Complaints · February 2016 · Food

Stories From the Bathroom Floor

In my notes about what I could potentially discuss on Indifferent Ignorance is a bullet pointed list called ‘food/exercise’. It’s purple. I think I wrote it last summer. It’s part of a bigger list and it includes the phrase ‘shit no one explains’. It’s a lil in joke with future me, because I’m referring to IBS. I’ve never really talked about it before because nobody wants to read about other people’s digestion issues. I don’t even like to read about my own, and I have kept many a food-related diary over the years. But one of the reasons I haven’t posted this week is that I’ve been dying having a lot of baths and grinding my teeth about a stomachache that won’t fucking go away and when I thought about it, I’ve learnt a lot about IBS and if there’s one thing that distracts me from being unwell, it’s talking about myself under the pretence of helping others. So here is an anecdotal piece of maybe-advice about Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

On Tuesday I ate a salad. It was a really great salad. I am usually a garnish-and-vegan-mayo kind of person whenever someone serves lettuce but I was in a farm shop and salad was the only thing on the menu I could digest anyway, so I ate the lot plain. Because it was fresh from a farm shop and there was cheese with it, I was happy (heads up: I’m not lactose intolerant. My gut has aligned with my tastebuds’ love of smoky cheese.) Within half an hour I was less happy. In fact I was lying on my bed asking God for an implement with which I could remove my stomach. This was because, while dazzled by the farm shop’s cute whitewashed walls and organic produce, I ate the onion that came with the salad and one of those schmancy totally locally-produced apple juices. Which brings me to IBS Lesson Number One:

A large part of living with Irritable Bowl is learning about your trigger foods. Two of mine – wheat and eggs – were helpfully discovered by a pharmacist via a blood test when I was 16 and thought I was a Ceoliac (that is a story for another time). I discover the others by a process of trial, error and vomiting. On Tuesday, ravenous and feeling guilty about the two toffees I ate in the hairdresser’s, I forgot that the reason I leave raw onions on the plate every time I’m served them, and the reason I never drink fruit juice, is that they both give me varying degrees of stomachaches. So I’ve spent the rest of the week taking medicine before I eat, cooking porridge even more than usual and updating my list of stupid things I’ve done in 2016.

How did you get into my bathroom??? from

In the spirit of honesty, I should probably add that ‘stomachaches’ can include but aren’t limited to: stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation, puking, flatulence, shaking, excessive sweating, belching and acid reflux. If you’re really lucky, you get more than one in one go!

There is TV to watch and Etsy to attend to, so I will leave this here. Maybe next time I will tell you all about how I spent Super Saturday with my head down a toilet (see above photo for reference) or share a graphic description of the sweats. Do other IBS sufferers get the sweats? Do non-IBS sufferers get the sweats? Is there a technical term for the sweats?!

Let me know.


11 thoughts on “Stories From the Bathroom Floor

  1. Ahhh well if diet is working then, that’s fantastic!!! I, well, we can talk more private maybe…idk…i’m kindof private if you aren’t…but the yogurt alone wasn’t working long term and it was also aggravating my other issues so…probiotics are necessary for me!

    ah, well I think I’ve only read one since I’ve joined so…last fall sometime i think. Oh man…sorry to hear these things tho…my symptoms, although I’ve had many throughout my life, but the worst didn’t come until I was older…well…a few years older than you now, so yea, older but still sucks!! anyway, I’m here for you! Chat me up on the forum or if you’d like to reach me at my email (you know what it is).

    haha yep! having a sense of humour is the best medicine!! …i think? 😛


    1. Having a sense of humour (or trying to maintain it when you’re curled up in pain) is definitely the best medicine! I will reply on the MCRmy, I haven’t been on the site for a few days because my PC screen went bananas.


  2. Omgsh Francesca! I had no idea! This is a topic I don’t mind discussing…I’ve had a lot of issues…I think I’ll bring it to you in a private message, just cause I don’t have a lot of time now and would like to pick your brain more.
    One tip…probiotics 30billion CFU (this was my lifesaver…but a diet overall was key too no dairy/gluten/wheat/sugar (except honey)/no bad oils…actually, some of these things were from another issue…uhh oh, but yeah..i have thyroid too. I never got the sweats/vomit stuff as much (thank God) but I have had them and all of those other awful things too…this is the first I am publicly admitting these things…I hope it will help me…(it’s also why I love Frank Iero and his “Stomachaches” project ❤ ❤ <3)
    oh, but those things stopped with the medication. Fortunately, that’s the only medication I needed and herbal and vitamin supplements, and those other things I mentioned, have done the rest.
    Well, I guess I kindof did just tell you most of what I wanted to say! 😉 Haaa now I am remembering your something “constipated” post and now maybe you know why I really appreciated that one. 😉

    All the best dear!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I kind of love ‘Stomachaches’ for the same reasons. 🙂

      I’ve never taken supplements because I’m trying to keep it controlled with my diet – I’m lucky in that dairy is okay and I’m not a Ceoliac. It’s worth remembering for future though, especially when I travel and it’s harder to find the right food.

      I can’t remember which constipation post you’re referring to (there have been many) but I’m glad it made someone laugh!


  3. Oh the sweats, my number one GET TO THE BATHROOM RIGHT NOW signal that means the cramps mean business. This is the reason I have trust issues eating at new places or just out in general, either I don’t know if a trigger food may be in something (and I’m too distracted to remember to ask) or somehow I convince myself that this one special time I can eat “it” and magically not get symptoms….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my god THAT IS ME. I live off chips and salad and soup when I eat out, unless I’m drinking and there’s nothing else there (this always happens at buffets) in which case I think ‘if the alcohol could make me ill, I might as well try the potentially harmful product! Maybe three rum and Cokes will hide the intolerance from my stomach!’ I really should just refrain from over drinking, and eat beforehand.

      In restaurants there’s always a game to scan the menu and tick off the options before choosing the lesser of several evils… I’m getting increasingly better at asking about ingredients – most staff are lovely, but when I ask if there’s wheat in something, a lot say ‘we’ve got gluten free’. It’s so awkward to correct them without sounding like a shitty customer (and having been a waitress I can guarantee that most front of house staff aren’t completely sure what’s in their stuff anyway).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I sweat constantly and it is ridiculous. I also recently found out that it is partially a thyroid thing, but when I cramp up I get more sweaty. Recently it’s been the disgusting dripping in sweat.
    I have tried everything.
    But when the cramps come, I get worse.
    When the heat comes, I also get worse 😦
    Ibs issues actually suck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I seem to only start shaking or getting the sweats when my stomachaches are really bad – like if the shakes start, I will definitely throw up soon. I find that once I’ve puked it passes and I’m back to normal (well I’m a disgusting miserable mess but other than that, totally normal).

      I didn’t know sweating was linked to the thyroid, thanks for the info. 🙂 Have you thought about seeing a doctor for your thyroid? You might be able to work out what to do to improve it. Hope you get better soon. 🙂


      1. I have the same problem – if I don’t take them with food on in two halves, tablets for anything will make me sick. Pfft you can’t win.


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