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My humbling herpes experience

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Okay so my name is James Smith. i am 20 years old. i wrestled for 13 years, and in doing so i met a good person, and great girl (she was at that point in time at least) ... Needless to say, we went on our separate ways and lived our own lives.


after i dated her i met my ex of 3 years, and she lived quite a distance away from where i live so i was never at home so i had no way of keeping in touch of what went on in everyone's life. well eventually me and my ex broke up and i ran into her again, she was NOT the same at all, she fell hard to drugs, and in doing so lost her kid. and i guess for you to try and understand you have to know that my dad died when i was 3, and i have never had a father figure. i know it was not my business to try and help her get her kid back, but she was a great person once, and everyone had turned their back's on her. but i couldnt, i don't know why, im by far no great guy, i just wanted to at least try for her sake because i knew what her kid would feel since i have had to live that life.


Anyways, there i was trying to juggle her addiction, paying bills, living on my own for the first time, and still trying to help her get her child back. i ran myself into the ground, hard. but one morning i woke up and noticed a bump after we engaged in intercourse the night before, and i was a little confused to say the least. i had asked her several times if she had anything and she always answered "no" and i dont know why but i believed her.


well, one night my cousin came up to me and told me the story. she had cheated on me, caught HSV 2, and decided not to tell me, and sleep with me on purpose knowing she had an outbreak. i immediately went to the doctor (not even going in to ask her or tell her where i was going) and i told them to test me for everything under the sun.


sure enough a couple days later the test results came back and i had HSV 2. but by then i had already known it. i endured about 30 genital lesions, so i went to my family doctor, the free clinic, the emergency care center, all of them told me i had it, and each gave me medicine for it, i got acyclovir, creams, you name it. but all in all my first outbreak lasted for NINE MONTHS and i was in more pain that i thought was possible.


i have not had an outbreak since, but the first one was bad enough, and i have yet to be able to tell someone i have HSV 2, without them vanishing from my life. i have lost so much to this disease. i am extremely family oriented and its so hard that i cant even get a girl to give me a chance because i tell them i have HSV 2 every single time.


you see, im in that persons shoes that doesnt get told.. and i could NEVER EVER do that to someone.. id rather die. i will never hide i have this , but i dont understad how i can get someone to give me a chance; yes i have it and always will, but i am more than just a vessel with herpes, i am still a good person. But the longer i go down the road the more i feel like giving up.


If ANYONE has any suggestions for me or words of wisdom please, please share them.

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Hey man in progress, I hear you bro! I got herpes when my girlfriend cheated on me and handed it off. Nice little gift. And now by the sounds of it you have strong integrity, which I totally admire. I went through a phase where my integrity wasn't that strong. I didn't have the courage to tell women I was sleeping with ... I was as safe as possible with them, but I couldn't tell them. The fact that you're telling them is awesome. The fact that they're running away signals one of two possible things (or both):


1. The women you're choosing don't know you well enough yet to take a chance or don't know enough about herpes to make an informed decision or have a lot of stigma around herpes. Maybe you're just having a bad luck spell in telling the kind of women that simply aren't right for you! (Herpes can be a damn good filter sometimes, believe it or not. The woman who is right for you is going to accept you having herpes. Period.)




2. The way you are disclosing that you have herpes is scaring them off. It's interesting how we can transmit our own stigma and false beliefs about this virus when we're disclosing. It's not so much what you're saying during the herpes talk that matters, it's how you say it; it's the feeling behind the words. That says everything about how you feel about yourself. A lot is said on that level of communication.Getting right with ourselves first is necessary to have a positive herpes disclosure. If you haven't already, download the free e-book on positive herpes disclosure. It gives a great overview of this idea: http://eepurl.com/b4IPP


Keep your head up, man in progress. I love your screen name. You certainly are a man in progress. We're all progressing. And it's our decision in which direction we progress in. Sounds like you're on a good path, bro. Thanks for reaching out!

Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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thank you, the_H_Opp, and granted i didn't exactly always go for the "cream of the crop" lol... but it just feels like it makes me have to scrape the bottom of the barrel now. the truth is i myself dont know enough about the virus. believe it or not i actually had doctors lie to me, (no shocker she was fired by her company) i was allergic to acyclovir, and my doctor paid some much attention to me she didnt notice and just put me on a larger, stronger dose.. so my herpes experience has kinda been a non stop downer as of today. and i have spent countless hours on the internet looking for the right statistics, the right information, but looking for the CORRECT information is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.. my family itself is not doing to well, my grandma bless her heart will not be with us much longer, plus my family isn't exactly got spare change lying around the house, so i cannot make it to the seminar in october lol but hopefully one day i can because it sounds awesome. i have tons of questions about it, 1) What is a strong and good medicine to take while i dont have the outbreaks themselves? 2) Is the virus causing my lower back to hurt all the time? 3) have you ever heard of a first outbreak lasting as long as mine? 4) Can this disease kill me?


but sincerely, thank you so much, the_H_Opp, that link helped out a lot, and i hope to hear back from you!

