Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

Not Herpes, but what could it have been?

Posted In: Medical Errors 24 Replies
  • Posted By: chicaespana2003
  • December 30, 2008
  • 09:34 PM

Back in early September, September 12th to be exact, I woke up with a hot, itching, burning and tenderness in my vaginal area also with painful urination. Not knowing what to do I asked my mother for advice, she suggested that I purchase an anti-itch cream with a soothing additive. I purchased maximum strength Vagicaine. However the application of this cream did not calm the burning. The entire night I did not sleep well and lesions had appeared. September 13th I went to an urgent care where they took a urine sample and a labia sample. They diagnosed me with vaginitis with a bladder infection, since it appeared as their was blood in my urine. The same day, since I was not getting any better, I called my OBGYN and the operator contacted the Dr on call, who then diagnosed me over the phone with a yeast infection instead of vaginitis. The next day, the urgent care center called and told me that I did not have a bladder infection.

The medication I was prescribed for the yeast infection, assisted with the removal of the lesions- literally they fell off. When attempting to look at a lesion, one side appeared to look like crushed velvet, and the other side had a white "tail."

On Monday, I called the OBGYN clinic wishing to make an appointment to see a dr, as my primary OBGYN was not available. The soonest opening was on Tuesday. Due to the pain that I was in, I had to leave work early. When I did see the Dr, he took one look at the situation, and stated that it was Herpes. I was devastated, because I am not sexually active or sexually promiscuous at all. (Really- I'm not kidding! Religious reasons, please understand.) He took a culture for HSV. He then prescribed me to take Valtrex (initial 8 day super dosage, and then 30 therapy) and an ointment to put on the lesions.

I had attempted to do my research on HSV and how I might have contracted it, and any possible other diagnosis it could have been. Both my mom and my boyfriend thought maybe it could have been shingles (herpes zoster). I called my Dr for another appointment to see if I could have a blood test for shingles. He came in and explained to me that Measles, Mumps, Rhuebella, chickenpox, cold sores, herpes and shingles are all in the same virus family. He asked if the medication was working and I had said that it was. To him, that was the end of the discussion.

For the next few weeks I worked on trying to accept that I had herpes, but his explination of how I contracted it boggled my mind. He said that I could have gotten it from shaking hands with a person who had an active cold sore; when i was younger a relative could have kissed me; or I could have gotten it from a toilet seat at work- and the trigger that allowed it to come out of dormancy was stress from my job. I was still determined to have a blood test after the 16 weeks had passed (based on information on the internet).

About 3 weeks ago I called the OBGYN clinic and asked what steps would I need to take to have a blood test taken for HSV. The nurse on the phone never heard of such a test, and then asked the other nurses- none of them had ever heard of a test for HSV. The next day I called my family Dr, and scheduled an appointment that day for a sinus infection- which I had. While talking to him I explained my story, he then stepped out and brought in a book with classic pictures of herpes. I told him that I never had the classic clusters. He did give me the paperwork for a blood test and the following day, I had the blood test taken.

Yesterday, Dec 29th, the results came in (via phone)- for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 the test came back negative. I had asked if the numbers were below the .90 and he said that they were below the .90 and that I was healthy. This makes me very happy, but now I'm wondering- If I didn't have herpes, then what did I have? A week ago I noticed that I have scars where I once had the lesions.

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