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itsnotover

A not so happy New Year ...

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itsnotover

Hi all. I was recently diagnosed with HSV - 2. Yep, went in for a pap exam for spotting in between periods - thought I'd do some STD screening while I was there, and Surprise! I get a call telling me that I tested positive for herpes. (Just as a side note - do you think that they could come up with a more curdling name than "herpes"?) The first thing I did was cry. And cry. And cry. I couldn't figure out how this happened. I never had sympotoms, at least not anything I would have ever attributed to herpes (there's that word again ...). Then I did some research. And more research. And more research. Then it dawned on me - four years ago I went to the ER for the exact same symptoms that occur during an initial outbreak, minus the lesions or blisters, but was diagnosed with a UTI. I knew absolutley nothing about HSV before being diagnosed (another sidenote - why is there such a lack of awareness about herpes?!), so there was no reason for me to question the diagnoses. I've had it for four years without knowing (that's my guess anyways). I had a baby without knowing I had HSV. Scary, huh?

The worst part was that I just started dating this really great guy. I mean, the elusive "knight in shining armor" guy. We'd had sex a few times, unprotected. That was the worst part. Did I unknowingly infect this really great guy? Reflecting back, we never had "the talk". We should have had that talk. I should have gotten tested. But - coulda, woulda, shoulda. So there I was - reading frantically for days and days so that I would be fully informed about the virus. I sucked it up and told him, yeah - on January 1st. Happy flippin New Years man but I have herpes and you might too!! Okay, it didn't go down quite like that. I apologized over and over and over ... and much to my surprise, he didn't hang up on me (yeah, yeah - I totally chickened on the face to face conversation). In fact, he was really, really cool about it. So I got really lucky - really, really lucky. For a moment I thought that HSV wasn't a risk he wanted to take (and I totally get that), but then after a few hours of silence (it felt like hours anyways) he said that he liked me for who I am and that I am the same fun and sexy girl, this didn't change anything. Super sweet, huh? He went in and got tested ... hasn't gotten the results back yet, so we'll see. I'm just dreading having to have sex with condoms for the rest of my sex-life ... (okay, that's a little dramatic - but condoms suck!). Guess we'll just have to be a little more inventive. :cool:

Okay, so you're thinking that everything is just peachy. Not true. Nothing is the same as it was. I have my ups and downs ... sometimes it's all going to be okay, other times, well, not so much. I feel dirty and tainted. I feel angry at who gave this to me (I have an excellent idea of who that is). But I am trying to be optimistic. Reading other peoples experiences has been really helpful (well, some are super scary) and reading all I can about the virus and how it works has been helpful too. I've never recognized an outbreak before so yeah, now I panic at every itch, twitch, and sensation thinking that it is a herpes outbreak coming on. I am hoping that that anxiety will fade with time. I talked to my best friend about it - I've seen her once since and I can't help but wonder if the first thing she thinks when she sees me or hears my name is "herpes". I know someone with herpes, and previous to my diagnoses, I couldn't help but make that association. I never treated her diffferently or anything, but it's hard to look beyond the stigma, especially when you're ignorant to the information - which it seems a lot of people are. Oh - and the media! Before, rarely did I notice references to herpes - and when I did I'm sure I did the face cringe/giggle. Now I hear it all over. But now - it's not funny anymore.

If you've made it this far, you are a trooper - I will give you that. I think that this post is more of a theraputic outlet for me than anything. Although, if I can make someone feel better, that'd be great too.

So now what? I'm going to keep my chin up and keep on keeping on. I can't let this bring me down or rule my life - no one should. I decided that I was going to do an herbal suppression regimine - I'm looking into monolaurin, licorice root, prunella vulgaris, and pau d'arco (if anyone has had experiences with these, I would love to hear about it :)). I was originally going to take Lysine but I read that it actually decreases your immune system after prolonged use. Who knows, there are a gazillion "treatments" out there.

Well, thanks for reading. My heart goes out to all of you - this is no fun. But like I said before, this isn't going to bring me down. I am still the same beautiful, smart, and sarcastic :twisted: person I was before this. Please, don't let it bring you down either.

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Pessimist

I first wanna let you know that you have made my day with ur thread!!! I found out LAST night, and now I'm almost going crazy. I'm kinda cocky in a way, but not negatively. I set a high standard for myself and everyone knows it. I haven't had the courage to tell ANYONE, except for my fiance, which is probably the person that gave it to me.

