Can someone pls help me; I'm getting confused again
For the past eight months, I have searched and researched for information regarding herpes, specifically genital HSV2, since that is what I have. So much information is contradictory and you really do not know what to believe. I have read countless of articles and posts that say a person can have this virus for years and years and not know that they have it. Well, I am having a hard time believeing this bit of information.
Some info says that when you first contract this virus, your outbreak will be very severe and my outbreak was very servere. Honestly, I feel that people do have an idea, but they just don't want to face reality. I can say that when I first noticed something was wrong with me, I never thought about herpes, but as the time went on and I started to develop other symptoms, I researched and everything turned to herpes. When I finally went to the doctor and she gave a visually examination, she told me that it was likely herpes. I was still devestated, but in the back of my mind I knew it was herpes. Like many people, I did not want to be diagnosed with this virus, but the reality of the matter is that we most come to terms with the diagnosis, so we may move forward and most importantly not transmit it to others.
Being uneducated or miseducated about this virus is one thing, but being in denial or just plain stupid is another. I have heard and read posts on this site stating that a person should not fault a person for being uneducated about this virus. Well, I agree with that, but when is enough enough. I think most of us were uneducated about this virus (I know I was), but once we were diagnosed or had someone close to us diagnosed, we started to become educated in every way that we could. On the flip side of that, how can someone really not be misinformed if the info out there is so contradictory? One minute someone is saying you can have this for years and not know it. Then someone says there is no way to have it and not know it. Some info states that an outbreak last roughly 2 weeks (initial) and outbreaks after that last less than 2 weeks. However, I have read many posts (including mine) that state their outbreak lasted for weeks and even months (my first ob started in November 2006 and lasted until about February 2007).
I do understand that this virus works differently in different bodies, but the main thing that I am confused about is whether a person knows they have the virus at all. I honestly believe that my ex-boyfriend was aware, but just wanted to remain in denial or naive. He contacted me recently to tell me that his back had been hurting for about two weeks, but he did not know why. I AM WILLING TO BET IT IS HERPES DUMB, DUMB! Then he proceeds to tell me that he developed a blister in his mouth by his bottom lip. He say to me that he wonders if it is herpes, but it only lasted for about two days, so he is not worried about it. These are the types of comments that make me sick to my stomach. It is very disheartening to know that stupidity, ignorance, and denial can and will effect other people's lives. I know herpes has a negative social stigma, but at the very least people can get tested, so this virus will not continue to spread like wildfires!
You're not the only one who's confused. Like you, it seems the more I read, the more confused I become. And the reason is because it's so conflicting, just as you say.
As for not knowing you have herpes, well, I think the thing is, if you don't KNOW you've been exposed to it, it's just not what you think of first. I can only speak for myself, but although I was only diagnosed a couple months ago, and I assumed I got it from my current partner of 7 years (whom I always knew had oral H), I'm beginning to suspect that I was actually infected long ago, quite possibly before I was married (and we were married for 25 years, which tells you I'm no youngster). The reason I say that is because I have type 2, and although he's never been tested, I'm certain my partner has type 1, since he's had it since he was a young child. He got it from his mother. So, where the hell did I get type 2? My husband, who never had a symptom? One of those sweet young things I shared all that 'free love' with during the sixties? (Ah... those were the days. sigh.) Whatever, I know for sure I've probably been carrying it around for a good long while, because I never had symptom one until a year or so ago. At this jucture in my life, I'm not about to angst over it, but it makes me wonder. And when I did start to have symptoms, I thought (I should be embarrassed to admit this, but I swear it's true) I was having some sort of reaction to the toilet paper I was using. Honest to God, I kept switching brands. Maybe it's my age, but herpes never once entered my mind until I got the BIG OB that made me sit up and say Damn! That hurts! Maybe it's not the toilet paper! So, okay, maybe I'm stupid and slow, but I can't be the only one who just never considered the possibility.
Now that I have it, of course it's the first thing to come to mind when someone says 'I have this rash', or 'it's tender and sore', or 'I have these bumps', but before, I have to admit, it was the last thing I would have thought of, and quite honestly, if my partner didn't have it, I NEVER would have thought of it. I would have gone to the doctor because I was in so much pain, but when I got the diagnosis, I probably would have called the doctor an incompetent boob who couldn't tell herpes from a toilet paper rash.
Reading back over this, I realize I've probably accomplished little except to upset you further, or maybe make myself look stupid (wouldn't be the first time) but I was just tryng to point out that not everyone with symptoms is in denial. I do believe you can carry it inside you for a long time without knowing it, and when that happens, and then you start to feel it, you don't think right away that it's some kind of STD. Could just be the freakin toilet paper, you know. I'm kidding. But sometimes the things most obvious are the hardest ones to see unless you're actually looking for them.
Yes, I agree. The information is confusing and contradictory. I do believe people can have HSV and not know it. For some reason, some people don't get any symptoms, and if they do, they don't understand what the symptoms are tell them. The more healthy their immune system is, the less chances of them having symptoms. My partner is very healthy and has little stress, so he has never had an outbreak. When the doctor told him he had herpes, he told them they made a mistake, because he didn't have any symptoms. I think more than 1 out of 5 people have it, and they just don't know it.
Considering how emotionally upset I was when I found out, I think ignorance can be a blessing. I could have gone the rest of my life without knowing and been very happy. Okay, I guess I don't really mean that, but by the time I went to the doctor, the sore was almost gone. So if I had waited a couple of days before going to the doctor, my World would not have turned upside down. Of course, I would have just delaying the inevitable.
I know talent when I see it. Same it's all kept in the computer files. You had me cracking there writercll Toilet paper rolls huh lovely.
