Happy IBS Birthday to me
Article by Sian
So, here I am on my special day.
Most people do something on their birthdays. Usually this will involve being with family and/or friends and often a meal out. IBS means rather different kinds of days for me. IBS combined with agoraphobia/social phobia means very dull ones.
I do not go out for meals, or even out for a drink in the evenings. I really do not see the point in going to a restaurant where I will sample only the plainest food which I know will not upset me, and I cannot have a drink because that will upset my stomach even more.
The thought of the people at such places will cause me a great deal of fear and panic, and as such even if I made a decision to go, by the time I was ready, I would feel too ill to put myself through it.
So what do I do on these yearly reminders that we're getting older? Nothing. I will sit at home and write and read. It's possible I won't cook an evening meal for Kevin as he may get something from the local takeaway ( not cooking is a birthday treat actually ).
I will probably have Bran Flakes for dinner, as a steady intake of fiber does seem to help. There will be no champagne, no family gathering, and apart from being a year older, the day will be much like any other.
I do look back on the times when my IBS was not so constant, and going out was something I did without really thinking about it.
Granted, with my panic attacks, I did not go far, I used to walk to the local pub where I knew people. It was five minutes away and knowing that, I was able to cope with it. Having a drink would also relax me. Alcohol does not agree with me now, and so I don't drink at all.
I hope that other people have more interesting birthdays, and that they do not just see this as another day - it hardly seems worth gaining one year without having a good time to celebrate it - or not celebrate it, over a certain age!
There was also the day itself, the day where people usually do something, perhaps go shopping to treat themselves. That's almost impossible for me.
I can make a mad dash into town if I get a lift with my mother, who will give me the car keys so I can race to the car if overcome by agoraphobia and panic. If I plan my route and walk very fast and do not look at the people around me, I can make a quick foray. I cannot wander from shop to shop in the town center, stop and have a cup coffee and then continue shopping.
That actually does sound nice. the shopping, the leisurely way of doing it, not running to the Health Stores to buy some Slippery Elm Food and trying with all my strength not to think of how many people there are around me, or how far it is to the car.
I am used to these birthdays now, but I wish I was not.
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