Herpes: Good or Bad for Brand?

“You have herpes!”

That’s the first thing the doctor said when he looked at me.

Before hello. Before shaking my hand. Hell, he didn’t even wait for the door to close behind him.


My heart sank and my mind raced.

“Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. How did I get here? Will I ever get laid again?”

It started five days ago with a bump on my forehead.


I thought it was a bruise, but couldn’t remember where or how it happened? The next day the bump got bigger and spread. Hmmm, it must be acne?


But why does it itch so bad? And why is it only on one side of my face? Maybe it’s poison ivy? Shit, it’s spreading even more!

I texted my friend’s wife, who is a doctor, asking if this looked normal … ?


I’m paraphrasing here, but this was her response: “GO SEE A DOCTOR YOU FUCKING IDIOT. THAT IS NOT NORMAL.”

This brings me back to last night at Urgent Care in an empty patient room waiting for the doctor. After a few minutes, the door opened and a middle-aged Indian man looked right at my forehead with a smirk.

All I heard was “herpes.” He was talking fast and his accent was hard to decipher, but when you hear herpes, it raises a red flag.


After about 90 seconds of herpes and more herpes, I recognized another word: Shingles …

“Wait. I have shingles?”


“But you just said I had herpes?”

“You do.”

“Wait … so you’re saying I have a sexually transmitted disease?”

“No, you have herpes zoster.”

“So technically I have shingles?”

“No, technically it’s herpes zoster.”

“But it’s shingles and not sexual?”


“So I have shingles?”


“Maybe you could have started off with that doc?”

Apparently shingles comes from the same herpes virus as genital herpes, but has nothing to do with sexual contact. Thank. Fucking. God.

My first thought after the scare was, “Damn, this will make a great blog.”

My second thought was, “does this doctor have the worst bedside manner ever?”

It’d be like a mother giving birth and the doctor taking the newborn out of the room, coming back into the room and telling the mother her child is “Dead.”

Oh, but not like Dead. Dead. That’s just what the hospital calls their Newborn Nursery.

Moral of the story? I have the week off from work and I don’t have genital herpes … I think.

Follow me @shortstopsammy

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