Planning for the Future

I have suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) for most of my life.

It first manifested itself when I was in my 20s, and it’s been dogging me ever since.

The main symptom is excruciating pain in the gut, and I mean truly, literal gut-wrenching, agonizing pain, and for me diarrhea (though many other sufferers experience multiple days of constipation).

Over the years my doctors have treated it with various drugs that offered very little relief, but learning to eat on a more regular schedule and to cut back on foods high in fat content (in other words, no eating at MacDonalds or other fast food outlets) has been a big help. Also helpful, and somewhat counter intuitive, has been to increase the fiber content of my diet.

But what turned out to be the most effective and the most counterintuitive of all was to start using what for most other people is a laxative. I’m talking about Citrucel.

Ever since I started using Citrucel, my attacks of IBS have been relatively infrequent.

But I discovered that I need to use the maximum dosage, three glasses per day, so I prefer to buy it in bulk.

Thus I started getting the 42 oz. size that I could find at CVS. 

Until one day about 20 years ago they were out of it. In fact, they were out of all sizes of Citrucel. Turns out there was a shortage because of something that had contaminated the product. It was deemed harmless, but the company recalled the product anyway.

I was in a panic as I didn’t know if my supply would last. I usually kept at least an extra month on hand.

As it happened, the supply started flowing again just barely in time to keep my IBS in control.

Over the years there have been several other shortages. CVS stopped carrying the 42 oz. size, so I switched to ordering it from Costco, until they stopped carrying it altogether, apparently because the 42 oz. size has been discontinued. 

Lately I’ve been getting the new 32 oz. size in the Amazon Subscribe and Save program.

Until once again there was a shortage and for a couple months in a row Amazon was out of stock and my supply dwindled. I checked the local drug stores and they were out of stock as well.

Happily, just in time Amazon offered the 16 oz. size as a substitute, so I stocked up on that and put in a larger order for the 42 should it ever be in stock again.

It arrived, and for the first time I now have a six month supply.

So no more panic attacks should it ever be in short supply again, and if past performance is any indication of future results, it will be out of stock again before I know it.


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