For years, my pelvic pain prevented me from having the fun, spontaneous, gloriously cliché 20-something sex that my friends were enjoying. You know – the kind of sex that they gushed about at brunch. Sex that was breaking their hearts and exhilarating their sense of liberated womanhood and adulthood. Sex that their doctors were lecturing them about. I couldn’t have that kind of sex because my vagina (and vulva and back and thighs) were excruciatingly painful. That was my dirty little secret.Read More
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When I stopped seeing my PT regularly, I tried to avoid coming back in for visits. I wanted to feel like I was actually healthy, and not relying so heavily on her help. This sounds silly now, but at the time, I hadn’t gone more than a couple of weeks without PT for years. But after seeing my health through this goofy construct for a few months, I began to understand that a much better goal is a state of “supported independence.”Read More
These are my favorite lady products of 2016, but that doesn't mean they were all born in 2016. They're the sweet little nothings that made an arduous year (all those POTUS debates, amiright?) just a bit better or comfier or happier. So, without further adieu, enjoy!Read More
So you have pain with sex, or you leak urine when you sneeze, or you feel a bulge in your vagina, or you have chronic constipation or any other “down there” health concern. Where do you begin? Having suffered from pelvic pain and an assortment of related health issues for years, these are my suggestions for finding the right provider, getting the help you need, and speaking candidly about tough issues.Read More
I opened the driver door and was confronted with a wave of judgment and anger. The man yelled at me: “can’t you see we are still getting into our car? You’re not even disabled! You shouldn’t even be parking there!” I flushed with embarrassment and became shaky. And for the first time in my life, I yelled at someone in public. “You have no idea what you’re talking about. You know nothing about me!”Read More
Sex after pelvic pain is f*#&ing scary (no pun intended). Nevertheless, I somehow DID find the courage to hop back in the sack, and I’m really glad that I did. This time, it didn’t feel like my PT’s voice was in my head the whole time, narrating where my knee should go, whether my pillow was at the right height, and whether I should reapply my Lidocaine.Read More
I didn’t “recover” from pelvic pain spontaneously. Rather, I gradually felt better, I had more “good days” than “bad days,” and I slowly reincorporated physical activity (things as simple as walking) into my life. It took time, and it took the persistent encouragement of my physical therapist for me to take the plunge.Read More
My last post ended with my arrival in Chicago. After a two-day, cross-country drive from New Mexico, our UHaul pulled into town. We arrived in the midst of the 2014 Polar Vortex, the coldest winter that Chicago had seen in 30 years. My pain was so severe that I couldn’t wear pants or underwear, and the thick sheet of ice covering most of the city didn’t make it any easier to walk normally or navigate a wheelchair.
My husband and I unpacked our UHaul as the snow poured down, and then, surrounded by boxes, we sat on the floor of our apartment (above someone’s garage) and sipped hot chocolate. What had we done?Read More
This treatment, and these PTs, weren't going to be the ones to get me better. This was true despite how badly they wanted to help me and despite how compliant I had been with their treatments. It was true despite how passionately they felt about pelvic floor disorders, how much book knowledge and certificates about my issues they possessed, and how personally involved with my case they felt. These women genuinely, deeply cared for me.Read More
My physical therapist, Sandy, has asked me: "How many good things, feelings, and inputs is it going to take for you to no longer fear that the pain will return?" My answer has always been: "I don't know." She also admits to not knowing. No one knows.Read More
More times than I can count, I’ve been asked: “How long did it take for you to start feeling better?” I met Sandy, my PT, when I was wheelchair-bound and in constant, horrific pain. So, I’m sharing this journal entry, written 15 days after meeting Sandy. And to answer the question: It took less than 15 days.Read More