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Hforhope

A wonderful New Years Eve present!

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Hforhope

Why does it seem that whenever something bad happens on a "holiday" it seems worse? I received a nice New years eve present and it completely ruined this new years for me. I thought I had a really bad yeast infection, until on New Years eve I realized that something else must be wrong and got the bad news via a free clinic. Lets just say New Years consisted of getting extremely drunk, crying and threatening to kill myself....not a good combination. I have been dating my boyfriend for 2 months, having sex for a month and then the news came, we don't know whether it is him or me who had it, he has no symptoms and we have both been clean from our last tests, although neither of us probably got tested for herpes. Anyhow, I have been through this mess before of feeling like shit, wanting to hide from the world, feeling dirty and low, because 7 years ago I got hpv. So I have once had genital warts and now have genital herpes. I thought hpv was the worst, but that wasn't till now, because these blisters hurt so much. I have been reading the posts on this site, and I am glad I am not alone. It sucks when your boyfriend doesn't understand the pain you are in. Everything seems to hurt, from sitting to walking, to especially going to the bathroom. I would really appreciate any help to relieve the physical symptoms, and am on Acyclovir but it hasn't started helping yet.

As for the emotional symptoms, that is another thing I need to deal with. Its been 3 days of crying, feeling low, and hiding from the world. But reading the posts makes me feel better, and I just try to think that if I would have cold sores on my mouth I wouldn't cry and think its the end of the world, I would just use medication and thats it. So now i just have sores somewhere else, not the most pleasant of places, but am just trying to now come to terms with it. It sucks to have one std, and then now another. Even after being careful with sex and using protection. But I guess, whenever you have sex you are at risk, and there is nothing you can do about it.

Just trying to find the hope, and what I am feeling now is completely different from what I felt on New Years, because then I felt my life is over, now I am just trying to change my perspective and get over this first outbreak and then see....

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ItGetsBetter

First off, we all feel your pain! Know that there are a lot of people out there dealing with the same things you are. I was diagnosed with HSV2 and HPV two days before my birthday this past year - when it rains, it pours! I know it's hard to think about, especially when you're in so much pain and it's all you can really focus on, but you're not alone.

As far as the pain goes, get yourself some lidocaine cream (or gel, either one is fine) asap! This definitely helps with the pain (though it may tingle a bit at first). Also, try urinating while pouring water on the affected area, or even while you're in a bath, though that may be hard to do if you have to get up and go about your day like most people do (going to work, etc.). Someone else posted a tip, saying to cut off the end of a plastic tampon tube and pee through that, and that seems like it could be pretty effective as well.

For the sitting and walking, you may look funny, but keep your legs further apart when you walk (kind of bow legged). Also, take ibuprofen, and ice the area, this should help with the inflammation.

Make sure you put the Acyclovir on according to the schedule your doctor gave you (mine instructed me every 3 hours). I know for me putting on the cream was incredibly painful, but doing it regularly does help the sores to scab over faster, and once they are scabbed, the pain is virtually gone!

Remember, 1 in 5 people (or according to some statistics, 1 in 4!) has the same annoying virus, you're just one of the unlucky ones who shows symptoms. I like to visualize the statistics, so I imagine that every 5th person walking past me is HSV2+, and that actually really helps.

I know it's not something you generally want to advertise, but telling a few close friends can really give you the support you need to get through this difficult time. As much as it is helpful, informative, and even inspirational to read the posts on these forums, having friends who are actually physically present there with you is really nice. I have to say, I kept it to myself for a while, but once I told a few people, I found that they were all totally accepting, and it never even came up again. They all acted like I was completely normal, and that was probably the best treatment I could have had. It made me feel normal again, and not like a social outcast.

Also, good news, your first outbreak is generally your worst, so it gets better! Feel better!!

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boopboop

your not alone, your body is just freaking out!

You will feel like you again and forgot all about it... also recurring outbreaks are never as bad as the first for the majority of people. I hardly notice my outbreaks!

Oh and am from UK too :)

x

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Dogwatch

First off Hforhope, stop using the word "clean" when really you mean "clear" (as in "not having herpes", or "hsv-"). That one letter makes all the difference.

