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May 18, 2005

Echos

Anxiety stricken this weekend, I began the workweek looking to put it all behind me. As hump day rolls around, I know that the worse is yet to come since the last 5 days have been pungently punctuated by nausea, dizziness and migraines on top of my IBS symptoms. As I'm on the phone with my graphics designer, I feel the attack coming. A quick rush off the phone and I sprint the 40 yards to the bathroom with gusto. This time, however, the pain is accompanied by burning. 'Burning' is a word that should never be associated with body functions. I gingerly glide back into my cubical. Ten minutes later, another attack comes about. This time, as I run through the halls, bang my elbow and skid through the bathroom doors, I realize that one of the stalls is occupied.

Now, anyone that has ever grown up with IBS will attest to the ridiculous lengths they will go to in order to have an attack in private, in peace. Once on a trip to China, I was directed to the only public bathroom within a mile radius. I walked into a room divided by three-foot tall walls surrounding holes in the ground. I could see everyone's faces, squatting over their hole, sometimes holding a newspaper and others talking to their neighbors.

I almost cried.

But I digress. After I realized the stall was occupied, I ran to the bathroom on the other side of the floor with desperate relief. As I’m staring down at the tiles on the floor, I hear a sad whimper echo against the mirrored walls. I realize the sound is coming from me, an involuntary sound of surrender. My body is being beaten by this ridiculous chronic illness that can’t even be defined.

Hours later, after a long nap and some hot tea, my roommate comes home. She comments, the pain just seems so bad when are experiencing a stomachache that you think it’s more than it is. I second-guess myself for a few seconds. Maybe I really am overreacting. Maybe this is the same pain that everyone else deals with. Maybe I’m just not as strong in coping with the normal experiences of being a human. Is this an imaginary disease?

Posted by Christine at 8:33 PM | Comments (46)

May 11, 2005

Vegan Friendly = IBS Friendly?

I'm at the grocery store and wandering throught the vegan isle of Mac & Trees or Tofurkey. Or I'm at the local Indian restaurant glancing through the vegetarian menu of fried tofu. I walk by Real Food Daily and sample their almond butter spread on carrot bread.
I have it my mind that I have free reign over anything vegan, raw, or vegetarian. As long as it falls in those categories, I don't need to exercise restraint. This forced logic is based on denial. For two years in high school, I told myself that eating 2 bags of BBQ Crunch Tators with mustard and a carton of chocolate milk for breakfast had nothing to do with my sicknesses. If you want something badly, at this point the idea of limited consumption freedom is tempting enough, your mind will reason it to the point where you are able to completely shut out logic.
Logically, I know that processed and fried vegan/veggie food could attack me worse than a 4 oz filet mingon (aka slice of heaven). But that doesn't allow me to retain what little choice I have in my diet.

We need a new strategy (I'm all about strategy). Someone needs to find a better guideline to follow for us busy working professionals who barely have time to sit down and rest let alone cook IBS friendly meals for ourselves. And who in the world wants to eat those IBS friendly meals WITH me? Tofu Creme Brulee for one sounds pathetic while Tofu Creme Brulee for two sounds like there will certainly be no second date.

Posted by Christine at 10:19 AM