My Days Self-Medicating
My life in Thailand has been a roller coaster ride. The highs have been sky high and the lows, well the lows have been pretty awful. Married, divorced. Hired, fired. Girlfriend pregnant, it wasn’t mine and like everyone has experienced, “I love you teeruk” while she was being penetrated by someone else.
Perhaps the worst lows were a couple of years before I met my ex-wife when I had a problem with the bottle which contributed to me being out of control for several months, doing some things I look back on with shame.
This story goes back to some time in early 2000…
I knew a lovely freelancer who moved around the Biergarten, Thermae, Nana Disco circuit. This was long before the days of the Nana Parking Lot as the freelancer heaven it is today.
Late one night in the Nana Disco I wanted to find someone to take home with me. And there she was, my old friend. I had taken her a few times and she was always fun. 1,000 baht short time and I knew what I would be getting. She was early 20s, had a pretty face and came from Nongkhai but her name escapes me. Sigh.
Back to my place and we had a pleasant session until the very end when I pulled out to find that the condom had disintegrated. I mean it had totally shredded and the remains of it were gathered around the base of my penis. I was a bit concerned. I might have got Miss Nongkhai pregnant and of course I may have contracted an STD. I knew there was nothing I could do except hope for the best.
But the best was going to be a bit much to hope for this time…
A couple of days later I woke up to find that there was something in my underwear which was not easily explained. It was like I had pissed myself but it wasn’t went. It looked weird. I went into the toilet and took a leak. As the urine started to flow, I got the fright of my life. There was a really nasty stinging inside the pipe in the top half of my penis. It really hurt. In fact it hurt so much, and came as such a surprise, that I half jumped off the toilet seat, lifting the whole cistern off the ground, breaking the seal to which attached it to the floor. God damn, that hurt! I distinctly remember that it was the hot season and within seconds I was sweating, although whether that was due to the weather, or angst, I just don't know.
It didn't take me more than a few seconds to realize that I must have contracted an STD from my friend with whom I shared an escapade a few nights earlier.
I was scared. I did not know what to do. I was too scared to go to the doctor so I immediately went online and searched the Nanapong and Nanaplaza forums, the popular websites of the day. I remember previously reading the experiences of a user who had contracted an STD. He had included a lot of info about the symptoms as well as the medication to treat it – which could easily be bought over the counter in Thailand.
I searched, found the lengthy post and diagnosed that I had contracted non-specific urethritus. The medication was XXXXXXXXXX <Removed, I don't want people to risk self medicating – Stick> 100 mg, twice a day for a week. I went to the local Boots branch, bought the pills, all 20 of them costing a mere 60 baht and started taking them.
Two days later and the symptoms disappeared! I was over the moon. What a clever guy I was, diagnosing the problem, and getting the right medication so cheap.
My happiness was short lived and within a day or two the symptoms re-appeared even though I had not had any further sexual encounters. I started thinking about whether I may have somehow contaminated the bedsheets or clothes and contracted it again that way before realizing that that was unlikely. I went back to the forum and read the post and found out that you had to take the antibiotics as a full course. I resumed taking the medication, bought a few more pills and even when the symptoms disappeared I continued to take the pills until they were finished. A week later, the pills were all gone and I felt great. No symptoms, and I was ready to re-enter the battlefield!
A couple of days later the symptoms re-appeared again, even though I had still not had any sexual contact with anyone. Now I was beginning to get worried.
Again I went back to the online forum and upon reading the information about STDs I changed the diagnosis. I now believed that I had contracted Chlamydia. The medication for that was XXXXXXXXXX and off I trotted to Boots, but they would not sell that to me. I had to go to a back alley drug store which sold me some Cipro but it was much more expensive than the XXXXXXXXXX, perhaps about 25 baht a tablet, but I cannot remember to be honest. I do remember thinking that maybe this was a false economy and I may have been better going to a quack, but what the hell, this time I would be right and I would avoid going to the doc.
