What I’ve learned so far about life with Herpes (as a girl, cause guys are different):
- If you’ve ever experienced anything more painful than than a herpes outbreak, you can consider yourself an epic badass. Apparently the pain drops off after the first few outbreaks, but for now I’m in hell.
- It’s not something you can keep to yourself. If you can’t talk to someone about what you’re going through, you will lose you fucking mind.
- If you tell more than one person, expect people to surprise you. You’ll expect some people to be understanding about it and they’ll end up breaking your heart, and you’ll expect others to judge you or freak out and they’ll end up being totally there for you.
- Ocean water is a god-send. I know it sounds like a terrible idea with the whole salt-in-an-open-wound line of thought, and I won’t lie and say it doesn’t burn like a motherfucker at first, but after the first few minutes it calms down and it’ll jump-start the healing process to such a degree that it makes it way beyond worth that little bit of extra dicomfort.
- Underwear is the devil, avoid it at all costs. Pants too if you can get away with it. Peeing is also the devil but unforunately you can’t avoid that unless you know something I don’t. After a couple days of absolute agony I did some Yahoo! Answers research and found a suggestion to fill a large bowl with water and sitting in it while you pee, like, in the bottom of your shower or something. Yeah, at first the idea of peeing in a bowl was pretty fucking humiliating, but it only takes a few days of going to the bathroom and finding yourself blacking out with pain and attempting to climb the walls trying to get away from your own lady-parts before words like “dignity” and “shame” kind of lose some of their meaning. It doesn’t take long before you’ll do just about anything to avoid the pain. I went 3 whole days without drinking anything (probably risked deadly dehydration) before I read that thing about soaking in warm water while you pee. A little humiliation probably saved my life.
- Maybe it’s just that I’m extra resiliant, or maybe it’s that my doctor’s an ass, but I ended up having to take twice as much medication as he told me to to have any results. So, you know, common sense: take what he told you to, but if it’s not working don’t be hard headed, do what you have to do.
- Pain releivers are your best friend, don’t be skimpy with them.
- Cleaning regimen: every couple hours you should soak your lady-bits in warm water. This has a pain releiving affect in addition to cleaning away the virus so that it won’t keep replicating itself instead of dying. Once you finish soaking (and don’t be afraid to do that for as long as you damn well please), make sure you let your lady-bits COMPLETELY dry out. A moist environment keeps the virus going.
- The news that you’ve contracted an incurable disease doesn’t hit you all at once. It comes in tiny segments.
- During an outbreak any moment that you feel normal becomes BEYOND precious.
- It’s been a week since I found out and I still haven’t been able to say the “H-word” out loud.