How do I overcome this fear?

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Hi there…I was in touch with you many years ago and you really helped me. It was 2006 and I had found out that I had HSV2. I found out through a blood test, and have never had any symptoms. At the time I had been dating someone that I dearly loved and was afraid of what he would say. However, I knew I had to tell him. You gave me some great advice and were a voice of comfort. Anyway, he took the news fine, and we continued in our relationship for another two years. It didn’t work out, and since then I have had a few more relationships. None of these partners were disturbed by my diagnosis.

Anyway, flash forward to now. I have been single for a bit, and at the beginning of the year I decided to start dating again. I met someone and thought we were really hitting it off. When I told him, he rejected me. It really hurt and was very traumatic. This was the first time I had ever been rejected.

Now I am seeing someone new, and I REALLY like him. We have been on a number of dates and there seems to be a great connection. I can tell he feels the same way. The chemistry is really there, and I know that we are going to need to have this talk. However, I am so very scared now. I will be devastated if he rejects me.

How do I overcome this fear? I know I need to tell him, and I won’t sleep with him without telling him, but I am just deathly afraid now. Any advice?

Thank you so much for all you do!

—Anonymous

I’d rather have 100 babies

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Obviously I’m not alone after seeing all of these forums and boards but I still feel that way. I don’t know where or when I got it but this seems to be my first outbreak and I can tell you that I’d rather have 100 babies then this. My former partner who I recently stopped seeing does get cold sores. Could I have contracted this from his cold sore and potentially passed it onto my new partner without knowing it? (He is getting tested as well, just waiting on final results). How do you get past the emotional feelings? I feel dirty, lied to, hurt, etc. And if or should I say when my tests come back positive, I’m afraid of what that means for my current partner.

—Feeling Alone

Having herpes does not mean your worth is less

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I read about the herpes whitlow on this site and towards the end it asked for someone’s story or symptoms.

I’m now 33 yrs old and I was diagnosed with genital herpes at 19 yrs old. I wish we had had smartphones back then, a better way to research the virus and connect with others who also had it.

Let me express how AWFUL it was leading up to my diagnosis. Being as usually the first few breakouts can be the worst. (Which I didn’t know at the time) My symptoms started out as a urinary tract infection.

Although painful, I knew that some meds would do the trick and I’d be back to normal in a few days. Boy was I wrong. The pain didn’t cease in fact it steadily got worse. I couldn’t make it to work and peeing became a nightmare. My mom picked me up and we went to the ER. Because it such a severe urinary tract infection it was suspected I may have an STD. It’s been so long now I can’t exactly remember what they did, I think they swabbed my genitals and I believe they were testing for chlamydia. The strange part is one of the doctor’s mentioned the possibility of herpes, but obviously didn’t test me for it. Since I didn’t have chlamydia I was sent home in basically the same condition as I had came in.

Days were torture. I finally went to see a doctor. I think since the ER couldn’t or didn’t help me I didn’t think a doctor’s office visit could reap results. It was a female doctor and I sat there telling her my symptoms. My mom was in the room as well. And as the doc was writing down my symptoms I mentioned the ER doctor mentioning herpes and she stopped writing, and looked up at me with a concerned look on her face. A few minutes later, after a quick exam of my genitals, she confirmed I had herpes. A wave of shame and sadness swept over me and I remember my mom looking so sad for me. Even as I’m writing this now and recalling that day I am brought to tears.

The doctor gave me a few free samples of Zovirax. At the time I was uninsured and there wasn’t a generic med on the market for herpes. Within a day of taking the meds I was feeling so much better. Unfortunately the breakouts were frequent. For awhile I was able to get free samples until I moved down to TN. I didn’t have a car to get to the doctor and I didn’t have insurance so when I got a breakout it was HELL. The itching was maddening. I know this is going to sound gross but I want to be painfully honest to thoroughly explain my story. I would wear a thick pad and when the itching would become intolerable, and cold water and soap wasn’t sufficing, I would rub the pad vigorously on my privates which probably only exacerbated the situation, however it did bring some relief. The breakouts were so frequent my mom was kind enough to buy me a prescription of Zovirax (no refills) that cost her about $200. Eventually I was able to get to the pharmacy and buy a few at a time. It was awful. I believe $35 got me like 7 pills.

Besides the physical agony of herpes I was mentally fighting demons everyday. I felt like a leper. Whenever I was out in public I would look at people and know that I was DIFFERENT. I caught herpes from sex, although I never knew which lucky guy passed it on to me.

Promiscuity definitely aided in my illness. How would I ever be able to find someone who was willing to have sex with me again?? If I ever got pregnant would it affect my baby?

For years and years I went without meds. Eventually the breakouts became infrequent, but one time I had a full blown breakout and googled home remedies. There was some ridiculous concoction you were to rub into your genitals. It consisted of the over the counter cold sore medicine Abreeva and night time Tylenol cold medicine, in pill form. You mashed the pill into the Abreeva and rubbed it on your privates. It brought some relief although I suspect it was due more to the Abreeva than the cold medicine.

