Guest Post for IBS Awareness Month: Living With IBS

IBS Impact is pleased to welcome a guest post for IBS Awareness Month. Feivel Cohen has IBS and intellectual disabilities and lives and works in Maryland (USA). He wrote this article himself especially for IBS Impact. To respect his real voice as a self-advocate, we have intentionally not edited his own choice of words and punctuation if the intended meaning is clear. We thank him for his eagerness to share his story in order to help explain to family, friends, and others what many people with IBS experience.

 Living with IBS by Feivel Cohen

For many years I lived with out IBS and boy do I miss those years a lot. More then you will ever know.  It’s had a huge impact on my life and no, not a good one.

When you have IBS you never know when it’s going to strike you. All you can do is know what your stomach is capable of digesting and eating only those things. I take public transit absolutely everywhere. And sometimes when I’m walking to the bus I get that feeling in my stomach and I know if I don’t get home or to a bathroom In time I’m not gonna be a happy camper at all.

The thing about IBS is there are no cures for it at this time and that’s a major letdown because IBS cause major stomach pain imagine a normal stomach ache times 100 yeah sounds painful? That’s because it is. Sometimes my family has to deal with me letting out sounds of agonizing pain. And I hate that they’ve got to endure that.

Oh and the sad part is a lot of the time when people with IBS are trying to get to a bathroom in time they can’t they do their best believe me we do. But sometimes we can’t hold it in and it’s extremely embarrassing to be walking on the sidewalk after that.

Yes there are medications out there to help people with IBS but the sad thing is they don’t work for everyone and I’m one of those people. People with IBS pray that every day they wake up there will be a cure for it. Sadly that’s not the case at all.

Oh while I’m on this topic I have a quick story. Back when I was in High School senior year was the beginning of my tortuous journey with IBS and one day I was on the school bus sitting next to a kid. I had the window seat. And I got that feeling in my stomach I told you all about. I was freaking out I had no idea what to do sweat was dripping from my face my heart was beating who knows how fast and I told the bus driver. I need to go to the bathroom NOW and it CAN’T WAIT. She let me out at our local middle school I burst through the doors and found the bathroom. And I was so thankful I got there in time. But like I said we aren’t always so lucky.

One thing I’ve noticed people like to do is compare IBS to AIDS or cancer and they’ll tell me well just be thankful you don’t have cancer/AIDS. And I tell them those are all totally different diseases.

So I’ll I ask it that when you know someone with IBS try having a little sympathy for us. Because we’re going through a lot and a lot of underwear too lol. Thanks for reading.

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