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NomDePlume
Member since Sep-16-16
4 posts
Sep-16-16, 09:43 AM (CST)
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"New to this - knowledgeable advice appreciated."
 
   Hi everyone,

Well, I would have never in a million years seen this one coming.

I'm a married woman in my later 40's. I have been married 20 years. I had 4 sexual partners before I met my husband. I did have unprotected sex with all my sexual partners. But just with my husband for the past 20 years.

I've had a horrible year health wise. I became ill a year ago with a life threatening tumor. The surgery to remove the tumor was one of the most difficult surgeries a person can have and I have been slowly recovering for 5 months now.

I just, JUST last week felt myself feel hopeful that I had made it through the hard part and going forward was going to be a happier healthier time for me.

Two weeks ago I noticed a little blood when I wiped. I looked to see where it was coming from and there was a long, shallow laceration between labia majora and minora. That skin is very easy to damage or stress and I thought nothing of it. I had sex with my husband the following night. Again, nothing out of the ordinary.

Each day the cut felt a little worse instead of better. A week ago it was to the point I could feel it constantly, not just when I used the restroom. I got some anti biotic ointment to put on it. Saturday (7 days ago now) when I looked at the cut there was a long line of canker looking sores from one end to the other.

Sunday (6 days ago) it was like an explosion went off. My whole vulva was swollen, red, angry looking, hurt, burning, heavy feeling.

Monday I made an appointment to get in to see my GYN.

Tuesday my condition was no better an another sore had developed nearby. Also I noticed my lymph nodes on that side were aching and painful to the touch.

My doctor did an exam and I heard her ask the nurse for an HVP swab. Right then I felt like someone had dropped a heavy weight on my chest. After the exam she said - ok, that looks like herpes to me but it will take 10 days for the results to come back. I feel certain enough it is herpes to prescribe you an anti-viral. Don't worry about it, it's so common. Me - whaaaaattttt??? Her - it's common, don't worry about it. Totally common. Me - whaaaattt? What? I've been married for 20 years. Did my husband cheat on me? What? Her (please get out of my exam room I'm running behind.)

So that was a complete surprise to me and I left the office thinking that had to be a mistake. But the more I have read this week the more I do think I am in the midst of a herpes outbreak. I am 3 days in to the medication now. This morning was the first time I felt like it was getting any better at all.

I did talk to my husband. I was hysterical. I had to repeat myself 6-7 times before he could even understand me. He seemed calm about it. He said we've been together for 20 years, if you have it I have it too and we'll get through it. We both had sexual partners coming into the marriage and it's ok, we will get things worked out no matter what the test says.

I do not know what to do next. Obviously wait for the results from the swab. From my research it seems a blood test for DH and I is the next step? To find out which kind and if we are both positive, which will affect our future sexual relationship.

From my research it also seems there is no way I can find out who exposed me to this. DH and I both coming up positive proves nothing except that one of us gave it to the other.

What should I do next? I knew nothing about herpes before this week other than it was an STD that can't be cured. I now know that many people have it and live with it and life goes on.

But there is also a part of me reacting the way I'm sure many of you did. My life is over, my sex life is over, I'll never be happy again, I'll never have sex again.

I think I would still be having the same reaction if I had not been so terribly ill this past year. BUT because I have been terribly ill and have just recovered from a horrible surgery this one last thing it truly making me feel like I just want to give up. Nature can be cruel AF sometimes with the timing of things. For real.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you so much.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  Yes, that's a common reaction, but it turns out to be BS,, Rajahadmin Sep-16-16 1
     RE: Yes, that's a common reaction, but it turns out to be BS,, NomDePlume Sep-16-16 2
         All the tests are pretty much yes or no. Rajahadmin Sep-17-16 3
             RE: All the tests are pretty much yes or no. graceadmin Sep-19-16 4
                 RE: All the tests are pretty much yes or no. NomDePlume Sep-20-16 5
                     RE: All the tests are pretty much yes or no. NomDePlume Sep-23-16 6

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Rajahadmin
Charter Member
15719 posts
Sep-16-16, 03:28 PM (CST)
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1. "Yes, that's a common reaction, but it turns out to be BS,,"
In response to message #0
 
First, my guess is that both of you have had herpes for quite a long time and you'll never really know where it came from and, at this point, it doesn't make much difference.

