When my symptoms started, I had no idea what was wrong with me. After a year of suffering, I finally received my diagnosis.
In my last blog, Fighting the Flames Within: My Interstitial Cystitis Story, I talk a lot about the struggle with my symptoms.
It felt good to finally put a name to it—Interstitial Cystitis, or IC. Now, the question was, how do I find relief? My life felt like a constant road trip with no bathroom.
“How do you spell that?”
At the time, none of the doctors in my small town in central Pennsylvania had a clue about IC. Most of them had never treated a patient with it before, and it was obvious.
Pro tip: when a doctor asks you how to spell “Interstitial Cystitis” so they can look it up on the computer right in front of you, it’s time to walk out of their office.
So, I was twenty-one with a mysterious condition that seemingly came out of nowhere, no concrete answers for treatment options, and zero chances of long-lasting relief. It was an isolating experience that made me feel completely hopeless. I didn’t even know how to talk to other people about my condition.
Every new doctor visit gave me a sliver of hope that my bladder puzzle would be solved. But the more doctors I saw, the more frustrated I became.
My ongoing quest for knowledge about IC.
For the first few years after my diagnosis, my symptoms and pain were a constant source of frustration. I felt like a lab experiment. I tried several rounds of antibiotics, overactive bladder medications, antidepressants, antihistamines—everything. My symptoms persisted.
I constantly tracked what I was eating, tried elimination diets, monitored my water intake, and did a daily recap of my symptoms. I was also trying out trial medications, determined to get my old life back.
Looking back, there were so many things I didn’t know. For instance, I hadn’t known that IC symptoms and trigger foods varied from patient to patient. I also was unaware that there were other conditions associated with IC and the pelvic floor connection.
Right after my diagnosis, I had nowhere to turn but the internet. I browsed IC support message boards filled with sufferers who had the same concerns as me. We were all desperate and willing to try anything to calm our bladders.
I thought, Is this what my future looks like? I couldn’t believe that the medical community didn’t know more about IC.
If I had seen a doctor who knew about IC from the very beginning, it would have saved me a lot of pain. In my own search of relief, I signed up for several IC-related research studies, which included:
- Submitting my urine for a study to come up with a diagnostic test for IC.
- Experimenting with new drugs to treat the condition.
- Filling out every survey possible in hopes that my answers would help doctors diagnose and understand IC.
To this day, I’m still willing to participate in studies that push IC management to the forefront.
An unexpected partnership: Taddy x Femetry.
My partnership with Femetry began in 2021. I was selected to test out three new supplements that addressed inflammation, the lining of the bladder, and discomfort in the urinary tract. I was looking for any and everything to calm my flares.
Over the course of a few months, I found myself being able to drink coffee again! Every week, my bladder symptoms actually improved. I felt good about taking Femetry because I was familiar with the ingredients and knew they were safe. My bladder is so sensitive that I often hesitate trying new supplements or medications for fear of how my bladder would react.
Finally, I had found a safe supplement that helped ease my IC symptoms the right way. Drinking baking soda and water to relieve flares was getting kind of old. Since I loved the products so much, I wanted to get more involved and raise awareness.
I also really truly believed in the supplements. I even kept trying to get them to send me more when my supply ran out. I’m hopeful that others will try Femetry and find the same relief that I did. It’s been an amazing opportunity for me to be a voice for IC sufferers everywhere and help spread the word about Femetry!
From suffering with my bladder to becoming the Bladder Queen.
I knew what it was like to deal with IC on a daily basis (and still do). I wanted to help others. No one should have to go through the trial and error that I did while my symptoms only worsened. I was diagnosed with a mild case, but I had heard of so many patients who had severe cases.
My love for life, adventure, people, and my sense of humor keeps me going. I still hold hope that future research will help those with IC to live a better quality of life. I’ve crowned myself the Bladder Queen, always ready to spread the word about IC during my travels. I hope to connect with others who have this condition and help anyone I can with my story.
Trying to continue to fulfill my goals and get through every day with IC has made me a much stronger person. Dealing with ongoing symptoms of such an absurd condition makes me feel like I can handle anything that life throws my way.
I like to think that sharing my story with the public can give others some sort of hope and, more importantly, help someone with early symptoms find relief quicker. I’ve been working in the public eye for a good many years now and I hope to use that to create awareness and show the world the perspective of a patient living with IC every day.
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