Wednesday, October 17, 2012

No touchy the coochie! A vulvodynia-friendly wardrobe

For a long time, I was on the mostly skirts choo-choo train along with many other women with vulvodynia.  Skirts & underwearlessness are very popular in our little club.  But at some point in recent months, I reverted to a pants-based wardrobe.  My pain is there no matter what I wear, and pants are easy.

But winter is approaching, and for some reason, winter is skirt season for me.  I think it's the snow boots thing.  Loooove snow boots, and wearing them with pants is complicated.

(me in now-deceased snowboots -- i still mourn...)

I know I am in the minority on the skirts thing.  They aren't #1 in most people's closets, and when they're a bodily demand they can get even more annoying.

So I thought I'd share some non-skirty cooch-tender things to shake up our wardrobes...

This is the photo on Kandee Johnson's fashion & makeup blog that got me thinking about non-skirt things.  Her post: Skirts for Girls Who Hate Skirts.  Sound familiar?

I love the pink pants on the right.  If you do too, search for "genie pants."  I figured this out after much googling.

Or, search for "diaper pants," "harem pants," or "Aladdin pants," I learned from 1930byChrisJackson.  These particular pants?  Are amazing.

So super cute.  Alas!  These are no longer available.  But the site has plenty of other styles left.

This is the pattern the boys were wearing in middle school.  On similarly cut pants, come to think of it. (These were on eBay and are gone.  Sorry boys traveling forward from 1992.)

Or, like Kandee is wearing in the first pic way above, there's the high-low hemline skirt.  These are a little less skirty than your average skirt.  They flash me back to the 90s too.

Is this a Vulvodynia Trio?  Their style is definitely cooch-friendly.  (It says "baggy loose urban pants" here, but the link says "baggy crotch pants" ---- hehe...)

Perhaps the most practical solution: boyfriend pants.  Lora posted about these on her blog Servicing the Chassis years ago.  I never bought any, but I see they're still available at The Gap.

Notice that I did all this without referencing MC Hammer!!!  Who also provides a solution.

Here is a solution for the skirt lovers: Faux. Leather. Green. Skirt.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My cooch experiment, pending

I have a standing desk at work. Actually it's a coffee table on top of my desk. In our small office of five, three of us have this setup. It works. You don't even notice you're standing. Walking away from your desk is swimming away from the edge of the pool. No getting up. Effortless.

Well it's getting colder and the office is too, and I've noticed that when I'm cold I shrink back and perch on my stool. Then I say, get up! But I get up and my butt is cold so I shrink back again. In the market for a snuggie.

So I've been sitting more and every time I get into a pattern of sitting, I get several Damn! moments where I remember that my pain has many more levels above my mostly-standing-or-lying baseline.

And it's so, so clear to me now, after six years of data and a dissertation of theories, that this is nerve pain.

So I am planning an experiment. When I lost my voice for 10 days in 2009, I couldn't go to work because I was a waitress. I was in bed the first few days because I felt sick, but I stayed in bed as I felt better -- with all that lying down, my pain had dropped considerably.

Need I say -- it was awesome.

Well obviously I knew what was up, but I had no insurance and I was probably way down on the notion of seeing more doctors. Plus, I still cycled through theories, knowing that there are other factors that influence my pain -- food, etc.

So my experiment is, the Fabulous: lying down for many days straight! I want to see if I get the same results. Ostensibly it's so I have reinforced data to present to the next specialist, but really? I need hope.

That's what I've been lacking this whole time. Visiting doctor after doctor, trying idea after idea, I got to the point of who cares. I learned to tune the pain out.

But I can still hear it. When I laugh, jump, cough, fart, ow. When I pee. When I shift around or walk. Even when my pain is low, it gnaws at me. Gnaws! Exactly! BAM verb.

It's like a rug burn on your cooch.

iPhone was quick to correct cooch to filch. Yes, iPhone, if filch were a noun, my cooch would be it.

I am excited. I am still undecided about when to schedule my experiment but it really doesn't matter. I'm just stalling. So I'll decide: my experiment will start November 9 and last at least five days. Bam vacation days. May they be the best ever spent.

(Must schedule around period. Also, must keep other variables constant, as much as possible. Ooh that will be a fun post to write.)

I hope you are all well. Vhugs!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Happy Anniversary! Six Years of a Bellyaching Cooch

October 2, 2006, vulvodynia settled its mystery upon my loins.  My vulva really didn't like it and has been whining about it ever since.

Until [some future date], when [something awesome happened!] and I found myself with a born-again, carefree coochie.

True story!

I think it was four years ago that I started blogging, right around the time of my (our?) anniversary, and at the time another blogger had had vulvodynia for six years.  Six years! I thought.  That is insanity.  There is no way this is going to last SIX YEARS.

Those first few years, my vulvodynia was always going away.  Because of this new idea or doctor or treatment.  Or toilet paper or laundry detergent or herbal tea or diaper cream.

Or it would go away after I had learned this lesson.  No?  What about this lesson?  No?  What about this lesson??

Or it would go away by quiet absolution.  Because pain in that place?  Clearly I am a bad person.

At some point towards the end of year 3, the emotional strain came to a head.  I survived, and shortly after, I hunted down someone to have sex with.  "Just to see."  Then I started seeing Catfish.  Two and a half years later, I dropped him.  It wasn't working anymore.  But that relationship rescued me from my vulvodynia.

So, looking back, my advice to the newbies: seek a medical solution, but believe me when I say the pain isn't your #1 opponent.  The emotional toll is.  Maybe you can't have pain-free sex.  I can't.  It hurt every time I had sex with Catfish, and every time before him since October 2006.  If the pain is too much for you, don't have sex.

But don't let the pain keep you from being in a relationship.  You can seek every spiritual salvation out there. You can meditate and pray and worship the sun and visit the Loch Ness Monster.  But nothing, NOTHING can replace having meaningful relationships with other people.

Don't be a goddamn hero.

These days, well---

Once in a while my pain means
I'm ugly
I'm repulsive
I'll die lonely and childless.

Once in a while it means I'm too different to connect with other people.

Once in a while, I think about how it hurts every time I pee
and I feel like Medusa.

Once in a while
I can't handle this moment.

But almost all the time,
I'm going to find something that helps.
I'm going to find a doctor who knows what's wrong.
That doctor will be able to treat me.
Maybe there's no treatment that will cure me, but there's something that will help.
I will have pain-free hours
maybe weeks & months
And I do believe that my pain CAN go away,
that it's possible.
But even if it sticks around until I die,
I am so much more amazing than I ever would have been without my pain.
I am better and better
and better!
and better!
and after a time away,
I have a self to give to other people now
and she is better
and better
and better.