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Author Topic: When does it sink in?  (Read 7631 times)

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Offline darwin

  • Member
  • Posts: 69
When does it sink in?
« on: April 25, 2008, 07:34:18 PM »
I have been diagnosed poz for 2 days.  The boyfriend who gave it to me, who I love dearly, left me 3 weeks prior to my diagnosis.  I am avoiding calling him at all costs - because I want him back already, and with this, I feel I would just give him guilt trips to get back together - and I want to be more mature about this.  So I am waiting.

I have started my blood work with the clinic, and I am looking into High Risk Pool insurance.

I have told my brother and my sister.  Both of them responded in a weird way: "Well, we did worry about HIV, since you're gay.  We are not totally surprised".  I let their stereotypes off the hook, but I didn't like to hear that from them.

So I am doing everything *right* - except - I don't feel a thing.  I don't recognize that I am poz, that I am one of "those people".  Occasionally, I say to myself "I am HIV positive", and it sounds totally foreign.

How long does it take before I realize I am poz?  Before I feel I am poz?  How long did it take for you?

I am 29, living in Idaho.  I fear.. fear... fear... never finding a life partner now that my dating pool is so limited.

October 2007 - Chose love/stupidity over protection
23 April - Diagnosed
30 April - CD4: 364/22.1% VL: 2,198
11 July - Started Viramune/Truvada
13 August - Undetectable

Offline aliveinla

  • Member
  • Posts: 247
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2008, 11:30:51 PM »
Welcome to the forum.

It took me a couple weeks to stop waking up in the middle of the night wishing it was all a dream... Now it has been 3 months, I think I am fully functional and 95% as happy as I was before the diagnose.
4/24/07: Last tested Neg
1/22/08: First tested Poz
1/30/08: CD4 393; 28%; VL: 44k
3/18/08: CD4 218; 26%; VL: 222K
4/24/08: CD4 402; 26%; VL: lab forgot
7/22/08: CD4 405; 25%; VL: 6,780
10/15/08: CD4 340, 26%; VL: N/A
2/4/09: CD4 394, 26%; VL: N/A
Jun 09: CD4 300, 25%; VL: 4000
Oct 09: CD4 324, 23%, VL: 10K
11/22/09: started Atripla
11/20/11: CD4 405; VL: UD

Offline komnaes

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,893
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2008, 01:12:57 AM »
One thing I share with Darwin is that we both have loved ones that were already HIV+ before our diagnosis. We have more direct experiences and we know more about what we can expect. The clinic that I have to go now, I have been going there with someone for over 10 years. I know everyone there (though dealing with the fact that I am sitting on that chair next to the doctor instead of the one next to the patient needs a lot of adjusting..). So I suppose we're less shocked because we already know what to expect.

It will sink in, though for how long it depends on the person. And it really doesn't mean after "sinking in" that it won't bubble up again later. Just give yourself time, you will eventually sort out what are important to your well being.

Hugs, Shaun
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline darwin

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  • Posts: 69
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2008, 02:49:06 AM »
Shaun,

That's amazing - we are right on with each other. 

We both go to the sole clinic in town.  I went there yesterday, the day after my diagnosis. 

When I parked, I parked in the same spot we always did.  Except this time, I didn't have to leave room for the passenger side door, because he wasn't with me.

When I opened the front door that I had opened dozens of times, I didn't need to hold it open, because he wasn't there.

As I approached the front desk, I didn't need to step aside for him.  Instead, I am the one who reached the desk.

When his blood was being drawn, I would pet his hair and rub his back, soothing him.  Now I sit in the same chair, with the same nurses, in the same room, and when the blood is drawn, I have no one there to soothe me.

It's so difficult.  I love him so much, and this breakup has left me in a heap on the floor.  And, within three weeks of him leaving me, I find out that I carry his HIV in my blood.  And he is not here to hold me, yet he gets to remember all the times I held him.

« Last Edit: April 26, 2008, 02:51:59 AM by darwin »
October 2007 - Chose love/stupidity over protection
23 April - Diagnosed
30 April - CD4: 364/22.1% VL: 2,198
11 July - Started Viramune/Truvada
13 August - Undetectable

Offline Matty the Damned

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,160
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2008, 04:12:22 AM »
I find out that I carry his HIV in my blood.

