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Author Topic: How do you do it?  (Read 10429 times)

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Offline Queen Tokelove

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How do you do it?
« on: February 08, 2008, 11:28:13 PM »
Upon leaving the hospital after my meltdown, I was told that I should go and do intake with an outpatient therapist. And of course, stay on the meds. I still have not gone to see the therapist and I had stopped taking my Celexa for a couple of days. I started back on it last night.

I guess my question is for those who do seek therapy, how do you just sit there and spill your guts to basically a stranger? And I am assuming a therapist who is neg? This is where my problem lies. I don't have a problem sharing things with my ID doc and my primary because they know their shit. I don't feel like a therapist can possibly know how I feel or relate to me being poz if they themselves are not. I hope this makes sense. All comments and humor are welcome as long as it stays related to the topic. Thank You for your support.... ;)
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline otherplaces

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2008, 11:35:42 PM »

I use to have a therapist that partially specialized in HIV.  He may not have known exactly what I was going through, but I knew he'd been dealing with HIV issues since the early 90's and I trusted his opinion.  I would suggest finding someone with similar experience.


take care,
brian


Offline MOONLIGHT1114

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2008, 11:38:07 PM »
GF~  I was in therapy from '97 to '04.  My aunt reccomended her therapist, thinking that I needed someone to talk to, being a young widow.  The family had no idea until years later that I was dealing with HIV as well and that my husband had died of AIDS.

You owe it to yourself to start therapy.  Give the therapist 2 or 3 sessions to see if you like them.  If not try a new one.  My therapist was a very friendly, funny, compassionate man in his fifties, and all I did was go in and talk about man problems for years, lol!  Pat turned out to be a great confidant and when things got rough, I could call him for an extra visit and he would fit me in the very next day.  I didn't even think about me being poz and he being neg, it didn't matter.  What mattered is that my therapist was there for me and he understood me.  I'd even see him downtown on the city streets on lunch breaks, and we'd stop and chat.

It was good for me, and this comes from someone who always thought only whack jobs went to therapists.   ::)
HIV+ since '93, 1/12 - CD4 785 and undet.   WOO-HOO!!

Offline BT65

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2008, 11:40:20 PM »
Hey Queen, I've had the same therapist since '91.  He's had a lot of experience dealing with people who are HIV+, following some of them to their death.  I don't think in the first few visits that the therapist expects you to tell him/her everything.  But it does help to talk to a professional who can offer some solid advice, be a good listener, and be empathetic to your situation.  Sometimes it takes trial and error to find the right one.  But, when you do, stick with her/him.  My therapist has seen me at the absolute worst times of my life and we've actually developed a friendship.  Good luck! :-*
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Patrick

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2008, 12:39:14 AM »
I see a therapist and I'm lucky to have someone in my area who is a therapist and also HIV positive.  It makes the therapy much more useful, for obvious reasons.  I'd suggest looking to see if there are any therapists in your area who specialize with HIV, or patients diagnosed with chronic disease. 
Seroconversion - late October 07
11/14/07 - CD4 190   VL >750,000
11/14/07 - Started Truvada & Kaletra
12/5/07 - CD4 851     VL 710
2/19/08 - CD4 604     VL Undetectable
5/8/08 -   CD4 829     VL Undetectable
8/12/08 - CD4 915     VL 80 (blip)
11/11/08 - CD4 967    VL Undetectable

Offline Bicepguy

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2008, 02:07:05 AM »
It sounds obvious but you need to get on well with the therapist.  It takes time to develop a rapour.  It can feel selfish/self obsessed to talk about these issues. Unlike chatting with friends, it's much more one way than a good conversation should be.  It also takes time to break down the issues and reveal more of yourself to the therapist.  I'd say it's worth it my experience but don't be afraid to stop or make sure the conversation goes down routes you want to start - at least at first. 

Peer group support with a fellow +ve person has it's part to play.  But a professional therapist has more to offer because of the formal setting and the lack of social issues surrounding a more informal conversation. 

