|You're the Man!! A ty note and advice to the WW club.
Sep 30, 2002
Dearest Dr. Bob, I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am for you doing what you do. Not only are you an incredibly compassionate and smart doctor you are a wonderful human being!! Through your work and dedication you have helped so many in need. Last October I ended a 4yr relationship with a on-again off-again boyfriend. We remained friends and about a month or so after we split up he asked me if during the course of our relationship I had been unfaithful to him. I told him no and wondered why he wanted to know. He told me that after our last intercourse he noticed a bump on his penis. I asked him if it hurt of if there was more than one and he said no. I'm a female and have suffered from PCOS since I was 15. Because of this annoying syndrome I'd have my periods for months at a time and had to wear pads. As a result from time to time I'd get irritated and a bump would appear. So I suggested to him that maybe he should see a doctor about it but it was probably nothing.
A couple of weeks later I noticed a discharge. Went to see my GYN and he said it was a yeast infection. Gave me some cream and the instructions. A couple of weeks later the same discharge came back. Went back to the doc and this time I was told it was bacteria. More cream was prescribed but problem didn't go away.
I went to see a different GYN and this one told me yeast infection. Prescribed more cream and the problem didn't go away. Needless to say I became concerned and started searching the internet. What a mistake!!! I swear if one has a runny nose HIV pops up as a possible cause.
I called my ex and asked him if his problem had been resolved. He said no and that he hadn't had time to visit a doctor. Then I asked him if he had been with anyone else other than me unprotected. He said yes. Well, right away I knew the cause of my problem. It had to have been HIV. I took an HIV test and to my surprise it came back negative. The day before I got back my result I came across this website. I read the experts forums and some said that HIV takes 3 months to show up on a blood test and others said 6. My blood was drawn maybe 5 1/2 months after my last encounter. I was relieved when my test came back negative but the thought of my blood not being drawn exactly at 6 months caused irrational fear. I spent hours reading this forum along with Ryan Kull's. (I like yours better) I learned about lymph nodes, subtypes, PCR, CD4, 1st and 3rd generation Elisa and so much more! I'm like a walking encyclopedia now. I went through another 2 weeks of pure hell. I kept examining my lymph nodes now that I knew what they were. I'd make sure my tongue wasn't covered in thrush about 10 times a day, I'd take my temp every hour. After the 2 weeks of pure hell I got another negative test result. I was relieved once again. However my vaginal discharge was still there so I went back to my original GYN and again he said yeast. None of the medication worked. I must have seen him about 8 times and taken many different medications none of which worked. I checked the internet once again and according to some websites along with the back of some yeast infection medication it says that a yeast infection may be a sign of HIV. At this point I was convinced that I had a different strain of HIV that wasn't being picked up by any test. I didn't know what to do or where to turn. As a blessing in disguise I'd get horrible pains in my stomach and had to go to the emergency room. I found out I had gallstones. My ER doctor was a woman and when she asked me if I'd been having any other symptoms I told her about my vaginal discharge. She smiled at me and told me that it were cervical secretions and that a lot of women have it and best of all it's not a big deal. She recommended I go see her GYN who is also a woman and when I did it was confirmed that I didn't have a yeast infection or bacteria but cervical secretions that would thicken. I didn't know if I should be happy that I was fine or mad at my own doctor whom I had visited so many times and he wouldn't do a culture to see if it really were yeast. I'd request one but all he'd say was that he has been a doctor for the 20 years and doesn't need a culture to tell him what I had.
To all the WW's that are outside the window period here is some golden advice from a recovered WW: disconnect from the internet. While this site does provide an amazing deal of information there are a lot of people on here who don't believe their test result and never underestimate the power of suggestion. While Dr. Bob is a GOD sent to us all he is still a doctor. When you ask him a question such as: I tested negative 6 months after a possible exposure can I move on now? His answer will be yes. When you ask him: What percentage of accuracy is a test after 3-6 months his answer will be 99.999999 accurate. One thing I've learned is 99.9 is as good as we will ever get in the medical field. 100 just doesn't exist.
This has been such a long and painful journey for me. One which I hope to never have to encounter ever again. I've learned the importance of a condom and while it may not feel as good as the real thing it's a compromise I'm willing to make.
Dr. Bob, if you are EVER in the big apple you and/or your partner are more than welcomed to dinner! I make a killer filet mignon and is a Spanish-style Flan with caramel bottom okay for dessert?
Yours truly, Nicole
Response from Dr. Frascino
I sincerely hope the over 600 WW's in my box are listening very carefully to your wise words. As for nothing being 100 per cent, well most of the time I'd agree, but I must say your advice to WW's is indeed 100 per cent accurate! Not 99.99999999!!!!
You might want to remind doctor "smart ass" that maybe he indeed did need a culture, as you requested, as he clearly missed the diagnosis despite his 20 years of experience.
Filet mignon, Spanish-style Flan with caramel bottom??? Yum! What time should I be there?
Many thanks. Stay well.
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