This will be my journal as I struggle through herpes. I plan on getting tested eventually to find out what kind of HSV it is, but the symptoms are unfortunately pretty undeniable.
It’s affecting me orally, genitally, and I have herpetic whitlow, which is on the hands. I contracted it October 2015, 8 months ago almost to the day.
Genital-wise… I wish it was only there. That has been the kindest area from the HSV. I have had a few minor outbreaks there with essentially just roughed up skin, not even really a blister.
The problem is the oral and hands.
I don’t get normal cold sores… no, I just get little bumps on the back of my lower lip. I wouldn’t even notice them if I didn’t get a tingling in that area every time they show up, which is basically all the time. Other than that, the only way to visually know would be how dark the corners of my mouth get, almost like a bruising. Nothing crazy, but noticeable if you know what to look for.
The whitlow shows up about once a month. It’s basically like little sacs of puss(HSV juice) that pop up around your fingertips, knuckles, or really anywhere on your hands; not really bigger than a small pimple. It’s the worst one though, because it hurts, can itch severely, and worst of all, it’s probably the easiest to potentially spread to the eyes etc… plus it’s the only one that actually has been scarring my body visibly.
The symptoms presented themselves pretty soon after the exposure, although the first symptoms were whitlow, and I had no idea at the time… the girl I got it from didn’t have any symptoms that she realized. Reflecting back, the most telltale sign she had was the inner corners of her lips were darkened, like mine can get when I’m having symptoms.
I got the first whitlow bump on my hand. Just a single bump. I thought it might be a bug bite. I didn’t think anything of it, although I did pop it… thankfully I washed my hands right afterwards. Unfortunately, although the first part cleared up relatively quickly, the whitlow showed up again 2 weeks later when the genital “lesion” showed up as well, and there were more of them, a lot more painful. Around this time, I also was feeling “arthritis” type pain in my wrists and knees… a type of pain I was not really prone to before this infection. The genital lesion went away pretty quickly, although there always appear to be two minorly inflamed glands of some sort on the underside of the head of the penis.
Two weeks after that, got the whitlow again, although not as bad… around this time I also started getting more of the oral herpes. Again, it’s pretty hard to tell, but I have noticed my breath isn’t as fresh anymore during the oral outbreaks, probably from the tissue in my mouth partially dying. Her breath had been kind of stinky too, figured she was just dehydrated.
So that was a month after exposure. Since then, the frequency has been as described for the most part.
Right now I am just experiencing slight oral, and of course, the whitlow. The whitlow isn’t always full blown, sometimes it’s just one little lesion on one knuckle that ends up not even sticking around for more than a few days, and doesn’t even leave any damage… of course, that’s not always the case, I have a few scars on my fingertips and knuckles already, although the first ones have faded. I’d still say my hands have aged 5 years in 8 months.
The whitlow is mainly on my left hand, always… it’s the hand I had held her hand most with the few days we spent together. Right now it’s almost like two mosquito bites on the top of my hand and one at the base of the thumb, there’s also probably 8 minor ones that may or may not develop into larger whitlows.
I’m probably mainly dealing with this so much today because I had gotten a little drunk two days ago. I’ve noticed anytime I get drunk, the symptoms will get worse. I try to just have a drink or two every once in a while and that doesn’t seem to exacerbate things too much, but I fear I may have to go completely teetotaler.
The other thing that brings these symptoms is unfortunately my job. I work at a call center right now, and it’s for a utility company, with customers in some less desirable areas. Aside from management, it’s a very stressful job. 1 in 5 customers call up angry, and they will GRIND you. I used to be able to deal with the customers just fine… but the second I got HSV, things changed with my ability to cope with stress.
If I get a bad customer, I can literally feel my body inflamming. It feels like the life is getting sucked out of me. It may be cortisol flowing, maybe it’s the HSV gaining strength… but almost without fail every single day I’ll experience that horrible feeling multiple times. Usually the next day, another symptom will show up,
During all this, of course, I feel sick, devoid of energy, depressed, you name it.
Oddly enough, it seems to supercharge my immune system for handling anything else. I’ve caught bugs that were taking out people for a week in the office that my immune system kicked to the curb in under 24 hours.
All I can do right now for treatment, until I see the Dr. (then will probably get Rx for dangerous, expensive and ineffective antivirals) is:
Not drink alcohol
Stay away from bread and sugar
Take L-Lysine – (this helps immensely, I can’t imagine how much worse the outbreaks would be if I didn’t down 2g of this stuff the first signs of an outbreak… really I need to take more daily as a prophylactic.
Take St. John’s Wart – No idea if this is helping, but in theory it does.
Take Vitamin C – I’m taking 4-5g a day
Take Curcumin – Helps with the inflammation
I’ll quit booze for sure, it’s not worth it if even a single beer might flare things up.
I may have to quit my job. I’ll see what the Dr. thinks. I’ve been wanting to change careers anyway.
So with those two things and my supplements and some Dr’s. guidance; hopefully my next entries will be of a happier nature!