If you suffer from IBD and/or IBS then you can most likely relate to my title of this blog. It seems like so long ago to me now but I spent many years as a slave to my home because I was afraid I wouldn’t make it to the bathroom. Having two small kids can make this a challenge because I felt like I was holding them back from living the childhood they deserved. “Mommy can we please go to Cowabungas today? We haven’t been anywhere in a long time” was a typical question from my kids. Cowabungas was a new indoor playground at the time BUT there was one HUGE problem, there is only one bathroom with 2 stalls. That may not sound like a problem to someone who doesn’t suffer from digestive issues and it isn’t a problem for me anymore BUT it was!
I used to plan my day around the availability of bathrooms. In 2012 we went to an amuesement park at the end of our summer vacation and I had to map out the locations of all bathrooms. I wasn’t feeling well at all at this point (right before I landed in the hospital) so I pretty much avoided anything to eat or drink while we were out. Long road trips were typically avoided because it was pretty unlikely I would make it an hour without having to use the bathroom and this was still true on an empty stomach. We ventured out 2 hours from the house on that amusement trip day because the kids really wanted to end the summer at this particular park and we had some coupons so it was a great deal. Lucky Target was on the way or it would have been a terrible day because I was not able to make the 2 hour ride. At this point you’re probably thinking about those commercials you see for IBD treatments where the person is in the room and looking around for all of the bathrooms. Yeah that isn’t blown out of proportion; it’s the reality for many people who suffer these diseases. There have been many occasions where we had to pull over on the side of the road or I just didn’t make it at all. I never told people about these experiences; why would I? It’s embarrassing. But I realize that others are going through what I went through and if I can reach just one person and let him/her know there is hope then this uncomfortable post is completely worth it!
I am happy to say that I no longer have to think about where any bathrooms are but I will never forget the struggle I went through. I have been symptom, medication and ulcer free since April 2013 and I feel amazing. I was stuck in a dark hole for so long but have been freed and through prayer, faith, research, and changes in my mindset and my diet I was able to overcome what I thought was impossible. When you are sick with no hope in sight you can become very stressed and that added stress will certainly not help you feel better. It can actually bring on even more symptoms as was the case for me.
For those who are not spiritual I suggest doing all of the research you possibly can and although we all have different experiences with how we react to dietary changes and medications, any positive change you make will add up over time. Eating healthy, exercising, taking supplements and any other kind of non-medication treatment will not transform you over night. The only treatment that will transform you this way is Prednisone and I warn you to stay as far away from that treatment as you possibly can if you have the option. The more natural ways of healing your body take time. Small, natural, positive changes done consistently every day will snowball into big results but you must be patient and expect it to take several months to a year even! Just know that you are healing your body regardless of how it is reacting at the time because eating healthy is the best thing you can do for yourself so what do you have to lose?
If you are spiritual then everything I mentioned above is still true but you need to also pray like it depends on God while you work like it depends on YOU! This kind of prayer circle has changed my life and my health. I highly recommend The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson! I was introduced to this book last year and it has made a world of difference in my life and I know that if you seek God amazing things can happen for you but you need to put in the research and the work while surrendering your worries and fear to God.