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Author Topic: Really need someone to talk to.
NoName
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Okay, so I have OCD. I had a long discussion here earlier about STI testing as my current obsession is about having an STD (specifically HIV) for as long as 8 years and not knowing about it. I do not have any real reason to think this other than the fact that I have never been tested. I have only had 2 partners and both are perfectly healthy, including my current partner who I have now been with almost 8 years. I know that it is standard for everyone who is sexually active to get tested, and I am stupid for not doing that in the beginning. I started sexual activity really young and I honestly did not have the education to know any better. It has become this new obsession of mine and I have lost sleep and am not eating because of the worry and stress. It is always unpredictable for me to know when or what new "thing" i am going to become hung up on. I has mostly been irrational pregnancy scares lately but now this is starting. I have a gynecologist appointment Monday and I was going to ask for the testing but now I am wondering if I should or not. I know that logically I should but I am terrified of what might come up.

I am seeing a huge theme in my OCD behavior as being about sex. I have always had hangups with it and it has gotten worse as I have gotten older. I'm about in my mid 20s and have only had intercourse a few times (and that was back in high school). I was always deathly afraid of getting pregnant and I just couldn't handle it. Even now, I only do manual and oral with my boyfriend though we have been together for a very long time. Really though, even if I knew I couldn't get pregnant, I would still be hung up. I just don't know how to have a normal sexual life. I was fed so many mixed and negative messages about sex growing up, and if you couple that with a nervous person to begin with, the results are not very good.

My boyfriend and I had a long talk tonight and he is so irritated with me. I don't blame him. He has had to put up with my nonsense for soooo long now. He has had to deal with every little irrational phobia I have ever had (and there has been a lot of them) and puts up with me hardly ever being intimate with him anymore. He is very hurt by that and sort of thinks that I only come up with this stuff just to avoid having any intimacy with him because I don't find him attractive. That is so not the case. I love him more than you can imagine and I want to be intimate with him so badly but sex in general, even though I like it and enjoy the closeness, fills me with anxiety to the point that it takes all the joy out of it. I just don't know what else to do. I have been in counseling for a long time and I have tried so hard to get better but it feels like I am going backwards more than anything. I was getting really close to beating this irrational pregnancy stuff, now the HIV anxiety is wearing down on me. I just can't win. I feel so much shame and guilt over my sexual past, even though it was a small one. I feel like God hates me for it and I am going to be punished for it eventually. I really do not wish to be with anyone sexually again other than my boyfriend and I am not the person I used to be at all. I have come a long way over the past 5 years and I finally have a few things I can hold onto. I am now in my second season of ballet, which was my lifelong dream. I am so afraid that some awful health problem will come up and take it all away from me. I finally got through college and even though things aren't going that great for me, I finally feel that my life is a bit more peaceful after such a long run of unfortunate circumstances I have had to go through. I know this is so scattered, I just need someone to talk to I guess. I hate my OCD, it has always taken the joy out of my life and although I don't really feel suicidal, I don't feel like living this way anymore. I just have no desire or motivation to do anything at all. I am scared of the world and all it has to offer because my disorder has made me find fear in everything and the fear eats me alive. I have a birthday coming up next week...and what am I doing? Sitting here worried that I am HIV+ even though I have been perfectly healthy since my first sexual contact 8 years ago. But I worry I am in the percentage that for some reason gets 0 symptoms for a very long time and then boom, I am completely dying with illness. So if I go have this testing, I will be worried for the next week or two or however long it takes thinking they will come back positive. No enjoyment is to be had in feeling this way. I believe in God and I feel he hears me and I always question why he just doesn't take me out of this misery already.

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Well, I'm heading offline soon so I don't have much time to respond to your post, but I've got one quick thing. Get the testing when you go to your gynecologist. Getting the testing isn't going to change the results.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Kachina
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Hi NoName, I'm sorry you are having trouble with this. I know I've talked with you before about trying medication... I'm just wondering if you've reconsidered trying that at all?

In an earlier post you said you described OCD to someone as a song stuck in your head, but instead of a song it is horrible thoughts. This is an excellent description of it! My thoughts would drive me CRAZY and then the compulsions on top of it that I had no control over. I just can't tell you enough how much of a relief it was to have that END. Honestly, it took the medication to really stop it. Therapy helped, but both were needed for me to feel more sane. I am not totally normal by any means - but I am at such a more peaceful place. Honestly without treatment I wouldn't be able to hold a job, or have the kind of relationship with my partner that I do.

