This is a fantastic topic and one that needs to be addressed more often, IMO.
I've been reading a lot lately about women who have practically given up on having sex with their husbands because of chronic pain. It occurs to me that because of health issues, perhaps women don't believe they can still be 'normal' when it comes to the physcial aspects of their lives. Perhaps they feel guilty in a round a bout way and feel that since they are taking such strong medicine to combat pain, they shouldn't be allowed to push things in the physical areas of their lives. But I believe there is a middle ground.
There are times when my pain is at a level where I cannot participate in sexual intercourse with my husband.
It took me a while to find my way through all of this because when I would experience a flare, I would stay in that mindset for a long time even when the pain had let up, which not only affected me and my husband's intimacy level and relationship but I danced with depression many, many times. It's so easy to slide down the darkened tunnel.
I've had more diagnosis' tacked on since but NOW I handle things much, much differently.
If I cannot engage in sexual intercourse, I 'play' with my husband and we do different things that keep our intimacy alive.
I work hard to get better and when my inner light comes back on, I pounce on it with everything I am. I've become a 'lifer' due to a fine example and it has changed my attitude and ideas about being a person who lives with a difficult health situation.
It's just sex, after all, and should be approached with creativity, a light heart and, at times, a sense of humor.
I'll say this...orgasms give me a moment of pure bliss and for that moment I am not someone in pain or someone who has a heart condition or someone who has esophagus/stomach problems or back problems or RA. In that moment, I am a woman who is FREE of this human condition and everything...for a moment...is wonderful.
It's so weird. Two people...both have the same chronic pain problems. One takes her ms contin cocktail and gets ready for a morning jog...the other closes her blinds and hides away from the world. I was the latter for much too long. Not anymore.
Life is a choice no matter what cards we are dealt.
There may come a time when I am bedridden and in pain 24/7 but until that time, I choose this glorious, crazy, beautiful, messy thing called LIFE.
thank you for being brave and being the one that posted this first. At the young age of 29 I have many health ailments and have been battling chronic pain for a very long time. Recently the doctors altered my pain meds again and for the first time in years my husband and I were able to have sex and it was a freeing experience.
I admit the feelings of inadequency are still thier I am 29 and sick and he could be with any women in the world but he chooses to be with me a disabled women And we are so happy on our road to recovery. He NEVER pushed ,me to try things he just held me and caressed me telling me things would be better and finally after 6 really long hospital and death defying years we are still here and together and every day I am choosing to get up and get out of bed get in my wheelchair and get a litlte fresh air before the snow comes and I am working on ways to better myself so that one day I can go out and work for the community again as a volunteer and help people again because thats what always brought me happiness in the past.
I'm saying this because I dont want women or men to Hide like I have been ashamed of themselves for hiding. I want them to say YES I;m human I feel alone but Hey I'm out their..and I'm going through this too and If this post helps one person then My life is better for it.
So if anyone wants to talk or someone to listen I'll listen or cry with you because its no sense in us feeling like were alone in a world that is so big
Thank you Giggy for helping me to see that today you truly made my life better!!
((this message typeed through lots of tears so if their is mistakes plese forgive them))
I just say that I have to agree - I am 27 years old (25 at time of diagnosis) and none of my health care providers were much help at giving any kind of useful advice about chronic pain and sexuality and intimacy...
It can be a challenge to keep that intimacy with your spouse, and there can be pain and frustration involved - but it is forever worth it! If anything, my partner Alan and my sex life is better than it ever was before, as we now communicate better about what we enjoy etc to do with our lovemaking than ever before... Once my baby is born and things settle down I would love to put together a resource about 'chronic pain and intimacy', because there is such a stigma and assumption from society - and even the medical community - that because you are challenged with daily chronic pain, sex and intimacy fly out the window! We need to get the word out, lol.
Thank you for posting this - it is very true as well as relevant!