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Being diagnosed with a second chronic illness

Being diagnosed with interstitial cystitis


Now this is not a woe is me post, I'm not writing it for sympathy, I'm writing it for me as a kind of therapy to work through my feelings. I am well aware there are plenty of people more ill than me, in more pain than me and suffering more than me, before anyone points that out, but to me, my diagnosis has been a blow.



For anyone that doesn't know, I was diagnosed with ME or chronic fatigue about 10 years ago, and although I am through the worst of it, it still affects me everyday, I am lucky to have recovered this far, as it is a chronic condition that not much is known about why a patient gets it and how to treat it, and there is no known cure. But like many chronic illnesses, it can seem to go into a remission for a time, to flare up again. So I am always respectful of my illness and listen to my body, I have learnt when to give in. 

I was diagnosed with Interstitial cystitis just before Christmas last year and it's been a hard pill to swallow. I have suffered with problems with my urinary system for many years, having my first UTI when I was 15, I have been plagued with them on and off for years. Three years ago after being ill with kidney stones, I was told by a urologist that I was one of a small percentage of women that suffer with chronic bladder infections and was given antibiotics to self  administer everytime I felt the start of an infection coming. This worked for a while until last year when the frequency of infection or what seemed like infection escalated. I took at least eight lots of antibiotics throughout the year, it all came to head in December when I felt dreadful, the antibiotics weren't working, and I saw several different doctors in emergency appointments, who gave me other antibiotics to try, despite my sample repeatedly showing no infection. They of course didn't work and in fact made me feel even more ill. In desperation on another emergency call to the doctors, I spoke to my current doctor who diagnosed me with irritated bladder syndrome or Interstitial Cystitis. The reason the antibiotics don't work is there is know infection, the symptoms are very similar to an infection, but know infection is found. The causes of the condition are unclear.

I am now taking daily medicine to help control the spasming of my bladder, in fact I am on my second attempt at finding a treatment, as the first drug I was given, I slowly started to respond to, but it gave me quite horrible side effects. I have been on this current treatment for about three weeks and it's starting to help. I've learnt the drugs take a while to work and results can be hit n miss.

I have also had to drastically change my diet as many food and drinks can irritate the bladder just like they do the stomach. I have given up caffeine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, citrus fruit, spicy food, soya and tomatoes. This is something I have found difficult as I have already excluded dairy from my diet due to IBS, my current diet is very restricting. I'm finding if something is dairy free it's often loaded with soya, I'm having to get my glasses out frequently to read every label and the allergens on every menu.

As yet the condition is not really under control, but I am hopeful, I will find a way to live comfortably with this illness, it just takes time.

If you want to read my Living with ME post click here.

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Just a quick thankyou for taking the time to read my blog, I really appreciate your comments and always read them.
Lots of love
Kate
xxx

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I'm Kate, Lover of clothes, skincare, makeup and chocolate biscuits, reader, not necessarily in that order Want to work with me email at k8te1976@gmail.com

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Before the Broken Star
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Days of Blood & Starlight
The Foyles Bookshop Girls
The Light Keeper
Daughter of Smoke & Bone
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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Beautiful Broken Things
Nobody's Girl
The Flatshare
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
It Felt Like a Kiss
The Muse
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Call Me By Your Name
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