I offer on line, informal peer support to newly diagnosed men.  A recurring theme is isolation and no one to talk to.  The online forums are i think a great way to find support.  It's also my experience that the old maxim "time is a great healer" is never more true than in accepting a HIV diagnosis and normalising it as just another aspect of your life.  Yes it's life changing, has huge impact but many people cope with cancer, grief, chronic diesases with equal issues to HIV.

Stick with the meds - nothing else will keep you alive.

London
Co-infected HIV/HepC Geno 4. HIV HAART = Truvada/Sustiva, <50 VL, CD4 350-450, 30%.  Vast HCV V before starting Peg Interferon/Ribavarin Nov 2007 - zero VL after weeks.

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2008, 02:47:26 AM »
Thanks for the input. I will give them a call to see if they have a therapist who at least has hiv patients or specializes in that area. Knowing my ass backwards town and how it is regarding hiv, they probably don't. But even if they don't, I will go to at least one session to see how it goes.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline Cliff

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2008, 03:29:01 AM »
It's not easy Queen.  It just takes time.  I go to a therapist now (it's been about a year I guess).  I was very skeptical at first.  But I'm glad I took the plunge and did it.  It's natural to feel guarded and not discuss everything, but as you begin to trust your therapist, you will let go.  For example, I had trouble looking in his eyes when we first started.  It seemed easier for me to reveal stuff, if I didn't have to look at him directly.  But now, I can.  It's kinda weird, but I'm sure they've seen it all before.

It's really important that you have one that you can feel comfortable with, whether you want a male/female, straight/gay, etc.  My therapist is gay and specialises in gay/lesbian issues.  It wasn't important for me that he be positive as I would expect him to be sensitive to the issue, given the impact on the community.

Basically, your therapist will learn to work through any barriers you may have to therapy. 

Offline vivyt

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2008, 10:15:30 AM »
I have been seeing a therapist for a couple of years now. Mine is not an HIV specialist. A lot of the issues I have were there way before the HIV. Of course she has been a help since I was diagnosed. I do believe whole heartedly in therapy but I know it is hard to start. Just like any relationship, you have to work at it. You have to make sure it is a good fit and then things will naturally flow. At first it is hard to open up and I even dreaded going sometimes but after awhile it just seems natural and there are times I actually look forward to it.

Give it a try... :)

Offline planonstaying

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2008, 10:24:59 AM »
All Therapists aren't created equal
When you find a good one it's easier
Remember talking to your therapist is like talking to yourself nothing leaves the office. A good one is completely non judgemental :-X I have a therapist that has a lot of HIV patients.. I am on a med for depression too >:( :( :'( it has helped IMMENSELY. I have a fatal disease....and hell, I had a full plate before that!
You aren't alone!
If someone tells you  potential consequences of a behavior  it  doesn't  mean they jude you or mit    they may just give a shit about you

Offline bear60

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2008, 10:29:11 AM »
Queen
I understand where you are coming from.  Years ago, after I recognized my need for therapy, I was referred to a psychologist. I was able to talk to him on the phone and ask what experience he had with gay people with HIV ....his answer was so vague that I never went to see him.  It was the support group that finally was my best answer because I got to nteract with other people in my same situation. And the group leader was really good.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline Basquo

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2008, 11:45:26 AM »
Think of it this way...they don't have to be depressed themselves to help depressed people, so why should they have to be poz to help poz people?

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2008, 12:01:28 PM »
Think of it this way...they don't have to be depressed themselves to help depressed people, so why should they have to be poz to help poz people?