I'm SO sad right now. I'm at work, and I was keeping myself busy, but whenever I took my mind off work, tears come to my eyes. I don't know what to do. We're supposed to be getting married very soon, but I'm waiting on his results to come back. He says he hasn't cheated, I haven't, so I don't know what to expect. I don't even know if I want to marry him now. But on the other side, I feel like if he does have it, we should be infected together, and get married, because no one else will ever want me if I have to say, "Hi, I have herpes, want my number?" Marrying him would be the easy way out, and right now, I don't trust him, I don't trust myself, and I feel so low. I know someone with it too, and I think just like you do when I see them. My beautician did her hair before, and disinfected her chair after the girl got up. I don't want that happening to me. I'm surrounded and live by very ignorant people. I just don't know what to do.

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lioness

Your story sounds a little similar to mine. I too have been very confident through this, even though I felt so low at some times. if herpes can't get the best of my emotions it can't get the best of my life. And even if it's going to be with me forever, if I remain optimistic I am winning the battle :D

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MsLucy

itsnotover... great post. I like your attitude, and your sense of humor. I was diagnosed about 2 years ago (seems like 20 now) and, although I'd rather not have herpes, it's just a thing, you know? On a scale of 1 thru 10, well... it's better than an IRS audit.

Pessimist, don't make any decisions about you and your future with your fiance until you've had time to get your head back on straight and look at the situation rationally. If he has herpes, it doesn't automatically mean he cheated on you. Either of you could have been carrying it around for a while and not known it. Let the dust settle and just let it be until you're better able to make an objective decision. DO NOT EVER settle for someone you don't really want to be with just because you have herpes, though, and you figure no one else will want you. Someone who loves the person you are, will love you regardless of viruses, warts, or wrinkles. Don't sell yourself short, sweetie.

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Pessimist

But, my prob is, just on a reg basis, before this happened, I wasn't the most joyful or cheery person. I've been one who always saw things for what they were. Now, it's harder than EVER to turn the other cheek and look at the brighter side. The ONLY thing I can think about is how dirty I feel or seem. I'm also hurt becase I have no CLOSURE. Closure makes me feel somewhat better, it helps me move on. Not knowing 100% KILLS me. I'll never be able to point the finger, except at myself. I had all these personality issues beforehand, I just don't see what good can come out of this. I've been reading tip, facts, opinions and blogs ALL DAy about this. Nothing is seeming positive right now. It's been about 23 hours since I found out, and now I feel like I have nothing to live for.

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curecomingverysoon

We have all cried, it's rough. But that's because we've all bought into the stigma that herpes (YES, I agree, what a hideous name!) is this terrible thing, when really all it is are a few bumps and itches on your genitals. So minor but because it's on your genital, it's time to panic. Just stupid.

Sounds like the knight in shining armour is great. You should look into suppressive therapy, it will reduce your likelihood of transmission just as much as condoms will (and more, if you use the two together). It's really a personal choice for the two of you. The other things is that if he has, he may have given it to you -- all it takes is once (trust me, I know this part to be true :( )

Now that you know, you can protect him. The source partner being aware of their HSV status cuts down on transfer to a partner by half. Condoms or antivirals bring it to 98% and condoms AND antivirals bring it to 99%. Almost always, we are NOT the ones transferring it to partners -- the people passing it around are those who are oblivious to the fact that they have it. Many couples have been together for years and years without passing it! :)

The media is just awful but that's because 90% of people have no idea that they're infected! It's so stupid, the stigma is just unbelievable and ridiculous considering that 1 in 5 Americans have it!

Good luck and welcome to the board.

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curecomingverysoon

Alright, why don't you just see this for what it really is -- a silly little virus?

But, my prob is, just on a reg basis, before this happened, I wasn't the most joyful or cheery person. I've been one who always saw things for what they were. Now, it's harder than EVER to turn the other cheek and look at the brighter side. The ONLY thing I can think about is how dirty I feel or seem. I'm also hurt becase I have no CLOSURE. Closure makes me feel somewhat better, it helps me move on. Not knowing 100% KILLS me. I'll never be able to point the finger, except at myself. I had all these personality issues beforehand, I just don't see what good can come out of this. I've been reading tip, facts, opinions and blogs ALL DAy about this. Nothing is seeming positive right now. It's been about 23 hours since I found out, and now I feel like I have nothing to live for.

