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My experience with reoccurring outbreaks


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Hello fellow herpsters :)

I wanted to reach out and share my experience on my outbreaks so far in hope of spreading positivity and power! 

To my not-so-pleasant surprise I was diagnosed with HSV2 last September and since then things have definitely been up and down. Like most people here I went through the 'denial stage' in the first few weeks. I took the meds, the sores healed and I carried on my life like nothing happened. I hadn't done that much research, but my doctor and gynaecologist were so nonchalant about the whole thing and I knew how common it was that it really didn't bother me much at first. 

This was until reoccurring outbreaks and on going itchiness became my battle for the next 3 months. It was so disheartening and I felt so alone. I went on my second 5 day course of meds but unfortunately I suffered from intense migraines, so I decided to go solo and fight it naturally through several other remedies.  I am an incredibly healthy person as it is, so having to become even healthier to support my immune system was hard to get my head around.  I would take (and still take) lysine and echinacea daily, use coconut oil when I felt itchiness and use Sudocrem religiously to heal my beautiful sores. But when one outbreak would heal, another would surface.  I realised a huge trigger for me was alcohol and every time I had it I was guaranteed an outbreak. This obviously makes perfect sense as alcohol affects the strength of our immune system and puts stress on the body.  I eventually went on my third 5 day course of meds as I felt fed up and just wanted at least one week of no sores. These were a lower dosage to my first and second, so luckily I had no side effects or migraines! My body healed and I wanted to maintain outbreak free therefore I ditched the booze and kept up a healthy lifestyle. 

Being a uni student and having friends that drink constantly, it was difficult to not give in to pressure and explain again and again why I don't have a drink in my hand (didn't mention herpes though, just said my body reacts weirdly to it these days- so wasn't far from the truth ;)). My body and my health come first and so I stuck by the decision (this was particularly hard during the month of December!). Becoming T total was an experience in itself. I faced constant judgement from peers, suspicious looks and insecure people assuming you think you're better than them because you "don't need to drink to have fun". But I remained strong, positive and listened to my body before my peers. Sometimes I feel left out and a massive health freak but It was definitely an interesting social and personal experiment, which also made me realise the perks of not drinking. I know that ditching alcohol isn't for everyone and that it brings great pleasure to a lot of people, but if you are struggling with recurrent outbreaks, give it a go! It doesn't have to be forever, but just until you feel your body is strong and has had a decent chance at battling the virus. Of course there are many people that have herpes and drink and see no effects, but everyone is different and my body has never reacted well to alcohol even before my diagnosis, so it was the next logical decision. 

Anyway I was outbreak and symptom free for over a month until I had an intense workout at the gym, which stressed my body out. It was minor and healed within a few days without meds! I finally felt as if I had more control over my body. Personally that's my main battle, I've always been a perfectionist and hated not being in control of my body. Herpes makes you feel lost in that sense and takes away the power you once had over your body. It's now nearly been 5 months since my diagnosis which is crazy! Time flies and the body is an amazing piece of equipment! 

It's a battle of strength, mental power and acceptance. My advice to anyone struggling with ongoing outbreaks is to realllllly listen to your body and don't abuse it. Love your body and give it things to nourish it and give it the attention it deserves. I now have so much appreciation for my body and encourage it everyday to keep being strong. There are soooo many lessons to be learnt after being diagnosed with herpes and self-love is one of them. So to whoever is reading this, yes it is difficult and yes it can be gloomy at times BUT wake up and use this experience to strengthen your life for the best not the worst. Believe in you self, your body and herpes. Learn to love this beautiful little virus and it will in turn love you. 

Now on to my next lesson, disclosure and self-worth :P

"Whatever you’re feeling, it will eventually pass. You won’t feel sad forever. At some point, you will feel happy again. You won’t feel anxious forever. In time, you will feel calm again. You don’t have to fight your feelings or feel guilty for having them. You just have to accept them and be good to yourself while you ride this out. Resisting your emotions and shaming yourself will only cause you more pain, and you don’t deserve that. You deserve your own love, acceptance, and compassion." - Lori Deschene




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  • 2 weeks later...

Great post thanks for writing it! What meds did you take? I'm on daily Valtrex but it doesn't seem to be doing much. I can't wait until I start to feel better! It's 4 months in for me but I only get a few days a month relief. I've changed my lifestyle but fir me it seems to be related to hormones. I'm going to keep pushing forward and hope I get better again! 

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@SnowAngel Hi there! I take aciclovir 200mg, 5 times a day for 5 days :)  And you definitely will, just need to keep positive. The first few months can be tough, you're body has been through a lot and needs time to heal itself completely before it can get back up to speed. Get lots of sleep and nutrition :) Yeah hormones can trigger it for me too! I might start taking primrose oil as I heard it can help balance your hormones, so maybe give that a try. I've also do a lot of yoga and meditation as that helps destress my body. Good luck, I wish you all the best!

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