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Author Topic: Please remind me that my life isn't over  (Read 4975 times)

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Offline snackprof

  • Member
  • Posts: 16
Please remind me that my life isn't over
« on: October 09, 2007, 04:56:03 PM »
Ok, I don't really feel quite as dire as the title suggests (I haven't even cried about it, and I don't think that I will), but I have my moods.

When I was first told I tried to commit suicide.  It turns out the Anacostia river wasn't quite as deep as it looked where I leaped.  The feeling of the water was enough of a sensation to put me into a "might as well see what else I can experience" state-of-mind, and convinced me to turn around and climb back out.   I had to ride the subway all the way back home soaking wet and smelling like polluted river.

I just want to be told that I can still hope to find someone to love (I'm a gay man, BTW).  The whole long-term partner with kids deal, even.  I want to know that I won't have to think about this every waking moment, that I won't always have to remind myself that I'm diseased whenever I find someone visually admirable.  Most of all, I don't want this to bankrupt me, or destroy my brain, or make everyday living a painful ordeal, or close too many doors of opportunity (i.e., travel destinations).  Is it worth continuing to live with this infection?

I'm only 24, but now I have this "beginning of the end" feeling; that I should be preparing for it all to be over soon. 

I plan on using this forum often, but don't worry, I'm not always so "doom & gloom".
« Last Edit: October 09, 2007, 04:59:06 PM by snackprof »

Offline thunter34

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  • Posts: 7,302
  • His name is Carl.
Re: Please remind me that my life isn't over
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2007, 05:26:34 PM »
Hey, Snack-

No, it isn't all over and yes, you'll be able to find guys visually admirable without always thinking of yourself as diseased.  Take it from a seasoned ho like me.    At 24, I am guessing this diagnosis is all very, very new to you.  Glad you have found us here.  Welcome to the forums...and don't go dunking in any more nasty rivers. 

T
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline DanielMark

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,475
Re: Please remind me that my life isn't over
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2007, 06:00:26 PM »
No Snackprof, your life isn't over. I got my diagnosis at age 27 and I'm still around and kicking at twice your age.

I won't lie to you. It's not always a picnic. Things will be somewhat different now. But if you take good care of your health and your well-being, chances are you'll be around for a good long time.

Be good to you!

Daniel
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
VL STILL UNDETECTABLE

DIAGNOSED IN 1988

Offline anniebc

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  • Posts: 5,937
  • AM member since 2003
Re: Please remind me that my life isn't over
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2007, 06:08:30 PM »
Quote
Is it worth continuing to live with this infection?

Absolutely...reaction to an HIV result is different for everyone, but in time you will find a way of dealing with it, and in a way that suits you.

No-one will ever tell you it's going to be easy, it will bring on anxieties and stress, but one way of dealing with this is through information, learning about your status, gaining confidence in it, and in yourself, and also making informed decisions for your future...and believe me you do have a future.

Just remember being HIV+ does not stop you from being the man you were before you found out about your status.

I believe there is someone for everyone, and if you have love to give then you will find someone to share it with...just give yourself time

Welcome to the family.

Hugs
Jan :-*

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline DCGUY2007

  • Member
  • Posts: 315
Re: Please remind me that my life isn't over
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2007, 12:06:08 AM »
You have your whole life ahead of you. Yes you can still travel too. I travel a lot and haven't had any problems. Things will get better. Maybe you can see a therapist too or someone if your depression doesn't let up. Sorry to hear you felt suicidal. Posting here and friends can help.

Offline megasept

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  • Posts: 478
  • Steven here...
Re: Please remind me that my life isn't over
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2007, 09:18:46 AM »
It turns out the Anacostia river wasn't quite as deep as it looked where I leaped...I plan on using this forum often, but don't worry, I'm not always so "doom & gloom".

