Life in the Bathroom
You know that Eagles song, ‘Life in the Fast Lane’ with the lyrics ‘Life in the Fast Lane, slowly makes you lose your mind’? Well for me, I’ve replaced those lyrics with ‘Life in the bathroom, slowly makes you lose your mind’.
While the song is about drug addiction, in particular snorting cocaine, the words in the song make me think of my experiences with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) because until recently, I was dying to get off too, the commode that is.
My problems started about 15 years ago but in the last five years, it had gotten to the point where I had to wake up at least three hours before I intended to leave the house to allow myself enough time to let my stomach calm down. Otherwise I would be sure to have an ‘accident’ and have to return home to change my clothes.
Missed work, missed life
It was quite embarrassing to be late for work almost daily when I was the one that lived closest to the office. I couldn’t tell my boss that I had left for work on time, but on the 3.8 mile drive into work I had coughed or sneezed and somehow shit my pants and had to return home to change. Instead, I kept my silence and endured the embarrassment of being hostage to IBS.
As time went on, the consistency of my bowel movements went from loose to liquid. I would wake up in a panic every morning with an urgency that said to me ‘if you don’t get into the bathroom in the next 10 seconds you are going to implode’.
Sometimes if I tried to hold it in, I would start dry heaving like I was going to defecate out my mouth. Then I would end up puking and crapping at the same time. It sounded like I was pissing out my ass, and I worried about long term health conditions from dehydration.
Selective eating didn’t matter
No I wasn’t lactose or gluten intolerant and it didn’t seem to matter if I ate steak, salad, or something in-between. The good news was I could eat whatever I wanted and didn’t have to worry about weight gain, food wasn’t in me long enough for the fat to be stored. The bad news was I was losing control of my life. In the mornings particularly, and within a few minutes of eating any meal, I would urgently need to use the bathroom.
During this time, I was working really hard at my job and going to school to gain a Master’s of Business administration degree. I told myself I didn’t have time to go to the doctor to see what might be wrong. Instead, I tried to deal with it as best I could until I lost my job through a layoff. I was actually really glad to be laid off as I felt my job was a big part of my problem but it didn’t seem to matter in the end. At least finally, I had some down time to try and figure out what was going on with my health.
Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine
My primary care doctor sent me to an internal medicine doctor. That doctor decided to perform a colonoscopy where a few benign polyps were discovered but he found no obstruction and could give me no reason or explanation for the chronic diarrhea.
By this point, I had started doing some freelance writing and was looking for any type of employment where I could earn a living from the confines of my bathroom. After discussing the problem with the gastroenterologist and finding no reason for my ailment, my primary care physician suggested I try taking a Pro Biotic. Her recommendation was Acidophilus.
Acidophilus with pectin
I started taking Acidophilus with pectin about a month ago and the first day my stomach made all kinds of gurgling noises. It kept my husband and I awake, but I perservered and took the pills the next day and felt a little bit better. Within a week I noticed a difference. My bowel movements started to be of a heavier consistency and the urgency that was waking me up every morning was diminishing.
After about a week of taking the pills, I realized instead of being in the bathroom from 7 am until noon, I was only in there until around 10:00 am. During the second week of taking Acidophilus, I began leaving the bathroom between having bowel movements because they were solidified to the point where I could actually exercise some control. One morning I actually got to sleep until 9:00 am and that hadn’t happened in years.
It happened so subtly I didn’t realize I was getting my life back until one day I missed a dosage while I was on vacation and was forced to spend much of the day back in the bathroom. That was when I realized the medicine was working.
Pro Biotic helps IBS
If you struggle with IBS, I can’t stress it enough, try ProBiotics. I wish I had tried Acidophilus a lot sooner. Of course you should check with your physician to see if ProBiotic’s such as Acidophilus will make a positive change in your life too, and always consider drug interactions and ask a pharmacist when taking other medications.