Count Down…with a renewed hope!

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  • #8587
    K Howard
    Participant

    Well today begins my true countdown. My husband and I will be traveling to NH very shortly to have the procedure (procedure will be on August 13th)! I have mixed feelings about the upcoming procedure…I nervous yet extremely hopeful. I had the procedure nearly three years ago but SO many things are different for me now!! That alone gives me such a renewed hope that I just wish the day would hurry up and get here already lol. I will definitely be sure to keep everyone posted post procedure….anyone out there having their procedure done on August 13th??? Let’s connect!

    #10062
    Allie
    Participant

    I wish I was going August 13th!.. I’m counting down until November and about to go crazy!! 🙂 If you don’t mind me asking, you said you had the procedure 3 years ago??.. Good luck with everything and keep us posted!

    Best wishes!
    Allie:)

    #10067
    K Howard
    Participant

    Hi Allie! Of course I don’t mind 🙂

    Yes, I had the procedure back on November 10, 2009 (if you have Dr. Pacik’s book When Sex Seems Impossible my chapter is chapter 9) however in hind sight I don’t believe the circumstances were the best at that time for me (hindsight is always 20/20 vision lol). I had a boyfriend at the time and the relationship was basically at a standstill; the surgery was almost like our last ditch effort to try to make things work. I didn’t really realize how much my religious beliefs would affect things for me post-procedure. It was really hard for me to transition into intercourse with him being that we were not married and he wasn’t a 100% sure he wanted to marry me not knowing if he would be able to have sex with me (understandable). Needless to say, with that type of situation plus the added stress/strain of the relationship, it proved to be super overwhelming for me. At the end of it all, the relationship ended.

    On a brighter and more positive note, I am now happily married (4 months now) and truly feel that I will have excellent results this time. My husband and I decided to try for the surgery again as I know first hand the benefits/success of it and feel very confident about going ALL THE WAY this time around. One of the ladies that had the surgery with me initially, did very well and now has a son. With success stories like that how can I not have continued hope?!?!

    I must say that initially just the thought of re-doing the surgery had me pretty bummed. I mean, I will be the ONLY patient Dr. Pacik has that is having it for a 2nd time. I found however renewed encouragement and hope by reading the forum of the countless others that came after me and have been very successful. I am excited about what is in store for my husband and I!

    Hope this helps!

    #10069
    Allie
    Participant

    Thank you SO much for sharing. So happy that you are now with a man who loves and supports you. I think it is definitely courageous that you are going back for treatment. I am so excited to read how treatment goes and to read YOUR success story!

    #10071
    silverperl
    Participant

    K, I applaud you for not giving up and going in for the procedure again. I have faith this time it will work because you are “ready” now and in a more supportive situation. I had the procedure 3 years ago and have had great success. I wish you all the best and a short wait until August 13. The waiting is the hardest part.

    Allie, November will be here before you know it. I know it’s hard to wait but it is so worth it.

    I can’t wait to hear all your success stories!

    #10077
    K Howard
    Participant

    To Allie: You are so very welcome and thank you so much for the encouragement!

    To Silverperl: Thank you so much for your encouragement as well! I appreciate it. Yes, I believe that I am in a better place this go around and am staying ever so positive.

    I am truly looking forward to the procedure and the time ahead of us! It’s a new season and a new day!!!

    #10083
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi K. Howard. I love the title of your post “renewed hope” and thank you so much for sharing your story. I seriously KNOW that you will have tremendous success and you are so strong and courageous for taking this step and the stand to defeat vaginismus once and for all. You wrote “I am nervous yet extremely hopeful.” This is such a common feeling to have pre-procedure and one that I certainly shared with you. I was incredibly nervous but held on to the hope that it would work and I would prevail. In writing this, I keep thinking of Dr. Pacik’s blog: David and Goliath.