The majority of infected folks don't have any symptoms that they recognize as herpes. The reason this surfaced now is that your immune system has had a serious challenge with your other recent problems. This allowed the herpes to come out of dormancy that your normal immune system had forced it into all these years.

I've had herpes for over 20 years and, once I got my arms around it, it really wasn't a big deal. I divorced, dated and remarried. Herpes is not the end of anything. Life is good.

We're here to answer your questions. It's going to be OK.

"Do the Right Thing. It will gratify some people and astound the rest." - Paraphrased from Mark Twain


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NomDePlume
Member since Sep-16-16
4 posts
Sep-16-16, 08:37 PM (CST)
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2. "RE: Yes, that's a common reaction, but it turns out to be BS,,"
In response to message #1
 
   Thank you very much for the response.

Thinking ahead - will I know from the swab test which virus I am dealing with and have a result range to go on or is the swab a yes or no thing only?

I am thinking next my DH will need a blood test to find out if we match. If both partners are positive is it still customary to take a daily med? Or is that typically when one partner is trying to not expose the other.

I have seen here that oral sex with type one can result in a genital outbreak. Does it work the other way? Can an oral outbreak occur from coming in contact with type 2?

Thank you so much.


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Rajahadmin
Charter Member
15719 posts
Sep-17-16, 06:42 AM (CST)
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3. "All the tests are pretty much yes or no."
In response to message #2
 
The blood tests rely on measuring the specific antibodies produced by the immune response and everyone is different. The swab cultures are definitely positive or not, although a negative result is not as trustworthy as a positive. I hope your swab was a type specific one. You might ask your healthcare provider if it was and, if not, could they re-culture the sample to do that. It's good information to have. The blood tests used today are type specific.

If both partners are positive for the same type(s) the decision whether to use daily meds would depend more on whether you have frequent recurrences than the protection aspect.

Regarding oral sex, yes, a significant number of genital herpes infections are type 1 transmitted via oral sex. A lot of older folks, like me, have had oral herpes, AKA cold sores or fever blisters, since we were small children so there is little susceptibility to getting genital type 1. Oral type 2 is fairly rare.


"Do the Right Thing. It will gratify some people and astound the rest." - Paraphrased from Mark Twain


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graceadmin
Charter Member
13643 posts
Sep-19-16, 07:56 AM (CST)
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4. "RE: All the tests are pretty much yes or no."
In response to message #3
 
Lesion cultures have a notoriously high false negative rate. I personally recommend that you and your husband seek out type specific herpes igg blood tests while you wait. That way you know who has what and you've covered your bases while you wait for the lesion cultures to come back. Your pcp can order up these tests for you both and results should be back within a few days. We can help you both with the results once you get them.

Skin tears in the genital area are common. Because herpes can present like that in some people, we do recommend the swabs to test for it. Applying an otc antibiotic cream to the delicate genital skin can also cause issues. In the future, stick to just a barrier cream/ointment like desitin, aquaphor or a&d (think diaper rash creams). Hard to tell at this point whether you irritated your skin and are having a reaction to the antibiotic ointment or if this is something else going on. Following up with the blood testing for you both helps to settle the herpes question better so it's not always in the back of your mind even if your swab comes back negative.

keep us posted!!

grace

The first step in stopping the perceived stigma about genital herpes - is to stop believing in it yourself


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NomDePlume
Member since Sep-16-16
4 posts
Sep-20-16, 08:54 PM (CST)
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5. "RE: All the tests are pretty much yes or no."
In response to message #4
 
   Thank you very much for the information. I appreciate it.

I am now 11 days into this. Fortunately the lesions are almost all healed. I have 3 days left of the prescription to take.

I have learned a great deal in the last week and appreciate so much the information this page has provided.

I really lament that there is so little information about HSV in general. I would have told you before this week that I had a pretty good knowledge about STD's. Well I did not. Had no idea you could be my age and turn up with it. Had no idea how many people carry it.

I have spoken with 2 friends who had similar experiences to mine. They both had negative swab tests but it doesn't sound like they actually were negative. I will be wary of a negative result with my culture.

Thank you again for the responses.


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NomDePlume
Member since Sep-16-16
4 posts
Sep-23-16, 11:43 AM (CST)
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6. "RE: All the tests are pretty much yes or no."
In response to message #5
 
   As a follow up, the doctor called today and said I had tested positive for Type 1 with my genital outbreak.

Thank you for the information and support!


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