Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bow Ties and Naughty Bits

In my last blog I introduced you to the wonderful world of vaginismus.  Now I will start the chronicle of my overcoming this issue.
My first step towards overcoming it was to meet with a gynecologist that we trusted.  My partner has seen this doctor for several years and trusts him implicitly.  So I went.  It was weird.  He wears bow ties.  BOW TIES.  And he’s not 85, he’s late 40s maybe.  And he wears bow ties.  And they don’t really match anything; they are just strange bow ties.  So, I had a consultation appointment with him to discuss my vaginismus and how to overcome it.  30 minutes of talking to a man in a bow tie about my naughty bits.  What an experience.   We never really talked about
how to get help for it, just what might be the root cause.  A few weeks later I realized that the 2nd appointment I set up with him was for an actual exam.  So he basically was expecting me to actually work with my kit (yeah, remember in my last blog I said I was lazy?) and come back and everything was hunky dory and he would do an exam.  Yes, I cancelled that appointment.  It turns out my partner needed to have some tests done so I was going to get another chance to talk to him.  This time I asked him how he counseled his patients on vaginismus and he handed me a card for a therapist.  This therapist was an expert in helping women with vaginismus and had been treating women for years for it.  He also mentioned physical therapy, but I shook that off because it just seemed weird to me. 

So the next step - I met with this therapist (A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) who specializes in helping women with vaginismus and other sexual dysfunction.  I won’t bore you with the details of these visits; we simply tried to figure out if there was anything ‘blocking’ me that would cause this condition.   One day she mentions that darn physical therapy again.  She asked me how I felt about it.  My answer?  FREAKED OUT.  So she gave me the name of a physical therapist here who comes highly recommended in treating women with pelvic floor pain issues.  This was in December so I told her (quite clever if I do say so myself) that I will think about it over the holidays and make a decision after the first of the year.  I went home and talked to my partner about it and we both decided it was probably worth talking to this PT.  Oh joy.   I set up a consultation appointment for the first week of January.  Let’s think about this physical therapy thing for a sec - if you hurt your shoulder, you go to the physical therapist who touches around on and moves around your shoulder.  You hurt your knee, you go to the physical therapist who touches around on and moves around your knee.  So if I were to go to a physical therapist for vaginismus, will they? Seriously? 

The consultation.  We went for the consultation and I immediately felt this was going to be ok.  The PT was very nice and funny (I love to laugh so this was a good thing) so she immediately put me at ease.  She has treated thousands of women so I felt like I was in good hands.  I was comfortable until she said ‘now I would like to do an exam to get a baseline’.   I started to panic and according to my partner- my face went white.  I was not mentally prepared for her to look at my naughty bits that day!  I tried the ‘but I’m on my period’ excuse (it was the truth!) and she said ‘we’ll put a towel down’.   I was not getting out of there without an exam.  Seems she likes to hit the ground running.  After some hesitation I agreed and she did the exam - and it was fine (well about as fine as it could be when you have vaginismus).  The good news?  8 weeks at the most for me to be over this as long as I do my homework!  Vaginismus is a 2 way street, I have to put the work in at home and it will go well.  Yay!  Freedom in just 8 weeks!  No more planning vacations around my period, no more painful exams, and when it’s time to work on having a baby I won’t have any trouble inseminating.  And this starts my journey in physical therapy.  

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