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Don't You Hate It When Your Doctor Says "Call Me"? - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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Don't You Hate It When Your Doctor Says "Call Me"? [Nov. 14th, 2006|10:18 pm]
Young Geoffrey
Naturally, one of the first things I did after Laura and I broke up was make an appointment with my doctor. There's nothing like finding out that the woman you loved - and with whom you had been exchanging bodily fluids a couple of times a day sans protection has been screwing around on you to make a man get some blood-work done. And naturally, I set the appointment for 3 months after my last encounter with her - I went in for the tests of October 11th, 3 months plus a day.

Now, my doctor did say she would have me come in regardless of the results of the tests, but after a month - yesterday, to tell you the truth - I decided that the standard "no news is good news" would apply.

And naturally, when I came home this evening (about which, more anon), there was a message waiting for me. "Please call doctor Keystone for an appointment."

Well, shit. It was long after closing when I picked it up, so I won't know until the morning even when I will find out whether there is (or is not) something wrong.


When I went in and asked to have myself tested my doctor almost tried to argue me out of it. "You're not doing intravenous drugs, you're not having anal sex, the chances are - even if your ex is infected, that you're fine."

"Give me the tests anyway," I said. "I want to be able to look my next lover in the eye and say with a straight face, 'Yes, I'm clean'."

And so they took my urine and my blood.

And now I have to wait until the morning to find out when I will get the official good (or bad) news.

Fuck I hate being cheated on and lied to.

* * *

Speaking of exes, I was supposed to see Borat tonight with my ex-ex, Siya.

Unfortunately - from the point of view of those with whom I want to discuss the movie - Siya was more in the mood to talk than watch. And so we had a couple of drinks and, by the time we were she was ready to go face the music, it was too late for me to catch the show.

Borat will have to wait.

Siya is another woman who broke my heart. However, she did it honourably. She told me that things weren't working out between us, that she had met someone else. It took me a long time to get over her, but once I did, I was able to renew a friendship with her. Honesty and integrity really do mean a hell of a lot.

And so, friendship trumped art and I will have to see Borat another time. Do any of you, my Gentle Readers, feel like attending the cinema with me (comedy is best served to groups)?

And yes, if it turns out I have AIDS, I'll let you all know. Then I'll go on a month-long bender, after which, well - who the hell knows how I'll deal.

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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-11-15 03:46 am (UTC)


I'm not deppressed, just a little anxious. AIDS is why I waited three months to get tested.

Still, I hope I get an appointment sooner (like tomorrow) rather than later (like, any time after tomorrow.

But, hopefully, it's nothing at all. I don't have any symptoms.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-11-15 04:31 am (UTC)

Re: Clapping

Yeah, well, I didn't go in because I had symptoms, but just to be on the safe side. I don't think she left me with a terminal present, I'm just worried that she might have done so.

As for my ancestry, you forget the Mongolian in me - though, even without the chimp genes (hey! waittaminute!), I like to think I'm a pretty tough cookie.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-11-15 04:43 am (UTC)

Re: Clapping

Probably less than 1/8, but those are tough genes. Did you know (I've probably already told you in person - 3 or 4 times) that Genghis Khan has at least 16 million males descendents living today?


Thanks of the kind words, all the same. Now, you should think about replying to my last email.
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[User Picture]From: rantipole6
2006-11-15 03:41 am (UTC)
Waiting to get test results back can suck nards because it's difficult to get the thought out of your mind. But look on the bright side. I saw a documentary about Ron Jeremy recently and there's a scene where Ron goes to a clinic to get tested. He does this every couple of months. His test results were clean. Think of the thousands of women Ron's had sex with and he hasn't caught anything. So there's hope for you, eh?
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-11-15 03:52 am (UTC)

Yeah, but ...

... a friend of an ex girlfriend of mine let her first boyfriend take some naked pics of her. Not long after they broke up, she found out he had immortalized her on the internet.

Point being: I know my doctor told me she would consult with me whatever the results - but I still feel a little anxious.

