Early post-procedure

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  • #8968
    mishias
    Participant

    Hi Nicole. Huge, huge CONGRATS on having your procedure this past week. You wrote “I never thought I’d even be able to put ANY size dilator inside of me for ANY amount of time!” This is exactly how I felt too prior to my procedure in June as I could not insert even a q-tip. My hubby kept having to pinch me (lol) so I knew that it had really happened and I was now able to dilate. Please, please know that you are doing amazing and that dilating truly is a roller-coaster ride in the immediate time post-procedure. I experienced this as well and felt comfortable and pain-free on some days and then discomfort and frustration on others. Whenever I felt the latter, I always backed down a size and worked my way back up again when I was comfortable.

    I wanted to share a couple of further helpful posts from other members regarding their own experiences with this post-procedure as well:

    Mabel 1226: I think the best way to think about this is this: the muscles in our vaginal walls have never really been stretched before. I keep telling myself I wouldn’t expect my body to be able to run a marathon if it had been in a wheelchair for 20 years. I, too, felt “guilty” for starting back at the purple before going up again. I am now 54 days post-procedure and still can’t get the blue glass in unless the pink glass has been in for 2 hours. One step at a time. You’ll get there in your own time and in your own way. Don’t get discouraged!

    Arose: Set backs are really frustrating, I know! But if you’re going two steps forwards one step back, you’re still moving in the right direction and will eventually get there. I remember Ellen saying that with dilation sometimes we have great days, sometimes bad days, and usually ok days. At one stage I had to get the baby blue one out (which we don’t even use at Dr P’s surgery) because I couldn’t even get the purple one in, but now I don’t even use the purple and go straight to the pink (and I’m working with the no7 too!). Perseverence and positivity is the key with this, and you are not alone in what you’re experiencing – keep going!

    Dr. Pacik: Post procedure dilation is a “roller coaster” ride during the first 1-2 weeks after treatment. The muscles are still tight and “talking back” as they are being stretched. Since most women feel they will be the one person for whom Botox does not work, any difficulty with dilation immediately verifies these feelings. Then the muscles loosen up as the Botox is taking effect and the week or two of dilation is starting to be noticeable with less pain and therefore less anxiety. Now it is just a question of continuing with the program of dilation, and most of my patients at this stage begin thinking of transitioning to intercourse.

    SP: Dr. Pacik is correct that dilating early on is a roller coaster ride. You are making progress and definitely celebrate every success! Even once you start trying intercourse you will have days where it goes smoothly and days where you wonder if the procedure worked. Stay positive and keep trying. I remember thinking will intercourse ever not have to be a “robotic” process. A little over 3 years now from my procedure I can tell you I rarely have to worry or get prepared to have intercourse. You are doing great and soon you will not even think about all the dilating and struggle. 🙂

    Please, please know that your feelings are very common and something that we all have gone through in the days following the procedure. Please know we are all here to support you 100% along your journey and you will overcome.

    #11748
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi mishias. I am here for you and can assure you that things WILL get better with the dilating. In the first weeks post-procedure, I had the same thing happen and it truly was like a roller coaster. One day, I had no resistance and complete success with inserting the different sized dilators. On the very next day, I would notice a little resistance and discomfort and I would always back down 1 size. For example, if I felt discomfort with blue or pink, I would back down to pink or purple (pure romance). And, then on the very next day, I had no problems (again, the roller coaster). Ellen was EXTREMELY helpful in this area as well. I also want to share with you words of advice from Dr. Pacik: “Post procedure dilation is a “roller coaster” ride during the first 1-2 weeks after treatment. The muscles are still tight and “talking back” as they are being stretched. Since most women feel they will be the one person for whom Botox does not work, any difficulty with dilation immediately verifies these feelings. Then the muscles loosen up as the Botox is taking effect and the week or two of dilation is starting to be noticeable with less pain and therefore less anxiety.” I am here for you always!!!

    #11749
    mishias
    Participant

    Thank you Heather34
    I took your advice and spoke to Ellen she was really helpful, I was and kind of still am a bit worried that my set back has been for 3days in a row. I was not able to put in #5 (i use glass dilator, pink in silicone) for the past 3days. But she advised me to take it easy for couple days and just use #4 which was a relief cause I struggled for about 20min to insert #5 this morning and the whole day I felt soreness and uncomfort without a dilator even as I was sitting, moving…

    #11751
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi mishias. I’m glad you spoke to Ellen. She helped me significantly post-procedure. I’m also glad you described the glass numbers as these sometimes confuse me in comparison to pure romance. When I had my procedure, the glass ones were not yet available. I, too, backed down to purple (glass #4)for a few days whenever I felt soreness with pink and then would slowly work my way back up and this worked so well. You are doing so well and I am here for you always!!!! :):):)

