Candy's Corner - PEP Talk
I’ve been fighting far too long
To not be human, not be wrong
Uphill climb, the wrong direction
Striving to achieve perfection
So, there’s just one thing to do
Admit that I am human too
Acknowledge, that from time-to-time
I fuck up, and that it’s fine!
I live and learn and so I grow
But I want all you boys to know
So perhaps, with everything I’ve shared
You may be better prepared
My story started in December
The holidays…..That, I remember!
Now in my shoes you get to walk
I offer you this:
My “PEP” Talk
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was moving, not even a mouse
I was still up, on my electronic man-finder
A few glasses of wine, while chatting on Grindr
In just a few minutes, really quite neat
I'd located a man within 1000 feet
Just like the wise men, I followed the star
On my GPS, to an inn with a bar
A few minutes walk, I arrived, feeling great
And Sat at the bar, with a drink, my "Grindate"
We hit it off; he’s quite a nice guy!
Had a few drinks, chatted, laughed, him and I
As the night passed (don’t do this a lot)
We finished it off with a few festive shots
Headed for home with that glow of success
Arms wrapped around my overnight guest
We got real festive, 25th of December
Did we use condoms?? I couldn't remember!!!
Woke up that morning in an alcohol haze
Diligently backtracking my memory maze
After 2 days, with shame thrashing about
In my mind, I knew I couldn’t live with this doubt
So I chose to do the sensible thing
Picked up the phone, gave my Dr. a ring
I’m still within the 72 hour window of time
If I get on PEP, all will be fine
Calming myself with this thought as I wait
And praying I get help, before it’s too late
“Closed for the holiday!” the message said
Chilled hand gripped my bowl, laced with fear and dread
And just as despair began to own me
I thought, wait a minute, I’ll check the CDC
Went online, checked what the CDC said there
PEP Scripts should be available at Urgent Care
So, on to the Urgent Care Center I schlepp
But to my dismay, they don’t write scripts for PEP
Panic set in, was this it for me?
Screwed by a system technicality!
Back on the CDC website, sat in my car
I had one last hope, so I drove to the ER
They saw me quickly, my mind started to rest
Still well aware, I had just 7 hours left!
Precious time ticking, since my date departed
To acquire a prescription to get my PEP started
The Doctor arrived, finally, my salvation!
I shared my story, she shared her declaration
“We don’t do that here, those meds are expensive!”
She stared at me coldly, I took the defensive
We continued to argue, with time running out
Was she even human? I began to doubt
She refused me treatment, I refused to leave
Wasn’t giving up easy, one more trick up my sleeve
Maintained composure, couldn’t get her upset
But I must win this fight, and I hadn’t won yet
Pulled out my phone with the CDC guide
I showed it to her, request she complied
After a call with her boss she “agreed”
That immediate treatment with PEP should proceed
She wrote me a script and gave me a pill
Begrudgingly with judgment & against her will
Still a little amazed at what had transpired
I thought to myself “That Doc should be fired!”
But she’s human too, and for that I’ve compassion
And she did her best (after a fashion)
She just did not know, or wasn’t aware
Of HIV prophylaxis used today in healthcare
I made it my duty to politely inform
The hospital management, of this new treatment norm
I realize I’m blessed with the skills to persuade
A Doctor presenting with her mind pre-made
She took a while, for that I forgive
To see I am a human and deserve to live
I took the meds, and bided my time
Tested negative, and thank God, I’m fine!
But I realize now, all this PEP stuff is new
And not every Doctor will know what to do
The moral of this PEP Talk, is quite simply to state
Don’t get sucked in to shame, AND, Dear God, Advocate!
This is your life, so with all of your might
If you’re choosing PEP treatment, stand up and fight!
Center for Disease Control (CDC) Website: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/pep.html