September 24, 2007
My First Diagnosis...of many
After an entire semester of sexual pain, classes ended and I went home. I had three months of rest and recovery. No sex. No pain. No burning. Then I went to my gynecologist for my annual checkup.
When she inserted the speculum, I screamed. It was the same piercing, jolting pain I felt every time, but worse, because I wasn't expecting it. I remember lying on my back with tears rolling down my temples and into my hair.
The doctor found some inflammation and told me to abstain from sex for at least a month. I told her I hadn't had sex in close to two months, which prompted her to inquire about my sexual history. Vulvodynia was the diagnosis she gave me, and with it, she wrote a prescription for Amitriptalene. She explained that in vulvodynia, the skin in that area is less resilient and a low dose antidepressant can help the skin recover better. She also wrote me a new prescription for Xylocane jelly.
I felt encouraged to learn that medication could make me better. At the same time, I felt ashamed. There really was something wrong with me, but I couldn't talk about it with my parents and I didn't want my partner to know.
I thought, "What person would ever want to be with someone who is sexually dysfunctional?"
I found myself feeling even more alone and discouraged than I had sitting in that drawer in my dorm room.