Bravery and Vulnerability

I’ve been reading Brene Brown’s recent book “Daring Greatly“. Most of the information is stuff I already know, but it’s good to review and there were some new bits. I recommend it for anyone wanting to learn about vulnerability and how to manage shame. She also has a number of TED videos which are excellent.

About a month ago, I went to the STI clinic to get tested. As a lesbian with not a lot of sexual partners, I’m very low risk, but I wanted to be able to truthfully say to any new partners that I’d been tested and was negative for everything, which I am.

The nurse was curious about why I’d come to this particular clinic rather than my doctor, and I said I felt more comfortable with a drop in clinic and that I’d heard this clinic was good with sexual assault survivors (which I had). We talked a bit about how doctors often got weird when the topic of my vaginal injuries was brought up, and how I have some ongoing conditions as a result I need help with but have been unable to get help for. She was sympathetic and gave me the number of a medical practice with two women doctors in it who were on the sexual assault team, and thus unlikely to be freaked out by sexual assault stuff.

So I finally got up the nerve to call the number this morning, and, as Brene Brown would say, dared greatly by winning while being vulnerable.

The reception nurse answered and then when I asked if the two doctors were accepting new patients she said no they weren’t. Then she asked me who I was friends with, and I said I was calling for myself. I eventually figured out she was asking who had referred me and I told her that the nurse at the STI clinic had and that I was a sexual assault survivor and she said these doctors would be suitable.

The nurse said “good for you” when I told her I was a sexual assault survivor, which I took to mean she was approving of me disclosing and asking for help. She said that one of the doctors could see me and gave me a date to call back and make an appointment, and to say I’d been told I could.

I’m in.

I’m really tired of having a constantly itchy vulva that is sometimes quite sore. I have tried all the self care, done everything they say prevents it, and still it persists. I have holes in my underwear in the place that itches most, from unconsciously scratching. I want to talk to someone about my scars, the vascular damage and the tag of flesh and whether I should remove it. I want to know whether the itching is from the blood flow issue or something that can be cured with antibiotics or antifungals.

I’ve had this itching and pain, chronically, for at least 20 years.

I have some hope now I can get it resolved.

0 thoughts on “Bravery and Vulnerability”

  1. Good on you for persisting and I hope you can get some good treatment cos while the itch etc continues your memories are triggered and pants wrecked. We don’t forget but need to be able to move on a bit. Thanx Janey

  2. Aint that the truth. The memories don’t really get triggered though. I’ve had this itch so consistently throughout my life it isn’t really associated somehow with the injury that probably caused it. However, trying to get treatment for it and risking being patted on the head and sent away does trigger me quite a bit, so I’ll be glad when it’s over.

  3. So nice to read you again. I hope this leads to a cure. It’s strange that when we need help sometimes we are totally unable to find it despite making much effort and sometimes it just appears suddenly and everything becomes easier all of a sudden. Life is so random. So full of bad events, and then sometimes, a nice event that seems unreal in comparison with the suffering we’ve had to go through. But that’s how it is, I guess – one never knows what can come next. Heal well, my thoughts are with you,
    B.

  4. Good for you. I recently switched doctors and am seeing a specialist as well to address some health issues. This is really hard stuff, so I say to you again, good for you.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

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