Last week, I didn’t send out a newsletter from my website for the first time in five years. But, I had a very good reason. My son came off his motorbike at 100 kmph/62 mph and almost killed himself. With the catastrophic neck injuries he sustained, he should have been dead at the scene. After seven hours of surgery connecting his head back to his spine with metal plates, screws and bone grafts, he is called a miracle in the hospital. He also broke or injured several other parts of his body including a collapsed lung.
So, I spent six days in a small 3m x 3m (10ft x 10ft) hospital room by his side not knowing if he would be paralyzed or die at any moment.
Not great for my IBS symptoms!
Mix stress, fear and terrible hospital food together in a bowl and you create a dramatic return to IBS symptoms like I haven’t felt in years.
Pain, cramping, bloating and severe constipation – just when I sure didn’t need it. As a patient carer, I wasn’t allowed to use the toilets in the ward but had to exit the ward every time and then ring the bell to get back in. Not terribly convenient when I was needing the toilet several times a day and when I was always desperate to get back to my son. He was lying on his back staring at the ceiling and completely helpless – he couldn’t even get a drink by himself. The consequent anxiety did nothing to relieve the symptoms. For two nights, I slept a total of about four hours as he needed constant attention so I was seriously sleep deprived by the third night when his girlfriend took over and I slept in the ward lounge on a narrow sofa. I did a lot of deep breathing and positive thinking during those six days to damp down my stress levels but some things are too big for any technique to succeed for long.
We are now back home and my symptoms are still playing up two days later, but gradually improving. This whole traumatic episode has well and truly reminded me of the need to get stress levels under control and to get enough sleep.
Below I have a video I made a while ago, but never made public, on the very best technique for stress control that I know. It saved me over and over during this last week from a complete meltdown.