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Author Topic: How long did it take you to adjust?  (Read 3485 times)

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Offline otherplaces

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  • Posts: 398
  • Mutant Super Hero
How long did it take you to adjust?
« on: June 26, 2006, 01:15:37 AM »

This is perhaps an odd question as I'm sure it may be an ongoing struggle for many of us. My curiosity is not really about acceptance. It's more a question of when you felt you had rearranged your life to an acceptable level regarding being diagnosed with HIV.

I think one of the most overwhelming parts of being HIV+ (aside from a fear of being alone the rest of your life) is to what degree one must change their daily routines. I imagine a fair portion of us may have been 'party people' to some degree and such a lifestyle doesn't really fit with this diagnosis.

Personally this has been a major struggle for me. I started going to the gym alot after my diagnosis, but that has unfortunately slacked off. Then my car was stolen last week...now I have no way of really getting to the gym at all (I can't take the bus to the gym 4 times a week). Now I'm trying to figure out how to adjust to working out at home. I need to go buy some weights...but again, no car, no time to take the bus where I can buy them. Also, smoking and drinking were quite a part of my old life. I made alot of headway in the first six months but it's all fallen apart. To be honest, after continually trying to quit smoking for 9 months I'm a bit scared to death to try and quit again. I know all too well at this point what a nightmare it is. I figure if I could get back to working out alot I could start leveraging smoking and drinking out of my life again...they certainly don't go well together.

Then there's eating. I eat horribly. Sometimes I only eat twice a day. I've been a silly bachelor for way too long. I tried to start cooking 7 years ago when I moved to Chicago. It didn't take long for me to cause a fire and I gave up. I have tried again a few times but with my work schedule I always feel way too worn out to deal with it. I've never been a big eater. I've tried to increase the amount I eat but I always just seem to run out of time to deal with such things.

11 months into all this I feel like I've just embarked on a never ending cycle of failure in trying to move forward and confront what I have from a daily living perspective. I think often feeling like I'm failing in this change feeds into my sadness, remorse, loneliness and depression...which makes me want to smoke and drink more and on and on it goes. Vicious cycle.

Am I expecting too much from myself in this period of time? Please share. I'd like to hear other's stories.

thanks,
brian (who is happy he at least finally cleaned his apartment tonight)

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: How long did it take you to adjust?
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2006, 01:31:42 AM »
brian (who is happy he at least finally cleaned his apartment tonight)

3 cheers for cleaning, 3 cheers for reaching out & being honest, 3 cheers for Brian & Brian's courage!

i was a party person, certainly. now, basically i've found other addictions that are less harmful to my body e.g. aromatherapy, researching holistic stuff via magazines or the web ... do you know kate moss had to go for auricular acupuncture to treat her drug addictions? that's needles inserted into the outside edges of your ears ... it's used for smoking cessation too. i get it done 3x a week for $10 a session, so $30 a week - comparable to booze or cigarettes but it's not harmful

hey --it ain't your fault your car was stolen. just remind yourself you have to eat good food (no ifs ands or buts) especially since you're lifting weights 8)  wishing you the best! (as in, no more kitchen fires etc!)

Offline RobT

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Re: How long did it take you to adjust?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2006, 01:47:45 AM »
Brian-
It only took me a few months since my pos diagnosis. The day I received my result, I was floored like every1 else wud b, but I knew that my life HAD to change. I quit smoking awhile ago, but I still do drink. I used to drink like a fish, but had cut back to a glass of red wine a night since. I was also a 'party person', ingesting all those party drugs, but have stopped. My bf in London, keeps on saying, "Someday I will regain my strength to go out partying again", but I highly doubt that. I feel that I have done my share of partying to last me awhile. I now go to the gym very religiously. I have also begun going to church, something that I have never done b4, and carrying a rosary; although I am not Catholic. I feel doing both of these gives me the strength and comfort that I need to continue life as usual. I also have changed my eating habits as well. I used to eat only small portions several times a day. I still eat those small portions, but I do know that I cannot eat close to the timeframe that I usually have to take my pills. I have done that b4 and did not like the outcome.
Every now and then, I have relapses and feel bad or ashamed that I got this "bug". These relapses come and go, but I always think back on how much more my life wud b different if I did not have this. It gets sad and depressing and I usually have taken that energy out on cleaning. hope this helps!

RobT

9/27/2005-1st test results
Viral Load >1,000,000
CD4 204
CD4%age 18
CD4/CD8 ratio .23
11/24/2005- Sustiva/Truvada
04/18/2006
Viral Load 140
CD4 402
CD4%age .21
CD4/CD8 ratio .39
Next appt.-06/27/2006 (lab results)


Current meds: Atripla
VL: undetectable
CD4: 630

Offline JohnOso

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Re: How long did it take you to adjust?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2006, 02:13:25 AM »
Interesting question.

