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Abnormal Pap told the truth

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Long read warning...

My name is Sera; I found out I had heroes pretty randomly, during my annual well-woman exam on July 18th. I didn't recognize any of the symptoms, only noticed a very small white pimple on lower left labia between the folds. It wasn't concerned  cuz I'm used to getting ingrowns from shaving. I only noticed it cuz I had sex within an hour of shaving one Saturday July 14th (which I never do) and felt some irritation down there.I asked the Dr about it and she said it looked like like an "angry ingrown" but didn't look like a herpe. I even plucked a couple hairs from it that Friday hoping to remove the blockage and noticed it looked...uclery. It still felt a little irritated and didn't do much else.
Well low and behold i get my pap results back on July 21st which reads:
Pap Diagnosis:Epithelial Cell Abnormality:  Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS)  
Pap Organism:Cellular changes consistent withherpes simplex virus.
My stomach dropped. My hands got clammy as I just stood there in disbelief...I had herpes?!? I was talking my niece to the movies and water park that day with her troop _ had to lock up so reaction for the day.. Of course a couldn't stop thinking (or reading) my lab results all day especially when I just had just got home that morning from a friend's home. I've never been so glad to not have sex with someone. 
Sunday was a whirlwindof emotions. From sadness to fear to anger, shame, depression, acceptance...the normal swirl. Part of me felt like it was my comeuppance. Maybe why i accepted it so easily. I've had a lot of sex with many partners over the years; sometimes in very high risk activity. I kinda figured it was my penance for playing Russian Roulette for so many years. The sucky part however is if it was a recent infection, it was from a semi-trusted partner. But, it takes two to tango and he was asymptomatic. 
So anyway, from what I've learned, I'm pretty sure it's HSV-2, not that I think it matters which strain it is one you got. It was crazy though that once I read the report it seemed like full on outbreak happened. I jumped from one ulcer to to three, swollen labia, discomfort and mild pain. Fortunately, I was able to get an order or Valtrex on Monday before my doc when on vacation and seemed to respond pretty well. The worst party of my episode only lasted until Thursday 4 days;  I'm not sure to count how long it really lasted (I'm figuring from the 14th and first feel of irritation). 
I think my low stress levels and pretty strong  (but not strong enough, lol) immune system helped with the meds. Plus working out the week before it got too difficult. I'm finishing the last few days of meds & will see my doctor next week to talk suppression therapy and next steps.
I've only told one person, and he was extremely helpful in making this a little easier. He didn't stress it or make it a big deal. It helped that someone close to him has HSV-1 (but didn't know it was the same as I had just different location). The crazy part is he was so unphased he still wants to hook up - I'm not ready for that right now. However, it is a great reminder and level set that this is only a pay of me, not the whole me. It doesn't take away from the amazing career I've built nor that I'm starting graduate school this fall. 
There are so so many amazing things about me, that this ONE thing is not my everything. I think that's the biggest thing to remember - regardless of how we got the gift or where we are in our lives. This is NOT our everything.  I know my friends will still love me a my family still be there for me if I need them to be. I don't share much if my news anyway so unless it comes up I wouldn't broadcast. Hell, I had my tubes tied for a decade before anyone know lol.
There's only one other person in my life I want to know and still accept me - I'm getting to be pretty okay with it especially getting through my first episode fairly well. We've got this long distance friendship & have a deeper connection than anything I've ever had before with someone I dated locally. I can honestly say it would tear my hear from my chest is he rejected me - ever -but especially for this. Sure I'd eventually recover, as anyone would from a broken heart. Obviously before we see each other again, hopefully for his birthday in October I will tell him... I'm just not ready to walk that road just yet.
Anyway, thanks for the forum to share my story. I hope you got a couple laughs and continue to find strength to continue accepting yourself.

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Beautifully written Sera!  Though I'm sorry you have had to face this, it sounds like you are coping admirably, and can see the big picture that this is just a skin condition and not some life-ending diagnosis.  I wish you well with grad school and everything your future promises!  As for your one other person-  good luck with the disclosure, but it sounds like you've got this well handled.  Stay you and stay strong!  Cheers!

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@KRS17 thank you for the kind words. Honestly, sometimes I have to check myself and make sure I'm not just in denial, lol. I have a lot of questions about everything and still learning. I want to re-engage in healthy sexual relationships and at the same time, don't want to put anyone else at risk. It's an interesting conundrum. I even considered starting (or finding) local groups to bring others together for support. I dunno. Everyday I think about gift yet I'm not as paralyzed as that first day. Maybe that's part of the key... To not be paralyzed. One day at a time 

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@SeraLyn  You are very welcome.  You will absolutely engage in healthy sexual relationships again;  this just makes you more aware of how to be healthy yourself, and how to be very open and honest with potential new partners.  I'm sure you've read all the stats-  although the risk is always there, so many people are already carriers, and there are multiple ways to protect the people you chose to let in your life.  If you ever want to talk more, please feel free to message me.  I'm no expert, but I'm a good listener 🙂  And I may be able to answer some of those questions you may have.


  And by all means, if you have the time/ability- start that local group or join.  The stigma and unawareness about H is what causes so many to have such a hard time.  And anything done in the services of others fills the heart.



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