Monday, 23 December 2013

Fear of Pain

                Again, sorry for only just updating you all! I saw the psychologist on Tuesday, and we actually finished our two hour appointment early! We’re running out of things to discuss and work on, treatment has definitely been working, and the biofeedback only gets better and better each week we do it (taking a break until the new year though).

                One thing we discovered in my psychologist appointment though is that I seem to have a fear of pain, but not all types of pain. She wanted to try an exercise where we would hold our arms straight out to the sides for three minutes and notice and discuss our thoughts about the pain, but the problem for me is that I am not fearful of that aching pain. I’m fearful of stabbing pains. The stabbing I get in my vulva/vagina, the stabbing from the needle of a blood test, pin pricks, etc.

                She didn’t quite understand why I was fearful of one and not the other, but she did give me an assignment! For a few days straight, I am to use a toothpick and poke myself on the arms, the stomach, the legs, hands, etch to see if I can reduce my anxiety level of that sensation, and once the anxiety level has decreased, to use the toothpick to poke more sensitive areas (areas with more nerve endings) like my lips, or my breasts. The more I do it, the more I might find that it’s not painful and that it just gives a sensation!

                I haven’t started yet, but I’m excited to because once that anxiety decreases I can really start to localize my vaginal pain. As of right now, I’ve discovered I don’t have pain between the sides of my clitoris and my labia, but I’m worried I have pain at the base of my clitoris and so have been avoiding the area and been too scared to touch it to even discover if it’s painful or not.

                That’s all I really have to say! I feel like my pain truly is decreasing! Even though I didn’t really have a baseline. Life has been good, excited to start again in the new year with my treatment.

                Merry Christmas guys (and happy holidays) AND Happy New Year!

                Psychologist: $225.00

                Transport: $52.00

                Total for the day: $277.00

                Total Psychologist fees up until today (not including travel expenses): $975.00


Monday, 16 December 2013

Brief Update

I haven't had much to update on! I had my last physiotherapy treatment for the year on Thursday, biofeedback went even better! She didn't want to try dilators until the new year, which is good because the set I want to order was having some trouble on their website for shipping items to Canada, and when I called the supplier instead if trying online, I was told they were on backorder! So maybe I won't even get a set of dilators before my next physio appointment. I'll have to try again this week.

I've finished exams too which is a load off my back, but now it's time to work into overdrive to pay for Christmas, January semester, physiotherapist and psychologist! I've got a twelve hour work day ahead of me, wish me luck!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

New stat - 1/5 women with sexual pain!

This is a super new article, it explains vulvodynia the best I've seen in the media so far, not sure where they got their stat though, so maybe don't believe it 100%

Link to Sexual Pain Media Article

Saturday, 7 December 2013

On the Topic of Vaginal Dilators...

I haven't decided whether to purchase a dilators set or not yet BUT I did just find this amazing website containing a guide to using dilators properly! Link to Site

It discusses how to deal with the pain, the fear and anxiety, the different kinds of dilators, and detailed instructions on how to use them.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Psychologist Visit – Vaginal Dilators, Thought Adaptation, Pain Reduction… maybe?

                Got to see the psychologist yesterday, usually I would travel with my boyfriend, but he had to work and so I traveled on my own which was pretty stressful. Everything actually went quite smoothly though.

                I showed her (the psychologist) my biofeedback papers and she was impressed with those, which brought up the next step: dilators. We discussed whether or not I’m comfortable trying out dilators, and if I’d prefer to use them on my own, or use them with the physiotherapist. I think I’d prefer to use them on my own first.

                I’ve looked into the different kinds of dilators and such. You can buy a set of wax dilators or silicone dilators. But actually, you can use any object you’re comfortable with as long as it’s sterilized properly. For example, because dilators are expensive, and actually made out of wax, theoretically you could buy different sized wax candles, put a condom on the candle, lube it up well and use those! Way more affordable, but not sure what I’ll do yet.

Here are some website where you can purchase dilators:

The site recommended to me to buy silicone dilators:

A different style of silicone dilators:

A site to buy individual sizes of silicone dilators instead of a full set:

A site for a set of wax dilators:

                After that, we went over my thought records, which she said were done well, and we discussed starting a new type of thought recording. This time, I fill out where I was when I had the thought and what I was doing, the thought (and sometimes how much you believe in it), and my emotions while having the thought. Nothing new there, but then I need to write down things that support this thought, things that do not support the thought, and then a replacement thought and how I am feeling afterwards. She went through an example with me and it looked like this:

                Thought: It’s never going to get better (believe this 98%)

                Emotions: Sad - 8/10

                Supporting ideas: I’ve had the condition for a long time, no cure has been found, a lot of women don’t find relief.

                Contradicting ideas: many women do get better, research shows that most women have pains reduction after two years of being diagnosed with or without treatment, we can’t predict the future (I don’t know for sure that it won’t get better), a lot of my hopeless thoughts don’t turn out to be true

                Replacement thought: It could get better (believe in it 30%, but now only believe “it’s never going to get better” by 60%)

                Emotions now: Sad 2/10

We were successful in minimizing the sadness and changing my beliefs. As you fill out the form more often, your replacement thought could also change in how much you believe it or even change entirely to “it is getting a bit better.”

                After that we discussed that I had discovered an area between my labia and my clitoris that doesn’t hurt when touched. She pointed out that we don’t really have a baseline as to where my pain is or how bad it is, so a goal would be to look at my own vagina and try to determine where the pain is… one problem, I have a huge fear of looking at my vagina! So I’m going to do my best over the next couple weeks to explore a bit and see what I can discover down there.

 That was pretty much all we discussed, I see her again on the 17th! So here were my costs:

                Psychologist: $300.00

                Transport: $52.00

                Total for the day: $352.00              
                Total Psychologist fees up until today (not including travel expenses): $750.00