- Pre-bake a treat that is IC friendly for you, let them cool then set them on a beautiful plate, wrap in cellophane and a pink sateen bow to treat yourself.
- Consider trying an IC friendly couples massage (the gentler the massage the better for ICers) such as a hot stone massage or hot oil massage.
- Call ahead to a restaurant in town where you know they have chefs who are willing to create meals based on your special IC dietary needs. Make an RSVP and have a dinner out enjoyed by candlelight. Drinking sparklng water out of a wine glass in a nice restaurant while dressed up can do a lot for one's soul.
- Ask your significant other to donate money to IC research instead of spending the money on roses which will fade away in a matter of days.
- Make homemade, old fashioned Valentine's Day cards from construction paper, glitter, etc. and take them to a local nursing home along with some cookies or brownies. It always amazes me how working on a project to give to others makes my IC symptoms fade away, if only for a few hours.
- Adopt a pet from a shelter and show how much you love saving a life. My cats have helped me when my IC pain was at its worst by snuggling, purring and providing me with their unconditional love and support.
- If tolerated, take a warm bath with Epsom salts and dried lavendar. Listen to beautiful music. Relax. Take time for yourself.
- Listen to meditation or spiritual CDs and love every part of your body including the parts that are sick and hurting.
- Love yourself.
Valentine's Day, as with a lot of holidays, can be wrought with feelings of guilt and depression for someone living with IC and vulvodynia or testicular pain. At times it feels like the red cellophane wrapped heart-shaped boxes of chocolates that we cannot eat, and the commercials playing scenes of couples in love without a care in the world about to get it on once the camera stops rolling, all seem to mock you when you cannot partake of a strawberry cream filled bonbon or enjoy the pleasures of sex. And for those who have chosen to be single or who have partners leave them because they cannot understand or cope with a partner living with the devastation of IC, unable to be social, healthy or sexually active, Valentine's Day seems like a day to be endured instead of enjoyed. As with my post for how to enjoy the holiday season while living with IC, I hope to offer some thoughts surrounding how to not only endure Valentine's Day, but to enjoy it. Here are some thoughts: