Many of you know I have been struggling with Interstitial Cystitis for almost 10 years. Through my search for an answer, I have learned that all chronic illnesses share 2 things in common: A dysfunctional gut and a dysregulated immune system. To help educate others, I have created a blog. If you know anyone who is struggling with any CHRONIC illness such as IC, Fibromyalgia, Hashimotos, Ulcerative Colitis, Celiac…and the list goes on and on…PLEASE SHARE. The info can save their life!
This is my first post on my new blog. Honestly, I should have started this blog sooner. If you know what I have been through, you too will wonder why I waited so long to share with you my story. It has been..well, interesting to say the least. For those of you who know Carowinds, I equate this with the “Fury”. Some parts are exciting, but when they are bad, they are downright miserable to the core!
I also have to thank a few people for inspiring me to begin this aggressive journey. My wonderful partner in crime, Terry, who has been my backbone and support ! He has been a blessing in our lives, and has really pushed me get answers and not just “accept it”, as the doctors would have you. The other people I have to thank are my team of practitioners: Dr. Bagwell with Maximized Living, Dr. Porter with Novant Health, Bre Walker with Dominion Integrative, and Andrew and Mallorie with On Point Acupuncture! They have all opened my eyes to a different way of thinking about health and functional medicine.
I don’t want to bore you with too much of my life’s details, but I think it is important that you know how this started and where I am today.
A little about me: I am 38 years old, divorced, and have 2 beautiful children. An 8 year old girl and 4 year old boy. I live in Charlotte, NC. I am originally from NJ, where I was married and finished college. We moved here in 2007 to “have a better life”, FWIW.
Fast forward to 2007, and the birth of my first born, via C-section. About 1.5 to 2 years later, I am afflicted with this condition. It really came on suddenly. I have always noticed I urinated more frequently, especially during times of high stress. But the pain came on fast, less than two years after she was born. How can I describe this pain ? Burning, stabbing, fire, heat, throbbing. There were times I cried when I had to urinate, and my poor daughter, two years old, would witness my misery. I felt like I was in an INFERNO.
I immediately went to the gynocologist, figuring this is a UTI. I never had one before, but this is how it feels, right ladies? Well, to my demise, the lab result was…..NEGATIVE. What? How could this be? Where is this pain coming from. The doctor proceeds to tell me he is diagnosing me with IC using diagnosis of exclusion, and that I can use a new drug called Elmiron. Ok great doc, gimme the medicine and I see you later. Well , not so fast. The catch is, the longer you take this medicine, the better you will feel……………….
Do you mean I have to take this drug forever?
Yes, that is what I am saying. The drug’s action works better if you take it longer.
Thank you doctor, but no thank you.
I left and did not fill the $500 prescription. Oh and I found out it makes your hair fall out! One thing I know, I have beautiful hair, no way I am going to go bald.
This was the start of my journey. I would like to call this a journey from hell, but that would be unfair to label that so poorly. I have had some really rough times with this, as you will see in this blog. But the journey has allowed me to grow in many ways. It has humbled me at times. It has force me to educate myself, and learn about my body. Along the process, I continued with my education, and pursued a Masters Degree in Biology. During my studies, I was able to correlate the things i learned in class with my disease. It has taught me compassion, patience, and prioritization. It has also forced me to appreciate my life. Yes, that means stop and smell the flowers.
I am still on this journey. I am not cured. But I am getting pretty damn close.
Welcome to my blog!