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Inspiring Interview: Kathryn




 

Kathryn's Story


Q: Tell us about you? What health conditions do you have and how have they impacted your life?

My pain started five years ago - I was 37 and I developed persistent sharp pain in my pelvic area. I was called an anomaly by an NHS consultant after MRIs and X-rays didn’t show any cause. After a lot of self-research, I found a specialist and was diagnosed with Pudendal Neuralgia two years later. It took a while to find a medication to manage my symptoms, but I’m finally on a dose that helps me live with relatively low pain levels most of the time. This year I was told I also have Painful Bladder Syndrome.



 

Pudendal Neuralgia

The main symptom of pudendal neuralgia is sharp, shooting, burning or tingling pain (nerve pain) or numbness in your pelvic/pubic area.


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Bladder pain syndrome (interstitial cystitis)

 



Q: What has been your biggest challenge? Or the hardest thing you've had to come to terms with?

The hardest thing for me has been giving up things I enjoyed like cycling and running. I can get quite anxious if I’m going out as I need to know whenI can access a loo! There have been plenty of times where I have dropped out of going somewhere or left early. Over the years, my mental health has been affected but I am now trying to live with the pain rather than battle against it- which is exhausting!



 



Q: Despite your challenges, what brings you joy?

I enjoy paddle boarding, reading and yoga. I find practicing gratitude and breathing techniques really helps on the tougher days.



 

Q: What has been your biggest achievement?

In 2022, I completed a level 4 qualification and became an online nutrition coach. I now use my knowledge and experience with pain to support others who live with chronic pain.


 


Q: If you could go back to when you were first diagnosed and give them a piece of advice, what would you say?

If I could go back and give myself some advice I would say don’t waste so much energy on trying to find a cure. Instead, listen to your body and learn what helps you to live alongside each other - and stay away from that bike! (Cycling can be a trigger of PN).




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