Are you looking for excellent care from
a knowledgeable herpes doctor?
Did you know that Nurse Practitioners and
Physician's Assistants care for
the majority of herpes
patients? Please send me your positive OR negative experiences with health care providers in your area.
Keep reading because I have listed the qualities that "I" think
health care providers should have when treating their patients that
may or may not have herpes.
Good Healthcare Providers written by someone
that has herpes: ME!!
There are many
health care providers out there that will be able to help you find out
whether or not you have herpes. What we don't want is a health care
provider who is going to rush you through their office as if you were
cattle being pushed through a field by a cowboy on a horse.
I am not planning on
listing who the ďgoodĒ health care providers are any more because I think
that it creates an unfair advantage in the medical community. There are
many good providers out there that deserve a chance to be discovered.
Plus, not listing the ďgood onesĒ will work towards keeping the lines of
communication open between provider and patient. Besides, if only a few
offices around the country get flooded with patients how fair is that
actually going to be for the person thatís trying to get answers?
Finally, since I canít guarantee the quality of the care from each
individual provider then there is no point in listing them.
Instead, I want to
encourage you not to be afraid to talk to providers in your area. There
are good providers everywhere and they need to be given a chance to help
you. You wonít know where they are until you take the time to look for
them. Donít be afraid to talk about herpes with them. If they have a
horrible bed-side manner turn them in to a higher medical authority and
move on to the next provider because there are good ones out there that
want to help you.
Here is "MY" definition of a really good health care provider when you
are trying to find out what is going on with your body and whether or
not you have herpes simplex virus:
actually knows what they are talking about when it comes to herpes and
STDs. I have heard so many horror stories about
how professionals are telling their patients that they can not spread
herpes as long as there are no outbreaks present. That simply put is NOT
true. The most recent Valtrex commercial that Iíve seen on television
states that 70% of those that contracted herpes did so from a partner
that didnít know that they had herpes in the first place. The other
statistic I saw on another Valtrex commercial stated that 90% of those
that have genital herpes donít know that they have it.
Someone that is
willing to answer ALL of your questions no matter how ďsillyĒ or
ďrelevantĒ the question as presented by the patient. In other words, if
you want to know which type of HSV that you have as well as location it
is important because it matters to you AND you have a right to know!! So
many times I have heard about providers telling their patients that itís
not really important to know the HSV type that they have. I think if
itís important to the patient then it should be just as important for
the provider to get them some real answers instead of a quick dismissal.
Someone that can
and will test you properly for herpes. Since herpes is NOT included in
the routine STD testing process itís important for you to ask
specifically to be tested for herpes. If you have an outbreak that can
be cultured hopefully your provider will be willing to see you right
away so that they can run that form of testing immediately. Too many
times providers will want you to schedule an appointment and it just
doesnít work too well when you have to wait for too long to be seen. In
fact, itís how most false negatives originate to begin with.
Someone that is
willing to provide type specific herpes testing so that you will know
which type you have if there are no sores or lesions that can be
cultured. Not everybody has an outbreak that can be cultured and that is
why itís important to have the right
herpes testing done. In situations like this a type specific
herpes blood test is in order. And if the provider is not up-to-date on
such tests perhaps they are willing to do the research, learn, and bring
themselves up to speed on what the latest herpes testing is these days.
Someone who will
offer suppressive therapy to the patient that requests it, regardless of
the frequency of their recurrences, or even if they are having
recurrences. Since most new cases of herpes are transmitted from someone
showing no symptoms, and suppressive therapy reduces shedding so
dramatically, it should be used way more than it is now. The last time I
checked, suppressive therapy reduced frequency of outbreaks as well as
asymptomatic shedding. Isnít that a good thing and what good provider
would ever be against THAT?
