December 29, 2009

Christmas CAME Early, Then I Got A Lump Of Coal

My husband and I spent the holiday with his family out of town. The day before we left, we got down to business, knowing it wasn't happening while we were under his parents' roof. I hadn't had an orgasm probably since the beginning of the honeymoon in mid-October. Let me clarify, I haven't had an orgasm with him since then.

There are a lot of factors that influenced my dry spell: for one thing I was depressed, so sex wasn't happening very often and also performances were less than stellar... But that day, I was at the helm. I didn't think it would happen, but it snuck up on me and boy did it feel good! A clitoral orgasm cannot compare to a vaginal orgasm in my book.

That leg-shaking, toe-curling experience drastically reduced my stress level while we were away.

However, just like the last time we knocked boots, I had a great deal of pain at the opening of my pink orchid that continued long after the sex was over and the lidocaine had been applied. Obviously, my vulvodynia is back with a vengeance.

To repair the damage I began regularly applying the estrogen/testosterone compound, and quickly found out why I had stopped it in the first place (I should really read my own blog!). It irritates the skin in the surrounding area, especially my clit.

The compound is Vaseline-based, so it's hard to wash off. The longer it lingers, the more my skin flares. I'm hoping my doctor can prescribe something that is water-based.

The pain from the sex trauma and the compound trauma has dissipated, but don't worry I fixed that by going to the gym and spending too much time on the elliptical machine. I caused a pudendal nerve flare that is concentrated on the opening of my urethra (sorry I don't have a fun way to describe that).

How the Hell am I supposed to lose the wedding weight, the honeymoon weight and the holiday weight? This blows.

Also, all the cheating I've done at work crouching on a desk chair when I should be standing has messed up my tail bone. Now it hurts to sit for a whole new reason! But to make it even better, it also hurts to bend over and lie flat on my back! Awesome!

This is what cheating gets you ladies: a whole new set of problems.

Please forgive me for the paragraphs of bitching. I just had to get it all out. Despite all this crap, I'm managing pretty well. I'm actually amused by how messed up things are right now. Perhaps that humor came through.

December 21, 2009

When You Slack On Your Meds You Pay The Price

With my altered emotional state, sex has not been a top priority, but thankfully I'm feeling more like myself now.

Last night, I decided to get it on, but I almost had to tell my husband to get it off. I felt so much pain at the moment of penetration, I involuntarily pushed him. For a fleeting second, I thought I have to stop, but like always I soldiered on. I don't want to give my husband a complex. He worries too much about everything as it is.

The pain is concentrated around the opening of my squish, and trust me it's still burning bright right now. I believe this is primarily a vulvodynia issue based on the location of the discomfort. I have to confess that I haven't used my estrogen testosterone compound in months. Perhaps all that resilience has worn off.

Tonight it's back to the compound and maybe I'll get intimate with an icepack for a while. I am really uncomfortable. I hope I haven't really set myself back.

December 16, 2009

Wellbutrin Well-being

I've been on Wellbutrin for five days and I've really improved. I feel present and I have more energy. I don't know whether it's the drug or if I finally pulled through my rough patch. Hard to say. Perhaps it's both.

The only thing I do know is that I'm now on THREE psych meds! ! ! That's ridiculous! What does that say about me? I asked my Dad that question and he said it made me lucky because 20 years ago there were only one or two drugs and otherwise you were on your own. Because of advances in modern medicine, there are many different medications available to treat mental illness.

I'm left wondering what kind of long-term effect these medications will have on my brain. Will my brain ever be able to produce the necessary chemical to maintain my mental health without drugs? Is prolonged drug use going to retard my brains ability to manage itself? Do these drugs set you up to be a user for life?

Think about it, the longer you're on a psych med, the more the doctors and pharmaceutical companies profit.

What am I going to do when I want to get pregnant? I don't think I can function without drugs and I don't think I can function pregnant. That's going to be a problem. Fortunately, I don't have to worry about that for a few years.

I tried to go off of one of my meds over the summer, but my mind went to very dark places once I did. Maybe I'm just one of those people who has to be on psych meds for the rest of my life. It's a disappointing thought.

December 11, 2009

New Medication For Depression

I've been battling depression since the beginning of November. I really thought it was situational. It normally is. I'm in a lull because the wedding and classes are over, but as soon as school starts in February I should be fine. Following that logic, it would seem that if I took myself out of my current situation, I would feel better.

