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Would really love your advice on dealing with initial outbreak

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I am a 44 yr old straight woman living in major metropolitan area in the US. I'll try to make this long story short. I returned from a scuba vacation at the end of July to find out I had two distinct ear infections. I then took 1600mg of amoxicillin for 10 days. The antibiotics wreaked havoc on my stomach and I had near-constant diarrhea throughout the 10 days. Cut to a few days later, I went to bed one night, right as rain, but woken up the the next morning by searing pain. I assumed (correctly) that it was a yeast infection but it was pain and discomfort like had never experienced (including multiple knee surgeries). I continued to drink kefir, made a kefir compress, and started with epsom salt baths as well as ice packs when I wasn't in the bath. I also took percocet for the pain. I suffered through the weekend and went to my gyn on Monday. She immediately diagnosed a severe yeast infection, by then it had spread throughout my entire genital area and even to my bikini line. Then she told me that she wanted to test for herpes. I was in shock, as I hadn't had sexual contact for over a month. She prescribed me medication for the yeast infection and started me on Valtrex (1000mg, 2/day) as precautionary measure. She also warned me things would get worse before they got better. She was not kidding.



For the next 2 days, I was in almost-constant tears from the pain. I could not walk. Nor could I tolerate the kefir compress or ACV wash. Yesterday I received a call from the nurse that my culture had come back positive for HSV1, negative for HSV 2. Although I never had the common symptoms of fever, aches, general malaise, I was not surprised because of how the rash had changed from a typical yeast looking infection to something that appeared to be more like herpes.


In advance, let me thank this community for so many tips that got me through the next few days: using a blowdryer after urinating in particular really made a huge difference on my pain level. I also many different takes on tea tree oil but decided to try it. I consider myself lucky that my body reacted positively to the tea tree oil and did soothe me instead of burn.


I still have had trouble sleeping and zero appetite, although I am forcing myself to eat broth. I had a cross-country flight that I had to delay because after a short walk to the pharmacy (2 blocks) yesterday, it took my almost 4 hours to stop crying.


At this point, I am feeling much better. I feel that I owe this to being on day 4 of the valtrex and the tea tree oil. I can know also tolerate ACV/epsom salt baths and find them very soothing.


My questions for this community: Did you stay on suppressive doses of medication after your initial OB? I am terrified because I could not work for a week during the OB and I cannot continue to miss this much work. I know the severe yeast infection exacerbated the OB and subsequent OBs are not as severe, but I am trying not panic about the future. Also, it appears that my initial OB cover my entire genital area. It was not limited to one or a few spots. (Think the worst pictures you can find on Dr. Google.) Does this mean that my future OBs will also include all parts of my genitals?


I'm not even in a space where I can deal with the future. I know I can find support here on how to disclose to future partners. I'm currently single but dating and, prior to this, was at the point where I was looking forward to putting myself out there in a more meaningful way to find a long-term relationship. I feel that I have enough issues (major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, all stemming from child sexual, physical, and emotional abuse) to lay on a partner but this really the icing on the cake. On the bright side, I am looking at this as a wake up call that I need to prioritize my health over my high-pressure career.


Sorry for the length of this. I am feeling pissed off as myself (although I don't know when I was infected or by who), worried that once the physical pain is gone my mental health is going to take a nose dive, and that I will be alone forever and possibly in pain forever.


I would appreciate any advice or words of support. Wishing you all the best.





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Welcome, @Sammi. I'm also 44 (there was such a sharp drop in the birth rate in 1973, so I actually get excited when I "meet" someone my age!) and have had my share of yeast infections. They suck. I'm so sorry you're dealing with that and a herpes outbreak at the same time.


(FWIW, my naturopathic doctor introduced me to boric acid for yeast infections and that has worked really well for me. Likewise, he has sometimes written me a scrip for a prescription probiotic when I've had a bad yeast infection and when I've had to take antibiotics. Thankfully, I haven't had much trouble for a couple of years, but it's amazing what a great probiotic [the VSL3 high potency packets] can do.)


Everyone seems to have varying experiences with primary and recurring outbreaks. Sounds like you went through hell and back with yours, and I sincerely hope with time your body will get used to the virus and won't react as severely. From reading others' experiences on this forum, it sounds like future outbreaks are usually less severe.


Because I acquired HSV 18-25 years before ever getting diagnosed with it, I did not go on antivirals right away. (I had no idea I had it all those years.) I'm taking acyclovir now because I wanted to (a) find an antiviral I tolerate well for when I start dating again, and (b) to see if there was any effect on my very mild outbreaks. In hindsight, think I at least some of my past yeast infections were actually herpes outbreaks. Since starting acyclovir 7 months ago, not only have I not had an outbreak, but I also haven't had a yeast infection and the itching I always attributed to yeast infections has disappeared.


How are you feeling now? Any sleep or good food, I hope?


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