November 25, 2008

Still Flared

My doctor told me that most likely the reason I'm still in pain is because the nerve has flared. In this case, the problem began in the skin, the pain signaling from the skin trauma caused the nerve to flare. He didn't find any evidence of yeast, but there was an overabundance of good bacteria, which could imply that there was yeast before I took the Diflucan.

He also found fissions, or tears in my clit, which could have been cause by trauma or just from the presence of yeast. I think the tears were cause by wearing pajama pants to bed. I would guess tossing around caused the seam to rub me in all the wrong places. Either way, the only thing I'm wearing to bed from now on is socks, maybe a T-shirt if it's cold.

My doctor wrote me a prescription for Climdese, which helps treat the bacteria levels in my cootie catcher. It's a cream that you insert. Fun stuff. And the best part is, as the goo is seeping out of me, it's getting lodged in the folds of my clit and causing me a tremendous amount of pain and discomfort. I've had to get in the bathtub 2 or 3 times a day to clear it out. It's so painful.

This is the first time I've had a pain flare in my clit and it is horrific. The increasing scope of my condition makes me worry that my nerve damage is getting worse. God knows it's not going to get better without surgical intervention, if then.

I really try to keep those worrysome, negative thoughts out of my head. It's completely out of my control. Besides, I have so much to be thankful for in my life.

You can't forget that life, in any state, is a gift. This is the time we have to enjoy. In the words of the late Joseph Campbell, "follow your bliss."

November 20, 2008

I Guess My Lady Bits Felt Left Out

Although my man popped the question almost a week ago, we have yet to consummate our engagement. Why? Well, the first three nights we were absolutely exhausted, plus we were staying at his parents house.

All of Monday I had all this burning pain. It felt like the skin in that area was stretched to the breaking point. I had no idea what was going on down there.

When I got home from class that night, I had a private moment with my mirror and discovered a swollen screaming red rash all over muzzle. I was horrified. I had no idea what would have caused it.

I went to sleep with the hydrocortezone and the next morning it had cleared up. But as Tuesday wore on I started to feel the familiar rawness of a yeast infection. I was really not happy about that.

My best guess is that my clam did not enjoy a night of sweating in panties and jeans at the concert. I think it might be something like adult diaper rash, minus the adult diaper. How disgusting am I?

I took a Diflucan that night. Wednesday morning things seemed to be better, but I noticed that my hot button was irritated. When I took a shower that night my clit really started to hurt. It felt like someone had sanded it, even the slightest contact was jarring.

I am officially in a flare. Everything down there burns. I don't know what's wrong. I changed shampoo and I know sometimes that can set things off. Perhaps it's just a nerve flare from the trauma of the last few days. I have no idea.

I had to take pain medication today to manage it. That's my last resort and I never take it during the day, but I'm miserable. My clit is still raw and my baby shute is on fire.

I hope this gets better soon. It's especially distressing because I don't know what's wrong. Over the years I've become pretty in tune with my pain. I can usually pin-point what started the pain, but not this time. I think it's almost entirely vulvodynia related. Something irritated my skin and I'm paying for it. I'm sure my pudendal nerve has flared from the pain signalling.

I'm seeing my doctor first thing in the morning. I hope he can help me.

November 17, 2008

A New Life with Vulvodynia

Warning: This has nothing to do with vulvodynia or pudendal neuralgia

Last Friday was the best night of my life. My boyfriend and I went to see my favorite musician, Butch Walker, at the North Star Bar in Philadelphia. It was the best crowd I've ever experienced. Everyone was quiet and respectful and everyone knew the words to every song, even the songs from his latest album, which was release three days earlier. We die-hard fans have our ways of hearing his music before it hits the streets.

My boyfriend isn't too well acquainted with Butch's music, but he knows a few songs. When the song "Don't Move" began playing, I reach out and grabbed his hand. I knew he knew that song because I put it in a mix I made for him 2 years ago when we fell in love. He pulled me close and as the chorus began, I looked down and he was holding a ring in front of me.

