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Please Seek Help Sooner

Hello! My name is Holly and I am from New Zealand and am 17 years of age. A gynecologist recently diagnosed me with IC, though I had been experiencing pain since late 2013. One morning I awoke and had to rush to the toilet as I had this sudden and urgent need to urinate. I felt a bit of discomfort but not too bad. However, I was confused as I had no idea why I was feeling the discomfort. I went to bed the next night and woke up the next morning again having to rush to the toilet, only this time it was worse. At that point I had no idea what it was nor did I have any clue about UTI’s or IC.

With concern, I rang my mother telling her my symptoms and she explained to me that I must have had a UTI. I mistakenly relied on cranberry juice for two-and-a-half months as I was unable to pay for treatment for the supposed UTI. Not surprisingly, it got worse. When I finally returned home and was able to get treatment, I was given antibiotics, but they made no difference. The past year and the beginning of 2015 – until my diagnosis – had been horrible! It had interfered with my education, my job, and my life, forcing me to constantly have to take time off as I could not focus. Before my diagnosis, I had been on eleven courses of antibiotics, and the doctors – all five of them – had no idea what was wrong with me. I decided to do some research on the internet on my own and came across IC and realized that all my symptoms were exactly the same as those of IC. After returning to the third doctor I had seen, I visited the others again, but when I mentioned IC, for some reason they just disregarded what I had to say and again put me on antibiotics for a suspected UTI. IC was now not only affecting me, but my mother was also very stressed as she was a single mother having this weight on her shoulders all the time which made me feel like a horrible daughter .

We finally made an appointment and visited the gynecologist. When I mentioned IC to her and informed her about my symptoms, she agreed 100% with what I said. In addition, she also told my mother and I that IC can sometimes occur when a UTI isn’t treated properly or early enough. Finally finding out after so much time what I had made me cry. I just had to give the gynecologist a hug as I know that being treated is going to make such a huge impact on my life! For me, I feel that having IC was a blessing in disguise because in the past I ate very unhealthy foods quite often and now I am starting a new healthy diet!

This piece is about me sharing, with the hope of helping others. For anybody reading this I would just like to say that if you are suffering from pain and you are unsure of why it’s occurring, please seek help sooner! That was my lesson learned! Although you are unable to cure IC I’m so grateful that I’m finally on treatment and I couldn’t be any happier than where I am right now.