Monday, January 19, 2009

Anxiety Overload

I'm feeling really anxious today. And when I feel anxious, I feel it everywhere. My whole body is tense, I snap at my fiance, I lose patience with my dog, I screen phone calls and want nothing more than to sit on my couch and watch Bravo.

A year ago this Valentine's Day marks the beginning of my second attempt at overcoming vaginismus through physical therapy. All was going really well until this past July when I started feeling some minor discomfort and irritation when I used my dilators. My physical therapist recommended I get checked out and when I did, my gynecologist performed a biopsy on me to rule out lichen sclerosis. The biopsy was really painful. Even thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes... I was essentially re-traumatized. The biopsy came back negative for lichen sclerosis and lichen planus (both chronic skin disorders) and so I went on my merry way, hoping it was just a yeast infection and that I'd get better and be able to resume physical therapy soon.

That was six months ago. Just a couple of weeks ago, after visiting a specialist in vulvo-vaginal pain, I learned that I do, indeed, have lichen planus. Yesterday when I was cleaning out my desk I came across five letters from various doctors telling me my test results were normal. With each one unearthed, I got more and more frustrated. Because this specialist told me that I have most likely had lichen planus for years and years and that it probably caused my vaginismus. It's just that no one has recognized it before now.

So here I am, 33, about to get married and still unable to have sex, let alone children. I'll have lichen planus for the rest of my life, the hope being that it goes into "periods of remission." Some days I'm hopeful that I will heal soon, that I'll be able to resume physical therapy. Today I'm just sad and frustrated and worried about my future.

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