A series of events over the last 3 years and a constant fear of dying have reduced me to suffering from constant anxiety, lack of confidence, and no motivation.
Whilst I have had short periods of anxiety, one was 22 years ago when I was trying to get pregnant. I got rib pain and reflux. It got sorted using Tagamet, I got pregnant over the Xmas/ New Year period when I had finished the tablets and was relaxed. When I became anxious the symptoms might start in my throat and I managed to control things. I cannot think back that far and feel it was IBS.
3 years ago, I was made redundant, followed by a 2 page missive from the then boyfriend dumping me (he was in Iraq with the RAF). One line of this was "slowing down mentally and physically". Whilst I was an active swimmer, I figured I needed to get to the gym and after a few months of hard working out, and probably too heavy weights, I stuffed up my shoulder. 2 operations later and 3 years on, I can no longer work out, and this was my big relaxation therapy. Several rubbish jobs and several months of no work added to a miserable situation but I cannot say I was suffering with IBS. I managed to get on plane 3 times and had 3 great summer holidays, totally relaxed. The only inkling that I had IBS was when eating out I always had to rush home to the loo.
I guess this time last year was the beginning of more anxiety. I took a temp job and the manager was odd to say the least but under a lot of pressure. One of the staff had terminal cancer and one day she was in and then took 3 days holiday. She never returned. She died several days later in a hospice. Another member of staff was anorexic. It was terribly sad and it made me more conscious of what the future held.
I started get rib pains, then round the back. Lots of bloating, wind, constipation, then diarrhoea over the weeks and months. One of my GPs diagnosed an enlarged liver and my stress levels rocketed with minutes! I've had blood tests - negative twice. I've had ultrasound - negative. Mum had gallstones and her gall bladder removed so I thought it may be that. Dad had pancreatic cancer, so did his brother, so I keep fearing that. I've got a new permanent job yet it hasn't lived up to being a relaxed easy job (as per the agency!), and I get anxious about the simplest of things. And so the pains get worse, and worse. My latest visit to the doctors and a new one, who is actually listening. Now I'm seeing a gastroenterologist at the beginning of feb 2013. He says it is very likely IBS. I'd hoped that this would convince me to stay calm, relax etc. I used to be very confident in past jobs, especially as a temp you are thrown in at the deep end all the time.
Can IBS feel like something is gnawing away at your insides? I hope so.
Stumbling across this site has given me hope that all the above negative thoughts of terminal illness can be put to one side.
I'll start a food diary, follow the guidance and keep my fingers crossed that there is light at the end of the tunnel.