Thank you Terri. It is very helpful to have access to a knowledgable resource that you can trust to give honest answers and opinions which are based in fact and experience.
I don’t think I will be able to relax truthfully until I can determine what is causing my symptoms and/or they resolve completely. It seems unlikely to me at this point that they will resolve completely without an identified cause and treatment given they have been ongoing for over 9 weeks now. I will say the symptoms MAY be slowly improving. This ordeal has taken a significant toll on me emotionally and is affecting my sexual health as well so I am very much concerned. My biggest fear is that this will have a long term impact on my health in some way as well as my marriage.
Your feedback on the low percentage of low/false positives is helpful and encouraging. I agree with your assessment and that it is an issue now that I am unable to set a baseline test result. I did have other long term sexual partners prior to getting married.
I was looking for your input in really 2 areas. First from what I have read it appears very unlikely that a Herpes infection could be the CAUSE of my symptoms. If I understand correctly Herpes pain is the result of sores, blisters or lesions. Ongoing pain or discomfort by itself with no visible sores especially over a period of so many weeks seems very unlikely to be Herpes related. Really I have only had a day or two during this whole stretch where that area has felt close to “normal”. So again just looking for confirmation – maybe not impossible to be herpes but certainly highly unlikely? In that case I don’t gain much from testing now and should probably follow up elsewhere as if I am positive I have been positive most likely for a long time. On the other hand if I tested negative I could cross it off the list of suspects with certainty I guess but not sure I want to risk it if symptoms are not caused by Herpes.
As far as where else to look for an explanation do you have any thoughts based on your many years of clinical experience? It is hard for me to accept I guess that this has nothing to do with that recent encounter given the timing and location of the discomfort etc but I know it is possible. As I’ve said I have been tested twice now for the usual STD’s and UTI. I also took a dose of Zithromax to minimize the chance of some unidentified bacterial infection. I never had any discharge. My symptoms are limited to a stinging/burning irritation or inflammation in a localized area on my penis. At times the discomfort is significant (at least to me – feels like something is cutting me there at times for example) and at other times it is just a nagging inconvieience. It does not appear to get worse for example with urination. There is nothing visible to me in the area except possibly some slight redness but family Dr looked at it and seemed unconcerned. I do have a fairly significant hernia causing me pain which I will have a surgical repair done on 12/18 but that is on the opposite side from where the penis discomfort is. I also did have some jock itch which largely has subsided (and I never had a rash only itching in a totally separate area consistent with jock itch). I do have a skin tage in that area but have had it for many years and it has never bothered me.
Based on your clinical experience have you seen any cases like this and if so where might I logically consider going next to explore for a possible explanation? Could a fungal or bacterial skin infection as a result of my exposure be a potential cause? Or could I have pain like that from prostatis again caused by this exposure (my family doctor did not do a DRE but said my PSA was fine). Any other logical explanations given my exposure and limited symptoms? I am not prone normally to unreasonable fears so don’t think this is a case of anxiety although I have been feeling extremely guilty and fearful about this so it could be magnified some I guess but I know it is not just anxiety based.
Any thoughts or feedback on this is sincerely appreciated. Thanks again.