Doom & Gloom:

Ah, the rewards of failure. Maybe the many pollutants hosted by the Anacostia River provided unwanted buoyancy. Death might be a bitch, but Life is the tricky part. I think you realize that.

Instead of waiting to see what happens to you, make things happen for you.   Live to your potential. Keep laughing. Love will come your way if your heart is full.

 8)  -megasept (who's never taken the subway soaking wet)
« Last Edit: October 10, 2007, 09:23:21 AM by megasept »

Offline clubbin1980

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  • Posts: 13
  • if u want a pic ask and ill send via e-mail
Re: Please remind me that my life isn't over
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2007, 03:51:40 PM »
i have known i am poz for about 7 months now and it has taken this long to come to the reality that there is still a life to be had..... u can still want to be with the guy thats visually apealling... u just need to take a few precautions....
  i was thinkin i wont be with anyone... and im not yet but i am still out there as if i was poz or neg,,, same mindset...
im 27... and still have a life thats long and coming... u do to.... live it well...

if u need an ear to talk to... im here..

clubbin1980

Offline next2u

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,761
Re: Please remind me that my life isn't over
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2007, 01:52:26 AM »
Most of all, I don't want this to bankrupt me, or destroy my brain, or make everyday living a painful ordeal, or close too many doors of opportunity (i.e., travel destinations). 

Hey, I hear you man. Being recently diagnosed myself I have all the same thoughts running through my mind (except jumping into an abhorrent & filthy river). Finances, continue with the game plan. Find out if your job (or potential job) has good health benefits. Try and reconcile the difference with the county or state. It's what I am doing now, the counselor I am talking to at my HIV center keeps telling me I won't pay a dime for my health coverage but i'm taking it with a grain of salt. I don't mind paying, but I still want to pursue my financial dreams. Yes, it can be expensive and the only way to combat that is to be informed and maximize your resources. I had a friend recently who moved to a different area because of improved benefits by that county/state. I don't what the stipulations were, but it did work for him.

destroying the brain ehh? neuropathy supreme? lipodystrophy? the dreaded dorsal hump? adverse reactions to any and all meds? bottom line -- it can happen. what are you gonna do about it? brace yourself and continue to wake up as able as you can everyday. what can you do about it? get yourself in a HIV program and follow your doctors advice? what more can you do about it? dont let it consume you, did not spend lengthy amounts of time on the worst case scenarios. they do happen, but they do not happen to everyone. eat right, take your meds if needed, keep stress to a minimum, exercise and practice love, self love.

everyday in pain - probably not. but it's not gonna be as easy. you won't think about it as much as you adjust to your new status. it's been a month for me and i dont think about it as much as i did. its gets better every day. its not going away, so i have another responsibility to accept. but its not worth everything i have worked so hard for. it's not worth everything you have worked for. and yes, there are still hot men in the picture. emotional pain is a bitch, but be sure to remind yourself of the good things also, and don't forget you are not alone. if you are referring to the side effects of the meds (if you have to go on meds or are on meds), work with your doctor. i hear from some people that the meds only suck at first, or only for a small portion of the day. for others there are experiencing little to no side effects.

id like to reiterate what dude said above about traveling. you can still travel to most places. someone in here there is a thread on travel that has a link to swedish (i hope) website that lists travel restrictions for hiv positive folks. it looks like when can go most places, we just can stay for extended (over a month) periods of time or apply for visas. this answer is not exhaustive, please look into it before abandoning all hope. and when you get done looking at how things have changed or gripping over what you've lost you will find yourself a stronger person. it takes one hell of a person to live through what we have and still keep going -- life is ours for the taking and the world is still our oyster.

take care man, hope my paranoia have benefitted you.

