Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The light is green, it's time to... stop!

In interest of maintaining an accurate record of all I'm going through, the following post contains sexually explicit descriptions.  If you don't want to know - skip this one.

I had an appointment with my gynecologist/oncologist today.  It started off with a happy scale - all told, I've lost 20 pounds during this adventure.  My blood pressure was a bit elevated, but then I'd just walked the equivalent of 2 blocks in the balmy 102 degree weather that Florida is offering us these days.  Even with the exertion, it was only 140/85.  More than acceptable in my book.  Considering a year ago those numbers stayed around 200/110... yeah, I'll take it.

The PA came in.  I'm not particularly fond of her - she tends to stress me out more than easing my mind, but I'd mentally prepared for this and managed to make myself relax.  She looked at the scars - which are rather extensive and range from dark brown to pink mounds of puckered flesh - and pronounced them perfect.  I told her I'd had 4 stitches work their way out thus far and pointed out the bumps where several more are approaching the surface.  She merely made a comment about how my body seems to reject stitches, and that it's okay.  Then we came to the internal exam. 

The kind and friendly nurse came in to assist.  I started cracking jokes - as I do when I am nervous.  I made Peter come hold my hand, and worked very hard on my meditative state and my breathing to make myself relax.  External look-see went fine.  The dreaded speculum came into play, along with the prerequisite half-a-tube of lube.  Again, everything went fine.  Then she did a digital exam.  Using another giant glob of (freezing cold) lube. 

That woman has fingers that seemed to reach up to my sternum.  Ok, halfway to my sternum.  At any rate, she pressed all along the healed suture line and pronounced me "good to go."  As she put it, ever so subtly, "you can swim and have sex."

I sat up and fired off the burning question.  "Since my... depth... has changed, will I still be able to handle his (insert impressive measurement here)?"

She assured me that my depth had not changed at all (which is absolute BS -- he regularly bumped my cervix before the procedure, and they removed said cervix and sewed together the top end of my vagina.  Basic math tells me that at least some depth had to have been lost during this process) and everything would be just fine.  Just take it "low and slow." And she noted that some women have some "spotting" after "vigorous" intercourse. 

Let me digress for a moment.  At the moment I stated the above measurement, the PA had absolutely no visible facial reaction... but the nurse (the rather attractive nurse) had an involuntary widening of her eyes and darted a glance toward my husband - quickly shifting her glance back to me and blushing a little when she noticed that I had noticed.  I was good.  I didn't giggle.

So, the green light has been given.  Now what do we do?

I'm hesitant.  Hmm, that's not quite the word.  On edge? No. That's not it, either.  How about flipping Terrified!  Yes, that's fairly accurate.  All I can envision is one deep push and one horrific tearing sensation.  But we have talked about this.  I know I'll be in control and he will be careful.  But I'm still overly tense.

In the interest of keeping this an accurate account, and since I've already talked about all the naughty bits and their myriad of dysfunctions in detail, I'm going to continue.

Yes, we tested the waters.  He is very good at making me relax... and we ended up laughing quite a bit before the act.  It's perfectly rational to be scared.  When the body reacts, there is a reason.  Some things were uncomfortable.  I'm glad that he listens and is patient.  Digital stimulation is alright, but there is some sensitivity both at depth and near the surface.  The latter may be residual soreness from the earlier visit by the speculum. 

It was easier to assume a female-dominant position at first.  This allowed me to be completely in control of depth and speed.  I was happy to discover that it really wasn't a problem.  We shifted to a male-dominant position and encountered some limited discomfort.  For now, we will have to keep things a little slower than usual.  At least I've not lost muscle tone, and I am more comfortable now that I know nothing is going to tear apart.

We were told to expect to need lube.  In fact, we were assured that we would need "plenty of lube" for comfort.  Again, this was BS.  We had not required lube in the past, and the same is true of the present.  This may be different for each woman - just as the "normal" amount of moistness varies from woman to woman.

Another advantage - for the first time in 19 years, I'm not bleeding!  This means no hesitation (on my part) when it comes to receiving oral stimulation.  Even on my lightest of days - at times when there was no discernible flow - I would be tense and overly concerned with the potential messiness.  I cannot begin to express how amazing it is to not have those worries.

Thus, the fears and concerns are valid, and it is necessary to be gentle and have a patient and responsive partner, but in the end - everything works the way it is supposed to work.  I was far too analytical to allow myself to relax enough to orgasm, so I am a little unsure about how everything will feel when that finally happens.  With luck, and patience, I'll find out soon!

It's now several hours post-coitus, and I am definitely sore.  We did nothing "energetically" - but it feels like I have some swelling internally.  The pain is more than "twinges" - and I'm having trouble relaxing for sleep.  I'm going to take one of the milder pain pills, just to get past the worst of it.  I think if I'd taken an ibuprofen or maybe even tylenol beforehand, I'd be alright now.

Considering I'll be 6 weeks post-op this coming Thursday, I'm impressed at the level of healing.

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