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Duration of first herpes outbreak?

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Hi all


I developed the signs of HSV-2 at the start of November, had it diagnosed around 3 weeks ago, I took two 5 day courses of Aciclovar, and was thinking that the initial outbreak was over, although energy levels were far from normal. I'd got over the flu-like infections, the pustules on my penis had pretty much cleared up, and apart from the energy levels and a strange sensation on my left mid-section by my ribs that felt like sun-burn, i.e. sensitive to the touch, but no outwards signs like a rash or whatever (and has anyone else had this ?!?) thought I was coming out of the woods.


But no. A couple of days of stress and a night without much sleep (stress due to normal life, nothing to do with the disease, which hasn't had a massive effect on me psychologically) and the symptoms are coming back - pain in my chest area, no fevers yet (thankfully) and the "sun burn" area is now tender to the touch again. So, I've now got 10 days worth of Aciclovar (1000mg / day) and I'm intending to take five days worth, give it a break, and then see when I need them again (unless people think I should take the whole course).


So, the question is - is 6 weeks the normal period for a first outbreak, or have I had one outbreak and then got hit by another one straight away ? I'm not sure to be honest which possibility would be the worse - the fact that an initial outbreak has been more than double the "standard" length of time I believed it would last, or that a very brief period of upset in my life (which frankly is always going to unavoidable) has lead to a second outbreak before the first one has really ended.


I know that with this, I need to be healthy, get lots of sleep etc etc and to be honest, I am not drinking / partying, am eating well, but I don't like the concept that I might have to face an outbreak at any time where I'm not able to be in bed before midnight or when life throws me a curveball !


Before this happened to me, I would say I was in rude good health. I was a bone marrow donor 8 years ago, and my white blood cell count was so high (50,000+) as to be off the scale - so my immune system seemed to be fairly good and it would be rare that an illness would force me to bed. I could sleep irregular hours, party every so often, with no ill-effects - certainly for someone in their mid-40s, I felt quite good overall about my health and my body's ability to take occasional punishment. Now...I'm not so sure. Yes, a lot of people can have it a lot worse, I know, but 6 weeks of this is pissing me off.


Thoughts ? The prospect of taking Aciclovar for the rest of my life, or having to undergo a strict dietary regime and a guaranteed 8 hours sleep every night fills me with mild despair.


Thanks for reading.

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sorry to hear about your outbreak. i'm not a doctor or anything of the sort, but i have done a fair amount of reading on the ol' subject. unfortunately, there is no "normal". herpes effects everyone uniquely. some people will never get symptoms, while others will have numerous outbreaks. there are all kinds of stats on the internet about recurrences, but your body will handle it in its own way.


the good news is that it will only get better from here. your body is adjusting to this new infection and will become more efficient at handling it. from what i've read, things get considerably better after the first year.


take care of yourself both physically and mentally.


also, you might want to look into suppressive therapy if the outbreaks are causing you mental anguish. this is a touchy subject and everyone will have their own take on it. i sort of side with terri warren, the writer of a great book on herpes. she basically says that the first year can be rough mentally, so she recommends all her patients take suppressive therapy. like i said, it's totally a personal choice and there is no "correct" answer, just wanted to throw it out there.


hang in there. things will get better. treat yourself right.

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Hi C...I had the same, constant outbreaks when I had my first episode and i hate to say it..for about 6 months. I ended up just accepting it would be like it for the first year and worked on dealing with it physically and emotionally. I did pretty well and after the 6 months I stopped having the back to back. I didn't take medication but that was my choice.


Anyway..today I got a prescription for the same drug you are taking...having another episode, that I now know is hormonally triggered (second in six months). I have not worried about medication as I wasn't in a relationship and I would rather not use medication for anything unless I have tried everything else...but an old lover/friend has come home from overseas and there is the possibility of us getting intimate again (we were lovers before H and he accepts me totally since I got it). I want to reduce the risk to him as much as I can.


I was in rude good health too (love the expression - rude is such a good word!) and still am...sucks for me that depsite that my bloody hormones like to wake up H. And I am a pretty strong woman who laughs alot and feels very centred and thankful for all I have...but today getting the medication at the doctors I was a sook. H has a way of making you stronger and weaker all at the same time! And can make you pissed off too...I get you C.


All I can say is that over time you learn to deal with it and it makes you develop a deeper connection with yourself and others. My body is in more control of H now so I feel better...this hiccup will pass and I know what has triggered it rather than guessing. Your body will do the same. Stay being healthy but have fun too! x

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Hi justadude,


I've had H now for 8 months. I also feel like I am having constant outbreaks, plus I am in a relationship so I decided the best choice for me is suppressive therapy. I have to say, it does provide a bit more piece of mind and helps me personally, but I know it's not the answer for everyone. I've had to make more changes than just dietary. I had to change what kind of underwear I wear, I practically jump up after sex to clean up so I can avoid an outbreak. It's not ideal, but I am also using this to make better, healthier choices. It's now more important to me to focus on what I eat and making sure my body gets enough exercise, drinking more water, etc. I don't think everyone needs 8 hours of sleep, just be sure you get what you need. It's hard to know what to do because every person is different and reacts differently to this but experiment to find out what works for you. I'm sure many of us can understand your frustration and willingness to try anything if it works. (Believe me, I tried some pretty painful things!) I'm trying to be hopeful that it won't be so bad a few months down the road, but it is a bit of a waiting game. In the meantime, good luck and know so many of us are here to help you figure this thing out!

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