 
midapr07 - seroconversion
sept07 - tested poz
oct07 cd4 1013; vl 13,900; cd4% 41
feb08 cd4  694;  vl 16,160; cd4% 50.1
may08 cd4 546; vl 91,480; cd4% 32
aug08 cd4 576; vl 48,190; cd4% 40.7
dec08 cd4 559; vl 63,020; cd4% 29.4
feb09 cd4 464; vl 11,000; cd4% 26
may09 cd4 544; vl 29,710; cd4% 27.2
oct09 cd4 ...; vl 23,350; cd4% 31.6
mar10 cd4 408; vl 59,050; cd4% 31.4
aug10 cd4 328; vl 80,000; cd4% 19.3 STARTED ATRIPLA
oct10 cd4 423; vl 410 ;); cd4% 30.2
jun11 cd4 439; vl <20 ;); cd4% 33.8 <-Undetectable!
mar12 cd4 695; vl ud; cd4% 38.6
jan13 cd4 738; vl ud; cd4% 36.8
aug13 cd4 930; vl ud; cd4% 44.3
jan14 cd4 813; vl ud; cd4% 42.8
may14 cd4 783; vl *; cd4%43.5

Offline AustinWesley

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  • Posts: 815
    • HIV Discussion Group on Myspace!
Re: Please remind me that my life isn't over
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2007, 02:48:27 AM »
Ok, I don't really feel quite as dire as the title suggests (I haven't even cried about it, and I don't think that I will), but I have my moods.

When I was first told I tried to commit suicide.  It turns out the Anacostia river wasn't quite as deep as it looked where I leaped.  The feeling of the water was enough of a sensation to put me into a "might as well see what else I can experience" state-of-mind, and convinced me to turn around and climb back out.   I had to ride the subway all the way back home soaking wet and smelling like polluted river.

I just want to be told that I can still hope to find someone to love (I'm a gay man, BTW).  The whole long-term partner with kids deal, even.  I want to know that I won't have to think about this every waking moment, that I won't always have to remind myself that I'm diseased whenever I find someone visually admirable.  Most of all, I don't want this to bankrupt me, or destroy my brain, or make everyday living a painful ordeal, or close too many doors of opportunity (i.e., travel destinations).  Is it worth continuing to live with this infection?

I'm only 24, but now I have this "beginning of the end" feeling; that I should be preparing for it all to be over soon. 

I plan on using this forum often, but don't worry, I'm not always so "doom & gloom".

Hey Snack,

No way is your life anywhere near over and it sounds you've a great deal to live for.   I even sensed a sense of humor in your description of the event and all those feelings are completely normal for someone newly diagnosed.

Someone else recently posted this article which you might find helpful:

http://jac.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/60/3/461

Basically, the article covers the life expectancy issue which now appears most of us are gona be around for a long time.   The meds are much improved over what they used to be and there are tons of programs out there if you don't have insurance.   I'd recommend speaking to a reputable HIV counselor at an AIDS service organization in your area and seeking out people you can relate to and those who've managed to successfully cope with this damn virus.

Hang in there, it will get better and you won't be plagued with these initial thoughts forever as you will learn as you understand more.

I also recommend getting the best HIV doc in your area and I'm sure that should help alleviate some of your fears and concerns as well.

Holler at me anytime and read that article.

Wesley
Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline xyahka

  • Member
  • Posts: 778
  • Dance together!! aha!! aha!! I like it!!
Re: Please remind me that my life isn't over
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2007, 09:29:16 AM »
Hi, glad that river wasn't deep enough... you see... your loved ones need you with them yet, despite of Hiv. There are lot of reasons to live yet.

Juan Carlos
13/03/07 1er diagnóstico /Peso: 79kg
19/04/07 CD4: 494 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 80kg
19/07/07 CD4: 659 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79.5kg
06/03/08 CD4: 573 (después de meses muy deprimido) /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79kg
17/09/08 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 84Kg
06/02/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 85Kg /HCV: Neg /HBV: Neg.
07/03/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg / Gym 3días/semana y Natación 2días/semana.
12/05/09 CD4: 470 /Cviral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg.
08/07/09 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 77Kg.
09/12/09 CD4: 510 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg. No medicinas aún
10/01/10 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
15/05/10 CD4: 320 /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
01/02/11 CD4: 291 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
05/05/11 CD4: 366 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
27/07/11 CD4: 255 /CViral: 138000 /Peso: 78kg.

