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IC and pelvic pain--encouragement appreciated!

Picture of Natalie Bantz
IC and pelvic pain--encouragement appreciated!
by Natalie Bantz - Tuesday, 21 February 2017, 8:29 PM

Hello everyone! My name is Natalie. I'm a 26 year old woman about to be married in 2 months(!) and decided to take this program after reading the book Pain Free for Life by Doctor Brady. 

Basically, my chronic pain journey started about 6 years ago with vaginismus and vulvodynia. Eventually the vaginismus went away, but the vulvodynia and dysparuenia persisted and actually got worse and worse. I've done pretty much everything you can think of to get rid of this, botox injections, meds, acupuncture, you name it. Unfortunately as well, about a year and a half ago a new symptom was added to my list with an IC diagnosis (actually just constant bladder urgency, no pain) that arose completely out of the blue one day and has not gone away at all since. 

I started doing Dr. Brady's 6 week program via his book but found I was having a hard time doing it as it lacked structure and guidance, as its basically just very short 5 minute visualizations and free form emotions-based journaling. Eventually I just got frustrated and quit. But in the 2.5 weeks I was doing it, I found that my nerve pain went down to about a 2 most days (starting at an 8 before). However, the bladder was still being pretty stubborn and the dysparuenia was still there. IC was never mentioned in Dr. Brady's book, so I suspect this had something to do with it not wanting to relent. 

I just read about how people with IC have done this program with great success, and after reading it I drove to work with no bladder urgency. That was a surprise! It came back later but I was still happy to see it go away, even for a little while. Anyway, as you can imagine, I want to get better so I can have normal, pain free intimacy with my future husband. I've spent years crying over this, and I really want to take control of my life again. I do feel that this the answer for me, but I'm pretty scared to start of course. But I'm hoping with more structure and support, I can finish this program and be happy about that, regardless of the results--though I'm hoping for good ones.

Anyways, I'd always appreciate encouragement and success stories from other people who have gone through this process--particularly those who have had chronic pelvic pain and IC. Thank you all!

Picture of Howard Schubiner
Re: IC and pelvic pain--encouragement appreciated!
by Howard Schubiner - Tuesday, 21 February 2017, 8:54 PM

Thanks for writing, Natalie.

We are with you! Even those who don't write back, we are with you. You are not alone.

There are thousands of people worldwide who have conquered their mind body pain, including pelvic pain, bladder pain or urgency, and many other syndromes. The brain is amazing to be able to produce all of these symptoms. However, we are smart enough and strong enough to overcome them.

Let us know how we can help with specific questions!!

Best, Howard

Picture of Wendy Jo Joy
Re: IC and pelvic pain--encouragement appreciated!
by Wendy Jo Joy - Wednesday, 22 February 2017, 5:02 AM

Good Evening, Natalie ~
My name is Wendy. I went through Dr. Schubiner's program almost 9 years ago. I do not comment on the forum much these days but when I saw your post I wanted to encourage you and to tell you not to give up, you can be free from pain!

I battled Interstitial Cystitis (IC), Back pain, neck pain, Chronic Fatigue, V
ulvodynia, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome for 15 years. I hit an all time emotional low in 2008. I had doctors and urologists tell me I could never be healed. I was told to join a pain management program to help me cope with the incurable diseases. I clearly remember lying on our home office floor sobbing. I prayed and asked God for hope. I have prayed that prayer numerous times but this time I felt an urging to Google IC on my computer. I have done that too many times to count, desperately searching for a cure. I almost resisted it as I did not want to read another website telling me I could not be cured. The urging got stronger so I finally pulled myself up off the floor and Googled IC again. The first website that popped up was Dr. Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain. I began reading and couldn't stop. As I read, a spark of hope ignited in my heart. I actually emailed Dr. Schubiner and he personally responded to me within 12 hours. He was incredibly kind, validating, empathetic and reassuring. He was the first doctor in all my years of suffering that told me IC, as well as all the other MBS struggles I had, were indeed mind/body and I COULD heal. I wept with joy! I hung up telling my husband God gave me hope again. To this day we thank God for Dr. Schubiner.

I did the program three times. It took me longer to heal than most of the testimonies I read. The MBS symptoms that I had revealed a deep emotional root. My MBS issues were from abuse and trauma so it was a long journey toward living a pain-free life. Honestly, I am still on the journey. I still free-write, speak truth, meditate, visualize, and go to counseling when I feel I need it. Self-awareness and learning to process stress, fear, anxiety, shame and rage in a productive way is a life-style I pursue. 

