Pre-Procedure Anxiety

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  • #8381
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    I thought really hard about this one and think that all of my TIPS and advice can be centered around pre-procedure anxiety. In the time between the date of booking and my actual procedure, I experienced so many different feelings. Mainly, I had a tremendous amount of anticipatory anxiety about almost every aspect of the procedure. Specifically, I’ll list everything that I was nervous about: 1) I would be the only patient that the procedure wouldn’t work on, 2) I would never be able to learn how to do the dilating (i.e. the dilators would never go in without causing the same amount of excruciating pain that I had always experienced), 3) The actual procedure under anesthesia, and 4) Talking openly to the Doctor, clinical team, and other patients about something that my husband and I had kept hidden and private for so long.

    Leading up to the procedure, I had a tremendous amount of support from Dr. Pacik, his entire clinical team, and a wonderful sex therapist in my local area. Concerning my first fear, Dr. Pacik assured me that every single one of his patients feels that they will be the only one that the procedure won’t work on. He was incredibly kind, accepting, and so supportive regarding this fear and even provided me with statistics, which I loved. Concerning my second fear, dreaded dilation, Dr. Pacik again informed me that close to every one of his patients is fearful that they will not be able to do the dilating. He and his clinical team explained the dilation process and assured me that they would work with me every step of the way, teach me how to do this, and I would be surprised to see just how easy it would be to insert and re-insert pain free. Concerning my third fear, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the procedure itself only takes between 15-20 minutes and I was approved for anti-anxiety medication pre-procedure. I also remember Dr. Pacik and all of the clinical staff (even the anesthesiologist) being so supportive prior to the procedure. It made both my husband and I feel so much better and calmer. Concerning my fourth fear, I was initially so fearful of talking openly about vaginismus and sex as it had been such a hidden problem for my husband and I for such a long period of time. I, again, learned this was solely anticipatory anxiety and had such a pleasant and comfortable experience. The roommate that I had in the recovery room was one of the nicest women I have ever met and for the first time, I did talk openly to another person who understood the condition and had similar experiences. It was also so nice to be able to openly talk to Dr. Pacik and his staff about this as well. They had a special way of presenting this clinically but also comfortably and inviting of conversation and questions. In sum, I experienced a tremendous amount of anticipatory anxiety pre-procedure and got through this with the support of an amazing husband, excellent and knowledgeable Doctor and treatment team, and great sex therapist. It’s important to know, as it was so important for me to hear from Dr. Pacik, that every single one of his vaginismus patient’s does experience some form of anticipatory anxiety and this is a normal occurrence. A final excellent support through this is the help and guidance of patients who have already gone through the procedure. For future patients, we are ALL here for you and know exactly what you are going through! What other tips, ideas, suggestions, do you ladies have? I would love to hear from all of you and look forward to reading your posts.

    #9503
    Amanda Miller
    Participant

    Heather I agree…. The whole time I was planning for my trip to NH I kept having the fear that I would be the one that it wouldn’t work on, that I would be the odd one. As far as dilating I had tried it before and over again and never got anywhere, so I thought if the procedure worked I am not going to be able to continue this and that the dr would see that once the procedure was done. And like you I kept this a secret my entire life except my husband. I ended up telling a few close friends because they were the tech that had to come in with my OBGYN dr. I never told anyone else until I had already scheduled the procedure. I keep a few kids during the day and I had to have someone help me watch them while I was out of town so I had to tell my on, of course she was understanding. My husband and myself were very worried about the open curtain time.
    The actual day of the procedure was nothing like I had thought, but exactly what Dr.P’s website said it would be. You will feel so much comfort and feel like home that you have nothing to worry about. Still having the fear that it wouldn’t work for me I still gave it my all. When woke up and had the big blue in I felt amazing, and then When we started to switch to the other ones I couldn’t believe that I was able to do it. Every time that I made any progress or steps I have never been able to do, my husband would tell me how proud he was and that he knew I could. Of course hat kept me wanting to d my best and push through this. The dilation was not near as bad as I had made it and actually wasn’t bad at all. It actually felt normal and that was much excitement to me. When I returned home I knew I had already made so much progress so I couldn’t wait t spread the wonderful news. The friends that knew texted me the entire time I was out of town but when I got home they wanted to know everything and were so happy for me. I don’t mind spreading the word of vaginismus because if I can help one girl/woman who is dealing with this in silence I will have done my job. If you are getting ready or thinking about getting this procedure, go for it. I promise you it will change your life forever. Don’t be afraid to talk about this to us or anyone else. Since vaginismus is so “quiet” drs and people don’t know it exist, and talking about it you mind find out one of the people you have known for a while is actually dealing with the same thing!!! You will want to scream it from the rooftops after the procedure! Good luck to everyone

