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Author Topic: Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...  (Read 3965 times)

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Offline richva

  • Member
  • Posts: 87
Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...
« on: March 27, 2008, 08:33:47 AM »
Hi, All -

I'm @ 18 years, 8 months, and a few days/hours +/- since seroconversion... but, who's counting, right?  I've been visiting the forums for some time, both as a guest and now as a new member; this morning I felt it was time to introduce myself and say "Yo!  Whattup?"

And also to say "thanks"... to the many, many people who have had positive and encouraging things to say, wisdom to share, and comfort to offer.  I've benefited from you all.

I've chosen to write this, my first post, today, and for good reason: Last night I took my very first anti-HIV medication, Atripla.  How lucky am I to have coasted for almost 19 years without popping a pill!  Actually, I suppose I could have eked out a few more months, perhaps even a year with my 309 or so t-cells doing whatever it is they do each day....  But, I was ready.  Ready to bring the fight to the virus, ready to commit to the regimen, ready to honor this body of mine and say, "Thanks for bringing me this far.  Now, let me help you out a little."

I downed the pill at 9:00 last night right before "American Idol", got a little giggly around 9:20, and tucked myself in bed by 10:18.  And, that's my pretty much my story.  One odd dream, a little unsteady when I got up to pee, some tossing and turning....  A little hungover feeling at 7:00 this morning....  And, right now... fine.

My coffee tastes particularly delicious this morning.

Not overconfident, mind you.  I know, statistically, that night two can be worse, as can subsequent days and nights as chemicals build up and my body adjusts.  I know I'm not out of the woods when it comes to drug side effects.  But, at the same time, I wanted to tell you all - shout to the world, really - that "Hey!  I made it!  I'm still here."

Between picking up the prescription and swallowing the pill, I was apprehensive, but I wasn't afraid.  I was melancholy, but I didn't despair.  And, oddly, I felt terribly brave.  Well-informed, well-prepared...brave.

And, I think some folks here have had something to do with that.  So, again, thanks.


   
08/1989 Acquired
04/1992 Diagnosed
03/25/2008 (YUP - 16 years later!) CD4 336/21% VL 217,000; started meds
08/2012 - Alive, living! and doing just fine, TYVM (w/ props to my doc, insurance carrier and Complera. I remember every day that I'm a lucky boy.)

Offline Jeff G

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,249
  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2008, 10:23:26 AM »
  Welcome to the forums...You have a great attitude ...a good reminder for me to keep on smiling...thanks

Offline Texan38

  • Member
  • Posts: 686
Re: Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2008, 10:32:34 AM »
Almost 19 years...very impressive. Hello there and WELCOME!
In Hollywood an equitable divorce settlement means each party getting fifty per cent of publicity.
~ Lauren Bacall

Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,620
  • Diagnosed + 1989
Re: Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2008, 12:50:24 PM »
Hi Richva, welcome to the forums.  I've been diagnosed for 19 years as well.  Glad to have you here and hope to hear more!
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline sharkdiver

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,350
Re: Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2008, 04:44:24 PM »
Hi there and welcome

I wanted to tell you I really appreciate your thoughts about beginning meds. That was wonderful. That is probably the attitude that has helped me live for such a long, long time as well.

cool,
Sharkie

Offline bear60

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,104
Re: Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2008, 05:05:01 PM »
I just wanted to say HI.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline sprockett9

  • Member
  • Posts: 17
Re: Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2008, 05:49:23 PM »
Richva,

Good luck -- and I am SO glad to continue to read about the long term survivors here!  It is hard to believe that it has been two years since I found out!  Keep us up to date on how the Atripla goes -- I continue to wonder how it is (have heard all the stories on side effects like most people here)...

I still always wonder if I did the right thing -- I don't regret it but still.  I caught the virus right during the seroconversion (man, it took me down).  Nothing like having an awful cold for a couple days and then looking in the mirror one morning and seeing the rash -- I knew then what it was).  Anyway, I started the drugs immediately -- my Dr. wanted to bring my viral loads down immediately since they were still spiking -- thus set my base line low.  I know this is somewhat new to people versus the long timers that didn't have this as even an option.  I have read articles that every now and then support the decision so...

Well, enough of me -- your story got me thinking of my drug situation -- two years, 5 months and counting!!!

