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I am HIV+?

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Mike2008:
Hello everyone,

Okay here is my situation.  I was diagnosed on April 27th.  I was in the second week of training for a new job.  I had just been promoted into a very stressful job that requires 50 to 60 hour work weekís minimum.  So, I get the news I am positive just 3 days before I am supposed to take over this account, I really donít remember much about those first 2 weeks.

My CD4 was 493 and my VL was 1875, I was very freaked out, I am a 45 y.o single Gay man living in San Francisco.  Pretty much every day since I found out I have gotten drunk after work.  I have had a substance abuse problem my whole life, sometimes I can control it sometimes not, but lately it has exploded.

I have since resigned from my job.  I wanted to take three months off, get in shape, start living a healthily lifestyle, but when I resigned they begged me to stay one more month.  Then things happened and now they want me to stay another month and possibly to the end of August.  This job pays good money, more than I will make in my next position I am sure, but it is killing me.  Or is it the constant hangovers that is killing me?  BTW I smoke pot constantly when I am not at work.  I did quit smoking cigarettes last July 4th, and not much has gone right since.

My best friend moved from SF a couple of months ago, and I donít have a lot of other friends.  He is understanding, since he is an RN and worked with HIV patients for years. I told one of my Sisters, but no one else.

I feel like I must have some time off, but I canít.  I will take off Sep to Dec though, but that means giving up employer health insurance (I am also covered by the VA).  Financially this is not a problem; I could probably afford 6 months off if I had too.

Well you are the only ones who know all of this.  What do you think?  I feel like I am in a vise.  Today I came this close to just not going to work at all.

Michael

milker:
Hi Mike,

first, welcome to the forums. It is a good thing that you posted here and told your story.

People react differently when they get the news, and it seems that for you it is a very difficult time.

However, your numbers are pretty good, and there does not seem to be any urgency for treatment. You know, the first weeks are the worst, but when you start talking with other HIV+ people it is when you realize that there is life after April 27th, and it can be a good life, with a burden, yes, but still a good life.

You will learn to have HIV be part of you, but being here will help you. Soon you will switch from "I just tested Poz" to "Living with HIV", you will get better understanding on what is going on in your body, what is to be expected, etc.

Drowning in alcohol will not reverse the situation; you have a job that seems good, taking 6 months off may not be the best thing to think about right now, because if you quit and feel better in a week or two, you will then want to go back to work and have a normal life.

Get help about the alcohol problem, and hang tight, morale will improve soon :)

Milker.

Mike2008:
Everyone thinks I doing so good.  Ha!  If they only - I live a total lie.

milker:
But you're not lying to yourself, Mike, and that's the important thing. You may just need external help like here or a councellor to help you during the first few months. It's all about yourself right now, and it's fine. Take it one day at a time, I can assure you that you will feel better soon, hang tight :)

Milker.

jordan:


Mike:

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis....I discovered I was HIV positive in February of 2006.  I can honestly say that today, I'm healthlier and enjoying life more than ever before.  The first couple of months were very tough.....I continued working my job (which was very stressful also) and told only 1 person.

To date, only 2 friends of mine know and my attitude is "business as usual."

Fortunately for me, I had quit drinking two years prior to my diagnosis.  I remember talking to the nurse after finding out and telling her "great, I might as well start drinking again," and she replied "it now more critical that you stay healthly so don't start drinking."

If you want I can recommend several books I read which helped me to understand my addiction and the reasons why I felt shame and was trying to escape.  Today, I can cope with life better than I could before. 

I wouldn't wish what happened to me on anyone.  I guess the silver lining in this dark cloud is that I woke up and started living my life and I've realized that I can do everything and more that I used to do before I found out I was HIV postiive.

Hang in there and remember you always have help here on the forum.

Peace,

Jordan

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