Let’s talk about it: Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Isn’t that fun to say to people? I’ve just stopped caring if it makes people uncomfortable. When someone at work says “Why don’t you want to eat the Tex Mex we got?” I just say, “I have IBS.” That usually shuts them up.
I had minor “stomach issues” throughout college but never enough to notice them. I was tested once for a gluten intolerance that came up negative so I just decided I was probably fine. When we moved to Dallas my whole gastrointestinal tract decided to exact revenge upon me. Everyone has different triggers and it took me about 6 months to figure out all of mine.
- Having to wake up too early (this was fun for the first couple weeks of work)
- Drinking coffee in the morning
- Eating anything too sweet in the morning
- Any type of eggs in the morning except for hard-boiled (this one baffles me)
- Drinking alcoholic beverages on a semi-empty stomach
- Eating anything too greasy or too fatty (I can sometimes get away with this later in the day but it is rare)
There are really two types of IBS: constipation and…the opposite. Man what I would give to have the constipation type. I’m sure the people with that kind will say they have equally terrible times dealing with it but at least they can keep the discomfort to themselves. Diarrhea is not exactly a discreet issue. I am not trying to garner any sympathy but am writing about this because I know that there are people out there like me. Or just people that have had moments of indigestion in what seems to be the worst possible moment:
- At a friend’s house during a party when the only bathroom is right next to the common area.
- On an airplane.
- Out to brunch with only two stand-alone bathrooms and you realize the toilet won’t flush AFTER you use it.
- The hottest you have ever been in your life at a Mexican Independence Day festival when the only choice is a port-a-potty.
- Your second day of work and you have to go to an important client presentation.
I’ve gotten to the point where I will just tell people if I’m having problems. As embarrassing as it is, this usually makes things easier. This isn’t second grade where people will call me “Poopy Sara” for the rest of my life – at least not to my face.