Disclaimer: If you are my mother, my father, my in-laws, any male friend or any work colleague or someone who wants to be able to look me in the eyes, DO NOT read this post.
In part one, I talked to you all about being diagnosed with vaginismus and that I was lined up to see a pelvic floor physiotherapist. If you missed that post, you need to read it or else this post may not make much sense! Go ahead, read it now… I’ll wait
Okay, so I ended up getting a call from the physiotherapist’s office and I was booked in to see the pelvic floor physiotherapist. I had no idea what to expect going in to the appointment but then ladies, the worst thing possible happened. I got my period two days before the appointment. An appointment to look at my Uma Thurman in Kill Bill ninja va-jay-jay was now tainted and there was no way I wanted someone poking around downtown with Auntie Flow in town. No thank you!
Anyway, I call the office and have to explain to the receptionist that I’m on my period and she says, “Come ahead in, we’ll do what we can and then book you for a second appointment to do the internal work.” Read: we want to book you in for two appointments so you can drop $200 instead of $100. My period was now costing me $100 and we all know how much I love my period. So, I oblige and plan to go in for my first appointment.
The day of the appointment, I made sure to take an insanely long shower (just to be sure I was ready in case they sprung a poke-around-downtown on me) and then I went to the office. On my way to the appointment, I had a vision of an office that was painted pink on the outside with pretty flowers everywhere and inside, a sweet little receptionist who had tea ready and I imagined that the other people there to get support with their vaginas were other women who were waiting in the waiting room, giving each other sympathetic looks. In my head, the pelvic floor physiotherapy office would be like a yoga studio minus the Lululemon.
Boy, was I wrong.
This was a regular physiotherapy office. The room was wide open. There were fitness machines and exercise balls laying around. There were little beds with simple little curtains that pulled around them with ZERO privacy. I was scared. I wanted to run away. Just as I went to talk to the receptionist, this male physiotherapist came over to the desk to grab something and a man, there to get care on his arm, came in and was standing behind me. There were zero women with sympathetic looks who also had broken vaginas. There was no tea to relax me.
The physiotherapist came to get me not long after this and she led me to a back room. You see, there is a single back room that I imagine is used for issues like mine and EVERYONE in there knows that if you go to the back room, you’re dealing with something related to your private parts. The back room stigma.
The back room had an ultrasound machine, a bed and underneath the bed, a purple box with the word dilator on it. “Oh hello…” I thought, having had researched all about dilator therapy, “There’s ye olde box of dildos.” There was a probe laying out and a few pieces of paper with diagrams of va-jay-jays on them. All in all, I felt like I was now in the right place, even though the thruway was all wrong.
I told the physiotherapist what was wrong and she asked me a lot of questions and then she had me undress to my underwear and she checked my posture, made me do some stretching (awkward when in underwear and on your period) and said that overall, my body was aligned and well but they wouldn’t know more without doing the internal probe, which would have to wait. However, she did give me some exercises, which I will summarize for you all. You know, in case you have a ninja va-jay-jay and want to make it less ninja-like.
The first exercise is what I’m going to call The Stretcher. Basically, you insert your thumb into your vagina and contract and then relax. Then you stretch your thumb to one side and contract/relax. Then go to the other side and contract/relax. Then go to the bottom and contract/relax and finally, the top. She recommended Astroglide prior to the thumb insertion as that is (apparently) the best lube. You’re welcome. This is to happen EVERY DAY. WTF. Who the heck has time to strip down, get out the lube and do these exercises DAILY with a toddler running around?
The second exercise is called The Wave. While lying on your back, you are to tighten your pelvic floor muscles one section at a time starting with your ANUS (snicker). You are to contract your anus as though you are trying preventing the leakage of gas. Being lactose intolerant but also loving ice cream and pizza, I’ve already got this exercise down. Just saying. (Side note: husband says this is too much information and that people don’t need to know about clenched anus’ but I say, the disclaimer warned you. So don’t judge.) Hold each muscle grouping for two seconds and relax.
The third exercise is called Speed. I immediately sat up straight when she started talking about this one because… well… I like Sandra Bullock and was waiting for the analogy but it never came. With this one, you just do quick, repetitive contractions on the pelvic floor, holding for 5 seconds and then relaxing. This one is to be done at least three times a day, five repetitions at a time. This is the one you can do without ANYONE knowing so I’ve been doing them, while staring people straight in the face, the entire time thinking, “My vagina is doing a workout and YOU DO NOT EVEN KNOW.” Yes, it’s the little things that get me through my day.
The last one is called Functional. This is an exercise that you do while doing every day activities that require an effort. Things like (and I’m quoting from the paper here) “coughing, sneezing or lifting groceries.” You know, effort. Real, girl effort. Basically, as you are doing these highly tasking activities, you contract your pelvic floor muscles and hold the contraction through the entire activity. If you are near me while I’m doing any of these activities and I stop talking, you now know why. I’m working it girl!
So there you have it. Vaginacises.
The last thing I need to say is that I showed the vagina diagram to my husband and he said, “Vagina diagrams are so weird. It looks like someone got shot in the crotch.” Thanks husband. Thanks.
More to come in a future post… because yeah, I haven’t shared enough already.