Ja, I think this is the issue.

Honey, here's the thing. It's not his HIV anymore, if it ever was. It's yours and you won't have any peace until you own it. I appreciate that you're newly diagnosed. I appreciate that you're pining for your dead relationship, but at some point you're going to have to move forward.

Always we must go forward because, sadly, we can never go back.

This will not happen straight away, I understand that. But it will have to happen if you're to get on with your life.

Be well,

MtD

Offline Andy Velez

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  • Member
  • Posts: 23,845
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2008, 12:45:54 PM »
Darwin, it will take time to get adjusted these huge new changes in your life. It's good that you have found your way here where so many others have lived through what you're experiencing. And they're here to help and to tell you that you too will get through.

You're always welcome to come here and ask questions as well as to talk about anything that's on your mind. Gradually you'll learn everything you need to know about living with HIV. And more than that as well.

Welcome,
Andy Velez

Offline darwin

  • Member
  • Posts: 69
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2008, 01:36:14 PM »
Quote
I appreciate that you're newly diagnosed. I appreciate that you're pining for your dead relationship, but at some point you're going to have to move forward.

I know this... on an intellectual level.  It's Dr Phil psychology 101.  Yet things are just not... sinking in... I don't feel. 

The relationship ending just 3 weeks ago, and it was hard enough to lose him.  Soooo hard... so many tears.  And now I am diagnosed.  And I wanted him back so much as it was, that with the HIV, I want him even more.  It's torture.  I know it sounds pathetic if you are not currently going through a breakup.  I would think it sounds pathetic in any other context.  But its real and burning for me now.

Quote
You're always welcome to come here and ask questions as well as to talk about anything that's on your mind.

Thanks Andy!
October 2007 - Chose love/stupidity over protection
23 April - Diagnosed
30 April - CD4: 364/22.1% VL: 2,198
11 July - Started Viramune/Truvada
13 August - Undetectable

Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,618
  • Diagnosed + 1989
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2008, 02:12:56 PM »
Darwin, I understand it's very hard for you right now.  And losing someone who was significant in your life is, well, doubly hard.  But, having him back as your boyfriend wouldn't "make everything alright."  That's just some left-over illusion we sometimes have.  (Trust me, I've tried that with someone before).  It didn't improve anything. 

We're here for ya. 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline alicedaddy

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2008, 03:42:16 PM »
I'm sorry you're going through this.  It's been eleven years since I found out about my poz status, and, like coming out, it's an everyday process.  If you stop trying to force the realization on yourself, you will have an easier time with it.  Instead of focusing on it, or constantly telling yourself 'I have HIV", try embracing the numbness you feel.  It's a part of your survival technique.  Of course there's no way to truly deny the fact, but if you can have a few minutes of forgettful denial mixed with a few minutes of terror, they will eventually even each other out.  The terror will subside and you will feel normal again.  Remember, it's up to you to pamper yourself now.  I lived an insular life for awhile after finding out.  I started looking at myself as my own best caregiver.  I asked as many questions as I could come up with, and I didn't let any embarassment/shame stop me from pumping my Doc for info.  I don't know where you are living, but when I went back to Kansas City to start my positive life, I utilized every option open to me.  I went through vocational training, thinking to change my career, took my IQ test, accepted the help of chiropractors, accupuncturists, therapists, group therapies etc.  If your doctor is working with HIV+ patients, he/she will have insight that you need, and if your doc is not familiar with the in's and out's of HIV, try to find one who is.  Use your nurses as teachers on HIV...they are brilliant angels on the forefront of HIV care.  I'm lucky...my doc's and nurses have been great.  If you feel neglected, rushed or overlooked, find a different Dr.  You are not alone.  There are more than 40,000,000 of us on this planet with this unwelcomed visitor in our bodies, and, while the American medical world is screwed up, we do have the latest and best treatments available.  Turn your fear and disbelief into a positive fighting energy.  As you ease into the truth of the situation, it will become easier.

And don't worry about the diminished pool of people you might find love with...In the eleven years since being diagnosed, I've only had about 5 guys who couldn't handle the HIV thing.  Most are open and intellegent enough to know the precautions to take and they don't let fear rule their actions.  When you find the right guy, he will love you, virus and all.

