March 31, 2009

A Workout Without Pain

Over the weekend I went to the gym and got through my entire 45 minute workout without any pain! It was awesome! I've modified what I do A LOT to accommodate my vulvodynia and pudendal neuralgia. Saturday those changes paid off.

I was on the elliptical for 20 minutes, but I only give it 50%. That's enough to get moving and elevate my heart rate to enough to be considered low impact fat burning. Usually by 12 minutes I start to hurt. Reducing my speed and resistance reduced the trauma to my nerve.

Since the last flare I hardly sit to do any weight training. I've been standing or lying down and working my arms, shoulders and legs. I have to sit to do back, but I've VERY careful.

I'm extremely relieved that I finally had a pain-free workout.

I'm not a gym-nut, by any means, but I've found that exercising makes a big difference in my life. Working out makes me feel proud of myself and satisfied. It's also helped reduce my anxiety and helped me fall asleep faster. Sleeping has been a problem for me since college. I'm now sleeping without Ambien. I've been on Ambien for 3 years. Finally, going to the gym has improved my appearance. I gained 25 pounds on Lyrica and I've spent a year and a half trying to work it all off.

I highly reccommend some form of exercise to any woman living with vulvodynia and pudendal neuralgia. Impact can irritate the nerve, so don't go out and run a marathon or walk five miles, but get your heart beating. It feels good.

March 25, 2009

Thank You

I want to thank all the brave and wonderful ladies who participated in the online vulvodynia support group meeting last night. Thank you for sharing your experiences and your advice.

It is a great comfort to know that I'm not alone and there are other women out there who understand.

If you missed the meeting last night, you can check out the transcript in the chat box.

Thank you again, ladies.

March 24, 2009

Reminder: Online Support Group Meeting Tonight at 8:00 EST

Come interact with fellow patients living with vulvodynia, pudendal neuralgia, vulvar vestibulitis, IC and other chronic pelvic pain conditions.

Rules of Etiquette

1. Please be respectful of everyone in the group. We are not competing for who has it worse. We're all in the same boat, and we all know how difficult it can be.

2. Please remember this is intended to create a positive environment, so please keep your negativity in check. I know this can be a challenge given the subject, but it is necessary for the success of the group.

Here's How It Will Work:

-The chat will be held in the left sidebar on this page.

-Log in to participate by giving a username and a password.

-A topic will be introduced and then everyone will be invited to share her experience.

-The meeting will last one hour

March 19, 2009

Online Support Group Meeting Tuesday March 24th

I've had a lot of interest in the Online Vulvodynia and Pudendal Neuralgia Support Group, so I've scheduled a meeting for Tuesday March 24th at 8:00 pm EST. I hope you'll join me and other women who are in your shoes.

One Good Thing About Being A Cripple

My flare has finally ended. I still have some pain, but that seems to be the norm now. I don't get to stay at zero like I once could.

Recently, I found a ray of sunshine in the cloudy abyss of vulvodynia and pudendal neuralgia. I got a jury duty notice in the mail. I was summoned, but I had to give all my information in preparation of a jury summons. Boo! I did not want to be called for jury duty and now I never will.

When I showed my notice to my brilliant fiance, he said, "can't your doctor write you a note for that?" Of course, how in the world could I sit in some horrible chair for 8 hours a day? There's no way. I would be in agony. I don't think the court system would let one random juror stand up during the trial.

I called my doctor and found out that he has completed the necessary paperwork for other patients. It took me a week to get through to the city courthouse, but now the permanent disability form is in the mail. As soon as I receive it, I have to take it to my doctor to complete and I have to return the original to the courthouse.

I'm very relieved I have the opportunity to do this. I appreciate the civic duty of being on a jury, but it's really not something my body can handle.

I had an important meeting yesterday at work and I had to sit properly at a table for an hour and a half. It started a minor flare. Next time, I'm just going to stand, even if it makes me look unprofessional or conspicuous. It's just not worth the pain to pretend to be something I'm not.

March 11, 2009

Finally Some Relief

The Clindamicin has made a big difference. My burning has dissipated to a tolerable level. I'm glad my doctor figured out the source and prescribed the right treatment. I was even able to get my monthly wax job!