You have a point, B. Something that stuck with me was the doctor at the hospital I was in. After reading my chart and seeing that I was poz, I didn't appreciate something he said or maybe it was just his tone, I'm not sure. Anyhoo, he said, " I understand that you are poz. People are scared of that and knows it is a disease that is going to kill you. You probably won't find anyone who will want to be with you but you're going to have to learn to deal with that." Now all that may be true but I thought it was a tad insensitive. I literally broke out into tears. And it was only my second day of being there and on no depression meds at the time. Was I wrong to think he was being insensitive because he is not poz. I dunno..
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline Basquo

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2008, 01:22:04 PM »
You have a point, B. Something that stuck with me was the doctor at the hospital I was in. After reading my chart and seeing that I was poz, I didn't appreciate something he said or maybe it was just his tone, I'm not sure. Anyhoo, he said, " I understand that you are poz. People are scared of that and knows it is a disease that is going to kill you. You probably won't find anyone who will want to be with you but you're going to have to learn to deal with that." Now all that may be true but I thought it was a tad insensitive. I literally broke out into tears. And it was only my second day of being there and on no depression meds at the time. Was I wrong to think he was being insensitive because he is not poz. I dunno..

He may have thought he was giving you the straight news but actually that was pretty unprofessional of him.  I would report him to the state liscensing board with a recommendation that he go through a sensitivity training.  That's just wrong.

Offline Cliff

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2008, 02:53:49 PM »
It seems insensitive to me.  I don't know if you will see him again.   If so, mention how you felt it was insensitive (and why).  If you won't see him again, maybe write to him (find out if he has an email address, if that's easier).  Or maybe write to the hospital. 

Sorry things have been tough for you lately.  Hopefully things will get better soon.

Offline anniebc

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2008, 03:20:39 PM »
Queenie that wasn't a Tad insensitive it was bloody insensitive and  unprofessional ,and I agree with with Cliff and Basquo it needs to be dealt with..one way or the other.

Maybe he was tyring to be straight with you but here are definitely better ways of doing it.

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

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2008, 04:41:37 PM »
I'm glad to know that it wasn't just me taking it that way. His comment is what really makes me want a person or therapist who deals with hiv patients or is poz. Not sure if any therapists openly admit their status since I don't. I would consider writing to the hospital but it would probably turn into a his word against mine type of thing.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2008, 05:18:53 PM »
Queen, I'll share some thoughts which come out experience from both sides of the couch so to speak. These are only observations and suggestions. If any of it is useful, fine. If something doesn't fit for you that's ok too.

It has to be the right combination of patient with therapist. Your instinct may give you some signals about that right off (either way) or it may take some time to know. If there are things you don't like about the therapist, as you become aware of them do your best to speak up and express them. By doing that you are really working to clear away obstacles to being to say everything. Any therapist who can't handle that level of honesty is not the one for you.

Give yourself enough time. There's no rush and you shouldn't be laboring under the pressure of some idea that you're there to "get fixed." It's more of  a process of peeling away barnacles on your soul, on your life. That peeling process takes time and should not be rushed. It can be enjoyable at times, though at times things are bound to come up that are painful.

You don't have to recite some kind of comprehensive autobiography. I encourage patients to talk -- period. Given time everything that's important comes up. If you are feeling wary and mistrustful that's fair enough to discuss as well.

Personally I think it's good to keep what is discussed in sessions strictly between therapist and patient. However tempting it maybe at times to talk about it elsewhere either because you're excited or worked up or whatever, in my experience doing that kind of what I will call "leaking" can lessen the strength of what is going on in the therapeutic relationship. The most important thing is that you be able to speak with each other. I know others may not agree but I don't think the therapist's sexual orientation, race, HIV status, age, gender, etc., are as important as your sense that this is a person you can talk with. Some commonality as far as those elements can be appealing, but aren't essential to forming a strong therapeutic alliance. 

Therapy is an opportunity to remove roadblocks that block you from enjoying a fuller, richer life. Use it that way. If you think it's not working, make sure you tell that to the therapist. The more honest you are the better the chances are of building that alliance.

It can be a an amazing journey. I'd say keep us posted but I'd rather you keep your therapist posted.

Good luck to you, Queen.   
Andy Velez

Offline bocker3

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2008, 05:40:49 PM »
Queen,

I know we haven't spoken much on here - and Andy's post is more insightful than I could provide, but something struck me as I read this thread.

Even if you found a poz therapist, there is no guarantee that they would "understand" what you are going through.  Just think of all the different poz folks that post here -- how many times do people sort of disagree, ignore and/or belittle someone's take on living with this virus.  The fact is, it is different for us all.