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Pessimistfiance

Let me first say to all of you ,,, you are true heros, and i thank you for opening out to me and everyone else out there. now im the one my fiance thinks gave it to her.. so let me tell yo why, by her going thru my mail, opening up my MAIL she believes i went to a hotel room, in fact i told her i booked it, it wasnt for me, i a score on my penis from a bicylcle injury a while back really 2 i cut sore, i been check out at least before her, and had check ups at work and jst for my own safety. I dont want to leave but i might have to. Im a liar, she is a liar, she completes me bt i cant take all the drama

im not the best man but i try, tonight im tired of trying. I told her if i gave it to her we will get thru it, but she dont think so. i told her that if she gave it to me i will still be with her, bt she went behind my back and im so sad

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curecomingverysoon

Well, we don't know either of you or the circumstances of what happened about hotel rooms or bike injuries. So it's not having to do with whether we believe you, it's the level of trust that you have in each other. Even if you have gotten tested (and this part is important) - the herpes tests are not typically included in a full STI screening! At work or personally, they just won't test for it (probably particularly at work!) So that likely says nothing for either of you getting tests.

But at the beginning of any herpes "crisis" there will almost always be drama. People freak out and get depressed. Probably for several months in fact. Read all the posts here, you will see it over and over again. But people calm down eventually and obtain a level of acceptance. For now, it is what it is -- there's no cure or permanent suppressive treatment YET.

It's been 24 hours since she's been diagnosed. That's not a lot of time. If you can't handle 24 hours of drama then you're certainly not ready to get married, in my mind. Marrying someone means being able to support them in circumstances much more dire than a stupid little virus.

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itsnotover

Update!

Okay, so I have an update on the "knight's" HSV status - negative for both. Yay! Although I know there is still a risk that I will transmit it to him, at least he knows the risk. I am very fortunate to have someone so understanding in my life right now.

That's not to say that the last week and a half has not sucked royally. On top of my diagnoses, I have started Zyban to quit smoking (whoa!) and new birth control (which, now that I think about it, probably isn't entirely neccessary considering condoms will be a must from now on). Hello! I'm a mess lol!

Pessimist - First of all, I agree with MsLucy. Do not ever, ever, ever settle for less because you think you don't deserve more. Herpes sucks, yeah, but if this guy isn't for you, there is someone out there who is - herpes or no herpes. It's hard to say who gave it to who ... and in the long-run, does it really matter? You either trust him or you don't - and trust is huge in a relationship. Oh, and if it happens not to work out between you and the fiance, let's practice introductions before we send you out into the dating world ... "Hi, I have herpes, want my number?" is not going to cut it :-D. But, let's not get ahead of ourselves. What you need to do is relax and think. Take a day or two to yourself, get your hair done (that's what I am going to do lol), and look in the mirror. You're still the same person! You just need a little attitude adjustment - pessimism decreases your lifespan and causes wrinkles, seriously. It's all going to be okay, one way or another. Life's waay to short to sweat the small stuff (and yes, I am starting to really feel like HSV fits in "the small stuff" category).

curecomingverysoon - Thanks for your response. You give me hope that some day I will have all these crazy feelings under control. When you say that I "should look into suppressive therapy, it will reduce your likelihood of transmission," do you mean Valtrex or something of that nature? I've done a lot of research on herbal suppression (like I said above). Do you know whether one is more effective than the other? I tend to steer clear of pharmceuticals, but if it will reduce the chance of transmission, I would be willing to give it a shot.

One last thing ... I have a little moral dilemma regarding the source of this entire mess. So I am 99.9% sure that my ex, father of my child, a-hole of the universe (yes, perhaps I am a bit biased) gave me the herps. I was mad, still am a little, but what can I do now? Nothing, so might as well not focus energy on it. Anyways, I feel kind of like I am obligated to tell him that I tested positive and that I think he should get tested. It was four years ago, a few months after we started dating that I had now what I believe to be the initial outbreak. I don't know if he knew he had it or not, again, doesn't really matter. The thing is, is that he's really not a nice person and he'd talk about it to everyone I know "hey, guess who has herpes!" ha ha and he'd deny having it and blah blah. What do you guys think? Do I have to tell him, or can I let him figure it out on his own?

