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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Question About Discharge (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Question About Discharge
Heather
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Btw, I'm here today, copper, if you want to talk more about the big stuff.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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copper86
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Hi Heather!

I really appreciate you checking up on me. I finally got through to my doctor's office. The receptionist told me that my doctor was too busy to see me; and I told her I wanted to get tested for infections, and she recommended me to the facility I had already researched. She also suggested that I see my other family doctor (these family doctors share patients or work together), but he's about a half hour's drive from here and I can't afford a cab drive that long. My friend might be able to take me to the hospital's free testing center next week, but I know he'll ask why he's taking me to a hospital. I'm not sure how much to tell him, as he doesn't think I need any care (but I do get that since he's driving me, I owe him more than an "I don't feel well" or something).

I'm trying not to lose my mind about this. I'm having trouble processing anything else. I'm assuming by "big stuff," you mean my partner, yes? I'd really like to have that conversation when I know what's up with me - for a while now, I have not been good with handling more than one major crisis at a time - but I know that's probably an unhealthy approach. I'm not in any way angry with you for what you've said - not at all - I'm just really trying to keep things together. I'm not eating or sleeping well, and my mom already thinks the way I'm acting is abnormal.

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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I mean the core stuff. While I think your health is important, and I'm glad you're looking into a full STI panel, I don't think just hopping from crisis to crisis or worry to worry is actually going to solve the problems here. I think to do that, you have to get to the cause of them, not just the symptoms, as it were.

I think in terms of your actual healthcare, that's something, per usual, you need to tend to with your healthcare provider who can evaluate that, and it sounds like you're en route to that.

But if you'd like to wait to talk more until you've had that care, of course. Just give a holler when you're there.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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copper86
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Thank you. The issue I have now is that my doctor is busy, and there is a new doctor coming into the practice in 2 weeks that I can see; but I'm not willing to wait a couple weeks. My friend is still seeing if he can take me; but I already have a plan if that falls through. The testing center sounds like a nice place.

I just have a general question for you: what do you usually tell people who are going in for testing for the first time? I've read the articles here more than once, and they gave me a good idea of what to expect (it seems so similar to a pap test); but I'm not sure of how to handle myself emotionally, both in waiting to get tested, going there, and waiting for my results. I know I could be fine - as there are a ton of other reasons for the cut and of course that's not the only test I want - but I'm also aware that I might not be. That is so hard to get a hold of. I know you can't tell me how to feel; but do you have any advice to give me while going through all of this?

Thank you again for all of your support and help. I truly don't know what I would do if I didn't have you or the other staff and volunteers here.

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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You know, this is a tough one for me because I basically a) grew up in a hospital b) had some medical issues and injuries that meant getting all kinds of WAY more invasive tests and procedures than STI tests are, and c) when I first started getting tested, it was MUCH more stressful than getting tested is now (way, way longer waits for results, much harder to find places to get tested, much more grilling about why one was getting tested, MUCH more stigma, less treatment and information if you DID have an STI, etc.)

So, honestly? I'm probably not the best person to ask if this feels super scary to you, because I kind of just don't get it. I walked into my sexual life in the 80s at the apex of HIV/AIDS, and testing was just something you did if you were smart and able, just like going to the dentist.

But if you want to tell me what your emotional issues with this actually are -- since I don't know, personally, but it's also not like everyone who has them has the same ones -- I might be able to help.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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copper86
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I'm sorry, I definitely do understand where you're coming from; and for sure, based on those contexts, I'm sure my fears don't carry much weight. I can't imagine how much harder it must have been to get that kind of help.

I think one underlying reason for this is my medical history. I've never gone for "general" yearly check-ups: I was only in the hospital for eye surgeries, which I've had at least three times. Those were very scary, and I'm still traumatized by those incidents. I've never liked hospitals or clinics, and what little experience I have had with them, I've only been to a handful of doctors, nurses, and physicians who were actually caring and supportive - others treated me like I was brainless, or basically scared me into thinking something was wrong with me.