Down with Fear!  Up with Action!  When you feel fear, let it make you angry.  Anger is a better catalyst for change than fear.  You are vital and important!  Sleep when you need to, cry when you feel like it, love everyone in your life with an unflinching dedication, hold yourself to a higher standard, and do what it takes to thrive.  When you feel fear, recognize it, examine it, then challenge it.   You are the rule maker for your life; don't give up that right by letting fear take charge.

Offline tag_man08

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
  • Keep Dreaming!!!
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2008, 11:38:01 PM »
It took me about 3 or 4 months to gain myself back to pre-diagnosis.  A friend who suffers from a different autoimmune disease told me......if you need to cry....cry.  It may be 30min one day.  Tomorrow...it will be 29min.  Eventually you will cry less and less until you are stronger.    I reminded myself that life goes on and so will I everday.   I refocused my life and my dreams in a more positive way.  I confided in one of my best friends who has been HIV+ for 20years--his strength and courage pulled me through after listening to the crazy days of HIV in the 80's that he survived through.  We are very blessed this day to have more advanced knowledge about HIV than most other diseases.  You will get strong.  Just focus on yourself for now.  Love will find you.
08/30/07:  The HIV diagnosis...
09/07/07:  CD4 299 (21%)  VL 160K
01/07/08:  CD4 396 (26%)  VL 125K
04/21/08:  CD4 478 (25%)  VL 92K
09/03/08:  CD4 313 (23%)  VL 10K
11/03/08:  CD4 338 (23%)  VL 30K
11/21/08:  Isentress & Truvada
12/05/08:  CD4 485 (29%)  VL  undetectable in two weeks
03/13/09:  CD4 575 (30%)  VL  undetectable

Offline isitthatbad

  • Member
  • Posts: 58
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2008, 05:17:09 PM »
Darwin..life goes on... i think about HIV every minute of every day... BUT...i DONT let it take over ofcourse the mind games are there i now know what its like for a person to have cancer. I carry on as normal staying positive is a good thing eat healthily think healthiliy i think is a major factor its NOT going to defeat you :-* unless you let it

Offline BubbaPat

  • Member
  • Posts: 49
  • Bubba hugs!!!
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2008, 05:30:44 PM »
 :P
Hey Darwin,

I think coming "here" was the best thing to do.  We've all been there and for some, will be there again.  HIV isn't what it used to be with regard to an illness but as for the mental side of it, heck, that's like a Texas thunderstorm... you never know what's going to happen.

If I could give you a hug of support I would. I'm guessing that even though your siblings said what they did, they still love you.  I'm sure you've also got friends that are still there for you.  With those things darlin... you can change the world.

Be strong.  Be brave.  Be human.  No matter what... know that we're here for you.

Bubba hugs!!
Patrick


Bubba hugs!
Patrick

Offline bearby

  • Member
  • Posts: 41
  • April 2007
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2008, 11:21:34 AM »
Well Darwin as some one else stated already this  was your best thing to have done son .
 ( yes I said son because since I turned 48 this year every one seems to have grown so much younger than myself or am I just changing my mind set to believe such a thing ?).
 I know that when I was told that I had aids ( which was a misdiagnosis at that time since I was just plain poz  ( if there is such a thing )) that it flew into me like a rocket knocking me down to the ground .
 I went on for two years in denial thinking how could this have happened NOW ;
 I mean  here I am starting this new relationship and now this .
 Well it has been 22 years and I was diagnosed as having aids in 2000 ( original test of poz was in 1987 ) and he's still standing fast at my side still a neggie which means that we NOW have us a sero-diverse relationship which my folks now call him their other son because of his devotion to my health and mental state thereby reliving them of having to watch out over me like the angel that he is .
 As to the words your siblings said that seems to have been their way of saying  "well we  figured that you would get it sooner or later it just happened sooner was all ".
 They  like you will have to come to terms with your newly determined poz status just as my  aged folks did when  they  learned that I had aids which I still have trouble coming to terms with myself using that term which the more I see it and use it the more I learn to heed the following words .
 YES I have a disease it does not nor will I ever allow it to have me  :D !
 Now when you feel low repeat those above words over and over until they sound good in your mind then things will  fall into perspective I hope as they do when I change the word poz to aids and then realize that hey I am going to live a long and fruitful life despite this disease I  have within me .
 Ciao to all
Have you preformed your random act of kindness today ?

