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Treatment is Different for Everyone
Hi, my name is Gina! I have been battling supposed UTIs since my late teens. The usual course of treatment was a regime of Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim) until I developed an allergy to sulfa. This proved very inconvenient because I was already allergic to penicillin due to a childhood plagued by streptococcus in the throat and frequent ear infections and asthma and frequent use of prednisone.
Severe monthly PMS always included a blasting UTI. Life was wonderful, as you can imagine. As a result, I developed depression and anxiety at a young age, which in my 40s was diagnosed as depressive Bipolar Disorder, requiring hospitalization and medication and led to the destruction of my career. Add to that the fact that at least once a month I had a UTI. Needless to say, I went to countless urologists. In the course of my visits, I was told the neck of my bladder was too narrow, I never fully emptied my bladder, I had “honeymoon cystitis,” I needed to urinate after sex, drink water after sex, take nitrofurantoin (macrodantin) before and after sex, and to not have sex. Some doctors even told me to drink cranberry juice, take cranberry pills, and drink ten glasses of water a day.
Later in life, I had a hysterectomy, a bladder sling placed, and took medication to reduce urination. Then two years ago, Dr. Olga Liberman, the urogynecologist who did my surgery following a total prolapse, suggested I had IC all along and not UTIs due to the results of a bladder biopsy and pathology and urine culture. She directed me to Dr. Robert Moldwin at North Shore-LIJ Health System in NHP, so I made an appointment. Dr. Liberman also referred me to the ICA website for information and in doing so saved my life. I looked on the website and found my life story and cried my eyes out. Everything I had suffered was right there. Others suffered from the same thing. This was an actual disability. This was real. And people knew about it.
I read the entire ICA website and bought Dr. Moldwin’s book and several others and downloaded the IC foods list. That list became my dietary bible, and I began eating only the IC-safe foods. Within a few weeks my pain decreased. Eventually my continual flare resolved, too, so I foolishly cancelled my appointment with Dr. Moldwin. Unfortunately, after some time, the burning sensation returned, despite following the diet and my allergies were raging. Dr. Moldwin’s nearest availability was two months away, so his office recommended Dr. Bahlani, who is one of Dr. Moldwin’s colleagues. Being a nurse, I know that’s a good thing, and besides, personally I prefer a woman poking around down there!
After my first appointment with her I was thrilled. She took the time, asked the questions, was thorough, gentle and understanding and told me she would get me comfortable. I trusted and believed her, and I have had no pain in some time, with minimal oral pain medications and weekly office visits which are convenient, painless, and easy. She and her staff are awesome. I know there may be setbacks, but now I have hope and may get my life back. Treatment is different for everyone, but I am blessed to be pain free and have a clear head!