Friday, December 31, 2010

PajamaJeans (?)

So the other day I saw the infomercial for PajamaJeans.  I was immediately intrigued by them.  As a writer, I read a lot of web articles, so I do realize that many fashion writers are mocking this new item.  Clearly, none of these "haters" have ever had pelvic pain.

It's a little known fact that many pelvic pain patients can't wear jeans.  Jeans can be really irritating to the entire pelvic region.  So these pajama jeans can potentially be a way for women with pelvic pain to regain the jean look.

I don't own these personally, so I don't want to be their spokesperson just yet, but I think they have potential.  I am really considering ordering them and if  I do I will be sure to update about their actual comfort and style level in my own opinion.

If you haven't heard of them yet, be sure to check them out:


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Life with Vulvodynia




Women who suffer from Vulvodynia experience debilitating pain that make daily tasks that others take for granted painful or in some cases impossible.

These tasks include:

-Sitting
-Walking
-Exercising
-Running
-Having sexual intercourse
-Driving
-Working
-Sleeping
-Urinating
-Wearing certain articles of clothing such as underwear, jeans and swim suits
-Socializing
-Biking
-Horseback riding
-Using tampons

The list can go on with different factors added and subtracted depending on the patient and the severity of their case.

Often, when the media does choose to cover Vulvodynia, they will portray it as an illness that makes women unable to have sex. Although this factor can be true, it is far from the worst part of the illness. Patients with severe cases of Vulvodynia, who have trouble sitting and walking on a daily basis, are often angered by the media focusing on the sexual aspect.

Some women with Vulvodynia may at some point end up losing a boyfriend, husband, friend, job or ability to participate in a beloved hobby due to their illness. This can lead to depression, stress and anxiety in the patients.

What can be done?

As of now, there is no cure for Vulvodynia. However, over only the past six years, successful treatments have been discovered that can help women lower their symptoms and have a chance at a normal life. Some women may continue to suffer on a daily basis because of this condition, but many groups of patients who do go into periods of remission once the right treatment is established.

Establishing the correct combination of treatments can take time and trial and error. Many patients suffer very much while trying to find the treatments that will work for them.

Available treatments include:

-Antidepressants
-Local anesthetic gels
-Topical estrogen
-Narcotics
-Physical therapy
-Surgery
-Anticonvulsants
-Neuropathic medications
-Trigger point injections



Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What is Vulvodynia?




Vulvodynia is a legitimate, chronic pain condition with no cure. People with Vulvodynia experience stinging, stabbing, burning, itching, throbbing or sore pain in their genitals. The pain is not caused by infection or injury. The pain can be constant or sporadic. This varies very much from person to person and day by day. The pain can stop and start unexpectedly, lasting minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years. Patients can even go through a remission period of months or years and suddenly have the pain return.

Vulvodynia is said to be as painful as , if not more painful than more widely known pain pain conditions such as Fibromyalgia. But since Vulvodynia is under researched and under funded, much less is known about this illness by the public and even the medical community.

The cause of Vulvodynia is still uncertain. Many Vulvodynia patients seem to have some common factors such as: past sexual trauma or abuse, past large scale urinary tract or yeast infections and trouble having sexual intercourse. However, there are some patients who do not fit any of these molds.

Since Vulvodynia has few visible signs, the average person diagnosed will seek medical help on average from one month to two years before finding the correct help to truly manage their pain. Many women give up hope before diagnosis after being rejected or told “it is all in your head” by respected doctors, nurses and hospital staff who are simply uneducated about this illness. Many women will also be misdiagnosed with conditions such as urinary tract infections, yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, kidney stones, sexually transmitted diseases and kidney diseases while searching for help. Many times when wrong medications are given for these conditions that do not exist in the patient, the woman’s Vulvodynia symptoms actually worsen.

There is also said to be an under reporting of this condition. Up to 18% of all women will experience some low grade symptoms of Vulvodynia in their lifetime, but do not seek help because they are embarrassed. Usually those who do seek help and are eventually diagnosed correctly are the more serious cases: women who have been having vaginal pain for a month to a year that is so high on the pain scale it interferes with all of their daily activities.


What Vulvodynia is NOT:

Although Vulvodynia can be debilitating at times it’s important for the public to understand that Vulvodynia is NOT a sexually transmitted disease, infection or cancer. It is also not contagious.

Welcome

Hello all...welcome to the introductory post for silent tears. I am a writer by education and trade. I have been inspired to start this blog after going through many struggles of my own as well as meeting many other brave and beautiful women in person and online who have gone through similar issues. Most people do not know what it is like to be laughed out of an emergency room when they are in so much pain that they can't walk. Unfortunately, these type of circumstances are a reality for the thousands upon thousands of women world wide who suffer from illnesses of the pelvic and bladder region. Many doctors are just not educated enough on these invisible disabilities making it hard for women to be diagnosed. I hope this blog is a place where awareness can be spread, treatment tips can be posted, women can come to have someone to relate to and most importantly a place where people outside the pelvic pain world will learn that these conditions exist and that our pain is real. You can't see diabetes, you can't see cancer, you can't see high blood pressure and so fourth yet the public knows about these conditions. Just because you can't see bladder and pelvic pain does not mean that it is not real. If we can live in a world of sexy movies and reality stars parading around half naked, then we can live in a place where it is not taboo to talk about pain below the belt.

Although this site is mostly devoted to bladder and pelvic specific pain, I also support ALL women (and people in general) suffering from an invisible condition. 

To all the women out there suffering in silence you are not alone. Please speak up. Please stop crying silent tears.

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