Monday, August 26, 2013

4 months post-op

Wow - that is all I know to say! I'm now 4 months post op. I sent my pictures to Dr G and everything looks good. I've been back on the estradiol and testosterone combination to apply where the vestibule used to be to help keep the tissue healthy. I also got my lab results back and my free testosterone was half of what it should be so I started Axiron a week ago. I prefer the pellet, but it's just not feasible to go to San Diego to get it placed and my body eats it up way quicker than it is supposed to do. I've tried the Testim, but didn't seem to have any luck other than my leg hair growing entirely too fast. I haven't noticed much of a change with the Axiron yet other than persistent nausea and headaches, which I also experienced with the Testim. I always measure the exact amount with a syringe to make sure I don't get too much. Doctor Goldstein had me switch from daily to every other day to see if it will help with the symptoms. For the most part they are tolerable and just annoying although it can make being active in the heat a little bit difficult.

I've been doing physical therapy for a month now. I see my PT usually once a week for internal work and then use the dilator nightly. I usually give myself one night off a week typically after my last night of work. I've had some pretty good luck with therapy and Dr Jen is amazing if anyone is in the Ventura CA area. I am able to use the largest size dilator with minimal pain (3/10) with insertion that fades away after a few minutes. My PT suggested we try to have intercourse after I dilate for a few minutes first. We were both pretty nervous about this since I still have some pain and had originally planned to wait until dilating was completely pain free. However, we decided to give it a try and it was successful. We celebrated with sparkling apple cider and some strawberry cheesecake. I emailed Dr G later and of course even though it's late he responded with excitement. Have I mentioned how great of a doctor he is?

I never thought this is where we would be 4 months post op, but I have definitely been blessed! This whole vestibulodynia thing has been quite the journey. While I obviously would have rather not experienced this it has taught me to celebrate the small victories in life, be persistent with my healthcare, and keep open communication with my husband. Our relationship is definitely stronger as we've overcome each battle together. I can't wait to see what the next few weeks and months have in store for us!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

3 month post op

Hooray, it’s been 3 months! The past few weeks were pretty busy; my husband and I are still getting adjusted to our new temporary home and trying to get back on a schedule. I’ve been back to work for about 2.5 weeks now, with a crazy schedule of 5 twelve hour shifts in a row leading up to this final check up appointment…talk about easing back into work. Surprisingly I felt OK and not abnormally tired. I’ve remained pain free for over a month now. Occasionally I feel some light pressure when I sit on hard surfaces, but it doesn’t hurt.

My husband and I ventured back to San Diego for the 3 month check up. I had an appointment with Debbie (the PT) for my first session with internal work. For the first time in years penetration of any kind was not painful! I will start seeing a therapist in our area, but wanted to start with an SDSM specialist first. After PT I headed over to the exam room to see Catherine and Dr. G. They still can’t believe how great my recovery has been. I know that I am truly blessed. They completed a vulvoscopy and said that everything looked great. Unless something unexpected happens I won’t have to make any more trips down to the office anymore. I just have to send Dr G pictures every month and keep in touch by email for any questions or concerns. It’s kind of sad thinking about not seeing the SDSM team anymore considering I’ve been going at least a couple of times a year since November of 2011 (although my bank account may be happier). We really tried everything to avoid surgery if at all possible and thankfully Dr Goldstein was never pushy. He really is such a fantastic doctor!

Dr Goldstein also told me that I can start doing whatever exercise I want. I still can’t believe that I’m excited to start running. I guess we’ll see how I feel about it in a few days. Up until this year I’ve always hated running. I’m definitely stoked to get back to some real hiking and biking. We already have a short camping and hiking trip scheduled for next week in the Santa Monica Mountains.

My husband and I decided that we wanted to celebrate the three month milestone. There’s so much that can happen during this time physically, emotionally and mentally for everyone involved. Not to mention we wanted to celebrate the great news we received at SDSM. After my appointments we just spent the day focusing on each other and the ability to show intimacy. We topped the day off with dinner, chocolate truffles and sparkling grape juice. Here’s to the next chapter in this journey. Bring on the pelvic physical therapy!