"What Happens When No One Believes You?"
By Nicole (Submitted August, 2005)
Hello my name is Nicole. I was just Diagnosed With IC. Struggling with a mysterious illness now for two years I have been to doctor after doctor, feeling that something was terribly wrong I could not get diagnosed. I began to feel that no one believed I really had a problem, and was just looking for an excusse to take pain medication.
After several trips to the emergancy room and thousands of false diagnosis. I began to believe it was all in my head as well. Still the pain and discoumfort continued. I felt there was no hope for the problem. I began to suffer not only physicaly but emotionaly. I held it all in keeping my illness a secret. As the days and months passed it only became worse, effecting my work life as well as my home life.
I began to feel tierd all the time, and never had the strength to go out and enjoy time with my son and my husband. Eventually my husband became very upset with me when the pain was to much to handle during intercourse. He could not understand why I was afraid to try new things or even continue to be intimate with him. He began to feel as if I were not in love with him or that I was involved with some one else. No matter how I tried to explain to him that it was uncomfortable it still put a strain on our relationship. Finally late one night I was in so much pain that I had to take yet another trip to the ER. I already knew the routine. Hours of waiting in the lobby, pacing back and forth in to much pain to even set down, then pee in a cup and wait a few more hours for the doctor on call to come back and tell me it was nothing. I put the trip off as long as I could. Standing in my kitchen bearing down on the counter trying to do dishes in terrible pain, the last thing I remeber is hitting the floor. A few minutes later I woke up with my husband standing over me pale and trying to get me up and alert enough to get in the car. This was it... I think he finally got the picture some thing was wrong. I guess it takes something like beating them over the head or dropping to the floor to get some men to understand!!!
Later that night in the hospital I met my Angel. the doctor on call happened to have a daughter suffering from the same problems. He refered me to thier personal urologist. The next day I called and made an appointment. This began my road to recovery. After several more tests and hours spent in the doctors office, finally an answer. The urologist gave me several pamphlets on IC and even had a meeting with my family to discuss my illness and the effect it has on not only me but every one around me.
My husband and I are also on the road to recovery. He now understands the burden I carry every day with this illness and is more understanding to my needs and feelings. It has been just a few short months on medicine and therapy and I already have my life and family back. I would like to thank all the doctors who helped me along the way. And I forgive those who over-looked my problem realizing there is not a lot of knowledge about IC.
I encourage those who have this problem to discuss with your family every day how you are feeling and take into your own hands the power to spread knowledge about this illness. After all, no one knows your body like you do and no one can understand what is going on unless you speak out. I urge all IC patients to learn as much as they can about IC and promote any testing to find a cure. Be patient with those around you as they might not understand what is going on. Involve everyone in the fight for a better life and coping with IC.
Revised: 8/31/05 - kj