Coping and Dealing with Herpes ... Well, Trying To

by Still Coping ....
(Milwaukee, WI)

My story is not unlike many others that I have read on-line and yet I still am hoping that my doctor is wrong and this is all a bad dream BUT the harsh reality is that ... I too, am now living with herpes.

Started dating a new guy and he made it clear he was "clean", well, that was his truth I believe, even though I have no way of verifying that his statement is not true, I have my doubts based on his reaction and the end result.

Exactly 14 days after having unprotected sex, I developed hip pain, a severe headache (and I never get headaches), the chills and other flu-like symptoms. I initially thought I was having my first migraine and that maybe I did something while working out to make the hip pain appear, but I could not figure out what that might have been as I never injured my hip previously or experienced this type of ache before. And I'm a healthy person, I rarely get sick (once every 5 years if even that), I workout every day, I eat clean (no sugar, no dairy, no grains, no fruit ~ all meats, fish, veggies and healthy fats), I take my fish oil and other supplements and I pay attention to my body, I know my body ... so to have these "symptoms", needless to say, worried me and were uncommon for my lifestyle.

I then noticed the blisters in the genital area and while I knew what it was (not specifically herpes, but thought it was some sort of STD) I did all I could to convince myself otherwise until I was able to see my doctor about 3 days later. My doctor took one look at the blisters and told me it looked like herpes, but he'd take some blood work and culture just to be sure. He started me on a prescription asap and treated it like it was herpes, just in case.

Blood work a day later revealed the virus had not been dormant in my body and it was newly contracted and a day after that, it was confirmed that I had herpes ~ my doctor even called me at home on a Saturday night to deliver the results, knowing how worried and upset I was over this. Devastating and not easy to hear, let alone handle and cope with. And breaking the news to the new guy I was dating was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

He was hesitant to even come speak to me when I told him there was something I needed to talk to him about "face to face", but finally complied. When I told him what the doctor thought I had (and that my blood work and culture would be available in a day or two), he didn't seem too shocked. I never blamed him for giving this to me, but I hinted to it and gave him the facts of when outbreaks surface and the last time we had slept together, etc., and he never once questioned that this virus could not have come from him. He never once questioned if I was dating anyone else or questioned anything about my past sexual history or partners, for that matter. Putting the shoe on the other foot, had I been approached with this, you better believe I'd have A LOT of questions that I wanted to have answered, it's human nature. I recommended he get tested as well and he assured me he would, but he "had no symptoms" and felt just fine, so this all didn't make sense to him. I told him can and does happen, I'm not so sure he believed me though. I explained that you can never have an outbreak or show symptoms and yet carry the virus and that it was not uncommon for that to occur.

To make a long story short, I told him it was herpes when the doctor confirmed it with me and he ditched me for days, after telling me he would be here for me and he was not going anywhere. Telling me he'd come over, blah blah blah and then never showing up and not calling, we all know this drill. The end of it was him giving me a ton of excuses on the phone (because I personally feel he could not face me in person, he had not seen me since I told him initially about 5 days prior) about why we he date and adding this "new herpes thing" to the mix of it all. He never made an effort to get tested, blaming me in a way for having more options than he does because I have health insurance and he does not, yet there are plenty of free clinics in the area for him to go to (yet another excuse). He pretty much tossed me aside like the trash being taken out ~ well, that's how I felt and still feel about how he handled his side of things. He never once said he was sorry for possibly being the one to infect me with this (and regardless if he gets tested, I am confident he did), but stated "I feel like crap as I have ruined another person's life."

At this point, I'm not sure what to believe coming out of his mouth and it no longer matters, what's done is done ... and can't help but wonder if he knew he had this or maybe not this but had knowledge something was not right on his end. I can't help but wonder how many other woman he has passed this along to or might pass it along to because he seems to be living in a state of denial.

This is only 4 weeks fresh for me and I'm struggling to deal with this life changing event. I go from being ok one day and fully understanding this can't kill me, and it can't kill anyone else and that it's manageable and a common virus and trying to tell myself that it could always be worse, to feeling like the most worthless, dirty, unwanted, gross person on the planet. My friends are supportive BUT that doesn't help me much right now, not even the friends who confessed that they were also living with herpes after I shared this with them. I can only hope in time I can come to better terms with this and find a way to be ok and comfortable with what this is, what I have and what my future holds.

My entire life has changed in the blink of eye due to the ignorance, denial and carelessness of another person and that still shocks me in a way that one human being can treat another human being in this fashion.

Thank you for sharing your story with our community!

Let me share a story with you...

When I told my wife about HSV she reacted much the same way that your friend did. Although she asked a few questions, there was none that I would call "earth shattering" things she wanted to know. She reacted calmly and was very casual about the whole thing. In short she didn't react how I thought that she "should".

As a result, I wondered if she had it too. As it turns out, she didn't.

The point of my story is that people react to things differently and just because he didn't react the way that you thought that he should doesn't make him a bad person or any less concerned.

He told you from the beginning that he would be supportive but have you really given him the chance? From the story that you have described, you seem to be hounding him and his "neutral" reaction has compounded your own suspicions, emotions and fears. This may be the reason why he has backed off and not because of herpes. Remember that "new" relationships are fragile so handle it with care.

I'm not saying that he didn't pass along HSV to you because I have no way of knowing....and neither do you. Give him his space and lay off confronting him further about the things he "should be" feeling and doing.

I'm sorry if I have been blunt and hurt your feelings in any way. That is not my intentions. Sometimes we have to take a step back and open our eyes to other possibilities. Even if those possibilities shine a negative light on ourselves. This is how we grow as human beings.

Wishing you success and happiness!


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Oct 24, 2011
Comforting Story
by: Anonymous

Your story is similar to mine, in the sense that your partner at the time had a similar reaction to how my partner reacted. Your story has made me feel better after having a down night and made feel not so alone. I have good days and bad days too. I hope we both get better with our diagnosis in time.

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