It leaves me helpless and hopeless. But most of all, the shame that I have is insurmountable. I think at the core is the insensitively that people have for those with sexually transmitted disease. I say it to myself, so I know others must say it, "It that heifer had kept her legs closed, she wouldn't have herpes; she wouldn't have AIDS."
Having to tell someone that I am sick and then take that deep breath as they wait to hear more, is a painful journey every single time I do it.
Just at the base line, how do you support someone who has a very serious and chronic sexually transmitted disease? How do you separate how they got there to how you can help them?
For that matter, how does anyone support me specifically? This thing is crazy for me; just plain old crazy. It's not "normal" herpes. It's herpes complicated by AIDS. On one level I ask, how does one leave their judgment at the door and on the other, once done, how do you continue to support such an ongoing chronic illness? I almost hate to say that I'm having another outbreak. It's like, "Here we go again." But this is my life and there is no place for me to hide. I have to endure, even if you choose not to. It is what it is.
The fact is, I contracted herpes in college. The fact is, having AIDS has complicated my herpes. My impaired immune system has literary become a feeding ground for herpes. The fact is, I have to take an anti-viral medication intravenously to rid my body of herpes each time I have an outbreak.
The side-effects are equally hard, diarrhea, nausea, fatigue that's so bad some days washing my tail is an effort and cooking a meal is out of the question, also Kidney damage and burning when I use the bathroom. It's exhausting physically and emotionally. Not to mention that I hurt like shit right between my legs. I don't want nothing to touch my vulva and I mean nothing.
The fact is, this is all medical related. There is no way around the fact that developing drug resistant herpes 5 years ago has effected my health greatly.
I've had so many picc lines in my left arm that it has created so much scaring, which has now caused a blockage going to my central vein from the left. Now, the doctor wants me to get a medi port permanently placed. It's either that or make my way to the right arm until thats been damaged like the left and then I would have no other choice.
This is all medical, clinical and there should be no shame in the fact that I am having a health crisis.
Yes, I said having. It's been a month since I had my last round of IV medication for 19 days. I was hoping, even praying that herpes wouldn't come back anytime soon. But the fact is, I had a really bad cold a week ago and that weaken my immune system even more and left me vulnerable, so now I've been developing a new herpes sore over night for the last two days, but I started to have the flu like symptoms caused by herpes on Sunday, just as I was ahead of the clod.
So I start IV medication as soon as I get the medi port straight, probably next week some time. In the meantime, I just have to endure the pain and the spread of the infection until we can begin to put it in check.
But yet, the secret of why I was on IV medication was killing something inside of me, so after 3 long years, I told. I figured that I needed all the good emotional health I could get to deal with the IV medication, that I didn't need the burden of the secret.
So I told... I'm glad I told, but I seem to be stuck somewhere in the ugly of this disease. I'm not sure what it will take to get me to a better place; probably time.
It was a very sad moment for me. I'm in what appears to be a cycle that seems to dominate my life. AIDS is here to stay. My immune system took a serious hit in those early days, now this herpes infection wrecks havoc on my body and yes my spirit because of the environment created by AIDS. It's enough to have to contend with AIDS, but both of them together, feels like hell on earth some days.
There is nothing worst than feeling that burning tingle between my legs that says, "Im back!" Just like in some horror movie when the monster just keeps coming back, no matter how dead you think he is.
Not only do I have to contend with the emotional and the physical drama each time I have an outbreak, but while I'm on IV medication, all my projects lag behind herpes. The IV regime is so aggressive, I operate at sub-standard and that in and of itself creates something sad inside of me.
I'm so affected by this herpes, in so many different ways. I hate what it is doing to my life. I HATE it! I HATE that I have this shame associated with it too. I may not know how to get over this shame, but I know for sure, holding the secret fosters an even more unhealthy environment. So I will continue to talk about it until I can get to a better place.
What I do know for sure; naming it, is a road to healing....