December 30, 2008

Happy Holiday Find

I did some traveling over the holiday season and, like so many, I got stuck in the airport for a few extra hours before departure. During that time I wandered around the airport shops with my future sister in law. In Brookstone she discovered a cushion designed to take pressure off your tailbone and she asked me if I could use it. I got really excited.

The cushion I bought from the Interstitial Cystitis website has been worn down by constant use. I keep it in the car and use it every day. It's served me well but I wanted something with more support.

This Brookstone cushion looked perfect! Only problem was it was $40. I felt quite conflicted. It seemed perfect, but that was an awful lot of money to spend on myself during the holiday season. My wonderful sister in law said she would split the price with me and call it my gift. I hemmed and hawed a bit, but she convinced me to buy it.

After some modifications with a kitchen knife, it fits my body just right. My doctor has advised using a kneeling pad and cutting an opening that would aliviate any pressure on the nerve while sitting. The kneeling pads at Homedepot are thin and uncomfortable. This cushion is fabulous. I feel no pressure on my pudendal nerve when I sit.

I don't plan on doing any marathon sitting, but it's good to know that I have the support I need when I do have to sit for extended periods of time in the car or elsewhere.

When I first visited my doctor about the last flare he said that it could have been attributed to the two and a half hours I spent between Baltimore and Philadelphia. I told him that I don't sit on my firezone and instead I cock my legs to one side and put all the pressure on my hip. He told me in that position I was hyper-extending the nerve, which could also cause a flare.

Man, sometimes it's impossible to keep my doctor and my coochie happy! He told me the best way to sit was with two feet on the floor. And of course, on a cushion.

Over the years, I've learned that it is in my best interest to heed his advice. I've been ignoring it for long enough and obviously my way isn't working.

Honestly, I'm so happy with this cushion, I might buy another one for my fiance's car and maybe my office.

BTW- Yes, that is a stick of deodorant on my dining room table...

December 15, 2008

Well Enough for a Waxjob

For the first time in 2 months, I'm going into the salon and getting my nana waxed. I'm a month overdue. But around the time I normally schedule, my flare started. Five weeks later I'm doing better.

The clitoral pain seems to be under control. I still have it, but it's tolerable. Obviously having hot wax ripped off that area causes a flare, but it usually passes in a day. I'm willing to take the chance because I just hate pubes.

Having a smooth peach makes me feel more comfortable. My vag has so many potentially embarrassing problems, I like to at least keep the lawn well maintained. For some reason, it makes me hate that part a little less. It may not work well, but at least it looks pretty.

My Dad always tells me, "tis better to look good than be good." How true.

December 12, 2008

Why Couldn't It Be A Normal Problem?

I just have to reiterate how absurd this whole situation is. I really thought I was going to see my doctor and he would say, "yup, the skin looks a little irritated. Use some Hydrocortisone for a few days and go back to your old shampoo."

Instead he tells me that my clit is fusing shut. Come on! Does that really happen to people?!?!?

The good news is, the steroid seems to be making a difference. I've used it for 3 nights and my clitoral pain has decreased. I'm sure digging out that mass of epithelial cells helped as well. I haven't started pulling things apart when I apply the ointment. I want to let it calm down first.

I think between my class being over and my clit being treated, I should have a pretty nice weekend. I hope you all do the same.

Thank you for your thoughts and support through this difficult flare.

December 10, 2008

All I Want for Christmas Is a Brand New V

There always seems to be something going wrong in my netherlands. Here's the latest.

First, a disclaimer: I've grown almost too comfortable discussing lady bits, but this topic even makes me squirm. Please forgive the graphic content.

When I told my doctor that I was still having miserable clitoral pain he asked me if I had recently experienced any kind of straddling trauma. The answer is a definite no. My doctor decided that he needed to take a closer look.

Wearing magnifying specs, my doctor got an extreme closeup of my lady lump. He had to stretch it and spread it apart in every which way. At times it was so painful, I thought I was going to shoot right off the examining table.

He asked if I used any creams on that area and I told him no. I tried once and some of the product didn't dissolve and got stuck in my folds, causing me unbearable pain.

Just as I described, my doctor uncovered some material stuck in my hood. He put on the screen to show me what he was seeing. He then proceeded to squirt water to try and dislodge the matter, but to no avail. Finally he took a toothpick, a blue toothpick to be exact, and began gently scraping the material out of the fold.

The whole order was extremely uncomfortable, but being able to see what he was doing really helped. I knew what to expect and therefore I didn't jump when he made contact. Don't get me wrong, the view was gruesome. I told my doctor he could use that footage in a horror movie.

He was able to remove the material and he explained that it was a collection of skin that had sloughed off and gotten caught. He also told me that part of my clit was fusing together over a site of inflammation.

Apparently, when a collection of skins cells gets lodged in a clitoral fold it can cause inflammation and irritation. The skin then heals over the irritated area, trapping the material under the skin. What's worse is the skin now buried under a layer of fused skin is still sloughing off skin at the same rate. You can wind up with something similar to a cyst filled with sloughed skin matter. Gross!

Now the normal woman wouldn't even know this was transpiring just below her panties. But with my hypersensitivity from my pudendal neuralgia, the whole process is unbearable. Normal women only become aware of a problem much later when they lose sensitivity in their buttons.

At that point, my doctor performs a procedure to open up the fused folds and remove any trapped matter. It's a very minor procedure with only 2 or 3 sutures, but because of the area, patients must be in a very dark twilight sleep.

Patients who go through this procedure come out very happy on the other side because they can successfully flick their beans again.

I'm not a candidate for the surgery yet. My doctor gave me a steroid cream to help with inflammation. He also told me that when I apply it, I should try opening it up to try to reverse the fusion. If it doesn't get better in a few weeks, he told me to call and schedule the procedure.

I asked him what I could do for the pain in the interim and he told me not much. I can go up on the Neurontin or take opioids. Neither of those are appealing to me. I found this news pretty distressing.

When I left his office to go to the pharmacy, I started to feel nausious and panicky. The vision of my clit being raked with a toothpick coupled with the thought a surgical procedure made me feel sick and knowing that there's nothing I can do about the pain made me feel panicky, helpless and trapped in a body that continually fails me.

I bought myself a large Hershey's Symphony bar when I paid for my prescription and when I got home I took a Vicodin to try to take the edge off the searing pain in my clit from all the poking and prodding.

It was a rough night.

December 9, 2008

It Continues... Back to the Doctor

The vaginal flare has subsided, but the clitoral flare rages on. It's been more than three weeks! I have good days where it's pretty quiet, but they are few and far between. It's beginning to take a toll on me.

I still have intense feelings of rawness and burning. I'm taking every precaution to ensure that it's clean and dry, but that doesn't seem to be enough. I think my change in shampoo may have something to do with it. Perhaps it's causing some irritation.

I don't know for sure, so I'm headed back to my doctor's office tonight. I was scheduled for a wax job, but I thought it would be better to figure out what's wrong with my snatch before I subject it to more torture. This sucks!