Otherwise you're going to get into that mindset of thinking that you're the opposite of "clean" - namely "dirty". And that in itself is unhealthy (besides being very silly). Because if you're "dirty" then so is the 25% of the population that has hsv genitally - and for that matter so are the 80% that has hsv orally, given that essentially, it's the same virus.

With any luck this will be your first and only outbreak. And even if it's not, recurrences aren't normally as bad, and get less frequent over time.

Although an unlucky few do suffer from severe / recurrent symptoms (just as an unlucky few are seriously affected by flu), for the vast majority of folks herpes is just a petty skin ailment that's nothing more than an occasional minor inconvenience. And except in a handful of extremely rare and exceptional cases, it's long-term medical significance is somewhere between negligible and non-existent (usually the latter). By comparison, hpv is potentially far more serious - given that a couple of hpv strains can cause cervical cancer. Herpes on the other hand doesn't cause anything serious of that nature, much less kill you. At worst you'll get uncomfortable flare-ups from time to time, and even then, effective treatments are readily available. But chances are you won't even get that. So if you're going to worry about something - worry about hpv instead.

You've probably read on this and similar forums all sorts of horror stories from people with hsv being in a state of constant pain and/or depression. And while I wouldn't want to pooh-pooh what are obviously genuine problems for those posters, remember that this is not the norm in the wider population at large (even though it may be the "norm" in this little corner of the WWW).

So try to bear in mind that forums like this can be a double-edged sword: informative and supportive on the one hand, but on the other hand depressing and giving the impression to "newbies" that serious recurrent OBs are the rule, when in fact they're very much the exception. That's why I (and one or two others, I've noticed) drop by here from time to time - to try and bring a bit of perspective to it all. Because what you read in some threads really can freak out the newly diagnosed (often unnecessarily, IMHO).

In any case your current mindset is completely normal. Give it a few weeks and you'll feel much better once the initial shock wears off. And in a few months, you'll probably barely give it a second thought.

Here's a couple of links that you might find useful:

http://herpesisnormal.com/?page_id=19

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/STDs/HSV1---Asymptomatic-Shedding-Risks---oral-and-genital/show/249237

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Hforhope

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone for replying and being supportive. It definitely is hard, and no fun but all I can do is try to get through it and try to change my mindset to "make it not a big deal". And thanks for the advice on getting through the first outbreak and the pain. I have been using tea tree oil and vitamin E on the outside, as someone recommended it online. Then internally the viral medicine. So lets hope it starts getting better, I think it is because it hurts less today then the past few days. And I do hope that this is my first and last outbreak, but at least I know this is the worst, so the worst is over soon. Thanks again to everyone, and will just try to take it one day at a time.....

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aussiediva

I was diagnosed on New Years Eve too (that, a bladder infection and a bruised Kidney)...in Singapore which is about 8 hours flight from my home in Melbourne. That sure spoilt the holiday.

At the moment it hurts less, but going to the bathroom still stings a lot. I can't wait til it passes, I've been told at least another 6 or 7 days until things really settle. And then I'll be doing a NYE take 2...my second attempt at welcoming in 2011. This time hopefully there will be a lot less discomfort and many more laughs.

I think I've finally got through the motions. I've decided not to hide the condition from people who know me best. It's uncomfortable, particularlly because I'm single and herpes isn't exactly your everyday topic, but my friends have been really helpful. They ask questions, give advice but also have the ability to stop me from getting down about it. It's nice to be reminded that a healthy young woman can have intercourse, and that this was a very unfortunate consequence - not a punishment - for my choice of lifestyle.

Best wishes to you - and may your 2011 improve from here!

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Dogwatch
It definitely is hard, and no fun but all I can do is try to get through it and try to change my mindset to "make it not a big deal".

Definitely the right attitude. Herpes is only as big a deal as you decide to make it. It's a minor viral skin condition (I don't even like over-dramatising it with the term "disease") that's been hyped up and sensationalised out of all proportion to its medical significance. Most of the fear and the "yuk" factor is based purely on ignorance, nothing more. Strip that away, and you'll come to realise that it really doesn't have to be the life-changer that it's made out to be. Most people with hsv are able to carry on pretty much as before and lead completely normal lives.