I feel so bad for you now because I know what you are going through - and I think it's a symptom of your OCD that you are scared to even try medication. I wish I could do more to help.

I also think what you are saying about why your handguns are around sex are valid... Have you been able to talk with your counselor about that?

Also, you should definitely get the STI tests. Otherwise you could spend that of your life unnecessarily worrying that you have HIV.

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~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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eryn_smiles
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Hello NoName, sorry to hear about how you're feeling at the moment [Frown] . Glad that you've booked your GYN appointment though and hope that it goes well in terms of allaying some of your worries. Is your doctor aware of your OCD? If so, they should be able to take extra time with you for explanation and reassurance regarding testing. It may be a good idea to have some additional support and ways to take care of yourself planned out to help you while awaiting your results.

You mention about your boyfriend "putting up with your nonsense", but I would hardly call dealing with an anxiety disorder "nonsense". If you had a physical illness such as arthritis causing difficulties with sexual activity, you would deserve plenty of compassion, patience and support around that from any caring partner. When you have a mental illness, it is just the same. I wondered whether your boyfriend has ever attended counselling with you? It may be useful for both of you to discuss those issues around different ways of expressing intimacy and attraction (without being sexual, necessarily). For example, some couples enjoy actvities such as massage, which may help foster feelings of intimacy without the sexual risks. As well, some areas have support groups for people with OCD and their partners. Sometimes it can be helpful to talk with others facing similar problems and discuss different solutions.

Regarding the fears around God hating you and punishing you for your past, have you felt able to discuss these with any religious leader or someone you respect from a Church youth group, for example? Although I'm not a Christian, I would imagine that those are not uncommon fears among young people.

By the way, I think it's wonderful that you're following your dream of ballet dancing [Smile] .

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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NoName
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Thank you all for taking time to reply to me. I am considering medication lot more lately because for whatever reason, my symptoms are getting worse over the past few years. The thing is, I have had experience in dealing with patients that were on a variety of psyc meds and a lot of them were not so good. I know that different medications affect people differently but it is scary to not know. My own mother was on a lot of anti-anxiety and depression meds and she was addicted her whole life. It turned her into a cold, uncaring zombie and changed her personality completely. Medications are scary for me in general, I just don't like a random substance in my body, I am afraid of what it will do. I think it is time to weigh the cost/benefits however because I am truly at the end of my rope with this. I always cope okay with my disorder as long as I don't have any huge obsessions but lately I have had the pregnancy one and now this one and it is more than I can take.

I agree that my boyfriend SHOULD be understanding but in real life, most people who don't have these irrational thoughts really can't comprehend why someone would think that way. If I were in his shoes, I might feel the same way. I have begged him to go to counseling with me at least once because I think it would help him to understand better what I am dealing with but he is very resistant to going. He feels like he is "giving in" to my thinking and making it worse, which is also why he always refused to buy me unneeded pregnancy tests and he is also resistant to testing. This is the biggest mistake that loved ones make when they are dealing with an OCD person, they try to keep you from doing the compulsions and they think if they can block you from it, then you will get better. All it really does is send you into a nervous wreck. I hope in time he can understand more but I mean, he has dealt with this with me for 8 years, only it has been much worse the past 3 or 4. I do feel really badly about him. I love him so much and to think that he believes I just don't want to be with him makes me really upset. I DO want to be with him soo badly. I find him very attractive and I love him with all my heart. I don't want to ever be without him, he is my best friend. Sex scares me is all, and I have tried my best to be sexual with him this whole time but I just can't always give my all, if you know what I mean. When we first got together, we were active all the time, and he was totally okay with there being no intercourse. He says he is still okay with it as long as we are being intimate in some way...now that most of that has stopped, he is feeling really shut out and insecure. He says he "needs" those feelings of intimacy with me, I suppose that is possible. I need them too but my mind prevents me from getting it. I get so fed up with it all that I wish I had no sexual drive and that he didn't either. I get so tired of this being something that I have to manage and deal with and there never being any answers. There will always be a chance I could get pregnant and there is a chance I might have something wrong with me as well...I just hate that it has to be this way. Sex is supposed to be enjoyable. Why does it have to cause me so much misery. I am questioning cancelling the gyn appointment. It is 115 for the basic exam, plus lab fees. Well, I've looked up the price for std testing and it is a lot. I simply can't afford it. I am going to my general doctor either Monday or Tuesday to get my thyroid checkup but I can't have any of it done there, my aunt works in the lab and I prefer her not know. I could call the health department but I question how sanitary it is because the health departments I have been in have made me feel really uncomfortable. This would be so much easier if I could get some really quick results, the whole waiting one to two weeks is just more than I can take really. I would be better off not getting the testing at all because I will have a meltdown while waiting. If I just got the quick result swab test somewhere, is its accuracy as good as the blood test for HIV? That would really help just to have that one knocked out.

