Tag: IC

What’s Unnecessary?

What’s Unnecessary?

What do I mean by that? I mean removing items from my life that no longer serve me.  Whether my body is telling me that a food or beauty product item is no longer meant for me – through a negative reaction or symptom; such […]

Living Clean

Living Clean

You could ask almost any dietitians, nutritionists, naturopaths, urologists, doctors, and other holistic  healers what their number one recommendation would be for combating any auto-immune disease and most would recommend a clean lifestyle to optimize health. By that I mean eating fruits, veggies and meats […]

Pain As A Catalyst

Pain As A Catalyst

It’s easy to become stuck in our ways.

As humans we easily become creatures of habit, comfort and denial. How do you teach an old dog new tricks?

With people, I have found that one catalyst can be pain. Pain settling into your body can force change out of necessity. Discomfort will move you out of your comfort zone and into seeking solutions. Some of us seek to just numb the pain, but those of us that use pain as a launching point for change, receive growth and so much more.

That was me.

I was perfectly content living a life of debauchery, lush indulgence, and unrealized shame. I spent the first couple years of my interstitial cystitis diagnosis repeatedly asking, why me? How did this happen? I was truly ashamed of my state and experiences; however, through my own journey through pain (one I’m still in the middle of) I’ve found purpose and self growth.

It took entire body,  systemic, chronic pain to propel me to change my life for the better. However bitter, resentful or loathsome I’ve felt at times, I’m grateful for my IC diagnosis and chronic pain journey.

Pain drove me to find something called The Rossiter System. A company in Fort Collins, Rocky Mountain Recovery, altered my life for the better by helping me find ways to naturally and permanently change my pain and ultimately led me to a career change that allows me to help guide other people out of pain of their own.

I have never wanted to feel numb to the experiences life has to offer. I want to feel the full scale of emotions. Medication always takes that possibility away; with its numbing, dulling effects I end up feeling like a shell of who I could be. I’ve always wanted healing to be natural, but I had no idea how far from natural my lifestyle was until I started pursuing a truly natural healing path, using assistance from experts at Zen Functional Wellness and Rocky Mountain Natural Health - alongside those at StraightLine Fitness Studio and Banner Health Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

I spent 9 years before receiving  the diagnosis, studying broadcast journalism while working full time in technical support. My reason for pursuing a college degree was to obtain credibility to seek and disseminate truth. What’s more true than natural health and healing?

During my stint in college, I  gained approximately 100 lbs in weight. At age 18 I was a 130lb varsity soccer athlete; by age 25 I was a 220lb desk jockey. I started exercising and dropped energy drinks, but  it wasn’t enough to make a lasting impact. When I was injured, I gained over 20lbs in one month by not remaining active and continuing to live an unhealthy food lifestyle for my body’s specific needs. It took years of trying new things to really be on the right path towards balance of my microbiome to restore normalcy to my digestive system. A side effect of healthy lifestyle changes in diet and gut care was I lost a ton of weight. Now at the onset of age 30, I’m back to a healthy 130lbs. I eat (maybe more than I should at times), but it’s clean eating. I know I’ve got work to do still, but I’m no longer afraid or hesitant to make changes and learn my body’s needs.

After college I felt lost, stuck at a dead end job with a degree but minimal experience in any field that would relate. All of my experience was customer service oriented. I caught up on my Netflix shows! I had time to research and obsess about my disease, but I didn’t feel I had growth potential. I realize now, having goals, and seeing progress helps keep my happiness up .

For the past 5 years I’d been wishing for a job that would allow me to live a more active lifestyle, while continuing to write. You see, working customer service or clerical roles while finishing college to make ends meet, I was always in pain at the end of a 10 hour desk day. It had me further from my writing goals, not closer.Without the career swap to a body worker, I would have continually capped my knowledge and become burned out in a position. I have a vision of a 2 fold life: that of a body worker, actively participating in truth dissemination on an intimate 1 on 1 level; while writing my discoveries, pursuing writing in various forms and avenues. Here at the cusp of the  future I’ve dreamed about, I only have my chronic pain journey to thank. In wanting to naturally heal myself, I’ve found ways to help others down similar paths. I see a never ending journey of helping others, finding new ways to heal people naturally riddled with frustration, challenges, and obstacles, but in the end bringing me peace, growth and much needed change.

Nothing in life is stagnant. Not this moment, not your situation, not relationships, not one thing. Embracing growth and change would have been a much longer journey without life forcing me to take on something heavy,real, and painful.