I've been in therapy on and off for years -- currently my partner and I are in couples therapy -- like so many others have said, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable with her/him, so that you can open up and talk about the complete you.  I've had my share of good and bad ones -- the good ones all had one thing in common, they were fantastic listeners -- they weren't trying to "fix me".  They were helping me reach a place of understanding -- it was through my understanding of whatever issue I was dealing with that I was able to "fix myself".

Good luck -- go in with open eyes and an open mind.

Hugs,
Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline 404error

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2008, 06:09:00 PM »
I've tried therapy and found it to be a waste of time and money (which only furthered the time wasting end of it).  While it didn't work for me it has worked for many others.  I find writing a journal and excercising daily to be far more therapeutic than pouring my heart out to some stranger I couldn't give two shits about.
A social critic who promotes equality...

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2008, 07:45:23 PM »
Andy--- Thanks for the very insightful input. I guess what made me want a therapist who is poz was because of the doctor in the hospital. And I was looking at it as getting fixed, glad you picked up on that. Because after spilling my soul to this person, I was looking at it as being fixed. And once getting things off my chest, I figured it would pretty much be over. I know this wouldn't happen overnight but I don't see myself going to a therapist for the rest of my life. Maybe even take a break and if something new should arise that may overwhelm me then go back. Is that possible?

Bocker--

Though we have never really spoken, I have read some of your posts in the past and consider what you have to say as good advice. Glad for your input as well. And you make a valid point when you said a poz therapist may not understand me either. I guess I was looking for commonality because I thought it would make it easier for me to connect or click with a therapist. I will try to go into it with an open mind and eyes. I may need to smoke a blunt to make it easier for me to open up... ;)

404--- I agree therapy may not be for everybody but I know me, if I go in there thinking it will not work then more than likely I won't want to go back. I have tried in the past to write a journal. I stopped doing that because someone would happen to come across it that I didn't want to see it or I would just stop writing after awhile. I thought that would happen with my blog but because I think I get comments from time to time, it kind of keeps me going. Weird, huh?

Cliff--

The only way I will see that doctor again is if I go back in the hospital. It's probably a good thing I don't have his email addy or I would be saying some things to him that he would consider insensitive and very unlady like.. ;D Things have gotten better since I have been back home so that is a blessing.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2008, 08:25:24 PM »
Queen, I was thinking further about this as I was walking out and about earlier this evening. People often have the misconception that therapy is about big dramatic, made for tv stuff, especially sexual matter and/or family drama. In actuality it is much more detailed and largely unspectacular than those kinds of "breakthroughs."

It isn't for everybody. It is not about quick fixes. Quick fixes tend not to be very lasting. So it's more about deciding to put in some time that in the long run can result in some shifts in outlook and behavior that will be lasting ones.

Some do find benefits from relatively short-term treatment of even a few months. Others spend a year or two or several and find it valuable. And as I said it's not for everyone. It requires some patience and uhmm a kind of curiosity that can make you want to keep going and learn more. And with the right therapist-patient relationship going on, the results can really be something that makes a difference in your life.

It's also good to give some thought to goals -- as in why am I thinking of doing this and what would I like to get out of it. And every once in a while check in about how it's going in terms of those goals.

You mention smoking a blunt in order to open up. I want to suggest going in and saying in words that you were thinking of doing that in order to open up without smoking first. That smoking is to get rid of something you're uncomfortable with. If you can go in feeling uncomfortable and do your best to put it all into words, wow! that can be serious stuff.

Therapy is about working to have all of your feelings, not muting them. It's about learning to act only in ways that are in your best interest, regardless of what your feelings are. Sometimes you just have to have your feelings and NOT act on them. Not easy. Not easy at all.  (I hope this doesn't sound all abstract and textbooky.)

I can't say whether it will work for you or not. What you've written leads to me think you'd be a great person to work with and it just might be something you would find to be a useful tool in your life.

