February 27, 2009

Gym Woes

Last week I had my treadmill trouble and this week it seems that I can't find a pain-free stationary exercise machine. Pudendal neuralgia is ruining my fitness routine.

Monday I went at it a little hard. I was doing short bursts of rigorous activity followed by periods of my normal pace... God, reading this I sound like some kind of workout freak! That couldn't be further from the truth. I started going to the gym after I gained 25 pounds on Lyrica. Exercise has been really good for me. I find it really satisfying and I can see the results.

After 20 minutes of that I was sweaty and tired and I started to feel some pain. I only did standing weights and hoped for the best. It didn't get better and by Tuesday I became more and more aware of my irritated nerve.

Wednesday, I was feeling better, so I thought I'd give it another shot, without pushing myself. Just so I could get my heart rate up. It took me 3 paces on the running machine to realize that was out of the question. I hopped off and got on the elliptical. After 20 minutes going extremely slowly, I started to feel that same burning pain around my urethral meatus.

Give me a freakin' break! I can't do anything. I'm getting really frustrated. I might make an appointment with my doctor to get some advice on what physical activities I can do. I'm feeling like a complete cripple.

I have a horrible flare. I'm in so much burning pain today. It's very uncomfortable, standing doesn't help at all.

This whole situation is exacerbated by the fact that my eating disorder demons have been sitting heavily on my chest all week. Wednesday marked 9 months free of any eating disorder behavior. It's been 13 years since I've gone that long.

It's probably a combination of stress from school, my first exam was Thursday, eating big meals with family and being bigger than I'd like to be. I want to be trim and fit for my wedding. I don't want big flappy arms in all my pictures.

It's a bad combination and I've had a very difficult week. I'm very grateful anti-anxiety medication. It came in handy more than once.


AK said...

Ugh, I am right there with you. I used to be in such good shape, and now I'm all... lumpy. Well, at least compared to my former sleek and svelte self. Do you ever do yoga? I like this DVD: http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Free-Yoga-Weight-BEGINNERS/dp/B000AY6JVK/ref=pd_bbs_sr_4?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1235794435&sr=8-4. It doesn't bug my pudendal nerve too much, but I skip a few of the exercises when I'm in a flare.

Esther said...

Quinn, I read this yesterday but I've been thinking of you since! I was on the elliptical yesterday, coincidentally, and it doesn't really do anything to my pain -- so even though I have pain "down there," I can't imagine what you must be going through. My heart goes out to you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Quinn, I skimmed through your posts and I see that you tried physical therapy very shortly. It sounds like maybe she wasn't doing all she could for you? I,too, was diagnosed with pudendal neuralgia, along with interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia, and others. My urethra was also very painful. Anyway, I wonder if you would consider trying PT again? Only this time with a proven, confidant PT? I would email the girls at www.pelvicpainrehab.com and ask if they've trained anyone in your area. I saw five PTs before finding a good one and the good one was absolutely amazing and taught me how to do self PT. There is also a group that has an emphasis on PT called happypelvis. It is worth joining if for no other reason than the files section. It is amazing. And there are many women who are almost well or well. I wonder why you have a doc who was willing to do PN decompression surgery and hasn't insisted that you go to an excellent PT first. I wonder if it isn't the doc in Texas who doesn't have a very good reputation. The doc in NH, I believe insists on good PT and he has worked with the girls at pelvicpainrehab.


Hope this helps,

Anonymous said...

Hi again, I forgot to tell you that I am now well. It was very hard and a huge amount of effort, but I now have a normal life. I still have to do self PT occasionally, but it's no big deal. The group happypelvis was started by a girl who was also very sick with pelvic pain and PT got her well. She is a college student in San Francisco. I hope you will join. It has lots of info on how to tell if your PT is a good one or not.


Anonymous said...

http://health.groups. yahoo.com/group/happypelvis/

Quinn said...

Hey Anonymous,

Did you have pudendal nerve decompression or was the physical therapy enough?

I will definitely discuss physical therapy with my doctor the next time I see him.

In his defense, he is a fabulous doctor. There are many different approaches to vulvodynia and pudendal neuralgia, especially because so little is known and even less can be seen.

I'm really grateful that you gave me another direction to pursue. Thank you for all your information.

Lora said...

can you swim? i find that it is easier on the pain, but sometimes the cholorine can cause a problem. i have a lot of topical issues, i guess. who knows.

thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

hey lady, just thinking about you today. i have long since given up my gym membership and there's not a whole lot i can do except 'brisk walking' with my dog, which isn't much, but it's something. i do worry about that health piece growing older (i'm 34) just for cardio and bone health, etc. i also have struggled with eating issues in the past, and with all the drugs i'm taking (that can make you gain), it's doubly hard. plus weight is the one thing in all this horror we CAN control. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Quinn,

I was diagnosed with pudendal neuralgia by Dr. Jerome Weiss in San Francisco. His practice is called Pacific Center for Pelvic Pain. He has written many excellent articles. He is a big believer in PT and until he got some PTs in his office, he did his own PT. He hired Stephanie Prendergast and she is who worked on my while I was there (only five days). I was then able to come home and continue on my own and with my husband to do therapy.

Dr. Weiss also performed a PN block on me, and I had it done by another doc here in Colorado. However, I'm not sure that I would recommend it. I have heard some horror stories.

Stephanie eventually branched out on her own and started pelvic pain rehab in San Fran. She has become world reknowned and trains other PTs and doctors (how to do a pain exam) on a regular basis. She has also written many great articles on PT for PN and pelvic pain. Her site is www.pelvicpainrehab.com . Be sure to read the newsletters.

I would also email her and see if she has trained anyone in your area. This is such a specialized area and so many PTs who say they are good, just plain aren't. I went to several doctor recommend PTs and no one compared with Stephanie.

I still would join happypelvis if for no other reason than for the articles in the files section.

I hope this helps,

love, Molly

PS, I was very sick. I was suicidal due to the constant pain. I wasn't a quick fix, but I am now well. I have sex and ride horses and thank God every day for it.