• Posted by christinapannell
  • 10 Feb 2010

Hi to all with this horrible IC. My name is Christina. I am sharing my story about my struggle with my IC and health life. All through my life I have had medical issues. When I was born in January 1980, I had Beta Strep (Strep B). The strep got into my bloodstream and I was hours from death when it was found. I was on massive antibiotics to keep me alive. Thanks to the Lord I am alive now. When I was approximately 12 years of age, I started having ovarian cysts. These cysts were the beginning of my medical problems that would follow. As well as ovarian cysts I also had horrible menstrual cycles and lots of pain. At this point, still not sure why I was hurting all the time or what was going on with me. January 13, 2006 I had my first surgery. This surgery was a laproscopic surgery and a DNC. After this surgery I was diagnosed with Endometriois, (As we all know IC and Endo can run together). Also I had an ovarian cyst the size of a grapefruit. There was a period of 8 to 10 weeks that I felt much better, felt like I was normal to an extent again.  The pain returned by middle of March. In April 2006 I was back at the gynecologist again. After an exam it was determined that my endometriosis had gotten worse in 5 months then it had in the 2 years before. I was scheduled for testing and went back to the Dr. in June 2006. This is one of the days that changed my life, I was told that I would be having a complete hysterectomy. August 11,2006 the hysterectomy took place. By mid October I was back at the gynecologist afraid that something went wrong with the hysterectomy. I couldn’t stand without hurting, sit, or even lie on the bed without being in agony. When I went to the Dr. he then tells me that it is my bladder. I went to a urologist that I will call Uro #1. He did a urine specimen and said that there was no infection so therefore he didn’t know what could be causing this pain. I did have a hard time with the result of the first uro appt. so I suffered with pain for about 6 months. The pain slowly getting out of control I had to find out what was going on with my body. I went to Uro #2, he was not real sure what was going on with my body but really wanted to find out what was causing pain. My first bladder procedure took place on June 26, 2007. This procedure consisted of Trigone Cauterization, Cystoscopy, Hydro distention, and a Urethral Dilation. After the procedures I was diagnosed with severe trigonitis (after researched this is mistaken for Interstitial Cystitis). The next procedure was a Prefyx Urethra Sling Suspension on August 14, 2007. My Urethroscopy revealed that my urethra is tight around a 17 font scope. After all treatment options and no relief the uro wasn’t real sure what to do anymore. Therefore I found another Urologist, This one will be called Uro #3. This Uro did an in office cystoscopy and it was very painful for me, he then suspects IC and sends me to an IC specialist. This IC specialist will be called Uro #4.  On the first appointment for Uro #4, they did some testing on me. The test consisted on Catheterizing me( I might add very painful) to empty my bladder, fill it back up, me telling them when I felt something going on in my bladder, and watching it empty. This test did not come back normal (don’t have the exact results). When I see the Uro after the testing he prescribes me meds to try to help with the incontinence. This next part does not make any sense at all,  When the bladder control meds did not work, he then says  I am just fat and needs to lose some weight and then I will feel better. Grr very upsetting words.  Well after that I found myself again another Urologist. This one is Uro #5. As of July 23,2008 I had my first appointment with him and right off he knew that it was Interstitial Cystitis just by going by my records.  August 6,2008 this uro also did an in office cystoscopy  and his assessments were confirmed. He put me on meds and the IC diet and I went home not knowing real for sure what was going on with my body, scared to death at this point, I had never heard of IC at all until this day. August 11,2008 I went in for a cystoscopy and Hydro distention. As of August 8,2008 I was having horrible pain. There was blood traces found in my urine on this day as well but no infections.  November 19,2008 we started the instillation’s that consisted of Elmiron. After 4 weeks of instillation’s trying to help with the IC and no relief Uro #5 admits that he got in over his head. I was sent to another IC specialist which is classified as Uro #6. She is a good urologist but not real for sure what to try because of so many failed treatment options.  I see Uro #6 about once every 3 to 6 months, unless having problems and then I see her sooner. I had a Urinary Tract Infection in October 2009. I was given bactrim to help with the infection.  She did try me on something light for pain but that did not help so therefore I was sent to pain management. I am also seeing a specialist for my Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. I am doing trigger point therapy (which is hard on me because of pain). The pressure points on some days can give me some relief for about 2 hours at the most. I have went from a 9 to a 7 or 8 so I am thankful for the help that I do get. My pain Dr has tried many treatment options including an epidural. My pain had become less while the epidural was in effect. Within fifteen minutes of leaving the hospital the pain was already coming back into effect. Even on the  medications I am on right now I am still at a pain scale of 7 to 10. My pain management Dr. also diagnosed me with Vulvodynia. I actually seen my Pain Management Dr as of February 10,2010 and was given another med on top of everything else I am taking. If this fails I will be having another procedure done in March. Interstitial Cystitis has drastically changed my life in many ways. I used to be an outgoing person and very happy person.  I used to love going places and just being outside a lot of the time. Now I stay close to the bathroom, I have horrible incontinence, and severe self esteem issues. Also before IC I was much smaller but because of the pain and etc, that I go thru I don’t have the energy to do much else. I thank you reading my story, I really don’t know where I would be without the support of my wonderful family and my Best Friend Cathy. She is truly a Godsend. I will keep everything updated as new things and treatment options  progress.  Thank you.

