Friday, 5 October 2012

Treating Vulvodynia - The Beginning

It's been almost two years since I've struggled with provoked vestibuldynia (vulvodynia) and I'm finally starting my treatment! I imagine for many sufferers of vulvodynia, my two years is petty compared to the 5-10+ years that they have struggled with finding an answer to their pain.

If you don't already know, I'm 'enrolled' in a program based out of Vancouver General Hospital! The Multidisciplinary Vulvodynia Program provides us with a 'tasting menu' of treatment options including medications, physiotheraphy and cognitive behaviour therapy (as well as some sexual seminars) --- I'll have to post a post about what I know now about sex! ---- 

This past week was my fourth trip to Vancouver for the program. My first was my assessment in July. My second was orientation. My third was a sexual health seminar. And this past week was treatment planning, physio and group cognitive therapy. 

It was a close call to our appointments after a two and a half hour delay due to some heavy fog out here in Prince George, but we made it for the jammed pack day. 

My husband has said that over the past two months my 'condition' has caused me to seriously regress in terms of my sexuality, our sex/intimacy and our relationship. He's fustrated with me. He's fustrated with himself. It's a struggle for him, as much as it is for me. 

I'm estatic to have finally begun considering the options for treatment. But scared because when the program ends in 6 weeks, how will I continue in Prince George? Who can I see in the North for physio? How am I going to find a councillor/therapist who understands my chronic pain condition, and can reason with the idea that it is NOT in my head?  I hope the doctors at VGH/MVP will have some answers. 

As for now, I have some homework for the next two weeks. 
It's been two days. I've already failed. 

I'm supposed to be practicing mindfullness in two types --- for 10 minutes on my breath, and for a couple while focusing on something. 

I'm supposed to eating gasey foods to encourage farting (I know gross) so that I can hopefully find my pelvic floor muscle. See picture left --- it's massive, how can I not know its there... It boggles my mind that there is something in my body that I can't really control. 

I'm supposed to do some 'exercise' things that will help me understand where and how this muscle works...

The physio therapist also started the meeting off by suggesting I exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes of pure cardio --- apparently cardio releases neuro transmitters which block/discourage the pain receptors....

In Cognitive Behaviour Therapy I have some thinking snowball worksheets too --- but that scares me. :S 

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