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When the pain started at the end of October/beginning of November, after a looong process of titrating onto a new medication and off another, it was right before the follow-up with my neurologist, the prescribing doctor.
He said that maybe "we hit a triple instead of a home run on this one." (I wanted to go off the old meds not because they didn't work, but because of some undesirable risks and side effects.) To be cautious, he recommended I check in with the rest of my health care team to make sure nothing else was going on.
The gynecologist was first. She gave me the all clear - the exam and lab tests did not show any new developments in addition to the complaint of dryness - and prescribed estradiol cream. I had used estradiol cream in the past and it hadn't made a difference, so I was skeptical...but then again I hadn't had dryness before. What the heck, why not? I figured.
Next came my appointment with my pelvic PT. By now it was December. She told me that my pelvic floor was in wonderful health, but to address the pain I could return to my old dilator exercises and mindfulness check-ins, when I consciously relax my pelvic floor throughout the day to keep tabs on any building tension.
While the gynecologist and PT had given me good news, this good news left me wondering...if my neurologist, gynecologist, and PT don't have a clear idea of what's wrong, then what's wrong?
Awhile after my PT appointment, I finally got the estradiol prescription, which had been held up by various delays. I started using it, and within a week or so, I was thrilled to notice a major improvement. I wasn't back to my old "normal," but I was almost there.
When the pain emerged at the beginning of November I worked to stay calm and centered, even though it's strength and abruptness made me wonder if it would take another six month slog to feel better. I am so relieved to report that this turnaround happened over six weeks. Holy cow! Awesome.
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The story, of course, continues. I had two follow-up appointments yesterday, one with my pelvic PT and one with my neurologist.
On Monday I'll write about what I learned at the PT appointment and Wednesday I'll dive into the many-faceted neurologist appointment.
See you there!