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.

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