I was completely overcome with love and joy. I began shaking and tears ran down my cheeks. I absolutely could not believe what was happening. He slid the ring onto my finger as my hands shook.

"I hope you'll say yes," he said.

"You haven't asked me."

He paused and said, "will you be my wife?"


I couldn't take my eyes off him. I couldn't stop hugging him and smiling. After that moment, there was only one man in the room. He is the only person who could take my focus away from Butch Walker.

I really thought my boyfriend was incapable of romance, but I was wrong. He took my breath away. I was completely shocked. I couldn't believe he pulled it off. I had no idea it was coming. I never would have thought he would propose at the Butch concert. It was perfect, a dream come true.

I am so blessed to have him in my life. He has been my best friend and my biggest supporter in my daily struggles with vulvodynia and pudendal neuralgia. I am a very lucky woman and the best part is, I get to keep him.

I'm getting married!

November 13, 2008

Seasonal Depression or Something Else

I'm taking a break from vulvodynia and pudendal neuralgia blogging in order to share something else personal.

I'm having some trouble with sleep and anxiety. The last few weeks I've had bouts of insomnia and an elevated level of day-to-day anxiety. I know daylight savings time really threw me off, especially since I was out of time that weekend. The darkness that begins to creep over the skyline at 4:00pm is really getting me down. But despite of the lowered mood and the shift in time, I can't fall asleep.

This produces one nasty cycle: I have trouble initially falling asleep, then I worry I won't be able to fall asleep, my anxiety level increases, and then I can't sleep. You would think there was a pill for that, well there is, actually, there are a few, and nothing is working for me. I take a low dose Ambien, but it hasn't been able to get me to sleep. I have drugs for anxiety, but they haven't been able to take the edge off to help me fall asleep.

It's a mess. I'm seeing my psychiatrist on Monday to tweak my drugs, but until then I have feeling I'll be pretty tired.

On top of the anxiety produced by trying to go to sleep, I've been really anxious about school. I feel low and panicky when I think about having to go to class.

So this leads me to wonder, is this seasonal depression? I've always loved the fall, so that seems unlikely. Is it stress from the end of the semester? I'm in the home stretch, but the concepts in chemistry have become extremely complex. Could it simply be that the efficacy of my drugs have plateaued and I need to boost them? Maybe it's all of the above.

Whatever it is, it's taking a serious toll on me. I might go buy an over-the-counter sleep aid to get me through the rest of the week.

November 7, 2008

Traveling with PN & Vulvodynia

I'm sorry I haven't posted to the blog in a while. My life has been pretty hectic. I had a major exam two weeks ago and last weekend I visited Boston.

It was my first time in Bean Town and I absolutely loved it, but the travel was hard on my moose knuckle.

First of all we flew Air Tran and the seat was so hard, it felt like I was sitting on a wooden chair. I balled up my winter coat and sat on it, but that didn't make much of a difference. I contorted myself into a position where I wasn't putting pressure on anything sensitive and fell asleep.

From the airport we took a bus and then a train to a friends house. The public transportation in Boston is fabulous. It's convenient to get anywhere without ever getting into a car.

That would be great for anyone, unless you can't sit on hard surfaces. In hindsight, I should have brought my cushion. Although it never even occurred to me. Honestly, I think I would have been too embarrassed to lug it around.

I was there with my boyfriend and some of his closest and oldest friends. I didn't want them to think, "oh look, there's Nick's clippled girlfriend. What's wrong with her? Why is she carrying a cushion?"

Sometimes you want to keep your private business private. I don't like raising the eyebrows of his friends and family. I don't want to give them any reason to think that he shouldn't be with me. I hate being judged and condemned for something I can't help, especially because its something that doesn't impair my ability to be a strong and loving partner.

Don't get me wrong, it's human nature to judge and be concerned for the well-being of someone you love. But in my case, it's so difficult to explain. People may be curious, but as soon as you start using terms like "chronic pain" and "vagina," they want to run.

I'm still flared from my trip, but I'm managing. I had such a wonderful time. It was definitely worth the discomfort. But in December I'm flying Air Tran again and I'll definitely be bringing my cushion.