It was 6 months of working Dr. Schubiner's program as well as added things such as counseling, a work out program, sleep help, growing in God's love for me, and taking a break on some toxic relationships before one day I realized I had NO PAIN for the first time in 15 years. That was one of the best days of my life! In fact, I chased my little girl around the house and joyfully picked her up and twirled her around to celebrate! :) I still clearly remember that!

Natalie, I care about where you are at. I know the journey can be exhausting and hard. You are doing an excellent job! God has an amazing plan for your life! Keep caring for yourself tenderly and attentively and you will be free from MBS! 


Picture of Natalie Bantz
Re: IC and pelvic pain--encouragement appreciated!
by Natalie Bantz - Thursday, 23 February 2017, 9:53 PM
Wendy, thank you. Your post nearly moved me to tears. It sounds a lot like mine in many ways. How are you doing now at this place in your journey? 

My fiance and I want to have a child in a few years so reading about you being able to play with your little girl was meaningful to me. I have worried about whether I'd be able to be a good parent if I remain in pain. I also have begun to pray more often (trying to make it a daily habit) and have felt much better feeling that God is present in my life. Thanks again for your reply even though you are not active on the site anymore, it was very valuable and encouraging to me.

Picture of Wendy Jo Joy
Re: IC and pelvic pain--encouragement appreciated!
by Wendy Jo Joy - Thursday, 23 February 2017, 11:28 PM

Natalie, I am so blessed that you are encouraged through my story. Makes all the years of struggle worth it!

I have been completely pain free for at least 6 years now; about a year and a half into my journey. The pain came and went for a year and a half but after that is was gone for good. Once in a rare while it will try to 'appear' but I speak firmly to my brain and it leaves. I am no longer afraid of it so now the brain doesn't use that pain anymore. 

I also want to tell you that several doctors told me I could not have children because of all the 'diseases' I had. Ha! Our first miracle daughter was born 10 years into our marriage. :) Our second miracle child, a son this time, was born last year... 23 years into our marriage! A shock! A great shock, though! :) I was 42 years old when our son was born. I am in the best shape of my life. I worked out the day I went into labor! I have more energy and fun now than when I had our daughter, 12 years earlier. You will be just fine, Natalie!

Keep praying, seeking God, learn how much you mean to Him and take good care of your beautiful heart... you are going to be an absolutely wonderful mama! God has a purpose and good plan for you.


Picture of Saoirse C.
Re: IC and pelvic pain--encouragement appreciated!
by Saoirse C. - Thursday, 9 March 2017, 9:44 PM

Hi Wendy 

I am so happy for you , I think when we who are in the mist of TMS and feel beaten and how its maybe not working ; hear your piece they feel so uplifted. It does not happen to all overnight some take months even a few years but we move forward. When I read you felt no pain for the first time in 15 years I experience joy on your behalf but also for what couls and will happen for the rest of us. I have been in constant chronic pain for 22 years and only this week my IBS was so bad I nearly ran out of time to get to the bathroom , I was anxious and sore and felt low. All this while working in a beauty salon trying to look good and be so happy and upbeat when I wanted to sit down with fatigue and all the reat and cry. To Natalie I have major issues with frequent urination sometimes 11 times during the night alone , tiny amounts and all day constant but I know this is TMS.I too suffered from severe vaginism but I found it was from being told as a child that sex was bad and only for men and once a man slept with you he would not want you  horror stories. I was very lucky and with the man I love then and now it all was fine. loved hearing your story , so many brave people it makes you feel less alone.

Picture of Dianna Cunningham
Re: IC and pelvic pain--encouragement appreciated!
by Dianna Cunningham - Wednesday, 22 February 2017, 9:50 PM

Good luck to you Natalie! This community cares for everyone and is incredibly open minded. Please keep going! Also I think Howard's program is way more in depth than Dr. Brady's program! Just my opinion.

Picture of Howard Schubiner
Re: IC and pelvic pain--encouragement appreciated!
by Howard Schubiner - Sunday, 26 February 2017, 3:15 PM

Thanks so much everyone.

The work you are doing is very beautiful and moving. Connection to others and working to overcome obstacles are what make us tick as humans. I am very proud to be part of this community.

To your health,


Mount St Helens
Re: IC and pelvic pain--encouragement appreciated!
by Lor Prudhomme - Wednesday, 1 March 2017, 12:59 PM

Hi Natalie,

My name is Lor.  This is my first time posting and I am sending you my support and encouragement.  I started the program this month and am seeing and feeling improvement.  If you have made it this far and believe, and know you have TMS - MBS you are on your way to recovery.  I hope you are able to give yourself some kindness and know you can work through this!

Wishing you all the best,