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  • #19536
    Shasta
    Participant

    Hi. I’m new here. And like all of you, I have a story.

    Yesterday was the day that I found out that I have herpes. I went to the doctor for a rash that I knew wasn’t “right”. I had done research online and after looking at photos I KNEW. But I also knew I needed a doctor to confirm, and confirm he did.

    Here’s the thing. I am almost 30. I have been in a monogamous relationship for ten years. Most women would say that perhaps my husband is doing things I don’t know about, but we’ve spent the majority of our relationship working together in a wilderness setting where we were literally on TOP of one another EVERY day. If he did anything…..well. He’s Houdini because there was no place to do it and as of right now he still works in a situation where we are so in touch throughout the day that…really- his cheating on me and contracting it is a highly unlikely scenario.

    So in speaking to my doctor he says it is not uncommon to be a carrier for years and have no signs or symptoms. And since my husband and I have been together for ten years…it’s highly unlikely he is free and clear of this and honestly either of us could have brought this to the table.

    I left the doctors yesterday thinking: How does one tell their spouse that they have genital herpes? I was surprisingly not upset. I was more upset at the prospect of hurting my husband. But I had read enough about the infection to not feel very alarmed; it is so common. I’m not dirty. I am a married woman. I am college educated. I have a career, a home, a life. But my husband. I DID feel numb.

    When he got home shortly after I did, I sat him down and explained what the doctor had told me, and that in a few weeks he needed to go in for testing. He listened very quietly. I wanted to cry.

    When I finished he moved over to me, wrapped his arms around me and told me that this didn’t change anything and it was just one more thing we had to share and move on with. Perhaps not a wanted share, but a share none-the-less.

    I have never felt so loved. We discussed possible past experiences of where it could have come from; he admitted to having had unprotected sex prior to our relationship (as had I) and of course even protected sex doesn’t completely protect you. And we both acknowledged that my past ex and “friend” could also be the culprit. And then my husband took me out to dinner.

    Ladies….please don’t feel hopeless. I know my story is probably unusual- I am in a long-term relationship. But I feel that my husband is proof that someone CAN love you. You WILL live on, you WILL live a normal life. This is just a part of you now. It will pop up from time to time, and they have medications to tamp it down a bit, and we will all figure out what works best for our bodies. Of course we can all hope we are that case that barely has an outbreak in our entire lives (look at me; I’ve probably been infected for more than TEN YEARS and had no clue).

    You are not dirty. You are human. And when you stand in a crowd, you are not alone.

    I want to stay active on here as I do believe we all need support in this. Society tends to make us feel ashamed about something like this, and we shouldn’t be. No one makes you feel ashamed when you get the flu, you shouldn’t feel ashamed when you find out you have herpes. Life will go on.

    I will update when I find out my husbands test results. The doctor says he suspects that he might be an asymptomatic carrier- the worst kind because they NEVER know they have it and pass it on. So we will see. Thank you for listening to my story.

    Live on, lovely ladies.

    #19757
    Tink33
    Participant

    I really wish that I could still edit my original post. I thought I knew exactly who gave this to me. As it turns out I have no idea. My story is far more complicated then I ever expected. My BF and I assumed that he gave me HSV2 because I started having symptoms shortly after we were intimate. I thought he must have been asymptomatic. This is because I had all of my blood work including HSV2 done in November and I hadn’t been with anyone else in a long time. My blood tests came back “negative.” After being with him 2 times I had my first outbreak. My doctor took a culture sample and it came back positive for HSV2. Well my BF went and had blood work done the other day and his blood work HSV1 & HSV2 came back “negative.” He hasn’t been with anyone in over 2 years. We couldn’t be more confused. I asked my doctor if she could blood test me again to see how the results turn out now and she said that it’s not necessary at this point because the blood tests have very little usability. So I’m still wondering how I got this. I guess I’ll never know at this point since all of our blood tests have come back negative. I can say this though, my BF says he plans to stick by me no matter what and I really feel blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive BF. It helps so much cause this has been really tough.

    #19541

    In reply to: Coming to terms

    Dr. Kelly
    Keymaster

    It’s so easy to forget that we have herpes when we are not having active symptoms. This is both good and bad for many women. Good, because we no longer need to be neurotic in thinking about it, but bad because many women find themselves in denial.

