Eternally grateful to everyone at Maze

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  • #50218
    Feelinghopeful
    Participant

    I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to share my success story with this wonderful community.
    I dealt with vaginismus for as long as I can remember and I just got it treated this past November at age 43.
    The first time I knew there was an issue was when I was a young teen and could not insert a tampon (I’d even get lightheaded reading the instructions). I was raised in a religiously strict household where you wait until marriage to have sex and my mother told me that tampons would be easier to use once I was married and sexually active.
    I was first married at 22 and saw a horrible gynecologist a few weeks prior to the wedding to get an exam and get on birth control. Still not aware I had a true issue, I just assumed the exam would be uncomfortable but not impossible. Well it was impossible for her to examine me and she insensitively said “You’re too tight, I feel sorry for your husband.” Total nightmare that haunted me for years!
    Still I assumed intercourse on our wedding night would somehow just happen. Nope, not at all. I couldn’t relax, no chance of entry (the hitting a wall feeling) had panic attacks, and we just gave up. We stayed married for 8 years and had a sex life without intercourse, but it was a problem he couldn’t deal with. He cheated on me a lot throughout the years and of course I felt responsible in a way because I wasn’t “normal”. I heard about Dr. Pacik’s Botox treatment around 2005 but wasn’t ready to deal with it and didn’t have the resources or a supportive partner. I felt alone, ashamed, and hopeless. I never told anyone about my problem and it just kept growing.
    We got divorced and a bit later I started dating my current husband. I told him about my vaginismus and he was very kind and understanding. We ended up getting married and having a decent sex life for awhile, I’ve always been a sexual person, intercourse was just impossible. After awhile my husband started getting impatient and after 10 years of marriage he was at his limit of waiting for me to address my problem. I had told him from the beginning that this “Botox treatment” sounded like the only option for me, but again kept putting it off as it’s so overwhelming and costly.
    He finally pushed me enough to deal with it (which I’m grateful) and we finally had the money so I nervously made that first phone call. It was amazing to talk to people who understood what I was dealing with and weren’t at all judgmental. I was finally making progress towards getting this cured…then came Covid. We couldn’t get to NY from FL for almost a year and it was so frustrating. My husband was losing hope, but I knew and believed it was going to happen eventually. Finally the world opened back up and we started making the travel plans, we were so ready! Another glitch…during my pre-op visit at a walk in clinic (because I didn’t have a doctor due to embarrassment) I found out my blood pressure was high and we’d have to postpone our trip to NY and my appointment. I was beyond devastated, but Melissa was so kind and positive knowing it would eventually happen and it was a blessing in disguise. I ended up getting a real family doctor and treatment for my high blood pressure (finally some self care).
    I rescheduled my appointment for November 16th and made the travel arrangements. Words can’t describe how nervous and scared I was. I knew everyone at the clinic had seen my problem many times and truly understood me, but what if I was the rate case where it wouldn’t work or there was something else wrong with me… I showed up the morning of my appointment and got ready for the procedure, everyone was so kind and no one made me feel ashamed. The whole procedure doesn’t take very long and it was exactly like I had heard many times on their Instagram stories and interviews with Bat Sheva. I woke up from the procedure with the largest pink dilator inside of me and no pain!! I could not believe it, it was so emotional I remember crying and asking if it was real. I left there with the 4th blue dilator inserted and left it in for quite a few hours. After I removed it I was so nervous I wouldn’t be able to get anything back in as the lidocaine wore off so I tried the smallest size. That may not be a big deal to some but it was a huge accomplishment for me because I had never been able to insert anything!
    The next morning I met with Melissa again to practice inserting different size dilators, she was amazing, the whole team truly makes you feel so comfortable doing things that aren’t exactly common. Melissa also let me know that my hymen was actually extremely thick in some areas and penetration would have been excruciating if not impossible. I feel the attempts I had made in the past and it being so painful really triggered my Vaginismus. I can’t help but wonder if the first Gynecologist I went to would have been kinder and realized there was a hymen problem I wouldn’t have had to deal with all of this on the first place. But that’s ok because I’m fully cured now!
    I had a dilating schedule that I followed daily and weekly Zoom check-ins with Melissa and Helen. I made fast progress and three weeks after the Botox procedure (that I had put off for years) I had intercourse with my husband for the first time.
    At this point, a few months later, we have intercourse a few times a week and I love it! No pain, just pleasure. I can’t even explain how grateful I am that Maze exists and such wonderful people are there to help women like me. I still think about vaginismus daily because it was such a huge part of my life for so long, but now I think about it as being in the past and I love that my body is functioning as it was meant to.

    #50238
    mmmazemelissa
    Moderator

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! It’s never to late to seek treatment. This was your time, and you rocked it!

    #50244
    Feelinghopeful
    Participant

    I wanted to share so hopefully my story can help someone else. Thank you for everything again!!

    #50480
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    Feelinghopeful, thanks so much for sharing your story!!! I am so thrilled to hear you had such a positive experience at Maze and that you have reclaimed your sex life after many years of suffering. I know from having the botox treatment myself that you were brave to take the necessary steps to accept help and to go through the treatment and dilation. It was so much more doable than I ever dreamed, but the emotional fortitude it takes is admirable and you should be really proud of yourself.

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us – I think it will help people in the future to seek the treatment they need and know what options are out there!

    #53570
    Feelinghopeful
    Participant

    Thank you so much! I wanted to share my story in hopes of helping someone else deal with this emotional and physical struggle. I’ve read so many of your comments too and watched your interview, you are such an inspiration, thank you for all of your help.

    #53633
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    Feelinghopeful, I’m so glad to hear that what I have shared has been helpful. I think it makes a difference when every one of us shares our story and brings this issue out into the light – so many people suffer for years without even understanding what the problem is, and making it more acceptable to talk about pain and sex is going to be the thing that brings less suffering to future generations of women. I hope everything continues to go well for you and that your story inspires others!

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