    http://www.vaginismusmd.com/david-and-goliath/

    In it, he writes:
    “Speak to the patient. I value each and every conversation I have with my patients before treatment. It helps them understand, helps them overcome some of their anxiety and sets the stage for good communication after treatment. It always gives me some additional insights into what is going on for the patient, and once again I learn something about the struggles of vaginismus or a concept that is re-enforced. Slowly, even at this stage we are beginning to “know the enemy”. Knowledge is power.
    The first strike comes in the operating room. Under anesthesia, Goliath has been rendered helpless as the anesthesia takes effect and reduces the muscular spasm to nothing more than an easily stretchable muscle. The power of spasm becomes jelly. The tightly closed fist of the entry muscle disappears. Botox is injected while the enemy is unconscious. Before Goliath regains consciousness, the muscle is dilated to one of the larger dilators and a long acting local anesthetic is injected to keep the powerful enemy weak after he wakes up. This results in a crippling blow . . . BUT
    The enemy wakes up, and though weakened, Goliath can still rear its ugly head. The fight is now a balance between the dueling dilators of David and the powerful muscles of Goliath that have been weakened but not yet controlled. David fights on knowing that once the arrows delivering the Botox become effective he will be able to continue to weaken his opponent. The long acting anesthesia allows the patient to continue dilating for several hours after treatment, without fear.
    During this time David is further coached on how to overcome the enemy. Hours are spent learning how to prepare daily logs for continued follow up, how to transition from dilators to intercourse, how to become erotic once again, positions of pelvic floor relaxation to make intercourse more comfortable and how to prepare for GYN exams. Much more is taught, but these are the basics leading to victory. More knowledge, more power. Goliath is held at bay, and weakened he begins to fall.
    Knowing that Goliath has been weakened gives David the final determination to throw more dilators at the monstrous muscles. Continued daily logs are showing greater comfort using the dilators as anxiety diminishes. The battle at times feels long, but the powerful Goliath is weakening. It is hard to believe, but the end is in sight.
    David conquers and the story ends as it should. The underdog wins. Intercourse is suddenly possible without pain. It takes David a little longer to overcome the stress of the battle. “I need to catch up emotionally to where I am physically” simply indicates that any of us need to get beyond stressful times, and this may take awhile.
    David believed in God, and God helped him win over the giant.”

    I’m here for you K. Howard and, again, KNOW that you will have tremendous success and you are so strong and courageous for taking this step and the stand to defeat vaginismus once and for all.

    #10078
    Dr. Pacik
    Participant

    Karla is one courageous lady. Every so often one has the conviction and courage to “go public” and this is something Karla did on Facebook. I have had other women of courage willing to expose themselves. It started with Rachel Monday who along with Kelsie appeared on the Tyra Banks show. Rachel went on to document her story “The Blessing of Botox” which has been read by many [url] http://www.plasticsurgerypa.com/index.cfm?event=ProductView&CategoryID=49&SubcategoryID=145&ProductID=513%5B/url%5D and her follow up http://www.plasticsurgerypa.com/index.cfm?event=ProductView&CategoryID=49&SubcategoryID=145&ProductID=592 These are posts on my older website which some of you may not be familiar with. Kelsie went on to document her journey which she posted on YouTube. This was up for about a year and lately taken down. Others that come to mind include Rachel who spent two days travelling from northern Vancouver near Alaska. She wrote her story http://www.plasticsurgerypa.com/index.cfm?event=ProductView&CategoryID=51&SubcategoryID=168&ProductID=603 and her husband David wrote his
    http://www.plasticsurgerypa.com/index.cfm?event=ProductView&CategoryID=51&SubcategoryID=168&ProductID=602 Both continue to be proactive in their community to make vaginismus more well known. There are many others who have become amazing advocates for women who suffer with vaginismus and my heart goes out to all the ladies that are willing to say “enough!”.
    Karla, I know deep in my heart that you are ready, and I have no doubt that this time you will succeed. After all, how can you fail with so many sending you their prayers. Goliath does not have a chance!

    #10090
    K Howard
    Participant

    Wow…I’m truly speechless and thankful at all of your support! THANK YOU!

    Heather34 thank you for reminding me of the wonderful post by Dr. Pacik….I’m more and more ready for Goliath this time!

    Dr. Pacik thank you so much for those kind words! You and your wonderful team were there with me before and I know even with some different staff, I will have just as wonderful an experience as before…and an even better outcome considering things are a bit different for me. You are definitely right…how can I fail?!?! I have too many people praying for me and too much to live life for! Come on August 13th!! See you soon.