Since I found out I have AIDS in January, I have been doing 50 push ups twice a day, 300 sit ups a day as well as taking multiple vitamins;, etc. a day.  3-4 days a week I hike about 3-4 miles up and down hills around my house.

I think it's more or less trying to fight the good fight against this illness.

I want to win this battle...what can i say?  i'm a stubborn person.

Take care,
John

Offline dario

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  • Posts: 80
Re: How long did it take you to adjust?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2006, 08:01:32 AM »
I got infected November 2005. My first labs in January 2006 showed cd4 154 and vl 600,000.  The doctor tried to explain to me that it was not yet aids because I was going through what doctors termed "primary infection".   In fact two months later cd4 climbed to 205 without meds.  Now I almost feel nothing.

What hurts me most is the feeling that I was a fool.  That I should have known better.  When I see all the other healthy people around me and I feel jealous!  I start asking questions like: "Why did this happen to me?"  I even removed the mirror from my room because I am terrified by the prospect of loosing my muscle (I went regularly to the gym for bodybuilding).  I end up crying because the chap who infected me wanted to do sex with me because I was a bodybuilder.  I was also attracted to him .... Now I feel lost.

My suggestion is reading holistic stuff.  I carry on myself a rosary beads (even though I rarely pray it).  I went to Pompei sanctuary, the santo in Padova, and to the shroud in Turin, to the Possenti shrine at the Gran Sasso Abruzzi, to the Gesu Nuovo in Naples ....   

Then read interesting books about holistic stuff.  And pray and hope that better medicines will be developed in the future for all of us.
... when I was young, I never needed anyone, making love was just for fun, those days are gone ... Eric Carmen (Raspberries)

Offline doyourowndamndishes

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Re: How long did it take you to adjust?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2006, 12:41:01 PM »
Hey,

With me, it took about a year after hearing the initial confirmation (I just knew I was poz so went to a new doctor to get it confirmed) before I was ready to deal with it.  My previous doctor I never felt confiding in him about hiv when I thought I was infected so he's not a good doctor for me.  How honest of an opinion could I get if I did not feel comfie confiding in him and being 100% honest with him?!?  A friend at the time told me about his family doctor who also specializes in hiv care and he was able to get me in to see this doctor.  It took me a year, not that I had a problem with being poz.  Even my doctor had asked how I would deal with it if I was infected (Pre lab results) and asked the same question post lab results) and if I had a strong enough support system if I needed help.  Being poz was not an issue, how I got it, yes, but I was not in a head space at that time where it was important to me.  The lab results initially were vl 150,000+ cd4s 260s and since at that point in time meds were not really necessary I took the time I needed to come into the head space required to manage the disease.  The second lab tests, again a year later, showed a drop in cd4s (low 180s) and it was recommended that I start meds and go on bactrim to prevent PCP.  The rest is history.

Cheers,

Alan
"All that we are is theresult of what we have thought." -Buddha

Offline Eldon

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Re: How long did it take you to adjust?
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2006, 08:14:34 PM »
The adjustment starts when you accept your situation. There will be good and bad days though. But mainly good days.

Offline otherplaces

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  • Mutant Super Hero
Re: How long did it take you to adjust?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2006, 12:24:04 AM »

Thanks for all the replies,

I guess at some point it's just time to buckle down and start chipping away at the mountain. I feel I have accepted my diagnosis, it's just that I don't know where to begin. I often wondered if maybe one of my friends would say to me, 'brian I love you and I want you to quit smoking and I'm ready to help you through this no matter what.' :P That was my fantasy friend. I guess the answer is I start here, stand up and start chipping away at the mountain.

The other thing that screws with my life that I forgot to mention is SLEEP! How could I forget? I have a horrible time getting to sleep. Sometimes I really feel like quite a mess.

thanks,
brian

Offline aztecan

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  • Posts: 5,394
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: How long did it take you to adjust?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2006, 01:03:00 AM »
Hey Brian,

In an earlier thread, someone asked when I adjusted. My reply was that I adjust every day.

I wasn't being flippant. I was serious. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't make some sort of adjustment in my life - sometimes because of HIV, but more often these days because I'm simply no longer a 20-something, or a 30-something. Come to think of it, I am barely a 40-something. EEP!

If I might make a suggestion - don't try to change everything at once. Life is changeable enough as it is, let alone trying to change the habits of a lifetime - or a long time - in the span of a few short months.

As Eldon said, the first step is acceptance of your situation. This doesn't mean giving in to the virus, but accepting the fact that it is now a part of your life and will be from this day forward.

That is enough of a task to start with. For me, it is a balancing act. It means balancing the knowledge that I must do certain things, such as taking my meds, with an overwhelming desire to live my life to the fullest degree possible. I think I pretty much have that down now, so I can look at other things in my life that I might like to change and start working on them.

