On Sunday Feb 12 I had a surgery to remove a Bartholin Cyst. You can read more about a Bartholin Cyst here: http://www.webmd.com/women/tc/bartholin-gland-cyst-topic-overview
During the procedure I was so much comforted and felt like any other woman not living with HIV would. I felt nor saw no forms of discrimination and even when at one point I felt the slight jarring of my skin I trusted Dr. Eaton as he said “you are doing so great and I am almost there. ” Yesterday though took a different turn. When I went for dressing the look on the nurse’s face would scare even an ogre. When I stepped in the room she asked me where is to be dressed to which I responded my vagina. It was then that I concluded the look on her face was not because she knew what a Bartholin cyst was but rather because my docket had stated that I am HIV positive.
When she had removed the old gauze and taping and dressed the area – which in my opinion was not done properly as am now having severe bleeding due to inadequate stuffing, she instructed me to remove the padding I had rested my buttocks on for her to clean and dress. I asked if I could use the pipe in the room and she said no that was for the nurses use. I stepped down smiling and responded, “removing those is not my responsibility especially seeing that no provisions made for me to sanitize my hands afterwards, do have a pleasant day. “
I felt so disrespected but I ☺because I had my neighbor who assisted me to the health centre, she collected my medication while I waited to be dressed. I remembered the night before the treatment I received at the out patient department. Lots of love to Dr. Eaton and the two nurses that assisted him, Patricia who has always supported me and Ms. Richie who had my ARV on deck so I could kill three birds in one day.
All I had was but one ‘bad’ experience which I did not allow. Beyond all the stigma and discrimination love overpowered and shone through.
Discrimination is real but so is love, it takes more from you to accept the negative so let it go and breathe in the love. Happy Valentine.