real life

"The most awkward moment of my life involved my mum and an STD test."

It’s taken me 11 months to write about this event.

You see, the story that I’m about to share with you all is so awkward – so mind numbingly cringeworthy – I pushed it way, way down into the recesses of my mind.

I still shudder when I walk into a doctor’s office.

I can’t look my own mother in the eye.

The sight of a urine sample cup is enough to make me curl into the foetal position.

And now that we’re about to embark upon the tale that covers THE WORST DAY IN MY LIFE LIKE EVER, I’m hoping that you will be kind.

Okay. Here we go.

So once upon a time, on a rainy March morning, I was in the throes of what my GP called ‘acute glandular fever with a liver and kidney infection’. I was sweaty. I was an odd shade of grey. And I looked like something you’d find deep within a drainpipe.

Oh, hello there chumps. (Image: iStock)

While I had all the run-of-the-mill symptoms you get with glandge (sore throat, a general desire to die), I had recently developed a weird ailment: persistent, annoying, hideously ugly eye infections.

Not a huge fan of this eye sitch, I visited my GP every day for a week, demanding new eye drops and medication. "IT ISN'T WORKING," I'd yell, catching falling pus in my hands. "THE GOO IS MULTIPLYING."

By day seven, my right eye was completely closed over, and my left was about as functional as a wet sock. My depth perception was screwed - I couldn't pour the milk into my morning bowl of cereal, let alone drive to my next doctor appointment.

I was about to come up with the stupidest, dumbest, most regrettable solution in all of human history.

"All good - I'll just ask Mum to drive me."

Mum obliged because she is a magical lady from the far away forest of Narnia, and off we went. Me, the temporarily blind daughter and her, the utterly concerned parent.

When we arrived, Mum had to guide me into the little boxy room which meant OF COURSE she sat beside me. But OF COURSE that was okay, because OF COURSE this was going to be like every other doctors appointment I've had, where I leave with a fresh box of eye drops, right?

... Right?


... Guys?

"Just another eye infection!" I immediately told the Doctor as I plonked down. "Probably just need more eye drops! Ha ha ha! So weird this keeps happening to me."

And then, without absolutely any warning, I get hit with this:

"Michelle, how many sexual partners have you had?"

Wait. Excuse me. What?

"Um. Sorry? I don't kn - I mean, um, I think... I think it's... wait - no - um...." as Mum's breathing grew faster and louder.

Welllllllll shit. This isn't like every other doctor appointment at all is it? Just say the PG version, I thought. Say the PG version. Good. Great. Okay. You're blind and your mum now knows how many people you've had sex with (... kind of). Keep calm. The worst is over. It simply cannot get worse than this.

"I think you have chlamydia of the eye. We'll have to do a test."

Wah... what did you just say to me?

Okay then! Just look at that! Things just got waaaaaaay worse! Diabolically worse!

Before you can say "Aw, you have an STD in your eye, sweetie!" my mum was hoisting me up, pee cup in tow, and we were marching towards the clinic's bathrooms.

(I cannot tell you how difficult it is to pee into a small cup when you're blind. It took 15 minutes. I got about a teaspoon worth.)

"We'll let you know in four working days," the pee cup collector lady later told me with a smile, oblivious to the fact that MY MUM NOW KNOWS I POTENTIALLY HAVE AN STD IN MY EYE.

I tell ya what, you have not experienced awkwardness until you've experienced 'my mum thinks I have chlamydia of the eye' awkwardness.

What followed was 24 hours of intense silence, before my blindness sitch got so bad we made a trip to the local hospital's emergency room.

While sitting in front of four perplexed health care professionals, I thought it'd be the perfect time to come out with it: "Don't worry, you guys. It's probably not that bad, I think I just have chlamydia of the eye."

One of the student doctors actually exploded into laugher. "You think you have... what?!"

I peed into more cups. Every doctor that treated me for the rest of the day had to hold back giggle fits.

Wanna know the good thing about the emergency department? Their STD tests take four hours - not four days.

My results?

"You have a bacterial eye infection. You most definitely do not have chlamydia. To be completely honest, we've never even heard of someone having 'chlamydia of the eye'."

"Right." I told myself, making a mental note to switch GPs IMMEDIATELY. "Well this has been... an experience."

I honestly think I have chlamydia-of-the-eye related PTSD, you guys. Life after that appointment has never been the same.

Let this be a lesson to you, reader friends: Never - and I mean never - let your mum take you to a doctor appointment. EVEN WHEN YOU'RE BLIND.

For more from Michelle Andrews, follow her on Facebook.

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