Offline danpoz

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2008, 05:22:13 PM »
Darwin,
I found out 6 weeks ago, March 18th that I was Positive on a routine test. Six weeks in I'd say it still hasn't sunk in, at least not completely.  I still have those night that I lie awake trying to figure out why me and what will happen in the future; then I remember, we can't control the future.  It's worse for me to worry about the future lying awake at night then it is for me to get a good night's sleep and attack the next day as a new chance.  I know I've found comfort in reading the forums here, connecting with other positive guys and reading their stories of accomplishment.  I'm very analytical by nature so I started a notebook, I keep track of questions I have for my doctor, take notes when he and I talk and created graphs and tables in which I can record all my blood work. I started it on a whim, but it has helped me feel like I regained some of that control.  Being diagnosed definitiely felt like I was losing control but slowly I'm realizing It only controls that one aspect of my life.  It's important to remember that you're not alone.  You'll find someone who loves you, whether it's your ex or someone new and better only time will tell; but it will happen, if you let it.

I found solace in my faith, as I always have and pray that in time it will sink in for you, as it continues to do daily for me.

dan

HIV- 12/1/07
HIV+ 3/18/08 CD4 384, VL 39k
    Started Atrpila 4/4/08
12/1/07 HIV-
3/17/08 HIV+, CD4 384, VL 39966
4/4/08 Started Atripla
7/14/08  CD4 343, VL Undetectable :-)


Offline neojeepguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2008, 08:21:27 PM »
Darwin,

I'm sorry to hear that you have seroconverted.   :(. It is a tough thing for everyone to go through. Accepting it can take a long time, be paient, reach out to others, ask for professional help if you need it, it will get better. Don't hesitate to use online resources for emotional & educational support.

I seroconverted in 2004 and somedays I feel like you feel today so there are good days and bad days.

I live in a town of 20,000 and drive 45 miles to see my doctors so try not to let yourself get too isolated from others. Depression is pretty common amoung HIVers so don't beat yourself up about being blue. But try not to sit on your hands and do nothing about it if you feel it lingers to long, talk to your HIV doctor about how you are feeling.

Best of Luck,

Stay Mighty,

Chris

Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,618
  • Diagnosed + 1989
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2008, 08:40:09 PM »
Welcomes to Danpoz and Neojeepguy.  Hope to hear more from both of you.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline rsmtx8978

  • Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2008, 09:38:07 PM »
I remember three months ago being diagnosed... I already suspected.. but it hit me like a ton of bricks emotionally.. all I could think about was being poz.  I couldn't sleep, keep food down, etc.  I haven't had a partner in over two years and I very much feel alone.  Of course, I know I am never truly alone, but I understand and relate to the sentiments of going to appointments and dealing with this without a moral "physical" means of support.  I thought the other day after all I've been through (I've had some temendous hurdles over the past six months, aside from the HIV, and it's taken one helluva toll on me), and I realized just how damn strong I really am.  Some days are hard.. some easy... so damn near frightful.  But I feel safe.. I feel like I am included in the fight.  I need to post here more.  ;-)  I wish the best to everyone fighting this.  We all have to stick together.

-Ron
9/15/06 - ELISA test reactive, Western Blot undetermined
1/21/08 - HIV diagnosis / HPV diagnosis
1/23/08 - CD4 315 / 250K VL
2/19/08 - Surgery to remove HPV lesions (warts)
2/30/08 - CD4 240 / 250K+ VL
5/02/08 - Starting meds - Truvada, Norvir, and Reyataz

