I am very open about my IC but notice that some people look visibly uncomfortable when I mention the word bladder. A majority have been older men. They have this look which is a cross between awkwardness, horror and shock when I mention the B word. Honestly, you would think I just told them I had drug fuelled orgy with Russian prostitutes!
Last week, I was being told about someone with a bowel condition. The word bowel was whispered to me like it was a swear word that no one else should hear. I couldn’t understand why!? We shouldn’t be whispering names of body parts because they’re perceived to be embarrassing. I said bowel back to him very loudly to show that no one in Starbucks would choke on their muffin (FYI, no one did).
For some reason, it’s ingrained in us not to talk openly about any organs below the bellybutton. It’s ridiculous. Everyone has a bladder and bowel and everyone uses the toilet in exactly the same way. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. A colleague at work once asked, in an office full of people, what was wrong with me. Yes, she was being a nosy cow but I had no issue telling her (and everyone else) all about it. If I suffered from arthritis, migraines or something less “embarrassing” but equally chronic, I wouldn’t think twice talking about it. Just because this involves my bladder, I won’t feel the need to shy away from it.
Perhaps if everyone talked about these things more openly, I wouldn’t get such horrified looks. I know it’s not easy but with 400,000 IC sufferers in the UK, we don’t need to be suffering in silence.
ps. I’ve just set up my Twitter account, username as always is brokenbladder, give me a follow!