I'm just so nervous about the fact that I could have herpes or something even worse like HPV. I know I shouldn't assume anything yet - especially because my doctor was firm on not panicking and that I could've caused these issues by myself - but I'm just so at a loss on what would happen if I were to get something like that. To be frank, I already think I'm not attractive or worth a lot for many reasons; and if I do have something big, I'm just thinking that I will not find anyone; not to mention the crap I'd go through if my family found out. Again, I know this is my fault - this is just how I feel. As you know, I'm paranoid about everything, so that doesn't help very much. [Smile]

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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Oh, no need to be sorry, just saying I don't even have any personal fears to draw on, really, so unless someone tells me what it is they're scared OF, or need help dealing with around this, I often can't even guess.

And I also don't compare someone else's situation to my personal lifer when working, so no need to worry about not being able to give your concerns weight because I may not have had them. (If that was the case, I should fire me! [Smile] )

By all means, people who aren't used to medical environments often feel anxiety about them and discomfort in them. After all, even just for starters, it's not like your average exam room is exactly a homey place!

So, for starters, I'd advise always letting healthcare providers know if you have anxiety being in those environments so they can do all they can to make them more comfortable for you: can you do that?

In terms of fears of having Herpes or HPV, both those infections, specifcially, are incredibly common, and loads of people have them and live with them: loads of people who usually just do fine, just like loads of people can live with diabetes well, even though that's a much more serious illness than HPV or Herpes tends to be.

Even in the case you have contracted an STI? Very few are ever death sentences, most are manageable, and most are even treatable.

It's also not anyone's "fault" that we can contract illness. That's just part of being human. For sure, we can do things to reduce those risks, and if we aren't doing them, we're more likely to become ill, but while that involves some extra responsibility, it still doesn't make communicable illness anyone's "fault," really.

I do think thinking some about potential outcomes or consequences of some of your choices is a good thing, not a bad one. Figuring out what choices really are right for us often involves that, so we really HAVE to think about those things. I strongly suspect some of the avoidance and secrecy that has been part of some of these choices hasn't been serving you in a lot of ways, so rather than trying to push those thoughts and fears out, my own advice would be to instead sit with them and work through them.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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copper86
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Thank you! I will definitely mention to the doctors that I'm nervous; and that I'd appreciate their patience and understanding if I'm emotional or need them to answer my questions. I have just never gone to the doctor like this unless I was sick or if it was suggested I do so, so this is terrifying. And, admittedly, going alone - though what I want - makes me nervous, too.

The specific center I'm going to has no appointments, it's walk-in, and I plan on going way before registration starts so I can get seen soon and so I can prepare myself. I've got my money in order for cabs and stuff, and I'm calling them soon just to make sure I don't need to bring anything with me (they say you don't even have to bring your health card); but once these plans are finalized, I know I'll be worried more.

I guess I do know that people can lead fine lives with HPV and herpes. I've also read that some people can shed the HPV virus over time and that with medication, herpes outbreaks can be less frequent. I'm just thinking that if I do have to get on antibiotics for even a treatable STI, like chlamydia, wouldn't those surely affect my birth control? I know I'd have to ask the doctors those questions. I also have to consider how to afford these medications. I'm just an off and on wreck right now, and even if I end up not having anything, I will probably be affected by this for a while.

I've been reading about herpes tests - how there are culture swabs, a prick-like test that gets results in five minutes, and a blood test - but surely the doctors there will have the right tests to perform and will know what to offer me. One other thing that I personally think makes these infections even worse are their names - they all sound so scary or strange.

I guess all I can do until Monday is try and take things one minute at a time. Instead of thinking, "something's wrong with me," or "nothing's wrong with me," I'm going to try and think, "I'm not sure if something is wrong with me;" and just leave it at that. Too much back and forth is making me sick.

Thank you for your support, Heather. Once this is over, I'd like us to talk about the other stuff.

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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In terms of the impact on your birth control if you need antibiotics for anything, all you'd need to do is simply use a condom backup for a week or two, something that I'd truly hope by now, especially given this infection scare, you know you need to start doing, period, in the first place.

Of course, opting out of sex entirely for a couple of weeks if you prefer that is also an easy option, and once more, if it's not easy with your partner, that is something you NEED to change. I mean, seriously, okay?

