The Night of the IC Warrior

IMAGINE THIS...You wake in the depths of darkness. You are stunned by a sudden urge to urinate. For a split second you wonder if you can ignore it and go back to a peaceful sleep.  Another second passes and you know you have lost all chances of a much needed rest. You know if you lie there much longer you may wet yourself just to relieve the pain.

You stumble in the darkness. You experience immediate relief after you empty your bladder. You stumble back to bed. You try to go back to sleep. Ten minutes later you are stunned again. You feel like your bladder has refilled. You stumble back to the toilet. This time only a few drops come out. You return to bed. A few minutes later you are struck again. Only this time the urge to empty is accompanied by a much stronger burning sensation. A sharp stabbing pain at the core of your being. You get up again. You can’t get a single drop out but the pressure on your bladder makes you feel like it is going to burst. You rock yourself back and forth on the toilet and wonder if you should just spend the rest of the night on the porcelain throne.

It is you and your pain

You sit there listening to the silence. In the stillness there is absolutely nothing to distract you. It is you and your pain. Even though it is in your bladder, you can feel it gritting at the back of your teeth. It makes your jaws clench and your head split. It is all you can focus on. Even if you try to read a book or listen to music you can’t concentrate. There are no external stresses. Only the stress of your mind and the stress pain induces on your body.

As the night passes and dawn comes, you listen to the world starting to wake up. Birds chirping. Cars driving by. Planes flying overhead. You are thankful a new day is coming as it means you made it through another night. You think the day is better because it can provide more distractions from the pain. But then you start to panic at the thoughts of facing the world again after another sleepless night. How will you function in your sleep-deprived brain fog?

In the light of dawn, you climb back into bed. Rocking yourself back and forth, back and forth, like a baby. You eventually fall asleep due to sheer exhaustion. The night was so very long.

Imagine that

Imagine this nightmare on repeat, night after night. This can be the life of an IC Warrior. For unknown reasons, Interstitial Cystitis (IC) symptoms are exacerbated at night.  It has devastating effects on sleep and can cause severe sleep deprivation and insomnia for many.  Some IC Warriors even have a bed in their bathroom….IMAGINE THAT.

Please share

Please share this post (and post a comment below) to raise awareness and end our sleepless nights, so we can heal and defeat IC.

Fiona McKiernan, MS, RD

IC Warrior



Auteur: Fiona McKiernan
My name is Fiona McKiernan and on September 1st, 2015 I proclaimed to the world that I am an “IC Warrior”.

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Great article again, thank you for sharing!

Colleen white
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Colleen white

Thank you. This is spot on