World IBS Day 2022: The IBS Experience: Pictures, Prose and Poetry

World IBS Day raises awareness about individuals living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or knowing someone who lives with IBS.

A collection of creative pieces from patients were submitted and selected to be part of an IBS Experience awareness campaign for IBS on World IBS Day 2022. The IBS Experience project and awareness campaign for World IBS Day is brought to you by, TuesdayNightIBS and Kate Scarlata MPH, RDN, “For a Digestive Peace of Mind, LLC.”

To Feel Healthy Again

The weather is warm but my body is cold
Double sweater day
Double sweater day at my desk in the office
Don’t wanna wear the toque with the tassels
Cunning don’t ya think
Cunning don’t—yeah but it makes me stand out
Don’t want them to see me
See how bad it’s become
Get too close a look and they could count my ribs
Right down to the bottom
The bottom of this from where the nausea comes
It hurts

Where was I?
I should get back to work
As I click over from right monitor to left
I let out a low Wwwhhhooooaaaaa
Like I’ve just gotten high
Is this what pot feels like?
Touched with the tip of euphoria
As my brain just let’s go
Can’t keep carrying
What was that sales order number again?
…Can they tell?

It’s like high school
When my classmates assumed I was on something
I am
What if my co-worker schemed a little?
Tried to tell me that I’m actually dreaming
Would I
Truth is, I am deathly afraid
That what happened 20 years ago
Could happen again
Went to tree-planting for Silvaram
Foothills of Alberta
Northern edges of BC

I tried & tried & tried
& never gave up
Worked through the cramps
The diarrhea & drowsys
They fired me anyway!
That hurt more than anything
I had my knees on the seat of the Ford F450
My supervisor had to tell me
Thought I could see it hurt him too
It wasn’t his decision
I just bawled
Bawled my eyes out
I don’t know if I even said goodbye to my fellow planters
As I dragged myself 3 provinces over
Back to my life at home
Waiting to feel healthy again

by Luke Gary Allen Friesen
(click for audio)