Yesterday I had my first “Elmiron cocktail.” Mmmm, doesn’t that sound good? Well, Elmiron isn’t something you drink. You can take it as a pill, or you can have a medical professional mix it with other things (shaken, not stirred) and then they will instill this mixture into your bladder in the great hope you may see improvement in your interstitial cystitis symptoms.
The way my doctor mixes up an Elmiron cocktail is to include: Pentosan Polysulfate (that’s Elmiron), Heparin (used for blood clots), lidocaine (numbing agent, it’s in oral meds for canker sores and toothaches), and sodium bicarbonate (alkalizes the solution – chemical compound formula NaHCO3).
This “cocktail” gets instilled, via catheter, into my bladder, where I’m instructed to let it remain for an hour. It’s more difficult at first because it feels like I have to go RIGHT THEN. But the lidocaine starts working its magic, and I stop noticing it at all.
This is my first instill of a twice-weekly schedule for 16 weeks. I’m also trying to stay away from all the foods forbidden by the IC diet, which I haven’t completely avoided to this point (every so often I have a little coffee, and it’s hard not to break down and eat some chocolate at times).
But I figure if I’m willing to go through this procedure which is both expensive and a little bit damaging to my dignity (though they’re medical professionals and do their best to make it not seem awkward), then I have to get more strict with the diet, because I want to make sure the indescribable pain I’ve been going through the last month that I’ve been having an IC flare stays away as long as possible.
OK, it’s not indescribable, it’s kind of like sitting on a corkscrew while two butcher knives and a very rough machete are chopping up my lower abdominal organs. Translation: no fun.
So no more coffee, no chocolate (sob!), no wine, no vinegar, no fun… but maybe a few months down the line I’ll be doing well enough I can sneak a few of those things back in for a special occasion or two. Low acid coffee exists. White chocolate isn’t soooooo horrible (really). And who knows, the holidays are coming up, right?