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1) Alternatives to Acyclovir: Many people take Lysine to lessen and prevent outbreaks. At least it's more natural than something that ends in "cyclovir" ... ;) But are you allergic to other medications, such as Valtrex or famciclovir?


2) Lower back pain: That would make sense since the virus "camps out" in the base of the spine (the sacral ganglia). I've heard of people having lower back pain and pain in the thighs before and during outbreaks; whatever nerve pathway the virus takes from the base of the spine to the surface of the skin can have pain/tingling associated with it.


3) I haven't heard of a nonstop 9-month outbreak before, no. But the good news is I have heard of plenty of people suffering with a lot of outbreaks initially and once their body's immune system strengthens up and gets used to the virus, the outbreaks calm down and lessen in quantity and severity. Just take care of yourself physically, psychologically and emotionally. Do you stress yourself out consistently? Do you smoke like a smokestack? Do you eat McDonalds for every meal? Good excuse to take care of yourself across the board. Think of your outbreaks as a physical signal to take better care of yourself. It's your health barometer. ;)


4) Hell no you can't die from this! What ever made you think that? Whoa, back away from the ledge. ;) Ultimately, herpes is a glorified skin condition. Period. That's it. Who knows why our society has made such a big deal out of it. In the grand scheme of things, it's so minor when it comes to your physical health. (That's why doctors will rarely give a prescription for it or forward you for counseling, because as far as they are concerned, it's simply not a serious health risk. At all.) It's become more of a psychological risk (our mental wellness) due to our beloved societal stigma against it. But as long as we know that herpes doesn't define us and we don't make that stigma about us as human beings, we're fine. A good opportunity to recognize the labels we allow ourselves to be defined by and let them go. ;)

Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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1) the only medication i've bee allergic to ever was acyclovir. it caused me to break out in hives all over. And it's funny when i was noticing i was allergic to acyclovir, i went to my doctor and asked if i could go on Valtrex( i would look on the internet for medicines that work the best) and she not only said no, she didnt even look to see that the problem had gotten worse. she just gave me a bigger stronger dose.


2) from where i wrestled for 13 years my back was already in need of some help, but my lower back consistantly hurts, not on a severe level, but strong enough for me to notice it about every single day.


3) and man my whole life is spelled STRESSED. i just recently got over an addiction problem; i went to rehab and got my body and life back on track, but in the past 8 months, i've been homeless, lost almost all my friends and family members, lost my job because it was too rough on me. (i love being a hands on person, but now im very limited to what i can do and i hate it), my granny is on her deathbed, my grandma on my father's side isn't going to survive too much longer, and he already lost his dad on my 18th bday, my grandpa on my mother's side's blood sugar on average is 560, and my other grandma is an addict and i have no idea what goes on in her head, my only brother resents every part of me, my uncle is going through a bad divorce, and so on and so on. i could keep going to the point you wouldnt want to read anymore but yeah haha i have stress like no end.... I do not smoke a lot, maybe 4 ciggaretts a day if that? and im trying to quit. and lol, i admit my diet isn't all salads and carbs, but i by no means try to surround myself with junk food.


4) man i had no idea, lol i was in some serious pain and i didn't know what was gonna happen because some days i was so weak i struggled to get out of bed. but i like the whole concept of thinking of it as a health barometer.. pretty cool actually. It's easy for me to say i can open up about having the virus, plain and simply because i live it a very small town, Franklin County, virginia... and let's just say the girl who gave me the virus decided to openly discuss how i had it to everyone she could. So i have grown used to society not accepting it, I have no idea why people are so scared to admit it, when i did for the first time, it was like lifting a huge weight off my shoulders. and What are the statistics of men giving it to women, and women giving it to men?? I have read so many different one's i dont know which to believe, if any.

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Hi man in progress!

I just wanted to send a reply because I feel for you. It seems bad luck comes in "threes" but I have known all too often that it comes in multiples of that. I'm sorry you're in a rough spot but you should focus on not being hard on yourself, it only increases the stress.