The names of STIs are generally the names of the virus, bacteria or parasite involved. So, yeah, they're going to have names like that. maybe figure that we can find just as many weird names in the vitamin aisle? [Smile]

Personally, I really suggest that until Monday your best mental energy is probably put to, "How am I going to do things differently from here on out so I do not have to go through this again?" I think THAT frame of thinking is way part-time in terms of need, and that it's actually productive, versus worrying about an illness that may or may not be present, but which you can't do anything about at all right now if it already is beyond seeing your healthcare provider like you are.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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copper86
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Augh, I pressed the wrong button and have to retype my post.

Thank you! Yes, condoms for sure. And you do have a point about the vitamins. I just think that those names are downright terrifying.

I think your mindset of thinking "what do I need to change so that this never happens again?" is a good one. It's better than skipping back and forth between "I'm fine" and "I must have something," especially since I don't even know those answers yet. What I want to do so this doesn't happen again is to use condoms, get screened every year or six months no matter what, and to speak up if I don't like something.

I have a quick question: I know things like having sex recently (vaginal intercourse, specifically) or menstrual changes can cause abnormal pap test results. My bleed just ended on Wednesday - should I be prepared for any complications due to my cycle? I know you can only guess here, but I will tell the doctors about my cycles and medications, just so they know.

In other news, my tear is much better and I can barely feel it. Wahoo!

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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Again, I grew up around a lot of medical science -- and also a lot of linguistics -- so not scary to me, but I get how they could be to some folks.

THIS. THIS!

quote:
What I want to do so this doesn't happen again is to use condoms, get screened every year or six months no matter what, and to speak up if I don't like something.
This is the best news I've heard all day, copper. heck, all week. Seriously. HOORAY FOR YOU! Now you just have to commit to that.

You should be fine to get that pap with that timing, no worries. Just do abstain from sex for a few days before: that's generally recommended.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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copper86
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The fear of those names probably has to do with my unfamiliarity with medical terminology and bacteria. And, to be honest, stuff like buses scare me (getting lost on one sounds awful!), so I'm scared of a lot of things.

Thank you, Heather! I really appreciate that. I'm so sick of worrying all the time. I'm surprised I haven't had a panic attack yet.

Okay, that's great! I was worried that my bleed might complicate things. So I'm assuming I can't rceive anal or manual, or give oral sex, as well? I'm not sure if I'll see him before Monday anyway, but I'm still on edge about the healing cut (if it reopens, I'm sure that won't be fun); so I'll tell him that I cut myself (not a lie, given how it was irritated and then I used tampons, which could've tore it) and I don't want to chance anything.

Quick question: can the inner part of your labia (when you pull the side up to look at it) be a deeper red or pink colour? Not inflamed or swollen, just another colour? Of course, my doctor had checked out my vulva yesterday, so if she had seen anything, she probably would've told me.

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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If I can make a suggestion: how about just taking a break until Monday, for bigger reasons than your pap smear worries? I think that this weekend is a great time to work through some of this stuff, and if we're being real with each other, we also know that you've been having a hard time sticking to sexual limits with this person, anyway.

Oral sex is a non-issue, it's semen that's the ish here. But homestly, I think a weekend where you're thinking about all this without it being complicated by sex with this dude would be a Very Good Thing, since you're asking my advice.

A different color than what?

If you mean can the color of the inner labia not be totally uniform throughout, then yes, absolutely.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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copper86
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You do have a good point. I have something to do Saturday night which will help, and I still might hop over to the walk-in clinic to have them look at my tear tomorrow morning. Aloe vera gel is definitely helping.

Okay, that does make sense about the oral sex and if I swallow the semen. But since it's going through my digestive tract, I'm kind of confused as to how it could affect my test. But still - I don't want to complicate the results.

Okay, good! My vulva is a light pink colour mostlyn but my inner labia has a darker pink colour that has probably been there forever, but seeing it now made me wonder.

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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My point was oral sex does NOT have any impact. I can see how that was unclear. I should have said it was semen in your vagina that was the issue.

But seriously, you're still healing from an injury, period, you do have a pap coming up, and you have stuff to sort out. I also don't imagine that sex with someone else would be much fun when you're having anxiety about your sexual health and feel you can't even tell them about it. That kind of sounds more like torture than pleasure to me, personally.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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copper86
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Oh, okay. Thank you! I understand now, definitely. I still don't want any penetration in my vagina, as much as I like it. My cut is going away and there's no infection yet; so I'm really trying to let it be. I don't even like touching it myself, so I'd be worried if anyone touched it - even my doctor!

