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Author Topic: insanely worried and now my lymph nodes are swollen + other symptoms!  (Read 2287 times)

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Offline shadowcloud

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hey..  this is a long story so i'll try making it short.  this is my first post here, and i'm here because i've been worried sick the last 2-3 months after my possible exposure.  i am straight but had been feeling a little bi curious so i ended up having protected intercourse with another male.  about 3-4 weeks later i broke out with hives, my face blew up and got all swollen.  i'm not allergic to anything and this was the first time this had happened to me, although my friend who was eating the same thing had a little bit of the same symptoms (swollen lip).  about a month after exposure i began feeling really tired in the middle of the day, but it went away after a few days.

i then began to freak out and started searching for symptoms online, and this is where it all started.  i have been killing myself with the anxiety ever since.  my next symptoms were these small rashes that would only last about an hour - an hour and a half at most.  my skin would itch, i would scratch it, then my skin turned red and warm.  i then started getting zits all over (my chest, back).  i googled "folliculitis" and my zits looked somewhat similar (folliculitis from what i've read is a VERY common symptom).

i then started getting these mosquito-bite like bumps on my skin, mainly on my arms.  they disappeared after about a week.  ever since exposure i have also lost A LOT of weight (almost 30lbs in 3 months.)  i had been trying to lose weight before my exposure and was very successful at it, and i've been eating healthy ever since (eating healthy and a lot less).  i'm just no sure if my weight loss is because of my changed eating habits or if it is HIV related.

i've also been having a lot more diarrhea lately that comes and goes.  i used to eat a salad for example and 2 minutes later i'd have to go to the bathroom and it would all just come out.  this happened often though.  i would eat something and then a few minutes later i would have had to go to the bathroom and let it all out.

it is now 2 months and 2 weeks later.  about a week ago i noticed insanely small specks of skin peeling on my finger, and now i have it on my palm.  this could be normal but i've read that peeling skin is a symptom.  however, my skin isn't exactly peeling.  i guess i would best describe it as circular openings in my skin.

last night SCARED the shit out of me though.  ever since i read that swollen lymph nodes are a symptom i've been constantly checking for them.  i had calmed down a bit recently but then i noticed some pain in my armpit.  i started feeling it up and it looks to me like i have a SINGLE SWOLLEN LYMPH NODE there.  it hurts very little when pressed against.

i'm honestly just freaking out, and i hate to sound like every other person who comes on here posting something similar.  i'm sure this has gotten very repetitive around here and all over the internet on these forums, but i just really need someone to tell me i'm alright.  i'm a huge hypochondriac and searching the internet for symptoms hasn't been helping me AT ALL.  all of my symptoms never seemed that serious and all seemed like they were anxiety related.

but now, with what i'm guessing is a swollen lymph node, i'm just about to break down.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: insanely worried and now my lymph nodes are swollen + other symptoms!
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2012, 01:07:57 AM »
First off, calm down. Stop messing with your lymph nodes. THAT causes them to swell, and painfully so.

You had protected sex, and that is all that counts. You won't get HIV from protected sex. That's why it's called "protected."

Your anxiety is causing these symptoms. Not HIV. But hey, you WERE looking to lose some weight, right? Mission accomplished.

I don't mean to make light of your predicament. It might actually help to talk to a professional counselor about these anxieties. Hypochondria and OCD are treatable, especially using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Many therapists charge on a sliding scale, too.

Sex should be an enjoyable thing, not a source of months of trauma. HIV is ridiculously easy to avoid. Wear a condom for penetrative sex, and that's basically it.*

* also don't share needles and stuff.
"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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