This post is mostly for the ladies, a few brave men but definitely NOT for those of you that are sexually conservative.
Dating is a scary thing and can effect health, weight loss is also about overall health, this links the two together, sorta…sexual health is important.
I was a late bloomer. Because of a healthy fear of my Mother (and god a little, but mostly my mom) I didn’t have sex until I was living on my own, almost 21. Old enough to find an OBGYN and make birth control decisions entirely on my own. As a teen my mom terrified me and my friends with graphic pictures of STI’s (they are now called sexually transmitted infections) There was always a jar of condoms in my room, for my friends to take if they wanted. In addition to a halfway house we were also a community clinic.
So starting late, and being in a long relationship, I haven’t had many sexual partners. Thank goodness because I am PARANOID. I get a lip zit and am sent into full blown panic. I have herpes, right there on my face. Oh my god, where? How did this happen? Why me??? What will I dooooooo??? The fact that I have not shared cups, or lip balm or kissed anyone for months is completely erroneous. I have contracted the STI that keeps on giving, the glitter of the STI world, get it once, it just keeps popping up. Then I realize it’s a lip zit and a little tea tree oil cures my panic and life ending blemish. I’m like the cop in “Deuce Bigalow ” asking strangers to look at a rash or blemish, “does this look ok???”
I go for an annual lady part tune up. I have a great Dr. but she is in vernon, and busy. As a single girl, like a car that goes on a lot of test drives I need a little more routine up keep. This is also where my paranoia kicks in. I feel more comfortable going in every 6 months for a full “cleaning and check up” an STI panel and HIV test. Condoms break, and people lie, my sexual health is not something I want to be reckless about. I googled “STI clinic Penticton” and discovered that the previous clinics put on by interior health have been closed in a number of communities, including mine. I called the OPT clinic, they are open tuesday and thursday nights running out of the interior health building. They cannot requisition any blood work or do HIV testing. I made an appointment, showed up and filled out some paperwork. While in the waiting room I fingered thru a picture book of lady parts (Bahahaha). 100 pages of glossy pictures. labias are funny things.
I head into an exam room, and the Dr. keeps looking at me like I’m a Unicorn. Had a pap, yes, have a family Dr. yep, no symptoms, nothing wrong, just being cautious. She sets me up on a paper covered table, and gives me another sheet of paper to go over top. I am a taco sandwich, paper, my taco, more paper, I don’t know that I spend enough time on a table with foot holders, I wonder if I could fashion stirrups to my office chair. I’m looking at a poster on the wall about not letting alcohol influence your sexual decisions. So I’m not supposed to feed my dates enough drinks to make some bad decisions…? Well shit… The Dr comes back into the room, folds up my sheet of paper and inserts a light up thingie. We could have made a giant paper airplane, or a life size paper swan, a simple fold isn’t expressing my artistic feelings about this visit! What is that thingie called? I’ve only seen metal ones before, plain old silver, does it come in different colors? Mood lighting for vaginas? Talk about slipping into something special, Maybe victoria secret will make one with feathers and bows! I’m just slightly anxious, I mean, all these tests, and I haven’t studied! She takes a bunch of swabs asks me some questions. Tells me she’s all done and I can put my pants back on. I head out to the waiting room, and ask how everything looks, I wish I had a report card, or a gold star, maybe they should look into a “treasure chest” Have a good pap? Pass all your tests, pick out a prize! High 5’s from all the peeps in the clinic, after a good hand washing of course. They had a big basket of shiny foil packages, I guess that’s the “prize”
I still need to see my GP for blood work, but I know where and when the clinic is open in my community. And I had a woman tell me my junk looked good, she was probably just sayin’ that…