To top it off, I know who my real friends are and I have a strong support system that believes in me. One of the biggest challenges with receiving this diagnosis and starting to change my life for the better, was how many people left along the way. My circles shifted. I know who can listen to me when I need to vent. I know who I can rely on and my limits for extending myself. I have love, support and companions I believe will be friends for life. Without any of these challenges I may not value my relationships as much. I’m surrounded by uplifting, honest, inspiring, grateful, excited to be alive people. I’ve also met the man I’d like to spend my life with. His patience through this experience has been wonderful. I’ve seen others with similar issues fighting about this with their lovers. At times we’ve fought because he can’t fix me and I felt burdensome, but we persevered, loved through it and chose each others’ best interests. HE’s changed diets, lifestyles and hobbies all to help support me. I trust him for life because of these experiences. I know our love is real because of the painful work we put into each other and getting me better, day by day, bit by bit.

I feel growth in my wisdom, I feel I understand more truth about the food industry, how we as a society got here not just me as a person. I see a veil lifting, showing me a clean, simple existence of bodywork, truth and literature, never ending education, growth and change.

Don’t be stuck in your moment or caught up on someone else’s path. Focus on yourself, your journey and your own goals. Let discomfort or pain be your catalyst for growth and change, watch your life transform.

Perseverance apples, I believe in you.

Apple out,

K. Sullivan

The Cycle Continues

The Cycle Continues

“I’m dying of being a girl”, was my monthly catch phrase from the very first cycle I ever had at age 16. I remember being spoon fed Vicodin as a last ditch effort to at least sleep and missing school 3 days every month. My […]

Panic Spills Over The Brim

Panic Spills Over The Brim

The feeling is not satiating. I know I have tasks I must complete, but I’m drained of all ability to fully function. Dragging myself through my day is a must. I’m not positive what came first, the anxiety or the IC. Sheer panic engulfs me […]

Unavoidable Change

Unavoidable Change

Change is everything. It’s a permanent factor in our lives.

Each moment brings with it the prospect of change.

When I was first diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis, my urologist informed me, “You have a disease you’ll now have for life but you’ll manage, you won’t die from this but it will require changes in your diet and lifestyle.” My anxiety grew, I had no idea what this meant, I’d just had this woman’s camera inside my bladder.

Change, I was not willing, I was not wanting it. I was not ready. I still needed answers but what I wanted was a label that came with a cure.

As the urologist demanded I look at my own insides when I was really trying to pretend I was on a sandy white beach with warm ocean waves lapping at my feet. “Look at what you’re body’s doing,” her voice sounded almost excited at the field of hives and lesions lining my bladder. I flashed my eyes open and almost choked on a scream. Get out of my body! I was grateful the shout was in my head. I remained silent, gaping at my wounded, suffering bladder as I shed a single tear and gripped the edge of my medical bed harder.

After the scope procedure I was devastated both physically and mentally. I had a chronic disease. I was in excruciating midsection pain. I was hastily rushed out the door so she could attend to whoever was next. She was rambling quickly, “you’ll hate me, I’m going to remove everything fun out of your diet,” then handed me a list which included: spicy food, alcohol, carbonation, caffeine, and chocolate. She proceeded to guide me out the door with, “just avoid these foods, start taking aloe vera from Desert Harvest with a regiment of low dose antibiotics and your symptoms will feel much better but this will be your new life.” This was it. All the advice and support I received in understanding my new disease.

I was not ready to change my diet, I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just eat food and be fine. I was resentful to everyone around me who wasn’t being told their body was not able to process overly processed foods without consequences.

At this point I had only two options I could see. First option is quit and allow myself to collapse, to become a victim or to give up. What would giving up really mean? The second option was to change and become my own advocate. I chose option two, I began to research my disease. I found other urologists and opinions. I remained firm in my, “I’ll pursue the natural healing means,” mindset. I believed, I listened, I did as I was told so I spent 6 months on low grade antibiotics and was told the intent was to stun the bacteria so it’d fall right out of my body. I never thought to ask, what about the good bacteria? At this point my education, my knowledge didn’t realize there was a host of health bacteria my gut needed to function. I listened to my doctor. I believed.

Had I not listened to my body, my gut, my intuition? Had I avoided truths I’d been speculating long like gluten allergies?

Yes. I knew my mother was recently diagnosed gluten sensitivity and it was negative effecting her ulcerative colitis. She’s removed anything processed, grains, and had to learn how to manage what her body was able to handle. I quickly saw myself having to travel down a similar path.

I was resolved in my belief I needed professional help to navigate a natural healing journey. Working with a urologist supportive of diet and lifestyle changes, my primary care physician as an anchor for understanding my continued health, a naturopath and nutritionist as the source of knowledge on natural healing and testing. Through the use of these specialists, I’ve been able to learn how to navigate the sensitivities my body’s reacting too. I’m working with a low oxalate low acid autoimmune paleo diet for healing at present and getting here was the hardest challenge and change I’ve faced to date. However I’ve made progress on my healing journey because of my eventual willingness to try something different. Removing Gluten, Soy, Dairy where huge steps for me and changed my urgency. I can actually sleep through the night after 2 years of working with these professionals.

