Irritable bowel syndrome prevents people from living
It has been 5 years now.
After many trips to general practitioners, hospitals and specialists, after hearing repeatedly "it's gastro" from general practitioners or "it's a contagious gastro, stay in the waiting room" at the hospital while I was in the middle of a pain attack, we finally discovered the name of this pain that arises without any warning sign.
Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as "functional colitis", has periods when nothing happens and then, all of a sudden, it's back to seizures that paralyze you, major digestive disorders and cramps. The pain usually occurs during or after a meal. A constant feeling of bloating, a decrease in appetite but also terrible fatigue are associated with it.
These symptoms come to the point where you are afraid to leave home for fear of not feeling well, afraid to do certain things for fear you won't be able to reach a bathroom in time. I always have to have painkillers in case of pain attacks but they will only minimize the sensation and not completely eradicate it. On a daily basis, I have to pay attention to everything I eat, everything I do, I try everything to avoid crises and if they happen, to calm them down, but nothing does.
This testimonial is part of the graduation project of Gaëlle Regnier, a student in photography at the Agnès Varda School of Photography and Visual Techniques in Brussels. She chose chronic pain as the theme of this photo report to highlight the patients and their struggle.
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