Now if you have never had an STD, you might not know just how it feels. I didn’t have a regular lady in my life so I didn’t have to hide it from anyone, but I was forced to change my underwear about three times a day. My dick was dripping. It would leak all day, and the head had become quite sensitive. When I went to urinate there would be a nasty stinging and I would grimace, not so much n pain, but more just a nasty stinging. I guess it was a little like the feeling of eating something that is way too spicy. It was more than uncomfortable and I dreaded going to the toilet.
I started taking the XXXXX and was expecting everything to be cleared within a couple of days. It wasn’t. Unlike the XXXXXXXX which had some sort of effect, the XXXXX did nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was totally ineffective. I persevered and used up all of the XXXXX and waited and waited. Nothing changed.
I went back to the forum and read the entire thread. Many STDs were mentioned, some I had heard of and some I had not. I was sure that I had Chlamydia and I had taken the recommended medicine, yet nothing had happened. I searched online and discovered that there were various drug resistant strains, some of which were prevalent in South East Asia. I also read conflicting recommendations about the drugs used for each disease, the symptoms and even the dosage. I was back at square one.
I knew it was time to bite the bullet so I trundled off to the nearest hospital. They didn’t blink when I told them that it was a problem downstairs and pointed to my groin. Straight in to see the doctor in record time, I had the audacity of being forced to drop my drawers for him. I told him I had self-medicated and I have to admit he was extremely nice, not chastising me for it and interested to know what I had used, and in what dosage. He diagnosed me as having Gonorrhea, prescribed some medicine, which was outrageously expensive at over 500 baht for a single dosage, and then sent me on my way.
I took the medicine all in one go as he had instructed and 12 hours later the symptoms had gone. They never did return.
I made a mental note of the medicine in case I should ever contract an STD again.
The first time I had caught an STD was due to a condom breakage, the only time that has ever happened to me, but it was not the last time I was to contract an STD. Over the course of several months my life slowly spiralled out of control and I could be found in the bars most nights. I burned through a lot of cash and went without condoms more and more often. About once every five liaisons I would catch something. Each time I would go and buy this particular drug, and each time it would clear up the problem quickly.
I didn’t realize it at the time but looking back at that period, I now know I was out of control. I probably caught STDs several times, so I must have slept with something like 30 – 40 women without protection.
Each time I caught something I would buy this magic potion and each time it would clear up, until the dreaded day when…I caught something different. I bought the magic potion, but it didn’t work!
I then realized that the symptoms were a little different. While it seemed that I kept getting gonorrhea, this time I had contracted something different. I got online, spent a lot of time reading up on just what it could be, researched what drug was best to treat it along with its dosage, bought it and a week later I was STD free.
Fortunately, around that time I started to realize that I was out of control and I changed my ways. I stopped going out to the bars, stopped drinking, got myself a real job and started to regain control of my life. I used condoms religiously and decided that after seeing out the 6 month waiting period that it can take for some STDs such as HIV to show up that I would go for a full battery of tests. Almost 2,000 baht later and I was awfully relieved to discover that I was STD free, and thank the lord, no sign of HIV.
I was later to find out that the magic potion that I used to buy has become less and less effective against STDs and that a cocktail of antibiotics is often needed these days as well as an injection.
I lost the plot that year in my life and I am so lucky to have got through it without any long-term damage. Even then I cannot be sure. Perhaps I have contracted Hepatitis and will have problems in the future? Hopefully I am clear.
I started barebacking because girls wanted to, and I had had so much to drink that I wasn't thinking straight and didn't object. I developed a taste for it and found very few girls who were not willing to bareback. I could count on the fingers of one hand the number who refused, the majority happy to engage in unprotected sex.
I know I was an idiot and I am lucky those days are behind me.
You were bloody lucky. I know a lot of guys shirk using condoms. I have to wonder why? Is contracting HIV not scary enough?!