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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:38 pm 

Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 9:57 pm
Posts: 15
Location: US
Hey Fredo,

Yeah the daily reminder is hell on a shutter...always there. It's marginal presence wise, but it's there. Every treatment, I'm hopeful it's going away and then...once things heal, some of it still remains in the same area (sign it isn't treated "deep" enough). Hoping that changed with the laser treatment, still too early to tell 100%, but like I said I'm reasonably sure some (although a lot less) is still present. So at least there is improvement, I just feel like I'm going to be hovering for another 2 years riding this all out...which is just a miserable prospect.

As far as the topic with the girl, we got a little intimate and I just set her aside and told her before it went anywhere. She was actually very understanding, I guess she was expecting something much worse when I set her aside and made it a point to tell her. But I'm sure she respected the fact I told her, and she actually confessed she too had it earlier in her life (many years earlier) but it had been treated and cleared with no signs of return...said she never told anyone in her life that (which I believe was true, definitely not easy telling anyone). So I guess because she had experience with it, she was understanding...someone that hasn't...may not be so...certainly not while I have symptoms. I won't even be remotely comfortable until it's out of sight, until then it's always on my mind...every day, 24/7. And even then, I still have to have the conversation with anyone I get intimate with...and need to be prepared for them to run...literally. Just a sad prospect, almost makes it difficult to allow yourself to even get close to someone first, which changes the whole dynamic of a relationship (a lot more to that, deep thoughts but I won't get into it).

Anyway, I'll keep you posted. If anyone has any insight or encouragement, lay it on me...I'm about all out...feel like my life is on hold, no direction, not motivation and it's slipping me into depression (albeit mild, but it's definitely noticeable to me).


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:15 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hey man,

Yeah, it sounds like the key in all this is getting to a point where you're symptom-free for awhile, and this is not all so 24/7. That has to get old, fast. Keep in touch with us here. I think someone who is looking for a steady relationship might have a different view of HPV than someone who is looking for a fling, so their intentions might have as much to do with what you might say.

I posted an article some time back on the subject, can't find it now but will put it up here if I do. The gist is that most partners were more accepting of warts/HPV than people expected. Other articles, though, do point to the very real impact on one's emotional state that warts can cause, and it's something we need more resources to deal with. I'll post that below.

Best,
Fredo

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Genital Warts Impact Quality of Life

Frustration with treatment regimens, feelings of shame, and worries about relationships negatively affect quality of life for men and women with genital warts, a new study finds.

Danish researchers Gitte Lee Mortensen and Helle K Larsen, MD, used focus groups to explore the impact of genital warts on a small group of young people recruited from an STD clinic. Subjects, who were divided by gender into groups (n=5 in each group) were between the ages of 18-30 and had genital warts for at least three months (average length of symptoms was 11 months). Participants were asked questions that assessed how having warts impacted their lives regarding symptoms, treatment, and social, romantic, and sexual relationships and activities.

Common themes that emerged include:

* Subjects experienced a high degree of stigma and shame over their diagnosis, and “…[F]eelings of being impure and repulsive.” ·
* A number of participants expressed concern about whether or not having warts pointed to infidelity in a relationship. ·
* Most were “pessimistic” that several rounds of treatment may be necessary to resolve lesions. Many viewed their treatment as “inconsistent and experimental.” ·
* While some worried about possible health outcomes (e.g., confusion over whether or not warts can lead to cancer), the majority viewed genital warts as mainly having a sexual and emotional impact. Subjects reported lower sexual initiative and a loss of “pleasure and spontaneity” in their love lives.

The authors conclude that genital warts affect patients “psychologically, socially and sexually” and all participants in their study “expressed a significant reduction in their quality of life as a result of having [warts].” They add that when considering the value of HPV vaccination programs, the psychosocial impact of genital warts should be considered.

Citation: Gitte Lee Mortensen and Helle K Larsen. The quality of life of patients with genital warts: a qualitative study. BMC Public Health, 2010. 10:113.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:43 pm 

Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 9:57 pm
Posts: 15
Location: US
Thanks Fredo.

I agree with most of what's in the report you posted, seems like it would all be quite natural to feel the way the majority did in that study.
I wish I could sit here and say things have become easier with time, but I'm honestly not sure how much farther ahead I am than I was a year ago.
Pretty daunting to think I might be here another year from now in the same place.
I guess all I can do is wait, the same as I have been, and hope things improve.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:30 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:24 am
Posts: 31
Location: Asia
Hallo, not sure if you have read my topic but I just posted not too long ago despite joining last year. How am I coping? I just go about my daily lives, except I am extra careful. Every night when I take my shower, I will always check to make sure I do not have any additional warts growing and etc. I do it at least once a week to ensure that I'm genital wart-free. Also to keep track if there's anything after I go for liquid nitrogen.

