Sunday, March 14, 2010

Libido or Sanity?

About 6 months ago I decided to stop taking birth control in an effort to do anything I can to bring back my libido. I'm not sure that any study has proven that birth control has a direct negative effect on libido, but I do not want to take any chances. Plus, I really don't need to take it considering I haven't even attempted to have sex in almost a year.

So, I think it took a few months for all of the drugs to get out of my system, but in the last couple months I can really feel a difference. Not with libido, with sanity. My last few periods have been pretty tough and I think it's because I'm not taking BC anymore. For the past week I have had a headache and been extremely tired. Today I burst into tears for really no reason and I've just been lethargic the past few days. The cramping actually wasn't so bad during this period, but my last one and the on before it came with probably the worst cramps I've ever had.

It sucks that either way I go, I pay a price. But I'm not willing to go back to BC just yet. If there is any chance that it effects my libido, I will sacrifice a little monthly pain and insanity to hopefully be able to get horny again.

In related news, I just had my first period using only cloth pads. After reading Pearl's entry about cloth pads I decided to try them out in an effort to keep my vagina away from as many potential irritants as possible.

What I like about cloth pads:

-Most importantly, and the reason I will continue to use them, my vagina feels better than with disposable pads. I don't get as itchy and I really do feel like my vagina can "breathe" more.

-they are pretty

-they are environmentally friendly

What I don't like about cloth pads:

-they scrunch my underwear where they snap and it makes me have a sort of wedgie all the time. I got some extender snaps, and they help some, but there's still a bit of wedginess.

-Sitting for long periods of time is uncomfortable in these pads because they are thicker than what I'm used to. It's not the sitting/burning problem I have, but just a discomfort in my butt area.

-they are more high maintenance because of the cleaning process.

Regardless of the down sides, I will continue to use them. My vagina just feels better and that's the most important thing. I can live with the other stuff if they are helping make my vagina feel better. Thanks for the suggestion Pearl!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I've been using Lidocaine for about 2 months now and I'm not sure I can tell any difference. My PT is trying to troubleshoot solutions to my burning problem and one thing we're trying is putting Lidocaine in my vagina every night. It's supposed to desensitize the area over time and ultimately relieve the burning (as well as probably set my vagina up for less painful sex in the very far future). But I still get the same amount of burning that I was getting 2 months ago. The other thing is that I know Lidocaine is supposed to be a numbing agent, but my vagina doesn't feel numb at all when I use it. Has anyone else used Lidocaine in this way?

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Naked Cuddle

In our quest to bring some comfortable intimacy back into our relationship, my husband and I have tried many things. When we first started seeing the psychologist we had to go through a sort of trial and error period before we found what really works for us.

We started trying to bring back intimacy by watching erotic videos, doing massages, blindfolding and tickling with a feather, and playing naked Twister. However, we eventually
discovered that we really weren't advanced enough for this stuff. Watching the erotic videos made me so discouraged because even though they did make me a bit aroused physically, I felt nothing emotionally. I found it so hard to explain, but as women, being turned on is not just about the physical, we have to feel it in our heads too. And I just don't feel it.

The massages, feather, and Twister were all kind of similar in that they were sort of fun, but just weren't exactly what we were looking for. Emotions are so hard to explain, but I guess I still felt some sort of resistance (and sometimes dread) with those things.

Even kissing was off the table at one point. Which reminds me, I should tell you that since the beginning of therapy, touching genitals has been off the table as well. I just can't handle it. It's not that it hurts to be touched there, not physically at least. But it just tears me up inside that being touched there does absolutely nothing for me mentally. It just makes me uncomfortable. We're slowly bringing kissing back in, but so far we don't use much tongue. When I write it out here, it almost doesn't seem to make sense. It's like, well, if you're comfortable kissing without tongue, what's the difference if you just add the tongue in? I don't know! I'm just not ready! It's like I'm a teenager experiencing all of this for the first time. It breaks my heart that I cannot give more, but I just can't. When we first started talking about taking away certain activities I would burst into tears. Even though I felt a huge sense of relief when we decided not to touch genitals, and then later not to kiss certain parts, it also hurt me so much that even something as simple as kissing had to be removed because of me, and that taking it away made me feel relieved. I felt like I wasn't even worthy of being a wife if I couldn't even bring myself to kiss my husband.