Any way I agree not everyone who has it is in denial. Also not every one who has it knows they do. I didn't believe that before. Up until some weeks ago I didn't, I thought people lied. But since coming here and reading the posts, I came to realise that our immune system has a lot to do with whether we get to prodome or outbreak stage. Some people with robust systems never get to the prodome stage. But yet have been exposed to it.
And that's where I shall have to disagree with all that asymptomatic shedding I read about which scares the day lights out of people. If you're in prodome you know even if you don't know it's herpes and thinks its the bloody toilet paper, or the skirt you're wearing or the heat or whatever. You know somethings wrong down there. If you aren't well you aren't and I think all is clear. I hardly see the point in believeing that our bodies are so messed up that it will not give us a sign as to when our virus is active or not. I can hardly believe that we can go about infecting people without our bodies being aware. Can you believe catching a cold without being around the virus? I think that passing on herpes when not having an outbreak or prodome or after is like expecting to catch a cold while walking in the forest.
From the research I have done, it seems that there are 3 factors involved in infecting someone else. First, it is the QUANTITY or AMOUNT of the virus. From the above it can be surmised that there are times when the quantity or amount of the virus is relatively small. The second factor is the STRENGTH of the virus. The virus is in in a weakened condition, actually dying, when it does not have support to keep it alive. For instance, the virus can stay alive on a towel used by someone who has herpes, but it is getting weaker by the minute once it is deposited there. The third factor is the RESISTANCE of the other person. If that person has a very strong immune system, then they are less likely to get it. (For comparison, you probably know some lucky people with naturally strong immune systems who don't get the flu when everyone else is getting it.) From the site
Now I've been thinking a bit about something some one said about herpes gladiators? and herpes from a sun bed. You know what, those things are possible because (and I'm not a doctor) the act of perspiration is one way of allowing the body to release toxins from the body. Herpes being one of them. Once I did a aereobic oxygen detox. And I was so excited about the whole thing that I over did it. I was flushing out the virus from my body at an extreme rate, I even had herpes whatever you call it coming out of my eyes. Not a lovely experience. And of course at that point any one in close contact with me rubbing against me was just gonna get it. It's a bit too late to find out how many of those atheles had herpes before and were just flushing it out in their sweat or whether one athele was responsible for infecting the others.
Ok I've rattled on enough. We are always at risk because we interact with people. The only thing we can do is to beef up our immune system. Stay Alkaline.
Not to worry, Christy... when I had my 'toilet paper' attacks, no one came near me. If they had tried, I would have been squeezing more than the Charmin! :-x
writercll - you crack me up only because once upon a time I thought I'd suddenly become allergic to feminine hygiene products and started trying the different kinds only to find out much later it was hsv.
it isn't always ignorance or failing to get tested sometimes you know something is wrong you change the obvious stuff in your environment you go to your dr and beg for answers and the dr's can't even figure out what is wrong.
For me it took 10 years to have an actual ob and get diagnosed.
I can definitely relate to thinking that it was an irritant that was causing me to feel uncomfortable in my vaginal area. I changed my soap, type of underwear, detergent, and anything else I could change. So, I definitely understand how a person can think that it is something else other than herpes.
LOL writercll i'm another you cracked up! TP indeed!
I didn't believe it was H at first mostly because I didn't think the guy I was with could have it (before me he was in a 7-yr monogamous relationship and neither partner ever had H symptoms and both were free of the normally tested STDs). I didn't realize how very sick this could make you - I thought H just gave you bumps on your junk. I didn't notice bumps for several days, and my lesions, once I got them, looked nothing like most of the pictures. However, for me things kept going downhill so much that I couldn't ignore it and had to go to the doctor.
When I got my diagnosis my first thought was the guy I am with is lying to me. I didn't believe the asymptomatic stuff either (cause man how could you ignore the primary outbreak????)... but I read the boards and started to wonder. I am still with my H man... which required me to believe in the asymptomatic stuff. When I told him what he had, he couldn't believe it was possible, and he completely didn't understand how I could have gotten this even tho I kept telling him "sex with you plague-boy." Once he finally realized what I had and how I had to get it, he was totally devastated that he gave me something like this. I thought about whether he could be faking it, but the sorrow and frustrated guilt I felt from him seemed very real. So now, even after he knows, he still insists he never feels any tingling/sensation/anything. I've certainly never seen anything suspicious on him. Maybe over time he might eventually feel something and might be able to recognize it as the H he's been carrying around forever.
There really is asymptomatic shedding though. Even when people are keeping diaries and are attuned to everything H, they still have shedding when they don't think there is a darn thing wrong with them - no symptoms, no prodromal stuff, no anything. Also of note is that most asymptomatic people actually have some symptoms once they found out they have HSV; they just never knew to recognize their symptoms before, and their subsequent outbreaks were milder and of shorter duration when compared to people who actually recognized their symptoms (altho there were some that still had no symptoms). Read this research paper if you are interested (register to get free access): Wald A et al. Reactivation of Genital Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Infection in Asymptomatic Seropositive Persons N Engl J Med. 2000 Mar 23;342(12):844-50.
You are correct that a herpes ob is very different for everyone. It's rather personal indeed, as personal as we are as individuals.
Re-read Christy C's post. She mentions some answers that you are seeking in her research.
Try not to waste energy divulging in "how did I get it?" and "How did he not know?" You're like that top that is spinning and eventually will fall.
Instead, concentrate on how you can build up your own immune system to cease and control obs. Focus on your health and beauty. Focus on good times and overcome this herpe thing.
I'm happy you are part of this forum.
May the Force Be With You.
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