So I’m looking at these pictures online. Of bladders with interstitial cystitis. And I’m getting emotional. It’s coming from somewhere deep inside and I’m looking at these photos of other people’s bladders and I’m seeing what I saw on the computer monitor at the doctor’s office on Tuesday. And I’m losing it. You can’t tell by my face or by the way my hair looks nice today. But inside, deep beneath my skin’s protective layer, I’m dying. Absolutely dying. Because those pictures are of sick bladders. And my bladder looks just like those. And here’s the thing — it might not go away. Ever. And I’m in denial. I mean, thick denial. I acknowledge the disease with my lips, but in my heart I try to feel normal. I convince myself that I can have that piece of chocolate or that I should buy a bottle of wine for tomorrow’s dinner. As the weekend approaches I start to daydream about what restaurants I want to grace with my presence. I think about the sushi and soy sauce I’m craving and about how having one too many dirty martinis sounds appealing. But I don’t even know how I’ll feel tomorrow. Will my bladder be flaring or will I feel an unnerving calm. A calm that always tricks me into pretending this condition away. But I saw the pictures. There's is no more pretending.