Even though the genital outbreaks were infrequent, the outbreaks that were frequent appeared on the palm of my right hand or on my right thigh. Jeans and band aids could help shield the thigh outbreaks, but the pain was awful. The palm of my right hand was the worst though. I’m right handed. Before a well formed blister appears a tingling and itching sensation would let me know trouble was on the way. Within a few hours little red bumps would appear, these would turn into the blisters but at first they’re just hard little bumps that hurt and itch. Sometimes I could actually help cease the outbreak by constantly applying rubbing alcohol to the area and of course it would over-dry the area, but again, sometimes it helped.

Through the internet, over the years, I’ve been able to do my own research on the virus. For a long time I was ashamed of myself for the stigma associated with the virus. And of course there are the jokes about herpes, and honestly, at this point in my life I can even get a good giggle out of a herpes joke. And since I’m not out announcing my situation then the jokes aren’t directed AT me. Let me assure you though, years ago when the word herpes came up, or a joke, I would get an awful, depressed feeling. Time helps heal these wounds.

Throughout the years I had close friends confide in me that they had the virus. What few friends I confided in, well they ended up telling a few other friends and I was devastated. These people are still my friends today, after long conversations they convinced me they only told another person because that person had it and felt bad. I found this to be true. The ones who found out I had it had gone through terribly sad days just like me.

I have a daughter now. She’s almost two years old. Early in my pregnancy I had a breakout on my thigh. For precautions I was put on acyclovir twice a day during pregnancy. After discussing it with my doctor I felt completely confident having a vaginal delivery. I was not in a breakout, and hadn’t had one in many months. My delivery went perfect. The baby is fine.

These days I take acyclovir once a day, unless I’m having a breakout. If anyone has done their research then they know a series of things can lead up to a breakout. Stress, heat, your period, even sexual contact when there are no symptoms, or when your immune system is fighting a cold can contribute to a breakout. I have a big exam in a few weeks, I’m a bit stressed over it and I woke up this morning with my palm hot and itchy. The pain has gotten worse over the day so I took my second acyclovir pill a few hours ago. I will take 2 a day for the next 6 days.

I would love to help counsel people who suffer with this virus. I have come to accept my body and it’s imperfections, but that’s only my journey and it took years of depression and physical pain and finally overcoming all that and realizing that I’m not broken. If only I had had some comfort when I was first diagnosed.

People need to know that even though they may have herpes, that does not mean their worth is less. They can still have relationships, and kids, and friends.

—Brandy

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“Remove my e-mail address”

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I got an e-mail today from someone claiming to be “one with nature” instructing me to remove her e-mail address.

Yep, that’s all her note said:

“Remove my e-mail address”

She thinks I’m a mind-reader.

I have no idea what she’s talking about.

Writing in complete sentences would be helpful.

A little more detail might suffice too.

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Plantar Warts

Does anyone have plantar warts on their hands? They are the tiniest clear raised bumps. If you’ve ever had them then you know what I’m talking about. I have had them since I was a kid but I’ve never really done anything about them. They have always just been there? Have any of you with Plantar Warts on your hands ever successfully had them treated? If so, with what or how?

Feelings are NOT Facts

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Are you a good decision-maker or a bad decision-maker? Do you base your decisions on how you feel? Do you make choices based on your mood?

People freak out sometimes. Many folks become anxious and allow their emotions to take them on a roller coaster ride through hell. Why would you do that to yourself? It’s a complete and total waste of energy!

This is how people make mountains out of mole hills. They see something or something happens and they automatically assume the worst before they even have a chance to figure out what is actually going on.

People do this ALL the time with medical conditions. They experience health issues and then automatically assume everything is somehow related. They hop on the internet, do a few quick searches, and suddenly become their own trained professional.

Come on, people! If you aren’t sure about something pick up the phone and make an appointment to see a medical professional. Do your homework and look for someone who knows what they are doing. You are not a doctor!

There are so many reasons behind bumps and rashes. Why would you jump the gun and make an assumption based on what you “think” it might be? Why not find out for sure what is going on? Be proactive with the facts of what is happening and stop basing your decisions on how you feel.

This is exactly how people create their own hell-on-earth. Because they are feeling fearful about something they freak out, jump the gun, make assumptions—based on what? How they feel? The fear they are experiencing? Take a chill pill!

Use common sense. Stick to the facts. Feelings are not facts. Don’t make decisions when you’re moody. Get a grip!

Take some deep breaths and calm down. Don’t make decisions based on F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real). If you’re angry, frustrated, or sad give yourself some time to relax and assess the situation. Unless it’s a life or death emergency you don’t need to turn your world upside down by reacting or responding.

You may need to seek counseling if everything in your life seems to be stuck on the same old negative thought train. If you beat yourself up day in and day out it’s a good idea to get some help with your thoughts. A trained professional can help you to have a healthier sense of self and then maybe things won’t seem so toxic and complicated. Your outlook on life will improve and have you counting your blessings instead of freaking out about everything.

Photo Credit: Pinterest