Another thankful newcomer…

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  • #9063
    haley.rid
    Participant

    Hi everyone! My name is Haley and I’ve been happily married for 10 1/2 months now! Except for the fact that sex has been impossible. I have level 5 viginismus and am excited to have the procedure in January hopefully (our anniversary is Jan 18th)!

    My fear was discovered at the time I was pretty young, mom putting medicine on a sore bum was nearly impossible. Then turning thirteen into “womanhood” tampons were a no no! Every time I tried I would cry, get sick to my stomach, and feel defeated. My mom had a hard time with tampons when she was young, so it didn’t seem to out of the ordinary. I was always embarrassed and uncomfortable whenever the topic came up at sleepovers or in the girl’s bathroom though. I really discovered that I had vaginismus on my wedding night. It was disappointing for both of us. Who wants to admit that they cried on their wedding night? And didn’t have sex? Not me! But we kept trying.

    As soon as we got home we set up an appointment for an exam, and I nearly jumped off the table, involuntarily. The exam was also unsuccessful. So we tried a hymenectomy. I took enough Valium beforehand, I fell asleep in the waiting room, but as soon as I was on that table in those terrifying stirrups, I was as wide awake and tense as ever. As soon at the OBGYN sat down to get started, I bawled uncontrollably! I had to be completely put out, and even then my legs tensed up. After months of therapy, and multiple therapists (No one understood. One therapist made me cry every week saying that I’m not trying hard enough. That I was acting selfish and that I must not even want to have sex with my husband.) my mother-in-law found Dr. Pacik’s book online.

    That moment of reading the stories of women who are or were just like I am brought me to tears. I will never forget that feeling of a weight being lifted off my shoulders. I couldn’t believe that anyone else had ever felt this pain and guilt and discouragement before! This has been an answer to our prayers. I can’t imagine going through this for multiple years like many of you strong women, but even after these 10 months, I am so ready to be able to show my husband how much I love him in a way I’ve never been able to before.

    We just finished a wonderful, easy Skype call with Dr. Pacik, and I just want to say how impressed I am with his care and knowledge. It is so nice to talk to someone who finally understands my body (probably better than I do). So far, this process has been so quick and easy and personal. I can tell that the staff cares for each patient as an individual, and I already feel like I am a part of a new family! I feel confident that this will be successful.

    My only worry right now is that I won’t be able to overcome the anxiety of penetration. It has been ingrained in my brain for so long, I don’t see how after 30 minutes that will just disappear. Any advice for a newcomer?

    #12220
    Kim
    Participant

    Hey Haley.rid!

    I’m glad you had a call with Dr. Pacik, he truly is as genuine and caring as he seems 🙂 Waking up with the dilator inside after having your procedure will help transform your mindset of intolerable penetration. Because you’ll be numbed, you won’t feel it at all and you can just get used to the idea that something does indeed fit inside! It’s a wild realization and extremely empowering 🙂 The anxiety takes a little time to overcome, right along with stretching your muscles – it’s a process! But every little achievement will help lesson your anxiety little by little! Welcome to the V family, this is by far the best thing you can do for yourself, your marriage and your future!

    Keep us posted!
    Kim

    #12223
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi Haley. Welcome to the Forum and thank you for your post. I am so sorry to read of your struggles with vaginismus. It is so hard when doctors and clinicians do not understand vaginismus and they say such hurtful things as they said to you. I am so, so happy that you have found Dr. Pacik and for your upcoming procedure in January. As you have already learned and wrote about in the last paragraph of your post, he is one of the few doctors who “gets it” along with all of his staff and you are in excellent care with them. The worry that you noted “I won’t be able to overcome the anxiety of penetration” is a worry that so many women with vaginismus share and one that I absolutely had prior to my procedure. I could not insert anything, including a q-tip in advance of my procedure. Once I woke up from my procedure and had the large blue dilator inside of me, this was the first time that anything had ever been inside of me period and I was just so happy that it didn’t hurt. I was then able to take it out; use the bathroom; and insert it right back in while standing. Once I did this and then practiced removing it and reinserting it along with my hubby, I felt the anxiety decreasing and decreasing. It then came back a little on my first period post-procedure. I was anxious that I wouldn’t be able to go back to dilating and I was able to again just as I had done while in NH. For me, though, it took going through the procedure and doing the dilating to know that I would be able to and to actually witness the anxiety dissipating more and more with each time I dilated. I also found a couple of helpful posts from others that discuss anxiety and hope these help even more (see below). Sending you hugs and, again, I’m so, so excited for you and your upcoming procedure in January.

    Post 1
    “I’m twelve days post procedure today and i have got to tell you that i feel like the anxiety that came with dilating is almost completely gone! For me the anxiety came as a result of the thought of having something in me, I mean it literally freaked me out. My first thought post procedure when I lay in the recovery room of Dr. Pacik’s office was how it didn’t hurt. Then when i picked up the sheets to move the blue dilator in and out of me I learned that it also did not hurt at all, but I got to admit that seeing the dilator coming out of my body made me light headed. As the days went by I noticed that anxiety was there right about the time my partner would start to help me dilate bcuz i expected pain but when i felt none it started getting easier and easier. Then came the anxiety that came with dilating by myself without the help of insertion of my partner. The first time I tried the purple I got it in within seconds but i gotta say the thought of inserting something on my own almost made me faint. Overall a sucess but i thought for sure I could never do the pink or blue. To my surprise the next day both went in within seconds and today, day 12 I feel such a huge weight off my shoulder. I actually don’t dread coming home and dilating because I’ve conquered my fears and with it anxiety, next step….intercourse!”