The center I'm going to tests for Gonorrhea (sp?), Trichomonas (sorry about my spelling), Chlamydia, Syphillis, and HIV. They say if you're concerned about genital warts or genital herpes, they can look at the sore and talk to you about diagnosis and treatments. I don't really understand what this means. Does it mean that they won't test you if you don't have a sore (which I don't - it's a cut), or that if you do have a sore, they'll run a swab or blood tests? I'll ask when I go in, because that is my main concern now. Again, this cut can be nothing, but I'd like to be tested for everything.

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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I can't possibly know what they mean. It'd be awesome if mindreading was one of my powers, but alas, it's not! [Smile]

But they can. So you can -- and should -- certainly call them and ask about that or ask when you are there, whichever you prefer.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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copper86
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Thank you! I did call them today, but I seemed to only get a mechanical voice about an overall summary of the clinic (free testing, hours, no health card needed). What I saw was online, but I will definitely ask about this when I'm there.

Mindreading would be an awesome talent! But you've got a whole bunch of other ones. [Smile] Thank you so much for your help. I'm really trying to handle all this. I know I have to wait about a week for results, so I'll talk to them about that when I go there.

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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copper86
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I know this is probably counter-productive, but I've been doing a ton of online research from less than credible sources; and I know I shouldn't do that, especially since people can say all kinds of stuff there, like pregnancy from sheets or something, which is not credible. I've just gotten really worried, because I've seen some cases (real or not) of women with vaginal tears that got diagnosed with genital herpes. But I've also read that there are lots of other reasons for vaginal tears: low estrogen levels, dryness, allergic reactions, roughness during sex, menopause, menstrual cycles, and yeast infections or BV.

I know Scarleteen advises against looking at less-than-credible sources, so I'm going to just stop that for my own peace of mind. It never helped during my pregnancy worries. I'm sorry to keep posting, as you all have your own lives and there are other users who need attention. I'm going to attempt to sleep and try and just wait things out. Thank you again for all of your very helpful and appreciated responses! [Smile]

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Robin Lee
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Hey Copper,

Just checking in. How's it going with treating your body in the way you've decided you want to treat it? [Smile]

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Robin

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copper86
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Hi Robin!

Thank you so much for checking in, I truly appreciate it. I've been going through a rough patch lately. The one good thing about all of this is that I finally told one of my best friends everything (my partner, the sex I've had, my worries about STI's), and he actually pulled into a parking lot and hugged me as I cried. I don't think I've ever been so thankful for a close friend as I was then. I know I can trust him as well, so that made things less uncomfortable.

It's going okay I guess. When I had my bleed, I was sure to be gentle by inserting and especially removing tampons slowly. I try not to wipe as hard and dab too, and I've alternated between pads and tampons as well. I haven't inserted my fingers in myself for a while - I'm actually pretty scared of my vulva I think. I keep checking to see if it's still the same as it was a few hours ago. I've used a bit of aloe vera gel like you've suggested (can that kind of dry up in globs if it's not fully dried on the skin before I put underwear on? That gave me a huge fright, especially since then my discharge has been clear.), but not too often to be safe, and my cut is pretty much gone.

I went to a walk-in clinic yesterday and a male doctor examined me (with a female physician or employee in the room), which was okay but kind of scary in hindsight, since I've never had another male look at my genitals other than my partner (of course, doctors must have when I was a baby, but you know what I mean. [Smile] ). He could barely find my cut - he had to ask me again where it was - and said that it didn't look like anything to be concerned about.

Though that somewhat put my mind at ease, I'm still going in for testing today. To say I'm terrified is an understatement. I've been in bed but not sleeping, not sleeping well, and not eating much. I'm planning on just telling the doctors I'm very nervous, just so they know when they examine me. I have a quick question, actually. When I was little, I was vaccinated against Hepatitis (B or C or both, I'm not sure. I got a shot in Grade 1 and then a series of 2 or 3 when I was in Grade 4. I know you can't know what they are, but I think the series of shots was Hepatitis B or C, and maybe the Grade 1 shot was measles and mumps?). The center I'm going to says it tests for "Hepatitis". If I had shots, should I still be concerned? I'll ask them to which strand they are referring, because that's vague to me.