I'm staying tuned on this one, Queen.
Andy Velez

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2008, 08:32:17 PM »
Dear Queen

Thanks for opening this topic up. I'm sure you will make the right choice. When you figure it out let me know...

peace,
Sharkie

Offline Snowangel

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2008, 09:15:19 PM »
Hi Queen-
The first time I went to see a therapist she worked through and in the local ASO.  She was very involved with all the programs and was a great listener.  You definately have to find someone that will make you comfortable and allow you to open up. I had one visit with a therapist that had some wierd quirk and I couldn't concentrate on what I was trying to say because I was focusing on him.  I never went back to him.
I also found that if I told the therapist I was going/not going to do something,  I tended to do it because I didn't want to go back and analyze why I didn't/did.
The one thing I found telling someone who didn't know shit about me or who I didn't give a shit about was just that.  I knew this person had no bearing on my life what so ever, didn't know anyone I knew and whatever I told them would not get back to anyone I cared about or didn't want to know.  To be able to open up and actually stay hidden was what I needed at the time.  The thing that scares me the most of disclosing my status is that person not being able to keep thier month shut wheter they accepted me or not and tell my whole world.  Which unforunately from reading your blog you know all about.

Good Luck in whatever you choose- Snow
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2008, 10:25:57 PM »
Andy--- Well, you definitely have me curious about going now more than ever. I will put in a call on Monday to ask a few questions and schedule with intake. Stay tuned for sure. I won't promise that I won't be high when I go in. Why? Well, it is suppose to take 2 hours total. I guess an hour for paperwork which I am dreading already and then I guess an hour with the therapist. By the time I finish all the paperwork my high will prolly be gone anyway. Now that I think about it, I would most likely lose some of my high standing in the cold waiting for the damn bus. Have some compassion for your Queen... :D

Sharky--- Stay tuned to this thread for further developments. If I have to be more graphic, I will direct people to my blog.

Snow---I hope I am lucky and will like the first one I get. I lucked out that way with my ID doc. My primary, I met while going through another doctor. I didn't like the original doctor at all and thinks he is a quack. And I came to his clinic just to see the primary I have now. When he got his own office I followed him there..We don't have a therapist at my ASO. Maybe I should suggest that but to who?
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline dvinemstre

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2008, 12:11:15 AM »
Queen, i am also a counselor and am recently diagnosed poz. I have to say that ANY person who would say that kinda stuff about finding anyone who would be with you is completely stupid and ignorant. I am discovered that being hiv poz is not near as scary for people as if i had cancer or something else more imminantly terminal. I mean, shit, the truth is NONE of us get out of here alive...so its not how you die but how you live that matters. As for therapists...i agree you need ot find one who is a good fit for you. My local ASO has a counselor there who is poz and she is wonderful. i also know if you find the right fit it won't matter if they are male/female/striaght/gay/old/young/neg/poz. don't be afraid to try out different ones, ask them their training and style of therapy, and no you don't have to pour your heart out until you can...its really a good place for you to know you have someone to help you deconstruct your issues and then reconstruct them, contain them and assist you with your pain and concerns in your life. Its like having a best friend who always knows what to say or do  8) best luck finding the right match. Zan

Offline 404error

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2008, 05:33:50 AM »
Quote
I stopped doing that because someone would happen to come across it that I didn't want to see it

I used to think like that but eventually I came to change my mind.  The way I see it is this, if someone wants to invade your privacy and you happen to have written something negative about said person, then they deserve the harsh slap in the face that are your unkind words written about them. (worst case scenario of course)

Queen, I hope that ultimately you do what you feel is going to best for yourself, both physically and mentally.  If you feel that seeking out a therapist and working through your problems is the best course of action, then I wish you all the best in that pursuit and hope that it works for you.
A social critic who promotes equality...

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2008, 10:12:41 AM »
Queen, do it any way that you need to. If you feel like it you can still talk about having the feeling you needed to do that in order to get yourself into the office.

As for the entry process, as tiresome as it can be that's just a part of the deal. Just fill out the forms the best you can. If you go in there just look at it as a personal adventure that you're exploring.

Best of luck in checking this potential tool out.

