I was one of those people that had very little success inserting anything pre-procedure. I was never able to insert a tampon. I could have a gyno exam but it was extremely uncomfortable and painful – and could only be done with the “toddler” speculum. I had a little success with dilators here and there but could never get the angle right. The most successful thing I did pre-procedure was years of physical therapy with my wonderful PT, Andrea. She was absolutely wonderful and patient, and very careful to explain what was happening to my body. She had a real understanding of this condition, and she and I were able to have very meaningful conversations about it – which I believe led me to have more confidence and success with PT prior to this procedure. Once I found Dr. Pacik’s website, I discussed the treatment option with Andrea. She was 100% supportive – didn’t flinch one bit when I brought it up – and said she believed I was a good candidate for the procedure. She was very direct saying that 2 years ago I wouldn’t have been a good candidate, but we had come so far in my PT sessions, that she believed I was ready for this next step. She couldn’t have been more right. I had my procedure done almost a year ago now (December 16, 2013), and I consider myself completely cured of this condition. After the procedure, everything was so easy for me – from inserting the dilators at the correct angle to my PT sessions with Andrea to inserting tampons. Easy, easy, easy! And looking back, if I’m thinking of true elements of success for this program, it’s three things:
1) Having the guts to stand up – recognize the condition – and commit to the botox treatment (this is not easy – trust me – I know – I lived it)
2) Learning the correct angle to insert the dilators once the botox shuts down those muscles (sounds like a small detail but oh so important for me!)
3) Commit to dilating DAILY post-procedure. Every day. I remember something Dr. Pacik told me while in NH – 20 minutes is better than no minutes. So days when I knew I’d be busy – I’d slip one in while I was getting ready for work/blow drying my hair/etc. But dilating daily (2x) for at least three months post-procedure was absolutely key for me. Those muscles needed to be re-trained, the botox alone wasn’t going to cure anything, muscle memory needed to kick in and your brain needed to be re-trained too that it doesn’t hurt and insertion is possible. I cannot stress how absolutely critical this is. I mentioned it to Andrea one time – I looked at Dr. Pacik’s procedure as my “head start” to get ahead of this condition while the muscles were down. He delivered the “knock out punch” of those muscles for me, and now it was up to me to get them re-trained. The whole approach, with Dr. Pacik at my side the entire time via daily touch bases via email, is what truly equaled success for me. And if it worked for me – trust me – it can work for anyone.