Four days later I got tested for STD’s.

Since I had only ever slept with my husband, first on our wedding night (!!!), neither of us had to worry about sexually transmitted anything.  Upon my therapist’s recommendation, and slight suspicion that my husband had, indeed, slept with the “investment banker” (and who knows, to this day, whomever else during that time), I paid a visit to my gynecologist.

She is always unbelievably cheery, for a woman who has to deal with vaginas all day long.

“Hi, Doc,”  My eyes met hers.  I quickly looked away and forced a smile.

“What are we doing today?”  (Still cheery!)

I sat there, visibly sweating through the arm holes in my hospital gown.  I took a deep breath.
“Well, I’m here because my husband…”

She cut me off.
“OH, NOOOOOOOO!  What the hell?!  When are men going to learn to stick with just one vagina?!  What an idiot.  I’m so sorry, sweetie.”

I smiled, relaxed and shifted my heels in the seemingly extra-wide stirrups.
“Thanks,” I squeaked.

She adjusted her glasses.
“Well, I want to run a test for everything,” she offered, matter-of-factly.  “That includes HIV, HPV, PID…” Her voice became somewhat muffled, a la the ambiguous teacher in any Charlie Brown special on ABC.

“She was his student,” I suddenly blurted out.   “She didn’t speak English very well.  She’s twenty-four.”  My eyes shifted over to the plastic model of the uterus, complete with a miniature baby inside.  My heart hurt.

My doctor peered at me, and raised an eyebrow.  “What nationality is she?  Anything Asian?”

“Ukrainian,” I mumbled, still gazing at the miniature baby.  It was upside down.

“Oh, GAWWWWWWDDDDD,” she threw her head back, clicked her pen open and started furiously scribbling on my chart.

“Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, F and G, as well as Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis and definitely HIV,” she trailed, out loud.  She then looked up at me and shook her head.  “People die from this shit in that country. “


I couldn’t disappear, no matter how hard I tried.  I was sitting atop a medical table, naked yet thinly veiled in my sweat-soaked gown, legs spread wide open, ready to discover whatever disgusting, unattractive and deadly disease I had contracted from my cheating husband.

His familiar voice rang out in my head:  “It happened…just once”.

I took another deep breath, laid down on the table and scooted forward.  My doctor did her thing, quickly, as I tried to bravely breathe through it all.  Honestly, it hurt like hell.

Like HELL. 

Trying not to “catastrophize” (a big word I had just learned from my therapist), I prayed that everything would turn out OK.  At the same time, I had no control over any of it; I had to accept my fate.

After she had finished, I thanked my Doc and got dressed.  She gave me a huge hug on my way out.

“Good luck, sweetie.  You’ll find someone that deserves you.”

I swallowed hard.  I had never told her that I was trying to make my marriage work, STD’s and all.


I drove home, clenching my teeth.  I wrote in my prayer journal the next day.

I am out of control; I am a total failure.  I am NOT handing any of this very well, Lord…it just sucks.  I got so angry with [my husband], and last night just raged and ranted.  So ugly.  I’m sorry.  Forgive me.

Father, I am going to shut up today.  I am not doing well by doing it “my way”.   Grant me patience, Father, help me through this.  I am tired of myself.

An agonizing two months later, I received my test results.  I was totally, completely, free and clean, and have been, ever since.

God is so good.

P.T.L., indeed.

3 thoughts on “Doc

  1. Sophi Gilliland says:

    ………and I didn’t realize I hadn’t taken a breath from the beginning until the end of this chapter…..wwwhhhheeww

  2. Zoe says:

    Been there! Humiliating to say the least!

  3. Melissa S says:

    Oh Leslie, thanks for sharing your story with us. I know this is not easy. I have to keep reminding myself that this is your story and it is not fictional. I eagerly await your next blog. I’m glued to it. Can’t wait to hear what happens next. You are story is touching lots of people. Thank you for sharing.

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