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Over a year of pain

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maninblack View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04Mar2015 at 4:52am
Hello,

I was diagnosed back in January 2014. The first dermatologist I saw treated warts on my penis. It wasn't until later that I discovered the anal ones. My girlfriend of four years reacted badly after the warts did not go away after a few weeks of treatment, then weeks become months, and she left me in June 2014. We haven't spoken since.

I changed dermatologists and the penis warts seem to have gone away – I don't think I've seen one since August. But the ones in the anal region are out of control now. I had four VERY painful cryotherapy treatments in August - December of 2014. I have also been given the Gardasil vaccine. I have been put on every imaginable medication and they are all very painful. The doctor tells me this is very unusual, that 99.9% of patients have no warts after several rounds of treatment.

I was scheduled for surgery.. but then my doctor told the surgeon he thinks the electrocautery surgery will be ineffective, so I have to decide which of these doctors I believe. I don't want to keep using Aldara (which I am currently on) without some guarantee that it's going to be effective. But it seems like the condylomas are just never going to go away. I may have to just accept them and learn to live with them, which means accepting that I cannot ever have sexual contact again. Honestly I would be okay with choosing abstinence for the rest of my life (I am thirty) if it meant I could otherwise live a normal, pain-free life.

I am severely depressed. My life is a giant mess now. I try to think positively and see the good things in life, but it's different when you are in constant physical pain and reminded all the time about your condition. I am alone. I can never date ever again, and I can't tell anyone in my life what's going on. My work is suffering and I don't enjoy hobbies anymore. I've had to invent vague excuses for missing work and I almost missed a friend's wedding because of a very severe cryotherapy treatment. I can't exercise regularly because of the pain. I've started seeing a therapist to talk about these problems.

Sometimes, in the darkest times, I consider taking my own life. It doesn't seem worth it to go through life like this. I want to just press an "off" switch and be done with the pain.

If it doesn't get better soon, I am going to quit the medication and give up. It's either that or put a bullet in my head.
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maninblack View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maninblack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04Mar2015 at 5:24am
I should also add my history of how I have responded to the facts of my condition:

When I was first diagnosed and my girlfriend left, I became depressed and started drinking a lot. It was the way I chose to deal with my feelings. I also smoked a lot, which nobody told me was a factor in the spread of the warts. But I quit all of that and I don't drink anymore. I don't smoke. I don't do any recreational drugs or anything else. I eat healthy, I go to the gym (when I can, depending on the pain), and I take vitamins.

I have gone through periods of high positivity when it seemed like things might be working.

For example, this past week I went in to visit with a surgeon who my doctor referred me to. He told me he would put me on anaesthetic which sounded great to me. It was scary to hear about needing surgery (I actually cried in the elevator on the way back) but I felt SO GOOD to just hear that there was a plan. That I'm not just on my own. But then my idiot doctor called him and told him not to remove any of the external warts because he thinks they'll come back, which just completely destroyed the hope I had been given.

The above anecdote explains my attitude now. I've been doing this for so long, and I'm so sick of getting my hopes up only to have them crushed.

The warts always come back, and I actually have MORE now than I did eight months ago. So it is very hard to pretend to be enthusiastic about the medications, especially since I've ALREADY used Aldara and it didn't work. My doctor offered no explanation as to why we was prescribing it to me given my history, but from my own research it sounds like it is usually effective. I just can't imagine how I'm going to deal with weeks of this pain. I can't actually go to the bathroom (bowel movement) without horrible pain.

I don't really cry. Sometimes I want to but the tears don't come. I occasionally just scream as loud as I possibly can until my throat hurts.

I just don't know what to do. I feel like this is never going to end. I don't trust my doctor but I also don't think I am knowledgeable enough to pick a better doctor. I dream about throwing away everything I own and moving to a new city and starting a new life.
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maninblack View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maninblack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08Apr2015 at 3:33am
Just wanted to post some updates.

It's been about 16 months now since I got HPV. I have not drank alcohol more than once or twice in about 10 months. I have no smoked at all in 10 months. I take a lot of vitamins and try to get lots of rest.

Aldara is very effective in removing the warts. Unfortunately, they still keep coming back. I had a surgery to remove internal warts. This was very traumatic for me and I'm still getting over it.

At this point, I have really no hope of ever getting rid of the warts 100%. I think I'm probably just going to be taking Aldara for the rest of my life.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LifeisaBeach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22Jul2016 at 8:36am
So, do you think your immune system has anything to do with this? I'm curious as to why some treatments that work for some don't work for others. I think that just goes to show that even the top medical professionals don't really grasp an understanding of how to combat this. I think it's unfortunate that more research isn't being done in hopes of finding a cure. I think since they know that genital warts usually don't cause immediate harm to a person, that they focus their attention on other diseases that are more physically harmful. It's just the emotional toll that it takes on a person. For one, the self-worth factor is devastating. No one wants to see fleshy growths on their once normal body. Also, how do you tell someone you love about them. I mean normal sex is thrown out the door & no one wants to be a burden to their lover. What you can find peace in though, is that things could be much worse. I mean what if the three letter acronym was HIV & not HPV...I've had my warts for just over a year now & I haven't done anything to fight the warts yet, because I'm not yet ready to face the reality of situation. I mean if my warts aren't eradicated through treatment, then I don't even know what I'm going to do. It sucks that something like this even exists. Keep your spirits high though. I think this forum is very therapeutic for many & I plan on offering myself as a shoulder to lean on & an ear to lend. We're all here just trying to cope with this unfortunate circumstance. If anyone knows what you're going through, it's us. (I posted this on Jan. 30th of this year, but I had just joined so it caused the message to be pending)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LifeisaBeach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22Jul2016 at 8:38am
I've thought about ending it multiple times. I don't remember the last time I woke up happy /: It's tough man, but I don't want to give up hope that this will lead to brighter day. We're all in this together.
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