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Author Topic: 20 days later...  (Read 4948 times)

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Offline CollGrad08

  • member
  • Posts: 2
20 days later...
« on: August 25, 2008, 10:06:42 PM »
I have found out I am positive 20 days ago and I am still going through all the labs and finding out my numbers and more information and I just had more blood drawn today to get the most accurate count.  I am just completely in denial and scared about what lies ahead for me in my life.  My doctor has told me that this is not a death-sentence and I will have a full life.  But there are many doubts in my mind still about this.

Fortunately, I am in a loving relationship for almost two years and he is thankfully negative right now.  We are in a long distance relationship for a several more months which makes things harder.  We had set forth an open-relationship when he left town 9 months ago, but I made a mistake one night and was unsafe.  I still haven't been able to forgive myself.  He has had his trouble with that and he is hurt by what I did, but we are trying to get through this together. I was just with him for the past week out of town so we could be together and just see if we could take our minds off of it for a while.  Sex makes me nervous with my boyfriend now and I just feel toxic when I want to get close to him thus there wasn't much of it happening.  I made a mistake this one night with another guy and now I am paying for it and it just kills me that everything has changed.

I have good days and I have bad days but it is always on my mind.  It is just so hard that I am only 22, about to graduate college and I feel a sense of loss, guilt, and fear.  I have an amazing therapist (from a hard experience coming out), good support from doctors and nurses, but I just am lacking the support from someone who has gone through exactly what I am going through right now.  I know there are support groups and organizations, but it is just hard right now to reach out and this is my first effort.

Just looking for anyone who would like to open up their hearts and share something that will help me get up in the morning and not have this consume me for the first hour and have me a total wreck.  Thanks.
7/08 - Tested Positive
8/25/08 - VL 104,000  CD4: 1020
8/28/08 - VL 200,000  CD4: 1113
9/4/08 -   VL  60,500   CD4:  888
No Meds

Offline Assurbanipal

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,173
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: 20 days later...
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2008, 06:53:51 AM »
Hello Coll grad

Welcome to the forums. 

Its entirely natural to think about this a lot during the first few months -- just about everyone does.  And there is a lot to learn; to separate out what you've heard as you were growing up from what having HIV means today. 

But your doctor is right.  While you will need to manage this, HIV need not impede a full and long life for people who have just recently been infected . find out relatively quickly, and get good medical care.  There's a lot of good information on this site in the lessons, which are in bold black type on he top of your screen, or just click here.
http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/Introduction_4702.shtml

It can be good to take this in small chunks -- there is no hurry and immersing yourself in HIV can be confusing and scary, so try to spend most of your time on nounal things, rather than on HIV.

Finally, there's a lot of folks your age on this site as well -- if you keep reading in the "I just tested poz" forum you will see some of their stories as well. 

Good wishes
Assurbanipal
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline BlueMoon

  • Member
  • Posts: 665
  • Calling from the Fun House
Re: 20 days later...
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2008, 07:54:35 AM »
Hi Collgrad, welcome to the site, and sorry to read about your diagnosis.

I'm about to have breakfast, then take my meds and go off to work as usual.  That's life...with HIV.
...................VL.....CD4.....%
-----------------------------------------
08/10-- ......<40.....290.....42
05/10-- ......<48.....290.....46
02/10-- ......<48.....481.....44
10/09-- ......<48.....277.....46
07/09-- ......<48.....300.....38
05/09-- ........51.....449.....39
03/09-- Added Isentress
02/09-- ........65.....299.....34
11/08-- ........62.....242.....40
08/08-- ........66.....212.....29
05/08-- ......202.....217.....27
03/08-- ....5210.....187.....21
02/08-- Began Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir
12/07-- 273,000.....157.....22
11/07-- 229,000.....209.....22
10/07-- Diagnosis

It's a complex world.

