I had a tubo-ovarian abscess. A big ball of pus dominated my right tube and my life for weeks.
It started as an unexplained blinding cramp pain in the lower abdomen. A visit to the radiology department revealed: nothing.
The pain evolved, taking over the whole abdomen. More tests, more pain. A visit to the gynecology department revealed: a huge infection. Oral antibiotics whose name I cannot pronounce followed by nausea, followed by weakness.
Four more days in pain. Passing out at Trader Joe’s while looking for coffee revealed that oral antibiotics were not enough. Hospital.
Four days on a hospital bed revealed: healthcare is a human right, chocolate goo is superior to vanilla goo, my husband is the best husband and doctors are mostly not equipped to have sensitive conversations.
Tests did not reveal: the exact origin of the abscess. Usually an abscess there comes from an STD. It is rarer to be any other reason. Doctors speculated: “maybe your husband cheated”, “maybe it was an STD”. Maybe they should not speculate. Maybe they should STFU.
The tests did not indicate any D, or an ST. My abscess remains a mystery, but my nakedness in front of those doctors’ speculations about my relationship, my life, my body remains bare. I feel it still, even though the ball of pus is gone.
Writer & Editor | Sociologist & Media Studies MA | Communications Strategist