This is a smart approach to negating a virus. If you can’t beat the virus itself without negative consequences to the body, then stop what the virus uses to ‘trigger’ it’s effects.
I take a pill daily for it since I was diagnosed in March. Anyone else on suppressive therapy ?
I take them once or twice daily when I have outbreaks, when I think I feel prodromal symptoms, or when I know I’m going through a period of stress (like sickness, job change, not sleeping well, whatever). At my last annual I asked the doc for a daily script, which somehow translated to 5 months’ worth of pills by the time I went to pick up my first installment at pharmacy. The pills can be expensive, I’m terrible at remembering to take *anything* on a daily basis (thus my use of the NuvaRing), and for me they cause some unpleasant side effects.
Yesterday I took a V pill, and another last night at bedtime, and another this morning. I’ve still been feeling mild twinges in my vulva all day, and when I got home I poked around looking for blisters or sores. Didn’t find any, but it surprises and annoys me how determined this outbreak is to happen. I SAID NO, HERPZ. I’ll take another pill tonight and hopefully that will force it back underground.
I’ve taken an Advil, which will hopefully kick in by the time I go to bed. I’ll take another V then, just in case. Do NOT want to deal with an outbreak right now. Maybe I can head it off at the pass.
Breakfast and Birth Control!
Today was my annual appointment with my gyno. Or, more accurately, my CRNP, who is awesome and supportive and encouraging and awesome some more.
She did a breast exam, visually observed my nethers, took my Pap in about 10 seconds flat, and told me everything looked good. For the first time in my life I opted out of the chlamydia test, because I’ve been with the same dude and both of us have tested negative for it.
We discussed my birth control — I use the NuvaRing, have for years, and love it. She wrote out my new script, but also asked what I was paying for it. We discussed the confusing and vague wording of the Affordable Care Act in regards to free birth control. Then, in addition to writing out a new script for me, she gave me a sample ring (WOO FREE RING!) and a coupon, which came tucked into this cute little pouch.
I also asked her about a daily Valtrex therapy. While my outbreaks have become much, much milder, they’re still fairly frequent. She was supportive of the idea, and said that if I could afford the daily pill (which I feel I can swing, with the $20 copay on my new health insurance), she’d encourage me to try it. The drug has been around a long time and has proven to be very safe. So, I have a year’s worth of 500mg pills coming to me.
At the end of my appointment, after making absolutely sure I didn’t have any other questions to discuss with her, she walked me out to the front desk and wished me a good year. The lady behind the desk set up my appointment for next year and then told me that….wait for it….I HAD NO COPAY. With my last insurance policy I was forking over $40 a year for my annual.
So, free ring, coupon, script for a daily pill, and no copay, all provided by a friendly and supportive staff of medical professionals. I’d call that a fantastic start to a given Wednesday morning.
As per my yearly tradition, I took myself out for breakfast after my appointment. It’s my way of celebrating taking good care of myself. This year I opted for a jelly donut, one of those yogurts with candy to stir in, and a chai latte. In hind sight, way too sweet overall, but enjoyable.
I wish you all a happy Wednesday. May my good mood be shared by all.
I’m trying to decide if I should ask her for a once-daily prescription, even if it’s just for 6 months. Even if I fill it but don’t take them all the time and then just have a whole bunch of pills around whenever things get stressy.
Looking back, I’ve had outbreaks more frequently than the minimum at which they recommend you take a daily pill. But, they’ve also gotten milder, and it’s been a couple months, and I’ve had HSV for over a year, and maybe I’ve turned a corner where I don’t really need the meds now?
But I think that every time I go a month or two without an outbreak.
Not surprised. Holidays mean stress along with the fun things, and I’ve been dealing with the whole employment issue, and holidays also mean eating more junk food than normal.
Not a big deal. I have a refill coming to me on my last Rx for 30 x 500mg pills. I’ll be calling the pharmacy momentarily and picking them up some time today.
