By now the hot burning poker stick from hell was pretty much a constant thing. I couldn't take it anymore and went to see my NP. Once again, a UTI, high white blood cell count. I was put on an antibiotic , Cipro, which was pretty much the only one that would work at this point. I was fine for a couple weeks, and then the urgency and burning was back full force. I went back to the Dr and again, had a high white blood cell count. Once again, he chalked it up to being Menopause. Early menopause does run in my family, so I agreed and went home.
I guess I just got used to the burning. It was like that nagging bee that just won't leave you alone. You learn to live with it. I read up on Menopause , and learned about Vaginal Atrophy. Vaginal Atrophy happens when the vaginal wall thins during menopause. It can cause a burning sensation. Once again I was convinced it was just menopause. I did my normal daily routine, and kicked up my workouts because they made the pain go away.
I couldn't help but think I had something else wrong with me. The pain wasn't coming from my uterus, or my stomach. It was directly where my bladder was. Sometimes I would get really bloated and I could feel a bubble sensation in my bladder. Other times it felt like there were little rocks in my bladder. I decided to go back to the Dr. I told him all my symptoms and he kinda looked at me like I was crazy. Hell, I was starting to think I was crazy. He prescribed me Vesicare and off I went. The Vesicare did nothing. I was back in the Dr's office the next week. My plan was to go every week until somebody did something for me.
I go to a walk in medical facility, so on this particular day my regular Doctor was not there. I was going to see a new Dr, a Woman this time. I decided I was going to be very detailed with this Dr hoping maybe, just maybe she would be able to help me. We do have the same girl parts. I asked her several questions , such as could it be from using " toys" in the bedroom, or maybe hurt from something new my Husband and I had tried.
She laughed , and said no. She asked me if I wanted her to do a Vaginal exam, and I couldn't get my clothes off fast enough. I have never been that excited to have a vaginal exam. She took a culture , and we discussed putting me on a hormone creme called Estrace which is supposed to help with Vaginal Atrophy. Ughhh, back to the whole Menopause game.
First of all, it is not fun putting a creme up your " hoo ha". It feels like when you were a kid and your mom shoved Vicks up your nose. The Estrace made me cramp a lot, but I kept using it hoping for a miracle. Three days later my nurse called and said the culture results showed I had a slight yeast infection. My first thought was " of course I do, I've been on a zillion antibiotics." I was told to stop using the Estrace, that the pain was just from the yeast infection , and to go back on antibiotics.
First of all, sorry if this is tmi, but I had no vaginal discharge. I had been having this pain for two years now, how the heck could it be from a yeast infection? Of course I googled yeast infections. #gross
Knowing that I didn't have a yeast infection, I still took my antibiotics. When I finished, and the pain was still there, I went back to the Dr. I was averaging a trip every two weeks. I was beyond frustrated. My regular Dr was there and I must of looked pretty bad because he actually looked concerned this time. He referred me to a Urologist, and said I needed a Cystocopy.I went home and waited for the phone call.
When the call finally came, I was beyond excited. I just knew they would be able to help me. I was in full flare by now, blood when I wiped. It hurt to sit down, it hurt to lay down, it even hurt to stand. I practically lived in the bath tub. The Soonest they could get me in was the following month. I was happy and sad all at once. Once again I felt defeated. I drank gallons and gallons of cranberry juice hoping it would help. It's funny how they tell you to drink cranberry juice for your bladder. It's actually not a good thing to drink if you have IC, I was just making my flares worse.
The day of my appointment I was so excited. It was like Christmas. I went in , filled out my paperwork, and waited. As I said before, when you are in a flare it hurts to sit. I sat in that waiting room holding my pee for an hour and a half. I was in agony, but still excited to get my Cystoscopy. I practically peed myself when they called me back. I gave my urine sample, and a little more, and went to the exam room. I sat there by myself for at least another 30 minutes staring at the cystoscope. That thing is huge! I was getting very nervous now with that thing staring me in the face.
The nurse finally came in and said I was in the wrong room. She moved me to another room where I waited a good 20 minutes more. Finally the Dr came in and said we would not be doing the Cystoscopy today, but instead a Vaginal exam. I cussed him out in my head. Again, felt totally defeated. He said he needed to rule out any uterine problems. Everything checked out fine, like I knew it would. I was given my next appointment, another month, and my pre-op instructions.
I broke down in the car crying and called my husband. I just wanted to feel better. Why wouldn't anyone help me?
My pain was really bad at this point. I ate Pyridium like it was candy. It was the only thing that remotely helped. I read the pre-op papers over and over and researched about the Cystocopy procedure. I googled anything that had to do with the bladder. I bought some herbs that were supposed to help, praying for another miracle. One of my clients recommended that I try a powder called Clear Tract. Of course I immediately ordered it. Clear Tract is 100% d-mannose in powder form. You put a scoop in your water and drink it of course. It had no flavor whatsoever, and it seemed to calm my flare. The hot poker stick from hell was still there, but not burning so hot anymore.
My appointment day came, and my husband went with me this time. Once again we waited about an hour in the waiting room, before being called in for my urine sample.
We waited in the exam room another 20 minutes, when the nurse came in. She asked me if I was currently being treated for a UTI. I looked at her like "duhhh."She asked if I was taking Pyridium, and I said yes. Ten minutes later the Dr came in and said he couldn't do the Cystoscopy because I had too many things in my urine. I teared up and looked at my husband. I had followed the pre-op papers, made sure I hadn't taken any medication that were listed. I was obviously upset, almost crying. I told him Pyridium and clear tract were not on my " do not take" list. He said we'd have to reschedule. Not only was I upset , but my husband was too at this point.
We walked back up to reception to schedule my appointment. While the receptionist was trying to find an appointment my husband and I discussed just going somewhere else. I told the receptionist to go ahead and schedule my appointment, but I may just find someone else. Once again, another month in pain.
I immediately started looking for another Urologist, like literally while we were driving home. I found one that a client of mine was seeing and called to schedule an appointment, but I needed a referral. Ughhh, that meant back to my regular Dr.
I waited another two weeks for the new Urologist to call back. When he did call, we did a brief over the phone consult, He informed me that he didn't treat bladder pain like I was having, but rather just bladder incontinence.
I decided to go ahead and keep the appointment with the first Uro, and go ahead and get the Cystoscopy. I made sure I had absolutely no meds in my system so we wouldn't have any reason not to do the Cystoscopy. This meant no Pyridium, which I was basically living on. Needless to say, it was a long two weeks. To be continued.................