Well, where to start? I'm 22 and have genital HPV. When I started noticing the GW, I was told that it was nothing to worry about, that the bumps were "normal." I guess I should start from the "beginning."
I went in to get tested for any STD, and to get my annual pap done. I got a call back later that week that there was an abnormality and HPV was mentioned. I wanted to cry, you see HPV to me screamed WARTS WARTS WARTS... and I thought... "My life is over." I couldn't eat, sleep, I would cry - I lost 6 lbs quickly. I went to another clinic, had another pap done, didn't hear from them in two weeks - I thought I was okay. No, later - I got the call, again - my heart fell to my stomach and I didn't know what to do.
I had noticed these little bumps on the entrance to the vagina, and I had mentioned them to my sister - we disregarded them b/c I was told they were normal by the NP at the clinic. I noticed some more later - and I figured well, I can just tell them whenever I go get the colposcopy.
The colposcopy was painful, not only physically but emotionally. They took my intake information, I almost started crying. I took a friend for support. Once I was in the room - yeah, it was awkward having the NP and the Dr. saying all these big words and blah blah. I heard Condyloma... I knew I had read that somewhere but it didn't click. Yeah, nice pretty word for GW. He seemed so sure about it, and yeah it was that. I kinda had a sense of relief because now I knew what those "bumps" were... but it also made me feel so sad. I blamed myself.
I got dressed, in pain and in shock... "How could this happen to me?" I started crying and praying with all my might. I finally composed myself and left the room, the NP asked me if I was okay, I couldn't talk... she told me "sorry, sweetheart." Nobody could be sorrier than me, I thought.
I stepped outside, paid my dues and walked out.
I told my sister... yeah... "HPV, and the bumps? Not normal... I have GW." I was crying non-stop, and it wasn't until my sister called me later that I noticed she was crying too. This hit us like a ton of bricks. We didn't know much about it, and we still don't, not really.
I have the appointment next week, so that they can do the follow-up to the colposcopy. In the meantime, the GW are doing their thing, and now I'm doing the necessary things so I won't touch the area. When I take a shower, I use gloves- my sister has asked me to document the changes, and I've started doing that. My sister is my angel, she has been very supportive as well as my other siblings. I was grateful that they didn't turn their backs on me. This has been really hard for me as I'm sure it has been for others. I've only told a few of my friends here (I'm alone in this city), and they too have been supportive.
I'm still scared, and have many questions. I'm hopeful that with treatment, and doing the necessary things to boost up my immune system I can beat this thing. In the meantime, it's been an emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting process. I'm living day by day now, enjoying things that I didn't before. I know it's not life-threatening but, I can't help but worry about the future.
There's a fighter in me yet...
I... WE... can't lose hope.
"Courage is not the absence of fear yet, it is the presence of fear but the will to go on."