So I say let's stand up and stand firm and not be ashamed about having IC. It can be part of our life's work to carry forth the education and awareness about IC, which is an international disease affecting men, women, and children. IC does not discriminate based on ethnic background or gender, so let's not discriminate against who we tell about what IC is, which organs are affected, and what we are doing to treat the disease.
I know this a bold and uncomfortable thought to get our minds around, to actually talk to people about having a bladder disease. It might take time and practice, but don't all things that are worthwhile? All of us with IC might just be surprised to find out the connections we all share of someone else suffering from IC, and just don't know it yet. It happened to me. The moment I left the shame at the door, started blogging about IC, and telling people "yea, I get pain in my vagina and bladder from IC", that people have started opening up to me about their own uncomfortable, "shameful" health problems, or a light bulb clicked in their heads and they have begun to tell me "oh so and so has IC" or "Oh my god! Let's talk more...I might have IC".
So for today I say: "I have IC. I have left the shame at the door."