I used to drink plenty. No, change that to "lots." I loved beer. I still love beer. I also love scotch whiskey, wine, etc. Then, another change came along. I found I was gluten intolerant. I no longer can eat or drink anything containing gluten, i.e. made with wheat, barley, rye or oats.

That pretty much ended my beer drinking. I did cheat once, about two years ago. I just had to have a beer. I did, and paid for it for weeks.

Now, I still would like a beer, but instead I have a glass of wine. It's not as satisfying for me, but it is OK.

These are just examples of how my life's path has led me to change ways in which I live. Just taking one thing at a time.

So, don't beat yourself up because you didn't quit smoking, drinking, eating poorly, sleeping badly, etc., all in one instant. You didn't fall into these habits overnight, don't try to change them that way.

Above all, enjoy your life. Grab each day and make the most of it, even those days that aren't so good.

HUGS,

Mark
« Last Edit: June 27, 2006, 01:06:04 AM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline michaelman333

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  • Posts: 56
  • Chaos and reason collide
    • My Facebook
Re: How long did it take you to adjust?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2006, 01:30:49 AM »
Thanx for this post ... i seriously am dealing with this issue big time... i lately have fallen into a depression and seem very upset a lot ... i am still adjusting and wondered how long it took as well...

I was diagnosed Nov. 30 2005
i seemed to jump right in and just attack being poz and all that it entails... starting meds, research studies, dr.visits, support gfroups and now it is all slowing down and i am now feeling like i am  dropping and losing myself and my energy ...

I am angry/sad/ and the sleep factor .. lets forget about that ...

anyway i just wantedyou to know you arent alone ...

hugs
M
06/29/09 ---- CD4- 392 (20%)   VL-Und
02/19/09 ---- CD4- 513 (23%)   VL-Und
01/11/09 ---- Switched Atripla
11/05/08 ---- CD4- 462 (23%)   VL - Und
04/01/06 ---- CD4- 274 (19%)   VL - 1200
03/20/06 ---- Started Truvada/Azatanovir/Ritonavir
02/28/06 ---- CD4- 219 (17%)   VL - 217,000
Diagnosed HIV+ 11/30/2005

You said I was lost/Wrong again
Said I had crossed that/Line again
Made it to easy to/Scream again
Made me feel queazy/Let me in
~~MLH

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: How long did it take you to adjust?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2006, 08:03:52 AM »
I have a horrible time getting to sleep. Sometimes I really feel like quite a mess.

I think "Sleepless in America" is airing on NBC tonight - Nightly news I think 6:00 PM or thereabouts
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12804871/

Offline otherplaces

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  • Posts: 398
  • Mutant Super Hero
Re: How long did it take you to adjust?
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2006, 01:53:22 AM »

I hear you Michael. We were diagnosed about the same time. I guess you start off at a sprint and it's just hard to keep it up. I think I feel a 2nd wind!!! 'eh maybe.

I've been cutting back on my drinking. Back into acceptable doctor limits of 1 or 2 per night, but I'd like to cut back more. I just don't think I should be drinking every night even if it is 1 or 2 beers. I've started to put on the brakes of the smoking train. We'll see if I can get it slow enough to hop off.

I'm analogy boy tonight.

Mark, thanks for your perspective. I'm moving into a space where instead of sulking at home I'll get up and at the very least just start walking somewhere. I get tired of being trapped in my little world. I want to get out and live a new day.

Alex, thanks for the article. I thought I might have sleep apnea but my doc told me I'm too skinny. He perscribed some sleeping pills. They help sometimes, definitely not a silver bullet. Rozerem I believe they're called.

brian (who can't seem to get to bed before 1am even when he tries)

Offline sfpvguy41

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  • Posts: 115
Re: How long did it take you to adjust?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2006, 03:19:47 AM »
Shortly after I was diagnosed a friend was killed, hit by a bus (literally).  Hje had just turned 40 in good health.  Last year, an acquaintance died from AIDS. He resisted getting a test until he was checked in the hospital and had about 2 Tcells left. He staged a recovery for a couple years, then died.  I felt terrible and scared.  Then, this fall another friend died.  Healthy gay friend about 45, not from AIDS but from a staph infection. 

So here's my take.  If you treat yourself right both physically and mentally, and get good medical care and a good treatment regimen, which you adhere to, you are likely to live long enough to die of natural (or other) causes, perhaps well after others less fortunate...I know it is odd to think of yourself as maybe fortunate!  But who knows, anyone could be hit by a bus tomorrow.  Live life to the fullest while you have it, and don't let HIV give you the excuse to waste time in depression or to be self-destructive (either by avoiding getting the medical help you need, or by drugs/alcohol etc)...then the virus wins and you lose. 

