Friday, August 03, 2007

The Other Little Blue Pill

I been saved from the Goob.

A couple months ago, knowing how much I hated my own doctor, Jennifer emailed me to say she'd gotten in at the clinic a half-block up the street from us. In my quest to have all the same things as Jennifer (clothing, landlord, hairdresser, etc.), I called the clinic and got a meet and greet appointment with the new resident.

I went at the appointed time and was met and greeted by a doctor several years younger than me who was very glam, clicking around in her kitten heels looking like nothing so much as the star of Medically Blond. But she was very personable and very nice. She asked me how I was.

She was competent too, taking a reasonably thorough history. Though as soon as she found out I had a boyfriend, she stopped asking me about my sexual history. Unsurprising, but still a little sad.* We got through all her questions and she asked me if I had any other concerns.

I pointed at my lip, scabby from the latest round of herpes. "I'm going to book a follow up about the cold sores."
"Well, how often do you get them?"

Before going into the appointment, I'd spent some time totting up the outbreaks. A lot, was the answer to her question. I launched into my tabulations. In great detail. I was bound and determined to convince her that I *needed* valtrex. Her eyebrows went higher and higher the longer I went on.

"You know, if you get more than two or three outbreaks a year, you could reasonably take valtrex prophylactically."

Prophylactic valtrex had been a no-go with the Goob. Hell, I'd had to push her to even get a prescription to take them intermittently. They make you too tired, she said. Just take them when you feel the tingling, she said. Okay, I said. She was the one with the pen and the script pad, after all, and the Goob does not brook dissention.

And here my new doctor was, acting like it was normal, nay, even appropriate, for me to take a pill to prevent the at least monthly outbreaks of itchy ouchy blisters on one of the two parts of my body I have consistently liked my entire life. She hauled out the drug compendium, checked the dosage, and typed me up a prescription.

I started taking the little blue pills about two weeks ago. They have changed my life. That sounds like hyperbole, I know, but it is not. Because I don't remember a time when I didn't get cold sores, the anxiety that went along with them seemed normal.

Is that a tingle? I think that's a tingle. Is that a red spot? Maybe, but then I just ate that spicy food and had a hot drink, so maybe it's just the scars getting inflamed, or maybe. Hmm. I dunno. But. Damn. Don't kiss me. And I can't put my lips on you. Anywhere. Just in case. But, okay, my lip isn't crawling any more. Maybe it was my imagination. Shit, where's my lip balm. I need lip balm. I never leave the house without lip balm. Where is it, it must be. Oh. Thank god. My lips are getting dry and it's a little windy outside. And the sun is kind of bright. And it's cold. Cold is bad. Sun is bad. Hot is bad. Dry is bad. Oh dear oh dear.

It's made me wonder about how much of my personality has been shaped by the fear of cold sores. If I had been on this stuff from my teens, would I be as prone to worry about maybes and might bes?

Oh, who am I kidding. Of course I would be.

Still, it feels like I've relaxed a fuck of a lot since starting the valtrex and I intend to keep taking it until I die. And you know, even there's a dire consequence for taking these pills for years at a time, at least those years will have been full of worry-free kissing and scar-free lips.

*I've only ever had one doctor not make assumptions about my sexuality. My first doctor in Halifax, chosen because her clinic was the closest to my house, asked if I had sex with men, women, or both. I nearly threw my arms around her and shouted "YES! I'M BISEXUAL! YOU KNOW I EXIST!" No GP before that or since then has offered me the both option. I keep holding out hope, though.

1 comment:

Evey said...

Good riddance to the goob! I'm glad you've ditched him. Doctors are supposed to help you, and in this case, he seemed to be neglecting to do that.

I'm on the lookout for a doctor currently -- do you know if your new doctor is still taking new patients?