But yeah, there's hope. :)
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[User Picture]From: whatyouwant
2006-11-15 03:49 am (UTC)
ugh, as a chronic worrier i really feel for ya. i would be freaking out too. but as someone looking at the situation from the outside, i'm sure it will be fine.. the odds of HIV are extremely slim. it could be something kinda gross but minor, or it could very well be nothing. good luck. *hugs*
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-11-15 04:01 am (UTC)

"Sure"? No. "Probably", Yes.

Thanks. I'm hoping for nothing. And I am liking the odds. But I still resent being put in the position of having to worry. You know, "... but I didn't do anything wrong...!"

(Shades of The Cold Equations.
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[User Picture]From: fingeringsolace
2006-11-15 04:09 am (UTC)
would you like me to invent a time machine and fast forward to tomorrow?

i know that this is impossible but if i were in your situation, i would want that.

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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-11-15 04:15 am (UTC)

Yes, I Would ...

... Better yet, until whenever that appointment turns out to be.

But what the hell. I'm probably fine. Keystone did tell me she'd have me in no matter what the results were.
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[User Picture]From: sabotabby
2006-11-15 04:48 am (UTC)
I've been there, with the worrying, and then the "we found something" and then tests, and then it turned out to be okay *sigh of relief*. It probably won't stop you from worrying if I tell you how low your chances of being HIV+ are (besides, silkcorset covered that), but really, it's a very low probability. It's also standard practice with some doctors to call you regardless of whether it's good news or bad. It was good news after my last round of tests, but she still wanted me to come in for an appointment because she doesn't do telephones.

And even if it is, it's not the end of the world. I have one friend who's been HIV+ for over 20 years and has had full-blown AIDS for 10. He's sick but he's still kicking. When another friend was diagnosed a few years ago, I went to him for advice and he said that someone who contracts HIV now is obviously going to do way better than that. There might be something close to a cure that allows one to live out a normal lifespan by the time symptoms even appear. Really.

I saw Borat already, but you should see it. It's fucking hilarious. It even took my mind off my own misery for the length of the movie.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-11-15 04:57 am (UTC)

I *Will* See "Borat", Whether or Nil

I fear my post made me sound more worried than I am. I will sleep reasonably well tonight; I know the odds of me having something horrible are pretty low.

It's the not knowing for sure that I don't like. It wasn't so long ago that I would worry because the standard procedure was to call you only if something was wrong. So, after 6 weeks or so, you'd call them, just to be sure - "Er, you guys didn't leave a message at the wrong number or something, did you?"

And yes, even AIDS wouldn't be the end of the world - but I'd just as soon be clean, you know what I mean?
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[User Picture]From: subsequently
2006-11-15 12:39 pm (UTC)
The waiting is a rotten experience - hell, being cheated on SUCKS from every angle, and then you're going through this - but just to add to the throng, the chances that you contracted anything are truly minute. I know people who should have, by the laws of nature, been positive long ago (not that I would wish that on anyone, anyone) who have remained clean. I look forward to reading that you are fine :)
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-11-15 10:45 pm (UTC)

Waiting's Over

I did know, intellectually, that I was probably fine - but not being sure and having pretty much decided the clinic had reverted to old way of only calling if something was wrong, was a little stressful.

Mind you, to your people who "should" have been struck down by something horrible, I know a couple who weren't far getting hit with herpes the first time they had sex.
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From: bug2099
2006-11-15 04:01 pm (UTC)
maybe its just my age, but i had found that with most of the girls i dated, they seemed to think it was better for things to fade to the point where the guy had to break up with them. As if they thought they were doing the guy a favour....
But really in this day and age i think people prefer the honesty if something isn't working.. then you either work it out or end it.

Im glad you could be friends once again. its something special.

You definately need to see this film, and enjoy the night
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-11-15 10:47 pm (UTC)

Friendship With Exes

Yes, I much prefer honestly. It took me a long time to get over Siya, then she was out of the country for (I think) almost a couple of years, so it's especially nice that we've reconnected this year.
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[User Picture]From: colinmarshall
2006-11-15 09:43 pm (UTC)
They took a month to get you your test results?
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-11-16 01:19 am (UTC)

I *Knew* I Should Have Created A "No Right-Wing Yanks" Filter!

