So what do I do when that happens?
I squeeze those Kegel muscles until I make something pinch.
Which sets off a minor flare.
Because I am a genius.
I do it to see how far my pain has receded. Scientifically, it's an important question. But, hey, Esther -- how about letting the science go for once and enjoying being nearly pain-free?
The colostrum-induced low pain level lasts for maybe a half-hour, but I have hope that it will get better and better. I did some mad graphing of my pain records the other day and found that besides avoiding the triggers I'm aware of (sugar, gluten), the only thing that seems to have a clear effect on my pain is the colostrum. I don't really have enough data points to make that inference, but hey, it's hope, so for now I'm making it.
My therapist told me I should seriously consider taking medication (probably the tricyclics) to treat the pain because pain erodes the spirit over time. And oh yes, it does. In some ways I'm constantly dissolving.
So she's right about that, but she doesn't seem to understand that taking a drug to dull the pain is completely disempowering. It's not a cure, and if I'm just going to be dulling my pain, why not dump myself in a coma for the rest of my life? An extreme analogy, I know, but hey, pain is hard and life is hard. When life is hard, get a coma.
How about no. What my therapist doesn't get is that I empower myself by constantly assessing my pain -- live, not dulled -- and trying to decipher its origin and what I can do to resolve it. Even if I'm deluding myself in my quasi-scientific pursuit, at least I believe that I have the ability to become healthy again instead of dull.
Maybe self-empowerment is just another way I kneecap my vulva. Maybe I should take the pain meds -- I'd probably have leftover pain to try my own ideas on. But even then, the thought of taking meds makes me retch. I was on them for bipolar disorder for six and a half years before getting vulvodynia, and I'm not totally convinced they're not complicit in this illness. Call it paranoia, whatever -- those things are heavy duty. Hair-falling-out heavy duty.
So for the time being, my therapist can suck it. I need a lot more defeat before I'm ready to give in.