When my IC was at its worst I did not have time for any amount of self-reflection about either the year that just ended or the new one freshly started. I also did not notice the waxing or waning cycles of the moon or the length of time in between hair cuts. My life was IC 24X7: the pain, the depression, the triumphs and tragedies of trying new treatments or new doctors or new IC flare free foods. A new year simply marked the passing of time in pain and thinking the year ahead would be filled with more of the same. It was only when I began to find both healing and grace in the simple accomplishments of slightly lessened pain, adding in a new food to my IC elimination diet, and finding my trips to the bathroom decreasing that I began to imagine that the year ahead could be filled with hope.
I have much to be thankful for these days. For along with the pain free days/months/years lived without IC I have had the opportunity to give back in one small way and meet many many IC patients who live near and far away and hear their stories and their passion to live and overcome IC and all of the related conditions that go along with the disease. I sometimes reread notes from a few years ago and wonder how this person or that person is faring. Other times I am surprised by an updated email of an IC patient turned friend with an update on their path towards hope and healing and am filled to the brim with happiness at their success and determination to find the doctors and tools that provide them with less pain and more comfort. There are so many things that I want to celebrate not just for myself but for all of the IC patients as well as the kind doctors and IC advocates that I have met over the past three years since launching this website. I hope to be able to bring you some exciting news later on this year-it literally gives me goosebumps just imagining the possibilities! But for now I tell you: Happy New Year and may hope be your guiding star in the year ahead.