July 15, 2008
Vulvodynia Pain Management: Putting Off the Pudendal Nerve Surgery
I've been grappling with whether or not to go through with my surgery for the last month. I was scheduled to go under the knife in August, so I had to decide quickly.
I had been in a terrible flare for nearly 2 months, and surgery seemed like my only hope. But the flare finally subsided 2 weeks ago. Since then, I've lost that sense of urgency. I began really thinking about what surgery would entail and the possible outcomes:
-I could get better after the surgery
-I could stay the same
-I could get worse
The question was: am I ready to put myself through such and ordeal for those results? Worse than that, there's nothing after surgery. It's truly the last resort. I'm not ready to explore my last resort. As bad as things can be, I'm terrified that they could become worse. You can't undo surgery.
Right now, I have a lot of options. I can increase medication, change medication, increase compound use, change compounds, and most importantly, I can change my routine to truly accommodate my physical needs.
I've fought long and hard to have the kneeling chair and the height adjustable work station, but I don't always use them. Some days I'm tired and I just want to slouch in a normal chair and limp my way through a work day. By the time I leave work, the consequences of that decision are evident and often the flare I've created lasts for days.
Obviously, I'm not doing enough personally to avoid pain. I need to do more. I'm now treating my lady parts like fine china. No more sitting in normal chairs at work. I stand most of the day and when I get tired or I really have to concentrate on computer work, I'll use the kneeling chair. I've been able to avoid a long-lasting. I'm still in pain for portions of the day, but, thank God, it's passing.
At home, I recline as often as possible. I'm very conscious of how I arrange myself on any piece of furniture. I also have to be careful sitting down and getting up.
The other night I was in a hurry to get in the car and my butt hit that seat too hard at just the right angle. Pain started immediately and there was nothing I could do to reduce it. On the ride home, I was worried I had started something terrible. But I reclined for the rest of the night and by the next morning my pain level was back to zero.
I'm learning to really listen to my body. As soon as I start to feel uncomfortable, I know that something has to change. I've been relying on my doctor and medication to make me better, but I haven't done enough personally to make myself better.
When I come to the point where I can no longer avoid the pain, I will know that it is time for surgery. But while it is in my hands, I'm going to do everything in my power to manage my own pain.