for your kind comments.

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