Also, congratulations on your new position! I read Heather's article about it last night. I am so happy for you! Your undergrad and everything sounds awesome! [Smile]

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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copper, I am SO VERY GLAD to hear you let a friend in on everything. That's a really big deal and something you've clearly needed to do for a while now. Glad, too, that it sounds like you sure made a great pick of a friend to tell. [Smile]

Usually with Hepatitis, sexual health clinics will be testing for B, but by all means, ask them.

Glad to hear it sounds like you're on the mend, and if you need support after you get tested today, you know where to find us.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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copper86
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Thank you so much, Heather. He has been a good friend for almost four years, and I'd just never let him in on everything until then. He is probably the nicest person I know. He didn't judge me - he just asked me lots of questions and told me not to worry. I've had some friends judge me and so I just don't talk about very personal things; but he made me feel safe when I was most vulnerable. I usually hate crying in front of people, but it felt good to cry in general and have someone take care of me instead of me crying by myself. That's one of the worst things one can do alone (I'd rather be doing something fun, like writing!).

Okay, that's great. I'm pretty certain I've been vaccinated for something like that, but I'll ask. It was all done in Quebec (where I'd lived for almost 12 years), but I'm assuming the Canadian healthcare policies are somewhat similar between these two provinces, at least. My vulva is doing better overall, I'm just psychologically worried over it. I haven't shaved there in a long time, so the hairs are pricking me and of course I think it's something bad. I know I'll be more comfortable today if I shave (it's bad enough that they gotta see everything I've got), so I'll probably do that. I often get ingrown hairs or small little shaving bumps, sometimes from my razor or not using enough shaving gel - they won't see those and think it's something else, right? But I'm sure they can tell shaving irritations from other stuff.

I have to be there to register at 4:30, so I'll probably be around there before then and back home a few hours later. Either way, I'll come back and post. This is so scary. But I am glad I'm doing it, on some level. If I'm okay, at least I can relax and worry about protection from here on out. I'm seriously considering buying lube so I can receive anal sex more safely and comfortably. I might even just tell him that anal sex without lube and condoms does hurt - and that I'm okay with some discomfort, but not a lot - so I'd like to use condoms and lube. Besides, I'm sure it hurts him too when he has to try and try, so wouldn't all this just make sense anyway, for both of us? Anyway, that's my plan for later, when my health is sorted out and I'm actually doing more than crying and not eating.

Thank you for your support and encouragement!

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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Actually, probably best NOT to shave today because it's going to make the area look more irritated than it might be otherwise. I mean, sure, you can explain you just shave and have razor bumps or redness because of that, but I say better to let things be so you're not adding any extra irritation to the mix they have to try and figure out.

For real? If you've been having anal sex without lube, you really need to stop. That's a fine way to really injure yourself and create small fissures of the anus that not only make for fine vectors to infection and disease, but can make you seriously uncomfortable. If any sexual activity should come with a lube-required sticker? It's that one. The anus and rectum don't lubricate on their own, and the tissues there are more delicate than those of the vagina.

If nothing else, I guarantee you that if your partner was the receptive partner in anal sex? The boy would so be insisting on lube.

As well, having anal sex unprotected with a partner where you don't even know their STI status or if they're exclusive really is the sexual version of russian roulette. Only blood sharing presents higher health risks.

Unless you're working with a scenario where we're talking about BDSM dynamics or play, where pain-as-pleasure is what you're after, can I ask why you'd tell any sexual partner you're "okay with some discomfort," rather than advocating for both of you to always, at the very least, be comfortable?

[ 10-01-2012, 12:43 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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copper86
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Argh! I've just shaved! I made sure not to get too close to my vulva (just the pubic hair at the very top (mons pubis) was really shaved, but the hair close to my vulva was mostly left as it is. I was too scared to get too close), but I wish I saw your post before I showered (not your fault [Smile] ). I will definitely tell them what I've done, just so they know. I feel bad that I did that, but I'll be sure to tell them.

