Remember that time I thought I had an STD? Oh right, no, because I have yet to share that story yet…so here goes.
About two weeks ago, I stepped out of the shower and felt a sting Down There (yes, my lady parts deserve capital letters). Having just shaved, I figured maybe I got a little too crazy and perhaps nicked myself.
It was slightly bothering me that day, so I took a looksy later that evening and confirmed my thoughts that yes, I had a tiny cut.
But a few days later, that “tiny cut” had indeed formed into a small bump. What the fuck is that? I wondered.
I thought about D, and how he cheated on me. Perhaps he gave me something. Because he seems to be the gift that just keeps on giving. I felt light-headed. My stomach was in knots. Sure, I’d had a test, but what if this “thing” didn’t show up on the results?
I continued to worry, and the only thing keeping me from a complete breakdown was the fact that the one bump still remained one bump (which means nothing if you have herpes).
But a few days later, I had four bumps. I had a fever. Swollen glands. So I called my doctor to get an appointment, and I sat on my bathroom floor and cried.
I was sure of it. I had herpes. And this was a result of my carelessness, a result of me falling for men who didn’t give a damn about me. I would never be able to have sex again. I was diseased. I was ugly. I should make a scrapbook for my sex life because it was a distant memory now.
I thought about the last time I had sex. Sure, it was great, but was it “last time of your life” great? I didn’t know.
Time out: Yeah, I know, these are irrational thoughts. Bear with me.
The morning of my doctor’s appointment, I rolled out of bed and shuffled into Women’s Hospital. I sat in the waiting room for more than an hour before it was my turn. As I sat on the doctor’s table in my sexy paper gown, I imagined her telling me what I already knew. Herpes.
She came in, and I told her the series of events as I leaned back and put my feet in the stirrups. She said nothing for at least a minute.
“Do these itch or hurt? Do you have a fever? I feel swollen lymph nodes. When was your last new sexual partner? Do you go to the gym?”
She looked up at me.
“Yes, almost every day,” I said.
“This isn’t herpes. Ever heard of Molluscum?”
I swear I could have kissed this woman as she continued to tell me that I’d gotten a virus from an infected towel or piece of clothing, and the gym was probably the culprit (she did take a herpes culture, in case you’re worried). I wouldn’t have it forever, but maybe for as long as six weeks.
She prescribed me some cream, but said she’d heard apple cider vinegar worked better than the cream.
Enter my gallon jug of apple cider vinegar.
For the last week, I’ve filled my tub with 5 inches of water, added 2 cups of apple cider vinegar, and sat for 20 minutes, twice a day in order to smash this virus. Because until the bumps are gone, it’s still contagious.
I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t prop my laptop beside the tub and get some writing done on a few occasions.
While these vinegar baths are certainly not fun, my bratty kitty Blanche has perched herself on the edge of my tub (lining up all four feet and balancing her belly between them; an act that has taken months to perfect with a few plunges) every morning and night, watching my toes in the water.
It’s a simple reminder that, even in times of distress, I am not alone. My friends, the very few that I told when I thought I was hosting a funeral for my sex life, were comforting and kind. You know who you are and I am so thankful I have you.