Photo: Universal Pictures
It’s a bunch of crap: IBS. Sadly, but true, irritable bowel syndrome is a problem more prevalent than we give it credit for, kind of like depression. Close to 15 percent of the population has been estimated to suffer, yet as little as one-third have actually been diagnosed. Maybe the problem with IBS, besides everything, is that it’s mostly misunderstood.
We spoke with one brave man (me) who was undiagnosed for 33 years, yet found that life without it is actually much more enjoyable. Read on as we give you 12 terrible but true daily thoughts of a poor, undiagnosed IBS sucker.
Sharting the Day Off on the Wrong Foot
You get puns, don’t you? Well, people with IBS get chronic, irrational fears about things that never happen, like uncontrollable public diarrhea and shitting the bed. Still think it’s funny? Alright, it’s a little funny.
It might be time to quit my job.
Fun fact: In 2017, if you were making less than $1,170 per month, and your IBS was expected to last more than a year, you could claim disability. We also know a lot of ridiculous loopholes for tax write-offs. Aren’t you glad you met us?
Leaving the house is no easy chore anymore.
Have you ever tried to leave the house with IBS and not gone to bathroom at least three times? Congratulations, the rest of us are exhausted, dehydrated and our organs are strained.
Not knowing where a bathroom is enough for a complete panic attack.
IBS has the tendency to up anxiety, which ups your need to make potty. Ironically, if you don’t know the closest potty when in public, your anxiety goes up and round and round we go until you just go home and never leave again.
Dating is pretty much over. I’ll just die alone in my bathroom. OK, goodbye.
It’s tough to date when you don’t have IBS. Between the pressure of a good first date, landing a second one and the pure anxiety you carry with IBS, you might as well tell her you’re going to clog her toilet, ruin something valuable and need to borrow some sweatpants on night one. Or maybe just a kiss goodnight will be the best move.
Spicy food isn’t what gets me. It’s my fricking life.
The thing that’s confusing about IBS is the trigger, the symptoms and the effects are all different. Some people get it from spicy food or dairy while others get it from stress and poor diet. While the former is contingent on intolerance to food and ends badly, stress IBS can take the form of gut-wrenching pain. I thought I had fucking kidney stones, but I would have never guessed IBS.
Going to the gym is like stretching to shit.
A friend of mine calls it “priming the pump.” Squats at the gym are like the equivalent of using a Squatty Potty, mankind’s greatest invention. We didn’t say “womankind” back there, not because we’re sexist but because women simply do not poop.
Most activities are unbearable if you’re afflicted.
It’s not just the stressful stuff that’s hard with IBS, but suddenly things you love doing are unenjoyable. You won’t want to hike, bike, jog or go anywhere for more than an hour or two if you feel the effects of IBS. I’m here to tell you that getting it treated will give you those things back, this coming from a guy who would rather remove his own wisdom teeth.
Every moment is like living on thin ice.
One second you’re the life of the party on the dance floor. The next, it’s time to hurry home so you can burn your underwear. Just kidding, don’t do that. Your neighbors will never forgive you.
Seriously, IBS is an extreme sport.
You think hang-gliding or skydiving is dangerous? Try leaving the house with IBS without taking a morning shit. Talk about a rush!
Consider your RSVP to dinner parties a permanent “No thanks, I’m busy.”
Yeah, busy crying that you have to miss out on Taco Night because you know some asshole will spike the meat with cayenne pepper and not tell anyone. So it’s another party of one with your soy cheese and gluten-free pizza. Just don’t kill yourself.
And you thought you were full of shit!
People may respond poorly to your inability to participate in life as freely as they do: going to concerts with mile-long lines to porta-potties, climbing the world’s tallent mountain, running some ridiculous marathon uphill. Well, the joke is on them, because most of those runners at least piss themselves anyway. And when they do, you’ll be the first person they call.
Seriously, if you suffer from endless cramps, gut pain or respond poorly to certain foods, check with your doctor because there’s nothing more glorious than a properly functioning gut.