First of all, the surgery WORKED!
I can now insert tampons/ fingers/ dilators into myself without experiencing the incredible excruciating pain I used to experience at the vestibular region. I do still tense up, because my brain expects the pain, but hopefully over time that will go away. I also do still have twinges of pain where the suture line is, but that's what dilator therapy will help with.
I now have to do dilator therapy for a minimum of three months (10 minutes every night). At first I was really hating it, but then I decided to experiment with doing it while in the bath. This was much more comfortable (I have to check with the doctor to see whether it is okay). More importantly, as I inserted the dilator in and out, I actually FELT PLEASURE. Like, I may have the beginning of an inkling about what this whole sex thing is all about, and what it's supposed to feel like. This is incredibly exciting.