Being diagnosed can be a hard path. Doctors can misdiagnose IBS very easily, since there is no test for it directly. Everything kind of just ticks off the list and MAYBE what’s left is IBS. That path can be riddled with intrusive test like scopes, blood profiles (In some cases, blood must be drawn several times), sonograms and samples. It can be hard to explain to people what you’re going through. Not only what you’re experiencing, but the tests you have to take. But, it’s a necessary conversation to have. But, where do you start?
Understand what is happening.
So many people don’t feel comfortable talking to their doctors. So, you have a choice to make. Ask your doctor or research on your own. I would recommend both. Perhaps you should ask your doctor for an email address you can send them questions to. Sometimes, it can be easier to ask a question when you aren’t face to face with someone. Also, understand that your IBS can be different from other people’s. You’ll want to know what is going on in your body. It will help you understand flares and it will help you explain to others better. The better you can explain and they understand, the better the support you’ll get.
Tell your Friends and Family.
Let your immediate family know what is going on. This is a health issue and can range in severity. You’ll need to tell them the symptoms you’re having, the tests you’ve done and what you need from them. Set aside time, a big chunk of it. Maybe have tea or a snack, but you’ll surely want a quiet and secluded spot. You don’t want to be rushed and you want to be able to have a REAL conversation about this. Maybe have a list of topics you want to cover or things you need during a flare. Be prepared for questions. They will want to know what you’ve tried, who you’ve talked to and what your plans are. It’s a good idea to know what kind of support you’ll need from them. Don’t be afraid to talk to them. Approach it with an open mind and a caring and informative angle. You have information they need, but it is also a delicate topic.
Facebook has some groups for people with IBS. These can be good places to learn more. You’ll see problems that other people have and they might apply to you later. Also, they will help you research more. Learning more is never a bad thing. They can also help when you feel frustrated. There are a lot of people who can’t find the support that they need from friends and family. They are usually able to find some sort of help in these groups.
When all else fails, email me. I can help you find options! 🙂 firstname.lastname@example.org