I called Dr. Howard's office to see if he would do a pap for me at my appointment on Wednesday. The woman who answered the phone told me that he probably wouldn't because he's retiring later this year and might not want to take on new OB/GYN patients, but I could always ask when I see him.
I laughed and said that I would ask as I don't want to get into the stirrups any more than I have to. Then I hung up and freaked out that Dr. Howard is retiring later this year.
Don't retire! Don't retire! I'm just establishing a relationship with you!!
I know he must have colleagues waiting in the wings to take over for him, and that they might bring different strengths to the table. It was just an emotional blow -- over and over, I have hit brick walls in trying to find a (real) diagnosis and a treatment for my vulvodynia.
The pudendal nerve blocks didn't work, or they don't seem to be working. I'm guessing Dr. Howard will perform another Q-tip test at my appointment on Wednesday and that I will pass, or fail, or whichever term you use when the touch of a Q-tip feels like a razor. I vote for "pass." Passing will mean that the nerve blocks haven't improved my pain.
We haven't tried the genitofemoral nerve block. If Dr. Howard thinks there's a Q-tip's chance in an earwax factory (?!?!?) that a genitofemoral nerve block will help, I will do it. Even though with all the steroids...
I am becoming Wolverine. There is hair growing in places where there was no hair before. Like my shoulders. And other places I don't want to admit to. It's peach fuzz, but it's constantly standing up straight like I'm in an episode of Scooby-Doo and the ghost has just revealed himself.
Dr. Westesson didn't seem sold on the genitofemoral block because, as he said, I wouldn't have pain with sitting if the nerve entrapment were up front. But dude. Today, I've been standing all day, and the pain is so bad I can hardly walk.
However, I've read that the genitofemoral nerve isn't involved with the parts of the vulva between the outer labia, so that's another strike against it. But I want to do the genitofemoral block just to rule it out. I would climb Mount Everest to rule it out if it were a potential cause of my vulvodynia.
I'm making a list for this visit to make sure I ask Dr. Howard all of my questions. So far, it's this:
- Genitofemoral block
- But c'mon, doc, what about all my weird hip problems!
- PAINKILLERS. REAL ONES. I know other women who have had painkillers prescribed to them despite doctors claiming that they "don't work" on this condition. You know what? Let me try. LET ME TRY. I'm suspicious that doctors don't want to prescribe them to me because they fear I'm an addiction risk because of my mental illness. But I've been on a number of addictive meds FOR mental illness and never had a problem. So let me try. Let me try. Because if they do help, they will make my life so much less sucky.
- Physical therapy
- Interstitial cystitis
- Which seems like a mismatch but both docs seem to think it's likely, so go ahead and refer me to an IC doc
- Valium suppositories
- Here's a study my psychiatrist printed out for me about them
- What the hell do I do after you leave me
- Interferon injections
- Amitriptyline/Nortriptyline (low-dose MAOIs)
- What about an fMRI? Would it maybe show nerve entrapment if it exists?
- Bed rest. Please put me on bed rest. I will be miserable but I will pee like a goddess.
If you have any additions, let me know. I am always terrified of being an annoying patient, but I'm going to have a list, and he's not leaving the room until I'm through with it.