I got to test that theory and it proved wrong. My friend's father passed away last Sunday. My husband (wow, still getting used to that) and I drove up the New Jersey for the viewing and the funeral. Now, a funeral isn't a happy occasion, but being off of work and traveling should have snapped me out of it. Instead, I was completely disengaged and down.

I feel like there are weights at the corners of my eyes and mouth, pulling the skin down. You can actually see it on my face. I always feel tired and in a haze.

I saw my therapist this week, but I found the appointment repetitive and pointless. Her theory that I'm craving chaos in my life and that's why I want to self-destruct seems inaccurate. Frankly, my life is in chaos. My basement has been flooding periodically since we got back from the honeymoon.

When the plumbing backs up we move out, the plumbers come, think they've fixed it, we move back in, the basement floods again, we move back out. I've been living out of suitcases for weeks. Finally we learned last week that we had to replace the main sewer line. There goes all the money we got for the wedding.

If that's not chaos, I don't know what is! ! !

And still I'm down... I saw my psychiatrist today to follow up on the higher dose of my mood stabilizer. I told him it left me too sedated, so he decided to add Wellbutrin to my daily regimen. He told me it would give me more energy, and there would be no weight gain or sexual side effects. Sign me up!

I start Wellbutrin tomorrow. I hope it brings me back. I don't want to feel this way any more.

December 7, 2009

Neurontin, Same Drug, Different Pill

My doctor wrote my prescription for Neurontin differently this time around. I usually take three 300 mg capsules three times a day, but my doctor wrote the new script for 1.5 600 mg tablets three times a day. I objected to the change, but my doctor insisted that he preferred to prescribe it that way for patients with vulvodynia and pudendal neuralgia.

I've been taking the medication this way for a month and a half and I've seen a reduction in my daily pain. At first, I thought I was still in a honeymoon period with my pudendal nerve. Three weeks of vacation left me with very little pain. I thought maybe I the pain would build up as I returned to work, but it hasn't.

I can't say definitively that the change in pills has made a difference, but I can't think of another reason for the improvement. It's a nice reprieve.

Back into the Lion's Den

I went back to group therapy on Saturday; and it was better. There were times when I wanted to speak, but I didn't feel comfortable interjecting. Eventually, I gave up trying and withdrew from the situation.

That's been one of my biggest problems lately. I completely withdraw to the point where I feel like I'm watching my life, but not actually a part of it. That may not make sense to you. Don't worry, that just means you're not crazy.

I was forced to speak a few times; and it wasn't as difficult as last week.

Once again, I felt completely exhausted afterward, but that was due in large part to a higher dose of my mood stabilizer. I curled up in a ball and passed out on the couch for two hours. I was a zombie for the rest of the day.

That was the only day I took the higher dose. I was far too sedated to function. This only confirms my doctor's belief that there isn't a pill to fix me. It's something I have to work on.

December 1, 2009

Group Therapy

I debated whether or not to share my group therapy experience, but since therapy is often a vital to a life with vulvodynia or pudendal neuralgia, I figured what the heck!

I've been stuck in a rough patch for a few weeks, worsening as time goes on. I saw my therapist two weeks ago and she told me that group therapy could really help me. She's suggested this before, but this time she was adamant. I need all the help I can get right now, so I agreed.

My therapist told me it was a handpicked group 8 of very smart, successful women.

I was terrified to go and I dragged my feet in the morning. I arrived 15 minutes late and the session was already in full swing. One woman was in complete crisis because she had just lost custody of her children. She was beside herself and no one could calm her down. She went on and on for the better part of an hour in tears. No one else felt like they could speak because she negated everything.

Finally, my therapist interjected and asked a woman who had been angrily rocking what was upsetting her. She said, "I had to put my cat to sleep yesterday and no offense to you Quinn, but it really pisses me off that you (the therapist) brought someone else into the group without asking our permission first!"

I was in shock. I felt tears well up in my eyes, but I blinked them away. Intellectually, I know she wasn't mad at me, but emotionally it still hurt. I didn't want to be there and it was VERY clear that I wasn't wanted there.

I was forced to explain a little bit about myself to the group with a lot of prompting from my therapist. I said, "I feel like it's insulting to talk about my problems considering what they're going through."

When the session was over a few women asked if I was coming back. I didn't want to, but I promised my therapist I would try it for at least six weeks.

I collapsed when I got home. I felt completely violated by the entire experience. I had to expose my problems to a group of somewhat hostile strangers and I felt wrecked. To make matters worse, I was horrified that my therapist thought it was appropriate to group me with women who were in so mentally unstable. I'm not THAT crazy.