So, at 3:00 today, I was unofficially diagnosed with herpes. The lab tests on the sores are still pending, so I don't know whether it's type 1 or type 2, but my doctor said she'd be shocked if the test said anything other than positive. I suspect it's type 1, since I think I've seen cold sores on my boyfriend occasionally.
I'm having trouble dealing with two things:
1) That I did everything I could, and that STIs don't mean you're a horrible person.
2) It's extraordinarily painful.
The pain front is simpler, I guess, although it's the majority of the problem right now. This is one of the worst pains I've ever felt, coming to you from a klutzy sports-enthusiast with an autoimmune disorder who's had several surgeries. Every time I move, it hurts. Every time a muscle in my pelvis moves, it HURTS. Every time I have to pee, it hurts like I could just die. The doctor told me the first outbreak is the worst, but I never even imagined that this kind of pain was possible. I've been taking Advil, using an icepack, trying to keep my mind occupied with TV and video games, and (to be completely honest, though not wise) drinking pretty heavily. I sobbed non-stop from about 5 to 7, because it hurt so bad, and only stopped when my begging for rum worked out. I know it's not smart, but it stopped the pain for now. It's my experience - scrape yourself to hell on a bike or climbing, combine bandaids and vodka shots. I'm not a heavy enough drinker for anyone I know irl to be concerned by this.
I don't know what to do about it, but lord, it hurts.
The shame is a little more complicated. It just seems super ironic that, despite my 9th grade sex ed teacher, I managed to have sex with who I wanted when I wanted for years, only to get an STI while in a committed monogamous relationship. (And although he's had a fairly large number of partners, everyone in his family has cold sores, and it's just as likely he got it in some totally nonsexual way. Take that, Mrs. G!) I keep telling myself that almost anyone could have this sort of bad luck, and at least I'd always, always used condoms. I'm not sure if I'm ashamed of my bumpy vulva, or feel like I've betrayed my girlyparts by having oral sex without any sort of barrier.