Questions for August 2015 Patients (2)

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  • #9374
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi ladies. The previous thread no longer appears so I am starting this second thread. For those of you who have your procedure coming up in August, please feel free to ask any questions at all that you may have pre-procedure. It can be anything at all from what it is like to do the dilating to what fun things there are to do in New Hampshire, Boston, and the whole New England area while you are here. I live right outside of Boston and would be happy to share. I look forward to reading your posts.

    #13830
    SAL
    Participant

    Hello All. I first want to congratulate all the brave women and their partners who have endured this and are doing their best to overcome it. Dr. Pacik, his wife and rest of the team are a God-send – and I am very grateful for them. I have a question on the dilation schedule on subsequent days after the procedure. I understand the day of the procedure I will need to sleep with a dilator in. How long will this need to continue? Is this basically before I go to bed each night? Also, what is the day-time dilation schedule. And, does anyone have tips on how they kept up with the vigorous dilation schedule in the morning and after coming home from work. Thanks.

    #13831
    Katy
    Participant

    I had my procedure a week ago on August 3rd. I am going to be honest, I didn’t have the best time the day/night of the procedure. There was a lot more blood than I thought there would be and I also had to be given a stronger pain pill because of how much pain I was in that night. But I don’t want that to scare or discourage anyone. I can’t tell you how extremely happy I am with my progress. I was able to begin dilating that same day after not being able to ever insert anything my entire life. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to dilate after the procedure. Now when I say easy, it wasn’t actually effortless. I had to go down to the #3 dilator because the #4 was too much for me at first. I takes a decent amount of time to get them fully in and there is still some soreness and pain. However, considering I used to lay there for hours trying to painfully dilate and got NOWHERE, month after month, I feel like they just slip right in now. I have level 5 primary Vaginismus and used to get nauseous at just the thought of a dilator, and now I love them! I am so excited that I can actually use them and make progress! You ladies are so brave for doing this! Keep your heads up!!0

    #13832
    Katy
    Participant

    Dr. Pacik said we should dilate for 2 hours a day. It could be one hour in the morning and one hour at night, or it can be 2 straight hours whenever you get the time during the day. He also says to sleep with a dilator in every other night, or every 3rd night. I actually like my dilating time either before or after work. I get to catch up on Netflix or read a book while I work on dilating and it’s a great way to get some “me time”.

    #13835
    Britt621
    Participant

    Will anyone else be there August 24th? Words can’t express how excited I am to be on my way to achieving inter course . I think the part I am most nervous about is the anesthesia !

    #13836
    Katy
    Participant

    I can tell you there is absolutely NOTHING to worry about with the anesthesia. While Dr. Pacik was doing the initial examination, they gave me a small dose. I just got a little foggy and dizzy. I remember saying “oh! I like this stuff!” Haha! I remember being given a second very low dose and I didn’t really notice a difference. At that point I was very relaxed and was just focused on what Dr. Pacik was saying. Then, I woke up in a nice cozy bed in the recovery room with the #6 dilator in place. It didn’t even hurt, it just felt full. (For lack of a better description). The whole procedure process was very easy and even though my anxiety was at 100, they still made me feel like I had nothing to worry about.

    #13837
    Kimberly
    Participant

    Hello everyone! I’ll be going in for my procedure on August 26th 😀

    I’ve been trying to get this procedure done for the last three years, and things just kept getting in my way, the biggest one being the lack of money. But with help from my father and stepmother I finally was able to schedule an appointment. I am SO excited.

    I’m also SUPER anxious and nervous, but I’m sure that’s how everybody feels. The majority of the stories I’ve read on this forum talk about how great their procedures went and how you shouldn’t be nervous, but of course I’m terrified I’ll be one of the few patients who has some rare problem, or complication, or a lot of pain. I’m anxious about everything, from the anesthesia (I’ve never been put under before) to the post-procedure dilating. I’ve never even had a tampon in me so all of this will be quite the experience.

    I hope I get to meet some of you ladies soon 🙂 the best of luck to all of you!!

    (P.S. – Does anybody know what the norm is when it comes to who is with you throughout the procedure? I’m torn between bringing my mom or my boyfriend or both, and I was curious if somebody stays in the room with me, or if they would just wait outside? Thanks!)

    #13838
    mat1989
    Participant

    Hi Kimberly!

    Congratulations on your upcoming procedure! This is actually my first post, but I find myself reading the forum most days looking for advice from other women’s experiences so I figure it’s time to start giving back 🙂

    I am now 6 days post procedure and feeling a little bit better each day. I too, had level 5 vaginismus and I had never been able to insert a tampon or undergo an annual gyn exam. I was extremely nervous leading up to the procedure, but I promise you this is a step in the right direction!

    First, I wanted to address your question about who to have in the room during the procedure. I actually had the same question as both my boyfriend and Mom traveled to NH with me. For the Day 1 procedure I had both my Mom and boyfriend in the room for the whole process. I think this worked really well, but it ultimately depends on what makes you feel most comfortable. My boyfriend stood with Dr. Pacik during the procedure and learned to insert the dilators while I was under anesthesia. My Mom sat next to me in the operating room and helped distract me in the minutes prior to the anesthesia setting in. If you are nervous like I was, Dr. Pacik is able to provide anti-anxiety medication through the IV. I found this really helpful! Both my Mom and boyfriend were sitting next to me when I woke up post-procedure. For the Day 2 counseling I ended up going with just my boyfriend as was the one who would be helping me the most pre-procedure. During Day 2 there is also discussion around making the transition to sex and a lot of practice with the dilators. I found it best to just have my boyfriend around for this part, but again totally up to you 🙂

    I also wanted to mention not to get discouraged if you are unable to insert the largest dilators the days immediately following the procedure. I was able to under anesthesia, but when I got home I was only able to insert the smaller dilators and at first I began to get discouraged. I am now realizing more and more each day that inserting any of the dilators (regardless of the size) is a huge victory compared to where I was a week ago. I am trying to take things one day at a time and let the muscles stretch and adapt at their own pace.