    The best advice I have for you is for you to start journaling about it and work on forgiving your boyfriend for giving it to you. An underlying feeling of despise can bubble up in so many dysfunctional ways and in the end, it only hurts you.

    No matter what happens, you must know that you are still filled with love and light. Your old “pure” self was just an illusion if you really think about it. I mean honestly, no one is perfect and we all have our stuff. Your “stuff” just happens to be herpes just like many other women in this world (at least 1 in 4). The sooner in life you realize that everyone has something they would rather the world not know, the better. Having herpes is nothing to be ashamed of….just like having chicken pox is nothing a child should be ashamed of. Did you know that herpes and the chicken pox virus are both part of the herpes family of viruses?

    Never allow herpes to define you. You are so much more than that!

    Live. Love. Thrive.
    Dr. Kelly

    #19755
    Tink33
    Participant

    I just found out on Christmas Eve that I have HSV2. I was blood tested in Nov and 6 months before that, and my tests came back negative. With that being said I know exactly who gave it to me. I got it from the guy I started dating a few months ago. I told him I would not sleep with him unless he was STD tested. He went and had an HIV test and Hep, both came back negative. He is 37 and has only been with (2) other girls. His last relationship was an 8 year relationship. They broke up 2 years ago and he had not been with anyone since. He apparently is Asymptomatic. He’s never shown any symptoms and had no idea that he has HSV2. I’m a single mom and I work hard and I’m about to graduate from school. I’m completely devestated about this. I wish I had insisted that he was tested for this too. I just didn’t realize that you could have it with no symptoms. We even used condoms. I’m 33 years old and my son is 5 and I’m scared to even hug him. I know that might sound ridiculous but it’s true. I knew almost immediately when I contracted this. I started having shooting pains in the side of my butt cheek really bad then I inspected myself and on the outside of the labia I saw 3 lesions. Not blisters though. I went and had a culture and sure enough it was HSV2. I also had a super bad sore throat and felt unwell during the first outbreak. This was early December. Now it’s early Jan and I found a blister this time on the opposite side. It’s kind of on the side of my lower butt cheek. Once again I am devastated. My boyfriend is super upset and tells me he loves me all the time and how sorry he is. He is really good to me and my son. Unfortunately, I don’t know if I can completely forgive him for this happening. I wash my hands like 50 times a day and I’m so paranoid because I have my little boy and I feel unclean laying next to him. I hate feeling this way. Sometimes I have good days and other times I just break down and cry 🙁

    #19549

    In reply to: Still struggling

    Calm
    Participant

    Hi Dr Kelly,

    I was wondering where exactly the 1 in 4 women statistic comes from?

    When I was diagnosed the Dr told me only 5% of the population (UK) have this. He might have meant the entire population, including those who aren’t sexually active, which might have reduced the figure slightly…but even so 5% seemed very low to me…and seeing as I caught this when I was young and having only had very few partners…well… I don’t know. I’d like to know for sure, because the internet would suggest there are a lot of people out there with it.

    Incidentally, I think if people were made more aware how atypical symptoms can be, and if testing were offered as part of general STD screening, then a lot of people wouldn’t pass it on ignorantly. I think of myself as a responsible person, but given constant misdiagnoses I can see how this gets passed around willy nilly by people who don’t know they have it.

    I can’t be certain, but I don’t think I have given this to anyone (other than my wonderful husband, which is really just too sad).

    Kind regards

    #19552
    Dr. Kelly
    Keymaster

    Paige,

    My heart breaks open for you. I can remember what it was like when I was first diagnosed. I cried myself to sleep for a long time.

    I promise you that it does get better and that you are supported here in this forum. I am thrilled that you found this forum so early in your journey. Use this sisterhood of Women Supporting Women with Herpes to ask questions and get support.

    Please know that herpes does not need to define you. If it works out with your boyfriend that’s great, but be sure that he is the right man for you. There are so many women who stay in relationships that are not healthy simply because of their partner accepting their herpes.

    There are several things you can do to decrease symptoms and transmission. Focus on decreasing the stress in your life and removing any known triggers from your diet (i.e. foods high arginine like coffee, nuts and alcohol). You can also use condoms and antivirals (natural or prescription) to decrease transmission.

