[Question #1951] Herpes Scare W/ Nerves In Legs

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84 months ago

Hello, I am a 27yr old male that is HSV1 IGG 2.29 and HSV2 Neg. as of 12/16.  I believe that HSV1 is oral but I can never remember having a cold sore (mom and grandma got them though) and I have never had an outbreak on my genitals.

 

I recently went on a bachelor party and received oral sex from a girl my age and fingered her.  If we had sex (don't believe we did) it was for seconds because I came too realization and got myself out of that situation. I have extreme guilt and anxiety because I have a girlfr I like very much.

 

Day 3-4 after encounter I noticed I had a slight itch in my entire pubic region above my penis but I had just trimmed the night before.  Day 5-6 I had a backache and felt tired which I correlated to herpes because I'd already looked up all the symptoms. Day 9 I notice sometime in the morning that I can feel my groin lymph nodes and they are just slightly tender.  By the end of the day I have noticeable tingling in the front of both of my thighs. Day 10 I go to see my PCP to tell him and he says my groin lymph nodes are noticeable but are nothing to worry about.   He gives me a prescription of .25mg of xanax for anxiety. Lymph nodes no longer feel tender BUT the tingle in both of my legs intensifies to the point where I can’t ignore it.  I take my first xanax that night and the tingle goes away. Day 11 I felt fairly normal but took 1 xanax in morning and one at night.  Day 12 I try to go without xanax but by 10am I notice my left leg feeling numb while driving so I take a xanax and feel normal until evening time when both thighs begin to tingle intensely so I take another.  I also notice a bit of pins and needles on the bottom of my foot behind my toes and my butt felt noticeable for about an hour.

 

Everything seems to point to herpes except no sores, blisters or legions.  Is it normal to have prodrome for so long during an initial outbreak (nerves in legs)? Is the Xanax just covering up my nerve symptoms or do you think it is in my head?

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Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
84 months ago
Good morning,
I'm sorry you are worried about your situation but the good news is other than tingling, there is nothing at all here that I think has anything to do with herpes.  The other good news is that since you already have HSV 1 infection (per your positive IgG test), it is extremely unlikely that you would acquire HSV 1 in a new location.  The risk from receiving oral sex is HSV 1, not HSV 2.  So many many people experience what they describe as tingling and they never turn out to have genital herpes.

I do think the anxiety medicine likely helps because you are very worried and are noticing every sensation and the the medicine helps settle your mind a bit. 

So I don't think your situation presented a risk of new infection and I don't think your symptoms are herpetic at all.

Please let me know what other questions you might have

Terri
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84 months ago
Thank you Terri,

A little update.. the pins and needles on the bottom/front of both of my feet (mostly left foot though) is still noticeable today (started last night). 

I still have very noticeable tingle sensations in the front of both of my thighs (like a slight electric shock some people describe online or icy/hot).  I was snowboarding the week before and I am trying to tell myself I messed up my back doing that. 

I've read posts by Dr. HHH that it wouldn't be possible to have sore groin lymph nodes without multiple sores.  Would it be possible for herpes to attack the nervous system in my back and legs  this bad for an initial outbreak and not get sores??  (13 days post exposure now).  I've read online that people can have problems with postherpetic neuralgia for months. 

Thanks for the help. 
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Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
84 months ago
I think it is extremely unlikely - read that very close to zero - that you would have herpes attacking your nerves causing all these sensations, without a sores or lesions at all. 
And it is difficult to sort out the issues of post herpetic neuralgia from other issues that people with herpes have - not everything that happens in the lower half of the bodies of people with herpes IS herpes or is CAUSED by herpes.  We actually could use some good research on this topic that includes imaging to rule out things like nerve compression from a bulging disc or narrowed spinal column. 
And we need to go back to the issue of the nature of your exposure - what exactly is it that you think you have - HSV 2?  HSV 1 genitally even though you have it orally???

Terri
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84 months ago
Terri,

I know I have no risk for HSV1 and I really wasn't worried about this encounter until I had itching>backache>lymph nodes>tingling in front of thighs. 
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84 months ago
(Accidentally hit "Submit" too soon on my phone ^^)

As I was saying I wasn't worried until these symptoms started arising.  The tingles seem to have gone and I haven't taken any more anxiety meds. I know most of my issues seem to have been arising from nerves in my legs so I'm going to a chiropractor on Monday.  I was wondering if these symptoms would follow a normal initial HSV2 outbreak timeline?

Also, I'm a little embarrassed to say that after further time and investigation, the feelings in my feet seem to have arisen from some sort of skin ailment which I'm currently treating. 

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Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
84 months ago
I"m so pleased to hear that you symptoms are improving and that you are seeing a clinician to try to work on the leg sensations - and great you are able to treat your feet - that's terrific.  I think you are coming out of the other end of these fears about herpes now, I'm glad.

Terri
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