Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Post-MRI, Other Follow-ups

Couldn't do the mri. Freaked out! Not expecting that. Ahhhh never want to be in that death tube again!!! More later...must affirm this life's three-dimensionality.

Hahaha, that was from my phone...I'm still in phobia-heightened land but I feel better. Mostly I feel like an idiot. I know sitting inside an EXTREMELY TINY TUBE for a while freaks out a lot of people, but see, I've done it before! I had an MRI on my head. And I remember panicking at the start of it but then settling down and enjoying the weird noises. The thing I didn't remember is that I probably stopped panicking when I realized my body was only going half into the tube -- my legs stayed out. And that way I felt I had a route of escape. This time, my pelvis being in the center of me and having to be in the center of the tube, I was basically in a coffin. I tried but I couldn't take it. I tried everything I knew to settle my brain down but then it'd wake up and say YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF THE FUCKING TUBE. And the noises were not fun this time. They were like a robotic version of Psycho.

I have panic problems with a lot of things, but over the years I've talked myself out of them. Elevators, the backseat of a two-door car, the inside of a restaurant booth (I know), extremely crowded hallways (like you never see in Cleveland -- but in Chicago, leaving a concert, for instance) have all made me panic in the past, but by now I have instituted some sort of short-circuit and am able to cease panicking quickly. Similarly, after I graduated college I started panicking while driving on the highway -- a fantastic place to panic -- and I found a way to short-circuit that too. So it's just ridiculously frustrating that after so much experience with panic and so much time building that anti-panic muscle I still couldn't handle it today.

My dad says at another branch of the clinic there is a larger MRI machine. If I decide to try again (AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH) I will try to request the slightly less frightening machine. I can also get some anti-anxiety meds and see if they work. Or just not do it ever again, thanks. I have no idea. I'm not even thinking of any of that right now. I'm just trying to convince myself I'm no longer in the tube...


Monday I had my gynie yearly. We talked a lot -- like about the Integrative Medicine department for acupuncture or other alternative treatments. She says the only hormone that would be implied with pain is estrogen and that even though my cycle is a little screwy, I'm still close enough to center that it's unlikely to be involved. I don't know how much I like that answer, but of all the doctors I've seen she's the best so I'll go with it. She did a full exam on me and I look good, and hopefully everything up the hatch will test okay too.

Yesterday was the biopsy. This was interesting. I told my gynie about it and she seemed kind of surprised that she hadn't done a biopsy two years ago when she diagnosed me. She told me to keep the appointment just in case I need a follow-up because Dermatology is hard to get into. So I went -- and got quizzed by a resident and then by the doctor why my gynecologist hadn't done the biopsy. And what do I expect to see with a biopsy (I don't know I'm not a dermatologist?!?!) and realize that biopsying normal-looking skin is unlikely to reveal anything. By the time they left me alone to numb up I was shouting to the heavens JUST DO THE FUCKING BIOPSY. I felt like a fool for being there.

But then the doctor -- who, by the way, did not look like Bones but DID look (and sound!) like Famous Bipolar Lady and Psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison:

-- took a look and said she wasn't sure it would turn up normal. She said I have large vestibular glands and some redness. She had her resident do the biopsy at about five o'clock, down by the vestibular gland down there but not exactly where I feel the most pain (I tried to explain where it's worst but oh well -- they were looking for odd-looking skin). They gave me a single stitch that I have to get out next week, and the resident said she would call me within a week for the report.

As usual, I'm expecting nothing, but I'm glad I at least gave Dermatology a chance. You never know what new eyes might reveal -- for instance, I'm sure that my gynie and urologist said nothing about my vestibular glands because they've seen so many, but maybe they are actually a symptom of my overall pain.

But I am hoping for something, and I SWEAR it's because of the vulvodynia and not so I can avoid the MRI....I swear......WHY in the world did they build those tubes so small? I know they've gotten better, but IN THE FIRST PLACE, when the technology first emerged, there is NO REASON why they couldn't have built them larger. I'm figuring. Because the AVERAGE DIAMETER OF A HUMAN has nothing to do with magnetism. If humans were a foot wider on average -- Shaquille O'Neal all of us -- who, by the way, I would've been fine being today because my head would've stuck out the top of the tube -- they would've built the first MRI machines a foot wider around because they would've had to to get us in there. You can't tell me this is a technology issue when THE SIZE OF THE AVERAGE HUMAN HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE WAY MAGNETS WORK. If we were half the size we are it may have made the technology easier to do -- but guess what, we're not, and they made it work anyway!

I AM RAMBLING because I do not understand how they expect a LIVING BREATHING NOT WANTING TO BE BURIED ALIVE HUMAN to sit ALL THE WAY inside that tube and not want to claw her way out of it like a scampering skeleton.

Okay time to hit the bar. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH


  1. It's possible that the appearance of your vestibule will vary from time to time. Even mine does that. I have these weird textury white patches on either side of the inside of my labia minora.
    They're noticeable right now, but a lot of the time they're not. Not noticeable, to the point where gynos don't even know they're there unless I point them out. Nothing much to say about them, even then.
    The weird part? Those patches don't do anything. Never did. No pain there, ever. Press on it all you want, nothing happens. I don't think they're lichens sclerosus or lichens planus. Stable, no major changes, no erosion, no discomfort. I think that's just me.

    But the PT was a little anxious a few weeks ago when it was particularly noticeable cuz she was concerned it might be some kind of cancer. But then she checked my chart & saw it was there when I first started going in months ago and we are both pretty sure it's fine. It's a non issue in my mind.

    So I don't know maybe, to give the doctors the benefit of the doubt, maybe they didn't do a biopsy a few years ago because there wasn't really anything to see? Maybe the redness & interesting stuff is new, or just, doing something where it's sticking out more than it was 2 years ago? They might find some kind of inflammation, that's what my old vestibule's biospy revealed.

  2. Interesting. It's good to know your own history because then you know what's weird...from what I remember, my glands have always looked prominent to me, but not having anything to compare them to, no standard or anything (LOL), and knowing so many doctors didn't say anything...anyway, like you say, who knows. Better to have done the biopsy than not, I figure. No skin off my nose (HAHAHA! I can't believe I didn't think of that sooner).

    Thanks for sharing, though. I know there must be huge variations in appearance down there but your tale puts me a little more at ease.

  3. hey, so I didn't read this post, I will later. I just wanted to tell you that the other night I had a dream about you. Only I have no idea what you actually look like, so in my dream you were tall, with longish brown hair. I have no idea what your face looked like anymore. Anyway, I was living in some random apartment and I sold it, and you bought it from me.
    Then we figured out who we were and became friends.
    Thought that would interest you.

    Hope it doesn't freak you out somehow.
    OH and you were dating my cousin's friend, which is weird because he's 19 and I doubt you would date a 19 year old...maybe you would. I don't know.

  4. LOL! No, that doesn't freak me out. That is so funny. And I am tall with longish brown hair! Good call! Don't know about the 19-year-old, though :) Hope you're doing well.