So yesterday before I went on my date, I was opening my post, to find a letter containing the results of my cervical smear (PAP) test results.
The letter said that they had found evidence of a Human Papilloma Virus Infection (HPV) and dyskaryosis in some of the cells on my cervix. At first, when I read the letter, I was shocked, but didn’t have time to process it as I had to meet Pete (see post here for who he is) for our ‘valentines date’. It went reasonably well, but he was very nervous and I could tell that. Very sweet and thoughtful, brought me flowers and a sweet card, insisted on paying for the meal, and what he had to say about his job and hobbies was interesting.
The only downside was how nervous he was, and clearly lacking in self confidence. That in itself wouldn’t be a problem, but then he let slip that although he is 34, his first girlfriend was last year. Shamefully, thoughts on the movie the 40-year-old virgin ran through my mind. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily but then I worry that it would be me that hurts him – and now the additional worry of me infecting him.
When I got home at about 10pm I became very anxious and agitated, so took some diazepam to calm things down. I read through the letter again, it said I needed to ring a number to arrange a coloscopy. I started googling both HPV and cell changes. As far as I can gather, HPV is a sexual transmitted infection which affects more than 80% of people who are sexually active, it is the most common. Once you have it, you can’t get rid of it, but it is the cause of cervical cancer, and one website scared me by saying it can only take a couple of months to cause it (cue me needing to make more diazepam!). I had spoken to Kim just before the date but didn’t want to tell her as she has a lot on at the moment, and I didn’t want her to worry. I didn’t even want to tell Jen. I think it was partly because I didn’t want her to worry, and partly because I didn’t want to admit the shame I was feeling about being dirty and contracting a sexually transmitted disease. The more I read the more it seems that even people who only have one partner in their life can still get it and you shouldn’t been ashamed, but with someone who has a background like mine – well, what am I supposed to think?! To me those little voices in the darkness of my mind who whisper to me ‘you are a whore’ (metaphorically speaking of course as I don’t hear voices – just to clear that one up) and now whispering ‘You aren’t just a whore, now you are a dirty infected whore’.
What does this mean for my future sex life? If the virus never goes away does this mean everyone I have sex with in the future will catch it? On google it says that it can still be passed even when using condoms? When did I catch it? I had a full STD when I stopped escorting but apparently this virus will only be picked up on a cervical screening test and not a normal set of STD tests. I have no symptoms – so I may not have known. Apparently there are over 100 strains of the virus but split into two types; ‘Low Risk’ where you see warts around your genitals, and ‘High Risk’ which causes cervical cancer – I am presuming I have the latter because I have no warts, and I already have changes in the cells of the cervix.
In the end, Jen knew immediately that something wasn’t right with me and asked me what was bothering me. Telling her made me feel ashamed, but she was understanding as she normally is, telling me not to worry until we know all the facts. But what are the facts? I have no idea. I phoned up today and booked a doctors appointment for Monday at 2.30pm so I can talk about the consequences of what they told me in the letter. I have tried to make an appointment at the hospital for a colposcopy but can’t get through at the moment.
This morning, I phoned Kim. I knew I was going to blog about it and didn’t want her reading about it on here before her telling me herself. She was supportive, as I knew she would be. I am just so scared about what this means, what I am going to have to do to sort it. If I caught it years ago – that means anyone whom I have had unprotected (or even protected according to google) sex with will have caught it. More recently that means Tom, my trainer, who since has had sex with his wife. Am I obligated to tell him, should I tell him?! And then there is Simon who I went to Iceland with, who lied to his girlfriend and said that he and I had never slept together – that means he will have now passed it to her – and she won’t know. Should I tell him for him to warn her?! Oh god I feel sick just thinking about it. I have had unprotected sex with 6 people in my life, but I don’t even know how people I have slept with using a condom. It could have been anyone. I feel dirty, disgusting, like I want to give up. Does this mean I have to tell anyone who I am initmate from this point forward about my infection? Does it ever go away? Surely it is not enough for me to suffer with BPD, PCOS, IBS…. now I have HPV too. I must have been really bad in a past life.