Buaslbutterfly’s Blog

{August 29, 2009}   Paranoia Dissipates

My most recent therapy session was pretty much the same as last session. The only difference was that instead of a sense of numbness and no pain. I had no pain in that small sliver with a sensation that something was below.  So I guess my worries and concerns were for naught.  This is cause for celebration in my boat.  One small step for my vagina and one well not so giant step toward sex.  Don’t know where that came from.  My fear is though that I will go through this whole getting to the point of being able to have  a GYN exam and still have issues with my husband.  It is a fear in the back of my mind, that seeps up from time to time.  I guess I just have to trust that things will improve.


{August 22, 2009}   A Sign of Improvement?

I’ve felt painfully numb on my left side of the vagina (labia or not sure the name or part of the vagina). I think I need to refresh myself on the various parts so that way I can explain myself better.  On Thursday, I had another physical therapy session.  On Thursday I started my monthly event.  I think I’ve come to realize that I have experienced that external labia pain previously prior to the monthly visitor. I just didn’t put two and two together. So I figured saying anything about that kind of pain was pointless.  Why say anything about pain that I thought was connected to a prior session, when most likely it was connected to the monthly visitor.  I did inform the physical therapist whom said she had other things she could do.

The session started off differently. I have an assignment now to work on posture and alignment of my body to put the less tension and pressure on the pelvic floor.  I’m suppose to work on how I move my body.  I find that when the PT is right there it easier to know if I’m doing it right. It’s harder to monitor myself.  She then had me do my pelvic clocks, which I missed two nights due to pain. She reminded me that if I don’t put the effort in, I won’t make progress. Yes I understand this. And I really am angry at myself. It was just the pain and discomfort I was in, moving anything down there felt panful.  She did the muscle stretches and massage prior to doing the internal.

The internal exam was better and worse at the same time.  The therapist put a towel under me.  On the right side, I experienced a major burning sensation and pain that made me want to jump from the table.  When she altered position to the left side, I found the opposite happened.  I found that I felt nothing. No pain, nothing.  Like I was numb and couldn’t even tell her hand was inside.  This may be pathetic, but I almost cried on the table because I never have experienced feeling no pain.  This was a sign that I have needed.  I’m a little scared that I didn’t feel anything. Not that I want to feel pain, but I figured I should feel something, right???  Not saying a positive or negative, but just that something is there.  I don’t want to think that is a sign of something wrong.  I hope that this not feeling pain and “numbness-like” sensation is what I’m thinking a sign that I am getting better.

I have heard that it does take time to transition from “no pain” to feeling pleasure.  The “no pain” is only a small portion of the vaginal area. The only thing that kept going through my head “Is this possible?” “Is this what other women experience when they have a GYN visit, ‘no pain’.  Not feeling anything I could handle.  I think my nerves are connected to a disbelief.  I hope the rest of my vagina follows suit.  I’m still not on dilators.  I think the therapist only used one finger during the exercises.

It has been 2 days since the appointment.  I felt some vaginal discomfort and spasms for the evening of the appointment and the following day. Now I’m left with the monthly visitor cramps, which are not fun.  I’m feeling fine and better than the week before.

{August 19, 2009}   4th Physical Therapy Session

  At my fourth Physical Therapy session, I mentioned feeling pain similar to pain I experience with dilating when peeing.  The PT looked at me and asked if I “push” when I pee.  (Doesn’t everyone??-nope!)  My pelvic muscles are soo tight I’ve taught myself to push without thinking.  S0-yes- pain is the result of pushing.  I’ve got to get the muscles to relax so that when I sit, I’m just sitting and letting the pee come out with no muscle movement. 

The Physical Therapist used two fingers and got them in a little more, but I swear I had to bite my tongue due to the pain.  The physical therapist went through the areas that still needed stretching and the parts that were relaxed.  While the fingers were inside, the PT placed the other hand on my butt and had me picture drawing a thread from finger to where the pain was inside and trying to relax the muscles around it.  The PT mentioned noticing a difference and there was a constant reminder and focus on breathing. 

Once I managed to relax the area where the PT’s fingers and hand was, I was told to do my Pelvic Clocks. This is my new homework assignment. I don’t need to have anything inside, I’m just suppose to picture the pain and put my hand to a spot on the butt where I feel tension (which is pretty much any spot you can find back there) and relax and do clocks. 

