December 17, 2011

Life with Vulvodynia & Pudendal Neuralgia: A Year In Review

I have not posted in months because, nursing school has taken over my life.  I don't think, say or do anything that is NOT school-related.  I've been meaning to post since September when I went and saw my pelvic pain specialist. 

I needed a refill of Neurontin, but when I called in to request it, his receptionist said I had to come in first.  This wouldn't be an issue, but for the fact that his office has moved 45-50 minutes away from me. 

When I saw my doctor, he told me that the last time I had schedule an appointment was in November of 2010.  I had come to him with a suspected yeast infection, that (no surprise) turned out to be an overgrowth of lactobacillus instead. 

I was amazed that I hadn't seen him in such a long time.  Back in 2007, I feel like I must have seen him once a month. 

This long reprieve reflects a couple factors:
1) I've learned how to be careful with my body and modify my behavior to prevent flares
2) When flares do occur, my doctor has given me enough tools to manage them on my own
3) I haven't had the time or energy to seek treatment when I felt I needed it

I have definitely managed.  I had periods of severe pain, but I knew from my years of experience with my doctor and a better understanding of my body that with rest and better care, the pain would typically improve. 

Admittedly, I haven't taken the best care of myself since nursing school began.  I haven't bothered to use my estrogen/testosterone compound nightly, as prescribed.  The consequence has been that of the scant few times I have had sex, it has been extremely painful at the onset. 

I have had no sex drive since school started.  For me, with less sex comes fewer pain issues.  This is not necessarily a good thing.  I know that my relationship has suffered because of school. 

The positive thing to take away from this post is that I am managing my vulvodynia and pudendal neuralgia well enough with the tools I have.