It's nice to be reminded that a healthy young woman can have intercourse, and that this was a very unfortunate consequence - not a punishment - for my choice of lifestyle.

While you're at it, allso remind yourself that the vast majority of people carry herpes of one form or another. It's more unusual not to have it.

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Hforhope

Thanks everyone for the replies. "Glad" to hear that you Aussiediva were in the same shoes, although wish they were happier. But now that its been about 5 days since getting the information, and actually today getting it confirmed via bloodtest, I am feeling ok. I found out I have HSV-1, which made my boyfriend freak out and think that he is going to pass it to me by kissing me. So he hasn't kissed me today, which feels super nice. It kinda makes you feel dirty even though you shouldn't, because I have been reading alot about herpes lately, and its just a virus, its not fun but its not gonna kill you. Why are stds so hyped up to make you think the worst? But now I have been trying to find out information on how you can transmit genital HSV-1 to someone, and to tell my boyfriend that he can't get it from kissing me, since I don't have it orally. So if anyone has any good websites where it specifically states, kissing someone with genital HSV-1 will not give you herpes, I would greatly appreciate that. Talk about un-needed stress on top of everything.

PS. Aussiediva, hope this year will be better for you too! Enjoy travelling, and make the most of it!

Thanks Dogwatch for your comments, I think I am finally beginning to think that its ok, although its still so new that emotionally it will take awhile to fully become ok.

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BesPres10

I am going through the exact same thing. I got tested just before Christmas. The results didn't come back until after, but I knew the answer. I could not think about anything else. This is the Christmas present I wish I could return. I thought that I had a yeast infection also. I've been experiencing so many emotions: anger, guilt, self pity, self loathing, depression, regret, resentment. The day I got it was the best day of my life...for about two weeks...now I will remember it as the worst day of my life. I can't believe how something so wonderful turned into something so awful. For five years I had had a crush on this guy. I finally found out that he felt the same way. Now we are both suffering. He had no idea so now he is torturing himself. When I joined this forum, it asked what my interests are. I can't think of any right now. I feel so empty. It just consumes me. However, researching online has given me a lot of hope. There are many new treatments being developed as we speak. Researching has really helped my emotional state. I kind of expected the opposite, but I am really fascinated by the science of what I am reading, and it really has given me hope. This forum is awesome. I also feel like no one else understands. I have told only the guy, my sister, and my best friend. They all think it is no big deal...everyone has it. Maybe they are just trying to make me feel better, but it isn't making me feel better. Right now I just need a sympathetic ear. I just want comfort. I don't want people to minimalize what I am feeling. I don't believe it's a punishment. It's just bad luck. At the same time, I feel like I decided to live for once, and I got shot down. It's like I'm destined to just sit in my house, by myself. I spent so many years doing that, hiding from the world, hiding from microbes...I expose myself a little, and this is what happens....and I used a condom, which makes it worse. I did everything right or so I thought. Sorry to be so all over the place, but that is how I feel...all over the place. Thanks for listening, and Hforhope, I know exactly what you are going through. It's a whirlwind, but time will help....and once the outbreak is over...you will feel better emotionally too.

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Dogwatch

Hiya BesPres10. Sorry to hear you're so down in the dumps, but fear not: your reactions are normal and completely understandable given all the silly hype that surrounds what is at the end of the day just a minor and self-limiting viral skin condition for most people (and remember that the vast majority of the adult population carries hsv of one type or the other).

My story is this: My g/f of 5 years had a single small cluster of itchy blisters flare up the skin of her inner thigh next to her vagina. She went to the doctors and was diagnosed with GH via a swab. She popped some meds and it cleared up within 3 days. We can only assume that either (a) one of us unknowingly brought GH it into the relationship when we got together, or (B) she contracted it from me via oral sex, as I have had oral herpes since childhood (though my OBs are very infrequent).

I've never (touch wood) had any genital symptoms myself. But even so - and even though all the other STI tests came back clear - her diagnosis came as a major shock to both of us because you hear this word "herpes" bandied about as if it's some terrible and terminal affliction.

