First of all, so glad to find this wonderful support forum. I feel good about posting my queries here!
I contracted herpes in November from my boyfriend, who had a cold sore and gave me oral sex. I believe my doctor said I have Type 1. My outbreak was the hardest thing I have experienced in my life. Within 24 hours, I went from zero syptoms, to itchy red bumps all over the outside of my vagina, to painful blisters and sores on the outside AND inside of my vagina. I am sure I spread them horribly by itching, simply thinking I had an itch! On top of all the other side effects, I was in so much pain that I was unable to walk OR go to the bathroom. I am a young teacher, and had to have a supply teacher work for me for half a week, because I could only urinate while sitting in a warm bath. I didn't want to eat or consume liquids, because going to the bathroom without the aid of a bath became impossible. It was the worst time of my life, to be immobile for a week under "strange circumstances" to all who knew me, but my boyfriend and best friend. I have never experienced such pain.
Obviously, I have feared my second outbreak with every bone in my body, knowing the complete shut-down of my professional and personal life and the unbearable pain and coping techniques that accompanied my outbreak.
Obviously now it is March, and yesterday, I had my second outbreak. I was devastated. I didn't notice any tingling or warning signs, just as I didn't before. Immediately, I prepared for the worst and begin brainstorming the "lies" that could help me cope again privately and opt out of life like I was forced to last time in order to survive. I prayed that my internet research was true - that after a primary outbreak, symptoms, pain and duration decrease.
Surprisingly, I feel I am still waiting for the worst - and don't know what this means. Last time I had horrible blisters - they looked like "cauliflower heads" and I couldn't even have clothing touch them, much less anything else touch them, or even walk. I have flesh-coloured raised, hard bumps - almost like little bug-bites, and they are surrounding the vaginal lips. I know I have a few on the inside, but I have worked so hard not to spread them. Peeing hurts a wee bit, but nothing like before.
I refilled my Valtrex prescription (I get 6 pills per outbreak) and began taking that half a day after I knew I had the bumps/slight peeing pain. I also purchased Lipactin for cold sores, and applied it to the external bumps.
Are these going to blister like last time? They haven't yet... although there seems to be a bit more and they seem a bit bigger than yesterday. They are itchy. Am I stalling the process by applying Lipactin... like, do they NEED to go full course without a topical agent, and am I just delaying that process by applying Lipactin?
I didn't call for a supply teacher, because if the third day (tomorrow) is like today, I can handle the side-effects and urinating, unlike last time. Also, it's Easter weekend... that buys me some recovery time. However, if it is going to get bad again in any way - I am fearful of my family obligations, and I can't run a bath every time I need to pee, or wear huge pajama pants to events!
Basically, I don't know what to expect in the future, and my life was in shambles after what happened to me the first time around. What advice do you have? I would truly welcome any, to help me know both what to expect, and how outbreaks that aren't primary, run their course.
So many people here say that after multiple outbreaks, you figure out how to manage. This is the kind of thing I came here for, to find some sanity and hope about the situation!
I don't know how much help I can be. I am new to this site too as of yesterday. I have herpes type 1 on my face. I have had it for 5-6 yrs and it never really gets easier...sometime my outbreaks are short and heal pretty quickly and other times it could take 15-20 days to be healed completely. In the last month I have had 4 outbreaks going from my bottom lip to the middle of my chin. I recently went into a deep depression because as soon as I got one of them to heal within 2 days I got a new one. I am sure that it is different for you and the pain sounds like it is a lot worse than mine. I judge myself harshly and have missed a couple days now on my new job. I have tried just about everything and for the most part, all it did was make it worse and take longer to heal. This last sore I have left alone. I broke out with it Monday afternoon and stayed home yesterday and what seems to work the best so far is to keep the area try by using a blow dryer on it. I have only put Abreva on it and I rested all day yesterday. I also take a cold medicine because I don't have insurance right now so I can't afford Valtrex. Pretty much try to reduce your stress level, gets lots of rest, meditate ( I can suggest a good cd), eat healthy and workout. That seems to be the best advice that has worked for me. I hope this helps and take care of yourself!! THIS IS A GREAT SITE!!!!
You poor thing! I have a suggestion that might help when you have to pee. I sort of discovered it on accident one day. The problem seems to be that urine irritates the sores and makes it even more painful than it needs to be. So, next time you go to the bathroom, spread your legs as far apart as you can and then lean forward as though you were trying to touch your chin to your knees. It spreads you apart a bit and with practice, you shouldn't pee on yourself as much. And therefore, less pain. You can do a couple different things: grab a few paper towels, wet them down with water and blot yourself clean; bring a small water bottle and clean off or (backpacker told me about this one) bring a small baby washcloth and clean off with that. I should also note that I've discovered (well, not really discover, but it was pointed out to me and I found out how right everyone was) that it's important to stay dry down there, so if you do use water or wet towels, make sure that you do dry off afterward. Using tea tree oil was also recommended - but be careful, it stings before it soothes. (ouch, ouch, ouch!)
If you have to go out to a dressy social function, wear a dress. You can shop online for pantyhose that do not have the crotch cut out (one guess where you can find those!) and just pull them over your loose, cotton granny panties. If you need a pair of jeans that won't cut you in the crotch, go to the men's section. I shop a certain retail store for my clothing; especially my pants. They have these wonderful, classy, thick, stretchy cotton pants. As long as you don't leave them in the dryer for the full amount of time, they'll stay nice and slightly baggy in the crotch. I work in "corporate america" and they're acceptable to those standards.
Last edited by moderator2; 03-25-2005 at 05:38 AM.
Reason: please read and follow the posting rules
I've taken note of your suggestions and appreciate them so much.
Thankfully, this outbreak was not nearly so severe as my first one. I didn't have to take time off work, and though one day urinating was difficult, I could grimace and withstand the pain. Today there is no pain at all.
I have a painful gum in my mouth, and that is my main problem. I noticed it on the same day as my outbreak, and when I heard you could have herpes in your mouth, I automatically correlated the two. I am taking extra strength advil frequently for the pain, but the soreness and "bulge" is also above where my wisdom tooth has grown in underneath, years ago.
I may go to emergency dentistry tomorrow, if it's just not an irritation. I can't eat solids or open my mouth very far. I still live at home and fear telling my Mom it could be herpes-related. I'm starting to think it's not. If I can get through this, I will feel so grateful!