As far as religion goes, I have been struggling with my spirituality for many years now. I stay very confused. I don't feel comfortable going to my regular church and talking to anyone there.

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NoName
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I am really losing it here. I haven't hardly slept all weekend nor have I ate. I have had a couple of panic attacks and am regularly having my heart palpitate. I have also had an upset stomach and some diarrhea. I don't know how I will wait to have these test results, I just don't know. I am not even sure if the health department can get me an appointment this week and even so, I will have to wait for results on top of that. I really wish I would have never started thinking about this, even though it is important to think about. I have spent every single day of the past 8 years never giving it a thought and now all of a sudden I am scared out of my wits. I don't know if I should feel ridiculous for that or just plain stupid. The logical part of me says that "I have been healthy for the past 8 years, people with HIV would probably not go that long feeling fine without any treatment...and I think of the very poor nutrition I have and how I never get sick..and have even gotten through a year long eating disorder and think I my body would have had plenty of opportunity to get violently ill already; I also tell myself that both partners I am worried about have also been healthy all this time, and the partner I am no longer with has been with two partners long after me who have had healthy children with him and are also healthy, and I say okay, they probably don't have HIV." Then, the anxiety makes me think "but I am different, and I am a special case, I will be one of those cases that has been totally oblivious to having this disease all this time and they will now discover it and my life will be over, after all, i must be thinking about all this for a reason, it must be a sign I really have it." I feel so sick. I just want to be somebody else right now and I am filled with so much regret from the stupid stupid choices I made back then. If I hadn't been so irresponsible and ignorant, I would have been tested beforehand back then and I wouldn't be going through this now.
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eryn_smiles
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Sounds like you're going through a really difficult time [Frown] . I don't know if it helps to hear at all, but every one of us makes mistakes and bad choices sometimes, with the best knowledge and experience we have at the time. Overwhelming guilt and regret over these mistakes can sometimes hurt us more than the consequences of the initial choices. I feel it's important for us to try to be forgiving of ourselves, just like we might forgive a friend in a similar situation.

Is it possible for you to see your therapist prior to your GYN appointment, specifically to talk about your worries around testing and come up with some coping strategies?

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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NoName
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Thanks for the reply eryn. You are right that it is important to forgive ourselves. I really didn't know better at the time. I never got sex ed in school or at home, and learned everything through word of mouth and tv. It is sad that is the way most of us learn. To boot, I am very upset thinking back at all the exams I have had in the past and in which I disclosed that I was indeed sexually active and told them specifically what I meant by that...and not.one.of.them even mentioned getting tested. I hope they were using their best judgment and really had good reason to believe I didn't need the testing but still, I would rather have this behind me then having to deal with it now. The deal is, I cancelled the gynecologist appointment although I really wanted to go there, I just can't afford it. I did schedule an appointment at the health department though and it is tomorrow at 8 in the morning. I am SO nervous and scared. I have a therapy appointment at noon as well so I will be seeing my counselor. I just don't see how much help it will be though. When I get like this, there is nothing or nobody that will calm me down except cold hard evidence, and even then I question it sometimes. I just hope to God that these results don't take more than a few days, I don't even know how I am going to hold on that long, much less a week or two. I am so scared they are going to find something wrong and well, I guess that is just tough for me because it has been many many years that it has had to ruin my health. I have always felt so much guilt about the things I did when I was young. I have always taken sex very seriously and my first experiences were with my first boyfriend in high school and let's just say that in the end, he broke my heart and there I was left alone after giving so much of myself to him. I didn't think I would ever be that close to anyone again until I was with my boyfriend now. We have been together since I was 16 and it makes me sick to think we might have gone almost a decade being sick and not even knowing it, and worse, that I could have made him sick. I would never forgive myself for it. Forgiving myself is one thing, but I just pray that I don't have to pay for my mistake with my health or life. I am suffering enough with the anxiety and guilt this has brought that I hope that is enough for me to pay for what I have done, I sure feel that way. I have never felt more miserable and scared in my life.
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NoName
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Well, what do you know, I got a call from the bank i've been trying to get hired at and they offered me the job...first offer I have had after almost 2 years of unemployment. I can't even care right now and I don't know what to do. What if my tests come back bad...all these things in my life are starting to come together and I might lose it all.
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Heather
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If your STI screens come back with any positive results, that is not likely to have any impact per "losing it all."

