Where to start, where to start? My experience goes as follows:
When I was 16, I started having inconsistent bowel movements, blood in my stool and stomach pain. This is not something a developing teen wants to discuss with ANYONE, let alone an adult. It progressed and got worse and I finally went to my general practitioner. He diagnosed me with IBS and was told I had a fissure, so I avoided spicy foods. Did I mention I used to vomit on a near daily basis, oh yeah, that complicates things, too.
Fast forward to college: I’m having serious intestinal pains and urges that I cannot control. I blame it on IBS and go on with my life. It got so bad that the toilet would look like someone dumped a gallon of maroon food coloring in it from time to time.
Fast forward a little further to my internship as an undergrad: It gets to the point where it is seriously interfering with my life and a 40 mile commute to work in the mornings is hell. I finally am to at my wits end. I go to a gastrointestinal doctor. I drop about two grand on procedure after procedure and am medicated out of my mind. They put me on 19 pills a day. This makes things better, but only for a short time.
Fast forward about a year: It’s back and it is rearing it’s ugly head like never before. I cannot wear white clothes so I dress like Johnny Cash. My career as an engineer is taking off, but it is putting a serious damper on my life. I have to let everyone know about it so they don’t think I am always fucking off all the time. Did I mention that intestinal blood has one of the most distinct and awful smells you can imagine? I see the doctor for another one of my “monthly visits”, he gives me more medicine. Yay!
I am now in grad school and it is surprisingly better, I found out that Jaeger alleviates the pain. So what happens, you got it, bingo, I hit the bottle and I hit it hard. It was a good relief and I had a good time. Uh oh, here comes the monster, and he is back with a vengeance. I am now to the point where my intestines hurt and I cannot wear pants that are even 2 sizes to big for me because the pressure is too much. I go back to the good ol’ doc and he makes me a “regular patient”. Fucker.
My break came from the strangest places. My mother is reading the newspaper and sees an article about Celiac. She bets me that if I don’t eat wheat for a week, I’d feel better. I took the bet to prove her wrong. She was right, I have both Celiac and Colitis (so said the doc). I am on a wheat free diet and now my Colitis will only rear it’s ugly head occasionally. Oh yeah, I told the doc about the whole wheat thing and he said, “your colonoscopy did have indications of allergies.” Thanks for telling me doc. I could’ve used that information six years ago. Apparently, he was in the business of making “regular patients”.
Anyways, the point to all this is that people don’t know that much about IBD’s. It is a hard target to hit. If I were you/him, I would seek council from more than one doctor and try to find “trigger” foods, activities, etc.