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Six of One and Half a Dozen of the Other

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  • Six of One and Half a Dozen of the Other

    Hi, I'm a caucasian male, 5'9", 160 lb, who will "celebrate" his 80th birthday late this summer on a train somewhere between Halifax, Nova Scotia and Vancouver, British Columbia. Physically, I'm in reasonable shape and can easily walk ten or more miles a day, in winter months mostly on a treadmill set to a slope up to 10% and speed up to three miles per hour.

    I believe that my problems started about 1971 when I contracted gonorrhea, which was treated with penicillin within three days. Before then I don't recall ever having had urinary tract discomfort, and after then I've had increasing levels of urinary tract discomfort up to this day. As far as I can recall I've never had a urinary tract infection, UTI, but over the years I've done a number of things to insure the likelihood of Interstitial Cystitis and/or Prostatitis, whatever it is that I'm inflicted with. I'm tired of my own complaints, so let me say only that whatever it is I have, it generally gets my attention just about anytime day or night.

    First, I can verify that my tailbone points off to one side, in addition to pointing forward as it should. At some point in time, one of several falls on my butt or lower back over my lifetime likely did that, in addition to providing a cracked rib or two. Then there's the fact I've ridden thousands of miles on a bicycle, and one crash around 1978 fractured my pelvis and arm. And into the 1990s increased bicycle riding lead to increased pains in my pelvic region and sciatica pains from my lower back down my right leg. Sciatica got so bad I had to stop riding altogether, and for a few weeks I could barely walk. My sciatica problems have not gone away, but I have learned to manage them without any treatments or medications. Now and then my back and legs complain when I attempt to walk up a 10% grade at three miles per hour, but I relish the fact that I'm still alive and able to put up with their complaints.

    Did I mention that I'm a recovered alcoholic who hasn't touched the poison in 26 years now? Being drunk was why I had the bicycle accident, and lack of attention during a hangover was why I rear-ended a truck the first Monday morning after New Years Day, 1997, the day I stopped drinking for good. That impact set off the airbag and required an inguinal hernia repair. Several years later I had a second inguinal hernia repair.

    And then there was the botched vasectomy in the late 1980s that caused a lump and perpetual pain in and around my right testicle. To this day, even a light touch to a particular part of this testicle may be painful, which means that quite often it gets my attention. Over the years the lump seemed to get larger and I complained to my urologist about it a number of times. He finally got tired of my complaints and performed an epididymectomy, which only resolved part of the issue. My urologist would check my urine, test my PSA, and poke my butt twice a year. He never expressed concern about anything and simply told me to come back again in six months. I've never had a UTI and my PSA in the past has been all over the place, once as high as 30 or more. That was the time an idiot catheterized me in the emergency room when my urinary tract (or my mind) got so bad I couldn't pee at all. That was a disaster; the first and only time I've ever had blood in my urine. Never again will I knowingly allow anyone to try something like that. And that's the time they drew blood for a PSA that read 30+. What were they thinking? My PSAs the last few years have been below 2, so if I have prostate cancer I'm better off not knowing about it.

    So, based on my history, you all can vote: Is my problem more Interstitial Cystitis or Prostatitis? I have been taking one Tamsulosin 0.4mg capsule and one Finasteride 5mg tablet a day for a decade or so. At my age I'm not looking for a cure but understanding. I drink almost nothing but reverse-osmosis filtered water and unsweetened almond milk. I know what I shouldn't eat and drink, but I don't always follow my own advice. I don't have "flare-ups" but the same-old, same-old, day after day, generally no better or worse. I visit the bathroom a dozen or more times a day, and I can experience the most excruciating pain when no bathroom is immediately available. More than once I've had to pull over and do my thing by the rear fender.

  • #2
    First, I'd like to say to the IC Network.

    It's possible that what you have is IC --- if it is, diet can have a huge effect on symptoms. You might want to give the IC diet a try to see if that helps. Another thing you could try is to keep a detailed diary, listing everything that goes in your mouth, activities, what you wear, personal and laundry soaps, urinary frequency (and about how much each time), and pain/discomfort levels. Sometimes that can identify personal triggers.

    I think it's totally great that you can be so active at 80.

    I hope you are able to see a definite diagnosis soon.

    Stay safe

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