I was laid off from work this spring.
It's not nearly as bad as it could have been. I had ample notice and my husband and I have always tried to budget ourselves so that we could get by on one income. But it does mean that I lost the health care insurance my family and I had previously received through my employer. For the last several months we've been covered via an "Obamacare" plan. I've been extremely grateful to be able to afford coverage. I don't have to worry about losing my house and declaring bankruptcy if a major illness comes my way. Yes, Mr. Congressman, Obamacare has been a blessing for me this year.
Nevertheless, this sequence of events does have some negative impact on my poor suffering vagina, mostly because I now have a deductible so high that it would only be met by giving birth or having major surgery. Routine visits to the vulvovaginal specialist are now a bit of a strain on the wallet.
I did, however, have an appointment in early spring, just after joining the Obamacare plan. I saw a new doctor, actually, the... let's see... I dunno, too many to count. I think maybe she was the 6th or 7th person I've seen since diagnosis? Dr. Competent, who I had seen over the winter, recommended her because she is 2 hours closer to my home.
I call the new close to home doctor Dr. Got it Together. She's Got it Together because she's my age, an amazing vulvovaginal specialist, skinny and well dressed, and a working mother to boot. Newly laid off, sitting in her office in a crumpled sweatshirt and still sporting my 10 extra "baby weight" pounds, I felt more than a little like a lump, but we can talk about how being laid off erodes every last shred of your confidence some other time. Anyway... I had no parabasal cells, normal ph, but still a few white blood cells. She suggested that I switch to just plain estradiol (instead of hydrocortisone and estradiol) since the body can build up a resistance to hydrocortisone over time.
She also suggested -- like everyone else -- more physical therapy, but the amazing thing was that she new of someone who had opened up an hour away from me (much closer than the previous place I had been to which was 2 hours away). I was just on the verge of maybe possibly perhaps considering (I mean for real this time) finally doing physical therapy again when -- the bill came for the appointment with Dr. Got it Together. $400. I looked up the deductible amount for my new Obamacare plan and then I quickly concluded, no physical therapy.
Now, there are still dilators collecting dust in my dresser drawer. I could use those, but... that's another post for another day.
I have DIV, vulvodynia, and vaginismus. When I have low moments, I often wish for some kind of community of support. For that reason, I have created this blog. I have some posts here about my own experiences, but what I'm really hoping to do is post stories from other women (from YOU!); your story of your diagnosis, your treatment, and your life with DIV (and/or vulvodynia, vaginismus, lichen planus, etc.). If you would like to share your story, please hop on over to my contact form on the home page and send me a note.