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Author Topic: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!  (Read 2365 times)

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Offline Peter6836

  • Member
  • Posts: 391
  • Me and my Granddaughter Noa
Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« on: July 17, 2008, 07:53:40 PM »
Hello everyone, I want to grouse a bit and unload being I do not feel I have anyone to talk to but everyone here. I am really having problems but trying to work on things in a positive way and keep the stress down. I am being fired from my job. I am a teacher in the Detroit public schools, or was. My certification has come up and I have had to get six credits to renew. I finished 3 of the credits and have almost finished the class for the second 3. (independent study) Well the time limit has passed and I am not done so I was called today and told that I would be terminated. I have worked for the schools for 20 years.
I am having problems concentrating because of all the meds. as well as HIV and having an AIDS diagnosis last year, I am bi polar, and neuropathy is really getting to me. I am 53 not to old but old enough to have problems fighting HIV.
I suppose in some ways I am really tired of the stress of working in this urban district that is failing and falling apart. I can not help but think I did this subconsciously as well. I am so tired I am depressed, I care for my aging parents, by driving them to their doctors appointments weekly my mother has cancer and my father is now legally blind. I watch my grandson 3 days a week and sit for another couple a couple times a week. I also have my disabled roomate who does little for himself including work and help with expenses. I pay for his psycho therapy.
So here I am the district says that I can reapply for my job and I do have a Science certification(which is a certification the district still needs despite intense layoffs) , but I will loose all of my seniority and may not be rehired at the same wage. I can apply to sub and make a lot less. I can apply for a disability retirement and keep my benefits as well as be able to work somewhere else as long as I do not make more than I was making before. Or I can apply for disability retirement and SSI and not work at all, (perhaps do my art). I can apply for unemployment while I work on getting these programs in place.
I guess I just want to write out all of my options here, and ask for advice. I am really stressed out and trying to stay calm. I do have problems staying focused, I do take many drugs, I do hate my work situation, it is stressful, I am just trying to keep my wits about me. I know I have a full plate. I also know I am a good person and deserve to not be left in a bad place. I want to keep living a decent life, I do not spend on entertainment, I do not go out to the bars, I am just trying to keep going.
Feel free to give me some positive feedback.
Peter

By the way I have made four applications also today, 3 to AIDS service agencies, one of those dealing with AIDS education, and another at a disstrict close to where I live. Oh I moved close to my parents whcih makes my drive to detroit a good hour each way.

Offline randym431

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,106
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2008, 08:29:33 PM »
So sorry Peter you're under so much stress.
HIV seems ony a part of all you try to handle.
All I can add is for myself, trying to ignore my status is
how I cope. Meds can and do screw you up a lot,
but they are necessary.
Sounds like a lot of people depent on you, and
you need to sort out what you can do, and can not do.

Just remember its not easy, but too you are not alone.
Its also helpful to vent here on the forum. We all do it.
Take care and hang in...

Offline Peter6836

  • Member
  • Posts: 391
  • Me and my Granddaughter Noa
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2008, 08:45:04 PM »
Thanks Randy I appreciate the empathy, it really helps. You are right I do need to focus on priorities and HIV is only a part of every thing. I try not to focus on my condition but it is time like this that I see just how much it affects my ability to function in the world.
Peter

Offline YaKaMein

  • Member
  • Posts: 368
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2008, 02:23:41 AM »
Peter,
We can't avoid stress only learn new ways to deal with it more effectively ourselves but better with assistance of others.
You are under a tremendous amount of stress right now and need your load lightened. Consider ways to do it and prioritize them.

Getting your health issues more manageable will enable you to deal with things if you're feeling better and thinking clearer.

Ask for help from others, even demand it if you need to right. Get as much information as possible

Employment issues -  contact union rep if any to sort out your current job status or options

http://www.michigan.gov/orsschools

for information about service retirement or disability requirements for you explore especially if you have 20 service years in your system.

You've probably starting doing these already. Hang in there and keep the momentum. Remember you have options and choices.

Am pulling for you right now. Let's us know how your actions are going.

