Monday, October 7, 2013


I started the New ICHope Self Help Module. It begins with some survey questions so that the module can understand more about where each of us is in our IC, both physically and emotionally. It asks us to describe our symptoms and any overlapping conditions we may have so that the program can understand the state of our condition.

After that, we are asked a series of questions to determine where we are in the process of dealing with our IC and its impact on our lives.

I really like this tool. As you explore the many pieces of the Module, it really takes you in many different directions. In the Personal Activity Center, there is a section that will help you get organized and develop questions you want to go over with your doctor to help you manage your pain and your care. You can actually type in your plan right in the Module. I find having things written down before going to see my doctor is something that is really helpful. It keeps me on track in my appointment so I don’t forget to ask something important. It’s so easy to get off track or topic at your appointment and it’s so important that we maximize our time with our doctors. So I really like this piece of the Module.

There’s a section on how to use Self-Care Strategies and another section on Staying Hopeful and Feeling Empowered. I really like these tools as well. I know many of us, myself included, often feel lost and don’t know how to stay hopeful. This is a tool that gives you guidance and real suggestions on what we can do OURSELVES to stay positive and hopeful and even more important, empowered!

The section on using Self-Care strategies is also excellent. Sometimes if we just stop, and go through a process like this, we can find inspiration and ideas on things we can do to help ourselves. Whenever I feel like there is something I can do on my own to help myself without having to go to the doctor, I feel really empowered and that I have more control over my IC. 

This tool can help you figure out where you are in the process of coping with your IC and offer real tangible suggestions and an Action Plan you can put into use to help you take control of your care, help you work better with your doctor and find ways of coping emotionally with your IC and pain.

I completed the Module and when you finish, the idea is to continue to use, edit, and actively work with the tools provided over the course of 90 days. So I am supposed to work on the suggestion the Module gave me based on my answers and go back in 30 days and do it again to see if I am progressing, and if by using these tools, I am improving in my personal approach to managing my IC. Then do it again 30 days after that.

At any time after going through the Module the first time, we are encouraged to really use the tools provided. There is Pain Tracker where you can track your pain and other tools you can use. This is meant to be an inter-active tool that is used frequently. Don’t just go through the Module once and leave. Take the time to explore all the helpful sections in the Personal Activity Center.

This is a tool we can use to help us manage our own care and how we cope with our pain. I like things like this and have often written on my Blog about using various things like meditation, music, yoga, etc. to help manage my pain. 

Doing activites like those and using this great new Module provided by the ICA can help each of us find ways of developing a plan to actively help ourselves. Often, having a plan and figuring out how you are feeling about where you are with your IC can make a huge difference in how we feel. I know it does for me. These are the type of things I also work on with my psychologist, so this tool can be an adjunct for me to do what I talk about with my therapist and great tools to help me remember to put into action the things we talk about. 

I hope everyone will get online and check out the ICHope Module and really explore it, and use it as it is intended. I think it will a be a great resource for each of us.

I’ll report back as I work through the activities and after each of the next two 30 days sessions.

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