How I told my boyfriend about my IC

Image- Rachel and Aaron taking a selfie cheeks pressed together smiling in NYC


The first time I told Aaron that I had Interstitial Cystitis (IC) was on our second date. We were at the Silver Diner and I was so nervous to tell him. I had been single for a year when I met him. I had been busy focusing on myself and trying to take care of my health while working, volunteering and finishing up my BA. Before I met him, I was also certain that I was going to be a spinster. A fact that I loved and still love to talk about, especially because I have so many cats. 

But I knew I had to tell him about my IC. So finally I just told him. I have a bladder disease called Interstitial cystitis. He listened while I explained it. I was still so nervous. What if he turned and ran. Or just never talked to me again. This is a chronically ill person’s fear, that they are undateable or undesirable. He listened and asked a few questions.

However, it should be noted that he was/is on a ‘special’ diet of his own, the ketogenic diet to lose weight. So his diet was/is limited as well but in a different way than mine. In the end, it’s different because I have a disease and he is perfectly healthy. But I think the fact that his diet is limited made it easier for him to accept my food limitations. As someone who was already used to cooking his own meals and trying to customize things when he went out to eat.

On our third date, he invited me over to his place where he made me IC friendly pizza from scratch. Because I told him how much I love pizza and that it’s hard for me to eat pizza often because I can’t just order pizza.. it has to be made. So he made it from scratch and it was amazing. He even downloaded the IC app on his phone to make sure he knows all the bladder friendly and cautionary foods at all times.

During the beginning of our relationship, I said something along the lines of him having to deal with this burden of mine. He said something that I will never forget, I don’t look at it that way, I look at it as simply accommodating your needs. That’s the kind of thing people with a chronic illness need to hear and of course, people who say it need to mean it. 

We have been together a year now, and if we are out driving, the second I tell him I need a bathroom he finds one. No questions asked. He knows I have IC and he will never question if I can hold it because I can’t. When we go places, if people offer me food, often before I can even say anything, he will ask them what’s in it He is very conscientious of the food he makes for me and the food he allows other people to give me. 

Oy! Was I the lucky girl to find this goy* straight away who takes care of me when I’m sick, hurting and in pain.

*goy – a yiddish word meaning non-Jew. 


Image- Aaron and Rachel taking a selfie making silly faces with tongues sticking out in front of Spring Awakening poster in NYC


8 thoughts on “How I told my boyfriend about my IC

  1. He sounds awesome, you are so lucky! I’m so happy for you. I find that my husband watches out for me when people offer food too. He will ask what’s in it and make sure I’m not “allergic” to any of it. That is our word for ‘it isn’t going in her mouth’. Although, I do have a few food allergies that are listed on my medical sheet under allergies. But my allergies to medications is crazy long. Most antibiotics, I’m allergic to. I’m allergic to limes and some nuts, but not all of them. I’m a weird one. lol

    1. There are some rare occasions when I wish boyfriend better understood my health, not often though. One of us needs to be healthy…and by one of us..I mean him. Because I’m certainly not. I’m right there with you! Did you read my most recent blog post from friday? It talks about my terrible allergic reaction to an inhaler last week. I am so sensitive that if there is something that nobody ever had a reaction to… I will. My primary doctor always says…”only you Rachel…only you” lol so I think me and you are quite similar..quite!

      1. I agree, we are quite similar! I have allergic reactions to thing no one else has allergic reactions to. We’re the oddballs. LOL I believe I did read your post about the inhaler, but I’m not certain..short term memory issues. Sorry.

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