Dear Doctor: No Means No

"I have a new sebaceous cyst on my neck, so I can't get any injections in my neck today," I said, hopping up on the examining table. These nerve block injections had become routine; I had been getting between eight and ten of them in my neck and shoulders every week for over a year.

"What does a sebaceous cyst have to do with injections?" asked Dr. S.

I assumed he hadn't heard the part about the cyst being on my neck, or maybe he figured the cyst affected my chest or pelvic area, like many PCOS-induced symptoms do. So I repeated myself. "It's on my neck, so I can't have injections in my neck. Just my back today".

Dr. S. walked to the back of the table, brandishing a needle. I braced for pain in my upper back, but it didn't come.

"That's my neck!" I squeaked, tears in my eyes. Neck injections always sting, but the shock is what really startled me.

"That didn't hurt so bad, did it?" he laughed.

I gripped my cane and gritted my teeth, waiting for him to finish. 4 injections in my neck, now aching worse that it already had been. Some shots in my shoulders. 

I wordlessly got up from the table and left the clinic. Then the tears came.

This is the second time this doctor has given me injections in an area I did not consent to. This is the second doctor who has performed a procedure without my consent. 

All three times have given me flashbacks of being raped.

When I was raped, my ex did not accept no for an answer. He did what he wanted, for as long as he wanted, and laughed when it was over. The only way these nonconsensual medical experiences differ is they weren't in a bedroom, but a doctor's office. 

I've said this before on this blog and I'll say it again: I won't be the last survivor of rape who's triggered by an idiotic man taking "no" as an invitation. And I sure as hell won't be the last person to speak up for patients' rights, either.
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