New Intro– 23 Year Sufferer–Secondary Vag

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    I am a 45 year old mother of one child. I was diagnosed almost 23 years ago when I had onset of what I thought was a yeast infection that never went away. I was treated very badly by the HMO doctors I was seeing and finally met my OBGYN who I have had for 22 years. Here is when I was diagnosed with vulvodynia. In the early days, they tried everything. Creams, suppositories, vinegar like salt on a canker sore! Bartholin gland injections without pain medication or sedation! I was told many things over the years, “you are too high strung. You need to relax. Have a glass of wine on a Friday night then you can make love to your husband. You have penis envy, perhaps you are a lesbian, and the list goes on.” I was started on Elavil for six months back around 1995/1996 and after six months I could live without daily burning stabbing pain in that region. But penetration was always painful. Sometimes the pain was at 12 o’clock there, sometimes at six o’clock. But it always hurt. Inserting a tampon can be tough and depending upon the time of my cycle, if its lighter, it has a hard time coming out!

    Thank GOD for Tampax pearls! Remember the old cardboard applicator? Nothing like rubbing the old cardboard over your delicate burning, cutting, painful skin or trying to get the inner tube out of the outer tube when the vice grip sets in!! I equate my vagina to that plant that opens with those prickles and then clamps shut tight having caught its meat for the day! Venus Flytrap? That’s my vagina!

    Ever think what would happen if a man had to walk around with a burning, stabbing, stinging, sandpaper feeling penis?? HELLO! Ladies, they die in the couch for days if they have the flu! God forbid their penis doesn’t work!

    I am like others stories I’ve read. I’ve used food for comfort. I’ve gained weight. I’ve felt “less than”. I remember confiding in a close friend that I felt like damaged goods. I felt nobody would want me. Cuz I couldn’t have sex!

    I’ve been married for 12 years to a super fantastic supportive horny husband ( I mean what guy doesn’t think of sex 40 times a day?) and fortunately he has been very tolerable of our (almost) sexless marriage. But we recently filled out Dr P’s questionnaire and one of the questions was how he feels and how it affects him. He replied that he’s tired of having sex by himself! Well I don’t blame him, so am I!!

    I decided to post even before I start treatment. I want to give some hope to women who have been misdiagnosed, under diagnosed, older women, sufferers of 20+ years, hey if it’s less then at least you know it could be worse!

    I want others to learn from me, be encouraged by me, and feel free to share and reflect. I use humor A LOT in my life so if it sounds like I’m doing well, it’s my veil of humor. You see, I’ve had my dark cloudy days, still do, I’ve cried, I’ve been angry, but I reached a point of acceptance–sort of– and yes I have anxiety and depression like probably 100% of us!

    But don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged. Because 23 years later, I’m still finding answers and Dr P just may be my “angel” I’ve been waiting for all these years!

    I will keep you all posted and feel free to contact me any time. Professionally I am a rehabilitation counselor and board certified. I almost NEVER talk about my condition. You’d be surprised to know, my own primary care MD doesn’t even know. Yet.

    So I, like many others, have felt that guilt, shame, embarrassment and stigma that comes from ignorance.

    Well WE aren’t ignorant. So lets help one another!

    All my best to everyone!! YOU ARE WORTH IT!



    Hi 23years! Welcome to the group 🙂
    I have just read your story and even if each parson’s story is different, the emotional aspects of it are so strikingly similar. I salute you for being so strong and brave for so many years and I hope that in the future, women like you and I wouldn’t have to go through this nightmare. If the solution exists, people should know about it, especially health care providers.

    I wish you all the best with the upcoming treatment and I hope it’ll help you finally find the way out of it. I had mine 10 days ago, and so far, so good 🙂 step after step, day after day, I feel hope and happiness, doing things I haven’t imagined even being possible for me only 2 weeks ago! 🙂

    Good luck!

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