A Day in the life of a Sexologist

2015-06-22 20:21

Regret Monday

The great thing about Monday in the Sexology practise is that they are never boring. Regret Mondays I call them, but my PA says we are more like the Kardasians, with no money – always drama.

“How can I help you today?” I ask my first patient for the morning.

“Do you know how hard it is to be single? We keep complaining and talking to our friends about how much we miss being with someone. The week goes by and when Friday night comes, lust is unleashed. We go out with our friends and make out with complete strangers all weekend long. They were strangers before and are still strangers when the party is over. No phone number, no adding on Facebook — nothing. Sometimes we don’t even know their names. This is embarrassing — so embarrassing. Every Monday I regret being that easy and so desperate to find someone”.

I continue my conversation with her by taking a detailed sex history. I focus on her sexual health and risk behaviour, but I also try to put her at ease and not to make her feel judged of more embarrassed.

“Are you on a contraceptive?” I ask, and her blue eyes fill with tears. I hand her a tissue and give her some water to drink. She is sobbing and I give her a few minutes to recover.

“No, I’m not. I had an abortion last year, I should know better. I promised myself I will never have sex again till my wedding night, but things get out of hand. We didn’t even use a condom”.  “We were in the heat of the moment”. The weekend is when people feel more relaxed, free and careless. Having unprotected sex is a consequence of partying hard. Most do their best to be careful and responsible, which is good. However, some cannot control themselves during the weekends. Maybe it’s the alcohol, maybe it’s the adventurous vibe or maybe it’s a mix of both. All we know is every Monday they regret it and fear the worse will happen.

Her beautiful face is red from all the crying and she looks frail and frightened sitting alone twisting the tissue paper. She looks at me, nod and with a gentle sigh says, “Okay, shoot with your questions.”

I continue the question and answer session with her and slowly we start putting together the puzzle pieces of her weekend.  We look at her risk behaviour, not only for HIV, but also an unintended pregnancy as well as several other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s), such as Herpes, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Molloscum Contagiosum and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that can cause cancer of the cervix and also genital warts.

We discuss her lifestyle choices when it comes to recreational drugs and her drinking habits. She smiles and admit she’s a runaway train on a self - destructive path.

Post exposure prophylaxis and syndromic management is the treatment of choice for HIV and STI’s prevention, within the first 24 to 72 hours. Emergency contraceptives, commonly called the Morning after pill, to prevent an unwanted pregnancy needs to be taken within 72 hours to be effective.

We make a follow up appointment and I encourage her to come back for counselling, but she really needs to see a Psychologist and explore issues around her past abortion and also on self worth. We part ways in the reception area after I left her with my Emergency number in case she needs it.

As I walk back to my office, I suddenly remember a poem that my mentor and supervisor gave to me to read, during my final year of studies. I make a mental note to myself to give her the poem at our next appointment.

Yesterday Is Gone

Poet: Grant Ngobean

Live for today, hope for tomorrow

And forget about yesterday

'I CAN'T ' for those are the words of a coward

And remember 'I WILL TRY' for those

Are the words of a potential winner?

The only way you can regret yesterday is

When you've never learnt anything from it

And remember that what ever you worry about

It's in the past, there is nothing you can change or do about it,

Just accept to choose to see

Yesterday's problems as an opportunity to grow.

Worry is wasting today's time

Cluttering up tomorrow's opportunities

With yesterday's trouble.

How many times do we look back on?

An event and think, if only I had...

How many times do we do something that we wish hadn't done?

You can't change a past event,

Its yesterday, you can't change what has been done.

Do you call it regret, sorrow, repentance?

Do you think about what might have been?

Do you relieve an event the way it should have been?

Forget about regret and focus on today, not on yesterday.

Focus on what you can do, not what you didn't do.

The only thing to feel sorrow for

Is not living each day to the fullest,

The only thing to repent is to sincerely say I'm sorry!

Don't live your life regretting yesterday...

Live your life so tomorrow you won't regret today.

It doesn't matter what anyone thinks or say about you,

What really matters is what you think and say about your self...

Then what you do about it.

Unlike the words in the song by the Boomtown rats “I don’t like Mondays”, I really like Mondays, actually I like most days.

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