Having herpes does not mean your worth is less


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.


Photo Credit: Pinterest Pin

Encouraging Others With Herpes

I just want to let you know that your site has helped me so much. The stories that people shared regarding their “talk” with their loved ones really helped me tell my boyfriend that I have HSV-2.

We recently had the talk and I could not wait to share it with your site.

My guy and I have been together for a few months. He has already told me how much he cares about me and that he could see a future with me. We’ve started talking about marriage and purchasing a home together.

As we continued to spend time together the topic of sex came up, but I would just change the subject. I knew that I would need to tell him about my situation soon. I wanted to tell him before either of us became too emotionally attached, just in case it did not end well. In order to prepare for my talk, I discussed it with my ob/gyn and she provided me with literature on herpes and made out a prescription for acyclovir.

I also searched the internet for “how to tell your boyfriend” stories, when I came across this site. The stories here were so reassuring and helped me build up the nerve to have this important talk. I actually wrote out a page long speech to read to my boyfriend to make sure that I did not leave anything out.

One night we were cuddled up on the couch discussing holiday plans and starting a future together. He brought up the topic of sex again and expressed that he did not understand why I was holding back from him. I became silent for a few minutes…thinking to myself that this is the perfect opportunity to tell my secret. After my moments in silence, I asked if I could tell him something…he said yes, “we are a couple, we can talk about anything.” After another brief moment of silence, I told him that I had herpes and followed up with some good herpes facts. He continued to embrace me and responded “ok…that’s it?”

He told me that he’s not going anywhere. By this time, I was shedding a few tears (because he was accepting me and my situation)…he looked me in my eyes and told me that he cares about me and I could not get rid of him that easily. He reassured me that he just wanted to be with me and kissed me. We talked about ways to protect ourselves, when we do decide to engage in sex. We kissed and hugged. We continued discussing our holiday plans and marriage.

This experience was way better than I could have ever anticipated! I am looking forward to an awesome future with a wonderful man. Oh, I never even got around to reading that page long letter that I had drafted to tell him about my situation.

I just want to encourage others with herpes that there are people out there that will accept us and love us, lesions and all. : )

Thanks again for this site and to all of those that have shared their experiences.


Zovirax Ointment Rebate Coupons

Just want to let those who use Zovirax (Acyclovir) ointment that u can get a “rebate” coupon by going to www.zovirax.com/cold-sore-rebate-aspx

You DON’T have to fill out forms to mail…just print coupon and bring it to your drugstore when u get a refill. You will pay only $15. for up to a $50. co-pay thru your insurance company. A great deal! It expires at the end of this year.

I asked pharmacist how long the ointment is able to be kept before it is rendered no longer helpful. She said until 2015! You can see on the flap of the box it comes in a date-stamped area (not inked in…so u have to really look for it) and this is the REAL expiration date.

In fact, as an FYI “aside,” many meds can be kept and used beyond expiration dates IF they are stored per instructions…usually in cool, dry place, not in area where they are going to get too hot or cold. I got this information from a pharmacist and have read it online, as well. But if you have old meds laying around and want to properly dispose of them (and that means no flushing or putting them in trash), you can buy a plastic mailing bag at Walgreen’s for $2. which covers postage. Fill it up w/your old meds & pop it in your mailbox. Be SURE to leave the medication name on there but you can mark out your name if you wish. They will dispose of these meds so they aren’t found in our waters, which they have been.

Good luck and be well!


Tis The Season I Guess

flying-leapIf you have a question about GlaxoSmithKline then you write and ask THEM your question. I am not affiliated with GlaxoSmithKline. You’re in a Tizzy because I’ve had genital herpes for almost 15 years and I have been proactive in sharing what has worked for me.

I don’t take anything at this point in time and haven’t really had to since my last child was born which was back in 2005. The time before I gave birth to her, I had another baby in 2003. My OBGYN recommended that I go on suppressive therapy the last 6 weeks of both of my pregnancies in order to make an honest attempt to suppress viral activity during labor and delivery so that I and both my girls would have the best chance possible of having a normal vaginal birth.

So SUE ME if that is what I took to suppress the virus. VALTREX. I’ll say it again… VALTREX. I took VALTREX to suppress the virus during the last 6 weeks of BOTH of my pregnancies. I believe the recommendation is to take 1,000 mg daily. There is Nothing wrong with that. My OBGYN recommended that to me and I can tell whoever I want to that it is VALTREX that I took.

You don’t like that I’m sharing what works for me. I get that. But it’s my journey and my experience. I have a right to share whatever it is that I want to. I don’t work for GlaxoSmithKline. I am me. I am contracted this virus almost 15 years ago. I’ve taken ZOVIRAX, FAMVIR, ACYCLOVIR and VALTREX. Out of ALL of the clinically proven herpes antivirals I find that FOR ME… VALTREX works the best. It’s Not my problem if you can’t stand that. I will continue to share my experiences with others. It’s called FREE SPEECH.

