Finally taking the plunge!

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  • #9006
    Kim
    Participant

    Hey everyone,

    My name is Kim and after lurking on Dr. Pacik’s site for the last few years, I’ve finally decided I can no longer live like this and have worked up the nerve to just schedule the freakin surgery and get on with my life.

    Vaginismus has literally been a dark, looming cloud over myself and my husband over the last 7 years and even prior to that when I was single. It sucks. I’m tired of being depressed, sad, feeling inadequate, anxious and afraid. Part of why I’ve put off the procedure for so long is because I’ve never been hospitalized, had an IV, or any kind of out-patient procedure and needles scare the crap out of me. I’m actually more afraid of the anesthesia than anything else. In many ways my marriage has been strengthened by the forced communication and creativity in the bedroom that vaginismus brings you to. But at the same time, it’s a heavy burden – the big elephant in the room that no one wants to bring up, but yet is always there.

    Now that I’m 35 years old and unable to conceive, I have even more incentive to face this head on. Hearing that Dr. Pacik and his team are so sensitive to ALL the aspects of vaginismus is what gives me the strength to keep moving forward. There are so many ignorant and insensitive practitioners out there who have only made my condition worse – ugh! I did find a local doctor here who administers botox for vaginismus – but she literally told me it was a 5 minute procedure and would wear off in 3-4 months, in which case I would more than likely need to come back and pay that massive expense out of pocket all over again. Um no thank you. I would to address this issue from every side because I’m fully aware how much it has affected me psychologically, emotionally, physically and relationally.

    I would absolutely love to hear from others who have been through this and what the actual day of the procedure was like for them and what they remember? I’m so insanely nervous that it takes me forever to fall asleep at night because my heart starts racing. I’m looking to schedule my appointment in November and will be speaking with Dr. Pacik shortly for our interview.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my introduction 😉
    Blessings,
    Kim

    #11914
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi Kim. Welcome to the Forum and thank you so, so much for your post. I am so sorry for your struggles with vaginismus and I am so excited that you found Dr. Pacik and the Forum. Every single emotion that you described is exactly how I felt while suffering with vaginismus (i.e. depressed, sad, feeling inadequate, anxious, afraid, and just so much more). I am 36 years old now and I had Dr. Pacik’s procedure in June of 2011. Prior to this, I suffered with vaginismus for my entire relationship/marriage (we will be celebrating 7 years married and 13 years together on 10/14) and also while I was single. You are so right in that it not only affects you physically, but also in so many other ways (i.e. psychologically, emotionally, relationally, etc.). I think that the fact that Dr. P addresses all of these factors in the treatment program and his important follow-up communication post-procedure was a huge factor that made this treatment work for us when so many others had failed (i.e. PT, dilating on my own, etc.). As far as the day of the procedure itself, I recall it well. My husband and I drove up to Dr. Pacik’s Manchester office from our home in Boston. Once we arrived, I was incredibly nervous and all of the staff helped me to calm down so much. I then recall asking for IV Verced which was started for me and helped me to relax so much pre-procedure. I then remember holding my hubby’s hand; going into the procedure room; and next, waking up from the procedure with the dilator inside of me. The time of the procedure was around 20-30 minutes. I immediately had to go to the bathroom; removed this large dilator; went; and inserted it right back in. I remember being in a bit of shock as was my husband but so elated that something was able to be inside of me and did not hurt. I then recall lying in the bed in the recovery room with my hubby by my side and an amazing recovery room nurse who kept checking on us. I had a heated blanket on which made it so much more comfortable and I remember practicing removing the different sized dilators and re-inserting them, all pain-free following the procedure. My hubby was equally amazed by this and both helped me insert and also inserted the dilators too now realizing that they didn’t hurt me. It was just a life-changing experience for the both of us and we were able to transition to intercourse in 7 days after not being able to for our entire relationship/marriage. Now, we are trying to conceive and looking forward to starting a family together one day. And, we are enjoying love-making and looking forward to going away from 10/18-10/20 to celebrate our anniversary. None of this would’ve been possible if I hadn’t had this procedure. Ok, please know that I am here for you always and I look forward to reading your posts. :):):)