Offline danguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2008, 10:07:13 AM »
Hi Darwin,
I am also sorry that you have discovered you are HIV+.  As another person mentioned, I have been  HIV+ for 21 years, and am grateful to be in good health.  I am 60 years old, and have lost about half of my old friends to HIV+.  I strongly suspected that I was HIV+ when I tested in 1987.  However, that did not stop me from getting really depressed about it.  Fortunately, I had also been sober in Alcoholics Anonymous for 10 years, in 1987.  Even though many gay AA members had died by then,there was a denial and a refusal to talk about it in meetings
I went to an HIV+ support group, which was very helpful.  I t did not take long,  however,to realize that I had deeper problems than HIV+.  I wound up in psychotherapy for three years, and I dont ever remember talking about HIV+.  I talked mostly about my ongoing life problems:  my frustration with finding and keeping a lover, and my frustration with having spent a lot of time gaining an education, but not having a career that related to that.
After those 3 years, i began to move forward. In 1995, before the miracle drugs came along, my t4 count was about 17, even on AZT.  I have had  two surgeries related to HIV+ ;  one required the removal of swollen lymph glands, and the other due to a reaction to HIV+ medication.
Now I rarely think about having HIV+;  actually it only comes up when I think about sexual relations, and when I have a strange medical condition. For the medical, I check it out with my doctor, and so far it has been totally unrelated.  As for sexual relations and finding a partner, it has to be discussed for the other person' safety.

As for when it sank in, I guess it was when I went to the HIV+ support group, and talked to others with the same condition.  That really helped.  I suggest you find a support group, and also remain in this forum. Now, in most areas of my life, HIV+ has been a blessing.  It forced me to find help in psychotherapy, it forced to me change my priorities, and it changed my relations with my family and friends.  We came closer to each other, and increased our love for one another.  Also I have learned that many people live with other life threatening diseases, that we too have something in common. One of my women neighbors has had cancer three times. She made the statement that her cancer is always with her.  Her courage and determination is awesome.  She lives with her elderly mother, and takes care of her. at the age of 60 she participated in a cancer survivor triathalon.

It will take time for it to sink in, but hopefully you will discover that there is more to you than  being HIV+. 

Love and take care.

Dan Hardy




d


Offline danguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2008, 12:04:50 PM »
Its Dan again,
I realize that I failed to discuss the loss of the relationship.  Having HIV+ and the loss of lover are two different issues.  My only thought on the lover loss relates to your lover's knowledge of his being HIV+.  If he knew he was HIV+, did not tell you, and passed it on to you, then basically you were betrayed. He had basically no concern for your physical well-being. If it was me, i would be questioning his real love for me.  I would not want him back in my life, because fundamentally, he was not trustworthy.
If He did not know, then that is another issue.  I know this sounds maybe cold and too rational.  Love is never rational. But as someone else has said, you must focus on loving yourself, and he must focus on loving himself. Love eventually forgives, and allows you to move on. Now you need hugs and reassurance.  Get them wherever you can.

Offline darwin

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  • Posts: 69
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2008, 10:35:50 PM »
Thank you, all, for your support and guidance and sharing your stories.

I knew my ex was positive - he was diagnosed within a few weeks after we decided to stop being friends and starting dating.  I couldn't leave him, so I stayed by him during all of it - the diagnosis, the appoitments, the drug side effects, and then for a year after that.

Now I am going through all those steps, but he is not here, and I am alone.  And its weird because I am going through all these steps with the same nurses, same rooms, same clinics.  But alone.

And my doctor thinks that the depression and cloudiness I've felt for the past several months are likely attributed to my CD4s dropping by 70%+... and now I wonder how my acute infection and following contributed to our breakup - it's all quite the head game!

But I've stopped trying to figure it all out (I'm too exhausted!) and now I am just rolling through the days, bouncing along, and not trying to understand it all.
October 2007 - Chose love/stupidity over protection
23 April - Diagnosed
30 April - CD4: 364/22.1% VL: 2,198
11 July - Started Viramune/Truvada
13 August - Undetectable

Offline komnaes

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  • Posts: 1,893
Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2008, 11:12:39 PM »
Hey Darwin, yes, it's a head game, and consider for my case I have been to the same clinic for the last 11 years and counting, and have received counseling as a caregiver and now I am myself poz. Don't be too hard on yourself and I can assure that things will settle down somewhat, though depending on your progress the ride will not be entirely smooth. Some folks here know too well about my panic attack episodes.