There was no tennis balls and clocks so my butt muscles got relaxation from that pain.  It has been almost a week since the fourth session.  My muscles have been spasming and I noticed the outside labia of my vagina is really not happy at all.  My husband and I tried to be intimate (without sex) because on top of my own vaginismus issues, I have issues with intimacy and body memories.  I actually started feeling wet down below, but due to the muscles spasming . It really hurt and was annoying and frustrating as ever. 

My husband because he loves me, told me to cancel this Thursday appointment, but I know that most likely I have to fight past some of the soreness to get to the point where I’m healthy and normal.  Its not like ignoring the problem and not doing physical therapy has helped me to avoid pain. 

If its true about a tight pelvic floor and if left untreated or ignored, then the pain isn’t going to go away and could create more problems.  In the beginning, I wasn’t ignoring it. It took me 2-3 years before I found someone whom knew what I had or that I was not abnormal.  When I first told someone that I couldn’t insert a tampon, have sex, and had severe pain at GYNs, I was told that was humanly impossible, and laughed at by a counselor. The GYN’s would say they couldn’t do the exam, get mental help, and that was that.  No mention of dilators, no mention as to why they couldn’t do the complete exam, and a rebuttal that my body had no structural signs.  So for me this has been a long road.  If I chose to give up, I could be in for more problems, and then it would be my fault for ignoring the problem.

{August 8, 2009}   Reaction

Well the episode didn’t really discuss Vaginismus, but it discussed the overall problem of Vulvudynia. (I know that is spelled wrong).  If you go onto ABC 20/20’s website they even show some exercises from a PT that are to help work the muscles of the pelvic floor. It was interesting.  The other day I had the PT place tennis balls underneath my butt leaving me very uncomfortable and well confused.  This PT did the same thing. I wish they had discussed more about the various kinds. They really only addressed one type of Vulvular pain.  But I found the “birth control pill” to be a new one for me.  I would say I fit underneath category two.

Although the way they presented it was that sex was possible but with pain. For me, insertion has been impossible pain or no pain due to tightening of muscles.  It’s like hitting a wall. I do get the burning and pain symptoms, but its a bit more.  I think that is because of the Vaginismus.  I am glad that they addressed it.  My husband even mentioned the possibility of traveling to a Dr. in Washington, D.C, if needs be.  Right now my own home doctor has no idea or comprehension of what I have.   This year was the first time I mentioned it by name. I’ve been moving all around due to job and schooling with my husband. We finally bought  a house and so we are pretty much set on our place. Unfortunately, for us it is in an area that has no Physical Therapists trained in pelvic floor disorders and the family doctors seem to look at you like I’m speaking a different language.

I have a physical therapist, maybe not as close as I would like. That is a starting point.  Hopefully the end point, but this encourages me to fight on.  I still get upset at the number of specialists and people and diagnosis I got.  I went through external ultra sounds, various x-rays, and other picto-things for various conditions or problems for pain I was experiencing.  I saw urologists, gyn’s, hospital doctors, family doctors.  This was when I was in college.  I keep thinking to myself why did take me this long to figure out my problems.  If only people had the knowledge now. Would I have had a colonoscopy? Would I have suffered as much as I did then with unnecessary test preps or tests?  Would my marriage have started the way it has started?

I guess I could do the “What if ” thing, but what is the point.  I got to do my physical therapy homework and then get some sleep.  Just glad to see that the media is making other women more aware.  This will hopefully help other women discovering the problem to not feel different or way out of the loop. For the longest time I had the deepest shame and got mocked at by a counselor whom said my inability to have sex or penetrate with anything was “unheard of and impossible”. This was before I had a name or knowledge of my condition.  So hopefully other women don’t have that same problem and if they do they can see this and maybe get the courage and knowledge that there are solutions. There are real solutions and hope.

{August 7, 2009}   Take a look at this


Watch the short clip, but make sure to put your tv on at 10 and watch the special.

