Confessions of a Spoonie: Eleanor Smith
Hello it’s Jodie taking over Amy’s Blog today! In today’s post we have Eleanor giving us her Confessions of a Spoonie!
What condition/s do you suffer from and when were you diagnosed?
I suffer from IBS and Tinnitus. I was diagnosed with IBS about two or three years ago and I was only diagnosed with tinnitus from about October last year.
What are the main symptoms you suffer from?
For IBS, the main symptoms are stomach cramps and an upset tummy, and for tinnitus it is an extreme high-pitched ringing in my ear, normally when everything is quiet but sometimes it rings really loud so I can hear it over crowds.
What 3 things have you learned about your condition since being diagnosed?
For both illnesses, I had never heard of them before so being diagnosed meant that I had to learn what they are!
In what way has the NHS supported or not supported you?
For tinnitus the NHS were fairly supportive, I got really scared about it when it was quite new as the constant ringing was terrifying especially when I could hear it over other noises too and I rang the NHS hotline and they booked me in for an immediate appointment. They have also offered counselling and stuff and given me appointments to see specialists.
With IBS however, they were not particularly supportive. One doctor actually just told me to go outside more! Not helpful.
What is the hardest part about your illness, in your opinion?
For both, the hardest part was, at the beginning, worrying that the conditions would never go away. As I’ve had them a bit more and managed them a bit more I am less scared about this but certainly to begin with I used to get so depressed that I would have to live with this forever. For both conditions I read a lot of scary stories on the internet (don’t do it) and thought that my life was going to be in pieces but actually I’m surviving okay! For IBS the hardest part is the anxiety that comes with going places that might not have a loo. It sounds silly but if you suffer from IBS you find that you have to plan a lot of your life around where the nearest loo is going to be and that is hard and causes a lot of stress. Also IBS for me for the first year caused a lot of stress of when and where I was going to eat. I used to get so scared I’d need the loo so I used to refuse to eat if we were going somewhere where there wasn’t a loo. For tinnitus, it can be that it keeps you awake at night as that is when it is at its loudest.
List 3 phrases you hate hearing off other people about your condition.
For IBS I hate it when people say:
- “It’s not a real problem, just go outside more” Like my doctor did.
- “Do you have to go to the loo now? You just went?” yes yes I do.
- Or when people just laugh at it, thank you inbetweeners for making the illness into a laughing-stock!
For Tinnitus it annoys me when people tell me that I might go deaf because it’s not true but also it still scares me and makes me upset.
List 3 things you wish people would say/do instead.
I wish that people would take IBS more seriously and just be more supportive. Like if I am too scared to eat on a trip out in case I need the loo then please respect that. Also please don’t be awkward about making numerous loo stops!
Do you have any cheats/tricks to get you through the day or to help you complete certain tasks?
I would say probably for tinnitus I know it’s hard but try to ignore it as best you can. The more you say “omg if I block out noise my ears ring” and continue to do this and see if they ring and constantly check for ringing, the worse it’s going to get so just try to put it to the back of your mind. Also listening to music or noises at night can help drown it out if you’re having difficulty sleeping. For IBS I found just to relax and remind yourself you can be in control. I used to panic so much incase I needed to run to the loo and I made it worse for myself. The thing that helped me was to think about how I was not my illness, and that I could and would be okay if anything bad did happen on a trip out, remind yourself it’s not the end of the world! Also the biggest and best tip for IBS is peppermint tea!! I can’t stress this enough for me whenever I had an upset tummy it calmed me and my stomach right down and stopped my stomach from hurting!
What do you do? Work, study?
I am currently a psychology student
What are you plans for the future?
I would like to continue with my degree and one day become a clinical psychologist.
Has your illness taught you anything about life?
I guess it’s taught me the importance of relaxing! For both of them the anxiety around it and me getting more and more worked up about the illnesses just made it so much worse. The more you accept it (in a positive way) and relax about it the easier it gets.
What advice/information do you wish you were told when you were first diagnosed?
I wish I was told a lot more about IBS, honestly I was given no help and I ended up having to google it and it made me panic so much more!
What would be your main piece of advice for people who has just been diagnosed with your condition?
I would say, don’t google it! Other than if you’re looking for helpful tips and stuff on blogs but don’t get bogged down in all these forums. I read so many for both my conditions and they terrified me, I was so scared all these horror stories were going to happen to me, but of course they didn’t. Also it does get better, the more you learn to live with it.
Thank you so much Eleanor for getting involved! If you liked this then please take a minute to go and check out Eleanor’s social media links!
- TOMORROW I will be taking over Amy’s blog again to post her next Confessions of a Spoonie guest blog post so head on over and take a look!
- Also TOMORROW it’s back over to my blog where I will be publishing another Confessions of a Spoonie due to not relieving a lot of responses for the other event.
- Then on SUNDAY it’s back over the Amy’s blog for my take over and another Confessions of a Spoonie going live.
Blog you later »