As a society we are pretty hard on ourselves when we make bad life choices, so before we start this blog I would like for you to pat yourselves on the back for every time you made a good life choice. High fives for every dental dam and condom you made use of. Hip hip hooray for asking sexual history, three cheers for abstaining when you weren’t properly equipped. Now that we all feel really proud of our good life choices…when was the last time you were tested for HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis, Chlamydia, gonorrhea. Syphilis, HPV, etc? See, not getting this done is one of those not so good life choices.
Blood work, swabs and pee tests are general housekeeping duties. If you invite people over to your house for a party do you not tidy up first? Make sure the place is clean and presentable? Maybe fix the front step if it’s broken? Well you’re inviting people over and it is your duty as the owner of that body to ensure that your guests leave thinking about the fun you had…not gonorrhea. Don’t get me wrong…it is everyone’s own responsibility to ensure they protect their own bodies, but part of that is after care in testing.
How easy is it to get your tests done? Pee, swabs, stabby. Fun? Not so much. Simple? Very.
Next time you have to go to the doctor just ask for the full run while you are there. Some of the tests can be done in office, some need to be done in the lab. Most docs are using a pee test these days for everything they would have once swabbed for – Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and so on. Blood tests for HIV, Hep, and what have you. This means your doc can hand you a pee cup and the requested blood work slip and send you on your way to handle the tests on a day that works for you. Let’s see if this sounds simple enough…
Tomorrow morning I will go get tests done, this means I get to sleep in. Sweet. Wake up, I have to pee. Ok I have to pee in a cup. I have to pee midstream into a cup. This feels oddly complicated at 8am, but really peeing in a cup is not the most stressful thing to do. Now put my pee in my purse, you can use your coat pocket (make sure the lid is on tight!) and take off to the lab. Now I’m at the lab I take a number, they call my number, I check in. I wait (bring a book this actually could take a little while). If you’re lucky like me you may be in a room with the cast of deliverance, unshowered, or you might get a hipper crowd. They call my name, I go in with the nurse and she stabs me with a needle for a second takes some blood and we discuss the bottle of pee in my purse. Turns out we need to redo the pee, I don’t have to pee. I drink some water, which the lovely nurse brings me. Wait. Pee. This time not mid stream PHEW. Now I’m doing the pee drop off walk just like everyone else. So of course I put my pee in my purse, walk back into the lab and drop it off and away I go!
The only hard part is waiting for the results. 2-4 weeks wondering, but I feel like 2-4 weeks wondering is better than having it in the back of my head every single day. Never knowing and always questioning. Arguments against the testing:
But I’m afraid of needles: you are a GROWN UP. This is important. Look away, get someone to distract you. Wo/Man Up.
I haven’t had unprotected sex: oh really? Have you had oral sex without a condom or a dental dam? Exactly, it counts. Also, condoms aren’t 100%. Get your tests.
It was only one time: do you know something we don’t about STI’s? Last time I checked they didn’t understand odds and percentages.
I don’t have time: you have time to eat, drink, shower, dress, socialize, work. You have time to get a health check. Also, if you want you can pay someone to come to your house or work and collect it and bring it to the lab for you.
No excuses. This is YOUR body. No one else is going to take care of it for you. And no one will want to be around it if you let it fall apart. Let’s all make some good life choices, I’ll give you a high 5!