Audrey’s Story – IBS, Urgency, Cramping, Frequency

I call it the “search and run” syndrome. Search and run for a bathroom that is. It was the number one controlling factor in my life since my early adult years and especially after my marriage and the birth of our two children in the 1960’s.

I have been turned upside down (sigmoidoscope), pumped with what seemed like gallons of barium which caused me great discomfort and pain and the premature and late expulsion of the material and subsequent humiliation in the doctor’s office as they tried to x-ray the bowels.

I began coping with (now identified as) IBS by abstinence of eating in order to travel, shop or any other gathering to avoid explosions and discomfort.

In 1977, that coping mechanism led to disastrous results when I had to fly (for the first time, alone, in my life), to see my mother who had been diagnosed with lymphoma. No sleep, very little eating or none at times and emotional stress hurled me into a nervous breakdown, three weeks in a psychiatric ward and eventually long term medication. My reluctance, at first, to take that medication was put aside as I knew my task was to raise my children and keep my family
together. This medication led to gradual weight gain and eventually other side effects.

Fast forward to the last three years. I had a dark pigmentation appear on my face. Three skin doctors later, I was told that the medication and sun reaction were the culprits and to go off the medication and seek a different newer type drug. At the approximate time frame, I had to have a
small growth removed from my bile duct. It was benign. A follow-up six months later in May 2007 showed good healing, but I felt horrible. IBS, as usual, was worse and there were no answers about that. I was told, “IBS is on the rise.” I had recurring urinary tract infections along with
urgency. Cipro was the drug used to treat these. Then followed the yeast infections and a call to my gynecologist for a medication.

Then came the Maxine Costa connection. She called me to come into my gyno office to make sure I did not have other problems than a yeast infection. After conversation and time taken to listen, she told me about Russell Mariani and urged me to get his book about his intestinal regeneration program.

That was the second connection. I committed to start his program after reading his book, talking to him and knowing I had been led to him for a reason. It has changed me, all for the better. He listens, counsels and takes time to educate. How refreshing in this mad shuffle these days at doctor’s offices where limited time and limited listening results in my leaving and wishing I had said one other thing or asked one other question.

I could identify with Russell’s life prior to his quest and his perseverance and the formulating of his program. That was the biggest connection. It gave me hope.

I am having no cramping and urgent explosive bathroom dashes. I am regulated to early morning bowel movements. I am not taking any medication but adhere to his supplement recommendations. The long term medication elimination required a lot of commitment and courage on my part but I did it. Commitment is very important and I had to want to do better in these later years of my life. Russell persevered and so did I. I am refining my personal program, slowly adding foods but aware of the importance of patience and knowledge of what I intake. I continue to learn every day. My face is getting better, my acid reflux is under control, my mind is sharper, my weight loss has me at my early adult weight and I am regaining much more stamina. The results are not subtle they are real.

I urge anyone to make the connection. Read the book. Honestly, commit to the program and know that change is possible. It changed me. All for the better.