Herpes. A conversation starter (if you are game)...,
Some years ago now, I caught myself a little bit of life-baggage that goes by the medical scientific virus name of the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-2) or simply genital Herpes.
I am now 25 years post diagnosis when that horrible long swab, not unlike what is being stuck down peoples throats to check for COVID-19 presently was inellegantly poked a good way into the eye of my pecker.
Damn it hurt (like seriously painful), but looking back on it now, I’m glad that nurse did her job and provided me with clarity in regards to the symptoms I was experiencing, which to put it mildly, were excruciating.
The next part was over in a jiffy. Visit the pharmacy, present thine prescription and voila...a solution in a box.
And that fine people, was my first course of Acyclovir.
The medicine did it’s job very quickly and by the morning I was feeling much better and fast forward a day past that I was basically pain free. Amaze-balls, I tells ya!
I blew me away how quickly it worked and how it still works today, mind you at a slightly higher dosage which as I understand it is now the standard dose for anyone who is diagnosed with Herpes.
So…, what have I learnt on this journey about a persistent virus, my body, my sexuality and the wonders of modern medicine?
Many things come to mind but here’s a few to start with.
On general day to day living. I no longer have any major issues really. Every now & then it flares up and serves to remind me my body is out of kilter and that’s usually when I stop, slow-down, rest & reset.
But it has stuffed with me mentally a bit over the past few years though when I was feeling off on occasion and was a bit paralysed with fear wondering if what I was feeling was something more sinister?
And part of this I assume is a getting older thing? You start to realise that you are a not bullet-proof and that life will catch up with you in due course and is only to happy to remind you that you have a use-by date on this amazing planet.
On sex. That’s been a bit of a downer tbh. And, it has taken me many years to reconcile that I carry around a virus that is easily transmitted to another partner if you dont prepare well and communicate.
This little journey is part of the reason I write my little blog at www.peninsulapoly.blog, because I know get how little us men know about women (or care to know), our sexuality (generally speaking) and that for mine needs to change.
Things in the sexuality space are changing thankfully and gender balance across all other facets of life is slowly being achieved but there are still many miles to go.
Men must change because women are very quickly moving away from the old default of a woman and a man makes a family unit.
But the main message I want to communicate with this post is that life is truly a wild ride. For the most part you learn as you go along and hope at the end of it you can look back on it with your head held high?
It’s been quite the journey and I think for the most part I will be able to.
But, thinking about the future. I occasionally think about it and wonder whether now, after all these years and with what I now know about my body and how Herpes has in some ways helped me grow, whether I would take a cure for the virus if one was offered and frankly I don’t know.
The virus is well part of me now, entwined in my nerve ganglions throughout this body.
It’s one with me, and honestly, I am finally at peace with that.
p.s. thanks for reading my first post on Medium.
p.p.s feel free to reach out if you want to chat about dear old H and your experience with the virus. I hope we can collectively keep the conversation going and help those who wake up one morning with new life baggage.