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Avatar universal

Need to get back to normal


About six weeks ago I had protected sex and oral sex with a escort in Canada. In addition, 2.5 weeks ago, I touched the wet vagina (for about 10 minutes) of a stripper, and later noticed a cut I had on one finger from 5 days before. Despite reassurance that it is unrealistic that I contracted an std from these events, I went to get tested for HIV and other STD's. The tests so far came back negative. I am fearful that since it the test was done only one month after my escort experience, and one week after my stripper experience the HIV test mey not have been reliable yet. However I do know that he experts on this site advised me not to get tested.

I've been a nervous wreck for the past 3 weeks. I can't ea normally, I am feeling depressed (I'm worried about what can happen to my wife). Also, yesterday I went to the dentist, and noticed after that my lymph nodes were swollen. I don't have fever yet. I am watching very closely for symptoms and can focus on anything that matters. My wife, who doesn't know what I did (which I never intend to do again), can't begin to understand how I've become this nervous wreck. My doctor advised me not to say a word to her about the event, and to seek professional help from a psychologist immediately. I have contacted one but know that this will take time.

My questions are the following:

1. How am I going to get through this?

2. Is it normal to be so nervous you can't eat for a period of several weeks? nI do eat a couple of meals per day but its not the same as usual.

3. How do I put my anxiety to rest?

4. Are swollen lymph nodes possible from my dentist experience? Also, since I read about the symptom of swollen nodes i have been touching and massaging my neck, loocking for something, I think I may have worsened the problem, is this possible or likely?

Please help me someone if you can.

21 Responses
Avatar universal
Dude, stop worrying about your Sx. You won't get HIV from what you did. The moral dilemma is whats got you, and you need to work through that, not hide behind your anxiety of getting an illness. If you just get reassurance for your symptoms, you'll just feel good for a little while and then start worrying wen the next convenient self-absorbed symptoms arises. Work on the bigger picture w/ you psychologist. my .02
480448 tn?1426952138
I agree with your doc 100%...and I'm glad you have made an appt with a therapist.

HIV Anxiety is very common, especially after a guilt-producing experience like you had.

My advice to you is do NOT search the internet...you will find ANYTHING that matches your "symptoms", and it will only feed your anxiety.  You had NO risK whatsoever from the situation you described.  NONE.  If you need the reassurance, get a final test at 3 months, but TRUST the results.  Symptoms are never an indicator on infection....the test results are the indicator, so be confident in them.

There have been MANY people where you are right now.  Just follow up with the therapy and deal with the feelings you have.  You were unfaithful to your wife, therefore you are kicking yourself and beating yourself up.  While I certainly do not approve of infidelity, you did NOT place your wife at risk.

I hope you are feeling better soon.  You have found a great forum....with some people that have been in your shoes.  Brad can tell you his personal experience...he was like you...and eventually moved past it.

Best of luck to you.
Avatar universal
I just want to thank you both and others for helping me. I've been so emotional about this lately, I just want to cry when I read your responses. Thank God for you people.

For so many years, I watched myself make the wrong choices. It started by going to strip clubs, then massage parlors (not full service), and then finaly my experience with the escort. While I'm happy I didn't take extremely high risks, I'm so disappointed that I let myself hit this bottom. I truly beleive that this frightening experience and my therapy, will help me be faithful to my wife, and to feel more comfortable in my shoes. In a sense, I may have needed an experience to initiate change. My wife deserves better than a husband like me, but I love her deeply and I can't risk letting her go.

I am just hoping everyone is right about the fact that I did not take a risk. By the way, does it make sense that my lymph nodes are swollen around my neck? I'm assuming my loss of appetite has to do with my anxiety.

Thanks to you both again for your good hearts and attention.
480448 tn?1426952138
I'm glad you are going to get help, to work through all of these emotions you have, which are understandable.

Also, has a doctor said your lymph nodes are swollen, or are you just guessing they are?

If they REALLY are swollen...a million different things could cause it...it is not uncommon to have swollen lymph nodes here and there.

Best of luck!!!
Avatar universal
I went to the dentist yesterday morning, I hadn't had a cleaning in more than a year so the work was a little more than usual. While at the dentist, my dentist examined my gums and said all looked perfect. I noticed a few hours later the bottom of my mouth, under my tongue was inflammed. I called them and they said it is totally normal after a cleaning like that. I started massaging my neck during the day since I felt some tightness or a sore throat. Later in the night I saw a dr friend, and asked him if my lymph nodes were swollen. He said yes right away, but said it could be normal and it should be gone by next week. Of course, since he didn't know about my exposure, his answer about it being ok meant nothing to me. In fact it worried me more. So I don't think I am guessing, but m throat is sore and they are swollen a bit.

I also am an occasional smoker, but since this fear erupted, I've ramped up to about 5-6 cigarettes daily which is a huge amount for me. However my dr friends tell me it should have no effect. I did read on the internet (i will try to stay away) that trying to massage and touch your lymph nodes could make them worse.

What do you think?
480448 tn?1426952138
I think that most likely the dental work caused your lymph node swelling.  Any infection (from the most minute) can cause lymph nodes to swell.  It is NOT suspect of anything serious.

Best of luck with the therapy!
Avatar universal
God bless you!
Avatar universal
Is it normal that I am feeling lots of fatigue, losing weight since I can't eat normally, and feeling faint?
480448 tn?1426952138
Yes.....definitely the anxiety wreaking havoc on you.  Have you taken the first step to seek some counseling?

Take a minute and read thru the forum...you will get a good idea of all of the different physical symptoms that plague us anxious folks.  Also, in the "health pages" is a looong list (growing longer by the day) of anxiety symptoms.

Go forward with the therapy you need do you can be confident and put this behind you.
513832 tn?1211959364
I can perosnally attest to the anxiety that can come from an HIV scare, and the guilt that can come with it can make it that much worse.

Relax, you didnt get HIV, nobody gets HIV from protected sex or oral sex and as for this supposed swollen lynph node, you cant diagnose a node by yourself, it takes a doctor to diagnose a swollen node. Plus messing with your nodes can make them swell, leave them alone. Now to your questions.

1. Get through this with a 6 and 12 week rapid HIV test although the 6 week negative will not change at 12 weeks anyway.
2. No thats not normal but it does happen to people that are suffering with anxiety and in a panic. I refuse to eat at all when the anxiety gets bad.
3. Put it to rest by testing for HIV and if that doesnt fix the anxiety then you will need counseling and maybe some meds.
4. Stop touching your nodes, messing with them will make them mad. Only a doctor can diagnose nodes being swollen. I would place money on the fact that you read about swollen nodes and started trying to mess with them and you probably arent even feeling your lymph nodes anyway.

If you havent had a 6 week test yet go get one ASAP at a rapid clinic, results in under 30 minutes. Until then relax because you never put yourself at risk for HIV in the first place.
Avatar universal
why are you reccomending i get tested asap?
513832 tn?1211959364
Because you are past 6 weeks so a test right now would tell you your true status and calm your anxiety some, HIV specialists say they dont ever see 6 week negatives go positive later on so a 6 week will tell you whats up.

The stripper incident 2.5 weeks ago is nothing to worry about anyway, HIV is not transmitted like that.
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