    Take care of yourself and take time to nurture yourself each and every day. You are loved beyond measure and you can overcome this.

    Live. Love. Thrive.
    Dr. Kelly

    #19547
    Dr. Kelly
    Keymaster

    Pink Camper,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    I agree with you that herpes can be our greatest teacher in life. I am so proud of you for breaking through the stigma and realizing that herpes does not define you.

    Isn’t it amazing how much we can learn about ourselves when we begin to link our symptoms to our struggles? Herpes can be such an amazing teacher of self love….and once we can grasp that, we can become a bright and shining light unto the world.

    Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story.

    Live. Love. Thrive.
    Dr. Kelly

    #19831
    Dr. Kelly
    Keymaster

    I am not sure whether i’ve had symptoms of herpes or not. I tested positive for HSV-2 on a blood test, which was the first time I found out I had the virus. I do, however, get episodes where I experience very bad burning and sometimes a slight feeling of numbness in my vagina, and the skin is very red and inflamed looking. These episodes can last for weeks sometimes and happen as frequently as every month or as infrequently as every 3-4 months. I’ve had 5 different dr.’s tell me it’s not herpes. Including one who said she’s “seen more cases of herpes than anyone” (i sought her out knowing she is an expert on the topic). I’ve never seen a blister or a sore, which is why it’s so confusing. I’ve been tested for all other std’s and come up negative when tested for yeast. I’ve taken anti-viral meds, and sometimes the symptoms subside and sometimes they don’t- not sure whether it’s psychosomatic with the medicine or not. No one has an explanation for me what else it could be either.

    Also, i had a long-term relationship where we didn’t use condoms and even having these episodes a few times while we were together, never passed it to him. Not sure if we were just lucky or it’s just further evidence that it’s not HSV-2. I have a new parter who does not have herpes and I want to do my best to understand my symptoms so I can protect him.

    #19896

    In reply to: What helps the pain?

    Dr. Kelly
    Keymaster

    I am so sorry to hear about how much pain you are in and in most cases, the first outbreak is the worst. It can take some time for your body to build up antibodies, but once it does, future outbreaks are usually less severe.

    If it hurts to urinate, you can do so in the bath tub in a small amount of cold water. I know that might sound gross, but believe me, it really helps. You can also use ice on the area to decrease the pain and increase the healing rate. Be sure to pat the area dry when you are done with the ice and do not wear thongs during your outbreak as they can be irritating.

    Once the area is dry, you can use baking soda on external open sores. This can help with some of the pain and itching.

    And finally, some ibuprofen to help with the inflammation and pain can be helpful.

    There are several other recommendations to help with the pain and to increase your healing rate that can be found in my online course. You can check out the Foundation Course at https://pinktent.com/funnel/foundations-book.php This course contains everything you would ever need to know from managing your symptoms to overcoming the emotional pain and devastation to learning how to live and love again.

    Wishing you the very best this holiday season. I know it is a challenging time, but we women here at Pink Tent are here for you. Your secrets are safe with us.

    Live. Love. Thrive.
    Dr. Kelly

    #19898

    In reply to: co-valacyclovir

    Dr. Kelly
    Keymaster

    There are no guarantees that you won’t pass the virus onto your partner, but you can greatly reduce the chance.

    The first thing you need to do is have your partner get a blood test to see if he already has it and doesn’t know that he does.

    If he truly doesn’t have it, then here are the statistics.

    Assuming there is no sex during symptoms, the chance is 4%/year.

    If you use a condom, then it decreases to 2% and if you use a 3rd layer of protection i.e. an antiviral, then it decreases to 1%.

    #19566
    Birdie1018
    Participant

    Hello,

    As of right now I would like to introduce myself as A. I would like to start a few months back when I was at peace with myself, not my life but myself.