You go right ahead and forward my site to whoever you think you need to. I don’t have to put up with this type of harassment. If you continue to harass me and write to me I will continue to post factual e-mails including all personally identifiable information as to WHO is writing to me and threatening me with this ridiculousness. So be my guest. Report to your heart’s content. I have absolutely nothing to hide and I’m sure you see that my life is out there for all to read with regard to HERPES and what works FOR ME.

As for the clinically proven herpes antivirals… you know… the stuff that actually works to treat and suppress the herpes virus as well as reduce transmission by up to 50% along with reduction of asymptomatic shedding by about 95%… it’s not my responsibility to point you in the direction of the studies. You have access to the internet GOOGLE it. Furthermore… these herpes antivirals are antivirals for a reason. I’m sorry you don’t like that but that’s not my fault. It is what it is. If you don’t like GlaxoSmithKline’s clinically proven herpes antiviral VALTREX… take it up with THEM not ME.

This is just one example of the crud I have to deal with day in and day out. I’m Not going to put up with this type of harassment. I’m just Not. I don’t deserve it.

Name of sender: Meryl Squires
Email of sender: merylsquires@merixcorp.com
————————- COMMENTS ————————-
Are you paid by GlaxoSmithKline? New FTC regulations require disclosure. You do not cite any scientific proof yet you malign a product. Your site is being forwarded to regulatory attorneys.


I’m beginning to understand why Meryl Squires aka: INTERNET BULLY is harassing and threatening me. She is pissed off that nobody has sent me anything nice to say about her snake oil over the counter stuff called Releev. You see, I have a comment and feedback page for people to post their own personal experiences using the stuff. I can’t help it if so far nobody has sent me anything positive to say about it. At this rate anybody sending me anything positive would be questionable at best since Meryl Squires has taken it upon herself to harass and BULLY me.

Take notes Ms. Squires. I don’t care who you are, how many degrees you have, or how qualified you think you are to berate and belittle me. I am an online volunteer patient advocate. I help people that have Herpes, HPV or any other STD. We offer support on my site, blog, and message board. My efforts are strictly to share support, PERSONAL EXPERIENCES, and to point people in the right direction when they can’t find what they are looking for.

I also point people in the direction of the Center for Disease Control, American Social Health Association, and the Food and Drug Administration. If you have a problem with the fact that people are not happy with your OTC product then you take it up with them and leave me out of it!

I do not work for GSK or any other Pharmaceutical Company. I have had herpes for 15 years now and I share what has personally worked for me. I make sure people know that there are clinically proven herpes antivirals out there that will not only reduce outbreaks but suppress them AND keep asymptomatic shedding reduced, too. I can’t help it that you don’t like that.


What I think of Acyclovir

I will let you know what I truly think about taking Acyclovir. I had read not too long ago on your web page that you had no recent response from other’s taken this medication.

I’ll let you know, I’m all new to this and I am in no way a doctor, but I am going to medical school right now. Hopefully I will learn more as I go. I will keep other’s updated.

Everybody has their own kinds of remedies for herpes. If it works, more power to you.

This is my story so here goes

I am covered right now by some very good insurance, so I’m very lucky in that department than most. God was looking over me at the time. You see, I had to go in for major surgery weeks back and my immune system at the time was shutting down. My husband had enrolled in time when it all started crashing in for me. “The news of my life” I had found out that I had contracted the herpes virus this year of 2009.

In my case and only talking from “MY” experience, my first outbreak was not that bad and I only one blister out of it. I still was not clearly, out of it yet. I was still recovering from the mental aspect of it. Who, why, where??

My doctor had told me since my first outbreak was not that bad, she really thought I really didn’t need to spend the money to be on suppressive medication everyday like most. I’m not a big pill fan before all of this, but I wanted to deal with it my own way. So I got on Acyclovir.

It kinda made me feel that I was in control of my own body and it had helped me mentally for my own reason’s. Like being responsible in controlling of my new husband’s well-being. So I thought, who knows? Hey it’s making me feel better taking it. To this day, he is still herpes free.

The doctor had told me it was a good choice to use that everyday over Valtrex. Acyclovir has been around for a very long time and people that had taken it for whatever reasons over twenty-something years had really no side effect’s from it. No liver damage!! That’s good enough for me.

Trials are still underway with Valtrex and little is known what it can do after a couple of years of taking it, but I’m sure we are still safe. We will know more in time. I’m not in any means saying that this is better than Valtrex. My first outbreak, I had Valtrex for my first blister and it did go away very fast. But that’s me! I’m just saying with cost and taking it every day, I would go with Acyclovir when you first start out.

If you have little or no outbreaks you might think it doesn’t work as fast as Valtrex to get into your system or does it? Hmmm… I think that is up to the person and with what kind of immune system they have at the end… Is all about how our bodies can fight it I say, eat well with the medication for starter’s. It’s up to you rather you want to take suppress medication or not. For me, this is what’s working for me to take control mentally.

