Urology check up; bladder ultrasound to ensure my bladder is releasing all the urine when I pee ((which it is 😄)) & testing the urine ((all clear!)) Interstitial cystitis (IC), painful bladder syndrome, is a crazy condition. It’s tough to diagnose, & though treatments can make life with it better, there’s no cure. The disease affects your social life, exercise, sleep, & ability to work. Symptoms include; Bladder pressure & pain that gets worse as your bladder fills up. Pain in your lower tummy, lower back, pelvis, or urethra. Urgent, often painful bathroom trips. You may have to pee as many as 40-60 times a day & up all night. The feeling you need to pee right now, even right after you go. I also have experienced fainting on the toilet when peeing due to the severity of pain. For women, pain in the vulva, vagina, or the area behind the vagina & it’s not unusual to experience pain during sex. About 5% to 10% of people with the condition get ulcers in their bladder — I’m part of this 5-10% which is why I must receive hydrodistention surgeries every 8-12 months to treat my bladder. Causes of IC are unclear but there are many ideas around it; A problem with bladder tissue lets things in your pee irritate your bladder. Inflammation causes your body to release chemicals that cause symptoms. Something in your urine damages your bladder. A nerve problem makes your bladder feel pain from things that usually don’t hurt. Your immune system attacks the bladder. Another condition that causes inflammation is also targeting the bladder. I believe I’ve had IC ever since I was kid. I’ve always had many of the symptoms & was diagnosed frequently with UTI’s while growing up. It wasn’t until 6 years ago that it became so severe that it was disabling. I could barely walk, I couldn’t get in or out of bed, the shower, or even on & off the toilet without assistance. I lost 40 pounds in a significantly short time. And to be perfectly honest during that time I often thought about how death would be so much easier than living in such extreme pain & sickness every single day. I’m so thankful now I never gave up & that I kept fighting for a life where I love waking up each day & living.