Coming onto four weeks now that I’ve been having near constant tummy pain. There is some ebb and flow throughout the day; it just comes back so frequently it may as well have never left. It seems likely that I ate something I shouldn’t, or in a bigger quantity than I should have, and then the stresses of life started tag-teaming in once that particular trigger had passed through my system.
Well, one stress in particular. The events of January 6th seem to have had a significant impact on my stress levels. Both my husband and I were a bit tense between that day and inauguration on the 20th. But now that date has passed and I am no longer stressing about the state of the world quite so much.
Instead, I’m stressing about my pain. I know I shouldn’t do that. I know I should try something other than thinking about it. But it’s really hard not to think about it when I lay myself down to go to sleep. During the day, I can find distractions. There are things to do that can pull my attention away from the burning pain lodged in my abdomen, like exercise or television shows or video games – even writing.
Not so in bed, where I usually fall asleep by breathing and not thinking too much. And, to be honest, I’m not that good at falling asleep even when the IBS isn’t flaring, so when I add that to the IBS pain that lights up my nerves as much as a spotlight in my eyes would. . . I find it extraordinarily difficult to fall asleep.
And when I do get to sleep, with the help of a rotating variety of over the counter medications, I don’t sleep very soundly. I’ve determined this by two observations: 1) I wake up exhausted, and 2) my husband, who on weekends will generally wake up before me, told me I was moaning in my sleep.
Pretty much, I don’t want to go to a doctor, because I’ve already been diagnosed with IBS and I’ve been told what they can and can’t do (spoiler, mostly can’t) for me. I’m reading a book on managing IBS, and I hope I can get something actionable out of that.
I’m really tired of being tired all the time. I have motivation for this pain to be over. IBS is not a psychological disorder, but it can, along with other diseases, be affected by stress and anxiety. I’m not sure what I’m stressing about. Unless it’s just that I’m stressing about the pain because I’m in pain, which would be just perfect. I honestly feel like I’m too tired to be stressing though. The stress could be caused or exacerbated by the sleep situation.
Maybe if I try really believing that the pain from IBS is neither harmful nor a harbinger. And if I try trusting that if there is something really wrong, my body will tell me with more than just pain.
On the plus side, the nausea has been decreasing this week, so I think I have turned a corner. I’m just on a slow slope back to my normal. If I pretty much have to figure out how to manage this on my own, then I might as well see what I can try, beyond dietary adjustments that have been somewhat helpful.
I also have a cold of some sort, which can’t be helping things. Especially because I was pretty much ignoring the cold in the hopes it would just go away, but my husband insists on me acknowledging that yes, I have a cold, and I should, like, treat it and stuff. 🙂