I am going to blow my own horn here. I did good.
First, some background. I had sex for the first time with a new lover recently and my vulva was really not happy afterward, directly related to my injuries. First off, my lover did not respond well to being told I had scars/injuries on my vulva (she ignored the comment. really?) and then was much rougher with me than my sensitive peach can handle. Yes, I probably shouldn’t have continued having sex with her, but you know, sometimes you make a call at the time. I changed the activity, but by then the damage was done. Now I know. Next time I’ll be more firm about what can and cannot happen up front.
The flesh tag at the mouth of my vagina got rubbed raw and my poor peach hurt for days. It was what most women would consider ordinary sexual activities, none of which would have been unusually rough treatment for an uninjured vagina/vulva.
So I put my foot down, and decided by golly I was going to find a doctor and get this sorted. I tried at first to find a family doctor with some street cred about sexual assault. This was a disaster, as the doctor I found at first was, and then was not accepting patients. The sexual assault centre didn’t have anyone to recommend, and I ended the day in tears.
I waited a week or two to cool down and then a couple of days ago I decided to just go into the walk-in clinic and ask for a referral to a specialist there. Here’s what I did right:
- I asked my wife to come with me. She made me eat first so I wouldn’t be low blood sugar, kept me company in the waiting room, and also wrote down what the doctor said.
- I asked for support. I messaged four of my friends who know about the injuries and told them what I was doing and asked for energetic support. I said I wanted to avoid crying and find an effective referral. They sent me supportive messages back that I read in the waiting room.
- I dressed up. I wore business-casual clothing, did my hair, applied light makeup. Office armor.
- I introduced myself and my wife to the doctor with our first names, to make us real people.
- I brought a printout of a photo I’d taken of my vulva that clearly shows the scars. This turned out to be a brilliant idea, as I could show the doctor the scars without having to undress.
- Some good phrases I used: “I’m looking for a referral to a specialist to address some injuries from a sexual assault.” “I didn’t receive medical attention, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t need medical attention.” “It healed badly and affects my sex life now.” “I have a picture of the injury.”
- I pulled out my printout of the photo my wife took for me. (If you take a photo of your own injury I recommend using a flash, as it shows the scars more clearly) and pointed out the two long lines of scars. Having the photo also allowed me to point out where the flesh tag is and where the vascular damage is.
The doctor said he would try and track down a suitable specialist for me and gave me a timeline for how long he thought it would take. A couple of weeks for him to find someone suitable (he gave me some internet search terms to look under if I wanted to try and find someone myself) and then 3-9 months to get in. He consulted with me about whether I should see an Ob/Gyn (who might have experience with similar injuries from birthing tears) or a reconstructive gynecologist. All in all he was very nice and I was happy about what happened. He said that removing the flesh tag would be straightforward but that there might be scarring which might be problematic. I told him I just wanted to see what I was dealing with and what could be done, surgically and non-surgically, to mitigate it. (I probably used the word mitigate. I’m like that.) Yay.