Welp, hey guys.
I suppose it's time for a disclaimer. If you tend to be kind of mean or gossipy, or if you are a perv, please find it in your heart to stop reading this post.
That about covers it, right?
So I want to write about something two other people in the world know about - and that is that I have a really annoying, painful, but not deadly-or-anything-like-that condition called Interstitial Cystitis. Read about what it is here and here. The second link describes the pain as closely as anything I've ever read (albeit with atrocious grammar and some disturbing imagery, but jeez Brooke, stop it.)
Anyway, I was officially diagnosed in December of 2008 though I have had symptoms since I was a little girl. Over the years I've had lots of highs and lows - sometimes it will disappear for months at a time, other times, like now, I'll have flare-ups that last up to several months. Because this condition can be so very traumatic to my body, my pelvic floor muscles tend to tighten up to the point of awful pain and can only be released through physical therapy. So in case you're wondering why we wanted to name a baby after someone named "Kelly", now you know ;) She was my physical therapist last year. From February to May, she made an enormous difference in both my body and my attitude. Love her.
So you may be asking yourself, "Why are you telling the world about this?" Good question. I don't really know, except that I woke up today with that quote by CS Lewis on my mind and thought, "I'm probably the only twenty-something-year-old with this old lady disease." Then I thought, "No way. There is no way." Then I thought, "There is one way to find out..." And then I thought, "The likelihood of Ryan Reynolds going on TV to tell my story and find out if there's anyone else out there like me is not very likely" ;)... but really. The blog! You know?
So here's the sitch. I am so tired of IC. I am so ready for a normal life! I can't stand the pain or the loneliness or the expenses. I am tired of always feeling distracted because of pain and discomfort. Anyone else feel this way? Look, if you know me, you know my life is active, fun, normal. But I go through periods where I never feel present, not really. I hate that so many memories are clouded by me running to the bathroom to cry in between rounds of card games with family, or laying down in the car on camping trips while everyone else is making s'mores, begging my body to relax and work with me so that I can go be part of it, too. Or feeling so guilty for a snappy response, made hastily in a moment of intense pain and then trying to apologize but not being able to fully explain myself because this has been a close-kept secret.
So this is where you come in. I just started the elimination diet yesterday and have so far not felt much relief at all, but I'm hopeful. Also, in a few months I think I will start Elmiron. In about a month I'm scheduled to see a physical therapist in this area who specializes in women's health. That's my action plan, and boy howdy, I hope everything goes right. (If you take Elmiron, would you mind telling me about it? Has it helped you? Any freaky side effects?)
In the meantime, do you have any advice? IC sufferer or not, I think every woman (and man?) has had pelvic pain at some point. Hey, or just chronic pain. How do you smile through it? I have kept this a secret for so long, that I've learned to cope really well with my own strategies, but it also makes me so very tired. I need fresh ideas, hope and that friendship that CS Lewis is talking about. "What! You too?" Oh my heck, if you're saying that right now while you're reading this post then it's all worth it. Let's be friends.