An Unwanted Present
What fun life in Thailand is. Seeing a couple of little lumps on my member I scuttled off to the nearest hospital and asked for the STD, or GUM clinic. What do you mean no have? Surely the treatment of STDs must be Thailand's hospitals biggest earner? Well, OK I will see the doctor then. Doctor looks, tells me I have herpes, but never mind, it is curable, (which it isn't, although the outbreaks can be lessened and / or controlled,) but I don't have it anyway as it turns out.
So I spend two weeks taking tablets and rubbing on creams for herpes, funny no change in the lumps, except for the appearance of more, and no blistering / breaking.
Off to another hospital, also with no STD clinic, where I am told I have genital warts. I am given a small bottle of an Iodine looking liquid to paint on once at bedtime every night. After 4 days I accidentally knock the bottle on to my bathroom floor, where it makes a great brown stain, but the label can be partly made out. I must add at this point that the stuff stings like hell. I go to the local pharmacy who study the broken bottle and give me something similar. Turns out this is ordinary wart remover, not for the genital area and stings even worse, though it does manage to burn off a layer of skin. Back to the second doctor as the problem is now into it's second month and I am getting a hump on my back. (No, not literally, from inaction) Doctor prescribes Podophyllin 25% to paint on once a day. When I pick it up from the pharmacy the label says twice a day. I think I had better check this out. The internet tells me this stuff should only be applied by a doctor or qualified
nurse in a clinic, no more than once a week and at a strength of 5 to 15%. This is confirmed by an overseas call to my Medical Insurer. Also on the Internet I find references to Aldara (see later in this piece), and Condylox, neither of which I can find at a pharmacy here. The warning on the internet is that excessive use of Podophyllin can cause convulsions and death, as it is systemically absorbed. "Here you are sir, paint this on willy-nilly" (bad joke)
I decide that my country is probably being over cautious and Thailand over lax. I cover the unaffected skin with vaseline and paint this stinging stuff on twice a week, but the little buggers keep growing faster than the paint is killing them.
Went into the Bumrungrad hospital in Bangkok yesterday and finally got to see a doctor who knew what he was looking at. By now, after 3 months of footling around with useless potions the little blighters had gotten too big to be frozen off with liquid nitrogen, the favoured treatment in many countries. I was offered a prescription of Aldara (as above), a new immune system stimulating cream from US that I had read about on the internet but the other doctors I saw had never heard of. Standard reply "Thailand no have". I could have ordered it off the internet, but at about $500 US for a course. At Bumrungrad, $5 US a pack, or $50 for the course. This however, would have taken up to 6 weeks to work, and is still not 100% guaranteed.
The other option, which I went for, was removal by CO2 laser. Oh! Joy of joys, I got to have my willy held by a very pretty nurse while the doc. injected it and fried it, then injected it and fried it again, and so on and so on.
Today and for a few more days, I have the pleasure of further stimulation by the painting, 3 times daily, of a boric acid solution onto the open wounds, of which there are several more than I was painting previously, which just further goes to prove what a useless exercise that was.
I have to go back in a week for a follow up check, and fingers crossed, no stragglers located, that should be a night to remember. Wonder if the nurse would like to see how well her handiwork stands up? mmm. The MD is very professional and knowledgeable, almost worth catching something to make the fellow's acquaintance.
The idea of having to drop my drawers for the doc to examine me is not on my list of things to do. Most people I know who have fooled around with the bargirls catch something sooner or later…