  • Posted by MS.T
  • 05 Feb 2010

Well let me move on to the next surgery. With so many issues with me not being able to urinate they thought something needed to be done. So I was put into the hospital where they tried the stretching again but this time they put in some medication that was suppose to help it stay stretched. They did nothing but cause me a whole lot of pain. At this point I was tired and I told them that they were not gonna do another surgery. I have to say for the first maybe 3 years the pain was manageable. I was still able to enjoy my life. I was working and partying like always. Then I got a pap smear and it came back that I had some cancerous cells. So here I went again..with the surgeries. I had to have my cervix scrapped and frozen. I have to say having your cervix frozen is the weirdest thing I have every felt. I could feel it melting all day and night. Just imagine someone putting ice in your vagina and you are walking around while it melts. That is a real crazy feeling! LOL!! Thank God they were able to get it all no chemo or anything like that. For that I am more than grateful. They thought that I had endometriosis. That seems to run hand in hand with IC which is rare but I know a lot of people have both. Go figure. MY IC started to flare up again after I had an upper and lower GI for my ulcers. This is when the pain started to interfere with my daily life. At this time I had no insurance so I was going through the medication companies to try to get help with paying for the meds. At this time I was on Elmiron, Macrobid & codeine. The pain meds were not easy to get though. I moved to Texas and I was doing great for the first couple of months. I got an infection out of this world and they couldn’t find the right antibiotics so this started a flare. I started seeing a new urologist so you know that meant going through so of the same procedures all over again. I had the stretching and polyps surgery again (Hydrodistension). I was still have problems with urinating and it began to vary some days I couldn’t go and others I couldn’t stop. They asked me to keep a diary of the times I urinated and I had to measure the amount that was coming out. I did this for a month so they could see what was happening. The doc said that when I urinated I was not emptying out my bladder fully. The next surgery he tried to do something to where the hole from the badder to the urethra would get bigger. I can’t tell you what that was called because I don’t recall. When this didn’t work he had me to start using the catheter 4 times a day. I hated this but I wanted to feel better. During this time I got a pain management doctor who first prescribed me Loratab. I have to be honest when the drugs became more powerful I got scared so I wasn’t taking them. I didn’t want to become an addict. I would see him once a month and he was beginning to wonder why my pain was getting worse every visit. One day he asked if I was taking the medication as he prescribed it and I said no and he had a fit!! I had to explain to him why I wasn’t taking it and he understood. He gave me a good tongue lashing and I started taking the meds. They kept having to change my medication because it wasn’t working. My urologist finally decided to tell me that I was the worst IC patient he has ever seen. He has been a urologist longer than I have been living, that wasn’t good too hear. He was honest and I asked to always be that way. The next step was these DMSO treatments. These things are horrible. You lay on your back they put in a catheter and then they push in the DMSO medication. You lay on your back, and both sides for 10 minutes each. You have to keep this liquid in for 30 mins. I can barely hold my urine that long. You do these treatments for 4 weeks once a week. The medication burns the inside your bladder and when you urinate it out. For me, my bladder burned the entire time the treatments were going on. I have this done at least 5 times or more and it didn’t work. The DMSO medication is suppose to help re-coat you bladder walls. It didn’t change mine. It also is suppose take care of the inflammation you are having in your bladder. That didn’t work for me in that way either. I was tired by this time. You know you get tired of being poked and prodded by doctors. Well it’s 3:30 am I need to try to get some sleep. I will finish real soon.