I can't really think of a better way to mark my 14 year anniversary with chronic pain than to present this wonderful (loooong) chat with my diagnosing physiotherapist, Anne-Florence Plante. I will clarify firstly that Anne-Florence's official title is not Soula's physiotherapist but rather her qualification is Senior Clinician Physiotherapist. Not only did Anne-Florence Plante diagnose me but this awe-inspiring human is the reason pudendalnerve.com.au exists. We have stayed in touch on and off over the years which has been wonderful and now, given my move to video advocacy it was only fitting that my first two chats were with Theo and Anne-Florence. Since 2011 when I first published this website, many of you have written to me to ask about the physiotherapy Anne-Florence Plante provided that not only led me out of a 4.5-year search for an explanation to the pain I was experiencing but that ended up guiding my future treatment and pain management. I'm so happy to be able to share this informative conversation. What we talk about in this chat (with lots of other detail in between): 1:05 Diagnosis 1:36 Pudendal Neuralgia 4:50 Appointment approach today 16:00 Anne-Florence's Formal training 20:05 Isolating pelvic pain 23:40 Educating people & practitioners 27:30 Navigating the journey 30:34 An explanation 36:20 Do I still have Pudendal Neuralgia 37:12 Management 43:00 Et Voila! 44:26 PainTrain – My Health Summary
Hallelujah! Pardon my pun here, especially as I'm preaching sexuality on a Sunday morning but finally, here is some thorough research and attention for the clitoris. Thank you Louise Smith for sending this link to me.. I think it's essential info for everyone, not just women with PN. Thank you melodiousmsm for writing this and thank you to artist and sex educator, Betty Dodson for the fabulous artwork.
It's been a while since I posted a personal update but it's probably accurate to say that PN's weather patterns need to be documented seasonally. I mostly have turbulence, like it's sunny one day/stormy the next, or otherwise described as I take two steps forward and about 1.9 steps back. It's incredibly frustrating. So rather than report all the fluctuating details in between, it's best to leave some months go by to really figure out the progress. So now, the months have gone by and I can deliver to you, Soula's PN weather update for September 21, 2013.
I've lived here in Delaware since December 2011 and have not had a block since. I already had 6 Pudendal Nerve blocks and this after so many other procedures: 5 Ganglion Blocks, 6 Caudal Blocks, 2 Botox injections, 2 Radio Frequency Ablations, 2 Neurostimulator Trials, an Interstim Impant, and then the 6 Pudendal Nerve blocks. Endless research and finally putting the right two words together on Google, opened up the world of Pudendal Neuralgia (Neuropathy) to us. That was near the end of December 2010. On the day after New Years and in response to two letters I sent to two Dr's names I had found, I got calls from both Dr’s the same day.
Before I get into PN versus PNE, I want to first give you a brief explanation of the physiology of the pudendal nerve and the diagnosis of PN. The pudendal nerve is a large nerve that arises from the S2, S3, and S4 nerve roots in the sacrum, and divides into three branches—the inferior rectal nerve, the perineal branch, and the dorsal clitoral/penile branch. The nerve travels a tortuous course through the pelvis to innervate: • the majority of the pelvic floor muscles, • the perineum, • the perianal area, • the distal third of the urethra • part of the anal canal • the skin of the vulva, the clitoris, portions of the labia in women, • and the penis and scrotum in men. The pudendal nerve travels a torturous course through the pelvis. Patients with PN can have tingling, stabbing, and/or shooting pain anywhere in the territory of the nerve. Symptoms include vulvar or penile pain, perineal pain, anal pain, clitoral pain, and pain at the ischial tuberosities as well as pain with bowel movements, urination, and orgasm.
Finally some accurate coverage and attention. WorkSafe, I hope you were listening, ignore Chronic Pelvic Pain no more! Honestly, I cried listening to this on Wednesday. Nothing like empathy and understanding after [...]
I've been contacted by a few males who feel their symptoms are similar to the ones I share on my website. There is help, for males with pudendal neuralgia in Australia:
(Excerpt from the Daily Mail's newspaper) Feminist Naomi Wolf finds enjoyment in sex again after her nerve 'wiring' is repaired by surgeon • Author felt something different was happening after sex • 'I felt I was losing somehow, what made me a woman' • Doctor found she had been born with mild spina bifida
ABC 1 Catalyst: The Trouble with Sex Yay for some recognition and acknowledgment!! Injury to this nerve can happen during childbirth or with lower back injury, or strenuous exercise. Australian based expert on the pudendal nerve is gynaecologist, Dr Thierry Vancaillie. Dr Thierry Vancaillie When they come to see us, they will talk about bowel dysfunction and bladder dysfunction. Maybe talk about pain within the course, but arousal problems, well, they'll leave that for last, if they'll talk about it.