    Post 2
    “I found that it got easier each time I dilated. Dr. Pacik’s dilating schedule not only helped my body but it also helped my mind in giving me the confidence that I so needed to conquer my fears and anxiety. I’m so thankful for Dr. Pacik, his staff and his treatment.”

    #12234
    haley.rid
    Participant

    Thanks so much for the inspiring and comforting words! I have such a nervous excitement. But I had an experience today that helped me put things in perspective a little. I had to get my blood drawn today, and that is another thing that gives me anxiety and makes me a little queezy… (Like penetration). All last night and this morning I was so stressed. I even had a dream that it already happened, and I was so disappointed when I woke up and it wasn’t real.. But when it was time I just put on my big girl pants and it was so easy!! I didn’t feel lightheaded or anything. This gave me hope that the procedure will be just like that, that I am strong and brave and in control of my mind! This little experience helped my confidence for January 🙂

    #12235
    Dr. Pacik
    Participant

    How cool is that? I think you will find a similar ease with your treatment. I would love to hear from the others.

    #12239
    K Howard
    Participant

    Hello Haley!

    First of all, I would like to congratulate you for taking the first step into your new life! You’ve made a great choice in scheduling your procedure!

    I can relate to so many things that you’ve written in your post. I too was a level 5 vaginismus patient. For me, tampons too were a big no no growing up and sex was completely out of the question. Also, as you mentioned – the wedding night. No one wants to have those particular “memories” on what is supposed to be such a special night between two lovers but it is quite common for those experiencing Vaginismus (untreated) and I was no exception.

    So many of us have felt all alone for so long and as if no one could possibly understand our pain and struggles but please know that you are not alone in this. You will definitely find support here in the forum and Dr. Pacik and his staff are very knowledgeable, kind, understanding and anything else you can imagine!

    It of course is normal to feel many different things leading up to the procedure (I know I did). You WILL be able to overcome the anxiety of penetration. Celebrating even the smallest of victories will help chip away at all of the things ingrained in your brain over the years. You will truly be amazed when you wake up with a dilator inside of you! It may be hard to even picture that at this moment but it will truly be your “ah ha” moment! Remember to dilate in the way that Dr. Pacik recommends and not to beat yourself up. 🙂 Although hard to do sometimes, try not to compare yourself to others. Just remember that this is a journey (YOUR journey) and not a race and that everyone is different.

    I truly believe that you will amaze yourself and find out just how strong you really are after your procedure!

    I can’t wait to read all about your experience and of the wonderful progress you will make! Very proud of you and know you will do well!

    Take Care!

    Karla

    #12241
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi Haley. I love what you wrote “this gave me hope that the procedure will be just like that, that I am strong and brave and in control of my mind!” This is wonderful and so, so cool. I found that I’ve always had so much anxiety prior to many things, including my procedure, and once I go through the anxiety-producing event/activity/procedure, I realize that it wasn’t bad at all and is often times great and not at all what I had worried so much about it being prior. Please know that you are in excellent hands with Dr. Pacik, Janet Pacik and all of the staff and you will feel a natural ease and calmness from the first time you enter their office. This was hard to imagine for me until actually experiencing it as I had such bad experiences with doctors in the past and also had so much anxiety surrounding gynecological exams. Despite all of this, I was able to relax in their presence as was my husband, which was wonderful. Dr. Pacik has written a great post about the procedure day that I wanted to share with you as well:

    “There are a thousand worries that the average patient has as the day of treatment approaches. “What ifs” tend to be all consuming. There comes a point that it helps to simply allow the flow to take you along its course. I often tell (my worried surgical patients) that they should think of their surgery or treatment as a ride in the car. They put their seat belts on (these are the many safety monitors we have throughout the operating and recovery room) and I’ll take them for a safe ride. I know the route and I am a safe driver. For my vaginismus patients where the treatment has a high level of safety, but anxiety rears its ugly head, the same can be true to help stem the normal anxiety that takes place. There is not much more anyone can say. The day comes and goes, much like any other day. Now you are on one side, then you have stepped across and you are on the other side.”

    #12247
    haley.rid
    Participant

    Thanks everyone so much for all the advice and support! I am feeling more excited than nervous at this stage of the process. (That might change the closer we get.) But I must say that lingerie has been on the top of my shopping list lately 😉 Reading all the success stories gives me so much hope. I know it will take lots of work on my part post-procedure, but I already feel like it’s a Christmas miracle just waiting to happen. Hopefully after a few months we can finally have a REAL Honeymoon!!

    #12296
    Becca
    Participant

    Thank you so much for posting this Haley! I am looking at getting my procedure scheduled and am a little overwhelmed wondering if my anxiety will get the best of me with this. :-/ So encouraging to read everyone’s responses and know that I’m not alone in my fears!

    #12406
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi Haley. I wanted to let you know that I am thinking and praying for you and I know everything will go very, very well tomorrow! You are in excellent care with Dr. Pacik, Janet Pacik, Ellen, Cynthia, and all of the amazing staff! Sending huge hugs!!!!

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