May 22, 2009

Living with a B and Vulvodynia

This semester I had to take Introduction to Inorganic and Biochemistry. The class is a prerequisite for the nursing program I hope to begin in the Fall of 2010.

This was the most difficult class I have taken so far. The professor was a kookie old man who probably should have retired a few years back. He did not stop to answer questions and he erased figures on the board as soon as he had finished drawing them. He justified that by saying, "it took me this long to write it and it should take you the same amount of time." Of course, he neglected the fact that he was standing in front of the figure as he was drawing it and therefore unless we had the gift of X-ray vision, there was no way we could see what he was drawing. Going to class only confused and frustrated me.

I got a 73 on my first exam and my heart sunk. The exam was extremely difficult. He included material that we had never discussed in class. I'm an A student and I need strong grades to even be considered for the nursing program at any school. I realized that my future was in the hands of a mad man.

I started studying religiously, teaching myself the materail, taking extensive notes from the book and supplimenting it from what I could grasp from lecture. The harder I worked, the better I did. I got an 89 on the second exam and a 96 and the third.

The final was cumulative (ugh!). I studied every day for a week, writing and rewriting formulas and strutures to cement them in my head.

The day of the final I was surrounded by pages and pages of drawings of polysaccharides, fatty acids, amino acids and other organic compounds. I felt confident going into the exam, but the confidence dwindled as soon as I got to the short answer section. He threw in questions that were so far out of left field. No one knew how to answer them. He left us so ill-prepared. (Did I mention that he didn't believe in reviewing because "every class before the exam is a review."?)

When he stepped out of the room for a minute everyone began saying, "what the fuck is this?" At least I wasn't the only one who felt completely lost. I did the best I could and reluctantly turned in my exam, reminding myself that based on my other grades, I could get a 62 and still get a B.

I didn't want to get a 62. I wanted to get an A. It wouldn't have changed my final grade, but I wanted that A for me. I studied harded for that exam than I ever have for anything. I knew the material so well.

This morning I went to meet with my professor to see my exam grade. After all the stress and worry I got an 86. I honestly thought I was going to get a 65. I'm very proud of my grade. I finished the most difficult class that I've taken with a strong B. I'll take it!


AK said...

Congrats! I am terrible at science, so I give you major props for being able to teach it (mostly) to yourself!

Anonymous said...

i'm new to the world of pudendal neuralgia. it sounds like you live with it and have opted against surgery. did you ever get steroid injections in your pudendal nerve? and if so, where did you go for this, how many did you get, and has it helped? i'm just trying to figure out, should I live with the pain? i haven't been able to sit for like two months. i feel pressure to "fix it" from family, but am wondering, am i better off accepting it and finding a way to just live with it? does it get better? a specialist doctor i saw in mpls told me it only gets worse. i'm nervous about letting it go, but also feel i need time to let my body figure out how to deal with it. i've had one injection...hated the experience. should i try PT? See a neurologist? any advice would be so helpful. i feel so frustrated! want to talk to a person who is actually going through it instead of doctors and family members. I would love to know: what kind of pain do you feel from it—does it move around a lot? sorry to ramble!

Quinn said...

Dear Anonymous,

I've been living with pudendal neuralgia for 5 years. It started when I finished college and started my first desk job. The longer I sat during a work day, the worse it got.

I was on the calendar for decompression surgery. I felt like I was at my whit's end. The pain was hindering my ability to function.

I had an ergonomic evaluation and the evaluator suggested a standing work station.

It changed my life. I stand for my job now and without 8 hours of pressure my nerve pain is much better.

I have had 3 nerve blocks, which I think is what you're talking about: an injection of lidocaine and a steriod to open up the canal. The first one knocked out the pain for a while, but the next two were failures. It's not an exact science, so the doctor isn't going to get it right every time.

Have you tried medications like Lyrica, Neurontin or Cymbalta for reduce pain signals? That helped me a lot.

Is it possible to stand for your job? Are you constantly at the same pain level or does it fluctuate depending on the day and the position you're in?

How long have you had PN?

I could go on and on. Obviously, we have a lot to share. Please send me an email reply to


Anonymous said...

Hi! Thanks for your comment. Want to email you, but keep getting error messages! I'm using the @ symbol and a period where you have AT and DOT, and I also tried to just cut and paste what you have below. What am I doing wrong? Has my PN made me braindead as well?!

Can you send me an email to and I will reply?