I faced my fear today and it was likely the hardest thing that I have had to do for my autoimmune life so far. Today was the dreaded day of the cystoscopy, or bladder scope. I have been dreading and avoiding this particular procedure for over two months, but at long last the day came for the procedure. More than the procedure, today was the day that I was to get a formal, official diagnosis of whatever this is that is causing my chronic bladder pain. My poor husband had his hands so full of me prior to the procedure. I was in tears, shaking with anxiety and hyperventilating beyond control. Luckily, my doctor had prescribed an anti-anxiety medication for the occasion and it did help – immensely.
When we arrived I forced my husband to go inside and check me into the appointment. I needed a few minutes outside to pull myself together, or at least that is what I tried to do. Anxiety was overpowering me by this point of my adventure, and I was melting down on the inside. Once the medical staff was ready for me, they called my cell phone and escorted us right into the appointment. Cue my anxiety! This is where it got so bad that I was hyperventilating. My nurse was absolutely amazing with me and my anxiety issues. She soothed me by talking with me and going super slow on everything that was about to happen. I was almost relaxed by the time she brought the equipment into the room.
Before the procedure started, the nurse applied the lidocaine to numb the area. She knew that I was scared, so she did it double for me. Bless her! She reassured me of everything that was about to happen and by the time she was talking to me my anxiety was nearly gone. She had such a beautiful energy that put me at ease about everything that was about to happen to me. Before the doctor arrived in the room, my husband was practically in the bed with me. He was able to have his arms wrapped completely around me and was practically in the bed with me. I was surprised and relieved to learn that the doctor would have no problem with this. I have never been more comfortable for a medical procedure as I was when Michael was holding me from behind, reassuring me just by being there for and with me. I have never been in a medical office that was this accommodating to my special needs, and I’m sure in the future my anxiety will be less and less when I deal with this particular office.
Once the doctor came in, he spent a few minutes discussing my issues and special needs and telling me what he is going to do and what to expect. His voice was very calming and soothing. He put me at ease by taking the extra time to discuss. He had been informed at great length about my anxiety and other pertinent issues that I won’t go into here. When the scope was inserted, searing pain went through my body. I screamed at the top of my lungs and wrapped my arm around Michael’s arm and screamed it out. The procedure itself lasted just a few minutes and I was so glad when he removed the scope from me.
After the procedure, the doctor took a few more minutes to go over what was seen. There were a few areas of inflammation that he noted having seen. I have no ulcerations or areas that require biopsy at this time. He did say that this is interstitial cystitis due to the clinical symptoms that I have. He recommends I go through with the bladder instillations that have been previously discussed with my Nurse Practitioner. I have a follow-up appointment next month to schedule the next step or steps.
Now that I’m home the real work starts. I am emotionally drained from the physical and emotional stress that I put my body though. I want to cry and scream. I want to run to the hot shower and rip my skin off. I hate these types of appointments that leave me feeling traumatized. Visits like this do no justice considering all of the progress I was making lately. I need to take some time to process everything that happened today so that I can put it all behind me. Thanks for giving me space to release this all.
Stay safe autoimmune warriors and friends and family. Love and light now and always!