Post-procedure Emotions

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    Hi ladies. Prior to my procedure, I worried for close to a month about every aspect of the dilating and how I would ever be able to do this following my procedure as I could not even use a q-tip prior. I tried hard to distract myself with work, which did help a little, but I was very nervous and snappy with my husband and in general. I felt like it was his fault that I had to go through this which deep down, I knew was untrue. It was something that I wanted to do and needed to do for myself as I had suffered with this conditon long enough. Post-procedure, all of the worrying was truly unecessary as I was completely successful with using dilators and within 7 days, with intercourse. However, what I didn’t prepare at all for was the emotions that I experienced post-procedure. The only other thing that I can compare it to was taking a huge exam in college. I studied 12 hours per day for a month prior and was so hyped up for the exam. I took it and did well. However, when I returned home, I was incredibly emotional (i.e. crying for no reason, feeling snappy, etc.) and I ended up becoming physically sick with a cold. The test preparation group actually warned all of us in advance that this may happen and is considered the let-down period after the exam. For this procedure, I remember feeling very anxious for around a month b/t our consult and my actual procedure date b/c it was unknown and I was finally doing something to cure my vaginismus instead of just ignoring it. Once I returned home, while I was elated that I had done so well and could use all the dilators, I had this same emotional response as I had right after my exam (crying for no reason, feeling snappy, etc.). It lasted around a day and then got better and better but there was no real explanation for it other than all of the built-up anxiety having to go somewhere.

    In a similar post, another treated patient also commented on post-procedure emotions experienced:

    “I am 5 days post procedure. Physically, I am doing fine post procedure with the dilators. (Which was the one thing I was most worried about). I didn’t even think or worry about the emotional part afterwards. Maybe if I would have been more prepared I wouldn’t be having these panic attacks. Be prepared that our body and minds have been through SO much all these years of suffering. For me the week before treatment and the week of I could NOT sleep at all. That is another big part that can cause anxiety. You can’t expect to come home and everything be just fine! I am still needing to catch up MENTALLY where I am physically. Another thing, my husband had to go back to work saturday(we came home Friday) I was a complete mess! I didn’t want him to leave. Thankfully my mom was able to come over and hang out with me all day so that definitely helped!”

    I believe it is very, very common to experience many different emotions post-procedure and this is why Dr. Pacik often states “you have to catch up emotionally to where you are physically“. Did you also experience various emotions immediately following your procedure? What advice do you have to prepare future patients for this that you would’ve liked prior to your own procedure? What specifically helped you with these emotions post-procedure?

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