I am not sure who I can go to in real life about this. You're all so supportive and knowledgeable that I'm turning to you. I basically feel like my vagina is betraying me and my doctor is being accusatory and judgy, rather than kind and caring.
I went to my GP earlier this week for my annual physical and pap smear. The nurse originally told me that new guidelines indicate a pap is needed every 3 years, so I wouldn't be needing one that day. Score! The doctor came in and said that I WOULD actually be needing one, as last time she saw some general interior inflammation that she wanted to double check and re-examine. Note that I was not ever informed of any such thing last year, either while she was examining me or when I got the results back.
While examining me this time, she asked if I had had sex in the last few days because there was inflammation and discharge. I said no, so she said that it looked to her like I had BV, but she would test for it to be sure. Just in case, she was also going to test for chlamydia and gonorrhea. She explained to me what BV was and the treatment and assured me that it was fairly common and nothing to get worked up over. OK, fine, no big deal.
Yesterday morning, the nurse called and said the BV test was positive and that they would be submitting the prescription to the pharmacy for me to pick up later. I asked if I would need to come in for a retest after the antibiotics and she said that wouldn't be necessary unless I was still experiencing symptoms. I'm actually NOT experiencing anything that strikes me as out of the ordinary, so I politely asked what I should be looking for. She said "your vagina has a foul order and you'll have some discharge"... only the way she said it made me feel really self conscious. Truthfully, I hadn't even realized it was a real person calling me until she said "um", so when I hung up with her I just sort of dismissed it altogether and went back to work.
A couple of hours later I was on my lunch break and the doctor's office called again. This time it was the doctor herself, so I knew it was probably not good news. She told me that while the gonorrhea test had come back negative, the chlamydia test was positive. The conversation was pretty much downhill from here. After explaining to me that medically, treatment was easy and she had already called in the prescription (1 dose/2 tabs of azithromycin, 500 mg each), she proceeded to essentially badger me about my fidelity and that of my fiance. I understand that she has to ask the questions, but I don't appreciate the manner in which she was doing so. I explained to her that I have been with him for 10 years and have been having pap smears for just as long, so why would this suddenly come about, especially when I have no symptoms. She basically said that it was obviously because he was doing something he shouldn't be doing. I asked her about the possibility of a false positive and she told me "honey, statistically speaking, it's more likely that he's cheating on you". While I realize that this is mathematically sound logic, the way she said it was completely rude and inappropriate. She asked me multiple times if I was sleeping around and if I thought he was, despite the fact that I answered negatively every time. She then explained to me that he needs to get treated as well and told me she had sent a request for blood and urine STD tests for me to do in 6 weeks.
I know that I haven't done anything wrong and there is not one piece of my mind or heart that believes my fiance has, either. I did some research when I got off the phone with her to see if chlamydia is something that can lie dormant. We both had clean bills of health before we started sleeping together, so this seems like a vague and distant possibility. Some research indicates that it's possible, but it seems like since the treatment is so easy, nobody really knows for sure. I also found some stuff that said many states allow doctors treating a partner to write a prescription for the other partner to ensure that they are both getting treatment for the same thing at the same time. So, I called her back and asked her if this is something MA allows and/or if this is something she would feel comfortable doing. She said she would, but I either need to get her some information re: any possible allergies, etc. or she needs to talk to him herself. Based on the way she's been speaking to me, I don't want him to talk to her, as I know he won't be able to bite his tongue. I asked her if that was the only way and she said to me "Heather, are you afraid to talk to him because you've been sleeping with someone else?" SERIOUSLY? By my count, that was the 8th time she'd accused either of us of sleeping around.
I picked up my prescriptions from the pharmacy last night after work and came home to talk to my fiance. We are both confident that this is some kind of false positive result, either from mishandling or from the BV affecting the sampling or readability of the sample itself. I decided to take the antibiotics last night, mostly for peace of mind. I did some research last night and this morning, and anecdotal data from similar forums to VP indicate that there are a goodly number of people who have similar false positive results, either officially confirmed or suspected. I probably should have requested a retest, but my doctor's bedside manner with this issue clearly leaves a lot to be desired and I would like to minimize my dealings with her as much as possible.
This is the second time I've seen her and second time that I've been underwhelmed with her approach. Clearly, I need to see about getting a new GP. I'm not decided yet, but I'm thinking about skipping the blood and urine follow up tests as I really don't think they're necessary. I am going to start by calling my previous GP to see if I'm still on the books as a patient/if he'll take me back (he didn't take my previous insurance so I had to switch). In the meantime, any advice for how to handle interactions with my current doctor? I understand that cultural differences will have some impact on the way she relays information to me, but I don't think I can get over the blatant disrespect.
I called this morning and was able to get a prescription for my fiance. He is planning on taking it this weekend. I was able to speak with a nurse instead of the actual doctor and my experience was a little better, but still not so great.
My fiance and I talked over dinner tonight, and we're both really hurt by the way my doctor handled this. We understand that she needs to ask about fidelity, but I find it offensive that she would continually ask and press the issue. When I tried to see if she would give him the prescription yesterday, she made me feel like she thought I was trying to bamboozle him and crush his pills up and put them in his drink or something.
I haven't quite decided if I will even go for any follow up testing (I am nearly positive this was a false positive and not an actual issue), but if I do, I'll probably just go to Planned Parenthood since there's one nearby. I'm going to look for a new GP and hope that I don't get sick in the meantime (or that it's something that MinuteClinic can handle). Intellectually, we both know that all doctors aren't this brash, but I feel emotionally wounded from my conversations with her. My fiance didn't speak with her directly, but I know he's feeling the same.
TL;DR: My doctor was rude and disrespectful to me and by proxy, my fiance. We're both feeling really hurt and offended, but I don't particularly feel like it's worth it to take any formal action. What can we do to feel better and try to get over this?