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silverlining

Nice post! I really hope I can find someone as wonderful as your knight. The hardest part will be being honest and upfront...something I 100% have to do if I'm ever intimate again.

In regards to your dilemma, you should definitely tell him. If you don't, he'll infect other people. It's possible he's never had symptoms and that's why he doesn't know he has it. So he'll never think to get tested and yet another poor soul will have to go through this. It sucks but it's only right. Another choice is to tell him to get checked because you tested positive but don't be specific about it. Though none of the STDs out there are necessarily "better sounding" than the others. I think I have to do the same with the last two people I was with because I have no idea which or when I may have gotten this. This is going to suck because they're really great people and what if I gave it to one of them?? :(

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curecomingverysoon

Have you heard about the anonymous email services notifying of STI exposure? Give it a google.

I think this case might be a prime candidate for that.

Also:

Herbal suppression is completely unproven and a risky thing to rely upon. There's just no proof.

Valtrex has been proven in studies to reduce the possibility of transmission from female to male to 2% with proper usage (including avoidance of sex during outbreaks). Use of a condom reduces it to 1%. Those stats are based on having sex twice a week -- if you increase that then the risk goes up slightly every time. Once your knight becomes better informed on herpes, I wouldn't be surprised if he asked you to go on suppressive treatment.

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itsnotover

Yeah, I saw the "Do It Anonymously" link to the right, which sends out an anonymous e-mail suggesting previous partners get tested. What a great idea! Unfortunatley, my ex doesn't have an e-mail address, or internet for that matter. He has had a steady girlfriend for the last year or so now. This guy isn't just some a-hole, he's a really mean-spirited, hot headed individual and I am still really apprehensive to tell him. He'd probably laugh at me, call me dirty names, and insist that it wasn't from him. Not to mention tell everyone on the planet about it. But on the other hand, I really wouldn't want another soul to go through what I have gone through. I think I'll sleep on it. Hey -anyone know if there's somewhere that does anonymous phone calls? :)

As far as the Valtrex goes, I am really wary. In the four years that I am guessing that I have had the virus, I have never had any symptoms that would have lead me to believe I had herpes. Therefore I am assuming no OBs, or very mild ones. While I agree that herbal remedies are understudied, and that is an understatement, I still like to believe that natural remedies are better for your body than synthetic ones. We'll see though.

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curecomingverysoon

Well see, even if you're not having outbreaks, you're still shedding a good bit of the time. Chances of transmission without an outbreak from a woman to a man are 4% per year (sorry, that's how it should have read the first time).

And I hate to say this but you probably have been having small outbreaks that you were unaware of. An itch, an "ingrown hair", a rash, maybe something inside your vagina, etc. During those you are shedding virus a lot, which equals transmission (almost certainly).

Just my thoughts on the matter though.

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itsnotover

Thank you for your thoughts. Just to clarify, is it 4% risk from male to female or female to male? I completely realize that I may have been having OBs and just have not attributed them to H and I know that even if it's a mild one, the virus is still on the skin and very prone to transmission. In fact, now I'm super paranoid and I think that every little sensation I have "down there" is an OB. It's going to take some time to get in tune with my body to be able to recognize when I am having an OB, as mild as it may be. As I said before, if I am figuring correctly, I have had the virus for about four years, so perhaps my OBs are just really mild and few and far between. That what I am hoping anyways, but only time will tell.

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curecomingverysoon

The super paranoia is not uncommon.

The 4% figure is from a woman to a man without condoms or suppressive treatment and abstaining during absolutely ALL outbreaks. What's an outbreak exactly, you ask? You don't have an answer for that.

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Pessimistfiance

im on my mobile phone. but i will make it brief, why do you people side with the female firsst, secondly ghe drame has happend befroe the online post, infact after it was donr behind my back i was hurt n still am. you talk about 24 hours blah blah i wouldnt marry him or be readsy, well check it your not me, so i will take it kindly to keep it t

hat way

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curecomingverysoon

I don't care if you're a guy or a girl and I don't know either of you personally so I don't know anything about what's going on in your lives. I don't know about anyone else but I'm not "siding" with anyone. You can have given it to her, she could have given it to you. Neither of you will ever know for sure.

