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I Know My Limitations

Twenty five years of IC has caused a lot of life changes. The most important lesson I’ve learned is that IC isn’t the most important thing in my life. When I was first told I had IC, like everyone else, I was relieved and overwhelmed at the same time. God put me in a place where I had Dr. Robert Evans to guide and work with me. He’s a knowledgeable and kind doctor, who is honest and willing to allow me to assist with my care. He encourages my husband to take part in my visits and care as well, because he believes that this disease affects the whole family, not just the patient. Over the years I’ve learned to control the pain and how to live through the pain. I’ve adjusted to the discomfort and the way it makes me feel all the time so as to be able to function reasonably well on a daily basis while tuning out the pain that is constantly blazing. When it feels like concrete is being poured into my pelvis and then being pulled out, I know to “parallel park” on the couch for a few hours after taking the medication that calms the pain so I’m able to sleep through the worst part of it. Taking the time necessary to recuperate is critical. To get over the worst of the flares I’ll often drink hot tea, use a hot rag or heating pad and lay in a warm, dark room to rest as long as needed. Nowadays, it is understood by most people in my life that I may have to skip much of what I had planned to do that day.

Almost no one appreciates the true extent of how IC has limited my life. IC and all the other chronic pain conditions that come with it have restricted what I’ve been able to accomplish. However, the people in my life who most matter truly get it, and that’s what’s important. At this point, even if they didn’t I wouldn’t care because I know what it is and how to deal with my limitations. I feel quite fortunate that I am able to do as much as I can and have found many things I can do to help other people even while I spend time stuck on the couch at home. God had a purpose, He’s let me see what it was, and IC was just the way to make sure I had time to fulfill it.

Deborah Gregson