    #11915
    Nakitalab
    Participant

    Hi Kim, I’m so glad that you found the Forum and Dr. Pacik! I just turned 53 and had Vaginismus since I was a teenager (not knowing it at the time). I first realized something was wrong when I started menstruating and couldn’t use a tampon. It was like I was hitting a wall and I couldn’t insert it. I was never able to have a pelvic exam. It always ended up with me crying and feeling so ashamed that I couldn’t allow them to get close to me. I met my husband and we decided to wait until marriage before we had intercourse. On our wedding day I was a nervous wreck worried about our first night. It was awful; as much as I wanted to I couldn’t have penetration. I cried and cried. It was the worst day of my life. After several attempts and a several years later I realized that we had never had penetration and we decided to seek out help. After 15 years of struggling with this condition, feeling humiliated, that I was a freak, that my husband didn’t deserve me we found a doctor who diagnosed me with Vaginismus. I underwent surgery to remove scar tissue, the outer ring of my hymen and an episiotomy. After I healed I was given dilators and lidocaine which allowed some penetration but it was extremely painful. Like you I struggled with depression, very low self-image and was totally obsessed with the fact that I couldn’t make love to my husband. Why couldn’t I be “normal”. I was thrilled when I stumbled across Dr. Pacik’s website and this Forum last summer. Last October I traveled back to NH with my sister and had the procedure. It was the best decision I have ever made in my life. Dr. Pacik and his team are the most kind and compassionate professionals you will ever meet. I am happy say that the procedure along with following Dr. Pacik’s dilating program I was able to have pain free intercourse several weeks after the procedure. I still pinch myself today. I will admit that I still have a lot of “mind” work to do as will as intimacy issues but I’m a work in progress and can actually make love to my husband with zero pain! I promise that you won’t regret your decision to have the procedure. I was extremely nervous about the procedure and truly felt that based on how long I suffered with Vaginismus and my age that it wouldn’t work for me. But Dr. Pacik and his team helped to calm and assure me. As far as going under anesthesia it was the best sleep I have had in a long time. The IV felt like a little pinch and after that I felt nothing. I woke up to having the largest dilator in me which totally blew me away. What an amazing feeling of accomplishment it was to know that I could actually have something inside of me. I was “normal”!!! My husband couldn’t go with me but my sister was right by my side. I am so very thankful for Dr. Pacik and his staff. You are one step closer to being free of Vaginismus and that is a huge blessing!! I’m so excited for you and here for you if you need anything or have questions.

    #11916
    Kim
    Participant

    You ladies are awesome and I admire you immensely for paving the way for us who are following behind you! How many times have each of us been made to feel ridiculous, as if its all in our heads, when it comes to seeing doctors about our condition? Last night when my husband and I spoke to Dr. Pacik on the phone, it was like water being poured out on dry land – FINALLY someone who ‘gets it’! I’m truly floored with the amount of follow up that Dr. Pacik offers even after the procedure and how much he genuinely cares about each of us and even recognizes the duration of pain we’ve lived with. I probably would have cried on the phone last night, if I wasn’t so stunned. My sweet man’s eyes were just filled with tears through out the whole conversation. Thank you ladies for giving of your own time to encourage me – I so need it! Today is a good day – I feel calm and brave 😉

    And on the way to work I turned up the radio crazy loud and sang “Roar” by Katy Perry (my own personal war cry against Vaginismus!):

    “I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
    Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
    So I sat quietly, agreed politely
    I guess that I forgot I had a choice
    I let you push me past the breaking point
    I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

    You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
    Already brushing off the dust
    You hear my voice, you hear that sound
    Like thunder gonna shake the ground
    You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
    Get ready cause I’ve had enough
    I see it all, I see it now

    [Chorus]
    I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
    Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
    Louder, louder than a lion
    Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
    Oh oh oh oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh oh oh oh
    You’re gonna hear me roar

    Now I’m floating like a butterfly
    Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes
    I went from zero, to my own hero

    You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
    Already brushing off the dust
    You hear my voice, you hear that sound
    Like thunder gonna shake the ground
    You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
    Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
    I see it all, I see it now

    [Chorus]
    I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
    ‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
    Louder, louder than a lion
    ‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
    Oh oh oh oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh oh oh oh
    You’re gonna hear me roar
    Oh oh oh oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh oh oh oh
    You’ll hear me roar
    Oh oh oh oh oh oh
    You’re gonna hear me roar…”

    #11920
    Nakitalab
    Participant

    I’m so glad that you got to talk to Dr. Pacik!! And I can totally attest to Dr. Pacik and his team’s support. It has just about been a year since my procedure and they are still always available when I need a question answered, to vent or share a small victory. They aren’t like the typical professionals that say wham bam thank you maam and never hear from them again. Dr. Pacik and his team truly want to know how you are doing each and every day, to help you through the valleys and share in the celebration of all the successes along the way, no matter how big or small. I’m looking forward to hearing you ROAR!!!!

