Sometimes everything goes wrong.
A few days ago I started having pain in my throat. I looked at my tonsils and one of them was covered in white film. Stupidly, I took a Q-tip and started scraping the film off. Can you guess what happened next? I bled. I started bleeding from my mouth and then it started to come out of my nose. Disgusting, right? There is nothing grosser than the sinus cavities. I think Ear, Nose and Throat docs are sick, twisted people. And that’s saying a lot coming from someone that feels most comfortable talking about vaginas and anuses. (Did you know that the plural form of anus is anuses or ani? I just looked it up. In doing so, I got to read the examples of anus being used in a sentence. That must have been a difficult task for the dictionary writers. Another eye roller for them…”Aargh, another one of these words!”)
So, I’m bleeding. This doesn’t worry me, it just tells me that maybe I should stop scraping my tonsil. No big deal. I go to work the next day and I slowly start to feel worse. I keep gauging “Hmm, should I call in for the next day? Hard to say…” Then evening hits and I’m rapidly declining. My tonsil is growing larger enough to make swallowing difficult. The pus in my tonsil is spreading. I feel hot and cold and the diarrhea begins. (Yes, I, Sara K. Sauder, get diarrhea – but so does Oprah, Cindy Crawford, Barack Obama and Ryan Gosling!) I call in to work sick for the next day.
The next morning I get myself out of bed and make my way to urgent care. I take 20 minutes to fill out the paperwork only to be asked the same damn questions in person by two different providers within the hour that I’m in the appointment. My provider face time is 10 minutes. My non-provider, uncomfortable, impatient patient time is 50 minutes. I get diagnosed with strep throat. The PA looks at my tonsils and clearly hates the oral orifice as much as I do because she makes a face and says “Have you seen this yourself?”. She is clearly as disgusted with her job as I am.
I drive home irritated that I will be home for an hour and then have to get back in my car to drive my sick self to the pharmacy to finally pick up my prescription. I’m thinking about how inefficient this system is. The sick leave their bed to go to the doctor. The sick have to wait for their prescription and only then can they go home to rest. Three hours will have passed between leaving my house and getting my prescription medication. I thought that was bad.
Oh, but then.
I pulled up to the front of my house. And there is a cop.
Naturally, I assume this has nothing to do with my home. My alarm company never called. No one is at my house. So, I creep forward a bit more and see the side of my house has another cop. I still don’t think this has anything to do with anything, I’m just being nosy at this point seeing what trouble has fallen on someone else. I creep, creep, creep, then I see it. It’s me. I’m the one trouble has fallen upon. A car has driven straight into my backyard.
I get out of the car and say “What the fuck happened?!?”
The cop walks to me and says that a 16 year old without a driver’s license drove through my backyard. I ask the cop to step back from me because I have strep and I don’t know how to conceal it. He says that it’s ok because he is sick too. What he fails to understand is that one sickness doesn’t cancel out another sickness – but that’s a talk I need to have with him another day. He tells me the kid hit the gas instead of the brake while nearing an intersection. I tell him that he is believing a child’s bold-faced lie. There is no way that would cause a car to demolish a light post and then have enough power to run through the fence. Another cop tells me he thinks the kid Tokyo drifted through the intersection trying to imitate The Fast and the Furious. I like this cop better.
At this point I’m tired. I’m tired of my face bleeding. I’m tired of feeling hot and cold. I’m tired of my throat hurting. I’m tired of calling the insurance company (though I hadn’t even started). I’m tired of feeling tired. It feels like I’m falling apart.
But, I wasn’t falling apart. It was just stress. Stress on my body and in my mind. When those hit a head, it doesn’t feel good. But, I’m on day three of antibiotics and I’m getting my energy back. I’m excited for the new fence and the new foliage that will come with it. Things are starting to get rosier.
All this to start talking about pelvic pain with sexual arousal.
(How will I connect the two??? Even I don’t know yet.)
When you have pelvic pain, without an obvious trauma, it starts off small and maybe even seemingly unrelated. Maybe it’s a little heel pain. Maybe it’s a bit of burning with urination or hip pain. Then it starts to spread. I’ve talked about this spread before. Parts of your whole body will feel affected and you will wonder if you are falling apart. Just as I wondered why my face was bleeding. You will not likely put the symptoms together, because, no one is asking you to. You go to the doctor for your heel and they say it’s your foot or your calf that is the problem. You see someone for burning with urination and they say it’s because you’ve got an infection. You see someone for your hip and they say you have a tight IT band. But, no one takes two literal steps back and sees that you are one person connected from head to toe. No one thinks “Hmm, these symptoms are all coming on together. Perhaps the spinal segment that turns on sensation to the heel which is also the same spinal area that creates sensation at the bladder and close to what activates the hip could be an issue? They did say that they initially had back pain.” But, alas, as I’ve also said before…no one does this. We assume the foot is only connected to the foot. The bladder operates completely independently – suspended by the wings of fairies and the hip’s sensation will only be changed by stretching, stretching and more stretching of tissue that truly doesn’t respond well to…stretching.
What I’m starting to pick up on more and more is that pain with arousal can become a symptom of pelvic floor issues. For some, it’s their only symptom. Imagine the psychological impact that can have. (Imagine the assumptions a physicians or counselor might make about that.)
Genital pain upon the start of arousal is one thing.
Genital pain that feels like arousal is another. That other thing is more like Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD).
I’m arguing that “genital pain upon the start of arousal” is not PGAD, but instead, something different. It’s not persistent. It’s only with appropriate arousal. Appropriate meaning that the arousal is happening because the person owning the body wanted to engage in sexual acts. But, when the person started to think about or engage in sexual acts and blood starting to flow into the genitals, this increased the pressure on the muscles and nerves in the genitals and this pressure became unpleasant.
This engorgement of blood into the genitals from sexual arousal has caused my patients genital pain of different locations. Penis. Clitoris. Labia. Entire vulva. Etc.
So, why does this happen?
The answer to that, my readers, is in the next post. This is over 1300 words long already! The blog rules Gods will get me!