As a pharmacy technician I have learned that it isn't always the active ingredient in medications that people are allergic to. You could be allergic to the fillers or dyes that the drug manufacturer uses. I would suggest finding a new doctor, because she is obviously not giving you the attention that you need. You have options. Its doctors like this that piss me off, they treat patients like cattle. All they want is your copay, move 'em in and move 'em out! It is sadly somewhat of a result of our healthcare system. OR, like the_opp says, go natural and buy l-lysine. I bought 4 bottles online for $6.50 a bottle. I haven't had a out break yet since I've been taking it, but I do keep a 10 day supply of Acyclovir just in case things get out of hand. I've heard 1,000 mg of l-lysine a day will help, and you can bump that up to 3,000-4,000 mg a day if you feel an out break coming on.


Do you have a planned parenthood or community sexual health center near by? These places are not only for women and they usually keep these prescriptions on hand or they can write you one to fill at your local pharmacy. They are also more apt to listen to you because the specify in sexual health. You may want to try a place like that and voice your concerns with your allergic reaction.


I smoke too. Not much, but I'm really focusing on quitting. Smoking has a huge effect on your immune system. Nicotine is even absorbed through the same receptors as vitamin-c! Just know that I'm right there with you and I understand that its even harder to quit when you have bad news barreling at you and causing stress.


One thing I have learned is that, although you care about them, your family's problems are not directly your problems. This may be my own opinion and a little preachy, but here it goes. The most important person to take care of is you, because if you're unhealthy, who the heck is going to take care of them? I'm 24, and I'm coming to realize that my family's decisions have put them on the path they are on today. If I travel down a similar path, I'm going to be in the same position they are when I'm their age! Although parents, grandparents and siblings are there for love and support, they are also there to lead by example. My mom smokes and chose to party through the 70's rather than obtain an education. I love her to death and she is the most important person in my life, my best friend and confidant, but I refuse to go out like that. So I'm getting my bachelors, focusing on eating healthy, quitting smoking (which I most likely picked up due to being a daughter of smokers) and most importantly I'm learning from her mistakes.


Hate, negativity and ugliness are powerful things. Just remember that you are powerless over other peoples thoughts, emotions and actions. The only thing you can change is how they affect you and how you react! Stay positive and keep your head up. This will not only improve your life but it will help keep the H virus at bay.

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I hadn't heard that yet, CG. I appreciate you posting this if it is the case. And just for the record, I took Lysine for a short period years ago and couldn't tell a difference in the amount of outbreaks or severity. But that was just me. I have heard plenty of people who swear by it, though. I am curious about this study you're referring to. Can you post a link to it just so we can have some legitimacy to the claim? There's so much hearsay when it comes to herpes, I like to back claims like that up. Thanks for piping up, CG!

Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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Yes, but can you find an article that states l-lysine causes: Changes in vision; dizziness; drowsiness; nausea; sensitivity to sunlight, severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); aggressive behavior; agitation; blood in the urine; confusion; dark urine; decreased consciousness; decreased urination; fatigue; fever; hallucinations; lower back pain; pain or redness at the injection site; painful urination; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; stomach pain; tremors; unusual bleeding or bruising; urination problems; vomiting; yellowing of the eyes or skin.


Those are side effects of acyclovir. I'd rather take lysine just in case and save myself the liver damage until i really need the medication. Plus, when have you ever seen the FDA approve a natural dietary supplement as effective? Yet we all take a one-a-day.

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Hey I wasn't saying It's bad to take Lysine, just that there are only a couple of short studies done in the late 70's/early 80's that found it effective. All the studies done recently were inconclusive, as far as I can tell. It might be the holy grail for some people, just that science has not been able to prove it yet. But IDK if anyone is really trying.


Most of those sides are probably listed as side effects for Aspirin too. Seriously, can you find a drug that actually has any benefit that dos NOT have a scary list of side effects? Like the TV commercials where they read the side effects at 200 words a minute at the end LOL! Acyclovir has been used to treat HSV for 20 years now and no serious permanent side effects have been documented. Valtrex for 15 years now, same thing. Sure, some people don't tolerate certain drugs, so it's understandable that they would not be right for THEM. For anyone to read the list of possible side-effects of a drug and say "Oh my God I will never take that" is silly. Millions of people use them for suppressive therapy.


I'm not any kind of expert. I just wanted to make the point about the Lysine theory. I just ordered four bottles myself last week, but looking at all the data on it now, there's no reason for anyone to get too excited or panic that they need to get Lysine ASAP. My two cents :)

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  • 4 years later...

Nuts are high in arginine. Not a coincidence. So is coffee, chocolate, sesame seeds and popcorn. Take extra lysine if you are going to take these foods. I get away with a small amount of chocolate and coffee in my diet but not much. You can also cut arginine with the lysine from milk. I usually have milk as the counter to coffee in the cup. I also have cut sugar to nominal amounts because sugar feeds herpes.

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