The good news is that my mom thinks I've been vaccinated against both Hepatitis B and C, and lots of other stuff. In fact, when we moved from Quebec to Ontario, they had asked that my brother and I be vaccinated, but my mom showed them our vaccination records and we were good.

I agree with you a hundred percent. I'm definitely grabbing lube. And I'm sure that if the scenarios were reversed, he'd want lube, too (that did make me laugh a little!). I still think it'd be safer and best for both of us. I'm just bringing some next time and demanding we use it for anal sex. I've read that coconut oil (I think?) is okay to use in place of lube, or should I just get regular stuff?

We kind of discuss BDSM subtlely off and on as far as pain is concerned, but we've never gone to that level. I guess what I mean is that in anything, I really don't mind some discomfort (I.e. Walking on blisters, a burn, a cut or bruise), but I'd really rather not want excruciating pain; but we've never gotten to that point. And if we ever were, I've already had a talk with myself about telling him to stop - firmly. I guess I also mean that with any kind of pain that's minimal I just "suck it up," but I'm not comfortable with sucking it up without some lube - not anymore.

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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Meh, so then you'll just tell them you just shaved. Life goes on.

You can't use oil-based lubes with latex condoms, and since I KNOW (insert my patented Irish-Italian caring-but-firm glare here) you're not going to keep taking health risks you don't want to be taking and WILL start using condoms and insisting on them, your best bet is to just get lube from a bottle.

(Also, seriously, I heart things from the natural world, but carrying around a jar of coconut oil is bulky and it can be way messy, so if you haven't yet managed to be able to just have a simple bottle of lube around, trying this first seems like asking for failure.)

Again, I'd encourage you to try and stop with what you don't mind. Consensual sex, sex we all tend to really enjoy? Isn't about what we "don't mind." It's about what we like and what feels good, not just that we don't not-like or that feels not-quite-bad. Sex is OPTIONAL. It's not required, so this idea you have to suck things up is, pardon my french, a load of bollocks.

It just doesn't make any sense for anyone in a healthy relationship to just nix things that feel uncomfortable or make adaptations so things CAN feel good. If you feel like you have to just suck things up? Then you have to know something is broken in terms of things not being healthy, and you and the other person either need to fix that, stat, or you need to get away and seek out healthier relationship fare.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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copper86
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Hi Heather,

I will definitely pick up some lube. What you said about coconut oil does make sense; especially if I have no experience with lube.

I'm not sure how to describe what I meant. I find some level of pain or discomfort a little exciting only sometimes - but that isn't to say that I want to be in excruciating pain, or pain of unknown cause or origin - but I do understand what you mean about sucking it up, definitely. [Smile]

I went for my screening today. They test for Hepatitis B and C, which impressed me. I got there so early that I was seen first, so at least I wasn't sitting there longer with more time to be afraid. The registration and interview with my nurse went very well: she was so understanding and nice, and took gentle care of me with questions when I told her I was terrified. I had been on the fence involving whether or not to be tested for HIV, and that was when I got a bit emotional. She was very understanding and comforting, and I ended up changing my mind and allowing them to test me for that too. It was truly like my pap test as far as me just giving a urine sample and a blood sample. I did see a doctor for my blood sample and told him about my cut. He examined it and couldn't see any "tearing of the skin," but said that side was a little red (which could be for many reasons, but yeah). He took a culture swab anyway, and told me he saw nothing that was bad. I'll get results in eight days or so for all of these tests. I'm so nervous about herpes still, but all in all, I'm glad I got a culture done. At least if it's negative I can relax. But I'm still worried. I'm really tired now, but afterwards I went for dinner by myself and looked at phones (my version of fun! [Smile] ), so at least that made me happier.

I'm excited in a way that I'm taking care of my health and that I was brave enough to do this, but I still feel like a coward for not wanting to know results half the time. They gave me the option of letting them call me if I got a positive (they wouldn't call if I tested negative) or for me to come in eight days later for results. I told them I'd come back, especially since I have other results to pick up besides the culture. Do you have any suggestions on what to do with myself for the week that I wait? I kind of feel like I have a week of last-minute-comfort before something bad will happen, but that's a pretty unhealthy attitude. I've gotten used to that mindset though, but I keep reminding myself that I can't do much else now but wait and try to relax.

