Monday, October 6, 2014

A Tale of IC

So, awhile ago, I wrote about my jerk faced bladder. After all kinds of horrific bladder-related tests, including the one where they put me under general anesthetic to fill up my bladder like a big festive balloon until it cracked, I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis.

Interstitial Cystitis or IC, is basically punishment from Satan in the form of the feelings of a UTI (urinary tract infection) because your bladder lining is faulty, with none of the therapeutic possibilities of things like antibiotics or cranberry juice.  In fact, cranberry juice is one of the things that makes it worse.

When I first started feeling the effects of IC, I was guzzling cranberry juice like a person desperate not to have yet another UTI, which only made my bladder angrier and angrier.

And then, like a misunderstood teenager, it began to self-injure

Once I figured out that I probably had IC, two years before it was finally diagnosed, I immediately started an IC diet to try to appease the angsty beast that was living in my groin, and it worked pretty okay, though it was (and is) inconvenient.

Basically nothing with acid, sourness, caffeine or deliciousness.

But, I also found that certain medicines that I had been prescribed for other issues also tore the hell out of my bladder. At 4:45 on a Friday about a year ago, I found myself on the phone, pleading with my urologist's office to give me something to stop the bladder pain before I found a bridge to jump off during the weekend.

What I got worked well enough that I did not have to go out searching for appropriately tall bridges. It is a handy dandy pill that I dissolve under my tongue made from the root of the mandrake. Mandrake or mandragora, if you remember from Harry Potter, is a powerful restorative.  It is used to return people who have been transfigured or cursed, to their original state.
 Actually, wait, no, it is an antispasmodic drug that soothes the muscles, so, I guess it would work to unpetrify someone who had been petrified by a basilisk (spoilers, sorry), as well as someone who has ridiculous cramps in their bladder that makes them feel like they have to pee every 2 seconds.

I was also introduced to the "Bladder Cocktail" which is likely not as fancy as it sounds at all.

Basically, it is the most wonderful thing ever invented, surely sent from any god that might exist who doesn't like punishing people for having a bladder. It's a mixture of lidocaine and heparin that coats your bladder and numbs the crap out of your bladder wall.

Now, you are likely wondering, like I was when this was first described to me... so... you just pee on yourself? Somehow, this magical concoction from heaven doesn't affect your ability to feel a full bladder, it just stops all the pain associated with having pee in your bladder, which is part of the actual problem with Interstitial Cystitis.

Now, there is a drug to coat your bladder with magic that is on the market called Elmiron, and it works pretty nicely, but it does have side effects.  In my case, along with a bunch of other drugs, it beat the hell out of my liver and I ended up in the ER thinking I was dying of liver failure where I was advised to maybe stop taking pills that were killing my liver. It also beats up your stomach really badly because it is housed in a capsule made of pure evil, but switching it into a generic gelatin pill capsule is enough to combat that... but not if your liver isn't working.

So... I have a crappy bladder disease, and I am managing it with mandrake pills and emergency bladder cocktails when the disease flares beyond what I can control with diet, because I can't handle the pill that would make my life normal, which is part of why I decided to write this post; because right this very moment, my disease is flaring and my mandrake doesn't seem to be working so I called my doctor's office for my "you can come in any time, immediately, no problem, emergency bladder cocktail" and immediately, in this case, translates to "in 11 days." ELEVEN DAYS!!!!

So, I figured you should know what happened, just in case I can't find relief and need to find a suitably tall bridge before I can make it to next Thursday.


  1. Well that fucking blows. I'm really sorry to hear you're having such a bad go of things.

  2. 11 days, wrf?!?! Sorry to hear about this whole lousy thing...and that you cant even soothe yourself with chocolate!

  3. I blame Eve for all the 'female problems' women are plagued with. Just because her eyes were bigger than her belly and she couldn't listen to a simple instruction, she just had to go and eat the most boring fruit in the garden known to man.

    Sorry to hear that you're in so much pain. 11 days is a ridiculous amount of time to wait.


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