In the fall of 1986, at the age of 26, I was diagnosed with my second bout of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. Subsequently, this seemingly small incident would later be the catalyst for my divorce. Just back from my honeymoon months before, this PID screamed with pain that progressed with each passing of week. Suddenly my whole life started to take a dramatic turn. I had suffered the ill effects of this beastly pain once before when I was younger, but this was nothing like the first time, this second bout was like King Kong enraged, the first like that of an out of control ape trashing my insides.
With the first case, my then gynecologist completed a procedure called a laparoscopy placing a camera through my belly button to see my insides. It was then that it was discovered that there was some scarring left from the damaging effects of internal swelling and infection. I was told to expect that I may very well be sterile or that it would be very difficult to conceive. I recovered with antibiotics and time, but I noticed my insides were tender more often. I was conscientious to this fact, but tried to pass it off as discomfort from monthly PMS.
Clearly, this time was a whole different matter. “My anguish seemed to languish”. From September to March my pain barely subsided. Antibiotic after antibiotic, nothing would tame the sharp shooting pains. Intercourse was impossible, Pap smears felt like rape, and the agony left me sobbing and debilitated. Test after test, Pap smear after Pap smear, they could not diagnose the cause. Finally, after seeking answers beyond a regular gynecologist and Planned Parenthood, I ended up at UCONN Health Center, where they diagnosed staphylococcus inside my uterus and fallopian tubes. The infection was antibiotic resistant and thus needed a more advanced treatment. Still I could scarcely handle any internal abdominal pressure let alone intercourse, without excruciating pain. Intimacy had to be maneuvered and changed to meet my body’s need to avoid pain. Climaxing hurt as the spasms further inflamed my insides. My then husband had limited patience. His desire superseded my pain in his eyes. This impasse set up what would be the foundational building block for my eventual separation and divorce.
With five months into the process, I had another laparoscopy showing I was finally beginning to heal. The remnant effect was that painful intercourse became more problematic. Any intense thrusts left me almost bedridden. For sometimes hours after intercourse I could do little, if anything. Dizziness and pain would leave me taking ibuprofen and resting, nausea and chills often accompanied. I felt angry at my then husband, angry at his insensitivity and I felt crippled with a pain that left me hollowed.
Amazingly, I did conceive a year later; I was so grateful at the thought of having a child and yet afraid of more pain. I had been through so much, the pain of delivery frightened me. As it was, delivery became a nightmare. From later doctor discussions it was believed that due to internal scarring my daughter maneuvered during childbirth and could not be born in regular position. Instead she was born posterior, causing a severe laceration and hemorrhaging. In the end losing nearly half my body’s total blood, I lay on death’s door, and at times feeling as if I’d be better off. It was truly the most traumatic experience of my life. The next day the doctor insisted I get blood transfusions or reduce my chance of recovery. In the fogged state of bodily shock, I concurred. It took months to heal, and yes, I left my ex a little over two years later. I know the best chance for healing PID is getting to it early before scarring occurs and getting the right antibiotics, this can lessen the long term affects on the body and the mind.