    #11756
    Nakitalab
    Participant

    Hi mishias, I too struggled with dilating when I got home from my procedure. But I promise it will get easier with time, especially if you are diligent and keep trying every day. I couldn’t understand why it seemed to be fairly easy while in NH and why it was difficult when I got home. It was so hard not to get frustrated and discouraged. I found that dialing down to the smaller glass size and being patient with myself really helped. Sometimes it seemed like I was hitting a wall again and that it was taking forever, but I found taking deep breaths, doing the kegels and having patience and going slow helped. Some days it took me longer than others but in the scheme of things it doesn’t really matter how quickly you are able to insert it. Try not to put pressure on yourself that it should be going in quickly. Remember that not only are you retraining your body but your mind as well. The Botox will be kicking in soon and it will become easier, I promise. Try to be patient with yourself. Even though you may not feel like it, you are making great progress!

    #12136
    Nicole
    Participant

    Hi everyone. I’m on day 4 post-procedure and feeling a bit of frustration with myself regarding dilating. I have only been able to dilate up to #4 since the procedure, and haven’t been able to put the #5 in at all. Sometimes the #4 goes in quickly and painlessly, but last night it took me nearly 50 minutes to get it in and it was very painful. Of course, thoughts of failure and anxiety flood my mind and I have to remind myself that this is just the beginning of everything. I emailed Dr. Pacik about my concerns and he reminded me that it was much too early to be discouraged about where I am. He emphasized that there was no rush to get to the larger sizes right now, and it’s okay if I stay at #4 for the next couple of weeks. I think I put too much pressure on myself to advance to the larger sizes right away. But I’m going to keep trying and remind myself that this is a journey! There are going to be ups and downs along the way, but I’ve already come so far. I never thought I’d even be able to put ANY size dilator inside of me for ANY amount of time! It truly is amazing that I can tolerate it at all!

    #10193
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi Nicole. Huge, huge CONGRATS on having your procedure this past week. You wrote “I never thought I’d even be able to put ANY size dilator inside of me for ANY amount of time!” This is exactly how I felt too prior to my procedure in June as I could not insert even a q-tip. My hubby kept having to pinch me (lol) so I knew that it had really happened and I was now able to dilate. Please, please know that you are doing amazing and that dilating truly is a roller-coaster ride in the immediate time post-procedure. I experienced this as well and felt comfortable and pain-free on some days and then discomfort and frustration on others. Whenever I felt the latter, I always backed down a size and worked my way back up again when I was comfortable.

    I wanted to share a couple of further helpful posts from other members regarding their own experiences with this post-procedure as well:

    Mabel 1226: I think the best way to think about this is this: the muscles in our vaginal walls have never really been stretched before. I keep telling myself I wouldn’t expect my body to be able to run a marathon if it had been in a wheelchair for 20 years. I, too, felt “guilty” for starting back at the purple before going up again. I am now 54 days post-procedure and still can’t get the blue glass in unless the pink glass has been in for 2 hours. One step at a time. You’ll get there in your own time and in your own way. Don’t get discouraged!

    Arose: Set backs are really frustrating, I know! But if you’re going two steps forwards one step back, you’re still moving in the right direction and will eventually get there. I remember Ellen saying that with dilation sometimes we have great days, sometimes bad days, and usually ok days. At one stage I had to get the baby blue one out (which we don’t even use at Dr P’s surgery) because I couldn’t even get the purple one in, but now I don’t even use the purple and go straight to the pink (and I’m working with the no7 too!). Perseverence and positivity is the key with this, and you are not alone in what you’re experiencing – keep going!

    Dr. Pacik: Post procedure dilation is a “roller coaster” ride during the first 1-2 weeks after treatment. The muscles are still tight and “talking back” as they are being stretched. Since most women feel they will be the one person for whom Botox does not work, any difficulty with dilation immediately verifies these feelings. Then the muscles loosen up as the Botox is taking effect and the week or two of dilation is starting to be noticeable with less pain and therefore less anxiety. Now it is just a question of continuing with the program of dilation, and most of my patients at this stage begin thinking of transitioning to intercourse.

    SP: Dr. Pacik is correct that dilating early on is a roller coaster ride. You are making progress and definitely celebrate every success! Even once you start trying intercourse you will have days where it goes smoothly and days where you wonder if the procedure worked. Stay positive and keep trying. I remember thinking will intercourse ever not have to be a “robotic” process. A little over 3 years now from my procedure I can tell you I rarely have to worry or get prepared to have intercourse. You are doing great and soon you will not even think about all the dilating and struggle. 🙂

    Please, please know that your feelings are very common and something that we all have gone through in the days following the procedure. Please know we are all here to support you 100% along your journey and you will overcome.

