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Bladder advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by mrsdt, Dec 31, 2021.

  1. mrsdt

    mrsdt New Member

    TL;DR: Urethra pressure and urgency for the past month, making me very anxious. Looking for advice on how I can better accept TMS and resolve the issue through emotional awareness, and specifically a feeling of ‘incomplete’ certainty that it’s not a ‘structural’ diagnosis. A specific fear of sex increasing symptoms. Any input on breaking the fear would be so helpful. Thank you so much!

    Hello all, new poster here hoping to get some input from anyone who could take the time to read this. I discovered TMS three years ago via back pain. I had the structural checks and nothing was wrong, and I had the signs of the pain being anxiety-induced (also the TMS personality). My back pain healed, not to return, through acceptance, awareness and journalling. You can imagine the elation.

    Then, about a month ago, I started experiencing significant urethra pressure and almost-constant urgency. No UTI. I started googling other physical causes, and became worried it was interstitial cystitis. The more I stressed about something being wrong, the worse it got. I caved and tried adapting to the IC diet, but something in me didn’t feel right about the whole thing. IC seemed too broad and unexplained. I knew anxiety was making my symptoms worse, but it took me until this Monday to make the connection with TMS being the cause. I read all the bladder-related posts on the forum and it resonated. The relief was great as I strongly believe in our ability to ‘heal’ things in our minds. This week my symptoms improved significantly so further evidence its TMS. However, a few things I’m struggling with that I’d really welcome some input on…
    • I’m trying to ignore the IC food restrictions and convince myself that the cause of the symptoms is mental. But, my success has been mixed. A part of me is still anxious about certain ‘bad bladder’ foods.
    • I have a fear about sex inducing the symptoms. I’ve been avoiding sex because of this and the few times I have had sex, symptoms have worsened. This was my prompt for posting. I had sex yesterday and during, immediately afterwards and since, I’ve had terrible pressure and urgency. I had a deep journalling session last night in hopes it would help but it didn’t appear to physically. This is getting to me especially as a newly married.
    • I have no infection/diabetes/kidney problems. I know there may be other psychical causes but with limited finances I’m really hoping I can ‘test’ if this is truly TMS before I spend more on scans. I think herein lies my problem with acceptance, I can’t feel certain because I haven’t been able to check off other diagnoses, but to truly ‘test’ for TMS I need to let myself believe it is completely psychologically caused.
    If anyone could weigh in on any of these things holding me back that would be mean the world to me.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2021
  2. Ann Miller

    Ann Miller Well known member

    I'll weigh in.
    First of all, big hug to you. Bladder pain can be very frightening. All the groin/bladder/ pelvic region pain has an extra layer of vulnerability to it that I think need to be recognized because of its location. Kudos to you for realizing that stress has increased your pain. And the nerve endings in that area make it especially prone to mind/body pain. Doubts are natural in this process. Fighting doubt with logic is always the way to conquer it. So logically, you know that you are susceptible to mind/body issues because you had and successfully got rid of back pain doing this work. That means that the chance that this is a symptom imperative is very high. You've ruled out infection etc. So what else could it be? IC is a tms equivalent.

    I'm an old married woman so I feel free to play armchair therapist and tell you that you are having big emotions about your marriage as it relates to your sex life. Maybe you feel tied to this man sexually in a way that you have not yet explored. Maybe you feel obligated to perform in a way that you have not yet explored. Maybe you feel vulnerable in a way that you have not yet explored. Maybe you feel disappointed in a way you have not yet explored. All of these would explain why sex now creates issues for you and prevents your full participation and enjoyment. There's something right here. You say you had success with journaling. Here is the place to dig. It may take many journaling sessions over a period of time. If you find yourself getting off topic during the journaling, you can bet your last dollar that is your brain trying to distract you from your excavation. Gently redirect.
    Wishing you all the best. You conquered pain before; you will again.
  3. mrsdt

    mrsdt New Member

    @Ann Miller, wow, thank you so much! Your sympathy, understanding and food for thought are very appreciated. Since I posted this a few hours back, pain has become very strong around my whole lower stomach and pelvic region. I usually struggle with a pressure feeling, not this stabbing pain so it seems quite significant. As I read your words peace and comfort flooded over my body. You are so right with the heightened vulnerability attached to this area, and I think that a whole host of unconscious fears are likely in effect related to this (some like you mentioned like being able to please my partner, and my ‘biological’ value I guess as a young woman hoping to raise a family in coming years). I think there may be an emotional vulnerability to intimacy that my body is trying to protect me from with this pain. I will consider your suggestions as I journal. It’s good to remember that it might take some consistency and patience, I can forget this and want to ‘think and process’ the pain away more instantly.

    I’m so glad you came across this post - thank you for your words.
    Ann Miller likes this.
  4. SSS

    SSS Peer Supporter

    @mrsdt I totally understand your anxiety about the bladder pain and IC. I've struggled with this for several years and lots of bladder pain and reading on IC forums. I came to this forum for muscle pains but also think its very applicable to pelvic and bladder issues. I'm slowly inching into trying different foods overtime as since I've been on some type of IC diet for 5+ years, its really hard to suddenly switch to just eating or drinking anything. The IC forums are super scary and seem to imply that even a microscopic amount of the list (constantly changing) foods will cause a lot of harm. Its also hard to experiment since you can't be oblivious to what you eat and therefore the suggestion of pain after eating can be very strong. My suggestion is to try small amounts of new foods and see how it goes. Pelvic pain can make you feel very broken since it connects strongly with intimacy and sex, give your self time to try different things and heal.
  5. mrsdt

    mrsdt New Member

    I’m glad we came across each other. As much as I wish you hadn’t also struggled with this, there is always comfort in feeling understood. Have you read many of the other posts on bladder pain on the forum here? I’ve found great help in and from those - to the point where I’m convinced that overactive bladder and tension without a structural root is created by tension. But the ease of eating any food/drink is still implicated by the concern that the anxiety about the pain will actually induce the pain. There’s so much self coaching involved! But I try to see that as a positive thing as we can reap the benefits of being able to self coach in so many other areas :) Well done to you for experimenting. It will definitely pay off. I am pleased to share that I’ve been eating spicy food, acidic juices, and chocolate, since I posted on Friday, and I really haven’t experienced a worsening of symptoms when I do. My pain has completely gone, and I’m still peeing loads, but not worrying about it as much at all. So hopefully I can encourage you with that testimony. One thing I’ve realized with TMS symptoms a lot can change very quickly!
    SSS likes this.
  6. SSS

    SSS Peer Supporter

    I have read through some of the bladder posts here. I was pretty amazed since I came here thinking this was all about back and other muscle pain and now I see that there are many other symptoms that apply too. Take care!

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