 
Andy Velez

Offline DCGUY2007

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2008, 12:03:18 AM »
Queen,

I have found therapists are like Doctors some work well with you and some don't. I have had different therapists throughout my life. I have found some that were extremely helpful. I would go and see what and even talk to him or her about the issues you raised here. See how the person responses. Give the sessions some time and see how it goes.You will be surprised. There are some good therapists out there. Even if they are not poz. But there are also some lousy ones. Unfortuantely like everything else you might have to meet a few until you find the one that works well with you. Or you might meet an exact fit the first time.

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2008, 12:11:12 AM »
DCGUY--- I guess like everything in life, it is about trial and error. I am hoping I find one that I click with. Like I told Andy, I am going to give the place a call and ask some questions.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline bosco

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2008, 02:42:33 PM »
I don't know about other people, but for me, I began seeing my psychiatrist several years ago. Sometimes its easy to talk sometimes not. When I don't want to start talking I'll ask her to ask questions, which helps me. When I told her that I was positive her reaction was incredibly supportive. A psychiatrist or therapist is like any other Doctor you have to find someone you are comfortable with. I tried five before I found one I liked.
"Dog is my co-pilot".

Offline Iggy

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2008, 04:06:29 PM »
I thought I had posted on this thread a while ago, but it seems I have not (yeah for loss of memory  :D)

My answer to your question is based off of two things I learned in my own expereince.  The first part is definitely a clicking with the therapist, but the second part is a bit harder - and that is the patience that I had to teach myself to understand that it is a process that isn't easily measured.

After sinking to a real low in my life, my friend got me in to see his therapist, who is a wonderful and amazing man who I credit with helping me really move on past a tumultuous period in my life, but the thing about it is that I felt like it was so pointless for the first couple of months.

It wasn't anything about him per se, but as much as I can write so introspectively about myself on these boards, I had difficultly doing that in a face to face situation with a professional - and then one day I had a bit of a personal breakthrough about everything, and him being there sort of bonded him with me in that moment.

After that the talks just got better.


Offline Winiroo

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2008, 05:44:51 PM »
I'd go to my local ASO and ask them for a referral.

Not reefer...referral LOL

J/K I'm just amusing myself

seriously... it worked for me

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2008, 05:49:08 PM »
I'd go to my local ASO and ask them for a referral.

Not reefer...referral LOL

J/K I'm just amusing myself

seriously... it worked for me

I didn't know you could get a referral to see a therapist from my ASO. I got one while being in the hospital..LOL@referral not reefer...You got jokes, I like that. What worked, the reefer or the referral? J/K.. ;)
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline planonstaying

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2008, 05:56:23 PM »
I didn't know you could get a referral to see a therapist from my ASO. I got one while being in the hospital..LOL@referral not reefer...You got jokes, I like that. What worked, the reefer or the referral? J/K.. ;)
they both work  but for different things ;D
I got my referral from a local agency as well. I just got home from seeing him.  He has been a great resource for me the last year and   
If someone tells you  potential consequences of a behavior  it  doesn't  mean they jude you or mit    they may just give a shit about you

Offline Winiroo

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2008, 06:44:45 PM »
they both work  but for different things ;D
I got my referral from a local agency as well. I just got home from seeing him.  He has been a great resource for me the last year and   

LOL

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2008, 10:27:27 PM »
I plan on calling to make an appointment with a therapist who specializes in dealing with the hearing impaired tomorrow. I have procrastinated long enough. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and let me make it to my first appointment. Stay tuned for further developments.. ;)
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2008, 01:11:54 PM »
I finally stopped procrastinating and borrow Peter's balls from my avatar and called to set up an appointment... :D  I found out that they have a therapist who deals with the hearing impaired named Karen but she makes her own schedule. I believe I have to complete in take first but I asked specifically for her so I hope that I get her. I left a message and am waiting on a call back. I will keep you all posted.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline PeteNYNJ

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    • Dance for Me, Puppets
Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2008, 06:49:19 PM »
Hi queen

I have depression issues too and celexa is my drug du jour. 

