The Up Side to Work

I bet you think I mean getting paid. Hah! No, you probably don’t. Because you know me. And you know how much I care about that [which is some, but not so much].

Last week, someone tested positive with our rapid test. He was extraordinarily upset. Almost fainted. I had to come in and calm him down, and he didn’t even want to get it confirmed because he thought his relationship was over and just totally and utterly destroyed. I calmed him down and took him to the lab to get confirmatory blood drawn myself. He was the first person I was directly dealing with who had just found out he/she was positive. It was not happy. But I managed to convince him to get it confirmed, and calm him down and we had a Social Worker come in to make sure he wouldn’t hurt himself.

The confirmatory test came back the next day, which, as it usually does, meant that it was nonreactive. But he was high risk (says one of our providers–I was a bit skeptical, but that’s a conversation for another day). So the provider ordered another test that would tell us, definitively, whether the patient had been infected at all, including if it were recent (days–the other test doesn’t say definitively whether someone is negative until 3 months after infection). The test came back on Thursday, and it turns out he is not infected. !! This is super exciting. Today, I got to tell him myself. And he was so relieved. And now he knows that his boyfriend would accept him, even if he were positive. Which has got to mean something about their relationship, and he probably actually feels MORE secure in it. AND he asked for condoms today. So, he’s trying to be safer. Yay! The whole story makes me so happy–from calming him down, telling him it would be alright, and then him turning out to be definitively negative. It’s so happy, and something that we rarely see. It’s so much more often where the person is upset, and then spends all this time trying to accept their status, and it causing all sorts of issues in terms of medication adherence and stuff. So it is really fantastic to have a happy story. I felt for this man (boy? He’s 22). He was so distraught about what this meant for his relationship. And I am so so so happy for him that this is behind him. It’s great to be able to say to someone, Hope to NOT see you around! Lovely.

Otherwise, I’m exhausted. DC this weekend, and I need it. I get to see family and my friend Cayley. Hopefully it’ll be warmer. And I’m taking off Friday and Monday to be able to go and have a relaxed, full weekend.