I guess I've had IC for about 16 or so years. I started off by getting repeated bladder infections that cleared up with antibiotics. Then I got one that wouldn't clear up, the symptoms continued, so my family doctor sent me to a urologist. They tried urethral dilations first. That felt like hell. I'm convinced it was some sort of masochistic torture device. Then they tried to get me to urinate while on some machine to measure, but I couldn't go even when they put me behind a curtain, so they didn't get any more information. I don't remember having any problems again for a while, maybe a year or so, when it came back. I went to a new urologist who diagnosed me with IC, saying that I was a type "A" personality and it was common with women like me. I think I was in my late 20's to early 30's. He prescribed hydrodilation for diagnosis and possible treatments. It hurt like crazy, but didn't work. He also tried DMSO treatments. I had 2 or 3 and my symptoms got better. I can't really remember if it was the hydrodilation or the DMSO that helped or in which order. I did some meditation after this and was pain free and symptom free for about 8 years.
Then the symptoms came back with a vengeance (frequency and pain). I went to see another urologist after trying antibiotics thinking it was an infection. I told him about my previous treatments and he suggested trying DMSO again. We tried this repeatedly over several years. The helpful effects never lasted more than about 3 months. Then he suggested trying several drugs including Elmiron, Elavil, and a few others that I can't remember now. The only one that appeared to help at all was Elmiron, but again this was temporary and it had the side effect of my hair getting thinner. Heaven knows what other side effects were happening that I couldn't see. Little by little my symptoms worsened and the periods of normalcy got further and further apart. My urologist said that the only other treatment he could suggest was daily self-instillations of heparin. I was afraid of this and getting more and more depressed.
I found websites for IC and read about the lack of knowledge and treatment options and just became more depressed. My urologist had given me the IC diet, which I tried religiously, but it did no good at all. Obviously it wasn't strict enough. I found a website with an Asian doctor some place back east that swore IC must be microbial and should be treated with a low dose of antibiotics for several years. I read some testimonies and decided to try it. I contacted him and sent him a urine sample. He sent me back the results saying a tested positive for the bacteria. My sister is a doctor so she prescribed the antibiotics which I took for several months. But, they didn't help. Things just kept getting worse.
Then one day when I was suicidal and at the end of my rope, I found the website with Bomamed and Matia on it. It saved me. I was very skeptical, but figured what did I have to lose. So here I am about 8 months later. I live about 1 1/4 hours drive from Matia, but I've been seeing her about once a month. Occasionally when I've felt bad, I had a phone appointment with her instead. I can't even begin to say how much better I feel. At first the diet was very hard and I felt deprived. Now (although I still miss the goodies), I'm used to it. It wasn't immediate, but it didn't take long before the number of good days started getting more frequent. Now I rarely have a bad day, and when I do it isn't even close to where I used to be on a pain scale. She is a miracle worker.