Saturday, January 11, 2014

Frostbite, STDs and Teenage Butthead-ery

I was thinking about how incredibly cold it's been here in Chicago, (No, I will NOT call it Chiberia).  A post on hypothermia and frostbite came to mind, specifically because my teenaged son was being a butthead and refusing to heed our warnings about flash frozen fingers and frostbitten faces and ears.  My husband showed him some photos of gangrenous fingers, toes and ears and he got the message and wore gloves, a hat, and a scarf, but not without some gross pictures..

Then I saw Alexander Skarsgard in all his naked glory on the portable toilet in Antarctica.  What a great segue!  I heard it was warmer in Antarctica than it was in Chicago earlier this week.  Go figure.

 So I asked my husband how he thought of showing my progeny pictures to convince him to use gloves, and he said, "A picture is worth a thousand words."  He told me about how when he was a kid, his father, a surgeon, had a medical textbook with a picture of Pian disease or Yaws in it.  It so terrified my husband, he was so affected by it,  that he wouldn't go within 10 feet of his father's textbooks of medicine for years. (And yet, he became a pulmonary and critical care subspecialist.  Go figure.)

Tertiary YAWS/Pian disease:

THAT got me thinking.  Boys do not heed adult advice.  At least, that's been my experience.  They have to make their own mistakes, or make up their own minds about something.  All my kid hears from me is:  "Blah, blah, blah, Are you listening to me?  I'm telling you to blah, blah, blah..." and so on.

Pictures.  That's the ticket.

So, here's what I'm going to show him to prevent him from having unprotected sex and getting STDs.

Tertiary syphilis causes horrible disfigurement, and some of the pics were even too gross for me to show.  I plan to show him pictures of primary syphilis with ulcers on the penis, secondary syphilis with the rash all over, and pictures like this with the nose disfigured.

Lymphogranuloma venereum or Chancroid:
A lovely little infection caused by a chlamydia that causes massive swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin, which can open up and ulcerate.

And speaking of chlamydia (and gonorrhea):
The pictures of the penile drip are too gross to put here.  But trust me.  He'll see them.

Then there's GENITAL WARTS.
I've gotten him vaccinated against HPV, the virus that causes them, and I'm hoping that it works, but just in case he's attempted to go scuba diving without a wetsuit, I'll show him this, but on the penis:
I'VE seen this too many times to number.  It is devastating and difficult to treat.  The topical medications hurt, and the aftermath of surgery to remove large accumulations is painful too.  Plus, these lovely little warts cause cancer of the cervix, cancer of the anal-rectal area, cancer of the throat and mouth and voicebox.

Herpes Happens.
Herpes can happen ANYWHERE on the body.  Cold sores are from herpes.  Herpetic whitlow is a herpes infection of the finger.  Imagine if this was your penis or vaginal area instead.  Ugh. That's gotta hurt.

Of course, there is the big Momma of STD's, HIV/AIDS.  There is no one picture to show the horror of that disease.  I was a resident and student in the late 1980's early 1990's and I saw entirely too many people die from horrible awful complications of that disease.  I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.  I saw brain and lung lymphoma from it, Kaposi's sarcoma, blindness, terrible secondary infections from PCP pneumonia or even run of the mill bacterial pneumonia that decimated the patients who had no immune system left to fight off the diseases that ordinary people either wouldn't get, or could fight off.  
That will be a whole topic unto itself of photos and stories to prevent his not wearing a raincoat on his johnson. 

So, somehow my blog on hypothermia morphed.  But Hopefully, some other mom somewhere will show her kid gross memorable pictures of the reality of sexually transmitted diseases, and prevent it from happening to their child. 

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