{August 7, 2009}   Sore and Proud

Today started out rough with pets galore whom are not exactly happy with their owners gone.  It is bad enough that the dog has sensitive ears and hates the new parrots noises.  I pity the dog because I know what its like to have to deal with things. The dog is in continuous motion to want to run away.  Then it was a struggle getting all the pets in one room so I could drive 2 hours for an appointment with my counselor. It was an emotional visit for me.  Then heading home to have a Physical Therapy. When I arrived, I was told to head into the one room and start my breathing exercises.  This was the easy part of the whole visit.  I like when it’s just lay and breathe.   This was the delightful part of the whole thing.  It’s still awkward because you know why your laying there.

Then I was told to start my clocks and before even given a chance to start told to hold that thought. The PT returned with tennis balls which were laid underneath my buttocks.  Let me just say if it sounds or looks uncomfortable, it is. I’m guessing its more painful than it looks.  I started doing my clocks which was interesting to say the least. I think I did this for about five minutes, as I laid thinking “If I have these underneath me for the entire hour, I will have a huge bruise on both cheeks”.  Which I did ask about the physical pain and sitting problems from last session. I guess it is too be expected. Oh joy!!!

The PT did the same exercise as last time with stretching the areas around the stomach and legs. I found I started to dissaciate (spelling is wrong, but whatever) right during the session.  I had to regroup myself as best as I could without trying to make a big deal that I wasn’t quite there.  I noticed abdominal pain as the  PT was doing the stretches. At one point after the PT had been at it for some time  I started feeling a burning sensation at my vagina when nothing was being inserted. It was the same sensation that I got when I stuck a tampon in. To me this made no sense.

PT explained that as a result of the stretches and “creating space” and the way our muscles connect and attach of course I would expect to feel that pain. The PTthen moved to internal.  This time the entering hurt a bit more than the last, but when the PT’s finger was inside I had mild burning.  The had me do some  exercises diagonally with my arms (I think to distract from the pain, not really sure. The PT tried to explain as best as possible).  I noticed some change in discomfort. The PT said that there was about an inch or more of the finger inside me with very minimal pain.  I had more pain on my left side than my right.  They said they noticed some progress with space.  Still have more to go before we can work on some other things, but its progress.  There was even mention of eventually getting my husband involved with that portion.

When I got finished I received more homework. Now I have to do stretches twice a week with my husband, clocks, breathing and this stretch thing so I don’t regress.  I will say I am in a lot of pain but while I’m sore and uncomfortable I’m proud of myself for what I accomplished.  I’m hoping this is a positive sign.  I’m hoping that continue to see progress.  I better because of the pain and discomfort that follows these sessions.

The second physical therapy appointment was devoid of having to really discuss my past history.  I struggle with discussing my past with even my counselor so I was glad to not have another person involved in that area. I asked about the “clocks” exercise.  She told me the point of the clocks was to get my pelivis to move without as much energy as I could exert. It is about awareness of having some control without pain.  Just noticing my body.  I noticed a difference.  I was trying to get my pelvis to do a complete “clock”-yoga, but I’m not suppose to. Gentle motions.  Then she asked me to scoot to the edge of the table or bed (whatever you call the thing in the office).  She told me to do my breathing and that she wanted me to just feel whatever my body felt or experienced with her touch.

This was a difficult exercise because for me, I have trouble with body memories.  Touch of even my husband can bother me at times.  She started at my stomach and then moved to my legs.  The first few times she was down at the legs, I noticed tension and my legs didn’t want to be split apart.   I wasn’t trying to resist her motions, but there was tension.  I did notice the last time she went down to the feet, there, there was a slight difference in how much I was willing to let her move my legs apart.  We then did an internal.  My being able to insert the first dilator and the breathing has helped a bit. It still hurts and felt like I was tearing, but it wasn’t as bad as the first time.  I can still remember when inserting anything inside me was impossible.

It hurt a bunch.  When she finished I was told to repeat the clocks and then it was time to leave.  I’m suppose to continue the muscle stretches with my husband,  my clocks, and my breathing for homework.  I didn’t realize later how much discomfort I was going to be in from what she did.  I went to see the movie “My Sister’s Keeper” and I found that seats I’ve sat in a bunch of times were painfully uncomfortable.  I did find I was shaky and emotional even prior to the movie.  Prior to the movie we headed to Target and went shopping for school supplies. I was amazed at what you could buy for just a dollar. Things you can spend 17 dollars on at a store were only dollar.   I was happy with the finds.

et cetera