4:01 pm - 01/19/2015

My Life with One Fallopian Tube

Every morning as I get ready for work I am faced with past mistakes looking back at me through the bathroom mirror. The scars leftover on my body burn into my sides as I curl on my mascara. Never did I think I would be in the situation I am in now, in fact, I always thought I’d end up quite the opposite. By not protecting myself I ended up losing a piece of my identity almost indefinitely. I sometimes feel traces of the disease and him leftover like marks on my skin. The shame I feel is overwhelming. I'm angry, I know it's stupid.
After it was all said and done my doctor pulled me aside carefully to explain the importance of being safe. He advised me to protect myself against boys until I found one who I did not feel I needed to be protected from. I've always considered myself somewhat of a closed shell, harder to crack than most yet seemingly always open. It's open-ness that can ruin a person. These past few months as I’ve been going through the motions my doctor's advise keeps ringing through my head. I often question what it means to meet someone who you can organically open up to, not being afraid to break from the pressure. I am in a situation much like many others, yet feel alone and lost when it comes to searching for comfort. Nothing is more frustrating than reaching out for a lifeline only to receive judgment and confusion from the other end. There is little less embarrassing than inappropriate outbursts of self pity. I am not writing because I am sad, I'm writing to prevent what happened to me from happening to anyone who reads.
A year ago I contracted Chlamydia from a summer fling, a fling which I mistook for something real. I trusted him, he made me feel safe and secure, so naturally I did not think to argue when he suggested we skip the protection. I thought I was so lucky to be with him and I wanted nothing more than to stand out among all of his past sexual partners. Plus, condoms just weren’t sexy no matter what flavor. I still remember the first time, our bodies stuck to the sheets in the summer heat on my third floor apartment. The old dusty smell still lingers in my nose. I should have known what I was giving up. For a few months everything was fine besides the expected day-of-period pregnancy scare. Then, it began with a simple pain to my side while I was out for a run. After a few days the pain still lingered as my fever grew. I was admitted into the hospital and told that I probably had appendicitis.
In a twist of fate my summer fling decided to end things while I was there, however I give him credit for sending me flowers leaving aside the fact that the last thing he complained to me about was how much money he had spent on them. After days of tests they released me, only having found a few less than harmful ovarian cysts which birth control was prescribed for. I bled for four months. The bleeding was so severe I actually had to go back to the hospital for loss of blood. Nothing helped, and after changing birth control for the fourth time I was still bleeding and the cysts were more present then ever. My doctor decided that it was time for a minor invasive surgery called laproscopy.
I remember waking up in the recovery room with my doctor looming overhead. This is when he told me I only had one fallopian tube left with the other severely damaged. It wasn’t until after a few weeks of an excruciating healing process that I went back for my followup. That's when I learned having children naturally, probably is not in the cards for me due to my own careless decision. My summer fling had given me chlamydia, the decease which tore through my reproductive organs like a razor leaving scars and blocks in all of the wrong places. My fallopian tubes and ovaries were stuck up against my pelvic walls, the tubes filled like cement with scars.
This past year has been the most difficult of my life and I have to admit I’ve had dark moments where I questioned what the point of it all is. It had always been my dream to have children, but now at the age of 23 I realize these are children I will probably never meet outside of my own imagination. I am filled with anger and shame. But with all of this, after a year I am slowly starting to see past these surface feelings into those of hopefulness and compassion. I have forgiven my summer fling, even though he has no idea what he did to me. But more importantly, after a great deal of understanding, I have finally forgiven myself.
bicrim 19th-Jan-2015 11:07 pm (UTC)
there are many good procedures that will enable you to have children, even if the remaining tube is too blocked for you to conceive naturally. IVF will work for you just fine. I'm so sorry that you had this experience, and glad you are feeling better emotionally.
salgueirinho 19th-Jan-2015 11:11 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry you've been through that.

I had chlamydia too, and thank god it didn't do anything like that to me, but I won't know whether or not it affected my fertility until I try to have kids.

I think all too many of us know what it's like...the one person you think you can trust, so you skip protection against your better judgment...something so many people do and get away with...so it seems even more unfair when you're the unlucky one.

This is something I needed to read tonight...I have been thinking about my summer fling...and what he did to me...and even though tests have been negative multiple times (or I have been treated for what was positive)...sometimes I start wondering if something slipped through the cracks, and my mind goes to dark places.

I'm glad you're doing better...

Edited at 2015-01-19 11:14 pm (UTC)
viproofingqld 20th-Jan-2015 04:16 am (UTC)
Thanks
617529309 20th-Jan-2015 10:37 pm (UTC)
This resounded with me immensely. I've had two bouts with chlamydia (although not to the severe extent as yours) so I can understand the hopelessness and angry feelings. If you ever want to talk, I'd be more than happy to listen.
scientivity 21st-Jan-2015 03:23 am (UTC)
Hi erinmcardle90,

We ask that you add content warnings for your post, briefly stating that it contains sensitive topics like STIs and stigma, traumatizing medical ordeals, and mental health. This will enable VP's members who may have had similarly triggering experiences to make informed decisions about whether to read the post.

Additionally, while we appreciate that these events were traumatic for you, we want to emphasize that contracting Chlamydia (or any STI) is not always traumatic nor does it always involve a cascade of medical concerns or interventions. We fear that these generalizations may cause undue stress or fear for folks who face these diagnosis, and want to be clear that your related experience may not be generalizable.

-- for the VP Team
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