This forum is an un-mediated, patient-to-patient forum for questions and support regarding herpes issues such as: Herpes symptoms and treatments, causes, diagnosis, and herpes in men, tests, telling your spouse or partner.
Ok, so last week I was diagnosed with herpes. I was really paranoid about it initially, obviously... It had started out as what I thought was a yeast infection... then, it got pretty sore, everything turned really red, and two canker-sore-like sores formed on one of my lips. I freaked out because I obviously thought it was herpes at that point, but then I hopped on google, asked my roommate, and thought it may have just been a really really bad yeast infection. Well, the itchiness persisted, and then 2 days later, more sores formed, until, about 5 days ago, within hours, I was in so much pain. I could barely walk, let alone sit or lie down. I knew at this point it was herpes... however, unfortunately, it was a saturday, and my doc wasn't open again until Monday.... Come Monday, I was in tears because the pain was so bad. She felt bad, put me on Valitrex (sp?) and instructed me to take 2 a day, twice a day for 10 days. It's Wednesday now, so I've had 10 pills in total. Problem is, i'm in so much pain and can't tell if there's an improvement. To be honest, it KILLS me to go to the washroom... urinating stings, yet I push it, and because there are open sores by my anus, defecating is out of the question.... I took a bath yesterday with Epsom salts in the morning... but this only helped while I was in the tub... I'm worried i'm not able to clean it properly because I looked at it today and there was puss to the right of my clitoris. It's as if it was glued to my right vulva with puss so I tried to stretch it apart, which felt as if I was ripping my vagina... so now i'm in even more pain. I'm on the Valitrex, Lutein supplements (6 a day), vitamin C (as per my naturopath - I was just getting over bronchitis when this initial outbreak occurred), daily multi-vitamins, and T3's if the pain gets really bad (i've only had 2)...
Is the puss normal?? Is this part of the healing stage? Or has my whole vagina become infected?? I'm really worried, and need some kind of solution. I haven't been able to go to work. I've been instructed by my docs to lie down and move when required, eat every hour to keep my blood sugar stable, stay away from nuts and sugar... Can someone please help?? I'm just in so much pain and want my normal quality of life back.... And I hope to gawd that this is the only outbreak that has to be this bad... Again, i'm only on day 3 of the Valitrex; however, I read somewhere that if you don't start taking this type of therapy within the first 72hrs of an outbreak, it might now be as effective... *sigh*
Any help is appreciated! I'm desperate!
Oh, and I understand that this is entirely stress related as well... and trust me i'm trying to distract myself from the pain. But every time I move a leg even an inch, it's so bad...
I'd actually stop the vitamin C for now. It can cause your urine to be even more acidic which only makes it burn more as it flows over the lesions :( Increase your water intake so that you keep your urine less acidic. Also a "squirt" bottle is helpful - fill it with lukewarm water and squirt over the genital area as you urinate to further dilute the urine. There are also many topical anesthetics that are helpful too. I usually recommend dermoplast spray ( the blue can, not the red can for the genital area ) because you can spray it on the lesions and not have to touch them. You can find it at most drugstores.
No reason to avoid nuts and sugar due to herpes if those are the reasons you were told to avoid them. the lysine /arginine theory never held up outside of the test tube and there's no such thing as the herpes diet or any particular foods to avoid.
Unfortunately this not only sounds like a humdinger of an ob, you also weren't able to get seen within a timely manner of the start of symptoms so the valtrex isn't going to work very fast :( It'll help but if this is a recently acquired infection for you, it's benefits are limited especially starting it from what sounds like almost a week from the time symptoms first started ( when you thought you had a yeast infection ). Recurrences will not be this bad though most likely.
What testing did they do on you so far?
I recommend watching the patient counseling video and reading the herpes handbook at www.westoverheights.com. Both are terrific educational resources and are free.
As for the "puss", at this point I'd just keep cleansing your genital area as you normally do and just take the wait and see approach. It doesn't really sound like puss but more like the normal healing process. Don't try to seperate the skin again at this point - it'll only cause you more pain. Increase the soaks in the tubby to 2x/day or even buy a sitz bath set up and soak your bum in there several times a day ( you can also urinate into this too instead of a squirt bottle ). Also don't hesitate to apply a barrier cream to the area too as needed - a&d ointment, zinc oxide, bag balm or any commercial baby butt cream. It'll help soothe the irritated skin and reduce friction when you walk. Also when you are at home - go bottomless as often as you can. An oversized tee shirt or nightgown is useful for this or even a bathrobe ( unless you like scaring your roommie...he he he ). If you start having a lot of discharge by next week, return to your provider to get retested for yeast and bacterial vaginal infections too - they are quite common when you have this extensive of an ob ( I know, as if the herpes wasn't enough...sigh ).
