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Introduce yourself

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dad1216:
My name is Bob, and I live in rural Indiana.  I have lived in the same house for 15 years, just 3 houses away from my Mom. My Dad passed away in late 2005 from cancer.  I am the youngest of 3 boys, and I just turned 53. 

I worked most of my life as management in the service industry, but the last 10 years of my working life was in finance.  I am currently on disability from SS.   

I am the father of 2 boys, 20 & 22, who both live at home.  My closest friend and wife just recently moved in with us to be my caretaker. Add in 2 dogs and 1 queen of the house cat, and I have a great support system in place.

I tested positive in 1988, about a year and a half after my youngest was born.  My wife and I separated and the kids stayed with me, and have been with me since.  A costly, bitter, news making, welfare interfering, divorce and custody battle, for a gay man with HIV in a small town, was my introduction to this disease.  In late 89 a very educated judge granted me full custody.

In 1999 with an upgrade from positive I started treatment until 2006 when my other options needed to be weighed out.  This option ended up being nature taking its course.  I entered this phase last August.  It was the hardest soul searching, educated decision I every made in my life.  As each day passes, as the body and mind takes another hit, I still am confident in my position with this battle.  Even if my weapons have decreased, I still am fighting in my own special way.

So that is just a little about me. 

Bob

Miss Philicia:
Some great stories here.

My name is David.  I'm 42, was diagnosed in '93 at age 28 but that was the first time I ever took an HIV test and as I was below 200 cd4 I'd say I was infected around the years of '87-'89.  As such I barely had to time to catch my breath before going on HIV medication, and have been on handfuls of practically everything available since then.  My numbers are really good now, but the first 10 years they were not and consequently I have resistance to a great deal of meds. 

I lived for 15 years in NYC during all of this, and only recently moved to Philadelphia 2 years ago.  I'm pretty much eternally single and have dealt with all of this medical drama on my own (excepting a few years), though I'm now out with it all with my family and they're super great and supportive.

I'm a feisty fighter with HIV and I don't plan on giving up anytime soon.

Ody:
Hi my name is Odis but everyone calls me Ody. I was diagnosed  with HIV in March 1986, but was infected between Thankgiving 1985 and January 1986 at the age of 16, living a small farm town In SW. Michigan aka Michiana area. The youngest of 3 and only male. My status changed to AIDS in 1987. I am now 37.

My local family is somewhat supportive, I should say my mother, step father, and nephew. My father died in 1999 believing I was negative and the doctors where wrong cause everyone knows  Hiv/Aids kills you in 2 years. I converted my step father's  homophobia, Aids-phobia. My nephew begs me to keep living, he and his wife even let me name their first child. My non-local family are more supportive, with my 2 nieces are both involved with health care due to me, one didn't like the way I was treated by nurses in the hospital, is now a nurse working with HIV/AIDS patients, and her sister, not liking the way my blood was drawn in the hospital, became a phlebotomist.

I have a negative partner of  5 years, my ex who is now my care giver when I let him, and my 2 dogs living with me in my mobile home I have owned for 6 years.

I worked in a nursing home till a leak of information by a receptionist at the doctor's office made way back, I refused to release my medical records and was effectively fired. I landed a great deal and purchased a vintage diner that was sold by my family when I started having uncontrollable seizures and was released from medical care to 'go home and die in comfort'. When they stopped and I learned to read, write, walk, and talk again, I managed to do well in creative real estate investments. I am currently getting SSDI, working feverishly  recovering as much of 'me' as I can after my last life threatening illness in Augest 2005.

Now living over half my life with this virus I look back and say "It's been one hell of a journey but what a ride! Now, when and where is the next pot hole?" I enjoy doing what was said couldn't be done, living!

Hope I didn't repeat anything I have placed in other posts...

Peace health and love,
Ody

gemini20:
Hello again, I'm Emma, age 37 and have been diagnosed since 1991.

I was infected when I was 21 while in a relationship with a guy who knew he was positive but he chose not to tell me until a condom broke. Unfortunately for me that one occasion was enough to get infected. I stayed with him after my diagnosis but he later developed AIDS related dementia and had to move into a hospice until he died in May 1993.

I grew up mainly in rural England (Herefordshire) but moved to London to finish my degree and never left. I have lived in Chelsea for over 13 years and share my flat with my cat.

I have worked throughout my diagnosis - ten years in local government and since 2002 running my own consultancy business, mainly providing HIV education in schools.

I have only spent a total of 22 months out of the last 16 years on meds for HIV and am currently on another break of 18 months and counting.

I do not know what the future holds but I am thankful for every extra day of life I'm getting and try to make sure I enjoy it.

Emma



Christine:
Hi, I'm Christine. I was diagnosed in '93, (I think) infected in late '91. I have been married for 13 years, he is negative. I have a pan resistant virus. Resistant to everything except Viread.  My tcells dropped below 200 almost right away, and have been there ever since. I have not had much success with the meds, but managed to do well until 2001.

I was standing in my kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, and felt funny...like all my energy was being pulled out of my feet. It was a very odd feeling. I remember being in the ER, and walking back to the room to be seen by the doctor, and then I don't remember anything for the next two weeks. I was in the ICU, liver almost shut down, on dialysis, life support, feeding tube. It was diagnosed as an unknown bacterial infection. Two more weeks in the hospital, and a week in rehab, I bounced back.

I did okay until this past year, when it has been one thing after another. With my last hospitalization, the ID doctor talked to me about my final wishes. She wanted to know what to do if I did not respond to treatment. Basically, the gist of the talk was that my  body is wearing down, and there will come a time when no amount of antibiotics, or other medications will work.

Physically, I am doing better, but mentally it has been very hard. Horrible anxiety, flashback like feelings of being in the hospital. I don't know why this time it has been so hard.

I have been in four trials- Crixivan, TMC-114, T-20, and presently GS-9137.

I used to work in the hotel industry, graduated from Penn State with a degree in Sociology.  Have four dogs, and want another one- Great Dane. Most of my family knows, and is supportive. Have a fantastic doctor and nurse coordinator.

Like to read, but have partial blindness in my right eye due to CMV, and it is hard sometimes. Like to cook, do paper crafts, rubber stamping. Do obedience with the dogs. That's all I can think of for now. Thanks for listening.

Christine

edited for typo

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