    #10112
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi Karla. I know you have your procedure coming up on 8/13 and I just wanted you to know that we’re all here for you and I KNOW that you will do great. Not only do you have our support, but you also have the support of an amazing husband who will be by your side and also Dr. Pacik and all of the staff, who are all just incredibly wonderful and so caring. And, finally, I think you’re such a strong, brave, and courageous women and I know you will overcome.

    #10126
    K Howard
    Participant

    Thank you Heather for such encouraging words! I truly appreciate it. My husband and I will be heading to the airport in a couple of hours to catch our flight which leaves at 6am en route to Manchester. I can’t believe the day has almost arrived. I seemed to have been on this side of the fence of things for SO long and I’m ready to see what’s just over the horizon for me (and my husband)! I’m excited to see familiar faces and meet new ones!

    #10140
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Good luck to you, your husband, and all the ladies tomorrow. I truly know that you will do WONDERFUL!!!! Hugs to you! :):):)

    #10143
    K Howard
    Participant

    Thanks Heather! Things will get rolling in about ten minutes or so!

    #10144
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    And you will do AMAZING Karla! :):):):)

    #10146
    K Howard
    Participant

    Thank you all for all of the wonderful support… it has really helped me out.

    Well, as you would have guessed it, everything went well with the procedure on yesterday! There was one big difference this time around – or so I thought. After getting the IV put in, Dr. Pacik kept talking about this “external/internal exam” he was going to do. All I could think about was okay, this must be one of the new changes to the program because I don’t recall this part at all. After walking into the operating room (I don’t remember “walking in there from before”) Dr. Spaulding (hands down the best anesthesiologist in my book) was helping me up on the table and I asked him if this was the same as before and he said yes, but before you were already sedated at this point. Yikes! No wonder I didn’t remember this part. So I’d decided to see how much me and my body would allow Dr. Pack to evaluate before turning on us…I must be honest that I had my doubts but I think things went fairly well and he was able to complete everything this time with no sedation!

    After the procedure I woke up with the glass dilator #5 inside. I will say that I’m thankful that the glass dilators were used on me before I knew it lol because I had reservations about them being that they were glass and all but I must say they are GREAT!! A whole lot shorter and so much easier for sitting. I would definitely recommend them over the Pure Romance set plus if ever I wanted to, I have them as a backup.

    I was able to go up to the blue glass dilator and then work my way back down to the purple glass one and leave the office with that one in. It stayed in until about 9pm (peeing a couple of times – another story for another post lol) when I took a shower and then put it back in afterwards and returned to the office the next morning (today) with it still I’m place (peeing about three times in the night/morning). The last time I had the procedure I didn’t return to the office the next morning with anything in.

    We arrived around 8 am to the office this morning and got right to work with the dilators. I went up to the pink #5 and since I had a bit of discomfort and burning (mostly from my muscles stretching) I didn’t progress to the blue but stayed with the pink for about an hour and a half and then we all took our dilators out (the other two girls were dilated to blue and I’m so happy for them!) and had some counseling time with Dr. Pacik both indoors and outside (it was a beautiful day out!) The topics of conversation ranged from all things dilation to lubes and everything in between – nothing was spared. There was also a great time spent talking with the men to get their perspective on things and what turns them on/off, ways to get “in the mood” and so much more. It was very helpful and important to hear from the men in our lives.

    We returned inside to our beds to get back to work starting off with the purple #4 dilator and once inside, Ellen came down to talk with us some more about lubes, toys, books etc….the toy conversation was pretty fun! Afterwards we removed the purple #4 dilator and went up to the pink #5. We were able to keep #5 inside until we felt comfortable (I stayed with it for 30 minutes) and then we were able to leave after removing it. We have the rest of the afternoon off and then are to sleep with the purple #4 tonight.

    All in all, everything went well and I am especially thankful that my husband was here with me. He is very caring, supportive and loving. I wish the other two girls the best of luck on the rest of their journey and know they will be successful…WE ALL WILL!

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