IBS is ruining my life (and limiting my career options)

Nov 2, 2019 61 Comments

I've been dealing with IBS for the last 10 years. I can handle it on most days but days like yesterday show me how much my life sucks and I just need to vent.

I'm in my mid 20s and I can't go anywhere without checking if there's any bathrooms. Parts of my brain are always busy trying to locate the next one. Being stuck in a car (or any other place without a bathroom) for too long feels like hell and makes me panic.

Yesterday I happened to be in a car and was stuck in traffic. After being stuck for about 30 minutes I realized I couldn't take this for another 30 minutes and stopped at a restaurant where I thankfully could take a dump in peace. In case you're not familiar with IBS - it sucks, it's random and there's not too many ways to control it. In my case, I usually feel the urge to go whenever I'm stuck like yesterday, even if I used the bathroom 30 minutes before - I definitely wouldn't have had to go (at least for another few hours) if there hadn't been any traffic.

I'm in therapy and I've seen specialists but nothing really helps. I got promoted recently, I made some progress towards personal goals etc. but all of it doesn't really matter because at the end of the day my self worth is still at 0 because of this shit.

The only reason I can handle a relatively normal life (if "normal" means rarely doing anything remotely exciting) is because I can get to and from work with bathrooms nearby when I'm on the train.

My management chain has asked me if I'd be interested in transferring to the Bay Area and hell yeah, sign me up except I can't get my shit together (literally, lol). I'm delivering good work and I'm sure moving to the US would help my career (as well as personal) growth, but I just can't in this condition.

I can't make it to offsites, I can't make it to team dinners in the US and I always rely on Caltrain or bikes when I have to get anywhere - I'd rather walk (or bile) 3 miles than drive a car over that distance.

Days like yesterday make me realize how much my life sucks. I can't have any relationships, I can't do trips to exciting places when I'm on a business trip in the US (I'd love to see Yosemite, but there's just no way), I can't take flying lessons and on some days I can't even do something as basic as taking the car for 20 miles without almost shitting myself.

I don't expect anyone to read all of this, but in case anyone has any advice (yes, I've tried FODMAP) I'd very much appreciate to hear that.

Sorry for all the self-pitying, I'm just worn down after living with this for a decade and needed to vent.

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TOP 61 Comments
  • Facebook wdwy
    Employers are obligated to provide “reasonable accommodations” for people with medical conditions impacting their ability to do a job.

    A reasonable accommodation can be anything - from allowing you to work from home, to taking breaks throughout the day, etc.

    You should research it

    (Edit - this is for the US. Not sure about the law elsewhere)
    Nov 2, 2019 5
    • Intel D’s🥜
      A friend of mine with IBS recently tried a new treatment. Basically, she changed diets overnight to exclude most/all food groups. Imagine some terrible mixture of a keto/vegetarian/gluten-free/sugar-free/egg-free (all the fad diets). It was supervised by a nutritionist and she slowly added more food groups back until she experienced symptoms. Now, she just has a diet that is better for her IBS albeit limited
      Nov 3, 2019
    • LinkedIn MhcS24
      I second this. I have a family member who tried different diets and is doing much better.
      Nov 18, 2019
  • New / Mgmt facebooo
    I have UC and have had it for the majority of my career (16 years ). Many autoimmune diseases don’t have a cure or a sure way of managing symptoms. I have tried everything and nothing has worked for long term remission. My flareups which can last for months are extremely painful, bloody, draining and my “near-accidents” are harrowing and traumatic every time. Here is what has helped me stay sane.
    1. I do everything my medical team tells me to do (I have gone through a few).
    2. Everyone and their mother has suggestions for a cure and stories of how they have managed it. Everyone is different and not everything works for everyone. Now, I just tune out everyone but a medical professional. Yes they are nice, but not helpful.
    3. I stay up to date on medical research. I have a search alert on my condition.
    4. I wear adult diapers. Yes, it sounds gross, but it gives me peace of mind and takes away some of the anxiety and stress. Find a discrete brand that works for you.
    5. Because of all the above, I feel that I have done everything I can as a human and I refuse to let my condition define me any further .
    6. I have never let it impact my career or intimate relationships. Although, I let people (boss, close friends and so’s) know in advance that I suffer from it and what it means. I make sure to share this info even when I don’t have a flare up.
    7. Stress is the number 1 detriment to human health, with or without IBS. I am still working on managing it.
    8. Good night sleep. Everything is better after a good night of sleep.
    Nov 2, 2019 1
    • Google lafie
      OP
      Ah man, that has to suck big time. Thanks a lot for sharing!
      Nov 2, 2019
  • Amazon / Eng
    UTukMyJerb

