I recently visited the doctors office for a routine check up for my Interstitial Cystitis. And what is Interstitial Cystitis you ask, well…to put it lightly, it’s chronic inflammation of the bladder wall. Unfortunately, three years ago I was stricken with immense pain in my bladder. At first everyone thought it was just bladder infections, but when the urinalysis started coming up clean and I was still in unfathomable pain, I knew that it had to be something else.
The pain hit me like a ton of bricks, it completely blindsided me, and began to run my life. I lost 25 pounds and spent several nights in the Hospital hoping someone would “fix” me. I saw countless doctors, all with big question marks on their foreheads. We ruled out the obvious, and I started to pin point my symptoms. Finally, I got a diagnosis…and it went something like this: “You have what’s called Interstitial Cystitis, you can’t eat chocolate, tomatoes, drink coffee or alcohol, you will have good days and bad days, we can give you something for the pain, but you are going to have this for the rest of your life. Okay then, have a great day…Bye.” There was no compassion, or “we can help with what your going through.” There was no hope, just this is your life now, deal with it. I have always been a positive person, but this was one of my all time lows. I couldn’t understand why this had happened to me. What did I do to deserve this? I began to realize how much we as people take for granted, and how much I took for granted in the past. I had been able to float through life pretty much unscathed, I couldn’t believe that I thought my life was so tough, when in actuality, it was a cake walk.
It took me some time to understand and get a grip of what my life had become. I was forced to completely reinvent myself, and peel off layers of my former life to create a new one. Frankly, I learned a whole helluva lot. And although being in chronic pain completely sucks, I am happy with who I have become. I found ways to deal with the pain, I started going to acupuncture, I quit drinking, I turned into a fashion lover, I started running. I had always hated running in school, I could barely run the mile in 13 minutes. But, somehow all that changed. I turn my ipod on and run, and it feels great! It takes my mind off the daily casualties of life. I feel powerful and strong, and for a moment my pain dissipates and all that firing of dopamine and serotonin go to my head and cause what they call a runners high, but I consider it more like a perfect moment.
I still have good and bad days, and sometimes the bad ones out-do the good, I can be pessimistic, and pissed off, but for the most part I try to focus on the good in life, and even if it’s for a second, fully enjoy those perfect moments. So, what’s your story? And what have you learned from it? Have you made lemonade with your lemons? Or are you still stuck with the sour lemons? I hope I have convinced you to get out their and find what makes you happy, because life is too short to have a basket full of sour lemons.