I do feel a sense of shame and despair, I feel upset and I feel as though I'm a danger to the people around me and stuff like that. But I know that it is pointless, I may continue to sulk but if I do not do anything about it, I'll just end up sulking my whole life. So I decided to pick myself up, tell myself that it isn't the end of the road yet and I still have miles and miles left to walk. I'm not infected with AIDS or something fatal. It's just "a skin problem". That is how I view genital warts. I try to keep myself stress-free (albeit it isn't possible because...life itself is stressful and there's so much going on) I lift weights at least 3 times a week, attempt to eat some fruits after lunch or dinner, stay healthy. I don't smoke, I do drink but on occasions like birthday party or wedding, but I never drink till I'm drunk.

The doctor said I'll recover, but the path to that is uncertain. But she said it will go away, and that until then, I have to take care of myself and stay strong. Boost my immune system. I still go for my treatment, in fact, I went last week to get a new kind of treatment, using Aldara. The previous treatments were Liquid Nitrogen.


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:32 am 

Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 9:57 pm
Posts: 15
Location: US
Well, just another update...approaching 1 year since I put this thread up.

My last surgery and first laser treatment back in December 2010 was successful to a degree, but I can see now...5 and a half months later...I still have two GW spots, one is pinsized and the other is a little bigger but easily visible to the naked eye. I would say the surgery cleared up 95%.

I go back for a follow-up next month, of which I'm not sure what the outcome will be. Certainly another surgery, but the last one was under local anesthetic due to the treatment...doctor felt it would be better to just put me under vs dealing with the number of needle injections. This time, I'd imagine he'll opt for no anesthetic since it's just two small spots (at least that I see, we'll see what he finds).

Needless to say, and looking back on my mental/emotional state a year ago, at this point...I'm pretty much numb to it all. I've realized there's nothing I can do but let time and treatments run their course. Likewise, any hope of a relationship is on hold...I can't with a rightful mind be intimate with anyone knowing I have symptoms. I've been out on dates, and where I was once a very confident guy...I'm now a hidden emotional wreck. We still have a great time on the dates, nothing very physical...but I can't stay in the relationship or explore it any farther, so I have to leave it. I guess fortunately for me, I haven't exactly found a girl I'm head over heels for...because in one way or another, none of the girls I've dated have drawn me. Of course I'm not sure if that's due to them or me just being emotionally/mentally blocked due to this HPV ordeal. Either way, I just can't seem to enjoy the dating world at all.

I'm sure some may say, try bringing it up...but the whole premise of it is knowing you don't have any symptoms for some period of time. I've had symptoms for over 2 and a half years...and they haven't gone away, even with a bunch of treatments. What possibly comfort or positive spin can I offer to a pending girlfriend...when I'm not even comfortable with it? Sure I have confidence it will go away at some point...but I don't have an answer for when...and I can't expect some potential and new girl to understand or accept that when enough time has passed to discuss it...or wait around for it. Forget the whole flighty, fun "protected" sex element of the dating world, that is long gone...condoms won't protect against this especially given the location (base) where a condom can't cover. Regardless, I can't even look at it the same anyway...nothing feels "safe" anymore...now I have a looming panic over STDs/STIs given this...I guess in a way that's healthy (having the concern) but in many ways, I miss the ignorance of it all...seemed much simpler and enjoyable then.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted. Life seems pretty miserable still...I've just been focusing on the rest of my life (work, fun, friends, health, etc)...but I've had all of that...I lost the one thing I was missing and loved (my last relationship) while contracting something that prevents me from venturing onto something bigger and better. Just seems like my life is on hold, while I just grow colder and more emotionally closed and disinterested as a result.

Hope everyone else is fairing OK.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 9:38 pm 

Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:17 am
Posts: 3
Location: Minneapolis
Hang in there!

I was diagnosed with HSV2 last year right after the relationship ended. I told him and he said he never had a lesion, refused to be tested and insists it wasn't from him.

Your posts reminds me a lot of where my mind was at and sometimes still is. I cannot imagine how hard this has been for you with still having to deal with the symptoms. Of course these problems seem even harder since we don't want to share them with our friends and families and leaves us feeling so utterly alone.