09/11 Endocrine Consult
08/11 CD4 328 14.9% VL 0
 Disc'd Bactrim DEXA -3.1 Tscore
03/11 CD4 338 14.7% VL 0
11/10 CD4 300 14.3% VL 0 <20copies
07/10 CD4 336 14.0% VL 0 DEXA -2.7 Tscore
03/10 CD4 308 13.4% VL 0 Vit D normal
01/10 Began FOTO
11/09 CD4 274 13.7% VL 0 Chol 173 Trig 131
07/09 CD4 324 13.5% VL 0 DEXA -3.1 Tscore lumbar
03/09 CD4 207 10.9% VL 0
11/08 CD4 227 10.3% VL 0 Chol 176 Trig 156
04/08 CD4 228 9.5% VL 0
01/08 CD4 194 9.0% VL 0
09/07 CD4 176 8.3% VL 0
03/07 CD4 130 9.5% VL 0 Chol 261  Trig 227
12/06 CD4 109 6.4% VL 0
09/06 CD4  88 5.5% VL und desens'd rtd to Bactrim
08/06  Began Atripla
07/06 CD4  59 5.0% VL 145 Chol 117 Trig 104
06/06  Bactrim rash, X2 Dapsone
 EFV & Truvada Chol 128 Trig 131
05/06 CD4  6 (2.0%) VL 78667 only V179D mutation Dx PC MAC

Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,631
  • Diagnosed + 1989
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2008, 09:47:58 AM »
Peter, I'm wondering why you're paying for your roomie's psychotherapy?  Isn't that something that's, like, not your responsibility?  If he's making life all the more intolerable for you, then try finding him somewhere else to live.

YaKa gave good advice on contacting your union.  One of my good friends was a teacher in the Benton Harbor schools and got injured and the union has helped her out greatly.

I always have to put the most important things first and try not to tackle everything at once.  If I do (try to) concentrate on too many things at once, I always end up depressed and feeling helpless, hopeless etc.  Make a list and check off one thing at a time.  Take care of yourself.
 Luv,
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Peter6836

  • Member
  • Posts: 391
  • Me and my Granddaughter Noa
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2008, 10:05:18 AM »
I am trying here. I have applyed for four new jobs, and talked to the union about a disability retirement, at least I will keep my benifits and I will be able to work at another type of job as long as I do not make more than I was when I wwas working for the schools. I see they need science teachers in the district still and I could  be hired back but my benifits still may not be as good as they would if I retired? I have an appointment with a lawyer on monday as well.
I am still so upset and crying all the time.
As for my roomie, he has no place to go. No family and no friends besides me. Turning him out would just be wrong. In my mind anyway. I have thought about it but I just could not.
Thanks for all the concern, I am going to keep trying here although I have defeatist thoughts and think about just giving up. For right now I am going to keep trying.
Peter

Offline bear60

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  • Posts: 4,104
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2008, 10:48:35 AM »
A friend of mine....who had sustained fairly serious injuries to his back  in his job as Special Ed Teacher.....eventually took a sabatical.....then another one.....and then started to use up his sick days and after about 2 years went out on retirement with a pension.
His teachers union really helped him survive the whole thing.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline YaKaMein

  • Member
  • Posts: 368
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2008, 11:28:40 AM »
Peter,
You are a fantastically generous person who is the caretaker of everyone around you, parents, grandchildren, the disabled, sitting for others .... I suspect more... except YOU. You sound overwhelmed because you ARE, and quickly burning out. Who's taking care of you? - no one. The stress is eating you alive and you deserve better.

Sooooo,  add YOU to the mix and starting makng the 'I" list.
Ask yourself: What do I need? How can I get it? Who can help ME? Where do I need to go? When will I need to do it?

Tackle 1 maybe 2 things from your prioritized list of 100's. Each one scratched off the list will feel huge. If you can't do this, get help with this ... maybe your children [since you have grandchildren] ... ASO, church, anywhere ... but you need help now.

Suggestions:  Make sure your health is being managed. Maybe adjustments/changing your bipolar, HIV meds. addressing PN also
  Get your friend on SSI or SSDI if not already. If so, Medicaid/Medicare should help with him.
  Same applies to your parents

  Quit sitting for those others, you can't do that right now ... maybe others can rotate watching grandson or the sittings.