Want to talk about why you think a positive STI test result could have that power?

--------------------
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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NoName
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Well, at this point, I am not as worried about other STI's as I am about HIV. Obviously, it would turn my life upside down, as it would anyone's. It would mean I have had the disease for 8 years and it has had ample time to do me harm. Just the thought of it is making me feel very ill and panicked. I was provided a short list in my other thread that included about 7 or 8 STI's that show no symptoms for a long time, and HIV was definitely the one to worry about the most for me. I am almost positive that the place I am going to does not do the rapid result test...which means I am going to have to go through the next 7 days or more feeling this way.
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Heather
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Well, if you are, in fact, HIV+ right now, and have not had any treatment, it would have likely already turned your life upside down, and getting a diagnosis and starting treatment would, instead, make it much more likely to keep everything going well.

But I'd also be a little careful in framing being HIV+ as something that would upend anyone's life. It certainly can, but so can a whole lot of things, and plenty of people with HIV are living well and enjoying their lives.

--------------------
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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NoName
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I wish I were strong like that, but I wouldn't be. And I would have 0 support from anyone in my life, which is very few people. You would just have to know my individual circumstances to know what I mean. I am scared because I have read in so many places, including this one that you can go asymptomatic as long as 20 years without treatment, and I am far away from 20 years.
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Heather
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Where do we say here that is even remotely likely? If it does say that anywhere at ST, we need to change that, pronto, because that really isn't sound.

I think it's really important not to make the facts or realities here fuzzy: doing so doesn't help you, and with something as full of myth and stigma as HIV, that can also really hurt other people.

You know, often times, we have no idea how strong we'd be until we are actually tested in that regard. Plenty of people who are HIV+ and who have done well voiced not knowing their strength until they were there, dealing with it.

regardless, it is really very unlikely, given all you have said here, that you are HIV+. And I think you'd be best served by doing what you can not to trap yourself in negative thinking with this. You got good news about something: put effort into focusing on that, okay? Then,m you get tested and we see what happens and cross that bridge if and when we come to it.

And even if you were diagnosed as +, we could absolutely hook you up with support resources ANYWHERE in the US, including in KY.

--------------------
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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NoName
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"Initial or acute infection may have symptoms that resemble mononucleosis or the flu within 2 to 4 weeks of exposure, but in many people, HIV infection does not show any symptoms for extended periods of time, and for some, is asymptomatic for as long as 20 years, though that is quite rare." You say here that it is quite rare but that is for 20 years, not say 10, 12, 15 years or so. That is scary to me that such a scary virus can keep itself so secret for that long. If it weren't for that fact alone, I wouldn't be sweating these tests half as much. I started having pap smears about 3 years after this activity and they were all normal, and when I had the eating disorder and they were trying to figure out the cause of my missing periods, they did a complete blood workup but I assume that they did not test for any STD because they would have told me so (but it was very VERY stupid for them not to considering I did tell them I was sexually active). Anyway, then, my CBC came back fine and all they found was my thyroid was a little under active and I have been on medication for it for about 5 years and haven't had to chance my dosage any, and I have not skipped one single period in over 4 years, I hoped that means my health is in good standing...but I doubt it means much really. I just really want to enjoy my good news right now but I can't help thinking that if these tests come back positive for something serious, then it will be all over for me (please believe me, it would).
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Heather
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Well, not to give you anything else to be scared about, but all kinds of diseases have that capacity. Cancers, for instance, do, too.

But again, being perfectly well with HIV for many years is HIGHLY unusual, especially when you have had things like surgeries (which also makes me wonder if you haven't already been tested without even knowing it) and tests done for other things.

