Saturday, March 5, 2016

I'm baaaaack

How embarrassing. The other week, my husband (yes, we're married now...and have been for over a year) mentioned that he couldn't believe I hadn't posted on here since August of 2014. I had no idea it had been that long!! It was somewhat of a planned hiatus, though, I just didn't mean for it to go on this long.

See, I had been feeling guilty each time I posted here. My daily half Imodium had me feeling so good and regular I felt like I couldn't say I had IBS anymore. And, because of that, I felt like a fake when I'd blog. Well, good news- I stopped my Imodium and definitely feel like I have the right to post again! 😩 I decided to stop it because A) there are no long-term studies to tell me whether it's safe or not, B) we are considering perhaps maybe possibly having kids and it's a pregnancy category C drug, C) my neck has been doing this weird stiff thing lately and occasionally twitches and D) I was hoping I didn't have IBS symptoms anymore.

I took my last tablet 30 days ago, and the loose stools came back immediately. I didn't even get a day to think, "Hmm maybe I'm going to stay normal!" And, let me tell ya, it is REALLY hard to hold myself back from going to get an Imodium when I have a particularly bad stool or when I'm about to go out/to work and I feel like I need to run back to the bathroom but can't. I've become so dependent on that stupid half tablet that I have no idea how I made it to the 30 day mark. Especially with the type 7 stools (Bristol stool scale) I was having day after day after day the first week or two.

However, I'm not back up to the 10+ stools a day that used to be my norm. Thank god for that. I'm still only having one stool a day, although it is definitely loose and unpleasant.  But the good thing is I'm not watching what I'm eating. Wait- that's a complete lie- I'm 100% positive I will watch what I eat for the rest of my life after the hell I've been through. What I meant to say is that I'm still having some fun foods. Like I can still eat (a slice or two) of pizza (with the grease dabbed off), the occasional cheese stick, and nuts (as long as I chew them well), among other tasty things without really paying for it. I do still get urgency after most meals, but I can usually wait it out. I feel like superwoman when I make it through that burning urge to sprint to the bathroom. I've decided I will not take Imodium again until I start to feel like I can't leave the house without getting nervous. I refuse to go back to that life. I'm still recovering from it socially and emotionally.

You're probably wondering how I went from 10+ stools a day pre-Imodium to only 1 stool a day post-Imodium, right? I sort of am too. But here's what I'm doing now: 1) fiber, 2) proper toileting techniques, and 3) exercise, yoga, and meditation.

For breakfast, I eat a bowl of Cheerios with a spoonful of wheat bran buds in it. Then I have a spoonful of applesauce. My doctor suggested these additions of fiber and also wanted me to drink a little prune juice as well, but I could not tolerate the taste. I was afraid of fiber in the past because I had tried it in the beginning and did not have a good experience with it. But this time it seems to be helping keep me regular. Hopefully, I can make some tweaks and it can help me have more formed stools.

As far as proper toileting techniques, I'm "forcing" myself to go every morning after I eat breakfast. In the past, I spent a lot of time in the bathroom. I was spending 30+ minutes in the bathroom every single time I'd go, and often times running right back in a second time if I didn't feel like I'd emptied completely. I'd have to get up painfully early just to give myself enough time to go to the bathroom. I'm down to 5 minutes, and I only give myself one try. Did you know there is a specific position you're supposed to poop in? I sure as hell didn't. Again, my doctor let me in on this secret. You're supposed to raise up your heels off the floor and lean slightly forward. Then you're supposed to do deep belly breaths to get going. Even though I have diarrhea-predominant IBS, I have always found it hard to go. I don't struggle to go now that I know how to go. As soon as I assume the position and start the belly breaths, boom- I'm going. I continue with the belly breaths until I feel like I've emptied enough and I'm good to go for the day. I do have some urgency throughout the day, especially after lunch, but I just push through it using the techniques I've learned now that I'm trying yoga/meditation out.

In addition to the weight training and elliptical running I'm doing, I also added yoga and meditation into my routine. I try to do the meditation every night before bed and a time or two during work. I find that I'm super tense all.the.time. I'll come home from work, go into the bathroom to wash my hands, look in the mirror and see how high my shoulders are. I lower them literally 3 inches when I force myself to relax. I'm just naturally wound super tight, which means I can get pretty worked up when I start to feel the urgent need to run to the bathroom. If this happens at work, I close my eyes and go to my happy place while taking deep belly breaths. If you've been reading my blog very long, you probably know (but have maybe forgotten since I've been MIA) that I'm a pretty bad germaphobe. Not wanting to use public bathrooms is also a huge motivator, but I often find that after that brief moment of meditation I don't feel the need to go anymore. A side note: I tried this in the past as a relaxation technique and found it hardly ever worked for me. I understand why now- meditation is pretty difficult and takes a lot of practice. If it doesn't work for you right away, don't give up. Make it a habit and keep working at it. I took me a good two weeks before I could do it well. If you need a hand to hold like I did in the beginning, try the "Stop, Breathe & Think" app. It rocks.

Ok, I don't wanna pull something by going too hard now that I'm trying to make a come back, so I'll stop here. I'm happy people are still finding my (very old) posts day after day and hope they're finding them helpful, but I will try to start posting regularly again. Hopefully there are still some of you out there reading this regularly that can help me stick to this goal because I really miss blogging!


  1. Hi Rachel, just stumbled upon your blog and it is nice to know a person with IBS can live a life like you do (well, it is not like you can live like ordinary people, but you have married with a person who accepts you and have a job as well). I am 23 years old and I have had the IBS symptoms for about 6-7 years but I have just been aware of it for 1 year. I have found many problems that we share together in the fight against IBS. Most of my friends and relatives wouldn't accept the fact that I can't eat or drink alcohol like they do in every party they throw and I don't even want to explain to them what is happening. Recently, I have taken up meditation and tai chi, so I will definitely inform you about the results if they work for me.

  2. I also recently stumbled across your blog. In the last year or so I've started developing digestion issues. I'm currently on a path to figure out what's going on. All signs point to IBS, so I plan to discuss it with my doctor. I'd love to see more regular updates (bahahaha.. catch that pun?!), i.e. is your meal plan current?