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perdue

A Thank You For You Guys

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perdue

This is my first post. And this is my story.

I've been in a devoted relationship with a beautiful man for over two years. He's the one for me; I can't see my life without him in it..or at least, I don't want to. I had poor relationships before I met him, in fact so much so that I "gave up" for some time and chose to abstain (intimately speaking) from men completely for the three years before I met my wonderful partner. My partner is not the type to sleep around, however after a long relationship ended in his twenties, he found himself feeling lost and in a dark chapter of his life where he did have some meaningless, casual sex with women. Then years later we meet, fall madly in love, and neither of us have looked back. We had both been tested for STD's before being intimate, and both would not have had unprotected sex unless we knew we were free and clear of STD's. Our tests were great, so this was great! We've spent years together knowing we are safe.

I have had cold sores since I was a little girl. This was inherited from my mother or father. Most of my siblings also get cold sores. I went through a hard time as a teenager with outbreaks of facial cold sores and part of me resented my parents for not being careful. For this reason, I have always been extra careful with my loved ones. I've also always been extra careful with myself, so as not to auto-inoculate. I've done everything to be careful, followed all the precautions, and by all counts I should have been okay.

The other week, I developed a lesion, but not on my lip. I was terrified because I've never had any feminine issues..no yeast infections, never ever anything unusual. Naturally, this out of the blue concerned me greatly. I was embarrassed to explain it to my partner, so I just avoided him for the first two days. In the meantime, I did some research to try to figure out what it could be, and this is what brought me here.

After hours of reading your stories, your descriptions, and your wisdom...I found myself convinced that I had genital herpes. Because of you, I had the knowledge to quickly get a culture tested because I learned that this is the best way to get a clear answer. And that's just what I did. You also gave me the courage to confess my concerns to my partner. I called in at work and said I had to go to a walk-in clinic on an urgent but personal basis, and I did. Unfortunately, the doctor that saw me was probably one of the worst doctors I could have seen. From what I could tell, he knew his stuff, but his bedside manner was so detached and uncaring. I was afraid, and that was quite visible..he had zero empathy, and not a word of reassurance. He seemed to just want me out of his office even though I still had questions. I left that office with his initial visual diagnosis, on the verge of tears. He very coldly gave me the news of the grim reality that I probably had herpes. He said I would have to wait 1-2 weeks for the results. That's when I went back to read your stories, and it eased my fears enough to get through the waiting period.

While I waited for my results, I communicated with my partner. I told him I was 100% sure I had herpes. How did I get it? I had no idea. How did I know? Because the lesion behaved exactly the same way as one of my cold sores. There was just one small lesion and it looked and healed exactly the same way as a cold sore. He seemed to want to hold on to hope for me but I asked him that he let me accept the reality..I needed to. Then I gave him all the information I learned from you guys, and other good sources..and that's when he had to realize that he may have it too. He was good about everything and he made sure I knew right away that no matter what, this would not change us, and he would never go anywhere.

Then I got the call..my results were in and I was to see the doctor to find out. I chose to make an appointment with my GP for the results rather than see the doctor that took the culture. When you are being delivered bad news, you need someone with a heart to deliver them. Unfortunately, my GP was away and in his place was a resident doctor. Desperate to avoid seeing the doctor I'd seen in the first place, I took a chance and booked an appointment with the resident doctor. I had no idea who he was but hey, he couldn't be worse...

When my partner and I went in for the results the doctor asked my partner to wait a few minutes before coming in. He was very warm, and shook my hand right away. Very gently, he delivered the bad news..I had tested positive for genital HSV2. He then went on to assure me that this does not mean that my partner has been unfaithful (I already knew all of this thanks to you guys and because I know my sweetheart would never be unfaithful). He assured me everything would be okay. When he had my partner come in he repeated the same information to him, and gently told him there was a good chance he has herpes too, or even transmitted it to me. Then he very sweetly, told us a little bit about himself, and he didn't have to do this: He told us that he was his wife's first and only partner and then one day, out of nowhere (about a decade later), she had a herpes outbreak. That's when he found out he was asymptomatic and has never shown obvious symptoms. She suffers from occasional outbreaks but they have dealt with it and both live completely normal lives. I had to hold back some tears when I thanked him for everything. My greatest fear was feeling like I did at my first doctors visit about all of this. He put my fears at ease, and he made my partner and I really see how common this is and how someone can have it and not know it. I couldn't have seen a better doctor for this kind of news. He knew what we were going through. He not only had the medical knowledge, but he had personal knowledge.

I've had a few moments of sadness for sure, but I am getting through it...we're getting through it. You guys had your part in my process of getting through this, and I want to thank you for that. There's a great group here and I look forward to learning more from you all, and getting to know you guys too!

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RealisticGal

Wow just wow. What an amazing story. And what an amazing amazing amazing doctor. He really went above and beyond by sharing his personal story with you.

So my assumption is that the battery of tests you guys took before getting together intimately did not, as is typical, include HSV?

I'm so happy to hear the way things are going for you. Thank you so much for sharing.

Cheers! Onward! :flowers:

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wholesome

Thank you so much for posting this. It is so good to hear about doctors who know to to deliver this kind of news.

I'm glad things are moving forward for both of you, and look forward to seeing future posts.

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Jewel

What a great doctor! You're so lucky. I had a nurse one time tell me she had herpes too. I had called a number and I was crying and trying to tell her what I was going through. It feels good to know that you're not the only one. Again, what a great doctor.

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perdue

Thanks all, especially for taking the time to read my story and thoughts.

In answer to your question about the HSV testing, RealisticGal, no..I don't think either of us had that done. It's one of those things, when you request an STD test you assume that everything gets included. Though I can understand why that is not a standard test.

The doctor told my partner that he could have a test done if he wants, but really, it doesn't matter and his honest opinion was that he likely does have it. He left the choice up to him and my partner at the time, agreed with him and opted not to have the test. My opinion has been a little different..

My partner is not afraid to be intimate with me and treats me exactly the same as before this mess. It's been my choice to use condoms, and I've asked him to please get tested. He will, only because it would make me feel better if we know. I don't care if he gave me this, he couldn't have known and I would never blame him. It's an inconvenience and I have some self-esteem issues to work through now, but I'll get through it. At least when I get an OB, it's not where everyone in the world can see..unlike a cold sore (I've gotten past my cold sore insecurities..they are minor, barely noticeable and heal fast with Lysine). I'm the only one that will ever notice if I get a GHSV2 OB. If he didn't give this to me though and he is negative, I want to keep him clear of it and do everything I can to prevent passing it on to him.

I consider myself blessed to have found such a supportive community to interact with through this, to have the most incredible, loving man by my side, such a mild first outbreak, a wonderful doctor to have helped me with accepting this, and so many other blessings.

Thanks again guys !

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RealisticGal

You have a great attitude, perdue.

And I agree with you. I understand why blood testing for herpes is not part of the standard battery of STI screening. Since the level of accuracy of those tests is not very advanced yet, it could cause problems to include it. So many false positives and false negatives...

But the problem remains that folks are not aware of that discrepancy in the panels. If only that was common knowledge, we wouldn't have so many folks running around believing they are 100% free of any STIs, when in fact they don't really know that.

It really adds to the stigma of herpes for so many folks to have this blind spot.

Anyway, glad you and your guy are dealing with this so well.

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