September is Interstitial Cystitis (in-ter-stish-uhl sĭ-stī’tĭs), Awareness Month. And as many of you know I have Interstitial Cystitis, aka IC, or “Painful Bladder Syndrome.” IC is a chronic, inflammatory disease that causes severe pain in the bladder and pelvic area.
For the last few months my bladder has been relatively quiet. My other issues have been screaming much louder.
My chronic sciatica never seems to let up, my IBS bothers me severely for days on end and my Fibromyalgia and pain in my feet seem to always be there. But my bladder for whatever reason has not been the pain that impacted my quality of life the most. That is not to say I didn’t have bladder and pelvic pain, because I did, it just wasn’t the most crippling issue going on with me.
I didn’t want to say anything about or brag that my IC wasn’t bothering me, because I knew that at any time she (my bladder) could get upset about something and turn my world upside down and all I could do is try to hang on.
Well, it happened. She came back and she brought a friend with her. She brought a pain that felt like a knife stabbing me in my back. In fact the back pain is what hurt the most. I felt like I had a bladder infection, but I knew I didn’t. I knew that it was her and that she was going to make herself known. She didn’t want me to forget about her.
I felt bladder and back pain, pelvic pain and pressure. One evening my husband and I were going for a short walk and I told him I felt like I had swallowed a basketball into my stomach and it was putting pressure on everything. I felt horrible!!
In a way I’m glad I went through that. I don’t want to ever forget what it feels like because I want to be able to relate to others who are going through the same things. I want to be able to relate to others so that I can encourage them.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Since this is IC awareness month I want to spread awareness to as many people as possible. I try to do this all the time. But this month I want to be the Butterfly of Change. I want to be one of many who educates others about this horrific disease and of course we want a cure!
As this month comes to a close, I am sad, because I know that there will not be as much attention on raising awareness for IC. But if you are reading this and you deal with the life changing effects that IC has on you, I hope that you will join me and be the Butterfly of Change.
Let’s continue to raise awareness. Let’s continue to educate others. Let’s be the Butterflies of Change for IC!
I have more information on IC below. Feel free to share any of this information with anyone! If you know someone who has the symptoms below, please ask them to talk with their doctor or click on this link to find out more information on support and treatments. Www.ichelp.org
You can contact me personally if you have any questions about IC. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I also have a Facebook support page called “Friends with IC.” You can send me a request to join and I will be happy to connect you with our group of friends.
Information About IC:
It is estimated that 3 to 8 million women and 1 to 4 million men in the United States may have IC. Many adults state that their symptoms started when they were a child.
No one knows the cause of IC and unfortunately there is no cure!
Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
Burning pain in the bladder
Frequent urination both day and night
Urgency to urinate
Blood in the urine
Pain in the Pelvic region
Urine cultures coming back negative
Did I mention pain, pain, pain??!!
The pain from IC can be so severe that has been compared to that of cancer patients!!
Each case is difficult to treat and most people have to try several different treatments to find the one that works best for them.
Treatment plans include:
The IC diet – which involves eliminating foods such as Citrus, Cranberry juice, Caffeine, sodas, Artificial sweeteners and more.
Most of these treatments can be time consuming and costly. Some patients never find relief and are left with pain and suffering that they must deal with day in and day out.
So let’s continue to Raise Awareness, Encourage Others and Find A Cure!