    Best of luck in a few weeks and let me know if you have any other questions! I would be happy to help 🙂

    #13839
    Kimberly
    Participant

    Hi mat1989, thank you SO much for your response! Every new thing I hear from people makes me less and less anxious.

    I think I will be doing almost what you did, I think I’d like to have my mom mostly with me for day 1 but my boyfriend with me for day 2. And yes I definitely might need that medication for the anxiety once I get in there haha.

    I think the biggest obstacle for me will be to not get flustered even if I cant dilate as fast as I would like to. I have a bad tendency of giving up on myself too easily and feeling like there’s something wrong with me, when in reality its mostly just in my head. I have confidence though that this is definitely the thing I need to help me solve this problem once and for all 🙂

    #13840
    lulu
    Participant

    Hello everyone! I am a month post procedure today and wanted to add a little to what others have already said. As far as worrying about the anesthesia…don’t! I know it can be hard not to but the anesthesiologist is with you the entire time. He will be aware of any problems quickly (highly unlikely) if they arise. You will not even know what happened. The last thing I remember is telling my husband “Good luck”. I was hoping he didn’t end up fainting. I have had 6 or 7 procedures and surgeries prior to this one and have never had any problems while under anesthesia.

    I am married so my husband was in the room with me. He did not faint thank goodness! He really came out of it with a lot of detailed knowledge and information. It really does help the man understand more of what is going on. He has always been supportive so I think it really helped him feel better about everything as well. Him being with and watching Dr. Pacik the entire time also enables him to help me dilate more than if he had not been in the room in my opinion. He knows what is going on better than me sometimes when it comes to certain pains and sensations I am having while dilating. I tell him he now knows more about the vagina than most men and even woman ever will. So I think it is invaluable for the partner to be involved in the actual procedure. If you do not have a partner and feel comfortable with a friend or family member being there I think that that would be valuable and extremely helpful as well. Also it helps those who have no idea what you are going through realize just how real it is and this allows them to teach others who may not realize the severity of it.

    I also want to mention that you are going to have a gamut of emotions. The other day I was really irritated and frustrated when I went to dilate and I was not even sure why. I still get mad that this is even something I have to do. None of us should have to use dilators and or Botox to have painless sex and wear tampons. It is what it is, though. The negativity of having vaginismus does not magically all go away after the procedure ( at least not for me). However, the fog does lift a little bit at a time and some days are clearer than others. Overcoming this takes a lot of patience, hope, and perseverance. Any progress is good progress and do your best to not beat yourself up on off days. You will have them, but you will have plenty of good days to make up for it.

    This is how I feel about overcoming vaginismus: Rome was not built in a day and defeating this condition can, at times, feel like building an empire.

    #13841
    RoseGirl
    Participant

    I wanted to share information about post procedure and your period (menses)!

    I was so nervous before my procedure that my period/menses waited to arrive (now I know I didn’t have to be). I was a skeptical as level 5 vaginismus patient who had been through 17 years of fighting having gone through many procedures and each failing. Now I am 3 days post procedure, very happy with the procedure and working hard to get to that place I call “normal”. I call it normal because it is the place in my head where I felt I never was and had a mix of emotions about never being there. Yesterday, after I started feeling good about my progress I got my period. Dr Pacik told me not to worry about dilating at night, as I would be fine picking it back up when I finish my menses, and that I should still try to dilate 2 hours a day, but the first day since I was so sensitive I only did an hour. I thought this was helpful information to share for those of you who are like me and not regular or your nerves can change its arrival.

    I also wanted to share that while I could use tampons before, it was uncomfortable getting them in and out. I always had pain, and sometimes it would be 20 minutes if not longer of me sitting there fighting with myself and this tiny tampon to go in. Most of the time I would get through it but many times (at work or when I was at a pool party or lake) it wouldn’t work. My friends told me to sing, to watch a video, to relax but nothing helped. However, today there was no pain and it was in in less then 2 minutes! I am starting to feel like everything is going to be alright and for the first time like I am NORMAL. My menses no longer will control me every pool party, lake trip, or summer outing with water. I can really enjoy my life now like every other woman. I say this so those of you who have yet to get the procedure will know everything is going to be alright. I was a skeptic and I can’t believe the difference today! I don’t love my dilators yet but I love my progress and quality of life improving, I think eventually I will grow to love the dilators too.

    #13842
    Kimberly
    Participant

    Thank you for your post lulu! A lot of great advice.

    I can relate SO much to that feeling of frustration you were talking about. In fact I could never really pinpoint why I was always so angry until I just read your post. It has always angered me to think that myself, and every other woman dealing with vaginismus, even has to go through what we go through. Sex is supposed to be such a natural and wonderful thing. I have always been bitter about it.

    But now that I have my procedure scheduled I feel so grateful to finally have help with this. My biggest goal for myself will be to celebrate everything I accomplish along my journey, instead of getting frustrated 🙂

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