When I was diagnosed with IC in August of 2001 I thought my story began then, but now I realize it started years ago. I had always had difficult periods so when I was seventeen I was put on birth control pills to help with my heavy bleeding, cramps, and headaches. That was 15 years ago.
Nine years later I was told I may have endometriosis so I had a laparoscopy done which proved that I did have minimal endometriosis. Right after the laparoscopy I thought I had a urinary tract infection. I had had so many of them before that I just thought that was what it was. I was put on Cipro and it didn't go away in one day like the times before. After taking the antibiotics for seven days the pressure and urgency hadn't gone away. This time I just waited for a week or so without anymore medications and it went away on it's own. At the time I had no idea what it was, but since it went away I just forgot about it. Shortly after that I was put on the pill continuously to avoid having my period, because I had so much pain during my period from the endometriosis. I asked and asked if this was dangerous. Over and over I was told it wasn't.
For six years I was on the pill continuously without having a period. In those six years I was the sickest I've ever been with headaches, severe allergies, and of course urinary tract infections. Needless to say I had taken all kinds of antibiotics, had steriod shots for different things, and was putting synthetic hormones into my body over and over again...and not having a period to top this all off. I should've known this was bad for me. In May of 2001 I went off the pill completely and that's when I started feeling the agony of IC. I had pressure and urgency all the time. I urinated often, but not a lot of urine came out. I again thought I had a urinary tract infection. I took Cipro again and it didn't help at all. I thought I had something else. So, I went to another doctor. She thought I had a yeast infection. By the way, all of these tests had come back negative. But, they kept giving me antibiotics. I kept taking them thinking that they knew best. I finally told my gynecologist that I needed some serious care that something was wrong and it wasn't in my head. He took me seriously and sent me to a urologist in the end of July of 2001. Off I went to the urologist thinking this doctor was going to make me better and take this awful feeling of pain and constant urgent feeling of urinating away. The uro said he thought I had IC and wanted me to start on the IC diet. He also wanted to set up a cystoscopy and hydrodilation. I agreed without doing any research first. That was a dumb move for me, because these two procedures actually made me worse! After this surgery I had pain in my bladder and my urethra. Pain I had not had before and it was terrible!! It felt like something was grinding in my urethra and my bladder kept me up at night with pain, which I found out later....the pain was from my bladder having spasms. I went back to him and he was of NO help at all. He just put me on Detrol LA and told me to stay on the diet and just try to not get stressed out. That was it. His only advice. I even got a second opinion and he said the same thing.
I was depressed, confused, lost, in pain, and felt completely alone. I knew I had to take this into my own hands. I decided to do some more research. I joined a site for IC. While I was on this site I read a message on a message on a board about an alternative doctor someone was seeing. I emailed that person and she told me all about Matia. I was hesitant to try it at first, because I knew that she would have to treat me long distance being that I don't live in California. But, I took a long look at my alternative. I didn't want to take medications for the rest of my life that might not work and I didn't want to be miserable forever. So, I decided to try Matia's approach. That was in September of 2001 and I thank God everyday that I decided to go through with Matia's treatment. She had brought me to a point where I felt a million times better in only 4 months! I am now entering my seventh month of treatment and I rarely have any bladder symptoms. When I do, they're very slight and not the horrifying pain and pressure I felt just seven months ago! I have also recently started going to the bathroom at night only one time instead of the 3-4+ times I used to go before this treatment.
If you have IC and you're struggling with the pain, the depression, the pressure, the sleepless nights etc..., please listen to me when I say that nothing else had helped me and no other doctor had any suggestions that were worth trying. Matia is very caring and patient. Just what a medical professional should be and she alone has diminished my IC symptoms along with other ailments I had and I know in the end I will be free to live my life without the symptoms of this dreaded illness, thanks to her.
Here's an update: I'm now a year and a half into treatment and am happy with my progress! I had extreme fatigue where I would not be able to even stand in my kitchen and cook and now I have enough energy to teach kindergarten all day long and then move furniture around in my classroom afterwards....heavy furniture I might add! That leads me to my new found strength! I have been so incredibly weak and am now able to not only lift everyday things without struggling, but like I said move furniture and work out using light weight or no weight on machines three times a week or so! These are HUGE gains for me!
I'm not always feeling 100 percent where fatigue is concerned, however I have MANY more less fatigue days and moments than before and MANY more energetic days now. As far as my bladder goes, well I don't have very many symptoms anymore. If I have endured a lot of stress, worry, anxiety, etc., or have a lot of emotional die off then I have bladder symptoms... same kind of thing: pressure, feeling like worms are crawling around in there, even level 1-2 pain which only lasts for a day and sometimes not even a full day, and just plain old discomfort. But, if I'm rolling along in life doing quite well where stress is concerned then I'm feeling nothing in my bladder! I don't go to the bathroom very often anymore I think I only go about twice a day during a work day where as before I was having to go every hour and a half and when I began treatment I was going constantly. During the night I get up once to go to the bathroom and I even have nights here and there where I don't get up at all!
I'm still going through some tough die off, but I physically feel a million times better and... I am beginning to feel NORMAL again.