IBS Episode 1

Episode 1 happened 9 years ago so I’d be lying if I called this Episode 1, but then again 1 is as good a place to start as any so I’ll be generous and make this a read one get one free offer, if you’ll allow me to stick to Episode 1.

2013 was a great year. I could call it almost completely IBS-free. Towards the end of the year, the tummy showed signs of waking from its unnatural hibernation and by the time 2014 hit, the tummy had too. I adopted a been there, done that kind of attitude, despite being devastated that the 2013 run had not lasted. Unfortunately, a good attitude can only help you through so much in life.

Just before leaving for Sri Lanka, mum suggested I buy the medicine the doctor had prescribed, just in case. I’d not bothered to fill the prescription in January thinking I’d be able to manage just fine. But when travelling, I’d rather be super safe than sorry so off we went to a million and one pharmacies trying to find someone who actually sold the medicine. We must have hit every pharmacy imaginable in the mall, apart from the ones we’d checked with before resorting to the mall, and by the time we reached the last one I was convinced that the doctor had prescribed something that didn’t really exist- much like the cure for IBS.

We must have walked 20 meters from the last refusal when my tummy began to rumble, figuratively of course. I can’t really define what it feels like, but it’s sort of the dimmed hint of a dirty diamond from the bottom of a mine. You can just barely make it out and even then aren’t sure if it’s the real thing. In any case, I rushed to the toilet, luckily next to the pharmacy and my poor mum rushed after me. I really didn’t think it would be anything. I mean really. My self-delusion couldn’t have come at a worse time. In fact, I would rate this episode as in the Top 10 Worst IBS Episodes- worthy of a Razzie, in fact. I didn’t have my medication on me, I couldn’t swallow the tablet mum found in her emergency stash and after half an hour, I felt like someone had punched me in the gut and left me for dead. Luckily though, I was very much alive thanks to my mum (who rubbed my back for half an hour and broke hers in the process), my medicine and the life-saving bottle of water from the cleaning lady.

I figure this was some sort of foreboding of how the trip would go, but Alhamdulillah nothing happened for the whole week I was in Sri Lanka, except the car-sickness and nausea which seemed to be getting worse since the mall episode.  Back home and back to work, my tummy decided it was sick of the long rides and the terrible canteen food and so started the bonus episode.

Wednesday seemed like my usual busiest day of the week, so I decided I’d have a more filling lunch to sustain me. When I say more filling, I mean more quantities of the usual safe food- rice, plain chicken, some salad, lots of yoghurt. I thought filling and by 3 o’clock my tummy thought emptying which led me to thinking how on earth I was going to get home (work is a 2 hour commute by metro and dad-transport put together) I took my medication but it didn’t help. I was getting the sweats and I knew Wednesday was not going to end well. I was right. I tried to sleep on the metro and convince myself nothing was wrong but the whole self-denial thing just doesn’t seem to be working these days. By the time I got in the car with my dad, I was simply focused on not causing a scene which worked well till it didn’t and that’s when I realized… this is why the world needs a teleportation device.

I eventually got to the toilet, my mum and dad both got to me and more meds and water got to my tummy while the rest of my body physically went to hell. You know that the episode has ranked in the Top 5 Worst IBS Episodes of All Time when both your parents are trying to keep you from passing out and your blood circulation from disappearing entirely in your hands and legs. When you’ve had a Top 5 episode, there’s no way you can make it to work so I had along weekend and have spent the rest of the week trying to get back on my feet.

Let’s all hope the tummy runs out of funding and the rest of the IBS Season has to be cancelled.

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