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Grahame Howard

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Coping with Embarrassment
by Grahame Howard   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, December 11, 2014
Posted: Saturday, December 05, 2009

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It is not easy to live with a bowel disorder. The embarrassment can be so overwhelming.

Many people in our world today, live with many illnesses on a day to day basis and they take a lot of resilience to be able to cope with them.

For many, a bowel disorder - irritable Bowel Syndrome or the more debilitating ulcerative colitis or crohn's disease, can be extremely painful and embarrassing.

UC and crohn's disease can be very frightening, demanding and in some cases if not treated, life threatening. And yet, when symptoms are discovered, many people tend to ignore them for a time because of feeling embarrassed to mention it.

With ulcertative colitis, the colon (the large bowel) becomes inflamed and ulcers form causing terrible pain and discomfort. The whole colon can become affected which leads to frequent trips to the toilet that can become totally out of control throughout the day.

It is embarrassing! It is also a time when panic can take over because it is natural to feel that it may be bowel cancer.

I remember the time when I first discovered that something was not quite right. I'd been having severe abdominal pains for quite a while. The pains were so intense, they made me gasp. Shortly afterwards followed the 'dashing' to the toilet with such a strong urgency. The passing of blood almost devastated me and I did not know what to do or say.

No one knows how 'urgent' urgent is, unless they have a bowel disorder. The need to go to the toilet comes so quickly that many times it is impossible to get to the little room in time. 'Accidents' can and do happen and this causes extreme anxiety to the sufferer. In fact, when the 'attacks' are prevalent, one can be marooned in the house because of fear to go out in case an accident occurs.

There comes a time when a trip to the doctor is inevitable. Medication can help immensely, usually steroids. However, the medication can also promote side effects that are equally not easy to live with. However, many people cope quite well with UC or crohn's without having to have surgery.

Sadly though for some, UC can be so unforgiving and  stoma surgery may have to take place to give the sufferer a better quality of life and avoid the danger of bowel cancer.

Maybe you are a sufferer. Maybe you are frightened or suffering in silence because of the embarrassment of it all. Please let me encourage you, speak with someone you trust. Also visit your doctor and have a series of tests. People live very well with the disease once it is diagnosed and a course of medication is prescribed.

Don't suffer alone. There are many support groups around who will help you to come to terms with what is happening. Also visit websites to gain further information. My website receives many visitors each day and I receive many emails asking questions.

Also it may help you if you read my book ALL BAGGED UP. I wrote this for the bowel sufferer and ostomist alike because I could not find such a book when I needed it. The book has helped many people and is available from many online bookstores. However, and Barnes & Noble tend to state that it is out of print. That is not the case. I think it is because I'm in the UK and for some reason they cannot get the supplies.

It is available from

Please contact me if you need to. I'd love to be able to help support you.


Grahame Howard

Web Site: Books by Grahame Howard

Reader Reviews for "Coping with Embarrassment"

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Reviewed by Annette Day (Reader)
I have shared my life with a UC sufferer for many years, sharing the indignities and embarrassing accidents that this illness can cause. So as a carer I relate to this article, it is very easy to feel so embarrassed that you'd rather the ground opened up than talk to someone else about the problem,even family. It can control ones way of life if you let it, I think I have a mental map of all the loos in
our local area! For those that this affects I recommend you talk to the author and read his book 'All Bagged Up', it will help you.
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
I can relate; I have a colostomy. Embarrassing yes, but I am managing quite well, given the circumstances. NOT cancer, praise the Lord, but a large tumor pinched off my colon; hence, the colostomy. Great write; you may have saved some lives here! :)
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