Hang in there - I know it hurts like hell right now and then there's the whole idea of having herpes to get used to. It will get better I promise :)
Unfortunately topical zovirax really doesn't do much for speeding the healing of genital herpes. It's spelled out in the prescribing info even. Also there are no anesthetics in it to help with pain so pretty much it's a very over priced moisturizer :(
So... i'm on day 3 of being home from work, which almost never happens (aside when I had bronchitis really bad and had a ridiculous fever). THIS is how bad it is... I can barely move around because the pain is so bad, I have been wearing looooose cotton boxer shorts for the last 5 days, have been taking Valtrex religiously, along with Lutein, my multi-vitamins, some pro-biotics and vitamin C (as instructed by my naturopath)... I can't even tell if it's getting better, to be honest. I can't even look at it without it stressing me out... and since, according to my research, a lot of this is stress related, I think that's the best idea at this point. Saw my doc again yesterday and she said there was a 10-20% reduction in open sores.... doesn't feel like it, but i'll take her word for it. Just trying to remain positive.
In regards to testing, when I saw my doc 4 days ago, on the Monday (because, as I said before, I couldn't see her over the weekend, which has probably pro-longed this whole process) she just looked at my vagina and said "Oh gawd, I don't think I even need to do a swab." And that's word for word. Of course, she did anyway, since I want to be 100%, and I also did the whole sleuth of blood work at the same time (why not?), which included the HSV blood test. I'm waiting for the results, but the doc said there's absolutely nothing else this could be: my vagina is covered in open sores, so it's pretty obvious....
She was going to put me on an antibiotic, but gawd am I against those... also, had an emergency root canal just over a month ago, so I was on a ton then... and she was hesitant to do that... just told her about the puss, and she said some of the sores might be turning into a staff infection or something... but i'm waiting and seeing. Filled the Rx... but i'm not gonna take anything until I absolutely have to. I'm on enought pills as it is. So, the pain has gone down SLIGHTLY, i'm not in tears anymore, so that's a start, so my appetite has been coming back.... but i'm afraid to eat anything... and to makes matters worse, i'm a vegan... i'll eat free-range eggs from a few specific farms where I know their exact practices, but that's it. So... I was obviously used to eating nuts as a snack, or being allowed a bit of chocolate here and there, but after much research (what else have I been able to do??) i do believe diet influences our bodies... but what can I eat!?!? I've lost weight... and I need all the energy and strength to fight this damn herpes... Oh, and the epsom salt bath.... not sure if that helped. Seemed to make everything raw and hurt as it was drying and then ripped if I moved an inch... I'll try another, because passing bowel movements have been uber difficult. So painful, so i think i've also been avoiding my usual fiber intake because I don't want to have to go to the washroom... urinating is MUCH better with the water-bottle, THANK YOU! (not sure why i didn't think of that before...)
I just want this to go away... I want to be able to wear jeans, walk around, go to the gym, go to work, attend classes, study...
The guy i'm seeing got tested with me. Although we're not in a relationship, he's been really great about taking care of me at my worse... So that's been a relief. I'll be honest, i'm scared as hell about having to tell the next guy i'm in a relationship with about this... you just never think it's going to happen to you...
Regarding the cream, initially my naturopath wanted me to get unscented zinc cream.. but after discusssing it with her and my doc, we realized that giving this thing as much air as possible would be the best idea.
I found the Zorvirax cream to be soothing...it is a cream not and ointment which I would stay away from. You use this cream "VERY" sparingly which makes it go a long way.....I use both the Valtrex and the cream when I get a breakout. My doctor has questioned the use of 2 anti-viral meds but he says that if it works and makes me feel better he will continue to prescribe it.. I have had herpes since I was 16 and I am now 49...not that it makes me an expert, but I still do remember my first breakout and how painful and how scared I was. Since then I have had 2 kids and have been married twice. Life is good!!
There is only a 12 hour healing time difference between the prescription zovirax cream ( it's listed as $141/tube on drugstore.com without insurance ) and a $3 moisturizer. I can not in good faith recommend using something that expensive for little to no value when there are other options. I am glad that it helps you but it's really not worth the expense which is why we don't recommend it here on the board. In clinical trials it showed no efficacy at all for recurrences of genital herpes and only very limited benefit for newly acquired genital herpes infections.
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