Then I went to visit my friend again. In her dorm. I used the restroom and omg! I could feel that pain coming back. I mentioned this when I went back into her dorm room and our other friend (who had come with me); saying I thought her bathroom was somehow giving me a yeast infection or some other nasty thing. Friend #3 took me aside and told me she was having the same problem every time we came for a college visit.
It was the recycled toilet paper!
While living through the pain of the second bout, I went to the doctor who first suggested I might have an STD and wanted to test me for everything. I reminded him that I’m not having sex so he gave up on that route. I suggested it might be the recycled toilet paper, which he dismissed out of hand and diagnosed me with a case of vulvodynia. This is a condition causing vulvar pain that can last for months, or even year. He wanted to put me on an antidepressant to fix it?!?! I said no thank you and went home to Google my pain. My research indicated vulvodynia can be treated with interferon, biofeedback (to teach a woman to relax), surgery, or laser surgery. I could quickly see where the medical profession was planning to take me. OMG!
It was the toilet paper for sure (yes, I stupidly and scientifically tried it a third time). I didn’t need to be frightened by suggestions of STDs or even handed a prescription. But it left me wondering – how many girls are heading to college, using the toilet paper, heading to the doctor to be misdiagnosed, and spending the next few years in needless pain?
The take aways from this tale?
- If you’re going to college and having similar pain – quit using that recycled toilet paper they put in your dorm.
- Doctors don’t always know what is happening to your body as well as you do.
- Oh, and also, not everything is an STD if you happen to be sexually active.