A couple of weeks ago I had a very long conversation with my friend X-girl. My friendship with X-girl is based on honesty. There is no such thing as an embarrassing secret with her. Everything that's ever been in either of our minds has always come out in earnest and I like to think that as friends we have always complimented each other.
During our conversation, she told me that during her latest physical she had gotten tested for STDs and that she felt good about life knowing that she was healthy and well. I felt good about life knowing that she was healthy and well too so I let her carry on with the conversation. That's when she did it. She asked me if I had ever been tested for STDs.
That was the most embarrassing "no" I have ever said.
I had never been tested for anything except for HIV and that wasn't even on purpose. I donate blood often so I just figured that if I had it they'd say something.
Although I know that in this day and age everyone is at risk of contracting an STD, I really never saw myself as the type of person who could EVER be at risk for anything. I don't use intravenous drugs, I am neither promiscuous nor do I practice serial monogamy, I believe in safer sex, etc. so it always seemed like those tests were not intended for me.
X-girl didn't find this amusing. I was bitched at for an hour.
Last week I went to my gyno for my yearly check-up. I hate that f*cking place. Anyway, while I was there it was like the voice of X-girl had been connected to a loud speaker in my head because all I could hear was "you could be dying of something right now and you don't even want to know" and "you could kill someone you love!" which were parts of her little speech.
So I did it. I got tested for EVERYTHING.
I had to wait 7 business days to get the results back and all I can say is that those 7 business days (9 if you count weekends) were the most stressful days of my life. Although in my mind I have been certain all along that I'm as healthy as can be, all it took to make me crazy was to acknowledge the possibility that I might not be.
I've imagined the scenarios where I get told that I am dying of (or living with) HIV, or that I'm two weeks away from syphilis induced insanity or that my dreams of parenthood are squashed because I failed to notice that I had gonorreah. I've also imagined having to call someone to tell them that I may have infected them and then the worse scenario- buying a gun and shooting the motherf*cker who got me sick.
But 7 business days later, 9 if you count the weekend, I am 100% healthy. Once again I'm worry-free though this time it's a different kind of relief. If before I thought that I was fine now I am CERTAIN that I am, and that counts for something.
So this is the part where I am going to preach to you all and I'm going to tell you to consider getting tested yourself. Unless you are a virgin (and as usual that has its exclusions) consider the possibility that not everyone is as clean as they seem. Even if you are married (because I did hear once from a married person the words "condoms? what?") don't trust your spouse so blindly as people do cheat. It's really better to be safe than sorry.