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Living a Normal Life for the First Time

I was diagnosed with IC in my 40’s, after being treated for years for painful UTI’s that evolved to include nausea, headaches, and diarrhea. I reached my lowest point after my husband returned from a one year deployment to Iraq, followed by a military move to Maryland. The feeling of being on fire from my waist to my knees and flank pain prevented me from returning to work. During this time I often only left the house every two weeks for nerve blocks. I even considered having a Vestibulectomy (which I feel is extreme) due to overwhelming pain from Vulvar Vestibulitis. I felt fortunate to have had a very knowledgeable urologist, Dr. David Gordon, who took an aggressive approach to reducing the inflammation and controlling the pain. The treatment was painful, but short-lived and well worth any relief from the excruciating pain. In addition to this treatment, I underwent physical therapy for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction that helped me to understand the importance of knowing how to relax pelvic muscles as a form of pain treatment & control. I was on my way to better days ahead, though struggled with thoughts that our well water supply may have been having some impact on my increased symptoms. Even though the landlord assured us the water was fine, it sometimes had an unpleasant odor, in spite of a filtering system being in place. I only include this last statement as a possibility for IC patients to consider. I purchased water for drinking, and feel that also contributed to my pain management approach.

By the time we relocated to Colorado for our final military move, I was feeling much better. I had fewer pain interruptions, though they still occurred. I continued physical therapy and ended up having a hysterectomy, which I had avoided for many years fearing my IC symptoms would worsen. Much to my surprise, my symptoms have been almost non-existent since having the surgery and I am likely living my most normal life for the very first time.

Being a Christian, leaning on God, and knowing that He will not leave me comfortless has gotten me through my toughest IC episodes. Not to mention the difficult experiences we endure supporting our military population. I have experienced firsthand how God is here for me, even when I become incapable of asking for His help.

Audrey Klein