Offline jennynyc7

  • Member
  • Posts: 146
Re: 20 days later...
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2008, 10:39:44 AM »
Hi Collgrad and welcome to the forums! I was only diagnosed just over 6 months ago. I am a 32 year old single mom of two toddlers who had just bought her first house and had a lifetime of enjoyment ahead of her.......and I still do. Sure the first few weeks were a bit rough, I was in and out of the ER for severe panic attacks but the more info I found and the more people I spoke to I realized that it will be okay. Luckily I was diagnosed only weeks after I was infected so there was minimal damage to my immune system. I did start meds right away because my fiance at the time (who had infected me) had pretty bad #'s so we decided to start treatment at the same time. Although I had an allergic reaction to my first round of meds I am happy to say that my current regimen is completely side effect free and I am now undetectable. I have since broke up with my fiance and am in a new relationship with a wonderful man who is supportive of my status.

Take one day at a time, and know that it will get better. While the news surely can feel devastating, I assure you  (from personal experience) that one day, very soon you will wake up and feel like a new person. It's funny how something like this can make you look at things in a whole new light. I wish I would have lived the way I am living now the first 32 years of my life, I would have been much happier. So many people take things in life for granted and sometimes we all need something to get us back on track.  Take care and come back often.

Jen
12/24/07-infected
1/3/08-ARS began
2/12/08-diagnosed
Initial Vl=99000
CD4=585
2/14/08-began Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir
3/01/08=Swapped Reyataz for Viramune
5/1/08:     vl= undetectable
                cd4=1250
10/24/08:  vl=undetectable
                cd4=1172 (55%)

12/4/08:    vl=254 (hopefully just a small blip)
                cd4=1234

Offline hotpuppy

  • Member
  • Posts: 555
Re: 20 days later...
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2008, 01:55:21 PM »
Jen makes some terrific recommendations.  It also sounds like you are in good hands as far as medical care goes.

Yes, you don't share your HIV status with your bf.  However, that doesn't mean that he can't be there for you.  Together, you can learn about HIV and how to live with it.  Together, you can map out what you are each afraid of, why you are afraid of it, and what is and is not safe to do.  I know several serodiscordant couples (where one is poz and one is not).  I assure you it can and is being done.  Chances are for each concern you have, he has one to match it.  I would say you are lucky to have a bf.

Each day it's important to be thankful for what you have, while you have it.  It's hard to do when everything is going for you.  Once HIV lands on your shoulder and reminds you that life is finite it helps to acknowledge what is going well and celebrate each day and each opportunity.  It's not always easy to do, but I recommend taking inventory of what's going right.

I also recommend that you seek out friends who are positive.  Build a social network of other people who are positive.  They are an invaluable resource when things are rough and you need someone who knows what is like to deal with HIV and it's attendant headaches.  Such as bloodwork, doctors, paperwork, and stigma.

Lastly, don't beat yourself up for the situation that led to you becoming positive.  A wise person once told me that the first way to solve problems is to identify what you can't change.  You can't change what has already happened.  Being angry with yourself will not change your HIV status.  Being angry with the person you got it from, won't change your HIV status.  In short, being angry will not change anything or get you anywhere you want to be.  As another wise person once said, we must accept what is that we cannot change and move forward as best we can. 
Don't obsess over the wrong things.  Life isn't about your numbers, it isn't about this forum, it isn't about someone's opinion.  It's about getting out there and enjoying it.   I am a person with HIV - not the other way around.

Offline Joe K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 3,597
  • 31 Years Poz
Re: 20 days later...
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2008, 03:56:10 PM »
Hello Coll Grad,

My name is Joe and I have been living with HIV for 24 years now and I am here to tell you that you can and will move through this most difficult time.  Everything you have said and felt is perfectly normal and the best thing you can do right now is to be very easy on yourself.  Tone down your stress, eat healthy, get medical and mental health support.  The whole point is you just need to slow down, take some deep breaths and realize that all of this will still be there tomorrow and the next day, so what's the hurry?

You are going through a life-altering event and you must give yourself time to adjust.  And you must give everyone around you time to adjust as well.  Also be aware that each person may react differently.  As there are different issues that face all the people you love.  No doubt your BF is just as scared as you are and he may not know how to comfort you, so you need to guide him and he needs to guide you.  Above all, you must maintain open communications with your BF and realize that everyone adjusts at their own pace.

