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: Patient Stories : Della
"I Am Not A Hypochondriac"
For what I have read, I think that I am lucky because, for me it was 12 months of severe pain before I was diagnosed with IC. For that whole year I kept on going to gynecologists because I thought I had a yeast infection, but nothing cured it.
Now that I think back in time I had symptoms of IC since very young because since I was 15 I had urinary incontinence. I didn't think that that was a problem because it was a few drops when I sneeze or laughed loud or something, besides I told a Gynecologist and he did not think it was important. Besides that, my stomach was always swelling but I always though that it was because I have always had gastritis.
I got married in March 2003. I come from a Catholic family, so before marrying I was not sexually active. In my honeymoon I had problems to have sex with my husband because it hurt “a lot”. I still had not experienced the so severe pain in my pelvis, but it hurt somewhere in the vagina. The pain started to grew stronger and stronger with time. So I felt very bad because we were not having sex that often and I felt very guilty, but my husband has been very supportive and comprehensive. But I still felt very bad physically and emotionally.
After a year of seeing different gynecologists, it occurred to me to tell my husband to go to an urologist to se if he had any problem. I thought that maybe he was carrying an infection and was passing it to me, even though the gynecologist said there was no infection. That day, at the urologist office my husband explained the whole problem. He checked my husband and told him that everything was normal. But he explained to my husband that there was this thing called IC, explained to him the symptoms, etc (he even told him to check the ICN and ICA on the internet). So he recommended that he should check me first and after that, decide if I would need a cystoscopy. I had the analysis and the cystoscopy and the diagnosis of IC. I am very impressed with this story, because here in Mexico , we do not have the same advances in medicine and we do not have so many great doctors that in the US (or other more developed countries). But I found a great urologist that treats my problem and I am very grateful, because he always hears what I have to say, he is very comprehensive and he knows that is very painful.
There has been 4 months since I started treatment and until today the incontinence stopped and I have had severe pain just once, but it was clearly from something I ate. I sometimes have a little discomfort, it easy to take but it reminds me that I have to keep a strict diet. Which is very hard, but I think nothing that matters or that is great is easy to accomplish (as the saying says). It has been very hard for me to follow the diet, but I take it day by day.
The society that surrounds me is not very supportive, I cannot say much about my condition because it serves to people as something to talk about, to gossip or just to criticize me or to say that is in my mind or that I am a hypochondriac. I am not saying that everyone is like that. I just want to express that I do not find comfort by talking to a friend about my condition because most of the time they really do not understand or they do not know how to react in front of something they do not know. So I feel alone very often because my only support is my husband, I really don't know what I would have done without him.
What I have learned about all this is that the only option is to keep walking, to always try to do our best to make things right. I know that if I do not eat the right foods I am going to be in pain and that I am going to hurt myself.
I think that everything that happens to us is a calling to do something better or to pay attention to something that we are not doing well. When we are suffering and when we are in pain we have to search, always search for an answer.
I know that today we do not have many answers, but I also know that there is too many people out there doing something about it, so that tells us that the least we can do is take care of ourselves and help others to do the same. I know that there is always a reward in helping someone else.