So I took it upon myself to get informed, and when I did so I realised just what a medically insignificant, trifling condition hsv is actually is for the vast majority of folks who have it. So trifling in fact that many people don't even know they have it because their symptoms are either extremely minor or non-existent. I was also amazed to discover just how common it is. In fact it's so common that it's more unusual not to have it than it is to have it! And within a short time I found myself thinking "what on earth is all the fuss about?!"

You are of course entitled to your feelings about it, but really your friend and your sister are absolutely right: It really isn't a "big deal". Certainly not medically (many people only ever experience the initial flare-up, and that's their lot). It's only a "big deal" to some people because of all the silly hype and stigma that surrounds it, and that in turn is based on ignorance.

So really it's only as big a deal as you yourself choose to make it. Of course some people do suffer severe and regular outbreaks, but these are only an unlucky, small minority - just like a small minority suffer severely from flu, eczema, headaches and other conditions that are only minor inconveniences for most people.

So try to remember that the "herpes horror stories" that you read on Internet forums like this one and the graphic photos of severe outbreaks are very much the exception rather than the rule.

I'm confident that within a few weeks you'll be feeling much better about yourself and the whole experience. And within a few months, chances are that you'll barely give it a second thought unless you're unlucky enough to be among the small minority of people who suffer recurrent outbreaks. But at this stage, there's certainly no reason to believe that you will be.

And if you are happy with your b/f, then stick with him. Don't let a minor skin ailment get in the way of a good relationship.

It's all about perspective, so here's a couple of links that you may find useful:

http://herpesisnormal.com/?page_id=19

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/STDs/HSV1---Asymptomatic-Shedding-Risks---oral-and-genital/show/249237

Live long and prosper!

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Hforhope

Hey BesPres10,

I absolutely feel you. Everything you explained I have been feeling for a week, and when I got the final diagnosis yesterday that I have genital hsv-1, it didn't actually make me feel worse, it just made me accept it. I have done a lot of research in the past week, and it has been comforting. Because prior to not having herpes, I didn't even realize how "popular" it is, haha, as in most of the population has one form or another and most don't even know they have it! So I probably got it from some guy who had cold sores, and may or may not have know it, since I certainly didn't know any of my ex's to have anything.

Now that you finally are with this guy that you have liked for so long, I wouldn't let some stupid virus get in the way of that! Its not going to kill either of you, yes, it might make some days more annoying and uncomfortable, but together you can get through it. Its normal to feel down and hateful of the world, been there, and will probably have more days like that. But I am trying to get through it one day at a time, and just think of herpes the way it should be thought of, as a stupid virus that is just annoying. Most people have it, you are not alone, and most don't even know they belong to the hsv crowd. So you are good to go on with your life, educate yourself on hsv and just try to move forward =)

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Misery

I am not sure if this was said but the test should be about to tell you if the virus is new within the past 3 months or not. When I got tested my test came up as old and when my ex-bf got tested it came up as new. So that is how I knew I had transmitted it to him unknowingly.

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BesPres10

Thank you Hforhope and Dogwatch. It's really comforting to talk to people who understand the psychological effect and the stigma. I have genital HSV-1 too. I've only had the one outbreak, which is supposed to be the worst, but it really wasn't that bad. I've had yeast infections that were more painful. Hopefully, this is a sign that it won't be serious in the future, if the first outbreak wasn't even that bad. It's the "H" word that is so horrifying. I have been a germaphobe since I was a child. When I was younger I wanted to be an epidemiologist. I have always known about STIs and known that HSV could be transferred orally to genitally or the other way around, but most people don't know that. Most people don't know that a cold sore is HSV-1. How can you protect yourself and others if you don't know?

The thing is...this guy and I are not going to be together. Both of us were in the same boat. We both were married for many years, and just around the same time separated from our spouses. It now probably sounds horrible that I said I had a crush on him for years, but we didn't act on it...until now. We are both kind of traumatized now, and I think we both realize we are not ready to be in a relationship. I need him though now, and he has been there for me. It's kind of hard to get him to open up about his feelings though. I know he is feeling a lot of different things too, but he is trying to stay positive for me.

