February 1, 2013 at 6:14 pm #8805elliotteParticipant
It has now been 134 days since our procedure and my wife and I are still making progress. We are successfully working with the # 5 and #6 glass dilators with no pain and no anxiety once inserted. About a month ago she was able to have her first pap. And about 2 weeks ago she was able to insert the # 5 glass by herself. These are milestones for her since she has never been able to insert them on her own. One of the things I have found out through this journey is that each person is different. In our case, I believe that she can physically have sex although we have not attempted. She is able to alternate sleeping in the # 5 with dilating with the # 5 and #6 for an hour each. Our next hurdle is to get her mentally at the point where she won’t have so much anxiety about the actual act of having sex. She just can’t relax enough for us to try. The article Dr. Pacik sent on mindfulness was interesting. It describe our situation to a tee. We will try to focus more on her feelings at that very moment and not look at sex as the ultimate goal. It will eliminate the thought that we failed when we have an unsuccessful attempt and not put as much pressure on her. Great article!
We are still very happy that despite slow progress we are moving in the right direction. If any are thinking about having the procedure done, I encourage you to not delay. I’m no expert, but my wife has an extreme fear of penetration. A lot of it has to do with her personality and how she copes with adversity. So hopefully our experience does not discourage others that it doesn’t work. At first, we thought it was just a mental problem. But we found out it was more and Dr. Pacik and his staff have helped and are still helping us. I feel we have a good grasp on the physical. We have kept faithfully with the dilation program. Now we have to go back and readdress the mental. Thank all of you who have shared their stories with us and for all the encouragement that everyone have given my wife. I can’t possibly fully understand what she is going through, but it is nice to know that she can share the experience with other women who have gone through it. She is always comforted by knowing that her feelings are shared with others and that she is not alone.February 2, 2013 at 8:01 pm #11006Dr. PacikParticipant
This is a very important post for a number of reasons: As you are approaching five months post procedure the Botox is becoming less active. I am asked the question all the time “What happens when the Botox wears off?” The answer: Nothing. As long as you keep dilating the loss of Botox activity is a non-event. The question is also of importance so that others can understand that sometimes success takes longer. That is certainly not an indication of failure but rather high anxiety that needs continued support from you. It is important to constantly be in touch with the small victories: ability to dilate, ability to progress to the large dilators, ability to sleep with dilators, ability to have a GYN examination, ability to have you insert the dilators. These are all progressively larger victories when none of this was possible before the treatment.
I am amazed by the progress that “coffee” has made. How many of us would be able to overcome rape at the age of 22 with genital trauma? How about a strict religious and sexual upbringing, combined with significant fear of first time sex? How about the many past treatment failures that she endured, including long term treatment doing Kegel exercises, attempted but failed use of dilators, 13 years of psychotherapy, two years of physical therapy, one year of sex counseling, trials of topical anesthetics, muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety meds, anti-depressants and to boot a failed attempt at hymenectomy in 2006. All of this resulted in lowered self esteem and lowered libido (of course!). There was so much anxiety at the time of treatment I was unable to assess the higher muscles without the need for an anesthetic. The entry muscle was like a tightly closed fist not permitting entry of my finger.
In my book both of you are heroes and champions. You with your unfailing support and coffee with the amazing progress she has made. Overcoming twelve years of severe vaginismus is no easy task, and though the recovery seems to be taking “forever” it is a relatively short period of time given all the circumstances. The key is holding your course and not giving up. In celebrating each small victory as they come along and giving yourselves the time that is needed for healing. The progress that “coffee” made is sure to empower many others who also struggle getting over this condition.February 2, 2013 at 9:42 pm #11007elliotteParticipant
That was such a nice post. Thank you Dr. Pacik. Its funny how much you forget when your in the moment. I had not just stopped and thought about what all we’ve been through. It has really been an uphill battle! But we still got a lot of fight left in us. I just cannot accept failing as an option. We just have to patiently work through the emotional roller coaster she is on right now.
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