My psychiatrist is a very shy kinda guy who I don't really "chat" too much with, just "how are you feeling, how are the drugs working, etc".  His office is also a dump.

My Therapist is another story.  I found him on my insurance website (United Health Care).   The website had searchable databases around criterias (for instance, Gay/Lesbian issues, Hiv Issues, etc).  You might be able to find someone who deals with chronic disease if not specific to HIV

Anyway, my therapist is great and it is never an issue about what to talk about.   Some days I don't want to get all weepy so we just shoot the shit.  His office is also fabulous so I kinda just like being there...feels like a little oasis.

You don't have to tell your darkest secrets right away...go at your own pace.  Remember they are there to work with you.

PM if you have any questions
Pete

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2008, 08:05:38 PM »
Thanks, Pete. I didn't get a call back, maybe I will tomorrow, if not I will try to call back again.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2008, 02:36:26 AM »
My Dear Queen,

Where I come from, everyone had a therapist and everyone was on Prozac.  My first ID doc asked me which anti-depressants I was on and he told me the name of my Psychiatrist.  How did he know this?... drug of choice... I met a very charming and very hot man once at a bar in Waikiki, we dated briefly.  He was a Psychiatrist and his former BF was also a Psychiatrist.  I had never seen two men whose personal lives were more messed up and they were paid to help others find solutions to lifes problems?  Men were elatively disposable in those years so Dr. BF was out the door in a heartbeat.

Later on in the next decade... I get HIV and go to see a Psychologist.  He was pleasant, fairly likeable but, had not yet passed his orals and working under some other Psychologists license.  I discarded this one on the second or third appointment because he made the assumption that since I had been newly diagnosed, I should be ready for disability.

Within weeks, I started attending a "Living with HIV Support Group", which was facilitated by a new Psychologist, HIV savvy and openly gay.   He had also not passed his oral examination and was working under another Psychologists license.  He brought something of himself to the group and really made it happen for most of the members.  This was 1994 and not a lot of available information at hand so we planned excursions to organizations where there may be a library of HIV information at hand.  This group was for newly diagnosed and within a year or two, I no longer qualified and stopped attending.

As I was laying in the Isolation Ward at the hospital with PCP and a new diagnosis, there was a group of Interns who came into my room every morning, individually and asked the same questions.  I found this very annoying and one morning, threw a bitch fit and was put on Prozac.  Oddly enough, this Summer became some of the happiest days of my HIV life.

Upon discharge, I was assigned to a Psychiatrist from UCLA, who only had a goal of getting me into an AA group.  I offered to attend the very same AA group he did but lo and behold, he did not attend any AA group... Yeah right.  Then there was one from USC who was fairly acceptable and I saw him every month or so until I moved away.

In my new community, I joined another "Living With HIV" Support group, met 3 or 4 others in our group.  We found that we ran the group because our Psychologist/Facilatator had no background on HIV or gay issues.  As members, we decided what subject to talk about and when.  One afternoon, I was left in the exam room by our Nurse and my medical records were left behind too, I read them.  Our Psychologist/Facilitator had been carrying us in our confidential files as being clinically depressed and billing Medicare/Medi-Cal as such.  He was terminated shortly after that.

I am fully aware of what Hell looks like because I have lived it for about 12 years, have seen many Psychologists and a couple of Psychiatrists and have yet to find one whom, I can open up to.  I have this built in defense mechanism which works overtime whenever I am in a therapy situation.

I learned something about myself during the time I was seeing the Psychiatrist from USC... I caught myself so happy, during the holiday season, I stopped taking anti-depressants.  Because, I had met someone and I was in love.  I walked out on him in July 2000 and still don't take any anti-depressants.  I think like our reactions to our medications, our reactions to therapy are equally different.  Have the best day
Michael

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #41 on: February 15, 2008, 12:43:55 PM »
Interesting story, Michael. Thanks for sharing. Besides 404, You are the second one to say therapy may not be for everyone. I am hoping it will work for me but if it doesn't then at least I will feel that it is no fault of mine. But I am trying to go into it all with an open mind. I think they left me a message on my phone this morning, I will have to give them a call back this afternoon. I am keeping my fingers crossed for some good results.. ;)
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #42 on: February 15, 2008, 01:36:34 PM »
Ok, I keep trying to call these people back and I keep getting voicemail. Now I can't even leave a message..
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline whiteboy500

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #43 on: February 15, 2008, 02:24:27 PM »
I'm not exactly sure where you live, but have you thought about joining a support group for people who are positive?  I joined one and helped me adjust to life.   