I was going to have them refilled anyway, while my health insurance is still safely intact. My annual with the gyno is next month (and hopefully I’ll still have insurance then), and I’ll probably talk to her about at least having a script for a daily pill, even if I don’t faithfully use them 100% of the time. My outbreaks have, as promised, become milder and milder, but I’ve definitely had them frequently enough to warrant a daily pill therapy.
Maybe 5 days ago Boyfriend walked in the house after work, looking like death warmed over.
Me: “What’s wrong?!”
Him: “Tired. And sick.
…I probably shouldn’t have kissed you just now.”
So I came down with this cold a couple days ago. I’ve been living in a fishbowl of sinus pressure, showering twice a day just for the steam, and hitting the neti pot pretty hard. Last night I was awake for several hours in the dark because I couldn’t breathe through my nose, so I was mouth-breathing like it was my job, and was dreadfully thirsty. Pretty sure all my tossing and turning and nose-blowing woke Boyfriend up a whole bunch, but sorry, dude. You brought it home and shared with the class.
This morning I made the decision to pop an L-lysine tablet and a valacyclovir pill along with my decongestants. Taxed immune system and lost sleep? Sounds like exactly the kind of time the HSV would show up to party. Sure enough, after breakfast I noticed a mild pinchy feeling in my labia. I had that feeling right before my last outbreak, and I thought that maybe my underwear was pinching my skin, or I had a pubic hair pulled in a bad direction or something. It felt like someone was actually pinching my skin and holding on.
I will continue to take my anti-herpes pills until this cold finally breaks and goes away. Hopefully it keeps the HSV at bay. I was pretty impressed with myself, actually taking preventative measures. LOOK AT ME, LEARNING TO FOLLOW THROUGH. GOOD GIRL. GOOOOD GIRL.
Took me long enough!
Pills: This time around, the doctor prescribed me the little valacyclovir pills, not the big ones (so, 500 mg, not 1g). The instructions on the bottle are to take them twice a day for 5 days (I stopped at three), and I have one refill that’s good for a year. During my primary outbreak I took the 1g pills twice a day for 10 days. After that the gyno continued to prescribe the large size, but I took them twice a day for three days as needed. Often once things started to heal I would stop taking them. The little pills seem to be working just fine, and they give me more of them, so my stash lasts longer. I’m ok with this.
Corn Starch: A few voices on the interwebs have suggested dabbing corn starch on sores to help them dry out faster. I’d never done this, because I never had corn starch on hand and it never occurred to me to go out and buy it for this purpose. Boyfriend and I made slow cooker chili for his fantasy football league’s draft party, and the recipe called for corn starch. So, having a whole bunch of it left over, I tried it out. After herpes blisters break, they become open sores that weep. Patting corn starch onto them turned the weepy fluid into more of a paste, which consequently stuck to my pubic hair, which then stuck to my underwear, and pulled painfully at unfortunate times. I can’t say that I loved it, but it wasn’t awful, and for all I know it helped. If you want to give it a try, I’d say go ahead and see if it works for you. Let me know what happens.
More Pills: Despite the bajillion sources recommending L-lysine as a herpes treatment and prevention method, and despite having encouraged countless other people to use it, I’d never actually taken it myself. Mostly I never felt like spending money on it. When I went to pick up my script, I broke down and paid, like, $7 for a bottle of 100 of them. I figured that I was also spending about $10 on supplies for my Halloween costume, and my health should be at least as valuable to me, right? The instructions said to take 2 per day “for healthier skin,” so I kept the bottle next to my valacycovir bottle, and took them together twice a day. Will I continue to take them daily, let alone twice a day, after my outbreak completely clears? I doubt it. I’ve tried multiple times over the years to get into the habit of taking a simple vitamin on a daily basis and failed miserably. This is exactly the reason I rely on the NuvaRing for my birth control, not a daily pill. But, I have no problem throwing an L-lysine tab down my throat every time I pop an anti-viral, so that will probably become my standard outbreak treatment in future.