Disfrutando y aceptando una nueva vida...

Offline snackprof

  • Member
  • Posts: 16
Re: Please remind me that my life isn't over
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2007, 03:04:21 PM »
Thanks for your responses everyone. 

Offline ustrasana

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Please remind me that my life isn't over
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2007, 04:33:14 PM »
Hey Snackprof -

My name is Gray and I was diagnosed a week ago, Thursday Oct 4th 2007.  It's been a rollercoaster week!  My life isn't over.  In fact I feel like it's just begun.  The love I've received from my friends here in New York that I've told has been nothing short of amazing.  Straight and gay, HIV-aware and not, everyone I've told has shown me so much love it's been quite overwhelming.

So I'm here to tell you that your life isn't over.  I would suggest it's only begun.  I've always looked at HIV as a condition which encourages those affected by it (neg and pos) to re-examine their lives, get in touch with who they really are.  I'm already starting to notice that I have even less tolerance for anything that disturbs my peace and more desire for people, places and situations that open my heart.  Shallow stinky sections of the Potomac certainly don't qualify!  Next time you want to jump in a river shoot me an email.  I'd be happy to help in any way I can.

My therapist said something interesting this week.  He said I have to work to remove the stereotypes I/we have about HIV.  Every year brings new treatments, every year brings more research that increases the longevity and health of those who are HIV-affected.  We cannot use what we know, what we have seen to predict our own HIV journey.  Think of how far we've come in 20 years, even 10.  Imagine what it will be like in another 10.  I plan to be around to experience that!

My short-term advice is to remember to breath.  Your breath is, as they say in Yoga, what connects you to the infinite, it's your life-force.  The mind not so much.  Sit quietly (even if you think you can't, try it!) and notice your breath going in and out.  It connects you to something more.  It will relax you and center you.

Please don't hesitate to get in touch.  This is an exciting amazing journey we are all on and we're here to help each other.

Much peace.

Gray.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2007, 04:38:08 PM by ustrasana »
june 06 - probable exposure
aug 06 - probable seroconversion
fast forward 14 months to
10/04/07 - diagnosed hiv+

Date            CD4    VL          MOOD
10/09/07       608     13,020   rather happy

"Breathe.  Pray.  Be kind.  Stop grabbing" - Anne Lamott

Offline pozattitude

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    • to find out more about me....
Re: Please remind me that my life isn't over
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2007, 07:27:32 PM »
Hello Snack,
I am sorry to hear about your new diagnosis.
I was infected around the same age you are now. 
Today I am 36 year old and healthy.

I just want to be told that I can still hope to find someone to love (I'm a gay man, BTW).  The whole long-term partner with kids deal, even.  I want to know that I won't have to think about this every waking moment, that I won't always have to remind myself that I'm diseased whenever I find someone visually admirable.  Most of all, I don't want this to bankrupt me, or destroy my brain, or make everyday living a painful ordeal, or close too many doors of opportunity (i.e., travel destinations).  Is it worth continuing to live with this infection?

the answer to those are:
Yes you can and will find someone to love, but not just that.  You will find someone who loves you too.  You can have a commitment ceremony, but you can't get married yet (because we are gay, not because of HIV).  You can adopt (but that depends on where you live, sorry if you are in Florida it is against the law for us gays to adopt) and if you really want your "own" kids you can have your sperm "washed".
As far as thinking about it every moment, that is up to you.  Honestly, the only time I think about HIV as a disease that I have,  is at med times.  It is normal to think about it 24/7 when you first learn of your diagnosis, but as time go by you will find that HIV will just be a "part" of your life, not your "entire" life.  Don't look at HIV as a disease, for the truth is that no one dies of HIV, it is opportunistic diseases that will makes us sick.  You are not less attractive than you were before you tested positive ( I have a friend that used to say "all the hot guys are positive because they are the ones that get laid all the time".  That is not true of course, but I say this because you cannot judge a book by its cover.  Don't lower your standards, the guy you find visually attractive may be a pozzie just like you.)
Going bankrupt, living with pain and missing opportunities are things that can happen to anyone.  My best advise to you regarding money is PLAN on getting old and saving for your retirement because it is likely that you will grow old .

