Right when I thought I was ready to be more present here and get this space back up and running more consistently I got some fairly horrible news about my health and I have been preoccupied attempting to get better. Practicing safe sex has always been important and naturally a common theme when it comes to discussing herpes. But I’d like to say in addition to practicing safe sex, it is incredibly important to be as diligent with our health and keeping up with appointments as often as we can even if we “feel fine”. I know there are times where regularly seeing a doctor is not possible, as it wasn’t always possible for me for quite some time in the past. It’s important to try to find a way to occasionally check in on your health though.
After not being regular with pap tests for almost ten years (I know how absolutely absurd that is) I had an awful wake up call. I was always under the assumption that bad things wouldn’t happen to me, that they always happen to “other” people. This was also a common theme during my early days of having herpes when I was in denial of contracting it. I’m obviously always living in denial, ha. When my pap test results came back with abnormal cells, I was somewhat surprised and thought they had made a mistake. I was also quickly assured by other women that have gone through this that the biopsies needed to be taken were pretty standard and nothing to worry about. But now, after my biopsy results have come back much worse than expected, and with an upcoming procedure that is hopefully my last, I’ve seen how quickly things can happen.
I’ve also realized how infrequently herpes truly negatively affects my life. It might not be fair for me to say that, considering any time a person hears they might have cancer suddenly tons of things are less important than they were. But the real reason I’m mentioning all of this is because herpes really isn’t the thing we should focus so negatively on. It won’t hurt us, it won’t morph into a worse disease, or kill us. It’s only going to inconvenience us or embarrass us. It might make us feel inferior, it will change our sex lives to some extent. Herpes will force us to have some heavy conversations we won’t always want to have, and it will teach us how to speak to people about uncomfortable things in more mature ways. It definitely was the last thing on my mind when I heard my health might be in danger. I was more concerned about my quality of life diminishing, losing the ability to have children, or missing out on other experiences in life. Herpes never even crossed my mind.
My only wish is that anyone struggling with coming to terms with their herpes diagnosis knows that it is the worst it will ever be in the beginning. Life with herpes does get easier and it will become a normal part of your life. It isn’t a part of our lives we’d wish to have, but I can promise you I’d choose living with herpes over many other diseases. As always, if anyone needs to talk I can be reached via email (which is located in various areas of the site, but can also be found by clicking the “about” link above). I am going to be as available as possible and back to posting when things calm down a bit.