I wish you the best and believe this ordeal will not prevent you from being with someone who you belong with.
It's a raw deal, that is for sure!


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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 11:30 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hey unsure,

That it usually takes several procedures to really clear genital warts is without a doubt one of the most frustrating things of all. You just want to be done with it, period! The follow-ups are a pain, no doubt. Let us know what happens when you go back in June. It sounds like your previous treatment(s) did a pretty good job in getting rid of most of what was there, so that's encouraging. Still, having to go back is a huge "arghhh."

Take care man and keep in touch.

Fredo

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:24 am 

Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 9:57 pm
Posts: 15
Location: US
Another update...

Well was back at the doctor yesterday to get things checked out.
Two spots concerned me, but not him as much.
He did the vinegar test (some kind of acid he had) and the bigger spot turned a little white but he said it's usually very apparent and goes all white.
We treated the spots with a freezing treatment versus scheduling a laser procedure again due to the doubt and for peace of mind.
Will see how things heal up and go from there.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:00 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:24 am
Posts: 31
Location: Asia
Hi Unsure, how long have you been having this? Could there be an underlying medical condition that's preventing you from healing faster than the "average 90%"? I have a heart condition and the doctor said it might be this that is preventing me from getting well sooner. I hope you get well soon. I just had liquid nitrogen treatment on my lips and inside my cheek for oral warts...which I don't know why the hell they went there...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:43 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hi unsure,

Thanks for the update. I mentioned before that what you're describing in terms of the first treatment being effective but not 100%, thus the need for follow-up visits, isn't too unusual with genital warts. This is one of the most annoying things about it all, too. Why can't it be simple??!!

The freezing procedure you mention (cryotherapy) is really common and there's some thinking it might actually help the immune system respond (cyro tends to leave a fair amount of virus in the cells it opens and destroys, which can lead the immune system to say "Hey, there it is. Over here!" and respond).

Do you have a follow-up visit scheduled? Regardless, keep in touch and check-in with us anytime.

Best,
Fredo

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:15 pm 

Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 9:57 pm
Posts: 15
Location: US
Grief,

Well, been aware of it (not knowing what it was initially) for over 2 years. Was diagnosed around December of 2009, went through almost a year of treatments with a derm which did nothing really (Aldara, numbing/scraping) in terms of getting rid of them. Then went to a urologist and went through laser treatment in December of 2010 which cleared up almost all of it...and had this follow-up earlier in the week. Now at cryo because he wasn't sure what he was seeing was 100% GW and wanted to try cryo first.

I'm pretty healthy, in decent shape, eat healthy, never smoked, hardly drink, started exercising more/regularly, always have had an active lifestyle outdoors. From what I've read, the HPV-16 strain is not commonly associated with GW, but if you get them with this strain they are the hardest to get rid of...the immune system can't seem to fight them off as easily as other strains. I can only do so much, the doctors can only do so much...I guess the rest is in the hands of time and my immune system. Beyond this, I have no issues...no medications, great blood work, great blood pressure, etc.

Fredo,

I'll keep updating as I go through things. I do have a follow-up in 3 months scheduled, but told him I'd be in touch once things cleared up and if I had concerns. He said it takes about 2 weeks to heal. He treated it with like a hollow straw and spray on cryo...definitely stung quite a bit. First day the treated areas just swelled up with redness. Today they are still raised significantly and more of a dark red to purple, like they are bruised. Not sure if that is all considered "normal", but nothing hurts too bad.

Hopefully it works out as you're saying and my immune system wakes up. It definitely wasn't doing anything to heal it on it's own in the first 2 years before the laser treatment.

Slow and painful, on every level. I think I've reached a point where I might have some level of social anxiety over this too (even though I manage it well)...between this and my last relationship, my entire life got flipped upside down. I think as long as any sign of the HPV is visually noticeable by me (anything at all), it will bother me enough to not get involved with anyone. It's definitely a roadblock for me. My urologist asks me every time if I'm using condoms and I keep telling him I'm not even having sex until this is gone...he probably thinks I'm crazy but on the same token I know condoms are 100% and I honestly don't want to put anyone through what I've been through. That will be another wall to climb with a future partner and one I don't even know how to other than to discuss it with them. Yet I don't expect them to be "OK" with it because deep down, I feel like I wouldn't be...having experienced this, I wouldn't want to ever experience it again and wouldn't want someone else to. I guess the exception would be someone I'd spend the rest of my life with, which of course this all throws quite a few walls in the place of developing a relationship around. Meanwhile, I date just to stay in the mix and off the radar of friends/family...and even in the last week had a girl (quite attractive) basically throw herself at me (wanting sex)...and I can't do anything but walk away from it. Pretty miserable and empty feeling.

