@HappyHooHah thank you for the resources. You are obviously such a great person to go to the time of writing that. I’ve seen a counsellor in the past but am a psychologist myself so know quite a bit about what to do to manage anxiety but I really think my anxiety will go away once there is a cure, as depressing and stubborn as that sounds. I’m feeling a bit better overall but still pretty up and down.
@Nurse_Nettie my outbreak has been going for close to three weeks now, should I go back to my doctor and see if there’s another medication or something else I can try? Or should I just keep giving it time? I’ve taken 2 Valtrex a day and used about three tubes of Zovirax but nothing’s changed. I went last Friday – a week ago and she said that I have to relax and try to manage my anxiety and I feel like I have a little bit but still, nothing seems to be improving :'( Thank you in advance
@12345 As miserable as it sounds, it’s not unheard of for symptoms to last a few weeks. It’s more common for this to happen when a person is having their first outbreak, but it sounds like you might just be having a particularly bad run of it. Are you in pain or is it more the distress of knowing it’s not fully resolved yet? If it’s pain, you may want to go back to the doctor to request alternative painkillers. For example, topical lignocaine. If you’re unable to pass urine or you’re holding it to avoid discomfort, that can itself lead to problems & is a reason to return to the doctor for review.
The Valtrex is unlikely to be helping much this time since I believe you started it well after symptoms first appeared (it’s most effective in the first 24-48 hours after you notice symptoms). Hopefully that means if you take the antivirals sooner next time you’ll have much less severe/long-lasting symptoms.
Thanks @Nurse_Nettie sorry if it’s TMI but it’s just itchy not actually painful, and I’m just distressed because my doctor said that it’s not normal for HSV1 to have lasted close to 2 weeks (and now it’s 3.) But good to know that it’s not unheard of. I actually did start taking Valtrex as soon as I felt like an outbreak was coming on, but was not taking Valtrex before the symptoms started. I guess it’s just a waiting game 🙁
@12345 If it’s still itchy & not improving, it may be more an issue of stress & hyper-attention on that area due to anxiety, than HSV1. There’s something called the itch-scratch cycle as well. This means that scratching itself can cause the sensation of itchiness. As others have suggested, self-care plus psychological support are so important for getting through this sort of thing.
Thanks @Nurse_Nettie it has improved over the weekend and seems to be clear now, so I’m hoping if I just remain positive this will be the end of the outbreak. I wasn’t scratching but was definitely thinking about it constantly. I need to improve on self care and not beat myself up about it and think that it was a punishment for having a one night stand 🙁 I know a lot of CBT techniques and everything but it’s very hard when my family believes sex should be reserved for long term relationships and marriages and that’s been entrenched in me from a young age. Thanks to everyone again for listening to me.
hey @12345 I really do hope your symptoms keep clearing and that you feel better soon :heart: Definitely keeping on top of self-care is an a great step, and super important!! Totally an overlooked aspect when it comes to HSV-1. I’ve returned to uni this week and yep, first day back and I had an outbreak, there wasn’t even anything there the night before AND I put zovirax on overnight just in case!! Typical. I’ve learnt to just accept the fact that these little scab demons are in my life now, instead of hiding in my room for weeks on end I just slap a cold sore patch on and get on with things. Sucks when it lasts weeks though, which happens to me a lot (I think my longest was 2 months?) so I can understand how you might be feeling right now. BUT remember these little scabby demons aren’t YOU! You’ve got this, just keep up with your self-care and your preventative methods and things will work themselves out! 🙂
@tea yes my herpes (type 2) breaks out on my butt so I have to make sure that I don’t expose my butt cheeks to UV! I’ve had the biggest break outs over summer before. Thanks for sharing!
@stephaniaaaah Wow, I didn’t know you could get them on your butt! I’ve just had my first skin breakout, right in the cupid’s bow!! It’s so frustrating but I’ve become really confident in having them now? Yeah there’s this weird scab on my face but it’ll go away and a sore doesn’t change who I am as a person!
@tea I know! You can actually have type 2 anywhere from your thighs to lower stomach so I actually wish genital herpes was called herpes that you can get from your belly to your legs – might help with the stigma.
So happy to hear that you are confident with your scab on your face! Love it! Honestly I couldn’t give a care for having type 2 on my butt cheeks – on social media I post a picture of my butt from time to time (herpes outbreak and all) and they are my most consistently liked posts because people are just so thankful that the stigma is getting smashed – I’ll often get a DM saying thank you from people who might not be ‘out’ about their diagnosis or have had a couple of people say that it prompted them to be open about their herpes.
We tackle that stigma one herpes scab in everyone’s face at a time!! You are SO right – it doesn’t changes us at all and it’s easy to love yourself with herpes once you realise the stigma is stupid!
@stephaniaaaah So true about the terminology! Hopefully, it gets updated so there’s less stigma. I love that you share your outbreaks online! When I was feeling a bit down about mine, I went on Instagram to see if people post any there – and they do!! It was a huge confidence booster to know I’m not alone (I mean I know I’m not because pretty much everyone carries HSV) but it was just so good to actually see it represented on social media.
@tea 100% it’s such a good boost to see other people getting out there on SM with their herpes outbreaks. So many stigma fighting warriors! I am sure its been mentioned in this thread before but the @ MyBoyfriendHasHerpes is one of my favourite pages which gives great practical advice about how a couple manage Felix’s outbreaks. It’s really heartwarming and sends a positive message that YES you still deserve great sex with herpes and YES you are totally lovable with herpes.
And of course, you are in the minority if you don’t have herpes, just wish that fact was more out there!