Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I Want To Kiss That Doctor--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

     Tuesday, December 4

     I walked into Tom’s room braced for him wanting another day off of school. Tom got out of bed and began getting dressed.
     “I talked to the school social worker yesterday after I dropped you at Nana’s,” I said. “He called while I was driving downtown. His name is Ryan. He sounds nice. I think he’s going to see you today. He said his parents got divorced when he was your age. You want to talk to him?”
     I kissed the top of Tom’s head and drove him to school.

     Wednesday, December 5

     “I just got a vmail (sic) from dr's (sic) office,” JB texted. “I have a urinary tract infection with gram positive cocci (sic) bacteria. That’s all I have right now. You should share this with your dr (sic).”

     I googled the bacteria, which is commonly present in unsterile orifices of the body, like mouths and vaginas. It causes problems when it enters sterile environments, like the urethra. Women get urinary tract infections routinely. It’s nothing a gynecologist would label an STD.
     HPV, on the other hand, is an STD majority of adults my age either have or have had. There are more than one hundred strains. It manifests as warts or atypical cells. If a guy doesn’t have warts on his penis, he’s got no idea he has it or had it. His throat could be full of atypical cells or warts, however, and he’d be clueless. HPV usually goes away on its own, but it can cause cervical and throat cancers. There’s a vaccine for it now.
      The doctor JB selected from the telephone directory apparently figured JB’d give me something nasty eventually and told him to tell me. He could have given JB antibiotics and told him not to worry. But he didn’t. I want to kiss that doctor.
     Tom came home from school. We ate dinner and I left to teach my yoga class. I felt unclean, defiled, gross. I didn’t want to teach. I still need an HIV test. I still need my pap smear to return to normal.
     I setup my yoga room with candles, incense, and music. I was relieved I’d finish teaching in two weeks. Right after Thanksgiving and right before my life blew up, I’d sent emails to my clients telling them that after eight years of teaching, I was giving up my public yoga classes. I hadn’t written anything since “Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife” and wanted to focus on writing. My students began showing up. I got into them and out of my head. A blessing. But I was still grateful I wouldn’t have to teach soon.

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