Take it a day at a time and give yourself room to be down from time to time - that's only normal.  But overall you will find that a whole hour might go by when you don't think about your infection.  Then an afternoon, then a day.  Get support when you need it, groups are great and so are the folks here online.  You'll get through it, and be ready for the next challenges life throws at you, because there will be more!

Good luck!
Robert

Labs: (undetectable since 2005)
12/13: 634 cdr, 37.3%, 758 cd8, total chol 183, triglycerides 131
8/13: changed to Edurant from Reyataz
12/12: 828 cd4, 34.5%, 1078 cd8, total chol 192, tri 196
12/11: 787 cd4, 37%, 979 cd8.
9/11: 758 cd4, 38%, 944 cd8, und.
8/11 dropped norvir, incr reyataz to 400 mg
6/11: 621 CD4 CD4% 41, CD8 680! Undetectable. Creatinine and eGFR are ok now.
Switched from Truvada to Epzicom in late April 2011
AGT/AST and creatinine back to normal mid-April.
Cut Norvir from regimen.
Switched back to Reyataz/Norvir late Feb 2011
2/11: CD4 664 34%, CD8 963, diagnosed with osteoporosis, high AGT/AST and creatinine.
12/10: CD4: 676 CD4%: 34 CD8: 1012
Switched from Reyataz/norvir to Isentress 10/10
8/10: CD4: 731 CD4%: 40 CD8: 866
Diagnosed Sept. 2002 started meds May 2005.

Offline michaelman333

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    • My Facebook
Re: How long did it take you to adjust?
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2006, 03:30:16 AM »
I hear you Michael. We were diagnosed about the same time. I guess you start off at a sprint and it's just hard to keep it up. I think I feel a 2nd wind!!! 'eh maybe.


yeah well my second wind is turning more into a gust of wind for a moment ...
you know we are even about the same age LOL ... well if you ever need anyone to chat with feel free to meail me ... that way you dont feel so alone or you can IM me :)

hugs to ya :)
M
06/29/09 ---- CD4- 392 (20%)   VL-Und
02/19/09 ---- CD4- 513 (23%)   VL-Und
01/11/09 ---- Switched Atripla
11/05/08 ---- CD4- 462 (23%)   VL - Und
04/01/06 ---- CD4- 274 (19%)   VL - 1200
03/20/06 ---- Started Truvada/Azatanovir/Ritonavir
02/28/06 ---- CD4- 219 (17%)   VL - 217,000
Diagnosed HIV+ 11/30/2005

You said I was lost/Wrong again
Said I had crossed that/Line again
Made it to easy to/Scream again
Made me feel queazy/Let me in
~~MLH

Offline DanielMark

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  • Posts: 1,475
Re: How long did it take you to adjust?
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2006, 05:43:23 AM »
Hi Brian,

For me, adjusting is something that happens on a need-to-do basis, daily. On bad days, hour by hour, or minute by minute.

I was fortunate that I was diagnosed eight months after exiting a rehab centre, and had a good start on recovery from addiction in my life. Being involved in my own recovery gave me many tools to help me cope with the addictions, and I just carried them over to living with HIV.

So by September of 1987, there I was clean and sober when I got “the news.” If I had still been drinking and drugging, I no doubt would have only increased that and been dead within a year or two.

It sounds like you’re looking at the big picture at this point. So my first suggestion to you would be to break things into manageable portions. Tackle one thing at a time, and eventually you will have overcome a whole list of things.

I found being referred to a psychotherapist helpful too. Also, having an active inner spiritual life helps me.

As far as trouble sleeping goes, I’ve been prescribed a low dose sedative. I find that helps.

Hang in there. Keep things simple. It will get better. Maybe not a whole lot easier, but better.

Daniel
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
VL STILL UNDETECTABLE

DIAGNOSED IN 1988

Offline maddeuwch

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  • Posts: 66
  • Po callaf y dyn,anamlaf ei eiriau.
Re: How long did it take you to adjust?
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2006, 05:57:47 AM »
I'm new to this all.Just tested positive yesterday.I don't know how I feel yet.I had a bit of a panic last night,and my heart is beating like crazy this morning.

I drink very little alcohol...I've had about 3 beers this year,but I smoke a lot.I usually roll my own,but yesterday I went back to the packets and smoked over 20.I'm hoping to cut this down slowly because it suppresses my appetite and I desperately need to put weight on.I'm 6ft and weigh only about 10 stone....(no idea what that is in kilos guys) :)

Oh yeah....I did 20 press-ups this morning while my toast was burning...it nearly killed me ;D

I like the way Mark has put it....We shouldn't beat ourselves up too much.It's going to take time.
Po callaf y dyn,anamlaf ei eiriau...(i need to remember that sometimes)!

 


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