The One Where It Appears That I Have Syphilis Back when exGiff and I had decided to move in together, I went to see the doctor to get a general checkup. This was before I saw doctors on a regular basis, so deciding to see a doctor was more of a sign that I had a good feeling about this relationship and less of a sign that it was Tuesday. I've always hated doctors for the general cliche reasons, but I was pretty confident that this doctor's visit would go off without a hitch. Sure, I drank to excess, and I'd only recently quit smoking, but I felt pretty good, and was living healthier than I'd ever lived before.
So I was more than a little surprised when my doctor told me that my blood tests had come back and they seemed to indicate that I might have syphilis.
I am not exactly the poster boy for syphilis infection, as a monogamous geek male with a personality that operates as secondary birth control. My doctor continued, "It's probably just a false positive--you are asymptomatic, and you can get false positives for all sorts of different diseases, from measles, tuberculosis, malaria, endocarditis, lupus, or pregnancy. But since you don't seem to have any symptoms of any of those diseases, better safe that sorry." He wrote me a prescription for some pills to take for a week, and said that if I had syphilis, that should clear it up.
In that short conversation, my self-image changed.
I started to strut a little more. I was suddenly the type of player who picks up a STD. You know you can't spell "stud" without S, T, and D, after all (also, U is involved somehow. Don't ask me how). I don't know how that happened, or how I reconciled the fact that I had an STD while I was a faithful man in a monogamous relationship--I never at any time suspected exGiff of anything, or worried that she'd begin to doubt my fidelity. And yet I found myself thinking of myself differently--as the type of guy who lived the rock star life where you might get an STD.
It took exGiff saying, "Are you actually proud of the fact that you have syphilis?" to knock me back off my pedestal. Of course I'm not. I'll take the drugs, to clear it up. I in no way want to have the sexy leprosy.