I've learned that while it's good to monitor your symptoms, but for a diagnosis and treatment, I'm better off going to my doctor. For all I know, it was lactobacillus all along and there never was a yeast infection.

My doctor has a policy where you can be squeezed into the schedule on a given day for a yeast check. I didn't want to trouble my doctor or myself because I really thought I had it all figured out. In the end, I still had to go see him. Next time I think I have a yeast infect, I'm starting with him. Even if there's no yeast, he my see another explosion in the lactobacillus population.

Without a microscope and a wet prep, I can't make those determinations from home. Hmmm...

March 6, 2009

Another Pre-Cancerous Mole

I can't believe I posted a picture of my bloated maggot toes.

A few months back, I had the infamous mole removed from the outskirts of my anus. My doctor advised that I see a dermatologist to get the rest of my moles checked out. He was astounded that the first dermatologist who identified the butt mole as atypical didn't check me.

I decided for a thorough job I needed to make an appointment with my primary dermatologist. The old guy who saw my ass is my fallback. I can be seen much faster when I call his office. Yesterday I went to the dermatologist and guess what? She found two other atypical moles.

She removed one on my stomach and took pictures and measurements of the one the second toe of my right foot. I have to come back in three months to see if it has changed. I'll probably have that one removed and biopsied then.

I asked my dermatologist why I had so many pre-cancerous growths, especially considering I never go out in the sun. And obviously, I've never tanned my asshole. She told me that sun damage is only one factor of melanoma. I am genetically predisposed to develop melanoma. She told me to avoid being in the sun and to protect myself thoroughly when I do spend time outside.

My dermatologist asked me if I had any history of melanoma, but I didn't know of any. After my appointment I called my mom to tell the latest health problem I have. She told me that my father's cousin died of melanoma. Ding! There's my family history. Yikes!

Fortunately for me, this news isn't devastating. I'm of Swedish and Irish descent. I don't like being in the sun and I'm prone to get overheated. I'm happy to stay under the umbrella on the beach or in a big sun hat.

March 5, 2009

When Good Bacteria Goes Bad

I saw my doctor last night and he didn't see any yeast under the microscope, but he did see an overabundance of lactobacillus, the good bacteria that lives in your clam. This could be my body's response to yeast, or it could be something else entirely. In nornal people flora, or bacteria, fluctuations go unnoticed, but in someone with pudendal neuralgia the elevated level can cause a great deal of burning.

I'm taking Clindamicin for the next week to get the flora levels back to normal. Hopefully, that gets everything undercontrol. In the meantime, I'm very uncomfortable and the only relief I get is from a hot bathtub. Too bad I can't keep a bathtub at my job.

March 4, 2009

I'm Out of Ideas, Time to See a Professional

I thought the yeast infection idea was a good one. I seemed to get better after taking Diflucan, but this morning I was in buring, itching pain all over my area, from the top of my clit to the base of my vagina! How could I still have a raging yeast infection after 2 courses of Diflucan? What's really going on?

I made an appointment with my doctor for tonight. I didn't want to wait another day. This has been going on for a week and a half and today is the worst day. Today should be my best. I don't get it. Hopefully my doctor will be able to detect whatever is going on down there and get this flare under control.

This sucks!

March 3, 2009

Finally a Bit of Good News... In the Form of a Yeast Infection

Friday night, my man went out on the town and I had some quiet time to myself. I was in so much pain that night, I really thought it was ridiculous. I decided to whip out my trusty mirror and my halogen desk lamp to see what was going on down there.

I didn't expect to see anything, but that night I got a clue. There was a small amount of discharge (gross, I know) and I thought, "Oh thank God, it might be yeast! Please God, let it be yeast!" I took a Diflucan and got in the tub for a hot soak.

I assume the yeast infection started after the gym on Monday. I worked out really hard and got really sweaty. I've learned from experience that sweaty bits are often followed by yeast infections. Working out on Wednesday probably only exacerbated the problem.

By Sunday, I saw a good amount of improvement. Unfortunately, I had to work from home on Monday due to snow. I don't have any accommodations at home for my vulvodynia or pudendal neuralgia. I had to sit at a desk of most of the day. I took a second dose of Difluca that day.

I have a lot of burning today. Is it from sitting or is it a remaining flare from the yeast infection? Only time will tell.