What I'm saying is that drama is totally to be expected either before or after online posts -- from the moment she got diagnosed. She's in shock and she's hurt and she's lashing out. You're shocked and hurt too. If you love someone and you want to be with them forever you have to be ready to ride out these sorts of storms. So does she. THAT IS WHAT MARRIAGE IS ABOUT. It's not just going to be happy and rosy, shit like HSV2 is going to happen, someone might get cancer, someone might lose their job, you might have a child with disabilities. All this stuff is going to suck and if you're going to play the blame game now, who's to say it won't happen again later.

You need to sharpen your reading skills.

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itsnotover

Another update

I decided that I was obligated to tell my ex, no matter how crude his reaction would be. Luckily, I caught him on a good day and it went very well. Except that when I told him he should talk to his girlfriend about it (because, after all, he could transmit it to her) he didn't seem to keen on the idea. Didn't sound like he wanted to go and get tested either. But, I did what I could. It's out of my hands now.

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Stillme

To Its Not Over

First, let me say I may look like a newbie but I'm not to Herpes... have had it 27 years as of this month, I finally figured out the day after all this time...

Life is WONDERFUL, and herpes will not be an impediment to you having a wonderful life. Its a screening tool, screens out all the jerks who don't really love you for YOU. I got it in college... and never slept with anyone during a break out and thankfully never transmitted it (i would know, I'm from a small town originally) Been married 2 x, have had boyfriends, a great sex life to this day, and I am not a young chickadee. Don't worry, you are still you, no matter what... this does not change that. Get to know your body and when you suspect an outbreak don't have sex. My experience says don't tell anyone, not even your "friends" because they won't understand. Talk about it here... thank GOD you have here, I had no where and kept everything to myself for many years. Try not to worry, everything will be ok. :-)

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itsnotover

Stillme - Thank you so much for your post. I feel really blessed to have found this site. Communicating with wonderful people throughout this experience has helped the healing process immensly. Had I not stumbled upon this forum, I know that I would not feel the way I do about this right now. I know that I'm not alone and that I'm going to be okay. I can't imagine going through this alone.

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xbonsaitreex

I just read through all of these posts on here and i must say, you guys really made it seem not AS terrible. With that being said, in the last couple of days I've noticed some of the signs and am almost 90% sure i could have it..Now I now it can be commonly misdiagnosed with a slew of other conditions. This brings me to my next point. I am 22 years old and spent most of my life from 16 until last year in very serious relationships. Recently I had started casually dating a guy I had met..We hooked up afew times and had sex once..I was drunk and scared about being with other people..I fell for the oldest trick in the book and didn't demand he wear protection...Worst mistake of my life..Forward about a week later..This boy is not for me, I can clearly tell hes not a nice person..I break up with him and he freaks out, calls me every name in the book, and finally the kicker...Comments like "well looks like we both lied" "should have been safer"..I tried to get him to tell me wtf he had but he just refused and deleted contact..Lesson learned..Even 1 stupid mistake can wind you up here, writing a post in a herpes forum to faceless people..Ive really never felt lower or worse..Anyways I would like to keep checking back on here..It's only been acouple days but ive already done alot of research on herbal treatments and have everything from lysine, coconut oil, cats claw to vitamin supplements..Im going to make an appointment for my Doc in the next few days but I'm really dreading it. I'm not in denial but i just want my intuitions to wrong so badly..I relate to all of you in the tainted dirty feeling. Anyways I've rambled off enough, if any of you are having success with some natural treatments/cures i would love to know..I know its not the designated subject for this thread but i felt compelled to post in this one in particular because of all your stories and how easily i could relate. Thanks!

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mirelle

@itsnotover - I am working with an herbalist/homepath Christopher Scipio.. You can look him up on line. I also bought his book "making peace with herpes". I'm waiting for the herbs and book. I will do everything in my power to work with this naturally to improve my immune system and to get back to good overall health.

@curecomingverysoon - thanks for the stats. It is so helpful. Also I am curious, if you don't mind sharing, how you got herpes from being with someone just once? Did your lover not tell you, or not know, or was asymptomatic? I am just curious as to the facts and to how it can support us in not transmitting it to anyone else. thanks.

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