Birth Control Out Of Control

, , , | Healthy | July 4, 2018

(I live in a small town where everybody knows everybody, and we have one family practice with three or four doctors on staff. When I am 12, I have to go on an antibiotic for two weeks. The nurse tells me what to prepare for, since it is a new medicine.)

Nurse: “You may feel sleepy. You may cough more. You may have diarrhea.”

Me: “Eww!”

Nurse: “Part of the deal, I’m afraid. Do you have any questions?”

Me: “Nope.”

Mother: “No, we’re good to go.”

Nurse: “All right.” *walks is to the lobby* “I hope you feel bet– Oh! Use condoms.”

Mother: “What?!”

Nurse: “Antibiotics can negate birth control. She’ll need to use another contraceptive.”

Me: *bright red and ready to cry* “But… I don’t… I’m not…”

Mother: “She is not sexually active.”

Nurse: “She’s not on the pill?”

Mother: “No! She’s 12!”

Nurse: “You can never be too careful. [Classmate Of Mine] is due to have her first baby in a few weeks, and she’s 13. [My Name] should really start birth control after these antibiotics.”

Mother: “[My Name], are you having sex?”

Me: *mortified* “NO!”

Nurse: “Children lie.”

Mother: “And that’s what she is: a child. She hasn’t even had her first period yet.”

(While I’m waiting for the floor to open up and swallow me whole, the nurse and my mother go back and forth about my nonexistent sex life until one of the doctors comes out.)

Doctor: “What is going on out here?!”

Nurse: “[My Name] is going on antibiotics, so I told her to use condoms for a while.”

Doctor: “I… I don’t even know where to begin with that. Please forgive us Mrs. [Our Last Name], [My Name]. If you have any further questions, please call me directly.”

(The doctor handed my mother her card and mother pulled me out of the office. When we returned a few weeks later to report back about the antibiotics, we learned that the insistent nurse no longer worked there. Obviously, some children do what they want, when they want. But given that boys were still pretty gross to me, I couldn’t imagine needing birth control at that age.)

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