An Unnamed Villain


It’s the end of November. The Autumn spectacle is coming to a close as most of the leaves in striking hues of gold, red, and brown have fallen to their annual, dark fate. People have pulled out their soft, heated blankets from storage by now and are more often choosing soup over salad. The first snow in New York City has recently made its’ entrance making the festivities of Fall feel like a thing of the distant past.

But there is one memory that still feels fresh in my mind from the last month and it is not of the fun variety. It’s my pelvic region.

For two straight weeks, in which I had not indulged in anything of the sexual nature, a sharp, constant lingering pain took over the lower half of my body starting at my lower back moving down. Plus: bloating, intense pressure, and a frequent need to urinate. To be honest, I’m not even convinced it has completely vanished, but rather that I’ve gained a higher level of tolerance for the feeling. Now that’s a villain.

The obvious response to an unbearable discomfort is to go see a doctor, but unfortunately this isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this excruciating metaphorical knife jabbing. While I have had a history of UTIs, this is not that. UTIs have been ruled out along with other typical causes of my symptoms, basically anything Web MD suggests. In the past, when the pain has gotten so fierce that I caved and decided to put into motion the age old practice of going to a health professional, I came out feeling worse. Worse off because afterwards, I not only had physical suffering to deal with, but then some monetary strife in addition. This vile consuming my body is not a “One that Shall Not be Named,” but instead a “One that Has Not Been Named” entity. This has been occuring to my body arbitrarily for about a year and the doctors I’ve seen have not been able to explain what is going on. Blood tests have been executed, ultrasounds run, cotton swab trials performed and a handful of vague questions have been asked, but in the end I always walk away just as clueless (just call me Cher Horowitz!) and with a large medical bill in my limp, disheartened hand. My basic New York health insurance, that I chose due to being “young [28-years-old] and healthy,” only helps so much financially and the unanswered questions I’m being charged for plague me.

What is causing this chronic pain? Do I have endometriosis? Pelvic Inflammatory Disease? A cyst? Is it all in my head or an emotional response? Well, I’d have thought these would have been addressed yet all I’ve been told is “You’re fine. No infections. No diseases.” There is nothing there, I’m “healthy.” But I’m in so.much.pain. And when the unpleasantness arrives, I don’t know how long its’ stay will be, only that it is unwelcome. So despite being someone that absolutely hates taking medicine unless I’m in dire need, here I am popping Ibuprofen like candy and drinking water like it’s my job, in hopes that there is some way I can flush out whatever unidentified, uninvited toxins are festering in my body and making themselves at home. As you can imagine, I’ve gained immense stress being told my body is in great condition when I am me and the only one feeling its’ true internal evils. It feels like my body is against me and no one believes me. If they do believe me, they are not informed on how best to help.

This situation is yet another example that something is awry with access to proper womens’ healthcare and improvement of it does not seem hopeful under the current U.S. administration. There needs to be more research of the female anatomy and women need better and easier access to assistance. I know I’m not the only woman out here searching for ways to relieve themselves of the complex irritations occurring in their most sensitive region. Our bodies have the ability to birth a whole human being, so it’s no wonder things can get weird down there, right? Personally, I just want to be able to go back to a time when chronic pain was not my biggest fear. Next Autumn, I want to be pulling my heated blanket out of the closet purely for warmth, not for physical comfort.

The craziest thing to me? My misery does not seem to be linked to any one thing. For a while I thought it was directly a cause of penetration which in turn made me terrified to participate in that, honestly I still am wary. The reason being that, I know there is a good chance if I do, I’ll be miserable for up to 2-3 weeks afterwards…in other words: NOT. WORTH. IT. But this most recent time? The villain showed up completely out of the blue in a period of abstinence from sex.

So with all this said, I am on a quest for answers. I’m seeking help from anyone who may have an inkling of what this bodily trauma could be. If there is a medical professional in the know or anyone who is currently/has in the past experienced similar symptoms, I am all ears. Despite all of the uncertainty, I am positive that one day soon I will find a permanent resolution for getting my body back to its true most happy and healthy state, not living in fear.

Written by Heidi

You may recognize her previous work, Actual and Escape in Silence