So on to the naked cuddle. After many months of trying different things, we have landed on the naked cuddle. It is something that we are both comfortable with and it does not give me that feeling of dread or discomfort. Basically it started with just getting naked and laying there cuddling. Over time we are gradually adding in other activities to the naked cuddle. We started with kissing the arms and we've progressed to stomach, back, chest, neck, and ears (this was over many weeks). So that's where we are now.

My husband is so wonderful with all of this. Sex and other sexual activities really are off the table for him. Obviously he wants those things, but he is fully committed to my healing process. He gets excited for the naked cuddle just like he would if it were sex. We are making slow progress and I want it all to just be fixed, but I have to be patient and celebrate the small steps. I have to keep reminding myself to celebrate the small steps.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It should be easier.

So if you've been reading my blog you know that I have an appointment to see Dr. Goldstein, but from all the negative things I've been hearing, I've been trying to get an appointment with Dr. Kellogg-Spadt instead.   Well, easier said than done.

I called 3 weeks ago to try to make an appointment and ask some questions like how does the 1st appt. typically go, how much does it cost, etc.  The woman that I spoke to wouldn't even hear my questions.  She said they won't do anything until they see my insurance card.  So my husband faxed my insurance card to them the next day.

Waiting.  Waiting.


Finally my husband called them the next week after we hadn't heard back from them.  Here's how the conversation went:
"Hi, I faxed my wife's insurance information last week and ..."
"Yeah we got it, we'll call you tomorrow, can't help you today."

Notice how he never even said my name or his name, but she chose to cut him off and said that she did get my info and would call the next day.

Next day - nothing.

My husband called them back the day after that and it turns out they never got the fax.  Interesting.  So he faxed it again.




Finally I called them the next week and the woman I spoke to said, "Yes we got your info but we haven't looked into it yet.  I'll call you back."  I think she could hear the annoyance in my voice so I think she got right on it and called me back a few hours later.  It turns out that they do not accept my insurance (not their fault, my insurance sucks) and it would cost anywhere between $1,000-$3,000 for the first appointment.  I said I wanted to make an appointment anyway.  Of course I would love for my insurance to cover it; I'm far from rich, but ultimately I'm going to pay the money no matter what.  If that was the only problem, there'd be no problem.  This is a priority.

So as she was getting my information, she found out that I live in VA.  She said that it would be better to set up a phone consultation.  I said no, but what I really wanted to say was, "only if the doctor can examine my vagina through the phone.  Otherwise a phone consultation is pretty useless".  She asked me how I expected to have a doctor that is so many hours away.  I told her that I thought I could go to Dr. Kellogg to get a diagnosis and then do maintenance and follow-up treatments with my own doctor (and a few follow-ups with Dr. Kellogg as well).


She said that I would be expected to go to Dr. Kellogg at least once a week for who knows how long and maybe I should look for a doctor in VA that is covered by my insurance.  Really?  I never thought of that!  Well let me just pull out the phone book and look under Vulvovaginal Disorders!  Oh look, there's hundreds of doctors in my area who can tell me what's wrong with my crotch!

Fine.  You win.  I give up.

Dr. Kellogg may be a great doctor, but I guess I'll never know.

So I'm back to going to Dr. Goldstein.  Some people have had good experiences with him, so I'm hoping that I can add myself to that group.  My husband will be with me so that gives me encouragement that he won't let Dr. Goldstein bully me around.

Why does it have to be so hard?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It burns today.

There's no explanation for it. My vagina just burns. I haven't been sitting for long periods of time, I haven't really done anything out of the ordinary. It just burns. And this is why it's so hard to diagnose the problem. I know that sitting causes burning, but sometimes it just burns for no apparent reason. Obviously I will not be trying spinning this week if my vagina already burns for no reason. It's so frustrating.