August 27, 2008

Busting My Ass In School and Causing a Nerve Flare

I am literally busting my ass in school. I work full-time and this semester I'm taking two classes. I normally only take one. Given the circumstances, I have to sit in a classroom for 4 hours a night, 3 days a week. Only 2 days in and I'm starting to feel the pain. Vulvodynia and academia don't mix.

I've got a manageable setup in my office: I've got me kneeling chair and my standing desk. I can get through the day without too much discomfort. My pain increases over the course of the day, but by 5:30, I'm usually home and reclining to take the pressure off my nerve.

I no longer have that luxury. I leave work, get in my car, drive to class and then plant myself in a rigid desk. I can't usually contort myself to tolerate an uncomfortable seat for a small duration of time. But last night, there was no comfortable position.

By the time I came home, I was in bad shape. I'm going to have to start bringing a cushion to class. Hopefully that will be enough. I don't want to draw negative attention to myself, but I don't have a choice. I'm not going to sit back and cause myself unnecessary pain.

Last night I found myself feeling frustrated and discouraged. I realized how much my pudendal neuralgia and vulvodynia have progressed over the last 2 years. They're getting worse and I don't know if I have the ability to stop them.

I still believe I made the right decision to put off the pudendal nerve decompression surgery, but I know it's on the horizon. Maybe I should try another nerve block.

August 25, 2008

Follow Up on Second Vulvodynia Online Support Group Meeting

I was extremely fortunate to have the same two lovely ladies join me for the second vulvodynia online support group meeting. Once again, I learned a great deal from the chat.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the meeting was the sense of connection I felt. We're beginning to know each other a little bit and it makes it easier to discuss life and pain.

Thank you again to my participants.

Maybe next month we'll have a few more visitors.

August 19, 2008

Support Group Meeting Thursday at 8:00pm EST

I will be hosting an online support group meeting on Thursday August 21 at 8:00pm EST. To participate register a user name and type in the chatbox located on the right hand side of the screen.

Hope to see you there.

August 18, 2008

Wholy Moley: It's Pre-Cancer

My vulvodynia specialist called me last Friday and told me that he got the results of the biopsy and the mole was pre-cancer. If left untreated, it had the potential to become malignant. I'm surprised, and so is he.

The atypical cells extended all the way to the edge of the mole, so to ensure that he successfully removed everything, he must reopen the now healed incision and check. Hopefully he'll be able to do it in the office tomorrow. If not, I'll have to have the remaining tissue removed in the OR.

I really thought it was nothing. I thought I was being overly cautious, but apparently I was just being smart.

There are two lessons you can take away from this experience:

1) if you have a skin growth that worries you, have it assessed by a professional

2) it's not a bad idea to sneak a peak at your butt-hole once in a while

August 14, 2008

NOT Fun In the Summertime

I was scheduled to have my pudendal nerve decompression surgery on Monday; and my boyfriend had graciously taken three days off to take care of me. I decided a month ago to postpone the surgery, so we decided to take advantage of the time off and head to the beach.

I had a great time until the last day. I've managed to get through the summer almost entirely without underwear. It's been a pleasant stay-cation for my lady bits. But you can't go to the beach and the pool without your bathing suite, at least not in New Jersey, so my moose knuckle was tightly confined spandex for 4 days.

By the fourth day, my clit was throwing a fit. I was extremely uncomfortable and I had to cut my final day of beach time short because I was just miserable. To make matters worse, the I had spent 25 minutes on an elliptical machine the day before to work off some vacation pounds, causing my urethra to flare.

I was feeling pretty crabby, but after half a vicodan and a long soak in the tub, I started to feel a little better.

I've never had a problem wearing a bathing suite before, but pain is dynamic and ever evolving. I know now to limit my bikini time. It's frustrating, but by now I've grown all too accustomed to vaginal setbacks.

August 6, 2008

Pain in the Butt: Mole Removal

A week ago I went under the knife and had my poorly placed mole removed. I'm extremely fortunate to have to doctor that I do. This procedure was so routine to him, he had taken a mole off another woman's anus just 4 hours earlier that day!

Turns out my mole was on butt skin and not anal skin. My doctor said that aside from the size, it looked normal. In preparation for the removal I got a gigantic shot of lidocaine. It hurt so much it took my breath away. After that I had no pain, but I could feel all the pressure and pulling as he cut the mole out and then stitched me up.

The mole removal wasn't bad at all. I should get the biopsy results this week, but I'm not concerned. I did learn, however, that vulvar skin can be quite susceptible to melanoma. I was shocked. When I think skin cancer, I think of someone who spent too much time in the sun. There's a reason they call your privates "the place where the sun don't shine," but apparently that doesn't matter when it comes to skin cancer.

That's something to keep in mind. If you see an abnormal growth or discoloration in your lady canyon, have someone take a look. It could save your life.