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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pity Party

This is not me, but a reasonable facsimile.
I woke up and peaked my head out from under the covers.  I only feel good when my eyes are closed.  All I want to do is go back to sleep.  I have already slept 10 hours, but it doesn't feel like enough.  Today is Tuesday I have decided to go to the doctor today. I must be in a flare.

It all started Sunday.  I started feeling extreme pressure on my belly button  and pain all the way down my legs and every place in between. I felt like my stomach was going to explode. I felt like I had a UTI, if you know what that feels like.  For me a UTI has always been burning, frequency, urgency and extreme lower back pain.  I felt achy all over and I had a low grade fever. All of this to go along with my daily extreme nausea that I have had since I started back on Elmiron about 6 weeks ago.

I laid in bed on Sunday for a while, hoping that the pain would go away.  I thought about how I am spending so much time in bed now.  Much more than before Interstitial Cystitis (IC).  I thought of all the things I am missing out on. I could be enjoying a mid-life crisis now, instead I have IC.  I could be sowing my wild oats now, instead I have IC.  I could be watching the Pre-Game Super Bowl Show, instead I have IC.  Sarcasm aside, I felt pretty miserable.     

Jennifer Hudson and those beautiful kids!

I went to the doctor Tuesday for a bladder instillation (medicine inserted directly into the bladder via catheter).  I felt better the next day for a couple of hours.  Then I started feeling achy, my lower back was still hurting and I had a low grade fever.  I called the doctor's office and they said he could see me Thursday.  So I took some pain killers and went to work.

Thursday when I went to the doctor and I knew something was up when the nurse said he wants to talk to you first.  I didn't want to talk to him (very unusual, I normally have a list of questions to ask him) I just wanted another instillation and I was going to be out of there,see ya, thanks, bye!!  But he wanted to talk??!! 

 He said that a GI virus is going around and he thinks that is what I have.  The symptoms were achy all over, low grade fever, stomach pain and diarrhea.  I had almost all the symptoms.  I realized as an IC patient you spend so much of your time feeling bad that you don't even know when you have a virus.  You just think it is another day with IC.

I began to think, if I could just take some time off of work and get over this, that would be great!  If I had some other major illness, I probably would have finished my treatments by now and be back to a more "normal life." I am not trying to minimize other illnesses,by any means, I'm just trying to put it in prospective. I read this week that IC is a chronic illness.  For me, that describes my journey thus far...I'm dealing with a chronic illness.

This chronic illness has me stressed and I had a meltdown.  I like to call this one a controlled meltdown.  I felt very bad, but I hadn't totally lost my mind (like so many other times before).  On Tuesday, I told the doctor that I have to drag myself out of the bed everyday and then drag myself to work.  After I work for a couple of hours, I am totally wiped out.  I stay totally exhausted all the time. I told him that I know all the medications that I take make me tired, but that it still concerns me.  I also said it worried me to have to take so much time off from work to go to the doctor and physical therapy.  So he suggested I take more time off from work and go to a counselor.  What??!! Were you not listening to me??!!  When he suggested this I said that would be more time off of work for me. He said "maybe they can give you some tools to help you and you won't need so much time off from work."  

I thought, well who couldn't use some stress management techniques.  I am scheduled to start counseling in a couple of weeks.  This week has been one big pity party for me.  I have felt bad more days this month than good and I have felt sorry for myself.  It is hard not to do when you feel bad so much of the time.

God began to deal with me on this.  The book I am reading specifically talked about self-pity.  It says that self-pity is supported by thinking only of ourselves and no one else.  It also says that if we are not careful, we can actually become addicted to it.  With God there is always a new beginning available.  Self-pity keeps us trapped in the past.

Let Go And Let God

Isaiah 43:18-19

18 “Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.
Who has not longed for things in their past?  When you get older you long for your youth.  When you hurt all the time you long for your former body.  When you have a chronic illness you long for your health.  How much time do you waste in self-pity?  The answer is "way too!!!"
God is doing a new thing in our life!  We need to let go of the former things, quit feeling sorry for ourselves and make our way in the wilderness.  I know I need to practice what I preach!  It is not easy!!!  One of the best ways I have found to not have a pity party is to try to encourage or help others.  It takes the focus off of you and puts the focus on someone else.

So let's try not to feel so sorry for ourselves, look for ways to take the attention off of us and forget about dwelling in the past!  I think we will all feel better and we can learn to live our new life!

What do you do to take your mind of your illness,pain or health that helps you deal with it better? Please leave your comments below.
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