Running a Marathon for Interstitial Cystitis Awareness
Hello friends, family, and all others!
First off, thank you for visiting my fundraising page. As some of you may know, I have began training for a marathon (Long Beach Marathon October 2019). This is a HUGE deal to me because I never thought I would be able to physically do so.
My Experience with IC:
I battle with a chronic condition called interstitial cystitis. Since around the time I was seventeen, I battled with what I thought were just really bad urinary track infections. Doctor after doctor would just through antibiotics at me and then call me a few days later to let me know I actually didn't have a UTI as there were no bacteria showing up in the cultures. I'd be left wondering what was causing this pain to the point that I began to question if it was even real or all in my head. I would lose sleep, spending hours stuck in the bathroom as the pain and urgency were so bad. As the years went on, the worse the pain and flare ups got. It effected every single part of my life including school, work, and friendships. I felt isolated, exhausted, and hopeless. The flare ups began to stay longer and get even more painful. (As brutal as this sounds and I apologize for the imagery, I would describe my symptoms as how it would feel to sit on a razor blade, sliding down hill all while peeing acid needles at the same time). I'd be up from 2AM until 7AM, counting down the minutes to when an urgent care would open so I could go get more antibiotics as I thought I just had really bad UTI's. I even had ER visits because I would be doubled over in so much pain that I knew something was not right. Eventually I hit my rock bottom. I was missing almost all my college courses because my flare ups and pain would keep me up at all hours of the night. I felt that I couldn't maintain friendships as I'd have flare ups out of nowhere and would have to cancel on plans last minute. My quality of life was SO LOW that I considered (and planned) taking my own life. I gave myself one last shot (thank god) at a solution by making an appointment with a urologist after a urgent care practitioner had taken a look at my file and suggested I do so. If I couldn't find relief with a urologist, I flat out just didn't want to live through the pain anymore. I couldn't handle much more. To anyone who has IC or any other chronic condition reading this, hold on and trust the process. Life is worth it.
Somehow, I managed to find the best urologist for my case on my first try. (Thank you forever Dr. Palmer) Finally, I had a doctor who listened to me and didn't just dismiss my pain. She took my case seriously. After going through with a cystoscopy, she determined that I had IC. Then we went on to discuss treatment plans and for the first time, I had a sliver of hope. A few months later into my treatment, my quality of life was slowly but surely getting better. Now, about a year and half into treatment I feel like a normal human being for the first time in SO LONG.
Why a marathon?
I'm able to go running again consistently and I'm so happy about it, I tear up sometimes because I'm just so f***ing thankful. This is a goal that I would of laughed at before treatment because it was so out of reach. I've dreamed of being able to just run in general but now I am able to seriously set this goal. I am so excited yet nervous for this year in my life. I feel ready finally and can't wait for this challege of my mind and body.
Types of Support:
Donations to this page: Money going to the ICA helps fund research for a cure, as well as resources for IC patients like me.
Physical Support: Show up to my marathon (October 2019, Long Beach CA), or any of my races, and just support me by giving me your presence.
Spreading Awareness: doing your own research into invisible illnesses like mine and educate others.
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