About your ex, I have this to share - I was also missing mind, and it took me a while to realize that I had actually not been missing him, but missing the idea of having someone who loved me and whom I loved around. Having him around made things felt a lot more tolerable. Now I know I am just missing the idea of having this emotional "safe haven", and learning to confront head-on with this feeling of helplessness of being "alone" (i.e. still have plenty of friends, good support network, but still missing that special someone).

Sorry about the drop in CD4, and it's definitely a warning shoot to you to take care of yourself.

Hugs, Shaun

Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline Winiroo

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Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2008, 11:30:12 PM »
Sounds like stages of grief.

Denial (this isn't happening to me!)

Anger (why is this happening to me?)

Bargaining (I promise I'll be a better person if...)

Depression (I don't care anymore)

Acceptance (I'm ready for whatever comes)


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Offline danguy

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Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2008, 09:14:40 AM »
hey Wendy,
I think you are right on target.  We all have to go  thru grief process, for many reasons. The loss of lovers, the loss of good friends, the loss of parents, brothers, sisters, the loss of a job, the loss of our. health.  And as life goes on, it seems to never end.  But somehow it always seems to pass, and life goes on.  And almost always, I have gotten stronger by the time the process is over.
Darwin, I wouldn't worry too much about the blood count.  Eventually the doctor will get it right, and then the viral load will  be undetectable.  My doctor says that is the most important thing.  My  count has hovered around 200 for over 20 years, and I have been ok.  i started taking Atripla, about 6 months ago, and it went to like to 384, but then it went down to the 200s again. My viral load has been undetectable since 1995.
My last lover was HIV- and stayed that way.  We parted over other issues, not HIV+.  I have met plenty of people who would have made a good partners since then, and none of them were concerned about my HIV+ status.  But I just wasnt ready. 
I have been single a long time, but now at the age of 60 I am starting to look again. I am very open about my HIV+.  I have a lot to give, and eventually I will find someone who wants what I have, and I will want what they have.
You said that you are no longer trying to understand it.  THAT IS A SIGN OF GREAT PROGRESS.  As Wendy pointed out, Acceptance is the turning point.
Then you can begin to start life over again.
I am in Alcoholics Anonymous, and we have a prayer we use frequently.  You may not believe in prayer, that is ok.  But the prayer has a lot of wisdom in it.
It goes like this:  " God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

One more thing, and I will shut up. To me it was vital, and is still vital:  I must have a circle of friends and family that will support me and love me, that I can always count on.  Sometimes I cannot reach out to them.  but they are still there. Also, through any grief process, I  seem to find an inner core of strength and a renewed joy in life.

Hugs,
dan Hardy

Offline ga1964

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Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2008, 03:00:28 AM »
Sounds like stages of grief.

Denial (this isn't happening to me!)

Anger (why is this happening to me?)

Bargaining (I promise I'll be a better person if...)

Depression (I don't care anymore)

Acceptance (I'm ready for whatever comes)


Darwin,

I found out a little over a year ago and if I go by the stages of grief, I would fall into the Depression category.   I have caught myself saying f*ck it to just about everything from personal, business, finances, friends, family, pretty much life in general.  Then 15 min. later I start worrying about all of it till I can't take it any more and then go back to saying f*ck it all over again.

I don't know if anyone else has gone thru this, and if so, what time frame it took them, Its just where I'm at these days.

I hope things get better for you.

Offline BT65

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Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2008, 02:17:15 PM »
Ga, I don't really remember how long it took for being diagnosed to "sink in" with me (it was 1989).  But what I did and still have to do is to break life down into little manageable parts.  Do the most important things first, and kind of "schedule" the other things in order of their iimportance.  If it's something I really have no means of control over, I just have to let it go.  The things I can do something about is what the important things are.

I don't know how long it took for me to adapt to the whole "letting it go" thing.  I lost both my parents during the last year and I still have a hard time with that.  I also have a hard time with things I want to turn out one way, but I know they won't.  That's a whole control issue for me. 

If it's causing you considerable difficulty with day-to-day life, I would recommend seeing a good therapist.  I see one and he's been invaluable.  Your ASO (Aids Service Organization) would be able to give you the name of a good one.  Or perhaps your doctor could.  Good luck and let us know how you're doing.
   Luv,
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline ga1964

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Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2008, 02:07:51 AM »
Thank you Betty,

I will try to not let things get to me so much, it just seems every thing is caving in around me.  There is not an ASO here as far as I know.  ( small Southern towns, Ya gotta love em! )  I've ask my ID. and he didn't know of one.  He did give me the number to a ADAP case worker,  I need to call for an appointment, but I'm having disclosure issues to people I don't know.  I know they already my status, but I still feel anxious. 