  Great you've contacted the union ... sounds like you're exploring your options .. may have some hard choices to make. Weigh out  benefits, money, senority, etc, . Think them out and do what's best short-term/long term. Maybe retirement or disability will be the best thing for you financially, time, well-being. Be aware of any dates, deadlines, service time, applicable unused sick time.

I don't know your history and won't presume to know what's best for you. Just very concerned for your well-being which is deteriorating. None of this is easy to tackle but stay in the game for yourself. I want you to win .... -YaKa
09/11 Endocrine Consult
08/11 CD4 328 14.9% VL 0
 Disc'd Bactrim DEXA -3.1 Tscore
03/11 CD4 338 14.7% VL 0
11/10 CD4 300 14.3% VL 0 <20copies
07/10 CD4 336 14.0% VL 0 DEXA -2.7 Tscore
03/10 CD4 308 13.4% VL 0 Vit D normal
01/10 Began FOTO
11/09 CD4 274 13.7% VL 0 Chol 173 Trig 131
07/09 CD4 324 13.5% VL 0 DEXA -3.1 Tscore lumbar
03/09 CD4 207 10.9% VL 0
11/08 CD4 227 10.3% VL 0 Chol 176 Trig 156
04/08 CD4 228 9.5% VL 0
01/08 CD4 194 9.0% VL 0
09/07 CD4 176 8.3% VL 0
03/07 CD4 130 9.5% VL 0 Chol 261  Trig 227
12/06 CD4 109 6.4% VL 0
09/06 CD4  88 5.5% VL und desens'd rtd to Bactrim
08/06  Began Atripla
07/06 CD4  59 5.0% VL 145 Chol 117 Trig 104
06/06  Bactrim rash, X2 Dapsone
 EFV & Truvada Chol 128 Trig 131
05/06 CD4  6 (2.0%) VL 78667 only V179D mutation Dx PC MAC

Offline Peter6836

  • Member
  • Posts: 391
  • Me and my Granddaughter Noa
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2008, 12:10:40 PM »
wow!!!!!!!!!! Yak,
Thanks so much for your post. You really have some good suggestions. I do need to sort things out. You are right. I have pushed myself as far as taking care of others.
I do feel that no one is watching out for me.
I have and have always had a problem making an I list and sorting out my needs.
I am bad with taking care of myself. As far as all of these deadlines. I watch what I have to do for others but not forr what I need to do for myself.
I will take your suggestions and read your post a few times to remind me.
Peter

Offline YaKaMein

  • Member
  • Posts: 368
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2008, 12:24:11 PM »
Thata boy ... now go get'em [the solutions] ... you can do it!!   ;D

keep us posted - YaKa
09/11 Endocrine Consult
08/11 CD4 328 14.9% VL 0
 Disc'd Bactrim DEXA -3.1 Tscore
03/11 CD4 338 14.7% VL 0
11/10 CD4 300 14.3% VL 0 <20copies
07/10 CD4 336 14.0% VL 0 DEXA -2.7 Tscore
03/10 CD4 308 13.4% VL 0 Vit D normal
01/10 Began FOTO
11/09 CD4 274 13.7% VL 0 Chol 173 Trig 131
07/09 CD4 324 13.5% VL 0 DEXA -3.1 Tscore lumbar
03/09 CD4 207 10.9% VL 0
11/08 CD4 227 10.3% VL 0 Chol 176 Trig 156
04/08 CD4 228 9.5% VL 0
01/08 CD4 194 9.0% VL 0
09/07 CD4 176 8.3% VL 0
03/07 CD4 130 9.5% VL 0 Chol 261  Trig 227
12/06 CD4 109 6.4% VL 0
09/06 CD4  88 5.5% VL und desens'd rtd to Bactrim
08/06  Began Atripla
07/06 CD4  59 5.0% VL 145 Chol 117 Trig 104
06/06  Bactrim rash, X2 Dapsone
 EFV & Truvada Chol 128 Trig 131
05/06 CD4  6 (2.0%) VL 78667 only V179D mutation Dx PC MAC

