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Firstly, thank you all for sharing your stories. Two hours into my latest “attack” (we’re in for a long night people) and I feel comfort in knowing that there are others who understand me.

I’ve always had problems with my digestion, I remember as a small child crying to my parents because it was causing me so much pain, and my strong dislike for fibogel as a child.

Now in my mid twenties my symptoms have changed from purely BM time discomfort to up to 8 hour pain sessions where no amount of OTC painkillers will dent the pain I’m in. Post food diary and nothing is consistent (though I’m selfishly glad that it wasnt cheese) . I’ve learnt a hot water bottle is my friend, and sometimes even the presence of one mentally calms me. There are days where I massage my abdomen so hard that I wake up to bruising, and there are others when a couple of ibuprofen later and I’m fast asleep. I had problems with even private medical doctors being very dismissive of my symptoms but fortunately today I found an NHS practitioner nurse (god save the NHS) who just gets it. The relief I felt when she said “this must be very frustrating for you” crashed over me like a wave after a year and a half of being in and out of the emergency room and still no formal diagnosis. And despite the gut feeling (see what I did there) that this is IBS, I’m hopeful to finally have confirmation of what I have and where I go from here.

In the meantime I’ll keep going with my camomile teas, hot water bottle, square breathing (look it up!) and weird yoga poses to soothe myself to sleep. For anyone feeling the same, I hope this post brings you some comfort and strength to endure, we’re a community after all even if you’ll never know me.

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