I only had one lonely valacyclovir pill left, which I popped last night before bed. This morning I called the gyno to have the script refilled, and she sent it in to the pharmacy, and I went to pick it up 20 minutes ago.
With my last insurance? The deductible was $500 so I always paid full price. A whopping $120 for a bottle of 20 pills.
This time they gave me 30 pills for TWENTY BUCKS!
The system works!
On June 22, exactly 22 days after I was suddenly laid off from my full-time job, I started working a part-time job. It’s with a tiny, local, 5-person company whose mission I believe in and whose other employees are exceedingly nice. So far I’ve given them two half days and one full day, and so far I’ve enjoyed the work they’ve had me do. The pay is low and hourly, but what’s really great?
IF I WORK 20+ HOURS PER WEEK, THEY WILL SET ME UP WITH HEALTH INSURANCE.
That is HUUUUUUGE.
The company currently does not have a group plan, but one of the other employees (who we’ll call Work Guy) is also being laid off in the next couple of weeks, and so long as there are 2 of us that need and want to be on a plan, we can have a group plan together through the Chamber of Commerce. As my COBRA coverage is still not set up, and will only last through July when it is, I told him I’m all in. He’s also promised me the minimum 20 hours per week, which he’s just as invested in my having as he is, since neither of us will have a plan if I don’t get the hours.
He sent me the chart explaining the 6 plans available to us, and another explaining how much each of those plans would cost per person/couple/parent with child/family. I wasn’t able to make heads or tails of either chart, so I called the lady at the company that is brokering the deal for us. She informed me that she hadn’t talked to Work Guy since March when she originally sent him the price list he had sent me, and that she’ll have to speak to him and rerun the numbers. Acknowledging that the information I’d been given was out of date, I asked her my questions about the 3 least-expensive plans available, and she answered them as best she could.
On all 6 plans, the chart cell next to Preventative Care reads, Covered in Full, Deductible Waived. Next to all Prescription Plan Options it reads, Contraceptives covered. Retail: 30 Day Supply. Mail Service: Up to 90 Day Supply. I heart Obamacare.
She wasn’t able to tell me if *all* contraceptives would be covered, or if there’s a list of some what will be and some that won’t. Currently the NuvaRing, which I use, is listed as a Non-Preferred, Brand-Name Drug. That means where I’d pay the lowest deductible for a generic (say, $20), and a little more for a preferred-brand-name drug (say, $45), my birth control would require the non-preferred deductible (a corresponding $65). Those numbers depend on what Rx plan we end up with, but that’s how it’ll work. Now that the Affordable Care Act has officially been ok’ed by the Supreme Court, the health insurance companies and the agents that broker them are scrambling to figure out what that means on a practical level. She asked the provider (insurance company) what will happen with the NuvaRing once the Women’s Preventative Care Act takes effect (and I’ve asked her when that will be), and was told that they weren’t sure, and were waiting for guidance from the courts.
Valacyclovir is a generic, so it will be covered under the lowest copay. Valtrex is a non-preferred brand-name, so it would be the most expensive. I’m ok with that, since I use the generic anyway.
I forgot to ask the lady about pre-existing conditions. She would probably direct me to the actual provider to answer that questions, because she’s not supposed to know my personal health conditions or what drugs I’m on.
The plans range per-month from $250-ish to $350-ish, though of course I’m waiting on the final numbers on that. I’m not actually sure what my take-home pay per-month will be from this job. It’ll probably cover the less expensive plans, but as I haven’t received a paycheck yet, I don’t know. My unemployment coverage hasn’t actually been completely set up yet, either, so I have no idea how much I’ll receive from that, especially considering that I’m now working part time. COBRA isn’t set up yet either, though the letter should be in my mailbox any day now (since my ex-coworker received his last Thursday and my mail’s slow from being forwarded from my old address). It’ll run out at the end of July, and the plan through my part-time job will take a month to set up. That means there will probably be a gap of at least a couple weeks where I’m not covered, and I’m not sure what that means for pre-existing conditions.
Deep breath. Will write an update when I know more. Stay healthy, everyone!