Monday, August 8, 2011


Let me preface this post by saying that my husband is very patient, loving, and supportive. I know this and am appreciative of him everyday and tell him so.


One of my biggest pet peeves as related to all this stuff is when a practitioner - especially one I don't really know - says, "Your husband must be very patient." This happened to me today when I saw an ob-gyn for the first time. I almost said, "I'm very patient, too," but instead I just rolled my eyes while she was writing in my chart and said, "He is."

What this implies is that there's something wrong with me and that I'm lucky to have someone that puts up with me. What it doesn't imply is that we each have our own issues and we support each other equally - it's not one sided.

I know that this statement is meant as a compliment, but it's insensitive. What if my husband wasn't patient and we were having problems because of it? If I haven't divulged anything about him, please please please don't say this, all you doctors out there. It just undermines all the progress that I've made against this idea that I'm broken or not a real woman or that I need someone to take care of me. I might be overreacting, but this statement has been said to me so many times and I'm really tired of being polite and nodding along while inside I'm pissed off.

My friends and I have joked about writing a book that chronicles the unbelievable things that health care professionals have said to us in our quest for healing. It would be meant as a kind of handbook for doctors for what not to say when treating someone with vulvar pain. Now... this statement is one of the more benign ones we've heard, but it would still make the list.

What say you guys? Any doozies that professionals have said to you that left you speechless and seething?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Trying to stay positive

There's a funny thing that happens whenever I have new pain or irritation or itching or fill-in-the-blank. I immediately rush to the worst case scenario, thinking that on top of everything else, I'll have to live forever with this new symptom. This is really not good or productive thinking and I'm doing my best to override it, but it's hard, knowing how the last few years have gone.

In the last week, I've been experiencing a real burning kind of irritation in addition to itching. Because I live in a different state from my vulvar specialist, I had to pick an ob-gyn at random, which is terrifying. I found this person through the NVA, so at least I know they have experience with vulvodynia patients, but it's still anxiety-inducing. I see her on Monday, and I hope it's just a minor infection that can be cleared up with meds. Because right now it's putting a hold on everything else.

Despite this recent development, things have been going pretty well with physical therapy. I've been able to insert the large dilator and my husband and I have been attempting penetration (with no success yet, but we're trying). After repeated attempts, I decided this is more a mental issue than a physical one at this point, considering how well I do with my dilators and during my physical therapy sessions. I feel anxious and scared and my muscles tighten up, making it impossible for anything to get in there.

I was prescribed valium to try to relax a bit and have started dealing with my emotional issues in therapy. Does anyone have experience with valium? Tips? Things to avoid?

So now I wait until Monday to see what the doctor thinks. In the meantime, I'm trying to stay positive.