Lichens Sclerosus – The butterfly effect.┬á

I’ve recently visited my GP seeking a diagnosis of Lichens Sclerosus (LS) 

For just over a year now, I’ve had the worst itching downstairs. Alongside this itching, my skin has become swollen, sore and delicate like a butterfly wing. Sex with my partner has turned into some sort of military operation as my skin tears so easily, and burns for a whole day afterwards, I’ve had to make sure I don’t have to go to work as I can barely walk.

I can no longer wear the sexy,  lacy thong underwear I’ve adorned myself in for the past 20 years as the material rips my skin to shreds. A task as simple as washing, now needs careful planning and precision as scented/perfumed washes and gels irritate the skin.

I’ve spent the first 6 months treating myself for thrush as I was sure that’s what I was suffering with. It wasn’t until I noticed that patches of my skin had turned white/silver and shiny and peeled off to reveal wrinkled/creased red raw skin that I knew it was more than just thrush.  The opening to my vagina has also narrowed… I find it extremely painful to use a mooncup and recently, sex has become very uncomfortable. 

It hasn’t just affected my vulva either, it’s also spread to my anus. Going to the toilet is very painful. One single wipe with toilet paper can tear my skin and leave me with fissures. The skin heals in 24-36 hours which just makes me dread going to the toilet in case I make it worse.

From the research I’ve done and what I know, the symptoms are:

  • Intense itching (often worse at night) 
  • Discomfort and tenderness 
  • White, shiny spots
  • Burning sensation 
  • Wrinkling /Creased skin
  • Lesions / fissures
  • Painful sex
  • Bruising
  • Dryness 
  • Fusing and shrinkage of the vulva. 

LS can affect any part of your body, but in females the genitals are more common.  There’s not currently a cure, but symptoms can be managed with creams. It’s a rare disease and currently being misdiagnosed as thrush. 

My GP couldn’t see the white patches, so I’ve been given an emollient to wash with to help with the dryness. If that proves unsuccessful, she’ll be referring me to a vulva specialist! I’m so glad she took me seriously and didn’t fob me off with ‘maybe it’s thrush’. I had no idea my genitals could turn against me like this, so I’m so glad that my concerns are being listened to. I just hope I’m not too late!

All this has made me realise how your physical and mental health is so important to your overall well-being. Don’t bottle your worries and concerns. Do your research, go to the doctor and get yourself heard! 

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Fibroids

I’ve been very quiet recently. I know my posts are sporadic at best, but I’ve literally spent the past few months being consumed by my fertility – or lack there of.

A year ago I discovered I had a lump in my abdomen. After another 6 months of being in genuine pain trying to insert my mooncup and thinking I had prolapsed, I decided to get it looked at. A doctors visit and a very swift referral to a gynecologist revealed I had fibroids. Having never heard of them before, I was ultimately relieved I didn’t have cancer. I shuddered with fear when the consultant asked if I already had children. It was then that I knew these uterine invasions were going to cause me some issues.

We discussed operations and medication and I happily skipped off with my Esmya tablets, hopeful that they’d do their job over the next few months. If they didn’t, I was sure he was going to start discussing hysterectomies. After 3 delightful period free months of esmya, my stomach had gone down and my symptoms followed. I was sure my next appointment would bring me joy and I could look forward to the imminent removal of these ghastly aliens. I’m not going to lie, I was looking forward to having some time off work too!

My consultant did not bring me the news I was hoping for. The medication didn’t work.. Esmya failed me. Although I’m not as disappointed as I thought I would be. I’m unsure why this is.  As we don’t know if these aliens are affecting my fertility, we have said it’d be beneficial to try to conceive over the coming months. There’s no promise I’ll be able to carry a baby, but you never know, my body might actually work!  

Although I’m very worried about the money situation, my bf and I have agreed that trying is a good idea..(i totally didn’t think he would say that). We did want to wait until next year, July time. Evidently though, time is of the essence here and ‘protocol’ has gone out the window! 

Between now and then, I’m scheduled for an MRI to further survey the dark crevices of my uterus. I wonder what else is lurking around in there! Fingers crossed, nothing else too sinister. 

Forbidden Fruit

(I wrote this over a year ago and have never published it until now, I have no idea why not).

I was out last night with friends and met up with a few people from work. Drinks were flowing, the music was getting raunchy and we were losing our inhibitions.