As to your future, well you have the whole world before you.  Give it some time and you will begin to adjust and you start to realize that you have HIV and not that HIV has you.  You did nothing, my friend to deserve HIV, but you have it and now you must work at forgiving yourself for whatever role you may have played in becoming poz.  Self-loathing serves no purpose what so ever and it can become like acid; where it does much more damage to the vessel in which it is stored, than anything over which it can be poured.  Hating yourself just adds stress and so you must learn to become your own best friend.  And best friends always forgive mistakes.

I wish I had a way to help you move forward, but we each must find our own way.  However, while we can not tell you how your journey may proceed, we will surely be there to walk beside you.  Feel free to come to these forums and TALK ABOUT ANYTHING YOU CHOOSE, because there will most certainly be people here who have walked in your shoes.

Above all, take care of you and if that means you withdraw for awhile or whatever, well that is what you need to do.  You are what is most important right now so please cut yourself some slack, slow down and find support where you can.

Offline tag_man08

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
  • Keep Dreaming!!!
Re: 20 days later...
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2008, 11:54:52 PM »
I agree with hotpuppy...find yourself a great network of friends.  I told several friends when I was first diagnosed (4 total).  I knew they would love me no matter what.  One happened to be HIV positive for over 20 years now.  He was my angel.  I have to say that my best advise would be to keep dreaming and follow your goals in life.  I think we all have a purpose.  I sometimes feel that I am HIV+ for a reason.  I know I am 15years older than you, but I still went through the same emotions a year ago.  It took me remembering what I wanted out of life....LOVE.  I now feel more ready to open myself up to other HIV+ friends because I don't considered myself the plaque.  I have the same heart I did a year ago.   I somewhat feel like someone said above....that we are in a different ballgame now.  I know there has to be other HIV+ guys like me who are genuine in every way.  I didn't ask for my disease.  I didn't run around having unprotected sex every nite.  But....someone told me....it is what it is...and I was like...OK.  But, for me now...it is what it is...and I am dealing with it.  I was in the middle of graduate school when I found out.  I left school for 3 weeks without telling anyone why.  My dean and felllow teachers who knew me very well.......knew that it must have been something important for me to disappear like that.  But...I am hear to say...they emailed me during my 3 week absence and asked me to return with open arms and no questions asked.  I did return last September and finished last month.  It was the best decision I made...I do have dreams and goals left in my life now.  And I want to see them come true even with HIV.  So remember....take each day at time.  Continue to follow your dreams--never give up on yourself.
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 egoburst

  • member
  • Posts: 1
Re: 20 days later...
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2008, 03:04:50 PM »
Hey, I just had to reply to your post because it seems so eerily identical to my situation.  I am exactly 22 as well and I just graduated from college in May.  I have been dating the same wonderful guy for 2 1/2 years but when I moved to NY to start my job and he stayed in Boston for one more year of school we decided to open up our relationship.  One time (when I was very drunk)  I slept with another guy and because I was drunk and being stupid it was unprotected.. and here I am.  My boyfriend and I trying to make it work but it is tough.  Of course like you I'm trying hard to adjust, and find a reason to get out of bed, etc.  Anyway, if your interested I'd love to talk to someone in such a similar situation.. - M

Offline Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 24,542
Re: 20 days later...
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2008, 10:39:15 AM »
Hi Collgrad,

Glad you found your way here when you needed to. You've described what's going on for you very clearly and honestly. And what you've described as you can tell from responses you've received is very familiar and pretty much par for the course. It's good to know you have found a positive-thinking doctor who's informed about HIV. Having him working with you is one of the best ways to stay healthy. And you can stay healthy as I think you will  find in the coming months.

It also sounds like you and your bf are being honest with each other and that's a good sign for being able to work through your feelings about HIV and hanging in together.

You're always welcome here to ask any questions or to discuss anything that's on your mind. You've certainly made a good start towards doing just that.

Welcome!
Andy Velez

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,423
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: 20 days later...
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2008, 12:18:07 PM »
Jen makes some terrific recommendations. 
good comments from all, I don't have much to add so I will just open my heart for a while this afternoon and direct it to you and think good thoughts for your good future.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

 


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