Even after all this time, I feel pretty lost. I probably just need to sit down and go through it all, uncover the answers and course of my life at some point. Right now, my mind is just on healing, balancing my life...doing what I need to do to level things...before I figure out "next steps" in relationships or otherwise.

Anyway, I'll keep you guys posted...hopefully those of you reading and dealing with it are fairing OK. It can always be worse, even though sometimes it feels like it can only get better.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:10 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:24 am
Posts: 31
Location: Asia
Unsure987 wrote:
Grief,

Well, been aware of it (not knowing what it was initially) for over 2 years. Was diagnosed around December of 2009, went through almost a year of treatments with a derm which did nothing really (Aldara, numbing/scraping) in terms of getting rid of them. Then went to a urologist and went through laser treatment in December of 2010 which cleared up almost all of it...and had this follow-up earlier in the week. Now at cryo because he wasn't sure what he was seeing was 100% GW and wanted to try cryo first.

I'm pretty healthy, in decent shape, eat healthy, never smoked, hardly drink, started exercising more/regularly, always have had an active lifestyle outdoors. From what I've read, the HPV-16 strain is not commonly associated with GW, but if you get them with this strain they are the hardest to get rid of...the immune system can't seem to fight them off as easily as other strains. I can only do so much, the doctors can only do so much...I guess the rest is in the hands of time and my immune system. Beyond this, I have no issues...no medications, great blood work, great blood pressure, etc.


Well, in a way, be glad it isn't like chlamydia or AIDS or something much, much worse.

Like you, I am dealing with it, this is my 2nd year already. I had it in 2008. Now it is 2011...yikes...am I getting screwed? I stopped drinking and I never smoke. I lift weights 3 times a week, I relax myself with music and playing instruments and trying my best not to freak out over anything. So...can we assume that what we have is HPV-16 and that our body is still getting used to fighting it before it can finally be suppressed?

Also, can we assume that...my first outbreak, the wart was big and ugly. Eventually, it started having many tiny spots but small and the numbers are smaller. Is this a good sign?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:55 pm 

Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 9:57 pm
Posts: 15
Location: US
Do you also have HPV-16? Diagnosed with? I had my GWs biopsied and they were diagnosed as HPV-16.

Mine weren't big, really just flat, subsurface discoloration...almost like freckles just in a cluster spread throughout the area about the size of a dime.
All I know is...the only thing that seemed to be even remotely effective was the laser treatment.

Thus far, no new GWs have appeared on any new areas. And those that have been treated look to be clearing up (skin is still discolored [pink to very light colored] from the laser treatment). So that's all positive stuff, I just want this all to end so I can move on and start a new relationship at some point.

It sounds like you're symptoms are improving as well, decreasing in size and number...so that's all good news. Hopefully your immune system suppresses the rest!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:45 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:24 am
Posts: 31
Location: Asia
Unsure987 wrote:
Do you also have HPV-16? Diagnosed with? I had my GWs biopsied and they were diagnosed as HPV-16.

Mine weren't big, really just flat, subsurface discoloration...almost like freckles just in a cluster spread throughout the area about the size of a dime.
All I know is...the only thing that seemed to be even remotely effective was the laser treatment.

Thus far, no new GWs have appeared on any new areas. And those that have been treated look to be clearing up (skin is still discolored [pink to very light colored] from the laser treatment). So that's all positive stuff, I just want this all to end so I can move on and start a new relationship at some point.

It sounds like you're symptoms are improving as well, decreasing in size and number...so that's all good news. Hopefully your immune system suppresses the rest!


Ah, darn. I was taking my shower yesterday and felt a small tiny bump, my appointment with the STD Clinic is on the 4th of July so I'll get it checked by then. What worries me is that I never had oral warts for a year and I wonder why they'd suddenly appear. The one and only time I had oral warts was about a year ago above my upper lip which was frozen off. Then there's nothing else anymore. Mine were flat too, yes, like freckles and very tiny. Sometimes I can feel them but not see 'em. I hope you will recover fast and lets hope we will beat this stupid thing soon.


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