I don’t know how he caught my eye…he never has before, but suddenly I noticed him and he noticed me and we started dancing. Just jokingly at first, but it started heating up. We were grinding…I was laughing and so was he. It amused  us both. We came away..danced with other people and then all of a sudden we were like magnets, stuck to each other. We got closer, dirtier, hotter. A playful smile appeared on my lips, as I watched his lips curl in the same way. I felt myself getting wet..for someone I’d never paid any attention to before, he was turning me on in ways i haven’t been before. As we danced, he walked me forward, away from our friends. He looked deep into my eyes, and told me he wanted to fuck me. He wanted to go down on my and lick my p****y and make me come like no man has ever done before.

I’ll admit, I was both shocked and ridiculously turned on at the same time.

Our friends noticed and tried to entice us away from each other. It didn’t work, we were too magnetic. We argued. For a second I sobered up and was introduced to his arrogance. He wanted us to leave. I didn’t. 

He backed me into a corner,and slipped my underwear down my hips. I told him no. He got annoyed. We argued some more. I said no to a hotel….and then he left.

The next day at work, like any other day. Our bond broken, the magnetism gone. Complete strangers.

Forbidden Fruit

I was out last night with friends and met up with a few people from work. Drinks were flowing, the music was getting raunchy and we were losing our inhibitions.

I don’t know how he caught my eye…he never has before, but suddenly I noticed him and he noticed me and we started dancing. Just jokingly at first, but it started heating up. We were grinding…I was laughing and so was he. It amused  us both. We came away..danced with other people and then all of a sudden we were like magnets, stuck to each other. We got closer, dirtier, hotter. A playful smile appeared on my lips, as I watched his lips curl in the same way. I felt myself getting wet..for someone I’d never paid any attention to before, he was turning me on in ways i haven’t been before. As we danced, he walked me forward, away from our friends. He looked deep into my eyes, and told me he wanted to fuck me. He wanted to go down on my and lick my p****y and make me come like no man has ever done before.

I’ll admit, I was both shocked and ridiculously turned on at the same time.

Our friends noticed and tried to entice us away from each other. It didn’t work, we were too magnetic. We argued. For a second I sobered up and was introduced to his arrogance. He wanted us to leave. I didn’t. 

He backed me into a corner,and slipped my underwear down my hips. I told him no. He got annoyed. We argued some more. I said no to a hotel….and then he left.

The next day at work, like any other day. Our bond broken, the magnetism gone. Complete strangers.

Under the sea

As part of our first year anniversary celebrations, the bf and I decided to go on holiday. We booked it, packed everything and off we set.

Now, I knew at some point during this holiday, I’d be coming into contact with water. Because we’d booked a self catering studio apartment, and were stay in a harbour town, I was fairly confident I wouldn’t be seeing a swimming pool anytime soon. If you’ve been on a self catering holiday with no actual resorts to stay in…I’m sure you’ll be aware that in order to swim, one must get into the ACTUAL sea.

This doesn’t sit well with me at all as I don’t like open water, and always imagine I’ll just float out to sea and drown. This might seem over dramatic, but I can’t help my water anxiety.

My bf being the natural swimmer that he is, took straight to it and went snorkelling. It took me two days to get in the water, up to my knees….that’ll be more than enough, thank you. It was freezing and I was scared and anxious. By the 4th or 5th day I’d managed to get in, up to my waist and even manage to float and do a little doggy paddle.  

On the 6th day, the sea was far too rough, so my bf sat with me right by the shore and we giggled as we got battered by every wave that came… I felt slightly disappointed with myself for not getting in properly but the anxiety of not being able to see the floor, let alone touch it if I got into any perceived danger was too much. I need an escape route….you don’t get that safety net in the sea.

So today, the final day. I clambered over these rocks and lowered myself in slowly. It was only waist deep, but I stayed sat down and moved further and further in.  I leant back and let the water rest just above my chest. I lay like that for a good 10 minutes. Finally I felt satisfied and proud of myself. I was officially under the sea.
Water 0 – Carina 1.

I think I’ve settled down.

As you’ll probably have read from previous blog posts, my love life has always left rather a lot to be desired. Other than my longest ever relationship to date when I was 17, I’ve never managed to clock up the months, let alone the years. Previous relationships have never been quite right for me. Either I’ve been way into them and the feeling wasn’t mutual or vice versa,  they’ve annoyed me, I’ve not been able to be myself or we’ve just been too different.

