I showered this afternoon to find some very onerous looking white spots on my penis. Regular readers will know I have the herpes virus, but these are different. Uh oh. I somewhat frantically hit the internet in search of a sexual health centre in Vancouver. I found one open on Saturday afternoon. I called to be told that they had taken their quota of new patients for the day. I’d have to wait until Tuesday to visit that clinic (training on Monday). They suggested I try a “walk in clinic”.
I had no idea what a walk in clinic was. Apparently it’s a doctor for people who don’t have a doctor. Or rather, who don’t have an existing relationship with a doctor. Further internet research turned up 3 in my area. One closed, one had stopped taking patients for the day. It seemed the Victoria Drive clinic was for me. Alas, as a foreigner without medical insurance, to see a doctor costs $100. A sexual health clinic on Monday would be free. I’m going to Vancouver Island tomorrow. I didn’t want to lose any time in diagnosing my new-found symptoms so a $100 doctor visit it was.
It’s amazing how inaccessible a medical system can seem as a foreigner. Medical professionals use terms that are probably commonplace to locals, but meant nothing to me. I was unsure what the clinic was called, what to search for, and how to know when I’d found the “official” web site. The idea of not being treated because a quota had been met sounded deeply unsettling when my own health was at stake.
After a bit of paperwork, payment and an hour or so of waiting I saw Dr Imperial. He was quite interested in my Kindle. We started on the right note. 🙂 He mentioned that he used to work at a specialist STD clinic. I felt reassured. I asked about a herpes type specific blood test. He said I’d get a free test at the Vancouver STD Clinic. I’ll look into that later in the week. In the meantime, he demonstrated a firm knowledge of my immediate symptoms. It was not herpes, not genital warts and not syphilis. Good news. It was most likely a topical or fungal infection. He prescribed cream and it should clear up in a week.
I figure it’ll clear up in a week with the cream or 7 days without. I’ll hold onto the prescription note for a few days. If it doesn’t clear up of its own accord, I’ll fill the prescription next week.
I felt quite unsettled to discover white lesion looking things in the shower this afternoon. So much so I completely forgot I had rice and apples cooking on the stove. Ken turned the pot off before anything disastrous happened. I was quite preoccupied.
Now, four or five hours later, I feel quite settled that it’s a small matter, and will clear up soon. $100 seems like a small price to pay for peace of mind.
As I ponder the wonders of health and wellbeing, here’s a reminder of nature’s stunning beauty.