My finger slid across the glassy surface of my telephone. Like kung-fu, it stopped on the Gmail app icon and clicked. A brand new email from MyChart. Yay! I get my jollies from checking my lab results during pregnancies, so this would be my excitement for the day.
My anxious fingers slapped the keys, my username and password materializing on the screen. I hit enter. Ahhh! Invalid entry. The MyChart high I was experiencing made me sloppy. I tried again. Success!
I fumbled around some more as I re-learned how to navigate the system. Slow internet connection. Hurry, hurry, load, you stupid phone! I watched the spinning wheel of death for what seemed like eeeeiiiggggteeeeennn thooouuuusssssaaaannnddd cennnnturrrriiiieeees. And when I just started to zone out, low and behold, there it was— the July lab results! At the top of the screen it read, TREPONEMA PALLIDUM- Positive. Standard Range— Negative.
Trepo what? What the h did that mean? I opened up a new window and Google’ed the gosh darn thing. Before I had even finished typing it in completely, the word SYPHILIS barged its way onto my screen, its big ugly letters making my eyeballs throb.
“Ben!” I shrieked from our living room sofa.
Footsteps pitter-pattered throughout the house. Ben quickly appeared and scurried to my side. “Doodle! What?”
“It says I have syphilis!”
“You don’t have syphilis.”
“It says I do.”
“What says you do?”
“My lab results. Online!”
“That’s not possible,” Ben said.
“I don’t think so! I don’t know. I didn’t have it when I was pregnant with Scarlett, so how could I have gotten it in-between?”
“Do you think you could get it from a toilet seat?” Ben inquired.
“I don’t know! No? Probably not,” I paused. “Maybe I cheated on you with Josh Duggar.”
We both laughed.
“There’s no way. I can’t have it.”
I decided to research what sorts of effects a syphilis-laden pregnancy may have on a fetus. These are the haggard words that transpired before me:
“Effect on pregnancy. A Syphilis infection in pregnancy can be passed from the mother to her baby in the womb. Untreated infected pregnant women have up to a 40% chance of delivering a stillborn baby (one that has died in the womb) or a baby that dies shortly after birth.”
“We have to call the doctor,” Ben said.
“It’s Friday. And they’re already closed. We have to wait until Monday.”
After some more fretting and what-ifs, I decided to check my other un-opened lab results. May as well make sure I don’t have the clap or crabs, in addition to treponema pallidum.
Directly above my STD positive result it read, “Syphilis Confirmation- Details.” Index finger clenched tight, I clicked on it through gritted teeth. This is what I read:
“Dexi: all of your labs look good. The initial screen for syphilis (routinely checked in all pregnancies) returned +, but follow up testing was negative. Let me know if you have questions. xxxx xxxxx- MD.”
I let out a big sigh of relief, breathing all of the pent-up syphilis out of my body.
What I learned on this seemingly dismal July evening was the following: I have complete trust in Ben. Ben has complete trust in me. We did not blame each other for being unfaithful. In fact, when I made a joke about being unfaithful with a Duggar Nut, he laughed. I also learned that I do not have complete trust in lab results. I told my doctor that she MUST call me before lab results are posted from that instance on. She said she would, and she did follow-through.
~Written by Dexi