Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Moment of Change

Adam Adcock
Documenting Social Injustice

The Moment that Changed it All

            When I think back at all the times in my life, there is one that stands out above the rest.  A defining moment that made me look at the world in a different life.  This would be the first time that I got tested for STDs.  The procedure wasn’t that bad, but the waiting period was the worst thing I have ever been through.  Up until my freshman year of college, I had always been pretty responsible but after I entered college, I started to be persuaded by friends, alcohol and endless partying.  A couple nights of unbridled, and unprotected mistakes led me on a path of fear and regret.  I couldn’t rest for weeks knowing that I could have some kind of sexually transmitted disease, and it would’ve been my own fault.  I would have acquired such a thing and there would be nobody else to blame but myself.
            I finally got up the courage to go to the neighborhood clinic and get tested for everything.  Blood was drawn, saliva was sampled and I was swabbed (in places we won’t mention) and I was told to come back in two weeks.  Two weeks?  Really? 
            On the way out, I was given a safety pack of condoms, lube, and instruction manuals that looked like a bunch of roadmaps.  Night after night I would WebMD every symptom that I thought I had.  I forced my throat to hurt by coughing mindlessly, and I pressed on every gland in my throat until they were swollen like the symptoms read.  Finally, two weeks, and about 4 years off my life, I went back to the clinic.  I brought my best friend with me and had my speeches prepared for my mom, my dad, my sister, my boss, every sexual partner I had, and all my friends.  All different of course.  These two weeks of preparation ended with a mere five-second speech of “Adam, your results came back negative.  You are fine.”  After this period of terror, the moment I found out that I had no STDs changed my life.  I no longer have drunk nights of dangerous sexual encounters, and I always take the necessary precautions.