Someone who takes
time to answer questions and offer support. In addition, a good herpes
clinician will seek out answers when they don't have themselves. A
decent herpes clinician is somebody that is willing to humble themselves
if it means that they will learn something new from their patient too. A
good health care provider is someone who ALWAYS diagnoses herpes by lab
test, or confirms a clinical impression with a lab test. Looking at
someone and telling them they have herpes by visual exam has a 20% error
rate and isnít THAT too high?
realizes that not everything going on down there is always going to be
herpes. Hopefully people are able to get a complete work up so that they
can rule out other things such as jock itch, yeast infections, bacterial
vaginosis, etc. Over the years I have bumped into so many women that
thought they were having a herpes outbreak and wound up believing that
herpes outbreaks are supposed to be a constant every day occurrence.
Does that sound right to you? It doesn't sound right to me at all.
Someone that is
willing to try finding a dosage that will work for their patient knowing
that everybody is different. Some people with herpes need more
antivirals in order to keep the virus under control and others not so
much. Also, if a patient would like to discuss an alternative therapy
then perhaps the physician might be open to exploring those areas too.
While the herpes antivirals are clinically proven to work the best for
most people that have herpes simplex virus.. not everybody can take them
for whatever the reasons might be. Flexibility and being open to do what
is going to work for each person on a case by case basis is a good
thing, is it not?
Thatís all that I have so far
If you can think of a
quality that you are looking for in a good physician or health care
provider that is not listed above feel free to write and tell me what
that is so that I can list that positive quality above. This is how we
are going to find the good doctors and health care providers that are out
there. In my opinion, listing them by name is not going to make the
situation better. Itís actually going to keep us from finding the
rest of the good providers that are out there that do exist but donít
happen to have an established name in the medical community. Eventually
they will be found because word-of-mouth is everything.
I would also
like to add that seventeen years ago when I was diagnosed with genital
herpes I did quite a bit of research and thought that I knew exactly who
the good health care providers were because of the horns that they tooted
in the herpes community and all of the good works that they had
accomplished on paper and in lectures. I have since realized that the
ones that toot the loudest arenít necessarily the most humble in nature
and may not have as much time for you in the end. So take that into
consideration when choosing your health care provider because who you
know and how popular you are in the medical community does not always
cut it either.
Attempting to find a
diagnosis or answer as to what you have on the Internet is not a good
idea. Itís also not a good idea to have someone who youíve never talked
with in person or on the phone decipher your test results. You need to
have YOUR doctor decipher your test results. Talk to YOUR doctor and
talk to YOUR lab because they are the ones that should know best what
YOUR situation is. As patients we donít always do the best job of
explaining what has taken place with us and everyone's situation is
different which is why no one no matter how qualified they are should be
attempting to diagnose, treat, or decipher YOUR stuff on the Internet.
It seems that I too
am learning new things every day. I used to speak quite highly of the
Herpes Specific Western Blot at the University of Washington. I guess
itís not the ďGoldĒ standard in herpes testing that we once thought it
was. Sure, itís still one of the best tests that you can have done BUT
itís not a test that doesnít ever have itís own flaws. In fact, the
people that used to say it is the ďGoldĒ standard are no longer telling
their patients that any more. At least not from what I have seen lately.
Therefore, be proactive and do some research so you will be able to find
a health care provider with a positive disposition that is going to help
you get the answers that you deserve.
What type of doctor should you see if you
are trying to find out if you have herpes OR need somebody to
fill your herpes antiviral prescription meds? What about
alternative therapies? These are excellent questions that
deserve honest answers from real people that actually have the
virus and know what to do.
Do you have a
health care story you want to share? If so, send
it to me because I would be more than happy to
post it for you! You can even do so anonymously
if that is what makes you feel more comfortable.
Sometimes it really does help to put things in
writing in a way that allows you to be free to
vent. My posting it on my site winds up #1
helping you to get the experience off your chest
and #2 helping those not to feel so alone in
their health care experiences that they have run
into. Send me your story
via e-mail for posting but be clear as to what your intentions
are in the subject line OR within your note.