    I dated a man I love for 5.5 years. In October I decided to end my relationship because he couldn’t seem to get his life together and didn’t realizes that his constant job jumping was killing our relationship along with his debilitating depression. I was patient for years and tried to help as much as I could. He slept for HOURS and didn’t wake up till 7 or 8 at night leaving me to do everything on my own. At the end of our relationship I started to spite him and dislike him. I decided it was time for a change. I left him… I left him and I moved to a city an hour away. Everything went so smooth.. too smooth maybe? I started to have feeling for a friend of mine. I was single and the attention from my friend just made me feel so wanted and so enjoyed. I also just LOVE being around him. One thing led to another and we ended up having sex. We became even closer and I start to really fall for this guy. Everything is going so smooth until all the sudden I fall sick with this AWFUL flu and I was just unable to get out of bed for days. On top of the flu I thought I was getting a UTI. I went to med express and they diagnose me with a UTI but nothing seems to stop this AWFUL burning. I made an appointment to see a OBGYN because I could tell something wasn’t right. I told the guy I recently just slept with that I thought something was wrong and he assured me there was nothing wrong with him he was in a relationship for 5 years as well and never had any sexual health issues except for the time he was told by a partner when he was 22 that she had a curable STD. He went to the doctor and had that cleared up but has never had any issues since then and that was roughly 8 years ago. We both thought we had a clean bill of health. I went to the doctor and she confirmed my biggest fear. It was Herpes.

    I called my friend and told him I was diagnosed with herpes and he was completely clueless because he was in a long term relationship neither of them having any issues. I started to think it was me but I know I was clean before him no issues as well. He handled it very well and went to the doctor right away and had a blood test done because he didn’t show any symptoms. The doctor told him most likely he’s asymptomatic and was only shedding the virus and never had a first OB that was recognizable. His test came back positive. They didn’t tell us which type they said they didn’t do specific testing nor does it really matter (I disagree).

    He has been wonderful through this diagnosis and has supported me and wiped my tears and has done everything he can to build my back up. I know for a fact he didn’t know, this blew my mind and opened my eyes to how the world has a stigma on STDs. My friend has spent years with this and never knew it. I’m currently a month into my diagnosis and I and still up and down all the time. The worst part about this is my ex boyfriend has been getting his life together and wants to start dating me again and wants to prove he can make a great life for us. He even moved to the town I moved to so he didn’t have to be to far from me.

    We have gone on a few dates and it feels like my old life again. It feels wonderful but I am worried and scared for the moment I have to tell him I slept with another man and now I am broken and I’m not sure he will want me. He will look at me like I am gross and contagious. Even if he did want to stay with me I worry that he will never be able to be turned on by me with the thought of me being contagious. He will hate when he finds out his perfect girl isn’t so perfect anymore. I also think about just staying with the guy who gave it to me so I don’t ever have to give the talk or make it weird. I obviously did something to deserve this. I’m not sure what it was. Maybe I should have just accepted my unhappiness with my ex to begin with and I wouldn’t have been in this situation.

    Overall I am getting better and in my head I think that herpes isn’t that bad its just a few bumps on the skin. Then I remember society doesn’t see it that way.. To society and people who don’t have it I am a dirty woman.

    Before this diagnosis I loved myself. I loved that I was obsessed with yoga and had such a beautifully clear mind. I love the things I loved… Simple things like my bird feeders and reading books while listing to the birds sing on my balcony. Now life seems so dark, scary and unfair. I left to better my life and I managed to wreck it in 1 day. I left the love of my life because he refused to seek help for his depression.. I ended up with a virus I will never get rid of.. I guess the joke is on me… I went from loving myself to just being an empty body walking around.

    -A

    #19641

    In reply to: co-valacyclovir

    Dr. Kelly
    Keymaster

    Unfortunately, there are not guarantees. The first thing I would do is to have your partner tested with a blood test. That way, you will know for sure if he already has it. Does he get cold sores? If so, then we absolutely know he has HSV-1. Up to 85% of the population has herpes and doesn’t know it. So, finding out for sure is the first step. If he doesn’t have herpes, then the chances of passing it onto him is 1% IF
    1. You don’t have sex during times that you have symptoms
    2. You take your antiviral daily
    3. You use a condom.

    Hope this helps.

    #19574

    In reply to: A Long Journey

    Dr. Kelly
    Keymaster

    Trying To Stay Calm,

    Thank you for sharing. It gives me great insight into what might have happened to you. I applaud you for giving us the details.

    My guess is that you have had herpes for some time now. It could have been with your first sexual encounter. The symptoms that you felt could have been internal because the herpes virus lives in the nervous system. Anywhere alone the path that the nerve takes from the spine to the surface of the skin can illicit symptoms.

