At the age of 31, I started to try and start a family with my husband. My first pregnancy was an ectopic pregnancy. I finally got pregnant at the age of 35. Me and my husband were so excited. What an amazing experience. The whole 9 months of my pregnancy felt almost like a small miracle. I never had any type of pelvic pain whatsoever, either prior to my pregnancy or while I was pregnant.
My son was finally born in January of 2005. I had 2 epidurals for the pregnancy and he came out at 9lbs and 3oz., after 3 ½ hours of pushing. I had 138 stitches, for this vaginal birth. My first symptoms started, right after I gave birth, while still under the anesthesia from the epidural. About 5 minutes after he was born, I felt this very sharp and intense pain in my clitoral area. At this point, I knew something was wrong, but being my first child, I thought it could be normal. After the epidural wore off, I really felt the pain. Not just your typical pain, but really severe vaginal/clitoral pain. I also had hyper arousal symptoms, that I could not control. The hyper arousal would stay for most of the day and become extremely painful. All of my pain was only on my left side. I also had some minor tailbone pain. The last symptom that I had was these “electric shocks”. I had them most of the day, minor ones, but sometimes, they come on very strong and actually make me loose my balance. After 9 days, I called my OB/GYN and told him about the pain, he said it should “go away”. At my six week checkup, I again told him of my pain. Stating that I could not even walk to my mailbox, to get the mail and when the wind blew, it caused more severe pain. After a quick exam, he said “call me in 3 months, if it does not go away”. He said, “I don’t need to see you, because I already know you have pain”. I was devastated.
During this time, I made an appointment with a vulvar specialist. It was at this time, I really understood how much pain I really had. One touch with a QTIP, sent me flying off the table.
Well, I tried several medications, your typical tricyclic antidepressants and some anticonvulsants. I tried physical therapy, biofeedback and everything else. Finally, I found out about the “pudendal nerve”. It was then, that I decided to have some nerve conduction tests done. My left side was abnormal, which is where all my pain was, and my right side was normal. I decided to meet with a wonderful PN doctor. His name is Dr. Conway. After an EMG test and a vaginal/rectal exam, he felt that I might have a pudendal neuropathy. I decided to have the pudendal nerve blocks done in 2006, which gave me a very short term relief of my symptoms and confirmed that I did indeed have a pudendal neuropathy. After another year, I finally decided to have surgery in Sept. of 2007.
Dr. Conway is such a wonderful and caring doctor. I had follow up appointments with him, for well over a year. Unfortunately, my pain got worse and my electric shocks got worse. Some days I was able to get around and other days, I was not able to get around. I had then made an appointment with Dr. Hibner, in Arizona. He felt that my OI muscle was tight and wanted to try some Botox, to help with the muscle tension. This did not help. The pain and the shocks were still there. He told me that Dr. Conway was coming up, to learn the TG approach and he had an opening the week after, to have the TG surgery, with Dr. Conway helping out. I was so happy, to have my old surgeon there.
Well, after a 4 and 1/2 hour surgery, they were able to get rid of all the scar tissue that was in there. My nerve was adhered to the ligament that Dr. Conway had cut, during the first surgery. Lots of adhesions and lots of scar tissue. The recovery from having the TG surgery was rough. I had an infection, that would not go away. I had to have a second surgery 2 months later, to get rid of an abscess that was from a non disolving stitch, that was placed during my surgery with Dr. Hibner.
Well let's see. it is almost a year now, and I cannot say how much better I feel. I am doing absolutely fantastic. I still have some pain, but the shocks that I used to get are absolutely gone! Those shocks were so severe that I could not drive, I could not go to stores etc. It took over my life. Now, I am doing great! Pain is manageable and I am able to do things that I haven't done in years. I take care of my home, take care of my son and take care of myself. The small things that I wasn't able to do, that I can do now. Like driving. I feel like a new person. I still have to be careful and not do to much, as I can feel more pain, when I try and do to much. But otherwise, I'm doing great.
I do hope that my story helps someone. After my first surgery, I was devestated about the pain returning and the shocks taking over my life. I thought there was nothing else left for me. But after my second surgery, I feel like I have my whole life in front of me. So, I'm enjoying as much of it as I can. I'm extremely grateful to have my health and I hope that those that read my story understand one thing. Never give up hope!