4.23.2002

I've suffered from urinary tract/system problems all my life. Since early childhood, I've had unusual amounts of bladder and kidney infections. I suffered from bed wetting until I was nearly 12 years old. I can't remember how many times my mother would be awakened by either me timidly calling to her, or hearing me rustling around after waking up in a cold, wet bed. She would either silently, mechanically change the sheets with hardly a word, or (more likely), scold me as she worked for wetting the bed, telling me not to drink before bed, and later saying I could stop if I 'really tried'. I was very confused when she'd say that, because I knew if there was any way, I would stop. No one was more motivated than I was. But I didn't stop. Not for years. In the meantime, I had such severe infections, I was tested, prodded, catheterized, pumped full of dye and x-rayed so many times, that if anyone should be phobic of hospitals and doctors, I should have been. I wasn't, and still am not. I just remember coping with it all, and sometimes learning interesting things from it. I was fascinated with the instruments, how my body reacted. Overall, I met some very caring people. I had interesting experiences! I guess, looking back, I'm rather glad to have went through it all...

In my adult life, things settled down a bit, but I've had my moments...several (but not nearly as often or as severe) urinary tract infections, plus I had to have a kidney stone removed. After that, I had to have a couple of treatments where dye was injected via the urethra; it contained medicine for treatment of a condition I have developed in recent years called interstitial cystitis. These treatments were some of the most painful I've ever had. After the second one, I vowed NEVER AGAIN. I went in search of a second opinion from another urologist. He told me about a new drug called Elmiron. Thankfully, it has worked for me. It helps the body develop a thickened lining in the bladder, which in turns helps prevent inflammation of the urethra (my condition) which can be painful in various ways. It's rather hard to describe to someone that hasn't experienced it, and it varies from person to person in the way the pain manifests itself.