    #11924
    Dr. Pacik
    Participant

    I’m touched! What a great war song! How many others have their own way of coping with this adversity?
    I would like to remind new readers of Rachel’s song that is dedicated to women struggling with vaginismus. It touches me every time I listen to it.
    You can link to YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9fZ0855nzc

    Rachel has become an amazing advocate for those who still struggle.

    #11925
    Dr. Pacik
    Participant

    Here is the link to “ROAR” http://youtu.be/CevxZvSJLk8
    What an uplifting song!

    #11937
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    That is such an AMAZING song guys!!!!!!

    I think this particular song speaks to facing the “scary unknown” and speaking up instead of holding everything in. I never spoke to anyone about my vaginismus and I was terrified at the time to face it head on. Despite this real fear, I finally decided to speak up, had the procedure, and I am now living vaginismus-free. It certainly took bravery but it was so worth it!!!!

    Sara Bareilles
    “Brave”
    Everybody’s been there,
    Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
    Fallen for the fear
    And done some disappearing,
    Bow down to the mighty
    Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
    Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
    Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
    Show me how big your brave is

    Say what you wanna say
    And let the words fall out
    Honestly I wanna see you be brave

    With what you want to say
    And let the words fall out
    Honestly I wanna see you be brave

    I just wanna see you
    I just wanna see you
    I just wanna see you
    I wanna see you be brave

    I just wanna see you
    I just wanna see you
    I just wanna see you
    See you be brave

    #11965
    Kim
    Participant

    Heather34, I just listened to it and it is really good! I think I’m going to have to compile a New Hampshire trip playlist to get me through these next 3 1/2 weeks 😉

    #11973
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    I’m so, so excited for you Kim and just know that you will WIN the war on 11/11. I listen to Roar all of the time while driving and think of you now and know that you will beat this and overcome!!!!! Such a great song!!! Let’s all think of additional ones and come up with a play list???

    #12053
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi Kim! Happy November to you! I know your procedure is coming up on Veteran’s Day and wanted to let you know that we are all here for you. I also wanted to let you along with all of the other members know that we now have a NH play list created of songs of empowerment in the journey of overcoming vaginismus. Today, Dr. Pacik has posted an excellent blog of such inspirational songs that I would encourage you all to check out:

    http://www.vaginismusmd.com/vaginismus-women-find-inspiration-through-music/

    As always, I welcome all of your comments and feedback here. :):):)

    #12094
    Nakitalab
    Participant

    Hi Kim, just wanted to know that I’m thinking of you and hope that all went well with your procedure on Monday. Don’t forget we are all here for you. Sending you a big hug.

    #12107
    Kim
    Participant

    It’s 2 days post procedure and I’m finally taking the time to sit down and digest what I/we’ve been through these last few days. At dinner tonight, I turned and looked at Jason and said, “We really did this, we’re here.” Today more than anything I’m exhausted. For weeks since booking my procedure I’ve been in an anxiety-ridden state and now that the procedure is over, my body is kind of in a let down mode.

