So I had one last month after travelling and kind of expected it to come back at some point because they usually do. It did, and I was crying in my living room while watching Friday Night Lights (because OMG Tim Riggins) and trying to muster the strength to go to the doctor. I’m going home next week to visit my family and am going to see a specialist while I’m there to figure out what’s happening with my urinary tract (thrilling stuff, I know). The doctor I went to before wanted me to come in to run some tests so I could bring them home with me.
Since I had to get blood-work done anyway, I thought “This is a perfect time for an STD test.” Not because I think I have anything, but I am a sexually active person and think everyone should get tested regularly. I didn’t want to have to get my blood redrawn another time so I asked the nurse I could get tested while I was there. Easy enough, right?
Wrong, I got judged! Yay!
First, there was a slight pause. Then the nurse said, “Oh. Okay.” She left me in the room while she ran the UTI test and returned with the doctor. He was a very cheery man and was all “YUP you’ve definitely got a UTI. Drink some cranberry juice. She’ll give you a prescription.” Then the nurse said, with disdain, “She also wants…an STD panel.” He looked at me and nodded, “Great. Do that. Feel better!” and bounced out of the room.
I’m still in there with Nurse Judgment, and she typed away on the computer, inputting all of the info from my appointment. It really felt like she was furiously typing “SLUT” into my chart. Then a happy nurse came in to draw my blood, and we talked about her lunch. She was really sweet and actually made me feel good about getting tested since, you know, it’s a good thing to do.
The judge-y nurse told me when I could expect results, gave me my UTI prescription and reminded me to hydrate. I smiled and gave her a big “Thanks so much!” and was on my way, but inside I was really upset. I could not believe that I had just been seriously judged for getting an STD test by a medical professional. Everyone should feel comfortable getting tested, not ashamed.
I’ve never experienced that feeling before, and I didn’t like it. I was shocked that there was a stigma like that in a doctor’s office. I know we tell y’all to get tested frequently, and stories like this I’m sure make you not want to. But you should. And you should feel completely comfortable asking for a test from your doctor because it’s responsible. You need to be looking out for your health since many STDs don’t even show symptoms.
I want you to know that this is the first time in my life that I’ve ever had a bad experience when asking for an STD test, so I don’t think this is a normal occurrence. I don’t want you to be afraid that this will happen to you next time you visit your doctor. But in the event that it does, don’t pay attention to it. You are doing the right and responsible thing, and you should be proud of that. Smile, be polite and hold your head up.
Have you ever been judged for getting tested? What happened? Did it make you afraid to get tested again? Tell us in the comments!