I can't believe you that an HIV+ diagnosis would mean your whole life was over. I can see how you're thinking and feeling that way, but I'm looking that this objectively and I know that it simply does not often mean that for many people, especially people here in the states who have any access to healthcare. I just can't get on board with that because it's a big part of my job not to go along with things I know are not sound or unlikely.

But again, I think that continuing to focus on this is counterproductive for you and only enabling your anxiety instead of helping it. How about taking a couple days away from here and these topics and doing so things to focus on your good news. Even if you find yourself distracted by worries about this in those efforts, I think making those efforts is very important.

I'm also not comfortable continuing to focus with you (or any user) on doomsday scenarios without any indication those scenarios are real. If and when your results come back and are positive, which strikes me, again, as very unlikely in the first place, then we can talk about this more. Until then, I think it's most sounds for our sake and yours for us to put the kibbosh on this, okay?

--------------------
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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NoName
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I understand what you are saying and I appreciate your input. I know that this is all hypothetical and that my anxiety makes me blow things out of proportion. I built up the guts to talk to my aunt about this a little (which I was really hesitant to do) and she said that even if I didn't want the testing, our health department automatically does it unless you outright refuse to do it. She said that they test for everything and that it is a good idea to go. I told her about my anxiety disorder and she said also that it was highly unlikely for me to have HIV this long and be this healthy. She is the MLT there and the head of the lab and was able to pull up my history there all the way back to 2006 and said that I was never tested there for it and was likely not tested unless the doctor told me so...which again, it seems crazy to think they would have never asked me but they sure didn't. From what I know, unless you give blood (which I never have) noone ever tests for HIV unless you ask for it. I had wisdom teeth surgery back in 2008 and bled heavily the whole time and for awhile after as the teeth were really far in and had to be cut out bit by bit. They had me on an IV to put me to sleep and unless they took blood or saliva from me during that time, I don't think I have ever been tested and I think they would have told me.

Nonetheless, sorry for being a bother and I will just sweat this out the best I can and hope for negative results. Thanks for everything.

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Heather
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It's not about you being a bother, but more about my trying to counsel you on this in the ways I understand are really best, especially when someone has an anxiety disorder.

--------------------
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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NoName
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Just thought I would let you know, I went to the health department today. They did a pap which tested for cervical cancer, claymidia, and gonorrhea. Then they did a blood test that tested for syphilis and HIV. Let me just say, I am SO disappointed in my care. I had never been to a health department and never went because I feared the care would be below standard..well I was sort of right. I mean, it looked clean and everything but I have my doubts. First off, it was a RN who did the exam, not a doctor (which I hear is normal but I didn't feel good about it). The exam went okay, she said my cervix and vagina looked healthy and free of cysts or infection, as well, she pushed all around on my tummy, breasts, and inside my vagina and said everything felt normal...so okay, that was good. BUT, unlike what my aunt thought, they do not automatically ask you if you want to be tested for STI's...they don't bring it up at all. I filled out this long paper about my sexual history, and the lady even talked to me about my relationship while doing the exam...and still, they never asked. So I tried to tell her the best way I knew how that I have a serious anxiety disorder and that I am losing sleep over the STI thing. And she said "well, we do test for Gon&Cla with the pap smear and can do a blood test for HIV and syphilis but that is all we do here. We don't do Hepatitis testing because it is too expensive and the only way to get it free is to donate blood." I was floored. So yay that they are testing for these 4 things...but what about all the others on the list...am I just supposed to not think about them? That isn't all. THEN she looked at my vaccination history and asked why I haven't been vaccinated against hepatitis...I said, noone ever asked me to nor did they require it when I was in school...so I didn't know. She then said, I have never had a tetanus shot either...and she gave me one of those because she said that is the only one I should worry about now. So, she took me to her office and gave me the shot, with no gloves on, and the cotton ball she held on it (which had a little of my blood on it) she placed it on her desk! Why would she do that?? Isn't she afraid of catching something? At this point, she said to go down the hall to her "girls" who take your blood and counsel you beforehand....well let me tell you, there was NO counseling at all. She barely said two words to me, just took my blood and sent me on my way. They said the results would take two weeks. I am SO upset right now. I am scared that they were not very sanitary with me and I am scared that my results won't be accurate because if their lab is anything like the clinic, I have my doubts.