Later in time I will stop it and see how my body can handle everyday situation’s…at least it doesn’t hurt taking it when you need to. It’s there and that’s why it’s there.

Good Luck,

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Herpes Help

Another Herpes Whitlow Story

I am a 49 year old male. I developed herpetic whitlow of the proximal phalanges of the left middle finger. There was no complications with bacterial super infection.

I had slightly pricked the side of my middle finger with a staple and the wound seemed to be healed over. A day or two later my partner and I had sexual relations during which I used my fingers for stimulation of my partner. She had developed a primary case of HSV2 in the perineum some 18 years ago. She had no current signs and has not developed any. Her last outbreak was almost 10 years ago.

The staple wound seemed to resolve, leaving behind only a tiny area of cellulitis. About 6 days later, the wound developed a larger area of redness, and I cleaned it with soap and water, applied some antibiotic cream, and covered it with a band aid. The following day when I changed the bandaid the redness had spread distally in a narrow band.

By that evening the typical vesicles began to develop. I was aware of herpetic whitlow and recognized the signs. I applied Abreva and changed it and the bandaid three times a day. I did not apply it more often due to the fragility of the vesicles.

After two days the infection covered the area on the phalanx from knuckle to knuckle and approximately 1/3 of the diameter of the finger, but did not seem to spreading beyond this point. I continued to apply Abreva and clean the area three times per day, carefully cleaning my hands after each dressing change. I also wore a cotton glove between dressing changes.

By the fourth day, the lesion was red and taut, but no longer particularly painful. There was an area of open skin about 15mm x 4mm. Primary drainage had ceased. Applications of hydrogen peroxide did not show any significant super infection. However, the area covered by the lesion and cellulitis had not changed.

At that time I visited my primary care physician. He confirmed the diagnosis and prescribed topical acyclovir. He also pointed out that Abreva is useful only against HSV1 infections and this was almost certainly HSV2, therefore it would have been advisable to seek medical attention earlier. The area began to scab over about a week later, but remained red and taut for another week.

After about 3.5 weeks the scab had detached and the lesion was smooth, although still quite red for a radius about about double the size of the lesion proper. After 5 weeks the redness has faded considerably, though not completely. I continue to cover it with a bandaid and will probably continue to do so until the skin returns to a normal color. I intend to avoid contact with any mucous membrane or my genitalia for at least two to three weeks subsequent to complete visual resolution.

I experienced some malaise, fatigue, and nausea the day previous to emergence of the lesion, and for two days thereafter. The lesion was not extremely painful, probably due to the location on the proximal phalanx, instead of the common location at the distal phalanx, where it can irritate the pulp underlying the fingernail.

The primary difficulties of management were the regular and somewhat risky dressing changes, and the concern about when I could resume free use of the digit with near-zero risk.

I would recommend that anyone developing identifiable symptoms seek medical treatment immediately so as to acquire topical acyclovir as soon as possible.

Read more true stories here

Buzz Off Jessica


Jessica Dickerson says:
April 3, 2009 at 12:37 pm (Edit)

Folks, Angela is all over the web promoting her insane idea that all people with herpes should be on antivirals. She is probably a drug rep fighting to keep people ignorant to natural approaches to health. Don’t give such people your energy.

Posted On: Lemons to Control the Herpes Virus

I have never said anywhere that ALL people should be on antivirals. I have always said that everybody is different and that the only thing that’s been clinically proven to do anything for the herpes virus is Valtrex, Famvir, and Acyclovir.

I have never been nor will I ever be a drug rep. I think you are just ticked off that I know what I’m talking about.

If you think rubbing Lemons all over your herpes outbreaks is going to help you, then by all means GO FOR IT!

In the meantime, I think it’s important to be clear here that pregnant women with herpes need to have a way to keep the virus in check so that they can protect their unborn babies and have vaginal deliveries.

There are also people out there that are trying to protect their uninfected partners from contracting herpes. Since daily suppressive therapy with a clinically proven herpes antiviral reduces asymptomatic shedding by about 95% and the frequency and intensity of outbreaks all together, no.. I’m not going to tell people they should be rubbing their private parts with lemons.

Are you THAT ignorant or just plain stupid?

Giving people the facts about herpes and what is clinically proven to actually do something for OR about herpes does NOT mean I work for the pharmaceutical industry OR that I’m not open to holistic approaches.

I’m only speaking the truth and sharing the FACTS as to what I know about this virus, so I can understand why die-hard naturalists are ticked off by that. It sorta puts a damper on their business surrounding natural and alternative therapies. It sorta makes it difficult for you guys to make money now, eh? (As if their industry was not a billion dollar industry in and of itself!)

For those out there that are interested in checking out Alternative Therapies for whatever reason you think you need to be sure and do so through this resource: NCCAM

Always check with your doctor too because not everything is OK to take whether you can grow it in your backyard, mix it up in your kitchen OR obtain a prescription for it through a licensed healthcare professional.

As for Jessica Dickerson — you can just BUZZ OFF for all I care.