Dean

Offline thunter34

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,250
  • His name is Carl.
Re: Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2008, 05:58:32 PM »
Hey, Rich.  Welcome to the forums.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline dgr20002

  • Member
  • Posts: 288
Re: Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2008, 06:00:09 PM »
Congrats on your 18+ years of being poz with no meds. I am going into my 21st year but have been on some med or the other for almost all of them.  Welcome to the forums. Are you in VA?  If so and you are close to DC contact me for poz social info. We have them every month.

David

Offline richva

  • Member
  • Posts: 87
Re: Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2008, 07:08:24 PM »
Good evening, folks, and thanks to those of you who have posted to my post and welcomed me into the clan.

As insane as it sounds, I'm looking forward to taking my Atripla this evening.  Morbid curiosity, I suppose, wondering if I'll get by as easily tonight as I did last night.  As for my first post-pill day, no worries.  A full day at work, a healthy appetite (as usual), a decent commute to/from the office.... 

And, all day, this tremendous sense of relief.  Not because it's going pretty well, although I'm certainly grateful for that, even if it's just for now.  But, more because I don't have to wonder anymore about the day I'd start meds.  (Or, dread the day I'd start meds, more accurately.)  It's come.  And gone.

Again, thanks for the warm welcome.

 
08/1989 Acquired
04/1992 Diagnosed
03/25/2008 (YUP - 16 years later!) CD4 336/21% VL 217,000; started meds
08/2012 - Alive, living! and doing just fine, TYVM (w/ props to my doc, insurance carrier and Complera. I remember every day that I'm a lucky boy.)

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,960
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2008, 07:32:16 AM »
Hello Rich,

Just want to say hello, and welcome you. Like you, I also had quite a few years pass by  (about 18) before I started on meds. Wishing you the best, and hoping all is going well with the Atripla !!


Take care of yourself-----Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of DEC 9th, 2013,  t-cells are at 437 Viral load  <40 .

 Current % is at 16% (L)

  
 62 years young.

Offline AlanBama

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,578
  • 'class' of '87
Re: Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2008, 11:49:12 AM »
Wow, that's a long time with no meds!   Spectacular.

Welcome, and look forward to hearing more from you Rich.

hugs,

Alan
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline richva

  • Member
  • Posts: 87
Re: Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2008, 04:57:52 PM »
To the two above (following all of the others), thanks for the welcome ;D

I should probably post this Atripla update elsewhere; I'd like for folks considering starting meds to come across it.  Anyway, night 2, day 2 even easier of a time than night 1, day 1.  Knock on wood....  I can't believe how well it's going.

Rich
08/1989 Acquired
04/1992 Diagnosed
03/25/2008 (YUP - 16 years later!) CD4 336/21% VL 217,000; started meds
08/2012 - Alive, living! and doing just fine, TYVM (w/ props to my doc, insurance carrier and Complera. I remember every day that I'm a lucky boy.)

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,358
  • 28 years positive, 56 years a pain in the butt
Re: Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2008, 11:00:32 AM »
Hey Rich,

First, congrats on starting meds with now problems. That is great to hear.  ;D

I also love your attitude. I think that is one of the ways we who are more seasoned in the HIV battle have managed to last this long.

Also, welcome to the forums. I am glad you joined in.

BIG HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline OneTampa

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,032
  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2008, 02:52:44 PM »
Welcome Rich!

You have a great attitude. Here's wishing you all the best!
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline 25YRSAGO

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
Re: Just adding my name to the ever-growing list...
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2008, 02:48:53 PM »
Hey RichVA,

Sounds like you did pretty much what I did (I waited 15 yrs. before taking anything).  MY DOCS admit to me nowadays that this strategy may not have been such a bad idea (in the early days, they were pretty much overdosing people...but it appears the pharm companies may have gotten this problem under some control by now).  Atripla works for both my partner and me.  We both take it just before bedtime.  I've always had odd dreams and couldn't take the Sustiva on it's own (total trip)..but in the combo pill...the dreams aren't so bad.  If you get up to pee, be careful..as it's easy to lose a little balance...stay away from stairs (and pets that are on the stairs).  All in all, this drug has worked well for both my partner and I...esp. him.  He's been undetectable and has like 900 tcells now.  As for me, it's not been THAT good...but probably as good or better than any other drug I've swallowed in the past ten or so years.  Just go in for your blood tests so your doc can monitor any possible problems.  This 'regimen' is the easiest for sure!!!

Great luck to you!!
STRONG MIND, STRONG BODY, STRONG SPIRIT!!!

 


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