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Feeling Positive but still fighting fear

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Poz-3/6/07:
Hello community,

I just found out on 3-6-07 that I was indeed HIV+.
It was a shock to my wife, however I knew that I had danced with the devil back in November with a drug party with people I didn't know.
Was my first sampling of a needle, and I guess it only takes one shot of a dirty needle to be thrown into a whole new life.

Lesson learned.

The great part is that my wife and I had not been intimate since the party in October, so she is negative. Thank God.

I have to admit that while I'm staying positive about being positive, I am very afraid of the unknown. My first doctors appt at the Mayo Clinic (supposedly the best place for HIV patients) is on later this month.

MY QUESTION:

What can I expect at my first doctors appt? I heard something about 9 vials of blood...ouch

Any education would be helpful in preparing my mind.....

I stumbled across this forum, and it is so nice to have a community of experts and people feeling that same as me.

Although I danced with the devil, it doesn't mean I have to live with the devil.
My mistake was made and now I have to accept the consequences.

My wife has vowed to stay for the long term and even better my dad heard the news and is by my side (only 2 people I told).

From this forum, Ive learned allot from each of you about CD4 and VL....THANK YOU !!!!!
Ill let you know what mine come back later this month.

Just wanted to introduce myself, and say that together we can walk through the storm with education and strength from others.

I'm trying to stay positive about being positive

dtwpuck:
Wow.. poz...  just three days.  Welcome.

You have taken the first step in trying to remain sane, learning to deal with this disease.  Your positive outlook will take you farther.  And, when it's not so easy to maintain, we will be here to listen. 

You are very lucky that your wife and father are supportive.  This is a huge shock, and you might expect some really rocky times ahead.  They are going to need to talk to you as much as you are going to need to talk to them.  Remain open to the difficulties that occur when people have to express emotions regarding fear and mortality.

It's a tough lesson to learn, dancing with the devil, as you put it.    But, how you got hiv is now a thing of the past.  Your current reality is that you are living with the disease right now, and will continue to do so.  In my experience, the best advice people have given is not to dwell on anything about how you got it, and move into the realm of how you are going to deal with the emotions you feel.

You say you are still fighting fear.  We all are.  Fear of death.  Fear of being sick.  Fear of being alone.  Fear that no one will understand.  Fear is a normal human emotion.  It keeps us alive, keeps us out of danger.   But it also cripples us.. makes us make bad decisions... keeps us insecure.

When I am afraid, I ask myself (outloud)... what do I fear?  What is the worst that could happen?  Can I deal with it if that does occur?  If I can't, can I get help?  Most of the time, I don't get much farther than this before I start realizing that whatever anxiety about what will or won't happen has been mitigated by the fact that I know I can deal with whatever life throws my way.  Sometimes I don't know how I'm going to deal.  But I usually figure it out.   

Right now, your fears are probably all mixed together... difficult to sort out... not as easily defined.  Or, they are something huge, like fear of death.  Take time to talk them out.  Talk with your wife.  Talk to yourself.  Face each of them one by one.    Feel what you need to feel.  Remember, it's OK to cry, it's ok to be afraid, and it's ok to ask for help.

There is not a panacaea on how to deal with these anxieties.  Hopefully you will be exposed to different ways of coping on this board.  And, hopefully, you will see glimmers of your own experience reflected in the experiences of others here.

Again, welcome.  I am hoping someone else will be able to answer your medical questions.  I don't even remember my first doctor's appointment regarding hiv.  Unlike you... I did the drugs AFTER I seroconverted.  Those days are a haze.

Much respect and in the spirit of reaching out.... Scott

Andy Velez:
Poz, welcome.

Feeling frightened is completely understandable and par for the course. You're not going to suddenly fall into a black hole. Really. Although your mind may scare you with that kind of thinking sometimes.   

I'm glad you have found your way to this site. Having HIV in your life is just about as new as it can be at this point. Gradually you'll learn everything you need to about staying healthy. It's essential that you get a doctor with whom you can form a good working partnership to keep you healthy.

Remember that anytime you and your wife have intercourse you need to be wearing a condom. No exceptions. Many thousands of sero-discordant couples are having good lives together in everyway including sexually, and you can as well. Just make sure you always use a latex condom.

You can come here anytime you like to ask questions or to discuss anything that's on your mind. And again, welcome.

Cheers,

Poz-3/6/07:
Thanks guys...

I appreciate the education and support.

Its so nice to have a community.

 ;D

jyngfilm:
welocme poz,
I just glanced at what the others have written so, if this is redundant I apoligize. But for me, it was the first month that was so scarey. After awhile the mind sorta takes stock and things begin to get better, the fear subsides.
I've been poz just a year and two months and its been easier to handle.
I MAKE THIS POINT: I lived in denial for that first year and it has cost me dearly. I didnt seek medical attention for  year and once I did, I had slipped into the next phase of HIV and that's AIDS. SO learn from my mistake and DO go and seek medical attention NOW. I wish I had.   But, even though I;ve progressed to this position I am asyemtimacatic, and ... actually feel great > but have made my recovery profoundly more difficult.
The blood work you'll first encounter is not at all bad, perhaps alot of vials of blood, but once they insert the exponge needle, it won't be removed till all viles are full and its no problem.  Glad you've found out so early.
Ask anything, and this group of wonderful people will help answer any question.  Peace ~jordon

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