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #44 on: February 15, 2008, 05:49:03 PM »
I'm not exactly sure where you live, but have you thought about joining a support group for people who are positive?  I joined one and helped me adjust to life.   

Welcome to the Forums, Whiteboy. There is a support group but I don't have the transportation to get there. Nor do they supply rides. Thanks for your input though.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #45 on: February 27, 2008, 01:47:12 PM »
Just an update to say I have given up on getting with a therapist. I have called time after time, left messages and not even gotten a call back. I am just about out of Celexa. I called my clinic nurse and told her what was going on. I left her a message and am waiting to hear back. If I can't get in to see a therapist, I would think my ID doc or maybe even my primary doctor would prescribe the Celexa to me. I just called my primary doctor's office too and explained the situation to them. My doc is out of the office til Friday but I guess they are going to leave him a note. I'll continue to keep everyone posted. The last thing I want is to end up back in the hospital.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline Iggy

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #46 on: February 27, 2008, 02:03:10 PM »
I think you did the right thing about calling your primary physician and he/she should be able to at least give you a temporary prescription of Celexa to get you through.

As for your therapist - that is absolutely unforgivable that he/she is not returning your calls and frankly I think you have cause to report him/her to either their superiors or to the state board.

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #47 on: February 27, 2008, 02:24:08 PM »
I did speak with Nurse Leah who works under my ID doc. She is going to give him a call and see if he will prescribe some Celexa for me to hold me over. She said she would also call around to see if she could find me a therapist though she admitted it may not be one who deals with the hearing impaired. I told her I was ok with that but asked if she knew anyone that dealt with poz patients. Even if she doesn't, I'll work with whatever she comes up with. She commented that I am one of the most proactive patients she has seen in a long while. I am glad she appreciates it. It's just frustrating trying to be proactive about things and not getting any help. She said she will get back with me once she gets a hold of my ID doc. I think that's why I like her so much, she knows how to return calls and seems like she is concerned which is more than I can say for some.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline Iggy

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #48 on: February 27, 2008, 02:26:53 PM »
She commented that I am one of the most proactive patients she has seen in a long while. I am glad she appreciates it. It's just frustrating trying to be proactive about things and not getting any help.

In all honesty, you being proactive is what is going to keep you alive.  Don't let up on them.  You are doing the right thing.

Offline SASA39

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Re: How do you do it?
« Reply #49 on: February 27, 2008, 04:17:45 PM »
In one movie that I have seen a stepmother is not very welcomed by a young girl.
And she say to her: "I`m asking you just one thing -gimme a chance "
You have to give him/her a chance.............a little very carefull one at the beginning but bigger later...............and you can always give another new chance to someone new..............
                     Al
Oct.     `06.  CD4=58  ?    %       VL not perform. ?!?
25.Dec.`06.         203       14        VL= 0
29.May.`07.    broken device        VL=1363
20.June`07     broken device        VL=0
25.Dec `07  CD4=582                  VL=70
14.May `08  CD4=448
29.July `08                                  VL=0
26.Nov `08  CD4=674                    VL=179
16.Mar `09  CD4=554                    VL=0
19.Jan`10 CD4=715               
03.Mar`10                                    VL=0
24.Aug`10 CD4=524                     VL=0
04.Dec`10 CD4=626                     VL=0
15.Sep`11                                   VL=93
17.Nov`11                                   VL=0
05/26 .Jul`12 CD4=713                 VL=0
28.Nov`12 CD4=916                     VL=0
09.May`13                                 VL=0

 


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