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InterStim permanent surgery tomorrow--depressed and anxious

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  • InterStim permanent surgery tomorrow--depressed and anxious

    Well, the day has arrived. Tomorrow (which is really today, since it's after midnight) is my permanent interstim surgery. I should be excited, right? I should be so happy that I am getting this implant because the trial has been helping me so much, right? I'm just not. I am really depressed, actually.

    I didn't completely realize it until I went into the closet to pick out what I am going to wear (yes, I am one of those goofballs that picks out clothes the night before, because I am NOT a morning person and would likely show up placed in my jammies. Anyway, I stood in my closet for about thirty minutes, picking up and putting back various tanks, sweatpants, and jackets. It's not a job interview, right? This shouldn't be that difficult. But, as I stood there flinging tanks around, I realized that I was sad...depressed...and subconsciously felt that maybe if I couldn't pick out clothes, I wouldn't have to go!

    I know deep down that this is the right thing to do for my family. I owe it to my husband and our life together to do what I can to improve our quality of life. He has supported me from day one with IC, from learning to cath me, to learning how to mix instillations, to working very hard at a tough job so that I don't have to work...and in return, I owe him and to US to do what I can to ease my symptoms and maybe lead us back towards a bit of a normal life.

    To some of you, the main reason I am apprehensive may seem silly...and that's fine, because different things are important to all of us. I am really upset about the size and location of the scar that the implant surgery is going to leave me with. I have avoided looking at my back since the trial surgery, because I know it will make me cry. I saw one of the incisions yesterday because the bandaid fell off and I had to replace it. It wasn't too big, maybe 1/4 of an inch...but there are four or five MORE back there just like it. And now, I get to add a BIG one.

    This is bothering me for a couple different reasons. First, as some of you know, I am a model. And while I don't go around flashing my butt to the camera, depending on where the scar is could limit swimsuits, lingerie, and even some workout wear. My career is getting ready to have a big takeoff in April when I go out to Vegas to shoot various ad campaigns...but what if some are now limited due to a scar? And yes, there's photoshop out there, but the less they have to photoshop, the better and the more likely you'll get booked.

    Also, I feel like this is going to disfigure me and could affect how I feel about myself. Again, some of you make think this is silly or think, why are you complaining about that when you are getting relief from the interstim...and I ask you to again remember that we are all different. Is a lessening in physical symptoms a good trade-off for less emotional happiness? I don't know the answer. I just know that I have serious body image issues anyway and have suffered from anorexia and bulimia in the past. When I look in the mirror, I see a chunky version of myself, not someone that wears a size 0 or 2. If my hubby and I point out people that we each think has a similar body type, he picks someone that is thin and fit, size 2 or so. I pick out women that are probably size 10...because that's what I see.

    Anyway, I just feel like IC has taken away everything from job, my sex life, my spontaneity, my ability to "feel" normal, and body. Enough is enough...


    "A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others."
    ~ The Wizard of Oz

    "If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own
    back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!" ~ Dorothy

  • #2
    Oh Claudia,
    I am so sorry you are feeling that way. I do understand though. It is like when people are scared to take certain medications because of hair loss, weight gain, swollen puffy faces, etc. but at least with the medication the side effects go away after the medication is stopped and you will have the scar always. I do understand that part of it......but on the other side of the coin you have this wonderful chance to help improve your life. It could help in so many areas in your life. Don't look at you scar as a scar of defeat or ugliness but look at it as a beautiful battle scar and you are going to win that battle!!! You are an awesome and beautiful woman who is getting a great chance to improve things in your life. You deserve this chance

    Please know that I will be praying for you tomorrow and that we are all pulling for you. When you feel well enough please let us know how everything goes tomorrow and how you are feeling. Hang In There!!!
    Last edited by Bessie; 03-01-2007, 06:52 PM.
    Miss Bessie

    Galatians 6:2 - Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

    Hebrews 13:2 - Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

    Proverbs 4:23 - Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life


    • #3
      thanks, october.


