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Author Topic: Me, at 3 months  (Read 2214 times)

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Offline B99

  • Member
  • Posts: 33
Me, at 3 months
« on: July 29, 2006, 09:33:09 AM »
Hi, forumites.  It's been a little bit of time.  But I wanted to write, since I will be off work for the next few days.  Firstly, I don't know if this qualifies as the correct forum.  "I just tested poz" has since been added and while I didn't "JUST" test poz, I believe many of my revelations and issues are those of someone who has due to it only being 3 months past.  But this is the forum where you got to know me, so this is where I will remain.(digression, maybe one of these posts I'll write about my feelings on the usage of the phrase "POZ")

Met with my HIV specialist.  Actually his assistant, but she is really cool.  She was expecting me to be more ignorant than I was after our first meeting, but I think she knows that me having this shit doesn't make me a complete fool.  LOL

Just got my new labs as well.  5/24 CD4 470  30% VL 212k
                                          7/21 CD4 439  32% VL 48K

I'm not on any drugs so I don't know what's going on.  I will be taking another test in 3 weeks.  But probably will be starting meds within a year. 

My emotions have basically stabled.  The initial panic of me not being able to accomplish everything in my life has gone.   I realized that no one accomplishes everything in their life; HIV or no HIV.  If you accomplish something one day, you set a new task for the next.  And eventually that next day never comes, but you've planned for it.  I'm 24 and before my diagnosis, I never even thought of old age.  But right after being diagnosed that was all I could think about, making it to 85, when in reality I had always planned to go before I realized that I was old.  Don't know what age, but I think it's a feeling; a point where you can say "You know I think I can go now."

And for some odd reason I'm in that place now.  If left to its own accord, HIV would probably kill me before I turned 30.  Am I glad that that is my reality?  No.  But it is.  And I can either redefine my life around that fact or I can become very angry at life, the thing that I love the most, and resolve myself from it.  I never understood people who become angry with the people they love (because of sexual preference, bad choices, religious beliefs, etc) and decide that instead of enjoying them how they are, they choose not to deal with them.  I love life, and it's going to take more than someone telling me it's going to be shorter for me to become angry and bitter at it. 

So that's where I'm at: acceptance.  I'm assuming that at 30 I will no longer be here, but you never know.  I had an adviser at my college who was extremely active in campus cultural events.  He actually ran the student cultural departments for a while.  At about the same time as my diagnosis, I discovered that at 38, he was in a long term care facility preparing to die due to the reemergence of cancer from 4 years prior.  That was May.  By June, he was gone.  Passed at 38, a wife, a great career and 3 kids.  Lesson for me: Death can't be stopped.  If it wants me at 30 it doesn't have to use HIV to get me.  All I can do is live the life I want to live.

When I first started reading this site, someone had a post along the lines of "I don't think of HIV much anymore" and it caused some controversy.  Some people were like "I understand"  others were like "How dare you not", and I think I'm in the former.  I know I have it, so I'm not in denial, but I'm not sick, I feel fine, not on meds (yet); why should I walk around thinking 24/7 about something I can't control?  My story will change once I start dealing with complications, but I am expecting it, not anticipating it. 

Lastly, a lot of what I had to get over was how I contracted HIV.  It was with a guy, on one of my dabbles in that lifestyle choice, but I never was embarrassed or mad because of that: (excuse my french) I wanted to fuck a man and I did it.  What pissed me off is, that before I deducted that this individual gave me a little gift, I had classified him as THE WORST FUCK I HAD EVER HAD. Male or female.  I remember lying in his bed during sex not feeling like being there, not being interested in the activities going on and thinking "I coulda had a V8"  LOL.  And the irony that THE WORST FUCK I EVER HAD really turned out to be THE WORST FUCK I EVER HAD because of this HIV escaped me after being diagnosed.  Now I laugh about it. The incident, not about the fact that I haven't had sex since then.  A lot of people on here have said they have lost interest in sex.  For me it's contrary, now that I KNOW my status, I want it more.  AND I WANT IT BAD.  The only issue is that there is really no straight positive community here in Minnesota so finding a positive (black) woman is damn near impossible, and I don't trust the gay community here--the men (I think a lot of them are sleazy and selfish).