On 20th May 2016, after a really shitty night, I logged onto the tinder account I hadn’t touched for months. I deleted all the previous matches and went about starting again. Off I went, through the motions of swiping left and right. Soon realising I’d become waaay more picky with a lot more lefts than rights… “Ooh he’s cute…” reads bio…. “Blah blah blah, sex, sex, sex.. Big no no.  I  matched with a few guys and didn’t really think too much of it. One guy I got chatting to was a good laugh, but the conversation soon turned sexy and too flirty for my liking. I didn’t like where it was going, so I stopped. I haven’t been THAT girl for years, and at 33 you can think again if you think I’m going back to those days.  I left it for a day or two when I got a second wind and began swiping again.  Moments later, a notification.. ‘You have a super like’… Super like you say, what is this business..?!? Having a quick look, I remembered this guy.. Wasn’t my usual type, but seemed up for a good laugh. 

After a few days of talking, I was pleasantly relieved to find out that he was a lovely guy, genuine, funny and didn’t talk about anything sexual. We clicked, straight away.  2 lush dates later, he went away on holiday for 3 weeks. I stalked him on Facebook and instagram and awaited his return.  Not long after he got back, we went to London for the weekend… And I asked him out.. I was having a fabulous time with this guy. I’d only known him for a mere 6/7 weeks, but I just knew he was what I wanted. 1 month after that, I told him I loved him and he said it back. 

Many a night and day was spent calling, texting, going on dates and just living the high life. I was so happy and loved up.

In January this year, I took the plunge and decided to move in with him.  It was a struggle at first, as I’ve never lived with a guy I like. Wasn’t quite sure how I’d cope. 6 months down the line and all is good. We bicker like normal couples and have had one big argument, but we’re good. I still live and fancy him …which is a surprise for me!­čśü. 

We celebrate our 1 year anniversary in July. 

Contraception : The Copper IUD and Cerelle experience 

This time last year, I was very happy living in my IUD worry free land. I’d just got one put it and thought it was the start of great things. The copper coil was everything I’d hoped for. I’m a nightmare on hormonal medication. I’ve no idea why, I just know that the implant turned me into a suicidal, weepy pyscho; who berated her bf in the streets of Northampton simply because he was breathing. 

So learning about hormone free stuff which such a revelation. I read the reviews and dealt with the insertion procedure like a champ.

I had 9 months of bliss, until an illness and a course of strong painkillers and antibiotics triggered either thrush or BV. It was so bad I felt like I needed to wear scratch mitts to stop me from ripping my insides apart. 5 minutes of ‘relieving’ myself would make me feel like I’d had an altercation with Mr Freddy Kruger. I felt like a wild animal trying to find objects to scratch myself on. Walking, wearing underwear,  going to the toilet and having sex began to get very painful, so after 4 months of suffering, I had it removed. 

My nurse suggested the implant, but I told her it’d make me crazy again. After much deliberation and insisting I know my body can’t deal with the combined pill, she suggested progesterone only. I reluctantly walked away with a 3 month supply and told my bf if you notice ANY differences in me, please, just say. 

One month later and I noticed I was a little bit more teary than usual. I’m emotional as fuck anyway, but I’d be crying at literally anything. On a positive note, I did notice that my thrush had all but disappeared (Bastard coil, I knew that was you!) 

Two months in and I noticed a lot more. I have no idea what my periods are doing. I pretty much ‘spot’ every day, which is annoying.  I’m anxious, moody, very down, emotional, exhausted. I have no desire to leave the house or participate in anything other than being at home. Oh, and my sex drive has completely fucked off. I don’t even want to have sex with myself and that’s saying something! Up until a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t even want to be touched. Now, I don’t know if anyone else has had these specific side effects, but what’s the point? If I’m taking the pill to stop pregnancy and it impacts this greatly on my sex drive, it’s ultimately useless. 

I’ve just started month 3, my final pack and I think that’s the end of my Cerelle relationship. All the sides effects are still there and I’m certain this is heading towards depression. In 3 short months I’ve completely forgotten how to feel or be my normal self. I love my boyfriend and myself far too much to let this pill impact my mental and physical health like this. 

It still puzzles me that women have to put up with this shit. How hard can it really be to make contraception with less or no side effects?!