Complexes, Complexes Everywhere (The Valtrex Stories)

Why oh why can't the pharmacist just call them THIS?

Why oh why can’t the pharmacist just call them THIS?

“So Teresa…” the pharmacist said loudly, “Have you had a prescription for Valtrex before?”

In that moment, my cheeks flushed hot and everyone that was standing around, waiting for their own prescriptions to be filled, slowly peeked over at me.  I felt a thousand tiny eyes on me all thinking the same thing: “Omg… that chick has genital herpes.”

For the record, I don’t have genital herpes.

This instantly makes me flashback to a moment in time when I thought my marriage was ending.


You see, it all started innocently enough by me popping into Wal-Mart one day and leaving my dear husband in the car to wait for me.  “I’ll just be a second lovey!” I said as I got out of the car.  “Don’t miss me too much!”  As I bounded off into Wal-Mart, I left my smiling husband happy, healthy and wise.

As I approached the car, after completing my shopping and buying more than anticipated (how can anyone go into Wal-Mart and stick to their list?!  It’s impossible!), I noticed that my husband’s facial expression had changed.  The smile replaced by a grimace and his sparkling eyes replaced by fury and fire.  “Uh oh” I thought… “I’m definitely in trouble.”

As I neared the driver’s side door, where my husband sat, the window began to roll slowly down and my husband’s arm jutted out of the window, like a Jack-in-the-Box being released from its confines, holding a tiny cardboard card.  “Are you having an affair?” he asked icily.  Before I could even respond, he continued heatedly, “I Googled this Erin.  I know what this is.  This is for genital herpes.  Why do you have the word Valtrex written on the back of this business card from an OB’s office?  I don’t have herpes Erin.  You’re having an affair, aren’t you?”

My jaw dropped but before I could utter a single vowel, a laugh burst from my innards.  Followed by another.  And another… until I was in a hysterical fit of laughter.  When I could finally stifle my laughter, I looked at my dear husband and told him what it all meant.

“Honey, that card is from my OB’s office… the same one that delivered Willow.  The baby we just had together.  The baby that caused my vagina to say ‘GET OUT Y’ALL’ to anything attempting to gain access.  Valtrex is for herpes yes but not only genital herpes.  It’s for cold sores too.  You see, I went in there the other day for an appointment to get a referral to a pelvic floor physiotherapist and I had a cold sore and the receptionist recommended it.  I love you and I’m not having an affair.”

He breathed a sigh of relief and I giggled about it for weeks to come.


“Yes!” I said to the pharmacist.  “I use it all the time when I get cold sores… Those little bastards.”

Every time I pick up my prescription for Valtrex, I always, always go off into stories and tirades about cold sores.  You know, making it clear that I do not indeed have the genital herps.  Because, even though I don’t judge anyone who has genital herpes, I do not.  Mmkay?


  1. Angie says

    Not a pharmacy story – but my husband’s dr gave him handfuls of the same (or similar) medication samples. He had broken out into tons of cold sores after being sick and having his immune system run down.

    He was grateful for all the samples – but would have loved a bag to put them in while riding the elevator!