I'm taking a break from my typical funny post to share some information. Today is an important day for people like myself who struggle with a private but painful condition called Interstitial Cystitis (or IC for short). Sept 1st marks the first day of Interstitial Cystitis Awareness Month so if you aren't aware, I figured i'd shed some light on the subject of this awful disease that affects roughly 3 to 8 million women, and 1 to 4 million men in the United States. IC is basically a chronically inflamed bladder lining. While that may not sound so bad, let me tell you, IT IS! I like to describe it as the worst UTI (urinary tract infection) that you've ever had and times that by 100, and you still haven't even touched the surface of a really bad IC flare. Unlike a UTI, there is actually no bacteria or infection present to treat so antibiotics wont do a thing and you basically live with chronic pain. I deal with urgency and frequency issues. It's a feeling like you have to urinate, but nothing comes out and I deal with a great deal of pressure and burning. On my really bad days I will have to use the restroom 60-100 times a day. Not fun at all! There are treatments for IC, but no cure. Treatments are hit and miss for every patient. What works for one person, may not work for another.
Now that i've scared you to death, here is a little post I whipped up to try and lighten the mood:
Benefits to having IC? Has she lost her mind?
While IC is definitely not a laughing matter, I have somehow managed to find a little humor in the situation.
I have found that there actually are a few hidden benefits to having IC:
*IC is a get out of sex free card. Now this may not seem like a positive to some, but let's face it sometimes you are just NOT in the mood. My husband will say, "How's your IC tonight?" All I have to do is say the magic words, "Not good at all" and the subject is immediately dropped. Now, i'm not saying i've ever done this…ahem, but i'm just sayin…..
*Oh you peed yourself? No problem! You have IC! Yes folks, I can pee my pants and blame it on my IC. Like Milli Vanilli once sang (well okay they didn't actually sing it, but you know what I mean), "Blame it on IC, yeah, yeah"!!!!!
*Support from fellow IC'ers! No one understands you like these people do. There is an immediate connection between IC patients. You can yell, cry, scream, vent to these people and they will listen without judgment. We are bonded by our bladders, lol!
*If you're ever stuck talking to someone you don't like, just start talking about your IC. Nothing makes a person cringe more than describing your irritated bladder that has cracks and ulcers in the lining. If that doesn't work? Explain a bladder instillation treatment to them, starting with catheterization. Awkward!!!!
*Some docs will give you neat pain pills when things are really bad. The downside? You're in massive pain so I guess this one is kind of a trade off. Other docs just give you those crappy pills that turn your pee bright neon orange. Here's a fun little idea though….next time you pee in a Target bathroom after taking those pills, don't flush! You will scare the bejesus out of the person who comes in after you!!!! I did this to my husband once and I think he thought an alien had snuck in to use our toilet. He totally freaked!
*No more exercise! My doctor has actually forbidden me to exercise. Yes, you heard that right! My pelvic floor muscles are so destroyed that I am not even encouraged to walk (walking for exercise that is). The only exercise i've been permitted to do is yoga. Yeah, i'll get right on that, lol!
*Hot baths! IC is the perfect excuse to take all the hot baths you want. Calgon take me away (well ok I can't actually use Calgon because of my IC, but the hot baths are still nice). Too bad Calgon doesn't take away the 5 children banging on my bathroom door though.