Living life and playing professional golf in spite of pain

Tuesday, September 2nd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A story of perseverance over pain. A pro-golfer managed to overcome an illness that could have kept her from playing. And even threatened her life. News on 6 reporter Rick Wells explains.

Most of us have never heard of Interstitial Cystitis. LPGA pro Terry Jo Myers knows it well, she's lived with it most of her adult life. And had a fairly successful pro golf career in spite of it. “I'd have to go to the bathroom 40, 50, 60 times a day and maybe 80 times a night every night for 12 years."

She had interstitial cystitis. It's a chronic inflammatory condition of the bladder, no known cause, and no cure either; she was 21 when it first appeared. Doctors told her she'd have to learn to live with it. So she did. While she lived with IC she also lived her dream on the LPGA tour. Playing not so much from hole to hole but bathroom to bathroom. "That's exactly how I played on tour. We have a lot of bathrooms. A lot of port-a-johns on tour for the gallery and for us. Get to the next one get to the next one."

It was a lot about timing, but there was also the pain. "There was chronic pain 24-7. It just wouldn't go away." She had married her high school sweetheart and had a beautiful baby girl, but she was ready to kill herself. "Suicide was definitely a thought, you think, I just can't live like this." Of course this bad news story gets better, or I wouldn't be talking to her at the Tulsa Country Club.

She didn't kill herself, she found a doctor who knew about IC and thought he could help. "To me that felt like a cure. Just that someone actually was telling me lets see what we can do instead of telling me to learn to live with it." It's working. She's still married to her high school sweetheart. Her daughter is 14 and starting high school.

This week, the focus is on golf, the LPGA in Tulsa. "It's not gonna be on can I get to the next bathroom, that's a pretty neat accomplishment." She says there are thousands and thousands of un-diagnosed or under-diagnosed cases, for which there is help.

No need to live with this terrifically painful and very inconvenient condition.