3+ weeks out, and frequently asked questions

By , January 2, 2014 8:12 pm

I’m a bit more than three weeks out from V-Day (December 10), so thought I would share some updates. The healing is no longer so day-by-day dramatic, but that’s probably a good thing. By “day-by-day dramatic” I mean that, initially, I could see substantial changes every day: it was easier to get out of bed, easier to sleep, easier to bathe, etc. Now, I’m in what is sure to be a long, slow recovery; a recovery where I can definitely see changes over time, but there’s not such a big shift every single day.

I’m back at my apartment in Lincoln Square, which is lovely. Staying with my mom was absolutely the right thing do to, and she took awesome care of me, but it’s good to be back in my own bed and in my own space.

My time is mostly filled with Netflix, downloaded shows, video games, and reading. I’m almost halfway through Friends, just restarted watching Breaking Bad (which I never finished, so don’t ruin it for me!), just finished playing The Last of Us on PS3 (which is AMAZING!), and am rereading Lord of the Rings for the first time since college. All good ways to occupy my time, particularly when the weather is so miserable and my stamina is so low.

Some frequently asked questions:

How’s the pain?
Not horrible. It’s mostly achy at this point, and not really sharp pain. I’ve been mostly off Vicodin since getting back to Chicago, although I still occasionally take a half pill to help sleep. Beyond that, I’m really just doing Tylenol, and even that isn’t all day, every day.

What about dilating?
Dilating is icky and uncomfortable, but it isn’t awful. Yes, there’s some pain, but it eases as the time passes. I just started with a larger dilator today, which wasn’t as painful as I expected. But dilating is messy (lube), time consuming (20 minute sessions, five times a day), and uncomfortable. Not my favorite thing, but important.

How’s it all look down there?
Better and better. Healing is slow business, but things are looking OK. Still, I’m not going to really know how things are looking for at least another few months, when I’m further along in my healing process.

Is sitting down to pee weird?
Sort of? It’s certainly less convenient than standing. The muscles used are the same, so I didn’t have to “relearn” how to pee, but it’s definitely messier.

Any phantom sensations?
Totally. I’m starting to get used to my new configuration, but still lots of moments where I’ll be laying in bed and reach down to adjust anatomy that’s no longer between my legs. Likewise, when peeing or dilating or bathing, there are moments of nerve confusion where it feels like I’m touching a part that has been moved quite a bit. I’m sure this will fade in time, but it’s totally surreal for the time being.

But how do you feel?
I honestly don’t know. I’ve been operating mostly by taking things one day at a time, so I’m only now starting to really process everything that has happened in the last month. Saw my therapist today for the first time since V-Day, which was good but not particularly earth-shattering. So I’m glad I did this huge ridiculous thing, but I’m still figuring out what it ‘means.’ I can see hints of excitement for the future, but I’m not at the point where I’m dressing in tight outfits, or having sex, or going to the beach, or whatever. So I’m excited about healing, but am not exactly dancing jig. Because it would hurt to do so.

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