Have you ever tried a TENS unit, acupuncture or pelvic floor rehabilitation to treat your IC and related conditions? What about massage, biofeedback psychotherapy? It seems that the closer you are to receiving a diagnosis of IC and an IC patient begins to use this 'alternative' therapies the more hope there is for helping with some of the pain and side effects of living with IC. This is not to state that people who have lived with IC would not benefit from utilizing these alternative therapies, simply that it might take a little longer for their bodies to relax enough in order to allow some help for the pain. I know that some people find it best to treat their IC with both alternative treatments and traditional Western medicine and this is absolutely a great combination to take. Most would agree that every single IC patient is singularly different and their pain levels and side effects are completely different from person to person. I always caution against statements for herbals or treatments that cast blanket statements of immediate results or if they claim that this one and only product will be the ultimate 'cure'. Taking a multi-faceted, multidisciplinary approach to treating IC seems to be very effective with a lot of people (it was the path I chose for myself although at the time I did not choose it so adamantly, I was simply operating under trial and error and under a large amount of pain and duress) with IC and related conditions. Mitigating stress (both situations and people) should also be highlighted here. I will also have to point out that many find that they have to stick to the IC elimination diet for varying lengths in order to find the trigger foods that add to the cycle of pain and discomfort of having IC. Using the IC elimination diet I also discovered that in addition to food triggers I could also be in a lot of pain due to chemicals or additives in my body products, household cleaners and smells in the air such as gasoline or cigarette smoke. There is a large body of research and medical practitioners focusing on the most effective way of presenting this information as well as providing a 'one stop shop' for treating the body/mind/spirit connection of dealing with IC. Look for more information about this in the new year. For now I hope you have plans to enjoy the holidays as best you can and know that I am rooting for each of you from afar. Happiest holidays!
Throw a rock into a lake and sometimes it plunks into the water with a little splash but otherwise there is not much effect. But sometimes you throw a rock into a lake and it skims the surface gaining traction on the water's edge, skips, then drops in an arc to settle on the lake floor. The surface of the water reflecting the rock's entrance with a circle rippling and rippling like a watery echo.
My life with IC is very much like the rock in the lake. Its affect on me is more than just the thud of despair with the diagnosis of a painful bladder disease, and even after my IC went into remission it seems to color every decision I make every single day. It determines what I do (or should I say 'don't) eat, what I drink and the amount of stress that I allow into my life. It determines if friends or family members who might not be the best for my health can be allowed into my life in more than just a peripheral way. IC has turned me from despairing patient to hopeful IC advocate and I realize that IC was teaching me a life lesson. IC is a circle within a circle: those in the center who are newly diagnosed and those in the outer circle working to help in the fight for advocacy and hope. (IC is even in the word circle, but that is a thought for another blog entry). IC is in my blood, my muscle memory and even in my first name! I strive to learn its gifts and to help others find the information, the doctors, the treatments that can provide them with hope once more. IC is the rock falling into the water, but we are all part of the same beautiful lake.