May 5, 2005
Hi Doctor Bob -
This is your friend 'Worried in Wellville' again. You answered a post from me back in January when I was 'Stressed' to the max. You may recall I had only one very low risk encounter (brief oral), had already tested multiple times, but was still terrified.
You advised that I could indeed woo-hoo after my three negative tests to 13 weeks, and that I should see my doctor about anxiety if I couldn't manage it.
Well, about two weeks after that post, I couldn't let go. I was still freaking out about everything. So I saw my doc and was diagnosed with anxiety and mild OCD. I have been on Lexapro and after playing around with the dosage a bit, have settled into a place where I'm feeling much better. It's not an overnight cure... every day I still have to get up and make an active choice to be rational. I have good and bad days, but the medicine is helping.
So finally, I reached my six month mark. I decided to do one more Home Access test... not so much because I felt I still could be infected, but more that I wanted to feel like I'd done as much as I could. Going to the outer edge of the window period, and doing the test one last time once I was a bit more balanced, was something I needed to do for closure.
Well guess what? Yep, the result was negative. Again. So now I've had four negative tests - a rapid clinic test at one month, and Home Access tests at 9 weeks, 13 weeks, and 29 weeks (almost 7 months). So I think that qualifies me to give a big, no holds barred WOO-HOO!!
Anyway, I just wanted to share that I'm doing better and finally done with this. Now I need to go about unlearning all the bad habits and reflexes I developed over the last months... excessive hand-washing, checking my hands for cuts because of fear of blood, etc.
Thank you for the support I've gotten here through this whole ordeal. Reading your column has given me peace many days.
I've wasted many months of my life and hundreds of dollars on testing for this and other STD's. So for those out there currently waiting and wondering - just get the test and believe the results. Get whatever help you may need otherwise. And get on with your life. Life is precious and short. And frankly, casual sexual encounters in this day and age are not worth the risk and worry. Be monogamous and know your partner. And if you absolutely can't be good, then don't put yourself in a bad situation... always use protection and common sense!
Doctor Bob, I don't know whether you believe in God, but I do, and my faith has been renewed through this experience. It's helping me to focus on what's important. I've realized that God has forgiven me simply because I've asked Him to, so who am I to hold this mistake over my own head forever?? And I pray for continued health and happiness for you. (You'll also be happy to know I no longer consider myself a Republican. I'm going Libertarian these days.)
I hope you'll post this, welcome me to the Ex Worried Well Files, and accept my gracious thanks. Blessings to you and yours.
Your friend, No Longer Worried In Wellville
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello No Longer Worried in Wellville,
Sure, I'm delighted to post testimonials form "Ex's!" --- especially Ex-Republicans! (And OK, Ex-Worried Wells, too.)
Stay safe. Stay well. Stay Libertarian.
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