I have not disclosed my status to brothers and sisters.  I told my parents when I was diagnosed, ( I have a feeling it was the drugs I was on. )  They came into my hospital room, sat down and I just blurted it out.  I don't know if I could have told them if it were not for the pain meds I was on.  My Mom and I cried, I tried to be strong and not to let her see the fear that hit me.  I could see the fear in my Dad's face.  I wanted to cancell the surgery that I had to have the next morning, keep the Diloton flowing till i was gone.  If it hadn't been for the compassion of my surgeon I don't know if I would be here. 

I would like to see a therepist, but I don't know if there are any that handle HIV issues.  Even if I was to find one, I don't have the money to pay them.  I have already lost all my savings and have maxxed out two credit cards trying to keep up with the cost of maintaining this disease.  One good thing thou, my Re-Fi on my home will be going through soon and I get a free month w/o a mortgage payment.  That will have to go to other bills thou.  Hopefully I'll get my stimulis check soon even tho it will have to go towards bills also.   >:( Bummer!

Thanks again Betty and  your in my prayers.






Offline BT65

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Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2008, 11:43:48 AM »
Ga, I don't know what part of the country you're in; do you live anywhere near a larger city that would have an ASO? 

My therapist doesn't specialize in HIV issues really.  Before I started seeing him in '90 or '91, he had only had one other person who was HIV+.  But, he has helped me a lot with acceptance issues etc.  I'm on Medicare, and he writes off what Medicare doesn't pay.  I can't recall from your other postings if you're employed or not.  If you are, some places have a sliding scale fee.  If you're not, get hooked up with Ryan White (ADAP or your doctor should be able to put you in touch with them).   They have paid for some people's therapy, although I'm not sure on the particulars with that since the federal government seems not to increase that much-needed program. 

We're here also.  Please stay in touch. 
  Luv,
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2008, 12:57:38 PM »
He lives in South Carolina.  Nobody's ever said that small towns are going to have ASO's -- you're going to have to do some driving.

I see the following listings here:

http://www.avert.org/hiv_usa.htm#atlantic

South Carolina

Columbia: Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services
Greenville: AIDS Upstate
North Charleston: Lowcountry AIDS Services
Ridgeland/Hampton: ACCESS
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Winiroo

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Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2008, 04:17:18 PM »
Darwin,

I found out a little over a year ago and if I go by the stages of grief, I would fall into the Depression category.   I have caught myself saying f*ck it to just about everything from personal, business, finances, friends, family, pretty much life in general.  Then 15 min. later I start worrying about all of it till I can't take it any more and then go back to saying f*ck it all over again.

I don't know if anyone else has gone thru this, and if so, what time frame it took them, Its just where I'm at these days.

I hope things get better for you.

Sorry its taking so long to respond but my computer bit the dust and it took me a while to get it repaired.
I've been positive roughly 16 years and I am definitely at the acceptance part. I have been for years.

The first couple of years where a little tough but I managed and slowly but surely I got used to the idea. My entire adult life I have been positive so to me being positive has become to me a small fraction of what I am.
Most often having HIV is like scratching an itch. You don't think about scratching an itch. If something itches you generally just scratch it. My itches are taking my meds or using universal precautions or getting my labs done. Stuff like that. I don't think about it I just do it. 
I'm ok with being HIV positive. I don't like some of the problems that come with it on occasion but I deal with the blows as they come and for all the shit I've been through I'm fine.


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“Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.” Margaret Thatcher

Offline ga1964

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Re: When does it sink in?
« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2008, 01:29:44 AM »
He lives in South Carolina.  Nobody's ever said that small towns are going to have ASO's -- you're going to have to do some driving


Actually I live in South Georgia, but thanks for the info.  The closest big City would be Jacksonville or Tallahassee, FL., but since I live in GA. I don't think I could qualifly in Fl.  As far as I know the only city in GA. would be Atlanta and I'm about 4 hrs. South.

 


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