I laid on the exam table with thin paper coverings and soft Gold Toe black socks stunned and horrified. Getting a physical is always mortifying/awful and this time it was particularly worse. “It seems you may have a very mild yeast infection” said the PA. A who, what, where, why, when, and how?
I had a friend who used to divulge her chronic yeast problems over lunch at our work. Yum? “The itching is so horrible today,” she would tell me. Thank you? Though I was unable to relate entirely because I had never had one, I would listen, feel sympathetic, and wince.
I stumbled around as I got dressed thinking… yeast infection? Ewww. No, but seriously ewww! How could I not know? Per my old friend’s persistent sharing of information it seems impossible to miss. There was a knock at the door and the PA came back in.
“I have a yeast infection?” I asked like a small child.
“Yes, it’s very mild,”she explained with ease and continued “you just have to to take a couple pills and that’s it. It’s no biggie! They’re very common.”
“But, how did I not know? I’m not even entirely sure what it is. I have never had one,” I whined.
“It’s very common that during a physical it is discovered because it can be asymptomatic for the patient,” she reassured.
After getting all my new prescriptions, I left the room like a zombie. How could I have made it 31 years and then all of a sudden bam- yeast! Like a good anxiety filled patient I could not let it go. I got home and immediately googled it and found a statement relating to those who had immune suppression because of automimmune or cancer treatments had a higher risk of yeast infections. After deeper investigation I found that TNF inhibitors (Humira) make you more prone to fungal infections, of which a yeast infection is one. The fun never ends with RA, right?
It may seem silly, but I was proud of not being able to relate to the Monistat commercials. Now, like the Humira ads, they seem to haunt me. My husband joked the other day that all I need now is a depression medication then I would be on all heavily advertised type medications. I’m surprised given how women are treated by many medical professionals that I don’t have anything to treat depression. Unless Xanax counts? I was prescribed Xanax to help me sleep when I was diagnosed and fired. I prefer to just lose sleep as I think losing sleep is a normal reaction to those things.
I’m going to head off to ingest my newly self allotted 40 soy yogurts a day. Let’s go probiotics! Only kidding of course, Ha!