Who would have thought that the bladder could hurt so badly as to drive a patient to complete despair. We associate pain with broken arms, legs, appendicitis, or childbirth, not our bladders. Yet, the pain experienced by many interstitial cystitis patients has been rated equivalent to that experienced by cancer patients and can be agonizing.
As an IC pain patient, I can relate. In the year that my symptoms began, I struggled to sleep more than an hour at a time, was unable to drive in a car without searing pain and found many basic daily activities difficult, if not impossible. There were moments when the pain was so severe that I felt as if I was dying. Yet, as I write this today, I can honestly share with you that I found relief for my pain and a dramatic improvement in my symptoms.
Fighting pain requires building a solid foundation of knowledge, discipline and skills. You, the IC patient, must take the time to gather information on pain management. You must be open and willing to try various IC & pain treatments as you work with your physician. Although many of you love coffee (regular & decaf), tea (regular & green) and soda, you must be disciplined enough to stop those things which we know badly irritate the bladder. A hot cup of peppermint tea, chamomile tea or steamed milk is much more bladder friendly.
Pain also takes a toll on our spirit, emotions and family lives. I want to remind you that you have done nothing wrong nor do you deserve to be alone. When you can’t travel comfortably, invite family and friends over to your house for a potluck or video night.