Since the inception of this website I have attempted to start a local IC support group, I have had a mini article published with my IC story on the ICA, I've signed petitions to ensure Legislature continues funding research and medical care for IC patients and every week I speak with total strangers who become instant friends, dare I say family, through a commonality of IC. Yet. I still feel as if there is so much more that I could/should be doing. I have tabled finding a publisher for the IC manuscript as I have started rewriting it in a more memoir based format. I hope to carve out some time to turn some of the previous writing into published articles. Speaking of carving, perhaps while carving out pumpkins to transform them into enchanted, glowing jack-o-lanterns inspiration for the IC memoir will hit me.
The other IC ghost would probably be that I do not always tell people that I have IC. The main reason for this is that after five years of extremely hard work and sticking to the IC diet, my residual IC issues are such that I can ignore them and I can live my life. I feel that by constantly giving something a name that it might come back in full force to once again consume me with pain and despair (kind of like the unnameable character in the Harry Potter series). Unfortunately, I sometimes feel a sense of guilt to the rest of the IC community that by not constantly telling people I am in some way insincere in my advocacy for others suffering from IC. Or I fear that people might think that my IC was never 'that bad' or question that I have it at all. See the Headless Horseman has nothing on some of the scary double-edged sword thoughts that roll through my head some days.
But I remind myself to remain focused at the task at hand. The month of October is dedicated to IC Awareness. I promise to do my part to spread the word. Perhaps in the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos I will frame a photo of the words IC and put them on a flower-laden altar next to photos of my relatives and pets who have passed over. I will light a candle to the IC pain that has passed, the pain gone but not forgotten. I will bake the sweetest frosted cake decorated with marigolds in homage to the huge sweet tooth that I had prior to getting IC. Perhaps the final step will be to eat a sugar skull with the word 'IC' written in dark purple frosting. I eat you, IC to both remember and to forget.
I will honor the lessons of IC the month of October and well into the next months to come. And maybe I will dance with the ghosts in my closet and find peace that I am doing all I can as an IC patient: past, present and future. Halloween tales and costumes have nothing on me. I've danced with IC through the darkness and have won.