Meet myLAB Box - Part 2
Welcome back to myREVIEW of myLAB Box! It’s been a few weeks which, no, it didn’t actually take 5 weeks for my results but I did, um, have some issues. Let’s get to it.
I was sent a myLAB test for HPV. I had just received negative HPV results (Yay!) from my gynecologist but I wanted to see how myLAB did it. As promised, the package arrived discreetly and inside was a darling little box.
I did my own personal unboxing (minus the 1 million+ YouTube views). The contents inside included: packaging to return sample, registration forms, instructions, specimen bag, swab and swab receptacle(?).
First on the instructions was to register the kit. This allows myLAB to notify you once they receive your samples and where you will eventually be notified of your results. Easy, peezy. A quick username and password later, my registration was complete. Time to swab.
The HPV test requires you to insert an enlarged Q-Tip into the vagina and give it a few swabs around the ole gal. Once complete, the sample would go into the receptacle (basically a plastic test tube) and that would be that.
I reread the instructions a few times but was pretty confident about my game plan. I mean, every month I stick tampons up there (Sometimes Super Sized!) so a wil’ ‘waby Q-tip would be a breeze, riiiiiiight? [Note: This is foreshadowing]
I want to warn you that the next paragraph may gross you out, especially because, even as I type, my face looks like this:
I stuck the swab inside me and, well, ok, you know how when you push a light switch down, the lights immediately go off? Well, it was like that. But with pee. Yes, I immediately peed myself. I was not expecting the sensation of warm piss dripping down my hand and legs but even more than that, was definitely not expecting the sharp pain that immediately followed.
When something hurts, I usually try and stop the pain ASAP. But for some reason, pulling out the swab didn’t feel like an option. I was capital Determined to get my sample. But instead of the 360, triple axle, Earth orbiting the moon swab I wanted, I barely made it past the eastern time zone. I slowly pulled the swab out which a) did not feel good and b) didn’t stop the pain. I put the sample in the tube and sat on the toilet wondering what the hell I just did to myself. I was 100% certain the sample was screwed and 200% certain that I just gave myself an instant UTI. Did I just poke…my…urethra?
And that’s exactly what I Googled. I was grateful for the few brave strangers who asked Yahoo Answers the same thing back in 2012. However the strangers who offered ‘advice’ weren’t that helpful, their responses ranging from “How do you even do that?” to “I’m not sure you understand female anatomy.” Cool, cool.
Whether I truly stuck the swab up my urethra, I don’t know. What I do know was that for the next 2 hours it stung like a bitch when I peed every twenty minutes (a much higher rate than my usual every 3-4 hours). Praise Pussy I had some leftover meds and cranberry tablets from a previous UTI scare which seemed to help. I laid on the couch and cursed my never-ending curiosity. I knew I was HPV-free! Why did I even do this?! How did I even do this? The hole is right there! I feared I had sabotaged my body as soon as it got to a good place. I went to bed angry, in pain and fully prepared to piss the bed.
The next morning I sat on the toilet ready to burn. Fortunately, there was only a slight ache. I didn’t want to assume everything was back to normal so I popped another cranberry tablet (They’re pretty good once you get past the gross aftertaste).
Through the pain of the night before I had managed to pack up my ruined sample and get it ready to ship. myLAB provides the envelope and paid postage. All you have to do is drop it at the post office or mail box. “Well, here’s something I can’t fuck up.” I thought. I literally live around the block from a post office! This I could do. I brought the envelope (along with a mug of coffee) with me on my morning dog walk. I walked up to the mailbox and…was quickly put in my place. This was not a drop-down opening mailbox. No, my mailbox only had a small opening big enough to fit a stack of letters, not a test tube of cells. I tried to coax it in (that’s what she said) but knew if I pressed any harder, with my luck, it would crack. The post office wasn’t open yet either so, once again, my mission failed. My dog celebrated my failure with a sample of his own, adding a pile of shit for me to pick up and balance. For those keeping track, I was now carrying a bag of shit, a mug of coffee, my envelope with my ruined sample, and a 35lb pound pup.
At this point, I had to get to work. I knew I had some mail boxes by my office. This thing was coming on my commute. MTA meet my DNA.
My sample and I rode the train together in silence. At this point, despite being biologically connected, we were 100% over one another. I got off at my stop and, considering the chain of events, wasn’t too surprised when I discovered police performing random bag checks. I pondered what details I would give them and what they would be spared. They didn’t give a second glance. Point for me?
Didn’t matter. Whatever points I earned were lost when I then absentmindedly brought the sample with me to the office right to my desk. I somehow completely forgot to walk by the multiple mailboxes on my journey. Was brain damage a byproduct of urethra damage? Should I keep it in the fridge with my lunch? What if there’s free pizza in the cafe and I don’t eat my lunch? I’ll definitely forget it! I kept my sample close.
‘Eight hours’ later I made my next and final attempt. “See you in Hell, stupid sample.” I said to no one.
In conclusion, myLAB Box is a good product…that is not for me. I cannot (and should not) be trusted with foreign objects. myLAB did end up sending me another test to try, (gonorrhea and chlamydia) and, I will say, collecting a urine sample is indeed much easier:
Despite my own lack of timeliness, the results did come back as quick as myLAB said they would, so there is a level of convenience. But I would still feel more comfortable leaving the logistics to someone else. It’s why I don’t buy clothes online: If a bathing suit didn’t fit, I would never return it. I kept forgetting to leave the apartment with my urine sample and again had trouble finding a big enough mailbox. Your samples should be put in the mail within a few days and I found myself cutting it close.
I love any product that promotes safe sex and taking control of one’s body. I’m happy to live in a world where myLAB exists. But for now, I think I’ll continue to do my time at the doctors and clinics I’m fortunate to have in my neighborhood. And hey, for those who have their hand/eye coordination and USPS skills mastered, do it up!