Forget part of what I said. Working on my pelvic-floor muscles is definitely keeping my vestibular pain level low. It's pretty cool. I try to check in regularly down there and make sure my muscles are at Floor 1 of the pelvic-floor elevator, and if I feel a pain surge I drop the elevator and it usually helps.
After days of lying in the bed with a cold, working on my pelvic-floor muscles and monitoring my pain, I thought I was in the clear. My pain levels were steady -- I still had pain in the northern part of my vulva, but I had less urethral pain and little to no perceivable vestibular pain. Peeing was better, and it wasn't elevating my urethral pain levels afterwards. I thought the remaining obstacles were muscular and that I would work them out over time.
Then I got a burning flare in my urethra after peeing that made me drop the dishes I was washing and run to the bed to relax my muscles as much as possible. That helped a little bit, but the flare was still there. I did some internal investigating and my muscles were relaxed. Then I coughed -- and pain zapped through my vulva as my muscles contracted, which had never happened before.
My diet was pretty limited while I was sick -- I didn't have much of an appetite and I was in love with toast. The flare came as I started eating beyond the toast. Food allergy? IBS? What? What vulva, what do you want from me.....EVERYTHING I DO I DO IT FOR YOU. I AM BRYAN ADAMS, FOR YOU.
Anyway, fine. The gastroenterologist is sending me to an allergist, after which we'll choose our next move. My preliminary bloodwork could hardly have been more normal, which probably ruled out some things in his head. He did celiac work on me even though I told him I was gluten-free and had had that bloodwork come up negative before -- negative again. But he hooked on the gluten thing, saying that the people who get instantaneous diarrhea from gluten are the tip of the celiac iceberg. So I may be headed for an endoscopy to confirm I'm just gluten intolerant. Doesn't make much difference to me except that I'd probably be more careful if I had celiac, eating more carefully while out, etc.
I'm still on Effexor, so I don't care :) My psychiatrist is upping the dose to see if it helps me care about stuff ("motivation"). Apparently norepinephrine is what motivates you, and that modulation usually kicks in at 150mg of Effexor. Not sure I'm looking forward to being motivated again, though. TV good. Bed fantastic.
After I told him I'm having all this internal conflict, maybe that's why I'm ambivalent, maybe my weird internal life is the root of my inaction...feeling "morally conflicted about how to live"...he came back with a fifteen-minute speech citing religions and philosophers, stories, books to read, music to listen to. He appears to be my guru?