Wedding Woes

This is horrifying

Dear Prudence,
I am an older, sexually conservative woman who got herpes from a man I was dating. He’s a pillar of the community and did not tell me he had herpes. I had a long dry spell before we started dating. My issue is that I have an unlabeled bottle of herpes medication in my desk drawer at work. My administrative assistant asked for some pain relievers, and I opened my desk drawer and shared from a labeled, over-the-counter bottle of acetaminophen. I saw her staring at the unlabeled bottle in the drawer. Later that day I went back to my office, and she and another person had actually opened the unlabeled bottle and were looking at the medicine! I was too stunned to say anything, and they left. I guess they looked at the color and numbers on the pills and looked up the medication. In the few months after that —I kid you not—several people at the office have “casually” mentioned herpes and how disgusting it is. At the company potluck, no one touched my dish. One co-worker asked about a red spot on my hand and said loudly, “Yuck, it looks like herpes!”

One odd thing about this is that I have been extraordinarily financially generous to the admin who peeked and told. I don’t understand why this is happening. I used to like my job, and I make a very high salary. If I leave the company, I fear this issue will follow me. I was not in the least bit promiscuous in my life (truly). I feel so ashamed, though.
—Pariah

Re: This is horrifying

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    member
    ugh, LW should NOT have to leave the job she loves so much.  That was awful of the admin to snoop!

  • Unfortunately I don't think there's any way to confront this unless she wants to come forward and have all hear that she has herpes.

    It's awful what the admin did.   But aside from simply keeping her drawer locked or keeping meds out of it, the only other thing I'd consider doing is dropping fliers around the office about herpes stats.  
    OliveOilsMom
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    edited October 12
    That is beyond tacky and inappropriate!!! I would do this ....



    Anniversary
  • LW's coworkers are immature. Do they not know that cold sores are also considered herpes?

    STI does not mean you are a bad person, gross, or whatever stigma is attached and LW needs to understand it.

    If my coworkers were touching medication on my desk, I would ask them to stop touching my shit. That's not acceptable.
    cat animals pallas cat GIF
    short+sassyOurWildKingdomSP29
  • VarunaTT said:
    I would be livid.

    First off, I'd get HR involved.  I'd hope they'd fire the assistant and other person.  They were going through someone else's desk and their personal property.  That's a serious violation and an illegal violation of someone else's health information.  You don't freaking do that.

    Then, if HR was willing, there's be a damn health seminar about people's health information and not to share it.  Then, I'd tell this woman that when people "casually drop it around it", to share some cold hard facts while staring them in the eye and making them feel like shit.  This is utterly ridiculous and gross to be happening in a workplace with presumable adults.

    I'm so mad for this person.
    If you're thinking it's a HIPAA violation, it's not. Neither the individual nor the employer would be considered a covered entity in this situation and, therefore, the information is not subject to HIPAA law. 

    But yes, it's probably a violation of company policy. 
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    short+sassylevioosaahoyweddingMesmrEwe
  • Did they actually have some of the pills in their hands if they were able to see (and apparently memorize) the numbers in order to google it?  That's more than just invasion of privacy, that's potentially tampering with medication.  

    I feel awful for LW too - this is not something she should have to deal with.  Her coworkers are ridiculous.  At the very, very least, I wouldn't be so kind as to open my desk drawers and offer a pain reliever ever again.

    I feel like if someone said a spot of mine looked like herpes, I'd be inclined to say "oh, I wouldn't know - how do you know so much about herpes?" 
    imageimage
    short+sassySP29kimmiinthemitten
  • @Ro041 ; I also get cold sores but have never been prescribed meds. I'm curious on why you do {if you don't mind my asking}
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  • I also have meds for my cold sores. I asked the doctor about it, not the other way around. I get them a lot in winter and wanted them gone ASAP. 

    The doc recommended I take a lysine vitamin if I feel it coming on (or if I've been in dry weather, or got a sunburn, or whatever) and to take valtrex in case of an outbreak. I basically just brought it up at the end of a regular physical when she was like "any other questions?" There's nothing dangerous about cold sores, but if they bother you and you want them gone faster, you can ask your doctor about them. If you know your OBGYN or GP pretty well you could probably just call. 
    MissKittyDanger
  • I also have meds for my cold sores. I asked the doctor about it, not the other way around. I get them a lot in winter and wanted them gone ASAP. 

    The doc recommended I take a lysine vitamin if I feel it coming on (or if I've been in dry weather, or got a sunburn, or whatever) and to take valtrex in case of an outbreak. I basically just brought it up at the end of a regular physical when she was like "any other questions?" There's nothing dangerous about cold sores, but if they bother you and you want them gone faster, you can ask your doctor about them. If you know your OBGYN or GP pretty well you could probably just call. 
    Mine aren't constant. Typically they're when I have too much acidic food/drink {tomatoes, oranges, juice, etc}
    I may look into it though since I now know there is meds!
    cat animals pallas cat GIF
  • I also have meds for my cold sores. I asked the doctor about it, not the other way around. I get them a lot in winter and wanted them gone ASAP. 

    The doc recommended I take a lysine vitamin if I feel it coming on (or if I've been in dry weather, or got a sunburn, or whatever) and to take valtrex in case of an outbreak. I basically just brought it up at the end of a regular physical when she was like "any other questions?" There's nothing dangerous about cold sores, but if they bother you and you want them gone faster, you can ask your doctor about them. If you know your OBGYN or GP pretty well you could probably just call. 
    Mine aren't constant. Typically they're when I have too much acidic food/drink {tomatoes, oranges, juice, etc}
    I may look into it though since I now know there is meds!
    Yeah just ask your doctor! I'm sure s/he'll happily prescribe them if you get outbreaks. My feelings are like, why suffer for 2+ weeks when I can get it over with in a few days. Also since I've taken meds for outbreaks I get them a lot less frequently. I've heard that can often be the case. I guess only downside is if a nosy coworker snoops through your things, according to this letter
    MissKittyDanger
  • Ro041Ro041
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    @MissKittyDanger - my cold sores used to be bad when I was a kid.  Like, big and painful and would take forever to go away.  Plus it's humiliating.  I was like @KahluaKoala and asked my doc about it one time, mostly out of annoyance and shame that it kept happening.  The doc wrote the prescription and told me to take two pills when I first feel it coming one and two 12 hours later.  It has changed everything.  My cold sores don't get swollen, huge and painful.  They still last almost a week but they don't hurt and I can go out in public.  Lol.  You should ask even if you get them 1-2 times a year.  They should write you an rx to have on standby (it's important to take it at the first sign for maximum power). 

    MissKittyDangershort+sassy
  • I also have meds for my cold sores. I asked the doctor about it, not the other way around. I get them a lot in winter and wanted them gone ASAP. 

    The doc recommended I take a lysine vitamin if I feel it coming on (or if I've been in dry weather, or got a sunburn, or whatever) and to take valtrex in case of an outbreak. I basically just brought it up at the end of a regular physical when she was like "any other questions?" There's nothing dangerous about cold sores, but if they bother you and you want them gone faster, you can ask your doctor about them. If you know your OBGYN or GP pretty well you could probably just call. 
    I second taking lysine. When I was younger and got them more often I would take lysine once a day and it would take it from 10+ outbreaks a year to about 1 every few years. I don't take it daily anymore, because the one outbreak every few years has remained steady. When I do feel one coming I take a ton of lysine, and grab one of these: https://www.cvs.com/shop/orajel-instant-pain-relief-for-cold-sores-prodid-896072?skuId=896072 

    Usually clears up in 3 days if it ends up popping up at all. 


    image
    short+sassy
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