I have to be honest- I'm a little more than exhausted keeping this blog up to date while juggling school, work, and some semblance of a social life. But I really wanted to get the news out about today because it was such a great day.
First of all, Philadelphia is like a home to me. This probably has a lot to do with the wonderful people I know inside it, but the overall feel just always relaxes me. Traveling to New York was not only a chore but overcrowded and suffocating. I feel like a real person in Philly. I also feel like I regained a lot of my self back from wonderful friends (who I think are well aware who they are) and the environment and just excellent doctors who care.
Yesterday I drove right outside Philly to my new PT, Raven, at Body ReBuilders. I am very excited and thrilled with the office staff, the gym, and Raven herself. What we're doing makes perfect sense to me. First, I workout (which just consisted of half an hour elliptical yesterday) and then Raven evaluates the alignment of my pelvis. After working out, it tilts forward, so she popped it into place (yes physically popped it, noise and all.) She also checked internally vaginally and rectally to see the status of my pelvic floor and muscles. And for the first time in a long time, my rectal muscles felt so relaxed. Literally no pain. Which makes sense because I've noticed sitting has become easier this past week. So it seems the valium is doing its job. Vaginally, my left side still needs a lot of work. And she did feel a "wisp" of muscle tension on my right. In two weeks I have an appointment to start the process of getting my right hip imaged to see if I have a tear there as well. Let's all cross my fingers I don't. It just won't be for awhile because I have to dance through hoops for the insurance companies to be seen and get prescriptions before I can even get myself to New York and get the MRI done.
But back to PT. We didn't start internal work quite yet. I'm seeing Raven twice a week and she wants to get my pelvis stabilized before beginning aggressive internal work. And when we do start, she is also going to be teaching me how so I can speed up the process and also check myself after physical activity to see how my muscles are reacting. Again, this all just makes perfect sense to me. So, after this I did my exercises, which are just working on strengthening my left hip and core. If anyone wants the specific exercises, just drop an email or comment and I will send them. Since I wasn't allowed to do anything else with cardio or my legs, I finished with arm and back workouts. I figure I can at least push myself here and devote my competitive, driven energy into my upper body.
Fast forward to this morning when I saw Dr. Kellogg, who I will not stop raving about. She and her office treats me like a real human being. I was there for over an hour with her and didn't feel like I was taking up her time or being rushed. She definitely knows what she is doing and is personable and I just connect very well with her. Today's visit began with the standard urine test. (ie: I go to the bathroom, pee in the cup, try and empty my bladder, come back, take off my pants, get a quick ultrasound of my lower pelvis to see how much/if any urine is still in my bladder, there was so pants went back on, back to the bathroom, and pee again in this bowl to see how much was left.) From here on out, this will be the P test.
After the P test, I had another test where I inserted a dilator (which resembles a small obnoxious blue penis, from here on out SOMP) and then do two kegel holds to test my strength. The SOMP is connected to a computer which gives my results. Great news is my muscles have already gotten stronger (I believe she said by 17 points, however I am sorry that I have not a clue what scale that is on. But apparently it was tremendous tremendous improvement. So yay, valium suppositories are clearly working. They have been messing with me emotionally this past week, but I actually started feeling better yesterday morning (I even wanted to shower and shave and put on pants and take off my flannel.) However, I still feel a little mentally not there, which is why Dr. Kellogg is halving my dose from 10mg to 5 mg (so I'm just cutting them up myself) and then I'm only taking them Monday, Wednesday, and Friday instead of every night. This way they'll still be helping me and hopefully the side effects will dissipate. I'm also continuing to take the Singulair once a day (anti-asthma medicine) The reason for this is because it is an anti-histamine and there have been case studies of women with VVS (vulvar vestibulitis) and PFD (pelvic floor dysfunction) with 60% increase in histamine levels. So that is the current plan of attack for my muscles.
Now, on to glands. This is the more localized pain around the vulva (5:00-8:00) and the skin surrounding it that hurts upon touch or penetration. The skin is still thin and red and I have been applying the Cromolyn cream twice a day to the area. Now we are getting more aggressive and starting injections (yay!) into the area once a week. Due to the amount of steroids I was on last semester for my tonsils and other illnesses, we opted against steroid injections and instead doing Traumeel, which is a homeopathic anti-inflammatory with no side effects. I had my first two this visit and they weren't bad at all. It lasts for maybe two seconds on each side and there is no blood and no pain afterwards. It actually makes me feel kind of bad-ass because I feel after you've had needles continuously injected into your vagina and valium continuously up your butt, there's really nothing you can't do.
FINALLY, one last medicine- since I seem to have reoccurring yeast infections I am taking Diflucan once a week for awhile as a suppression method. So there you go- the pharmacy that is my life. It might seem overwhelming, but the best part is it's working, it's working, it's working. I've got my hope back. Also, an article recently came out about me and this blog in my college's alumni magazine- thought I'd share it with you here .
I've received tremendous support this past week, and have overwhelming gratitude for everyone who has been helping or even just sending a quick note or text. Believe me, it has not gone unnoticed and was probably one of the few things that got me through this week. I don't know what I'd do without my friends and family. I feel guilty all the time for constantly needing help, support, and a shoulder to lean on, and the last thing I feel is strong. I am more self-conscious and afraid then I tend to express, but it is all of you who continue to motivate me to face my fears. This was another long post, but I just cannot stop saying thank you.