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A Very Good Day

This was a very good weekend. I rose early, went horseback riding, ran errands, and went to a party with my new fiancé. My only concession the entire weekend was I ate at home instead of at the party, because I follow a strict diet due to the fact that I have IC.

I can remember a time when I was in such unrelenting pain that doing any of the things I mentioned above was just a dream. I worked and came home and hid under the covers praying for relief. I went to doctor after doctor trying to find an answer to my pain. My life just seemed to be on hold. I stopping dating because what man would want to date someone with chronic pain, I couldn’t exercise or enjoy time out with friends. I couldn’t get a good night’s sleep because I had to get up so often. Whether I had a bladder infection or not it always felt the same, painful. The time around my cycle made my pain even worse.   And throughout this entire time no one could figure out what was wrong with me.

One doctor said “just don’t think about it”, another put me on antidepressants. Finally after 2 years something showed up on a scan and both my urologist and gynecologist decided it was worth further investigation.. The urologist determined I had IC and did bladder distention (which is not a procedure I ever want to have again) and my gynecologist determined I had endometriosis and lasered the adhesions.

I was then put on Lupron injections for 6 months. My bladder calmed a bit and I did feel better but it didn’t last long. I then had my left ovary removed and was put back on Lupron. Again I felt better but all the pain came back. By this time I was really ready to lose it. Next up, an endometrial ablation and I was put on Elmiron. At the same time I was finding support and information on line with the ICA. I joined a chat group, ordered some books and a cookbook and learned how important diet can be in elevating symptoms.   After the ablation, and no more periods, my bladder calmed, the diet started to make a difference , the Elmiron kicked in and the pain finally STOPPED!! By then more than 3 years of my life had been lost.

I eased back into an active life slowly. I started walking, at first just around the block. Then I took a yoga class, which I do to this day 2 or 3 times a week. I could finally sleep, and I stopped the antidepressants. I still keep a very strict diet , but to me that is a small price to pay.. I don’t have frequency or any pain. I have a small flair up once in a blue moon but I can deal with that.

I can truly say don’t give up, it can get better and you can enjoy life again.

Teri Cooper