    Amazon Eng

    PRE
    Electronic Arts (EA)
    UTukMyJerbmore
    This thread really is the best of what blind has to offer, support and empathy. Bravo to all here!
    Nov 2, 2019 1
    • Google lafie
      OP
      I'm also surprised and really grateful for all the compassion and support. :)
      Nov 2, 2019
  • Microsoft
    LVuitton

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Microsoft
    LVuittonmore
    Did you test for H pylori? Anyways, I have had some bowl problems over that lasted a year, went Keto (no carbs or sugars) high fats and eat a yogurt every day. All my bowl problems went away. Try playing with your diet.
    Nov 2, 2019 5
    • NVIDIA kill9
      Lvuitton, what was some bowl problem and did you show to doctor? My problem is I had to poop half hour after lunch everyday.
      Nov 2, 2019
    • Netflix Pablo.E
      I had a moderate version of this exasperated by stress anxiety. Low carb plus fasting has dramatically reduced my issues. I hated traveling for this very same reason.
      Nov 3, 2019
  • Oracle Sockets
    I don't have IBS and no useful advice.

    But, boy, can I totally relate with a situation I had today.

    We had spicey fried chicken then I stupidly chased it down with a double expresso w milk.

    Was out and it hit me. tried to drive back home but couldn't make it. Had to stop by a neighborhood park/playground for the bathroom but you needed a key card for the bathrooms. Wtf?

    Asked a few families if I could use their keycard. No success.

    I ended up hiking into the bushes and taking care of business while being surrounded by families and playing kids.

    As I was driving away the cops showed up. Someone f'ing called the police on me.
    Nov 2, 2019 1
    • Google lafie
      OP
      Yet another reason not to move to the US for now, lol
      Nov 2, 2019
  • PayPal kefir
    Sorry to hear! Have you tried testing your feces for your microbiome composition? I’ve read about this and some companies claim they can improve chronic diseases’ symptoms by recommending specific diets.
    Nov 2, 2019 0
  • Research Triphala - Ayurvedic medicine that works like magic for IBS (and a host of other things). Basically take 1-2 teaspoons with warm water first thing in the morning (add honey if you like - more to make the taste better but completely optional). You could even take twice a day during the first week. That should be enough to make you feel better.
    Nov 2, 2019 2
    • Facebook
      kboU62$;

      Facebook

      PRE
      Google
      kboU62$;more
      Uh... “
      In some cases, Triphala may trigger gastrointestinal side effects such as gas, stomach upset, and diarrhea. Triphala supplements haven't been tested for safety.”
      Nov 2, 2019
    • Try looking in an IBS forum for people who have used it on a regular basis and swear by it.

      I suffered from IBS symptoms for over a decade and nothing helped until I tried Triphala. Best thing I did. I guess you could a) try it and see if it works for you, or b) just find bogus articles that creat FUD and go on suffering. Your choice.
      Nov 2, 2019
  • New / Eng lHpK84
    Had an ex-girlfriend with IBS. She switched to an Atkins/keto diet (unrelated reasons) and her IBS went away

    Edit: reading another post, hers may have been colitis (was 20 years ago), but someone suggested yours might be colitis so...
    Nov 2, 2019 1
    • Microsoft
      LVuitton

      Microsoft

      PRE
      Microsoft
      LVuittonmore
      Same here!
      Nov 2, 2019
  • Facebook ⭕️v⭕️
    I’m praying for you. I’m also going through an accident that makes me want to die.
    Nov 3, 2019 0
  • Salesforce cattleman
    My gf has the same issue as you, exact same way you describe it. We’re still trying out different things. Nothing has stuck long term. Here have been the most effective things so far.

    1. Tried visbiome, a renowned probiotic with highest concentration of bacteria in a single serving. These helped for a while a she could go for several weeks at a time without an incident. Now it’s not working.
    2. Calcium supplements and vitamin D. This seems to take the edge off, allows her to not have the urgency but still has to go often.
    Nov 2, 2019 0

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