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I Don’t Live in the Shadow of My IC


My name is Danielle Hensley and my story begins back in late 2010 and early 2011 when I was a senior in high school wanting nothing more than to just live my life. IC entered my life one morning before school. The pain and burning suddenly hit me hard. At first, my mom thought it was just a UTI, so off to the doctor we went. There I was treated and then sent to another doctor. The symptoms persisted, so I had exploratory surgery with a laser to take a look, and that’s what enabled the doctor to diagnose me with IC. Thoughts of depression ran through my head and my mom frequently cried seeing me at my lowest point. So to another doctor I went – Dr. Erickson at the University of Kentucky hospital! We tried everything. I changed my diet, but was still in pain. Not long after that, I graduated from high school and a week later I was in school to become a stylist. It was hard but I pushed through, often crying in my car from pain after rolling a perm. Sometimes I would even have to leave school due to the pain. However, all the while I grew strong. I never knew I could push myself to reach my goal when all I really wanted to do was cry, but I did it!

Soon after, Dr. Erickson and I found a solution. My IC causes a lot of pain so she recommended bladder instillations. That worked, and I went on to graduate school and doing hair! Keeping the pain at bay requires me to do bladder instillations five times a day on my own. Because of IC, I have seen my family cry – my little sisters try to help and my older sister would just hold my hand while I cried – but now I am strong and I can finally see hope! I’ve worked in Lexington and Louisville in very busy salons. Life without my family, friends, or hair is unimaginable. Yes, I often hurt a lot. No, my friends don’t know the depth of my personal struggle – they see a woman who loves hair and a successful businesswoman. I don’t live in the shadow of my IC, it lives in mine! I just turned 22, my life is great, and I have a boyfriend who is trying to understand my IC, a family who supports me, a fur baby (my doggie Remington), and an amazing career!

Danielle Hensley