    #12150
    Nakitalab
    Participant

    Hi Nicole, you are doing so well, please don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Just keep on keeping on. I remember that I struggled with “how fast” I thought I should be progressing right after my procedure and I was assured by Dr. Pacik and so many others on the Forum that I should be kind to myself and celebrate all the successes, that it isn’t a race. We all progress and overcome Vaginimus in our “own” time and that in itself is a huge blessing. Sending you a big hug.

    #12162
    Kim
    Participant

    Hey Nicole!

    I’m thinking you were the third lady in our group who had the procedure a week ago, with myself and Olivia. Just wanted you to know that I’m thinking about ya and praying for you this week. Hope you’re doing ok.

    #12163
    Janet Pacik
    Participant

    Yes, “Nicole” is the third woman in the group.

    #12164
    Nicole
    Participant

    Hi Kim! I finally got on the forum and I’m happy to see you and Olivia here! I’ve been thinking about you both so much this past week and I hope you guys are both doing well 🙂

    Thanks so much Heather and Nakitalab for the encouragement! It really is such a rollercoaster right after. It’s hard not to think “I should be further along than this” and not have too many expectations about what size dilator you’re on. And some days are definitely more painful than others. But how amazing is it there is even a dilator in there?! Baby steps!

    #12171
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    You are doing so, so wonderful Nicole and I couldn’t be happier. Baby steps are still important steps forward and I couldn’t be happier and more excited for you! Can’t wait to read more of your posts. Sending huge hugs!!!!

    #12174
    Olivia
    Participant

    Hi Nicole! Yay!! We are all on here. Woooo. I agree, baby steps, it is amazing we have any dilators in when just 10 days I could not insert a q-tip. It is huge progress!! I have been thinking of you both as well, we are all on this great new journey! 🙂 You are doing well and will be progressing up to the different sizes before you know it.

    #12188
    Molly
    Participant

    Hi Nicole, Kim and Olivia,

    I followed you three brave women by a week with my procedure. I am in regular text contact with the other woman from my procedure date, and I wanted to pipe in and share that we both remark how surprising it is that a dilator is uncomfortable after insertion when three days prior insertion of the same dilator was painless.

    I recognize that my struggle with vaginismus as a single woman affords me the opportunity to feel encouraged by my progress rather than disappointed by pain, bleeding or any setback. I don’t have a spouse or partner that I feel accountable to for my setbacks. Since I also don’t have a partner to encourage me when I feel like I am regressing, I make it a priority to be kind to myself when setbacks occur, and revel instead at how unbelievable it is that I am capable of inserting any size dilator inside of my body.

    Inserting the #5 one day effortlessly, and then struggling for minutes at a time the very next day with the same size dilator really affirms for me that my body is mirroring the same struggles that my self image and psyche are experiencing. The resistance I feel internally (which has been prohibitively uncomfortable only with the #6, I am not yet able to fully insert the #6 glass which I was nearly able to day the day after the procedure) is a message that my life is radically different today than it was ten days ago, and I am grateful for the capacity to experience the discomfort. The discomfort is from a dilator INSIDE of my body. In my mind, the pain is worth the price of admission to a life where I can use thoughtlessly and easily elect to use tampons and FAR MORE IMPORTANTLY have a fully actualized sex life with a guy.

    It is a privilege to be struggling with dilation. I am so happy to be alive and in the company of my friends who are coupled off (married, etc.) as I now believe and feel like that is in the realm of possibility for me. It is a joy to be a woman, and I am learning more about what joy looks like with each day. That joy includes my inner vaginal walls letting me know that they are willing to come along for the ride, but until the muscles are stretched and conditioned, they are asking me to be patient and accomodating. If that means dilating down, that’s easy. I am ready (in my head) to get the #6 glass in there as soon as my body is ready.

    Last night I was at the home of a coworker with two other couples from work watching the HBO pay per view fight. I spent a greater part of the evening observing how confident and comfortable I was to just be in their company. I did not feel like I was a third wheel, I rather felt like I was a whole person who can also realistically anticipate a partnership with someone where vaginismus is not going to be an issue. It is truly remarkable. This is a big reason why I am already experiencing the successful outcome of the procedure. Intercourse is going to happen, and when it does it is going to be amazing.

    We are all prepped by the amazing team in New Hampshire to be remarkable ambassadors for the miracle of botox treatment for vaginismus. Thanks to you for sharing so frankly your struggles post procedure.

    #12190
    Olivia
    Participant

    Hi Molly!
    I loved your post and when you said, “It is a privilege to be struggling with dilation. I am so happy to be alive and in the company of my friends who are coupled off (married, etc.) as I now believe and feel like that is in the realm of possibility for me”. It is amazing the progress each of us have already made and it is an interesting thing to be annoyed or frustrated with/when dilating when not that long ago I was not even able to insert a q-tip. You are right, intercourse will happen and it will be amazing. I look forward to hearing more about your dilating. 🙂

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