Cindy - Los Angeles
Disclaimer: Cindy does not proclaim to be a medical authority. Any treatment options or medications should be discussed and monitored by your physician.
Cindy was diagnosed in 1992 with IC. She actually had to be catheterized when she was 3 years old because she could not urinate, so it seems something was already brewing at an early age. Her symptoms working up to the discovery that she had IC were that she had to urinate more than other people, but she attributed that to the fact that she is a small person, and therefore probably had a small bladder.
About a year before she went to Matia of Bomamed, a practitioner of Chinese medicine and acupuncture. She had a bad bladder infection for which she took antibiotics. The infection went away. One year later her frequency increased. One month later it really hit. She had terrible pain in the bladder/vaginal area, which caused her to nearly pass out. The doctor prescribed muscle relaxants but it got worse. She went to a gynecologist who couldn't find anything wrong. He prescribed antibiotics. Then she found a female gynecologist who suggested that she see a urologist. He performed a cystoscopy that day, at her insistence, in the office. It was extremely painful but she wanted to know. She had been on Vicodan for quite some time for the pain. IC was diagnosed. He informed her that all the treatments were a shot in the dark.
She tried DMSO once a week for about a year. She went on Elavil also. This helped a little but she felt extremely drugged until she got used to the drug after about 6 weeks. She tried antihistamines and many of the bladder medications that are used for IC. She also started on Elmiron when it was still in it's experimental phase. After about 6-8 months of this the symptoms started to subside and she cut down on the Vicodan. Side effects developed from the Elmiron. Her hair started to fall out and she had ringing in the ears. She went to an ear specialist who saw swelling and put her on cortisone. It was a pharmacist who told her that it was Elmiron that was the problem.
Finally Cindy found Matia through a naturopathic pharmacy. She actually went to Matia because she developed fibromyalgia. Matia confirmed that it was the Elmiron causing the ringing and took her off it and all the supplements she was taking, vitamins, etc. After she went of the Elmiron the ringing went away. Matia actually did not start treating the IC because Cindy told her that she was managing. Matia then promised her that she would help her and get her off the rest of the medication. This would be accomplished through herbs and they experimented with different ones. At this time, Cindy started to go through menopause. She now had three major ailments that Matia was treating.
Some of the herbs made her feel better, but then herbs would be added to treat the hot flashes, which made her bladder feel worse. It was trial and error finding the right combination. Matia prescribed a natural progesterone cream, which eliminated the hot flashes. Finally, Matia found the right combination. By this time Cindy had been off the Vicodan for over one year after taking it for 4-7 years. A stool test was done and bacteria were found which are common in IC patients. Matia then added herbs to kill the bacteria.
Overall it took between 1 and 1 ½ years for Cindy to stabilize. She still has very mild symptoms, which are really nothing to mention according to Cindy. Her frequency is down a lot. Cindy believes that Matia has helped immensely. She did not want to put any more synthetic drugs in her body and she knew they were not helping her. She was determined to rid herself of the pain and her dependency on drugs. Even though the herbs caused her a lot of problems at first, she knew that Matia was going to help her, and she was determined to stick it out. Matia kept telling her that she was going to help her and Cindy believed her. There was nowhere else to go. It was blind faith. Cindy felt that Matia had some kind of healing ability, and she is proof that Matia's system works.
Cindy says that you have to have the will to get better also. Being so sick in the past had allowed her not to take responsibility for a lot of things and she decided that she did not want to use that excuse any more. She knew that the drugs were slowly killing her. She would sit with Matia and go over in detail what was going on in her body. Cindy would follow her instructions including paying attention to her body. The more information Cindy would provide Matia the easier it would be for her to help her.
Cindy cannot say enough about Matia. She is extremely gifted and has so much compassion.
For more information about Matia Brizman at Bomamed please see Interviews on this site.