I have some questions also. Do I need a hepatitis vaccination...and what it is exactly? She just asked if I planned to work in the health care field and I said no...then she dropped it. Also, is Hep something I should be worried about being asymptomatic for this long? What a lousy day to start off two lousy weeks that are going to be filled with fear and now uncertainty.

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September
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NoName, I have to say, it doesn't sound like you received bad care in any way. As you know, it's perfectly standard for a nurse to perform those exams, so that's really not something that reflects badly on this clinic. It sounds like she did a very thorough exam, too, and explained what she was doing throughout, which is actually pretty awesome.

Also, despite what your aunt may have told you, it's really not standard to automatically do STI testing. That is usually something that you have to request specifically. So, again, that sounds pretty normal and par for the course.

It's also not unusual for clinics to restrict testing to those STIs that are most common and/or most affordable to test for. As the nurse pointed out, this is often a financial issue, and while that sucks royally, that's not something that is that particular clinic's fault but something that is an issue within healthcare in general.

The nurse talking to you about vaccinations and giving you that tetanus shot, again, also sounds like her being way more thorough than she strictly needed to be. That's good stuff. If you want to find out more about hepatitis or get some information on whether you need to vaccinate for that now, I would suggest that you make an appointment with your doctor specifically about that.

So, on the whole, it sounds like you actually experienced pretty good care. I hope that knowing this makes you feel a little better as you wait for your results. Instead of fretting, try and be proud of yourself for taking this step to get tested!

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Johanna
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NoName
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Thanks for the reply September, you did make me feel better about it all. Doesn't the fact that she used no gloves to give the vaccine...and then put my cotton swab on her desk creep you out a little bit? It gives me the willies that she may do stuff like that all the time. I also really detest the fact that there was no counseling of any kind given to me before the test, especially after she said there would be. For all I know, she just ran with the anxiety stuff I told her about and was just giving me the test to humor me and really thought that I was so low risk that she didn't see the need for bells and whistles...though I still don't see why she would say there was counseling when there wasn't. Honestly, the lady who took my blood acted like she didn't want to be there with me at all...and I started to feel ashamed and embarrassed that she might have thought I had serious reason for wanting the test (though my reasons are serious enough for me). I just hope to God the tests all come back negative and that they don't screw my results up, my anxiety would just go overboard if that happened.
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September
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It's actually not standard procedure to wear gloves for vaccinations, mostly because it's not necessary: we're only talking about skin contact here, after all, and it's not like a doctor or nurse has to wear gloves to take your blood pressure.

Used cotton balls belong in the trash, of course, but they're also not a public health hazard. Exam rooms are wiped down after every patient, so that's not a big deal for you or anyone who came in after.

I can't tell you why the person you saw for the STI testing did not counsel you - maybe she thought that your nurse had already done that. In any event, if you had any questions, you certainly could have asked them.

Also? People who work in public health clinics a) usually do so because they want to provide those services to those who can't otherwise access them and are not on the business of judging those they are working with and b) given the setting, they are plenty educated around STIs and aren't going to think negatively about you for getting tested. So, there is absolutely no need for you to feel ashamed or embarrassed.

NoName, I confess I haven't been following your other threads quite as closely, so forgive me if this has already been discussed and I just can't remember, but have you ever seen anyone for this extreme anxiety of yours? Because I just don't see how my reassuring you is going to help you out in the long run: it sounds very much like you need help with finding and addressing the root cause of your anxiety if this is going to get any better.

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Johanna
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NoName
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Yes, I have been in counseling for some time, and this particular worry has only started for about a week now. I just wanted another opinion on my exam because I had a lot of doubts about it. By the way, she gave the shot in her office and laid the cotton ball on her actual desk, not in the exam room, that is why I felt really freaked out by that. I don't know, maybe I blew it out of proportion, I just know if it were me, and I was giving a shot, I would want to protect myself from the person's blood...and it is very common to bleed a little from a tetanus shot (and I did). I mean, it was an office...but there was a huge box of condoms in there and brochures...so I dunno, maybe for the health department it was normal to give a vaccine in there.