Edit: I forgot to mention to the doctor that I probably already have HSV 1 due to me having a few cold sores on my mouth when I was little; but him swabbing my labia will get results for that specific skin location, correct? I'm planning on calling them tomorrow or Wednesday to just make sure that I'm coming next week to get results and that I do not want to be phoned, so if this information had to be disclosed, I'll say it then.

[ 10-01-2012, 08:24 PM: Message edited by: copper86 ]

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Heather
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I'm officially out for the day, but I wonder if you might be willing to be creative with me, and work with this positive swing you got started today (HOORAY FOR YOU!).

Maybe we can come up with one or two things for you to do every day in the next week that support you getting to a healthier, more self-assured, and sounder place with all of this?

In other words, perhaps we can come up with a whole week that isn't some kind of last supper, but instead, a week of going with the positive flow you've started with this awesome self-care move so that by the end of the week, whatever the results, you'll be better equipped to start moving forward into a healthier, happier sexual life?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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copper86
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Hi!

Thank you so much for messaging me back, and so promptly! I'm glad that you'll be able to have some time for yourself tonight, so please don't feel as if you need to respond to me tonight. [Smile]

Thank you for your encouragement and your "hoorays." They always make me feel better. I feel kind of strange - I'm relieved and calm one minute, and crying and terrified the next. I guess that's just normal anxiety talking. I think I'd like to do that this week, for sure. "Last supper" is exactly what I meant. I used to be like this when I thought I'd be pregnant (I'd have a week or two of solace before I knew my bleed was late), so I've gotten used to this for sure.

I'm not sure what I could do. I was thinking of looking up treatment options and medications and stuff when I was walking home, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea or not. I think I'd like to try and just do one or two things a day that would make me feel better and take my mind off things - writing, listening to music, doing my nails or something - that would be self-care oriented that could release some of this worry. Walking helps, but it often makes me stew over things more thoroughly. I'll keep thinking of ways to get myself into a more positive mindset or place, but it's quite hard.

Again, please do not feel as if you need to respond to this post - I truly appreciate everything you and the staff and volunteers do here, so please enjoy your night and I will be around to chat with you when you are available. [Smile]

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Robin Lee
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Hey Copper,

Just checking in with you today.

What good thing did you do today to help yourself feel good?

Did you decide whether you're going to look up treatment options or just wait for your results?

(For what it's worth, I suspect it would be more useful to you to wait to see if you do have anything before looking up options you might not even need, but as always, what you do is up to you. [Smile] )

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Robin

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copper86
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Hi Robin!!

Thank you so much for checking in on me - I almost cried when I saw your post. I'm doing okay, thanks. I'm still pretty off and on, but I've been trying to rationalize with myself about everything.

I'm not sure if I really did much today that made me feel better, but I did do some little things. I'm re-watching one of my favourite series, I applied for a job today, and I cooked myself lunch and cleaned in the kitchen a bit; so I don't feel as useless as I sometimes do.

I have a quick question regarding HSV 1. I probably have it, but I can't remember the last time I've had a cold sore (most likely years ago). I sometimes use my own saliva as lube when I touch myself... And whenever I would do this, I never had any sores. Could I have still transferred the virus to my genitals? I randomly thought of this today and freaked out.

I don't really know what I'm going to do regarding looking up treatment options. I agree with you that it might not be sound right now - nor productive to my emotional health - so I might poke around or not, but I truly don't know what I have so I can't really look up options. I'm thinking I had cut myself shaving, but I can't know that for sure (though the timing of the cut fits the paper-cut feelings and the similarities of razor cuts I'd get on my legs). I've been getting thicker discharge but it's clear-ish and smells normal, but to be honest, I'm kind of unsure what "normal" is for me anymore!

One thing I'm unsure of now is how I want to go about getting my results. I have to wait until Wednesday as Monday is a holiday, but I did call today and they will not call me under any circumstances - I'll just go in (but they would call if I had a positive result for any test and never went back). I have to admit that I felt pretty lousy when I saw girls come in with their boyfriends, and even some with their moms. I felt really alone when I saw them. I can't tell my parents, so I was considering asking my friend I recently told to come with me. He's always working though, and I'm not sure if I want to burden him; as this doesn't have much to do with him, you know? And I'm not sure if I'll want anyone around regardless of the results... It's just tough thinking through that, but I do have a week to decide.