    Let me start with the day of the procedure. I had high hopes to sleep in late and get some quality rest having taken some Tylenol PM the night before and knowing my procedure wasn’t scheduled till 11:30, but how ironic is this…No joke I woke up at 6am to our neighbors having very loud sex!! I MEAN ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Of all days. I rolled over, shook Jason and said, “Are you kidding me?!” There really wasn’t any chance of my getting any more sleep, so instead I did my best to stay calm, took a long hot shower and sat on the hotel bed playing my worship music. I admit with the worship music playing, I felt a wonderful peace all the way up until I checked in for my appointment. Then the nerves kicked up a notch. The thing I was most terrified of was the IV, since I had never had one before and I don’t have the greatest history with needles. I was a bit too dehydrated and so the first two attempts at an IV were a no-go. After that the anesthesiologist came up to my room and popped that sucker in my hand and I felt like I was home free. I was so relieved that already one major fear had been faced head on. After getting some fluids in me to combat my dysautonomia, we headed downstairs to the OR and they had me get on the exam table for the initial exam by Dr. Pacik. I couldn’t control my legs from shaking, though inside I felt calmer than I expected. Within seconds a hottie in pink scrubs, hat and booties was by my side and I remembered Dr. Pacik encoruraging me to sing the “Roar” song – which um no can do. But that sweet man of mine did his best by singing the lyrics out as best he could. Hahhaa! The next thing I remember is he did the q-tip test on me and then inserted his finger to check for muscle spasm. I did pretty good up until that point and then it was lights out and I don’t remember anything else until waking up in recovery. I was so shocked to hear from Jason that while under the anesthesia, my body struggled and jerked several times during the procedure. I was completely unaware and yet still my body was fighting any penetration whatsoever. Unbelievable. Jason was incredible, he never left my side and was so gentle, encouraging and supportive. I woke up with Big Blue, dilator #6 (the largest) inside me. The nurse directed me how to pull it out & put it back in. Then once the blue was out, the pink # 5 went in. This was easy peasy since I was still so numb and also incredibly encouraging. After dilating with the pink for a short time I transitioned to the #4 purple and then we all waddled back to our hotels. That night was a little rougher than I had anticipated. I took some Aleve and was feeling really sore. My stomach got pretty upset so there were moments I had to take it out to use the restroom, but I put it back in right after and slept with it in that first night. Let me tell ya something, as horribly frustrated I was about starting my period the day before my procedure, there is already quite a bit of blood anyway from the injections site, so thankfully it really didn’t make much of a difference.

    Day 2 I woke up pretty exhausted cause I slept so fitfully being aware of the purple dilator still in me all night long. At the same time, I was encouraged , cause I was like, “hey, I’m doing this!” Then I waddled back out to the car so we could be back at the clinic by 8:30 to meet with the other couples and begin our session. We started off with dilating, I removed the purple #4, and tried putting in pink #5. That didn’t happen, I was just so sore and I know that with being on my period my skin is already more irritated and sensitive than usual. But Dr. Pacik was awesome and he didn’t pressure me to make #5 fit and I was able to instead put #3 blue in to rest. Crazy how before all this I would think #3 was not going to happen, and yet that one was easy compared to the others! Dr. Pacik spent some time with us 3 couples and we got to hear each others stories and backgrounds. At one point when one of the ladies was sharing, Jason’s eyes teared up and he looked at me and said, “that’s you.” It was huge for Jason to be able to hear from the other guys, since he hadn’t been able to identify with anyone else these long 8 years since first facing this condition. It was awesome to meet the others and I only wish we had more time together to share 1:1. I admire these other 2 ladies immensely, what we did that day was monumental!

    Today we decided to commemorate this week and all that it means for us and our marriage and Jason bought me a beautiful smoky quartz pendant necklace (smoky quartz being the state’s gem). Last night I slept with #3 blue all night long and quite comfortably too. Then after waking up I immediately was able to insert #4 Purple in less than 2 minutes with hardly any discomfort! AND I left it in for 40 minutes! I’m keeping up with my log and am so excited to see the progress I’m making so quickly. What a gift Dr. Pacik and his staff is to women like us!

    PS – I found out shortly after my procedure I was Dr Pacik’s 250th Vaginismus patient —-RRROOOOOOOAAAAARRRR!

    #12109
    Olivia
    Participant

    Kim!!! I am so proud of you and am so happy that we have both reached this exciting new point in our lives. I think Roar will forever be a song to remind of us of this new exciting time… 🙂
    Hearing your story inspired me because you have had so many struggles over the years. Thank you for sharing! I agree, I wish we had had more time together to share 1:1. 🙂

    #12114
    Janet Pacik
    Participant

    To Olivia & Kim, I am so happy that I got a chance to meet you both. Your posts have absolutely touched my soul. I know you both will do well and will succeed. I, too, will forever remember the song ROAR! and what it means to our vaginismus patients. Please keep posting as it is so important for others to hear your stories.

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