I talked to my therapist yesterday about all this and she of course said that it is highly improbable that I would have HIV as I am very very low risk and have had a full 8 years to feel the effects while having way below standard nutrition and healthcare for many of those years. The only reason I ever started worrying about STI's in the first place was reading that a few could be asymptomatic for a whole lot of years. Sometimes that is all it takes for me to just read or hear something and panic will hit me like a ton of bricks. Assuming that my tests come back negative, I do have an action plan. Even though this may have been irrational to begin with, I want my boyfriend tested before we have any sexual contact again (which seems silly considering we have been sexual for 8 solid years). Also, I am going to drastically reduce my time on the internet by only playing games and shopping on my computer, and I am cutting out certain channels on my television. This will help reduce all the information overload I have been getting that really makes my anxiety worse. I will be starting a new job next week which should also shift my focus elsewhere. I am fully ready to do that, just not now. I don't really have a lot of support and I need a lot of help getting through these two weeks because I am so terrified I will get a positive result back. I would give them every dime I own if they could just tell me sooner.

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NoName
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So, it's officially been an entire week since my testing. The nurse told me that if I don't hear anything from then within 5 days, that typically means that everything is negative. So should I rest a bit easier by now? I don't know if she meant 5 business days or she was counting weekends, do labs typically operate during all hours like in a hospital? I would sure hope that if any lab saw that you were + for HIV that they would notify you by now so that you wouldn't infect anyone else. I sure hope that everything is negative, this has been the hardest week of my whole life and I pray all the waiting is worth it.
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Saffron Raymie
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Heya NoName, I hope you don't mind me dropping in here.

Everything sounds pretty good - you haven't heard that you have HIV yet; and yes - they would tell you as soon as they knew you had HIV, if you did. So, things are looking good.

You're over the hardest part now; just five more days to go until you know you're 100% in the clear. Whether it includes weekends or not; all this will be over on by Tuesday.

[ 01-18-2012, 07:28 AM: Message edited by: Seashie Ray ]

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NoName
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Thanks Seashie, I called them today and they said my results weren't in yet. Judging from what the nurse told me, she said "if they aren't knocking down our door within 5 days, everything is probably negative." So, I sure hope that is true. I haven't been able to focus on anything since I took the tests and I just want this to all be over with. I don't really know how labs work but I am assuming that they do all of your tests and some take longer than others. If the tests that didn't take as long to do came out negative, I guess they would just continue to wait until all of your tests are done before they process them. Either way, that is a really sucky system. If ANY of your tests were complete, they should let the health department know so that you don't have to worry yourself to death about it. They have no idea how grateful I would be just for them to tell me the status of the HIV test or the pap. I sure hope that they wouldn't wait until two weeks to tell you something so serious, well heck, I hope they wouldn't wait that long to test for it period because I know that HIV tests don't take as long to conduct as other tests that involve bacterial growth, and even those should only take a few days.

[ 01-18-2012, 11:17 PM: Message edited by: NoName ]

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While I understand your frustration, NoName, I can assure you that the people at the health department or the lab aren't doing this to torture their patients. Not calling after every test result is a matter of efficiency: if they called every patient after every test, they'd be on the phone all day. This way, unless a result is positive, they can tell you about all of it with one quick phone call and be done with it.

And as Ray said, you've already gotten through most of the wait. So, just take a deep breath and wait out the rest of it.

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Johanna
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NoName
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Just writing to say that my pap still isn't in BUT, I am negative for those 4 std's! You have no idea what a weight was taken off my shoulders. Since I was tested for the most common std's and the most deadly, I am not sure if I need to move forward and test for anything else really. I would really hate to have to go through all that again. I see no need to test for herpes as I already know I have oral herpes and what precautions to take with that and I know that neither I nor my partner have ever had an outbreak on our genitals. I am also fairly sure that a Hepatitis infection would be obvious after this long but to boot, since I apparently didn't have the A and B vaccinations, I am going to get right on that...and I am not sure if they test you beforehand or not.

All of this was really scary for me and it has greatly impacted my life the past 2 weeks but in the end, I am glad I did this for myself. I am glad I am taking control of my health and that I went ahead and took the test instead of wondering about it my whole life. I am so thankful that I didn't have to go through the horror of having a false positive or anything like that, really, this turned out great for me and I am so relieved. Thank you to all of you who helped me through this journey, I appreciate it.

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moonlight bouncing off water
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I'm glad you did this too, since it has made you feel more comfortable!

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Saffron Raymie
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So happy for you NoName! Well done for doing it.

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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