So, this is me at 3 months:  acceptant and horny.  (Well not acceptant about the horniness, but you've read my thread, you know what I'm talking about.) LOL

Offline newt

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,878
  • the one and original newt
Re: Me, at 3 months
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2006, 10:07:25 AM »
I hope you do not leave HIV to its own accord, treat it at the appropriate time, feel better, fall in love with an amazing person, have great sex, and are inspired to the great heights and depths of life, or just the satisfaction of cleaning the car before Sunday lunch, things that you can remember when you are old, hopefully with someone in the chair opposite on the deck .  This is possible.

Death can;t be stopped, but life can, esp. with HIV while you ponder if you have a viable long-term future, even though this is the most likely way things will go if you adequate access to treatment.

The "Am I viable?" question is (IMHO) a deep dynamic of living with HIV. I was discussing this with a friend, who's partner asked him to move back to S Africa in 5 years, after saving enough money for a house.  This was a "click" moment for him.  My friend's been positive 15 years, and he realised that although he was okay, he still had in his mind the question "Am I viable?" He's now saving for a house he intends to buy in 5 years' time.  Looking back I was the same.  Science is a great refuge sometimes, and on paper I knew things looked good.  I was never cut up about being HIV-positive.  The "click" from acceptance to confidence  came this spring when talking to my doc 18 months on from starting treatment. He asked me the question "What do you expect to happen to your HIV now?" I paused. My answer: "Nothing".  Nothing.  It was a eureka! moment.  I left the clinic feeling not okay but normal. 

- matt
« Last Edit: July 29, 2006, 02:26:09 PM by newt »
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,394
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: Me, at 3 months
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2006, 11:09:30 AM »
Hey B99,

You mean there are black people in Minnesotta? YIKES? (LOL - jus kidding)

Seriously though, I thought the same thoughts about my supposed longevity. In fact, I lived them. I knew I wouldn't live much past 30.

Guess what? I am now in my 40s, looking toward my 50s and wishing I had saved a little more 20 years ago.

No, you can't stop death. But you don't have to invite it in for afternoon tea either. Take good care of yourself and you very well could live a normal life span, with love and all the glories and tragedies that come with life.

Glad you came back for a visit. Hope to hear more from you. I like your style.

HUGS,

Mark

Oh, and by the way, you're CD4 percentage is pretty good. Judging from you numbers, I would say your body is heading for the nadir level after initial infection. Don't sweat the numbers untill you and your doc decide there is a definite pattern and something needs to be done.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2006, 11:12:18 AM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline B99

  • Member
  • Posts: 33
Re: Me, at 3 months
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2006, 11:14:35 AM »
What is the "nadir" level?

Offline newt

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,878
  • the one and original newt
Re: Me, at 3 months
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2006, 02:14:05 PM »
Nadir is doctor speak for lowest.  After infection CD4 counts drop dramatically, then rise again as your immune system gets to grips with managng the virus.


- matt

Now playing: something or other by Steel Pulse
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline dario

  • Member
  • Posts: 80
Re: Me, at 3 months
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2006, 02:15:30 PM »
B99,
I don't know what is the 'nadir' level.  The cd4 count starts to climb slowly after the sharp drop during initial infection.  Yet many times it does not reach the level of pre-infection.  It somehow stabilizes before starting to decrease again.  In some chaps the it drops very slowly in others it is fast.

In a way I can compare myself to you.  In my life I dated more girls than men.  I just wanted to have sex with a man because I was curious and wanted to experiment.   I started to go to a sauna in September 2005 but  3 months later I was already bored.  After these months I ended up with this bug in me. In January I had a terrible influenza but it turned out to be primary infection of hiv. My cd4 crushed to 154 and viral load was near 700,000.  In April 2006 the viral load had dropped to 24,000 and the cd4 count climbed to 205 without any meds.  

