Journal Entry #86
*Warning – if talking about vaginas makes you uncomfortable, perhaps you should skip this blog post.*
Intimacy has been a challenge for us over the last year. I have discovered that bugs feasting on my flesh is not an aphrodisiac for either myself or Tim.
Believe it or not, It is actually HUGE turn-off.
You know what else is a huge turn-off?
And another turn-off?
And another turn-off?
I will admit that between Leishmaniasis and Tim being ill last summer, we experienced about a 6 month dry spell. I was pre-occupied with health issues, but it was total torture for Tim, I am sure. The first time we were intimate after my lady bits healed up, was like the first time for both of us all over again.
We kept asking each other “Are you okay?” and responding “I’m okay. Are you okay?” Neither of us lasted all that long and we both giggled at our awkwardness and our lack of fitness.
And then we high-fived each other.
If I am really honest, we still haven’t returned to our before Leishmaniasis level of intimacy.
I am working with Dr. Brown and Dr. Katrina to figure out what is happening with my body. I am either still suffering the effects of chemotherapy, or the chemotherapy has triggered early menopause in my body. The effects of both are basically the same: brain fog, forgetfulness, attention deficit, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings (mostly crying), decreased sex drive, insomnia, chills, weight gain and breast tenderness. When I get home from Bequia I will go off of the Visanne (progesterone therapy) for 30 days and then undergo more bloodwork and diagnostics to determine my current hormone levels. So, this area of my life is a work in progress.
Intimacy in a relationship is so important. Tim isn’t one for PDA, so our quality time together is private and always safely behind closed doors. Our intimacy over the last year has gone from neglected to modified to rediscovery. Although my vagina has seen some action over the last few months, it’s been pretty tame and few and far between. Which is why we both had high hopes that a vacation would help bring us closer together, that we would have uninterrupted quality time, that we would be able to connect with out the day-to-day exhaustion, that we could make up for lost time.
In packing for the trip, I made sure to include lubrication AND with a little anticipation, I packed the ben wa balls – just in case? I never used to think about packing for sex, but with my body being unpredictable these days, I decided to be prepared and packed Zincofax, Anusol and Canesten too.
The old girl has been getting quite a work out here in Bequia. It isn’t like wild monkey sex, but it is more frequent and we are out of shape. I had to have a recovery day the day before yesterday, to let my vagina rest.
But last night I was bold.
I decided that I would insert the ben wa balls for a little extra fun. I popped them in and then dressed for our dinner reservation thinking that I would be all “primed” and ready for dessert! Before Leishmaniasis, I would randomly do this and it definitely builds the anticipation (Thank you Fifty Shades of Grey). It was kind of a fun little secret, that only I knew about and it made me giggle. Before we left for dinner we sat around the table on the pool deck with Cam and Alicia having a glass of wine, watching the sun sink low in the sky and enjoying the breeze. It was very relaxing and so nice to not be in a rush to be anywhere. Conversation well underway, balls completely forgotten about, Cam told a joke. I don’t recall what it was now, but it was a really funny joke.
And you won’t believe what happened!
I laughed so hard that one of the balls SHOT out of my vagina! It did not fall out, it SHOT out so hard it “clanked” on the metal chair. I quickly squeezed my legs together to catch the ball! Thank goodness I at least had on a pair of underwear to catch the sucker! My jaw dropped and I stopped laughing to concentrate on the ruckus in my undies. Alicia looked at me and blurted out “OMG! Was that one of your balls?!”
They all heard it.
I had to do a cross legged shimmy all the way to the bathroom, hoping that the sucker didn’t drop to the floor. We were all laughing hysterically!
I aborted the mission. I didn’t re-insert it. Perhaps I was being a bit over-zealous!
I am super thankful that it happened on our patio and not at the restaurant though!
That would have been a different kind of embarrassing. Mostly because I could have been arrested.
You see, we learned our first night in Bequia in a random conversation with locals about how this Island is extremely Christian. Locals don’t cuss, most don’t drink, some don’t eat pork or shellfish and the entire Island shuts down on Sunday to observe the Sabbath and to be with family. Churches here are plentiful for the less than 5000 people who live here, so it appears that everyone must attend. The Rastafarian religion is also very prevalent although there are no churches here for them –I noticed some gathering at the beach last Sunday, so I wonder if they meet locally? Anyway, as our conversation progressed we were told that there is no pornography, sex shops, stripper bars allowed on the Island. And certainly NO sales or possession of sex toys are allowed.
I have brought contraband to this Island!
I am a criminal.
Can you imagine, if I had to call home to have money wired down for bail because I was arrested for not only possessing a sex toy, but also for using it in public??? What would I say? “Hey, Mom, so I was arrested for shooting a ben wa ball out my vagina in public and I need you to send me bail money…pretty please?
I. Can’t. Even.
This trip has been more than a vacation. I know before we left I was worried that we couldn’t afford it and I was also worried about what people would think. But I’ve realized this week that I actually couldn’t afford to NOT go away. I was stressed and wound tightly, I was letting fear run me, and I was really in my head. Our marriage has been so focused on health that we forgot about the other important intimacies and qualities that keep relationships strong. Being intimate isn’t just about having sex. It is about feeling close to one another, holding hands, listening to one another, spooning, touching, being together uninterrupted, being silly, having fun and making memories.
We have been lacking all of those things.
This vacation has been therapy for me. All week I have been talking myself INTO things and talking myself OUT of things. I have been negotiating my thoughts and feelings all day and all night for the last week. I have been running towards fears, breaking down barriers and re-learning to let go and have fun. It has been a week of getting to know my husband again. I have laughed more than cried this week. I re-learned the taste of a mojito (one forgets when they haven’t had one in a year). This has been more than a vacation. It has been HEALING. It has been THERAPY. It has been the best investment that we have made in our marriage in years – more so than any other trip we have been on.
It has been worth every penny.
And my vagina is happy too.