Offline Peter6836

  • Member
  • Posts: 391
  • Me and my Granddaughter Noa
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2008, 03:19:13 PM »
well I talked to my ID doctor and he said that there isnt much he can do to help me out on a disability retirement. He said the HIV isnt affecting me, the only thing is the neuropathy, and he thinks I can sit and stand for short periods of time. He will be forthright in his comments. If I lose my insurance because of my job loss he said that he can hook me up with assistance and a state doctor, and I can get my meds. I asked him what if I stop taking them, He said I am a fast progressor and would probably get sick enough to qualify. But may not get better. I called my other doctor to see what he has to say about my bipolar condition. He is out and will call on tuesday in the meantime. I am going crazy. I sent my work in for my class and hope to finish by the end of the weekend. But even then when I send things in I do not know how long it will be before I get my re certification, or if they will hire me back they are laying off another 500 teachers and I would lose all of my seniority. I am beside myself.
Yikes.........

Offline YaKaMein

  • Member
  • Posts: 368
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2008, 06:24:06 PM »
Ok, let's take some deep breaths .... we got some lemons ... let's make resourceful lemonade.

Great you got the work in ... follow up with professor [phone, email, pigeon] to see if it was rec'd and get the completion grade for your work and get that in to the school board ... then contact your sch bod and speak to any ear you can bend ... find a sympathetic advocate ... I know it's summer but maybe someone is there to shepherd some resolution in your favor. Once the completion is in ... beg, borrow, plead your case!! Ask if there's a temporary measure to secure your position, etc in the meantime.

Confused here:  determine if will you lose your employment entirely or be placed in a different position, etc? can they just do that in your system? if you're union, there might be advice they can offer, legal assistance?? Just saying!

Again, you don't have decide on retirement vs disability, just yet .. just gather information ... remember little chunks not the whole burrito .. you have a lot on your plate right now. I looked at your state's school info for disability so there's some connection to Social Security benefits; but I'm not sure if by disability you're speaking of a private disability insurance you purchased or one provided by your system or SSDI.

RE: your ID MD ... WTF? whose advocate is he/she? Unless working for your State's Disability Determination Office, it's not his/her call on whether you are disabled. HOOK U UP! MY A&&! --- [OK I'm venting here about your stress] But, you need this dork right now, so let's play nice.  Start listing ALL your complaints and get that in your medical records [which you should have your own copy anyway] What are you numbers? CD4, CD4%, VL, any OI's, any other health issues besides PN -- you can PM me with these.

i applied beginning of this year:  here's my experience with SSDI. I have an AIDS diagnosis, chronic fatigue and diarrhea, history of presumptive PCP & MAC. my MD filled out a form [from SSA] only about my health history and signed it. I filled out the SSDI application, which is where they look at my last 15 yrs of employment and inquired about sitting, standing, working, etc [not the doctor's form]. I turned the form, application, and a complete copy of my medical records to SS [we have a local office here that I made an appt in person].  By the grace of solar eclipse, aligning of trees, who knows  :-\ I was approved, case closed. I was lucky to not have the horror story we've all heard of about this process.

In the meantime, do something nice for YOU ... goal is to reduce your stress this wkend ... take a break from this to clear your head ... go for a walk, eat ice cream, go see a new movie like "Mamma Mia" pure fluff or sexy action in tights like "Dark Knight"!!
09/11 Endocrine Consult
08/11 CD4 328 14.9% VL 0
 Disc'd Bactrim DEXA -3.1 Tscore
03/11 CD4 338 14.7% VL 0
11/10 CD4 300 14.3% VL 0 <20copies
07/10 CD4 336 14.0% VL 0 DEXA -2.7 Tscore
03/10 CD4 308 13.4% VL 0 Vit D normal
01/10 Began FOTO
11/09 CD4 274 13.7% VL 0 Chol 173 Trig 131
07/09 CD4 324 13.5% VL 0 DEXA -3.1 Tscore lumbar
03/09 CD4 207 10.9% VL 0
11/08 CD4 227 10.3% VL 0 Chol 176 Trig 156
04/08 CD4 228 9.5% VL 0
01/08 CD4 194 9.0% VL 0
09/07 CD4 176 8.3% VL 0
03/07 CD4 130 9.5% VL 0 Chol 261  Trig 227
12/06 CD4 109 6.4% VL 0
09/06 CD4  88 5.5% VL und desens'd rtd to Bactrim
08/06  Began Atripla
07/06 CD4  59 5.0% VL 145 Chol 117 Trig 104
06/06  Bactrim rash, X2 Dapsone
 EFV & Truvada Chol 128 Trig 131
05/06 CD4  6 (2.0%) VL 78667 only V179D mutation Dx PC MAC