Bottom line is , YES, LIFE IS WORTH LIVING.
I wish you all the best during this difficult and scary period of "new diagnosis", know that the forum is here to help you get through this and provide you with support and to answer any of your questions.
I always feel awkward saying this, but, welcome to the forums.  HIV is not a "club" you want to become a member of, but since you got your "membership" just make the best out of it.

Rich

POSITIVE PEDALERS... We are a group of people living with HIV/AIDS, eliminating stigma through our positive public example.

Offline HollyStar

  • Member
  • Posts: 344
Re: Please remind me that my life isn't over
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2007, 02:38:56 AM »
I'm sorry about the diagnosis, it sucks. I was diagnosed shortly after my 18th birthday. I'm 23 and doing pretty good. Let me tell you about my boyfriend who was dignosed shortly before I was. He has truly overcome extreme odds. He was sick for about a month before he would finally go to the doctor. They finally figured out what was wrong with him. He had Tuberculosis, AIDS, and HEP C! He only had 24 T-Cells left and his viral load was through the roof. He was admitted to the hospital then transferred, developed a pulmonary embolism and pneumonia. Things looked pretty grim, eh. He was released on the 4th of July. He is doing great now. This all started in 2003. He beat all those things as well as a drug addiction. His last lab results (you'll learn all about them) were CD4 668 and Viral Load undetectable. A CD4 of 24 is now 668, that is wonderful!

Why am I telling you all this? Because you will have to fight sometimes but the rewards are amazing, you get to live. A life is worth living, and that includes yours. Like someone else said, it won't always be a picnic but still having the chance to have a picnic is wonderful, don't you think? You will be ok. Find an ASO (Aids Service Organization), they can help you find specialists and many other resources.

Take a deep breath and please come here as often as you need. People here really do care. You found a good place.
Diagnosed  July 28th 2003

'I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.' -Diande Ackerman

'Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?' -Frank Scully

'If your ship doesn't come, swim out to it.' - Jonathan Winters

Offline Lakis

  • Member
  • Posts: 83
Re: Please remind me that my life isn't over
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2007, 03:00:42 AM »
Hi Snack,
Your life for sure is not over.I know myself how hard it can being the beginning, but with time you will see that nothing really changed-you will wake-up every morning like before,you will work like before, you will love and you will be loved like before.Just believe in yourself :-)
With so many new medications-new possibilities I'm sure you are going to live a long ,productive life.After 17 years on medications I know what I'm talking about...give yourself a chance :-)
Lakis

Offline mplsdoubled

  • Member
  • Posts: 52
Re: Please remind me that my life isn't over
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2007, 08:28:00 AM »
Hi Snack!

LIVE, LIVE, LIVE!!!!  You have NOT been delivered a death sentence; you've been given an opportunity to consider live more deeply and pasionately than ever before!

I tested positive on September 4th of this year.  It's been crazy ever since but not all in a bad way.  I'm 38 and have no reason to expect to live less than a long, normal, healthy life.  Yes, there will be bumps in the road for us but no more or less than anyone else dealing with their own set of challenges.

Pay attention to your health, find a doc you really trust respect and like and follow his/her recommendations for staying healthy.  Then, get out there and live.  We can show ourselves and the world that this is not a horrible situation.  It's a challenge that we can overcome and gain strength, direction and confidence from.

Keep smilin' 

Doug

 


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