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A Story by Fizzonline

I am a PUP member who goes by the name Fizzonline also known as Fizz. I am male, 54 years old and was diagnosed with genital herpes during early December 1996. A dermatologist did a culture test and called me several days afterwards to inform me of the results.

I felt like a leper at first. Herpes is painful and the first outbreak for me was indeed frightening. Until the diagnosis was made I had no idea what was going on with my body. Then as time went on that feeling went away and was replaced by feelings of betrayal and feeling foolish. I can't say that anger and the urge to blame were not there. They were and they were strong at that time.

My wife and I were married during early October 1996 and had known each other since 1994. We engaged in sexual relations from the time shortly after we met up to the point of my diagnosis. I knew that I had engaged in no sex outside of that which occurred between the two of us.

At first I thought she must have had an affair because of the way the situation appeared. I confronted her and found that she had not done so. This situation put both of us under great stress due to the fact that we had only been married for around three months. To make an unpleasant situation worse we had collectively lost three of our four parents over the previous two years.

After thinking it through, we figured that either she or I had to have been carrying the virus around unbeknownst to either of us. I don't know that it is possible for this to happen, but I just don't see any other way that this worked out the way it did. We engaged in sex for nearly two years with no sign of herpes until December 1996. Add to all of this the fact that I suffered from panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, and she was and is morbidly obese with self image problems and you have enough junk to drive any two folks away from each other.

Honestly we would not have made it through without the constant love and support of God, our Heavenly Father. Our faith in God has grown through these trials and no doubt will continue to do so. This is not to say that working our way through this trouble was easy. It was very difficult and though our relationship still bears marks from those times, we are still working at improving the relationship. It is important to emphasize this because it would have been very easy for either of us to have left and gone our own ways.

In November 2002 we became the proud parents of a son, now five years of age, who has completed our life in ways neither of us could have imagined. At the time of the diagnosis I had written off the possibility of us ever having children and I don't think it was at the top of my wife's to do list.

I decided to write this story to show anyone reading it that this disease need not break up your relationship or leave your life in a state of bitterness. It is not easy. You have to rebuild your trust in the person you think gave the illness to you. In our case, the fact that we loved each other really aided our accomplishing this. As previously mentioned, our faith in God Almighty was essential to our relationship's recovery. You have to learn not to blame and to realize that you are responsible for your actions and their resulting consequences. I found it imperative for me to forgive my wife. If I had not done so the bitterness would have consumed me. I also realize now that I could have been carrying this thing around with me for years and the build up of stresses caused it to finally show itself. I had outbreaks of another type of herpes virus commonly known as 'shingles' in the mid 1980's after my sister's sudden death at the age of 42. I was told by my doctor at the time that shingles is frequently brought on by stress and manifests itself from leftover traces of the virus that causes chicken pox that exist in nerve endings. Actually my experiences with shingles were more painful than my experiences with genital herpes. Other than anti-inflammatory medicine there was nothing to be done but wait out the end of the shingles episodes which lasted close to six months combined. They occurred on my chest and back, first on the right side and then on the left side.

I also want to let you newbies know that the feelings you have after first being diagnosed need not be the feelings you have down the road. In my mind, how your experience with genital herpes plays out is largely up to you. Realize that there are so many much worse things out there that could happen to you. In that small way, please try to look at the bright side of the problem. The outbreaks decrease in intensity and frequency as time goes by. You will teach yourself which medicines will work best for you and which dosage will cause the fewest side effects. Folks in the know in this group helped me with that aspect. Their help was invaluable to me. This group truly is full of friends and support. I am living proof of that fact. I would like to thank in particular Angela. She happened to be one who answered my questions and helped to give me confidence in my ability to overcome this crud. I can assure you that you will not be judged and will be treated with respect by the folks in this group. They have my thanks. But God is my center and He gives me the strength to conquer any hardship which comes my way and He causes good to come from bad in my life as well as what I perceive to be the good in my life. I can't emphasize how important my faith in Jesus Christ is to me now and forever.


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