Hforhope, you are sounding so much better today. It's good to hear. How are you feeling physically? I started to panic over a pimple the other day, and my doctor told me the outbreak appeared to be completely cleared. From that point on, I have felt so much better. I can think a little bit more rationally. It's the truth though, a huge part of the population has it. A lot of people don't know it, which is scary, but we are not the minority. Stay positive, and thank you so much for your support!

Dogwatch, thank you. You are so right about everything. Medically, it is considered to be unimportant. That's why most STI screens don't do it, and why research doesn't get funded. The first thing I saw were all the horror stories online. At that point, I hadn't gotten my test back. I thought, "This is not what I have." Then I decided to search for mild HSV outbreaks. Once I did that, I knew. My doctor was right when he looked at it. The stigma is there though. Since most people don't know what we now know...all they hear is the "H" word. I am terrified of dating again. I have it worked out in my head how I would explain it, but I still dread it. I dread ever having to tell someone that I have it. My doctor keeps saying, "Most guys don't care." He is wrong. I don't mean to sound sexist or anything, but I thing most guys will have a hard time with this. I'll work through it though. Like you say most people have it. Chances are, the next guy I meet, will have had a cold sore at one point, right? I am not rushing into anything though. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Thank you again for your support.

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Hforhope

Hi BesPres10,

It hasn't even been a month since I got diagnosed and things are feeling better physically and emotionally. My first outbreak lasted a little over a week, but it felt like a month! I think having the actual symptoms, and feeling the pain emotionally was the worst combination. Now that the physical side has gone away, the emotional side is getting better. I still feel that it sucks and isn't fair, especially since I don't know whether this is something that has been in my system for longer or just recently contracted. The worst is that it seems as though my boyfriend and I are not as close anymore, emotionally and physically. He got tested for std's but they didn't test for herpes, so am making him go to another clinic to get a blood test. Because I feel that until we get a result of his condition, it won't be ok between us, there will be this nagging uncertainty. I just don't know what to do to get back the closeness that we had before, and it sucks. It feels as though we are going through the motions of being together, the I love you's etc, but not actually feeling it and being close. I hope it changes, maybe its the shock of everything. I just feel that deep down he blames me and thinks that because I have had a few more partners than him, that I must have gotten from someone. He won't even consider that he gave it to me. So yeah, it sucks to feel like I am being blamed for the whole situation. And everytime we start to talk about it, we end up fighting about who gave it, who got it, how you can transmit it, just everything. Hopefully after he gets tested and we get the test results, thing will become clearer. I am just glad the physical symptoms are gone, I had a in my opinion bad outbreak, but after reading some other peoples, it probably wasn't that bad, but it was painful.

I hope BesPres10 that you are feeling better and maybe it is better to be alone then to jump into something serious straight away. And maybe just lean on him as a friend. All I know is that since we both have hsv-1, we got it from someone who has had a cold sore, and may have not shown symptoms, and in a sense there is nothing we could have done to not get it, besides abstain from sexual contact, which I don't think is a valid option. Hope all is well.

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MrsWorld

HI,

I feel your pain definately. I just got a phone call from my doctor who said that i have HPV-2. I knew that I had it because I have been researching like made since I found out. The past week has been devastating, I haven't been able to go to the toilet, it was painful. The worst pain i have ever felt. My symptoms have now eased and I am back at work and can walk around freely. Sitting down is still a bit painful. But do know that it gets better.

xo

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Dogwatch
HI,

I feel your pain definately. I just got a phone call from my doctor who said that i have HPV-2.

I suspect you mean HSV-2 ???

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Dogwatch
I just feel that deep down he blames me and thinks that because I have had a few more partners than him, that I must have gotten from someone. He won't even consider that he gave it to me. So yeah, it sucks to feel like I am being blamed for the whole situation. And everytime we start to talk about it, we end up fighting about who gave it, who got it, how you can transmit it, just everything. Hopefully after he gets tested and we get the test results, thing will become clearer.

It never fails to sadden me as to how such a medically minor skin virus can cause so much grief. And the very worst thing you can do is play the "blame game".

So let's assume he gets tested and finds that he has it too. So what? You'll still be none the wiser as to who gave it to who. The number of sexual partners each of you has had in the past is - frankly - irrelevant. Some people sleep with dozens and never get it. Others get it from their very first sexual partner. So that's no clue at all.

