STOP NONCONSENSUAL PELVIC EXAMS UNDER ANESTHESIA: What Happened to Me Two Years Ago That Never Should Have Happened

STOP NONCONSENSUAL PELVIC EXAMS UNDER ANESTHESIA:  What Happened to Me Two Years Ago That Never Should Have Happened

I believe I was given a nonconsensual pelvic exam during a routine appendectomy two years ago.  I woke up with lubricant in me, the amount only found after pelvic exam.  I immediately knew something had happened that I had not consented to.  I started asking questions, thinking that the medical staff would immediately provide an explanation and allay my fears.  Instead of an explanation, I was yelled at told I was ignorant, and an attempt was made to intimidate me into silence.  I was literally 3 hours post-op and I had my husband wheel me in a wheel chair to the ombudsman on duty.  I told her what had happened and she told me to go to patient advocacy.  Patient advocacy listened to my story (they were horrified) and told me to get a rape kit done, so my husband wheeled me to the ER, and I had a rape kit done, my incisions still fresh. The Victims advocate who held my hand during the rape kit told me to go to NCIS.  Two days post op, I was in NCIS, still hunched over my incisions, and giving my statement.  NCIS carried out a 20-month investigation, but ruled that “no criminal activity” had occurred.  After that finding, the hospital formally apologized for the way I was treated AFTER the surgery, but still NO explanation was given as to why I had so much lubricant in me.  And no, I believe it was not from a catheter.  I believe I was given a pelvic exam, or several pelvic exams without my consent.  There were many other red flags that I wrote in my statement to NCIS , things that seemed “off”, behavior that seemed “off”.  I’m making this public because I believe this happened to me, I did not consent, and NCIS came back with a “no criminal activity” ruling because it was not against the law for them to violate me while I was unconscious. 

A few days ago, a friend sent me an article stating that nonconsensual pelvic exams are not illegal, and are actually “commonplace”. This is the only reasonable explanation for what I experienced – and an explanation for why I was never given any answers, and even treated with distain after I started asking questions. Dealing with this for the last two years has nearly broken me, it’s ruined aspects of my life.  I would do anything to go back to my life before this happened.  All I wanted to know was what happened to me while I was under anesthesia.  No one, not once, gave me an explanation. No one gave me a list of procedures, no one gave me a list of people who were in the OR. No one gave me any assurance at all that I was not given a pelvic exam. No one gave me an explanation as to why I was unconscious for so long. Those were questions I laid out in my testament to NCIS. None of those questions were answered.

I’m making this public because I am sick of the secrecy.  I’m sick of trying to be “ok” when I’m clearly not.  THIS MUST STOP at every hospital, every level, every state and at federal military hospitals.  Shame on you.  If this can happen to me; a mother, and the wife of a high ranking military officer, I assure you, it can happen to you too.  STOP THIS NOW.  No woman should ever wake up from surgery, go to the bathroom, wipe a huge amount of lubricant away from her vaginal cavity and think “Omg what happened here?  Who was here?  Why were they here?”.  





-Shannon Vavich