Saturday, 25 February 2012

An almost pleasant experience

As a quick information bulletin to my readers, and potential readers, there are several reasons why I have begun this blog, some of which I examined in my first post.  However, there are other reasons that I have yet to touch on.  This blog is an opportunity to share my experiences with people who have IBS or other digestive issues in an effort to give an honest account of what these experiences might look like.  Having had a few occasions to connect with other sufferers, I can say that it is always a welcome change to open up to someone who is going through the same issues, we seem to be forever silenced by that social taboo called poo.  To this end, I will endeavour to speak honestly about day-to-day life with IBS and also GERD, but, be warned, some of you may find these accounts to be too honest.  I will share as much as I feel comfortable with, but for those readers who may have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask.  My hope is that by sharing my experiences some of you will recognize that there are others out there who have struggles very similar to your own, and, maybe we will be fortunate enough to learn something from eachother.  For those of you who do not suffer from IBS or other related issues, think of this as a window into that world.  There are far more IBS sufferers than you think, likely many people that you know, but nobody talks about it.  There is one very important thing to note, I have very mild digestive issues compared to those who suffer from other bowel-related problems such as Crohn’s and Colitis.  I do consider myself lucky to be in a place where my IBS is manageable; having experienced what I consider to be some very painful episodes, I cannot begin to imagine what those with severe digestive problems must endure on a daily basis.  It is always important to be thankful for the blessings that you do have… 

Last night was my first run with my running partner in quite awhile.  I was so relieved to be heading out with him again; I find it so much easier to run with a partner than to run alone.  No matter how fabulous my playlist might be, running solo feels like a chore.  

I was very apprehensive about last night’s run as my IBS has been acting up quite a lot.  I have spent the majority of the last week in the washroom, in the last two days alone I have used the washroom 13 times.   I have no idea why I have been having so much trouble; I have not eaten anything that would normally set me off, if anything, I have been extremely prudent with my food selection.  Furthermore, I can think of no possible stressor that could have triggered this flare-up.  However, as I write this post I have only used the washroom twice, by this time yesterday I think I was at four or five.  So, for some reason there has been a drastic improvement today.  What a treat to finally have a break.  One of the worst things about having IBS is trying to handle it in a public environment.  It is always difficult to determine at what point I should call it a day and head home from work.  A friend once asked me this question, and I guess my rule of thumb is that if I hit double digits while at work, it is time to leave.  But, often the pain-tolerance threshold can be a more accurate judge of when enough is enough.  If I find it too painful to sit on my office chair, it is a sure sign to call it quits.  

Given my washroom track record this week, I shuddered to think what a run might cause.  I seriously considered cancelling the run, but, as I had made the commitment to go, and I have signed up for the 10K, I decided to honour those commitments and hit the pavement.  Of course, true to form, I was late for the run because I was stuck on the toilet.  After I finally managed to peel myself off my porcelain throne, I experienced what was probably the best run I have completed in recent weeks.  We managed to complete six sets of six-minute intervals and covered roughly 6k or so.  What a shock!  With that being said, we did take two-minute walking breaks in between our running sets, I had mixed feelings about this, as it was not the six to one ratio I had been aiming for.  On the other hand, I certainly attribute the two-minute breaks to my ability to complete the full six sets without going to the washroom!  Woohoo!  In addition, it was actually an almost pleasant experience, the weather felt spring-like, the sidewalks were clear of both snow and black ice, it was not raining, and we went early enough that it was still light out.  We are scheduled for a run on Sunday and with yesterday’s success I am hoping that we can build on it and finally move on to seven minutes.  I certainly feel more positive given both our collective improvements and my personal improvements.  I might just be looking forward to tomorrow’s run! 

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