Sometimes I still feel pains of jealousy over the changes in my life I view as unavoidable. I’ve had to replace nights out with nights in to heal with my new tools. I actively practice body rolling and Rossiter techniques to keep entire body pain to a minimum. I haven’t used IBUprofen or Tylenol in years. I have educated myself on the magic of essential oils and living a cleaner, more sustainable life.

I still cringe at the thought of another change, but with practice and time I’m reminding myself that any life change whether unavoidable or chosen, is another adventure in discovering the inner workings of this human body experience.

I no longer see change as something I must overcome but more like the universe planting a finger in my path and setting it straight. Had I not received this diagnosis and changed my diet I’d have never lost the extra 100 lbs of personal weight I gained through horrible lifestyle choices through college. Had desk life not caused excruciating pain in my wrists and tension headaches I’d have never found the Rossiter System and changed careers to pursue a path of helping others.

There’s two sides to every coin, two angles to each challenge. Change brings with it consequences that will affect a life? How will you view this change? With a positive twist and acceptance? Or anger and resentment? Each perspective has real consequences on your body, your mind and how you move forward. Accept change as a inevitability of life, embrace the uncomfortable feelings surround it and allow it to help you become your best self.


Apple Out,

K. Sullivan

Just Below The Surface Panic

Just Below The Surface Panic

It’s the reason I can feel my arm hairs raise with the goosebumps as they create a braille like story of my anxiousness, tattooed by my own subconscious across my skin. It’s the just below the surface panic I feel in silent moments, or loud […]

What is Interstitial Cystitis?

What is Interstitial Cystitis?

I’m going to ask you to imagine an experience. This experience should feel traumatic, scary and overwhelming. Delve into your imagination and envision burning, urgent discomfort. Agony bursts through to your brain’s pain center, telling you there’s knives slicing up your midsection. Your most intimate […]

Psychosomatic (A Poem)

Psychosomatic (A Poem)


Whenever I see my Physician for

Diagnostic maintenance I remind her,

Steadfast, I’m not interested in drugs.

I only want to feel differently, better

Than I presently do. Some nights I

Go to bed terrified, anxious I won’t

Rise for the next day. When I do

Wake, I cry for reasons I don’t

Fully recognize. Other than pain.

I know pain well. It’s unbearable,

Weird, awkwardly terrible. My

Pain’s embarrassing. I’m not

Embarrassed that I’m suffering

The wrath of Frank in my loans.

I’m embarrassed that other

People get uncomfortable

When I try to communicate

My agony. Frank’s this real

Monster living inside of me.

Frank the fire flaring IC man,

Starting fires and causing

Inflammation. I’m riddled with

Deceitful urgency dragging

Me out of sleep, meetings,

Social engagements. My

Intimate cavern expands then

Clenches in time with my heart

beat but a step ahead. I dare

Not breathe a deeper breath

As to not upset the balance.

Frank will not let me rest easy.

My Doctor seems uninterested in the

Journey I’m taking. Her phrasing

Leaves me hollow, plagued with inner

Doubt and inquisition. She’s said,

“Psychosomatic, psychologist, stress.

You’re anxiety’s getting the best of

You. You’ll do better with more rest.”

I have real visible symptoms. My suffering

Exists. Lesions line my bladder while

Hives my ribs. Psychosomatic. Like

I made the whole thing up? There’s

Nothing like being called crazy to make

You feel like you’re crazy.  I know my

Sufferings real. I physically see signs

Swelling irritation I feel the urgency,

Burning, stabbing pain all the time

I'm stressed, yes, but she won't tell me

What to do with the the anxiety or how

To manage she just gave me more -

In telling me my issues may be.


Yes I experience negative self talk,

But that doesn’t make me crazy. I may

Spend hours arguing with myself over

Why I'm stupid only I don't know who

To believe because both arguments

seem valid. Does that make me


Frank’s no longer just creating fires

In my loans, he’s  in my head. I believe

She believes I'm psychosomatic, my PCP

That is - how do you not have anxiety in

Today’s age where so much is asked of

Each individual. Everything I do makes

Me nervous. Everything I do makes me

Question everything I do. I can't breathe.

Ever. I never take a real breath. Air is never

Satisfying. I don’t always know what’s real.

Does my mind do this to my body or my

Body do this to my mind? I refuse to believe

This is all in my head. I’ll keep seeking answers

And fight the negative self talk telling me,

“I’m better off dead.”

A Day In Hell

A Day In Hell

A stream of intense emotions hits me at once ranging from complete self loathing, disgust with my body, fear of my continued suffering experience – to guilt, despair, and shame about how useless I believe myself to be. Some mornings I wake up with blinding […]