    #9631
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Thanks for your tips! I think two of my fears/anxieties are regarding the dilations and speaking openly about vaginismus. Even though I’ve talked with many doctors and therapists over the years about pelvic pain and therapies, being together with my husband- we haven’t discussed the affects of the problem together with anyone except ourselves. Although we are both really excited to have the procedure done we both have anxieties over the unknown and just not wanting to be disappointed. So its very encouraging to read of your successes and what to expect as we look forward to my procedure in March.

    #9635
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    @ kcd, thank you so much for your post. You wrote concerning your fear of speaking openly about vaginismus. I was truly terrified of this idea prior to the procedure. I had never spoken to anyone at all about it other than my husband. Just the idea of this made me uneasy. Then, when I was actually there for my procedure, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The way that that Dr. P makes you feel and speaks to you just puts you entirely at ease and he has a gifted way of making even the most anxious people very, very comfortable. I also got along very, very good with my roomie for the procedure and we both supported each other through it. It was entirely different than I expected and, again, very comfortable. Another thing that helped me pre-procedure was working with a great sex therapist, Myra Durkin. I remember expressing my concern over my hubby and I talking openly about vaginismus for the first time and she was very, very supportive and said that we could both just listen to what was being said. This made it less stressful and made us both feel even more comfortable going into it. As for the dilation, this WILL WORK for you. I, again, couldn’t visually picture this ever working for me as I couldn’t insert a q-tip without extreme pain and fear. But, once I woke up with the largest dilator inside and could re-insert it pain-free, I was just in awe and still kind of am. It worked! Then, Dr. P and Ellen work with you and actually teach you how to insert and re-insert the dilators. Also, you are able to use a lot of lubricant which helps so much. Ok, hope this helps and please feel free to write any more questions or about anything at all pre-procedure. And, you will do GREAT!!!!

    #9919
    sunfish7
    Participant

    One of my biggest fears when considering this is the fact that Dr. P is male. I’m not trying to be sexist, but the idea of any man other than my fiance (and especially a dr) seeing me and poking around down there freaks me out. I’m sure that Dr. P is very kind and gentle, just as everyone describes him, but it still makes me feel uneasy. Did anyone elso go through this?

    #9923
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi sunfish. Thank you so much for your posts and welcome to the forum. I honestly think I was nervous about everything pre-procedure. LOL. If this came up, it really helped to know that Dr. Pacik involves your partner (husband/fiancé) in every step of the process. You both can choose how involved you want him to be but he is even invited to put on scrubs and be present in the actual procedure room with you. Another excellent thing, is all of the staff are female and to me, it felt like they graduated from the college of making patients less anxious. They all together work with Dr. Pacik as a team and just made my husband and I feel entirely comfortable with every step of the process. Finally, as you’ve probably read in other areas of the forum and from other treated patients, Dr. Pacik truly is a doctor like no other. In addition to being one of the most caring and compassionate doctors I have ever met, he is also the most knowledgeable about the condition of vaginismus and the patients that have endured this condition. He knows in advance that his vaginismus patients will be especially anxious and just has a special way about him and knowledge in working with them. I was one of the most anxious patients pre-procedure and after working with Dr. Pacik and his staff, my anxiety seriously disappeared and I felt very comfortable. I hope this helps you.

    Ladies, what other advice do you have???

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