My schedule has changed dramatically the last month and as a result, I have to get up at 6am rather than 7 or 8, which may not seem like a big deal to most people but that extra hour makes all the difference to me, no matter when I fall asleep the night before.
In order to make the transition a little easier, I decided to backslide on my no-coffee rule. I stopped, for the most part, drinking caffeinated, regular coffee a few months back as I have Interstitial Cystitis and thought I’d see if it removing this major trigger would help things. However, I have found I can drink a cup or two every so often and not suffer as a result.
I think the “perfect storm” however was adding extra stress of the new schedule to the situation.
Ordinarily, I drink Puroast low-acid decaf French roast if I really need that feeling of holding a cup of something warm and delicious. I love coffee, so this is the next best thing and doesn’t trigger any reactions in me. However, I can buy low-acid French roast at Trader Joe’s, the kind WITH caffeine, and every so often have a cup, or two.
Unfortunately, my new stressor is going back to school full time, and by day three of having a cup of caffeine, even with it being low-acid and even with adding acid-reducing supplements to it, I went into a full IC flare. And here it is, the fourth week of school, and it’s still going on, though I stopped drinking coffee that third day.
So tomorrow, I’ll be going in for possibly my first “rescue installation” and I’m nervous. Sure, I’ve heard they can really make a difference in your life, but I’ve never been catheterized before (except during my diagnosis, and I was anesthetized at the time so that doesn’t count), plus I’m worried it won’t work. Because it’s not so much my bladder that’s bothering me, but my pelvic floor muscles feel like they are in a nearly constant Charley horse. When this happens, which doesn’t happen to every person with IC (guess I’m just lucky!), it can range from mildly uncomfortable to excruciating, writhing around, trying to get comfortable, feeling like the worst shoulder spasms you can imagine, only you can’t actually massage them. Because they’re inside of you.
Apparently, the connection is that when your bladder gets fired up, the nerve center down there starts going out of control and other body parts, including your digestive tract and pelvic muscles, get triggered, too, and go into spasm, which is called pelvic floor dysfunction.
Hopefully, the rescue instillation will calm down my bladder (the ingredients vary but often include lidocaine which numbs things up) and as a result, calm down my spasming muscles. Crossing my fingers!