I was so stupid.  I remember having unprotected sex only two times but I guessed I was not at any risk because I was on the top.  I was wrong ...  

Anyway, courage my friend!  I remember your energy and stamina from another thread in the way you forwarded your arguments.  I think you are strong and a real fighter ... Sometimes I need to hear something like that because it makes me hope.  When I see your fighting spirit and Matt's (Newt) optimism I really feel better,

ciao
D
... when I was young, I never needed anyone, making love was just for fun, those days are gone ... Eric Carmen (Raspberries)

Offline krakerjm

  • Member
  • Posts: 107
Re: Me, at 3 months
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2006, 02:26:29 PM »
Don't assume you'll be dead at 30, there are many long time survivors here.  I've been on meds for five years and doing quite well, at age 63 I intend to live out my life whatever it takes, assuming I don't get hit by a mack truck, LOL.  The death thing haunts us severely at first and never really goes away, but in time, it doesn't seem so inevitable.
GWM, 63, PN w/footdrop
"I swear there ain't no heaven, pray ther ain't no hell"

Offline skeebo1969

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,705
Re: Me, at 3 months
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2006, 12:12:10 PM »


Just stay away from public transportation ;D

  Convenience stores can be risky too after 11 pm, be careful!

T
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Eldon

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,664
Re: Me, at 3 months
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2006, 09:13:31 PM »
Hello B99, it is Eldon. Welcome to/back to the forums. Don't fret it at all. Hell, I found out in August of 1990, was in the initial state of shock, then moved on and lived my life without meds up until recently in Feb 2006.

The Doctor says I can expect to live to old age. If you take care of yourself and use protection, and please tell the prospective partner that you are HIV, then you will be fine.

Don't feel down and blue, there is a brighter day tomorrow.

Offline otherplaces

  • Member
  • Posts: 398
  • Mutant Super Hero
Re: Me, at 3 months
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2006, 11:24:55 PM »

B99,

Thanks for your interesting post and giving us an update.

Having HIV offers an interesting perspective on death.  I remember that during the months leading up to when I was infected I was a bit obsessed with death.  I was depressed and just had a strange feeling that something horrible was going to happen.  I'm not saying I had a premonition.  It was just my state of mind.  I began to believe I better venture out and do some things before I die.  This was but one factor in being willing to sleep with an absolute stranger...there were many others.  A few months after I was diagnosed I seemed to achieve some serenity in regards to death.  As before it seemed to hang over me, and I would worry about it.  I seemed sure it was something that was just going to grab me out of nowhere, and i was scared of that.  But now death doesn't really worry me at all.  Of course there were times that I felt so sad and upset that I would've welcomed it.  But now death just seems like this thing that will happen and I have no opinion on the matter.  It will happen.  If it happens tomorrow, that will be okay.  If it happens 30 years from now...that's fine too.  This is not to say I intend to welcome death, nor to walk quietly into the night.  I have always been a fighter.  I guess I've come to terms with the fact that I definitely will die one day, and I'm okay with that.

I do fear pain and illness, but I somehow see that as a serperate issue from death.

I also consider myself straight.  I was infected by a transexual.  Hell, I'd still be interested in a ts, but I've never been interested in men...go figure.  Most of all I'd love to date a woman again. We're all different.  HIV makes dating hard for all of us, but so many seem to somehow find a way.  So I have hope. 

Yeah, I'm totally horny too.  I guess I'm glad to know it's going to take more than HIV to slow down my

SEX DRIVE!!!
take care,
brian

Offline allopathicholistic

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,258
Re: Me, at 3 months
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2006, 09:36:09 PM »
But right after being diagnosed that was all I could think about, making it to 85, when in reality I had always planned to go before I realized that I was old.  Don't know what age, but I think it's a feeling; a point where you can say "You know I think I can go now."

And for some odd reason I'm in that place now.  If left to its own accord, HIV would probably kill me before I turned 30.  Am I glad that that is my reality?  No.  But it is. 

Hope you (and all of us) have a long life with lots of happiness and health. Glad your percentage went up. As you said, death can't be stopped. It is the great equalizer

 


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