    To answer a few more of your questions…yes, a thong can irritate the skin enough to cause outbreaks. I don’t think the bleeding was from the herpes, but I do think that the lump could have been a swollen lymph node…hard to say.

    The most important thing I can tell you is that the chances of having complications with your baby are next to nothing. In fact, since we know you have probably had this for some time now, your body will produce antibodies that will be given to your baby. This will help your little one to fight of infections, including herpes.

    I encourage you to buy my book and read the chapter about herpes and pregnancy. It can be found at http://www.livelovethrive.pinktent.com In it, you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions of pregnant moms with herpes. If at least 1 in 4 women have herpes, the number of neonatal herpes cases would be astronomical if it was a more statistically substantial threat.

    Take a deep breath and do your best to stay calm. You are loved beyond belief. Know that you are whole and that you are not alone.

    Live. Love. Thrive.
    Dr. Kelly

    #19571
    Calm
    Participant

    When I was 17 I had my first sexual relationship (there was no penetrative sex but other stuff…) and I remember there was this pinprick of sensation at one point if I leant or moved a certain way. But nothing to see at all. It was strange but nothing really. It went and that was that. Then I had to stop wearing thongs because they began to irritate me, but again nothing physical that I could really see. I went to the sexual health clinic and they said that because I had not had penetrative sex, there was nothing they could test me for, and pretty much sent me packing.

    Then a while later I met a new boyfriend and started having sex. At first it was fine, but then it became uncomfortable and I began to bleed whenever we had sex. I recall also a lump near my vagina. Not open or raw, but just a sort of bump under the skin, and I think a discharge perhaps. I went to the doctor about the bleeding and she took a look (the lump was nowhere to be seen by then) and said that I had thin skin on my cervix and would likely bleed whenever I had sex for the rest of my life (just what a 17 year old needs to hear! This transpired not to be the case at all).

    A year or so later, after I left school, I went travelling and had a couple of relationships. When I got back I had more typical symptoms of herpes. One ulcer in exactly the place I had the pinprick sensation during my first ever relationship, and sharp nervy sensations shooting in my lower abdomen. That is the one and only blister or ulcer I have ever had (now 12 years later), and because of its location I assumed this all came from my first ever relationship. I distinctly remember the guy having a cold sore too.

    Would a pinprick sensation and a sudden irritation with thongs be indicative of a herpes infection most people wouldn’t notice? Would vaginal bleeding during sex and a miscellaneous lump be indicative of herpes? Or is it more likely that I contracted it on my travels when I actually had a blister and the nerves started acting up? Certainly after that I was much more bothered by it…the strange sensations and discomfort that followed over the next couple of years.

    It is a most confusing virus, and I suppose when I actually contracted it is hard to determine.

    Suffice to say that my entire sexual history has been littered with doctor’s appointments and struggles to determine what exactly was wrong with me. I was swabbed about six times over the years (I sometimes get linear fissures, perhaps just one, at the time of my period), and each time it came back negative. My experience with this virus has caused me to lose faith in doctors because they gave me a dozen other alternative diagnoses – eczema, dry skin, thrush etc I suppose because I never displayed ‘typical’ symptoms, and I was never offered me a blood test to satisfy my conviction that what I had was herpes.

    I have been with my husband for 9 years now and have recently discovered that I am pregnant so I paid privately for a blood test to satisfy myself once and for all. Bizarrely, having an incontestable positive result hit me much harder than I thought it would, having suspected that I have had this virus since I was a teenager. It became instantly real again and I felt as terrible as I would have felt had it been entirely new to my body.

    And because now there is potential for this sneaky virus to harm someone other than me, I am nervous about my pregnancy.

    #19584

    In reply to: Why did he lie to me?

    Dr. Kelly
    Keymaster

    I am so sorry to hear that you have had outbreaks for 3 weeks. That is a long time to have to deal with the symptoms and the emotional upheaval. The best thing you can do for yourself is to be pro active in managing your stress by meditating daily and doing things to support your Immune System. I encourage you to try some supplements that specifically target herpes like garlic and/or a good medicinal mushroom blend. I also go into detail of what to do in our 30 Day Quickstart To Success program in our online course, Foundations. You can check it out https://pinktent.com/funnel/foundations-book.php

    Know that we are here to support you.

    Live. Love. Thrive.
    Dr. Kelly

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