Finding the right doctor or Urologist is a difficult task. Most Urologists say that they treat Interstitial Cystitis (IC) patients; however, you, as an IC suffer, need more. I personally think that the Urologist you choose should have a sincere and committed interest in “tackling” this disease. At one point I was seeing a Urologist that was also a surgeon. From what I heard he was a very good surgeon, but he was not good at treating IC.
The doctor that is successful in treating IC is a person who listens to his patients. Each patient needs an individualized treatment plan. What works for me may not work for someone else. Your doctor needs to be kind and compassionate because you are going to have a long-term relationship with this person. In addition to having a good bedside manner, your doctor needs to be dedicated to getting your symptoms under control. He or she needs to keep up with the latest research on IC.
There are also a few signs to watch out for when selecting your doctor. I want to start off by saying this is just my opinion. I respect others who feel differently but I wanted to share my thoughts. Below is a quote from a doctor that was providing information about IC.
The Urologist said, “Many of my patients with IC found relief when stress issues in their lives (past or present) were uncovered and addressed.”
The quote from this doctor gets me so frustrated. I get that having a high stress-level is not good for anyone whether they have a disease or not. What I do not accept is the concept that IC becomes better or goes into remission if you deal with or address stress in your life. No matter how relaxed you are or how stress-free your life is, IC is NOT going to just go away. IC is NOT a “mental or emotional” issue. A positive attitude and a low stress life are desirable but IC is not in our “heads.”
I remember years ago when I asked a doctor why I was in so much pain, he responded, “Do you feel guilty about anything?” Really? Another doctor told me to take some sort of supplement (I think the supplement was Spirulina) for a month, and if my symptoms were not better, he wanted to make my bladder larger by using some of my intestinal tissue. Because I had only recently been diagnosed with IC at that point, I told him I was not ready to consider bladder augmentation. The doctor told me as I was walking out of his office, “You will be back to see me.”
Last war story… I was asking my Urologist questions about IC, and he told me if he knew the answers to my questions he would win the Nobel Peace Prize for medicine. Again, he just viewed me as another patient in his practice, and not an individual who was desperate for answers, relief and help.
There are some really great doctors out there; however, we need those doctors that are determined to help their IC patients. Finding the right practitioner is no easy task. You just have to be diligent in your hunt for the right doctor. Do not settle for sub-par treatment.
Currently, I am on a mission to find a new Urologist to treat me. I will keep you updated on my progress.