This isn't something like cancer, hiv, bubonic plague, ebola or necrotising fastitis that we're talking about here. It's a minor, self-limiting and VERY COMMON skin complaint that an estimated 1 in 4 of the adult population has. So the fact that one of you passed it to the other is unfortunate but let's face it, not the end of the world.

So if all else in your relationship is good, don't let this nonsense come between you. Be there for each other, support each other, stop blaming each other and stop buying into all the silly hype that HSV is a major deal. It's only as big a deal as YOU choose to make it.

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BesPres10

Hi Hforhope,

I am so on the same page with you. My physical pain was not bad at all though. I really didn't think much of it, and I really don't think I will have another outbreak. From everything I've read, most women who have genital HSV-1 don't have any outbreaks after the first one. The first one is supposed to be the worst. Since it was so mild, it can't be too bad in the future. It's not a big deal physically. It's the emotional part that is so hard. I have dealt with pain before. This was really nothing. The thing is...I would never want to put anyone else through this....knowing that you have something that you will have forever, and can pass on to other people is horrible. The test should have been able to tell you if you just got it or if it has been in your system for a while. My doctor was pretty sure I just got it somewhere around 2 weeks before my outbreak. I did feel so much better when the physical outbreak was over, but the emotional part is really hard. My life has really been turned upside down since this happened. I haven't even spoken to the guy who gave it to me in like a week. I decided to let him call me for once, and it hasn't happened. It's not like I gave him an STD! WTF? He was really great at first, but it ended pretty quick. I'm actually going through the anger stage now. Statistics show that 60% of Americans have antibodies for HSV-1. That is a lot of people. I'm not broadcasting that I have this, but I have kind of been trying to get information from other people I have been with or at least kissed. 4 of the 5 people I have kissed or had sex with in the past 4 years have HSV-1 orally.....not one disclosed it to me...not one. I think the 5th does too because I think I actually saw a cold sore on his mouth, but I can't ask him. If he does, which I really think he does, 100% of the people I have had some sort of intimate contact with has exposed me to this, and not one told me. They all knew, and not one told me. Now that one of them gave it to me genitally, I have to disclose it. That's what is so unfair about this. Everyone and their mother has it orally, but nobody cares. They don't think anything of it. They just pass it on to people like you and me who were susceptible because we never got it orally. Even though we are physically better off and much less likely to pass it on since we have it genitally, we are the ones who are stigmatized. We are the ones who have to disclose it. I am so bitter that these people all exposed me and didn't say a word. I don't only have 1 failed relationship because of this. I have several friendships that are seriously strained, and one relationship that is over. I am devastated, even though it was my choice and my fault. I did make bad decisions. I always though oral sex was safe. I have so many feelings about this. There has been another research breakthough. I'm really excited about research being done. If the medical world took it seriously, there would already be a cure. The technology is there. It is just taking forever because there is no money. I really think they are close though. There are so many different potential cures. I just wish they could get to the human trials! Thanks for your support. I'm really sorry that you are going through this...all of it...I KNOW how horrible it is. I'm glad to have someone to talk to though. Thanks again, Hforhope.

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      Thanks Quest, so I just googled this and it appears that heating does break it down.  I have been heating at the lowest heat that my gas burner will burn at, and just to the point where I can get it to dissolve, but it appears I have been inactivating a percentage of the bht.  Will have to figure out a better way.   I think heating to 100 degrees celsius likely will not inactivate too much.  According to this study, heating it to 175 degrees for 2 hours only inactivated 15-30% of the bht.  I think I read the way to heat it was inside a jar placed into a pot of boiling or simmering water.  Will try making a batch that way.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11746-000-0147-9 
    • jmherped
      Valtrex is worthless against my strain anyways, it does next to nothing, and it irritates my kidneys, so for some strains it will do nothing period.  It is criminal that there are vaccines that have been developed that can't get funding from big pharma.  Seriously hate big pharma. 
    • JHenry
      To save everyone time in translating, the article is about Trivalent and contains nothing “new” to share.  However, fingers crossed on this one :-)
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