Offline Peter Staley

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  • Founder & Advisory Editor, AIDSmeds.com
    • AIDSmeds.com
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2008, 10:10:54 AM »
Peter -- I'm so sorry you're hurting like this.  Please hang in there.  I don't have any great advice for you at this point, except to take things a day at a time.  I don't believe in God, so my "higher power" has always been about love/selflessness/etc. -- the good stuff each of us is capable of.  I know you have an abundance of the good stuff.  I also find strength in the Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

People here love you.  Please keep fighting.  You're worth it.

Peter


Offline Peter6836

  • Member
  • Posts: 391
  • Me and my Granddaughter Noa
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2008, 01:23:35 PM »
Thanks Peter, I am trying. I have my down moments and my up moments. I keep telling myself that others go through things worse than this. I appreciate you good wishes and will remember the serenity prayer when things get tough.
Peter

Offline bear60

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  • Posts: 4,104
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2008, 01:34:39 PM »
(((((((((HUGS))))))) Peter

Let me say that taking care of yourself does not always produce immediate results....but rather initiates a commitment to "take care of yourself" and over time I think it does make a big difference.  I am kind of like you....Peter....in that I was always taking care of everyone else and I was not taking care of myself.  This realization came around 1993 and I am still trying to get MYSELF taken care of.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline Peter6836

  • Member
  • Posts: 391
  • Me and my Granddaughter Noa
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2008, 01:49:09 PM »
Thanks Bear, I am really a nervous wreck I have to take my parents to a wedding today, they cannot drive that far alone. I have to keep up face that everything is OK. I know what you mean I take care of so many other people and always have that I forgot how to take care of myself, if I ever even knew how. At this point I just want to get through this day. I suppose that is all I can do is get through one day at a time.
Peter

Offline Mike89406

  • Member
  • Posts: 206
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2008, 02:53:27 AM »
I understand theres a lot of stress your going thru I don't know if I can compare my situations to yours however in the last 3 yrs I have gone thru a few stressful times myself. I'm in the military and I am in charge of 3 workcenters that work on aviation components. there always seems to be additional stress from my boss who demands a lot out of me and my workers I also had been taking a full load of college course to which I am close to my BS degree in Aviation, my wife is finishing he Masters in Special Ed teaching, my daughter is at the age where she is asserting her independence, I am mulling over my planned retirement from the military which I will be eligible for in over 3 yrs and where were going to live, I have also had a couple significant health issues non HIV related which required surgery plus starting meds 2 yrs ago plus now my wife found out she has cataracts and probably have surgery to have it corrected.

With all of this I have just tryed to keep positive it isn't always easy and at times I ask myself how I got thru all of it but I am here and doing fine its just a mater of me keeping things in perspective and understanding there are things I simply cannot control and there's nothing I can do about it but I somehow maintain my composure no matter what. I do have some bad days and have at times got angry at my family during the hard times but they understand what i am going thru.

It also helps if you can find a good support network for you that helps tremendously.

Mike

Offline rick21007

  • Member
  • Posts: 286
Re: Just how can people with HIV avoid stress!!!!
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2008, 12:30:17 PM »
Finding support for yourself like the awesome folks here is a big step in the right direction.

Some things I do to manage stress not mentioned:  creating moments of serenity for myself during the course of the day.  Taking time in those moments to experience things that are soothing to my senses  I have learned to take deep breaths and be mindful of the moment I am in, letting go of future and past moments.  I practice letting go of the things over which I have no control in the present moment--which are most things I worry about.  I promise myself I will only do what I can do, no more, no less.   I physically take care of myself---diet, sleep, exercise.   Working out 5 days a week has made a huge difference in my ability to handle stress.   

Please keep us updated how things are going.

Rick
« Last Edit: July 25, 2008, 12:32:06 PM by rick21007 »

 


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