Thanks. Thanks for nothing. Thanks for blowing my intention to add a paen of praise to my country's socialized public medical system right out of the water.

Yes, it took a month to get the results.

However, I should point out (a) that it didn't cost me a penny out of pocket to get them; (b) that my doctor knew I was a low-risk patient; and (c) that I could as easily have gone to a specialized STD clinic and had the results within days (still paid by OHIP - or "medicare", if you prefer).

But yes, the results were a little slow in coming.
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[User Picture]From: colinmarshall
2006-11-16 02:04 am (UTC)

Re: I *Knew* I Should Have Created A "No Right-Wing Yanks" Filter!

Hey now, I wasn't getting political. It was just a little bit of a shock. Some of my friends who've had occasion to get "the tests" grow pissed -- no pun intended -- if the turnaround period exceeds three days.

Although, now that you mention it, I was settling back into a "Canada's public services can't be as bad as people tell me" phase when I read the line. It always happens; I'll be lulled into that feeling of false security, consider heading up north, then some Canadian friend or another will come at me with a story about patients three-deep in hospital hallways.

Console yourself with this: you could be living under the NHS.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-11-18 12:39 am (UTC)

Re: I *Knew* I Should Have Created A "No Right-Wing Yanks" Filter!

Console yourself with this: you could be living under the NHS.

I *do* console myself with that thought; also, that I don't have to deal an HMO. And I shudder to think what kind of coverage my company (11 people now) could provide me down south.

I will say, though, that on those rare occasions (like last February) when I really needed treatment, I got it and got it fast. Mind you, I live in a big city, not in the boondocks.
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[User Picture]From: colinmarshall
2006-11-18 02:17 am (UTC)

Re: I *Knew* I Should Have Created A "No Right-Wing Yanks" Filter!

Years ago, Andrew Sullivan wrote an all-too-vivid account of his novocaine-free tooth extraction at the hands of the NHS, which underestimated demand when they made their five-year buy. Needless to say, he's a little bitter.

If I were omnipotent, one of the first things I'd do would be to decouple health insurance provision from employment. That WWII-era tax law artifiact is really causing a lot of misery; it's probably the mother of all United States health care market distortions, and there are a bunch.

Since I've never sought treatment in Canada, it doesn't make much sense for me to gripe about it, but damned if what northern friends tell me doesn't give me pause. Dismantling the system of state-provided health care is a bit much, but would it kill you guys -- no pun intended -- to decriminalize purchasing the stuff?
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-11-18 03:10 am (UTC)

Re: I *Knew* I Should Have Created A "No Right-Wing Yanks" Filter!

Dismantling the system of state-provided health care is a bit much, but would it kill you guys -- no pun intended -- to decriminalize purchasing the stuff?

Well, this is the thing: I think it would, if not destroy the public system, then seriously damage it, similar to what happened in England (we are talking about the National Health Service, right?).

The general pro-medicare concern - which is also mine - is that establishing a two-tier system (more than, admitedly, already exists now; the system as it is has significant leaks and the rich get better treatment than the poor on the whole) will inevitably weaken support for the public system. From the logical, but short-term, point of view, if one is paying extra for premium care, why would one also want to pay for the public system via taxes?

Far better, I think, if it is one's short-term self-interest too maintain political pressure to improve the public system.

Two points of information.

1. It is not illegal in Canada for a doctor to set him or her self up in completely private practice and seek out wealthy patients. What is (and should be, to my mind) illegal is such a practitioner also using the public system when it is convenient. If someone wants to set up a private clinic or a private hospital there is nothing to stop them - except the lack of a market.

2. Whatever its flaws (and they are significant) our public medical system produces a lower infant mortality and longer life-expectancy than the US system (though not, I'll admit, the mixed systems in use in some other western countries).
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