Well, I know it’s been several months since I last updated all of you. I finally wanted to let you all know that I have been diagnosed with interstitial cystitis. This is a bladder condition that everyone experiences differently, and it has a wide array of symptoms, so it is often difficult to treat or diagnose. But yet, it is possible to still enjoy life and make the most of every day.
At first, I felt alone in this struggle. This was before we knew what was wrong with me. But I remembered that God has always been there for me, so I literally cried out to him one day and he gave me the Bible verse, Exodus 14:14 NLT, which reads, “The LORD himself will fight for you, just stay calm.” At that point, we weren’t sure what was wrong with me. We didn’t have any answers, and we were facing a potentially major exploratory surgery that would have cost thousands of dollars that we didn’t have…even with our insurance…thanks to a high deductible. But after God gave me that verse, I had peace…I was able to see that he was providing for me. Within a few weeks of him giving me that verse, my friend, who also has IC, reached out to me and said that my symptoms sounded a lot like hers, and that she has IC. I began to research it and found an article in the Journal of Urology that stated that IC patients can have all of the non-bladder-reltaed symptoms I was experiencing, I began to feel more and more that there was something else that wasn’t so expensive to figure out. After one visit to a urologist that proved fruitless, and after discussing my findings with my gynecologist and my primary care doctor, we agreed that IC was most likely my ailment, and I was given a presumptive diagnosis, and I began following the IC diet and taking Amitriptyline for my bladder issues, and let me just say, they really help. There are days where the pain is bad, but they are far and few between, thankfully.
I am able to still enjoy life because I surround myself with those who love me. I try to live and work with a purpose, and I seek God in everything that I do. He is my number one source of strength. I pray and seek his word, and when I am feeling down, I go to him first. I am lucky in that I can still go out and ride horses, do photography, and other hobbies that I enjoy. But even if I couldn’t, I would probably stay home and write all day…to try to encourage others as much as possible.
It really is all a matter of perspective. I always tell my fellow people with this disease: WE have IC, it does not have US. This means that we can conquer it. Even if it becomes bigger than us and hard to manage, we can still be victorious over it, at least from an emotional standpoint. We must daily make the choice to say that life is good, and to choose to focus on God and the ways in which he has blessed us. We can make a difference in the lives of others by the way we choose to live. I may live with this disease, but I am not my disease. I will not let it impact how I treat others, how I view the beauty of the world around me, or how I live life in general. Rather, I will take the cards that life has dealt to me and seek the Lord and his guidance. I will trust him, and hold onto the hope that one day he will heal me from this disease. But even if he chooses not to do so in this life, I know that I will be made perfect and new in eternity, and that is the hope that I hold onto.
Life is worth living, no matter the struggle. Stay strong, my friends, my warriors. Fight through the pain. Whatever you’re facing, show it that you’re bigger than it…that your GOD is bigger and stronger than it. Amen.