      "A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others."
      ~ The Wizard of Oz

      "If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own
      back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!" ~ Dorothy


      • #4
        Good luck today. {{{HUGS}}} I understand your concerns. It's amazing what changes to our body can do to us emotionally, isn't it?

        Diagnosed August 2001

        Current IC meds: Elmiron (since 2001), Levaquin (one pill after intercourse to prevent UTIs), Effexor (for depression & anxiety)

        Past IC meds: Amitriptyline (Elavil), Hydroxyzine (Vistaril), Detrol LA, Lexapro (for depression & anxiety, but also helped my IC) (They all helped, but I was able to discontinue them.)

        I've been virtually symptom free and able to eat & drink whatever I'd like for about 8 years now.


        “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” ~ Viktor Frankl

        “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” ~ Brian Tracy


        • #5
          Be sure to check your email Claud.
          You are beautiful inside and out and it will be your inner beauty that will hide any scars!
          God is making a way for you to feel like and be able to model more now! He will take care of that scar! You just keep faith in Him!
          sending love and prayers, Georgia
          Faith is not believing God can; Faith is believing God will!


          • #6
            First off you don't owe this to any one but yourself. Secondly, didn't you say in another post that it was amazing what a make-up artitist can do? I am not tring to make you feel bad here, the scars are miminal, and should be easliy covered with make up.. If this is giving you back part of your life swallow the lumps and go with it, they will fade and they will be able to be hid.
            I hope your surgery goes well, and you have just as much succeess with the implant.. You will do fine, and you will be ok.
            'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'


            • #7
              I completely understand the way you must be feeling, but your inner beauty will always shine through. Try thinking of the scar as a symbol of a battle, a scar of bravery and strength and courage. You can't let IC define you. I do appreciate the pain and emotions you are going through, but find your inner voice that let's you KNOW how beautiful you are. Shees, when I first saw your picutres I was soo impressed with how gorgeous you are. Just stunning. and you still will be after your procedure. I agree with Georgia-just trust in God the best you can. Just think how much more you will enjoy life with the help of the Interstim. The best of luck today, I'll be praying for you!


              • #8
                Good luck Claudia, I feel just as beautiful with my scars and all and
                my husband tell me that every day !!

                Also after almost eight years with the InterStim , I can hardy see my scars now !

                Warm hugs and I will be thinking of you Claudia !

                Thinking positive has got me through to another day!!


                • #9
                  Good luck CLaudia, you will be fine. Scars will heal and you will be fine.


                  • #10
                    Claudia...I so hope that the InterStim works for you. You are in my prayers and in my thoughts today while you are having this surgery.

                    I saw a TV program some time back that showed a type of makeup that will cover scars, birthmarks, etc. The lady who was on this program had a huge Strawberry Birthmark on one side of her face. With the makeup on, you couldn't see it. When she removed the makeup, there it was. Then she began replacing the makeup while explaining what she was doing. It was an amazing demonstration and I was totally impressed with this stuff. Sadly, I can't remember what the name of it is. Being a model, maybe you are already familiar with this product or you have contacts with someone who is.

                    Hon...I will be waiting to read your post about how things went today.

                    Shopping??? Did someone mention shopping? I'll get my hat... ;-)

                    Where I can be found most days.

                    Link to the ICN Patient Handbook:

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                    IC Volunteers are not medical authorities nor do we offer medical advice. In all cases, we strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.


                    • #11
                      Think about it this way --- your smile will be even more beautiful if you feel better. The trial has gone well for you so there really shouldn't be any reason the permanent one won't also do well.

                      I had never known positively that you are a model, but I thought you must be. You are totally beautiful.

                      Sending encouraging hugs,
                      Stay safe

                      Elmiron Eye Disease Information Center -
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                      Click on ICN Shop at the top of this page. You'll find Bladder Builder and Bladder Rest, both of which we are finding have excellent results.

