ICP Care Ambassador
My name is Joelene Johnson, I am the Iowa Ambassador for ICP Care. I started experiencing itching on the soles of my feet entering third trimester. I attributed it to sitting in my car most of the day for part of my job and also, we were entering the warmer months so I figured it was just due to being warm. It would always get worse at night and would get even worse in the middle of the night when I’d wake up. I randomly ran across a podcast about ICP and thought WOW that’s Totally my symptoms. I had never heard of it before and I’m a nurse so pretty knowledgeable in medical conditions. I called my doctor immediately and was able to get tested at 37 weeks. Results came back negative but symptoms persisted and I tested again at 38 weeks. My doctor never called with results, so I went on my online chart and the labs were elevated, indicating, I was positive. I immediately burst into tears and called my doctor that day. He was in the OR so another doctor looked over everything and told me to come in and it’s time to deliver our baby! I was so terrified but by the time we got to our room I finally felt safe being monitored. I was 38.5 weeks at this point. I was induced and delivered a healthy baby boy. My itching did not go away until I changed my diet and finally, they dissipated around 6 weeks postpartum. I still struggle with mild symptoms but continue to use all opportunities to move the needle toward healing with diet, relaxation, mindfulness and whatever I can do. I would love to help support others in their journey.
My goals as an ICP Care Ambassador are to raise awareness of what Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy is, to find support system whether that’s online or near your hometown. Also, to just help other moms in their journey and to help them with emotional support and to be their own advocate. I would like to support others as I found this extremely helpful in my experience due to little to no support from my healthcare providers.