Molluscum Contagiosum is a benign topical viral skin infection that sounds like a spell you would learn in Hogwarts. Unfortunately, it is an STI in adults for which there is no magic cure. It will go away by itself, but that takes months. I just found out I had it and this is an attempt at keeping a journal about the experience. Unless it is to protect the identities, add context or clean up wording, I have kept this pretty much as a stream of thought to convey where my head was at the time. The hope is that this approach might be useful. It is just one couple’s journey through an STI cycle demonstrating, as the Carnalcopia gals say ‘you are not alone’ if you ever had or get an STI.
Publishing this was the subject of some internal debate and discussion with Mrs. Duncan. The shame and stigma and ‘what will they think of us’ and ‘what if someone we know gets it and blames us’ thoughts all went through our head. In the end, it came down to ‘Why am I writing this blog?’. If it is to share, help educate and create community through the ‘you are not alone’ mindset, then this should be published. If I am only writing the blog to bragsplain and self-promote, then it should stay buried.
I really hate poison ivy. I can’t get downwind of the stuff without getting it somewhere. It particularly sucks when it hits my groin, usually via sweat picking the oils up from someplace else and brining it down there. Luckily, when that happens, it is usually just a few spotty little blisters.
Hmm. This is odd. Poison ivy usually clears up within a week or so and this is still here. Time to apply some hydrocortisone. This is getting a little worrisome and we have a date in a week. It’s not contagious, but poison ivy does look bad.
Great date. They were feeling off (personal unrelated family stuff), though, so we didn’t play. At least I can stop spreading that hydrocortisone on me now. It helped some, but I hate using medicines I don’t need to. It should clear up on its own anyway at this point.
It is still there. Odd. I will call the dermatologist in the morning. Great house party, though. Had some wonderful playtime with play partners we had not seen in a while.
There are no appointments in sight for the dermatologist. They will put me on the cancelation list and something should come up.
Nothing has come up.
Still nothing and I am starting to get a little wigged out.
Really!?!? Still nothing?!?! Yep, this is making me tense.
Nothing from the dermatologist. Called my primary care doctor. Got an appointment for Monday. As long as I am going to be in the building (and now that I am getting fairly paranoid), I will order that 10 panel STI test and have it done in the lab while I am there. We wanted to have that done before the Desire trip and it’s only a couple of months away.
The last time I saw my doctor was a few months ago. I shared that Mrs. Duncan and I were swingers and I wanted some STI tests done. He ordered an HIV test and a hepatitis one. He seemed very curious, non-judgmental and simply concerned that we were taking appropriate precautions. I assured him we were being as safe as reasonably possible. I also let him know that Mrs. Duncan and I discussed it and he could share the information freely between us on this. He is also her primary care doctor.
So, first the nurse confirms the symptoms from the notes they took when I made the appointment. Then out comes the jonnie and ‘strip down to your shorts, put on the jonnie with the slit in the back (like I have never done this before) and the doctor will be with you shortly.' When the doctor gets in, we chit chat for a bit (I really do like him) and then get down to business. He gloves up, takes a look, ponders for a minute and lets me know he thinks I have molluscum contagiosum. ‘It is completely benign,’ he says, ‘and will clear itself up in 3 – 6 months as long as you don’t reinfect yourself. It is viral and passes by skin contact or via infected clothing/towels/etc.’ Now this is the part where he usually pulls out his trusty prescription pad and scribbles something down that will fix whatever ails me. ‘Unfortunately,’ he adds, ‘there is no real topical or antiviral pill treatment. There is freezing or scraping.’ Things start getting a bit fuzzy at this point. Mrs. Duncan! Desire!?! Recent play partners… anger… worry … ‘Mrs. Duncan is probably already infected, watch for the blisters,’ he tells me. ‘Also, are you two still having those trysts?’ ‘Yes. Should we avoid playing?’ ‘Absolutely, and get to the dermatologist. The best treatment is freezing and they have better equipment for that than I do.’ He then does a little bit of freezing but says there are too many for him to be able to do well with the gear he has. I thank him and he seems to just really want to get on to the next patient. Am I being overly sensitive, or have I just been judged unclean? I get dressed and leave the room towards the office exit. I could swear I get a look of pity from the nurse as I pass, or is it just me again?
Wander down to the lab to get the STI panel done. Still a bit on autopilot. Call Mrs. Duncan to let her know what is going on; it is nothing serious, but inconvenient. I will call the dermatologist in the morning. No sex until we know though. Yeah, that sucks, but better safe than sorry.
Look up details on line. Start doing laundry on the heavy duty cycle. Pull out the kilts that I have not washed since I last used them. Grab any dirty clothes. Wash my hands continuously. Where did I get this from? Who did I give this too? …anger …worry …try not to get too crazy until I see the dermatologist and get more information. Hopefully they can see me soon.
Start jotting things down in a journal type document. It will help to process things. Perhaps it would be a useful blog entry at some point too.
Spent the night talking w/Mrs. Duncan and feeling dirty. She is great, of course. I am filling all the empty spaces with all kinds of negative thoughts.
I know that long term, this will be fine. No serious side effects or implications. Short term, there is telling our recent play partners. The thought of that and its possible rippling through our local community is somewhat terrifying. Again, the unclean thing. Will we be branded with a scarlet ‘STI’ because of me? There is also Desire in November. What if I cannot get rid of this by then? It is not something that can be covered by a condom or anything. Is it worth going if play is off limits? We would be bystanders at the party unable to participate.
Breathe. One step at a time. Worry about what needs to happen after speaking with the dermatologist. Called their office and left a message for them to call.
The dermatologist called. I have an appointment tomorrow at 8:45 am.
This seems like a good spot to break. More in the next installment…
Highly recommend Tea Tree oil to help prevent spreading. Also, because you can re-infect yourself until all the infection is cleared. Tea Tree oil helps minimize the spread, doesn’t prevent it, but helps. And it is pain to keep going to the doc, I recommend getting one of those Freeze kits for warts and attack any outbreaks. I think it took me 6 months or so to be cleared up. Not fun.