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                      I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

                      Anyone who says something is foolproof hasn't met a determined fool


                      • #12
                        ok, had to come back and post to you. I had to go and lok at my butt for you the incisions where they threaded the wires I can't see... and the one where they put in the box is a very fine line.. I had mine done in April 2003... you will be ok, I am sure
                        'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'


                        • #13
                          Claudia, you know you are in my thoughts today.

                          I understand about feeling you owe people, but really, it boils down to feeling like you owe yourself a shot at the InterStim. If you think about it, you may be feeling like you need to try everything to get your IC under control, and this... this surgery, it's a way for you to know you've tried everything. Knowing you have tried everything is comforting. And you know the trial is working, so the permanent one should make your life so much better.

                          Don't worry about the scars too much. The ones from the trial heal up without much scarring, if any -- mine did. The permanent one ... yeah, that's a little bigger. Mine took seven stitches to close, but Dr. Evans makes the cut easily, and I can see where mine will heal with minimal scarring.

                          Sharon is right; in modeling, there are many things that can be done. In the movies, there is thick makeup used to cover actor's tattoos to get into character, and you don't see that at all. I am sure this is available to you as well (one type is Pancake Body Makeup). Recently, too, I was reading a magazine and it showed a swimsuit model without the body makeup -- she had a big scar on her stomach from an emergency appendectomy! But in the Victoria's Secret catalog, you would never guess.

                          But please, don't worry about the scar -- if it is there, it is a symbol of your fight with IC, and how strong you have been through this process. I know I am not a model, and as you say, we are all different in how we feel, but I wear my scar as a badge of honor, almost a medal for fighting my own IC battle. I don't let it negatively affect how I feel about myself; in fact, it makes me feel good that I took this step to feel better. Yeah, I care about my appearance, but hey, things happen... and maybe, just maybe, it's partially because I am probably about ten years older than you, and have had a little more time to come to terms with my body, and to learn to love it no matter what.

                          I hope you can get to that point 'Course, maybe you may not be able to get to that point, and that's okay too. I do think that if you have trouble dealing with this, and if you feel it is going to seriously affect your emotional health, that you speak to a professional counselor as soon as you are able. If these things are allowed to fester in the mind, they can lead to some serious depression and anxiety. Okay?

                          And good luck with your surgery!!!

                          *Diagnosed with severe IC in 2004
                          *Also diagnosed with PFD, fibromyalgia, chronic myofascial pain, IBS, migraines, allergies/asthma, dermatographism
                          *Kept trying a million different treatments for all these things until I found what works, and I am doing okay these days with the help of a cocktail of medications and the InterStim, which was first placed in 2007. [I have had 2 revisions - one in 2010 when my battery died and had to be replaced, and one complete replacement (lead and generator) in 2012 after a fall on my stairs caused my lead to move.]
                          *Current meds include Atarax (50mg at night), Lyrica (150mg twice a day), Xanax (0.5mg at night and as needed), Zanaflex (4mg at night), hydrocodone (10/325, every 6 hours as needed), Advair, Nasonex, Singulair (10mg at night), oral contraceptives, home instills containing Elmiron and Marcaine (as often as I need to do them).

                          **I am not a medical authority nor do I offer definitive medical advice. I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.


                          • #14
                            like the others said the scars are not that bad. And unless you have the actual unit placed in the waist area you should not be able to see the scars on the bum. I had my first one in the waist and of course that scar is visible, but the second one placed in the bum is not seen to others than hubby and myself

                            You owe this to your self formost. Then to your family.

                            I hope all works out fine today and everything goes off without a hitch.
                            God grant me the serinity to withstand the days ahead!!!

                            My myspace link...


                            In Memory of My Father (Lawerence) 1/25/2007

                            Interstim Sept 2001
                            1st InterStim Removal May 2005
                            2nd Interstim Implanted May 2005
                            2nd InterStim Removed March 2007
                            Hysterectomy 1999
                            Tubes Tied 1997
                            C-Section 1996

                            Me and my kids

                            Taylor (my daughter) Me and my daughter My son Cody and Taylor