Let’s Talk About STD’s…

I fill a lot of roles in my everyday life. One of them is caregiver. One day a week I look after an elderly woman. I really enjoy my job. It is fulfilling and provides me with a very flexible schedule so I can focus on the most important positions in my world…wife and momma.

And there is another perk that comes with my employment. It provides me with new learning opportunities. For instance, just a few days ago I took my little lady to the doctor. The whole experience was very interesting. And, maybe, just a little traumatizing. When we first got there we were greeted with this sign.

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Now, I’ve got four boys. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in a variety of medical settings. But I didn’t know it was illegal to tap on the small sliding glass door that separates the office staff from the waiting room. Looking back I’m pretty sure I’ve probably broken this law at some point. That’s just me. I get a good ole’ case of crazy going on from time to time and do risky things like knocking on partitions.

But my education was just beginning. You see, we were there to see an infectious disease physician. Silly, naïve me. I thought most of the people who went there were struggling with things like an infected wound on their arm…which is why we were there. Turns out that’s not the case. One look at all the pamphlets lying around let me know the biggest problem this particular office dealt with was STD’s. Yes, I’m going to admit it, I began eyeing everyone sitting around me with curiosity.

It got worse. Soon we were escorted back to an exam room. They had pamphlets there as well. But they weren’t content to stop there. A large poster plastered the wall filled with pictures of the impact of STD’s on the body. Graphic. Detailed. Pictures. I’m not completely out of the loop. I know what sexually transmitted diseases are. I’ve read about them. I’ve heard about them. But I’ve never seen them. Not like that. Male and female genitalia were on full display. Extremely disfigured genitalia. The best comparison I can offer you is ground hamburger oozing yellow pus. Yes, that’s what it looked like. Are you sufficiently grossed out yet? Good. So was I. And I hate to suffer alone. Now I was extremely uncomfortable. And just really, really wanting to take a bath in pure bleach. I literally felt the germs crawling off of the chairs and onto my body.

But there’s more. You know how your children get a prize on the way out of the door after a visit to the doctor? Here you got to choose something as well. From a large bowl you could pick from a variety of condoms. Because, clearly, that’s what people who have private parts resembling the meat section of the grocery store need. More sex.

For the rest of the day, in between washing my hands every three minutes, I did a lot thinking.

A little research into the topic quickly showed that STD’s are on the rise with twenty million new cases being diagnosed every year. A whole bunch of people have went out looking to discover the beauty of sexual freedom. Instead, what they’ve found out there in the murky world of random hook-ups is very ugly. And I do mean ugly. Trust me, I’ve seen the pictures.

But, never fear, my fellow citizens, our government has plans to increase the amount of funding they are putting into Pregnancy/STD/ HIV prevention. The hundreds of millions of dollars they already spend just aren’t enough. Throw more money at the problem and it will get better. I mean, that’s not worked up to this point, but it’s not any indication it won’t work in the future. See, don’t you feel better knowing Washington is handling this issue? And, don’t forget, they also have laws in place that prevent us from touching glass partitions in waiting rooms as well. It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I think of all the ways they are looking out for us.

Or, here’s a thought, why should the government be involved at all? Maybe we can just fix this whole mess ourselves by refusing to jump into the sack with anything and everything that moves. Maybe we could abstain. Maybe we could even give marriage a try. I mean a real try. You know, where both parties are actually invested and committed. I know, I know, any talk of a life time of intimacy with one person is scoffed off as impossible or only experienced by those who are repressed in the bedroom. But I read those kinds of statements from all of the sexually “liberated” crowd and simply smile. It is possible to have a great sex life with one person on a long term basis. You want to know how I know that? Because I have one. It turns out this works in my favor for a variety of reasons. Not only do I get to enjoy some pretty awesome sex with my husband, I get to avoid having my girl parts look like they have suffered an alien invasion. That’s what I call a win-win.

Personal responsibility. What a concept.

~T.

 

 

 

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