Thank you again for checking in on me, and I feel bad that I can't reciprocate and comfort you if you ever needed anything, but I hope you're doing well and that you're having a good day!

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Robin Lee
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Hey Miss Copper,

Yes, I really am having a nice day, actually.

Changes in consistency with discharge are "normal" for pretty much everyone. [Smile] You know, I suppose it's possible that you could have transferred HSV-1 to your vulva, but since you don't recall ever having used saliva as lube when you actually had a cold sore, the chances are low. It's not something you'll really be able to know since you have been sexually active with at least one other person besides yourself, and either way, it's really not worth self-criticism or self-recrimination.

As to whether to take someone with you when you get your test results, do you think your friend would want to be there if he knew that it would be helpful to you? If it's something you think would be helpful, there's no harm in asking him. The worst that he'll say is that he doesn't want to.

...and I love re-watching favourite TV shows and re-reading favourite books when I'm feeling in need of comfort. Go you for doing nice things; nice things really don't have to be big things either.

I'm headed out for the evening, but I'm glad to hear you're doing okay...and from where I sit, you really are doing okay even if it doesn't feel all that good all of the time.

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Robin

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Robin Lee
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Hey Miss Copper,

Yes, I really am having a nice day, actually.

Changes in consistency with discharge are "normal" for pretty much everyone. [Smile] You know, I suppose it's possible that you could have transferred HSV-1 to your vulva, but since you don't recall ever having used saliva as lube when you actually had a cold sore, the chances are low. It's not something you'll really be able to know since you have been sexually active with at least one other person besides yourself, and either way, it's really not worth self-criticism or self-recrimination.

As to whether to take someone with you when you get your test results, do you think your friend would want to be there if he knew that it would be helpful to you? If it's something you think would be helpful, there's no harm in asking him. The worst that he'll say is that he doesn't want to.

...and I love re-watching favourite TV shows and re-reading favourite books when I'm feeling in need of comfort. Go you for doing nice things; nice things really don't have to be big things either.

I'm headed out for the evening, but I'm glad to hear you're doing okay...and from where I sit, you really are doing okay even if it doesn't feel all that good all of the time.

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Robin

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copper86
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Hi!

I'm so happy that you're having a good day! I'm glad that you're having a night for yourself, too!

Hmm. It still worries me, but I would've definitely noticed a cold sore the past decade or so. I get chancre sores but I know those are different (and are usually from brushing too hard or from biting the inside of my mouth). I'm happy that the chances are low, because I'd definitely be to blame for that. Though I have read that since HSV 1 was in the bloodstream, the virus would be through the body and the body might build up resistence to infection in other areas (transfering it to other body parts). Is that true? I still haven't had sores in years, but I want my bases covered.

Thank you, that's a great idea! I might re-read some of my favourite books. You're right that good things don't have to be big things. I'm getting close to the end of my tether, but I've been reading some Bible verses that helped, and I've been using prayer as a means to ask for strength too - since I feel truly hopeless now. To be honest, I've been a bit afraid of myself because I feel so angry at myself and so distraught.

I appreciate your encouragement! Have a good night! [Smile]

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Redskies
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Hey, Copper - I hope I'm not butting in.

I know it's no fun at all feeling crap at oneself and then feeling bad or worried that we feel like that...

Try to cut yourself as much of a break as you can, because you're doing great. It's much easier to just stick our head in the sand and pretend the worrying stuff will go away or doesn't even exist at all, but instead, you've taken significant steps to caring for your health, even though it's clear that it's very hard for you.

I don't know if this helps you at all, but I remember, the first time I had testing done, I got a bit nervous about the results while I was waiting. I was So not expecting that, because I wasn't worried before then and only had them as a check-up. I think perhaps there's something about waiting for test results that just causes worry. So all of the feelings you're having at the moment, they're probably being amplified just by the waiting-for-results situation.

Good for you for finding and doing things that help you feel a bit better.

If you feel so very rough with this, is it an option to see or call the friend you spoke to before? Sometimes just having someone to talk to or cry to who knows and cares can really help.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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