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Author Topic: New To The Forum  (Read 3539 times)

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Offline Scotian

  • Member
  • Posts: 37
New To The Forum
« on: December 28, 2008, 03:55:21 PM »
I have been reading the posts for the past couple months and decided it was time to join in an share my experience. I have found alot of the information very helpful.  I tested HIV+ 8 months ago. I went to my GP with what I thought was a severe and lingering flu. I realize now the seroconversion was underway in late March '08.  The diagnosis was devastating for me --as many others have shared. As well as not feeling well physically -- lost  15 pounds in a month/major fatigue/night sweats/sore tongue/headaches etc my emotional state was very unstable. My doc prescribed Ativan that day in his office. Its' side effects and coming off it has been the worst part of the whole experience. ( The end of May he put me on Cipralex - anti anxiety/anti depressant). My first blood tests showed a VL > 750,000 CD4 310  --then in July VL 670,662 CD4  314  ..the ID doc wanted to start treatment , but said my anxiety was too high --that I was 'unstable'  and she thought I would have a problem with adherence. With the diagnosis I had to leave my part-time job as well as put my own business on hold for  7 months---which all added to the stress. I couldn't answer the phone...afraid to check my email....get groceries...the smallest thing I needed a few close friends, I had disclosed to, to help me. I also told my brothers who have been very supportive. I remember being at the July 1 Canada day parade--I just stood there(with sunglasses on) and cried for an hour. I did alot of crying the first few months. I would just get overwhelmed. Alot of fear.
There's been alot of work---first thing weaning (very gradually) myself off the Ativan-- as I sensed it had more to do with the anxiety than helping it. ( Note: do not try and do this on your own 'cold turkey' -- big mistake :) I have been meeting with a psychologist provided by the clinic since day one, see a massage therapist ( provided by ASO)who has HIV+ clients and is very supportive -- I also started going to the gym (ASO reduced cost)--for light exercise program. I am very fortunate with all the services available in this city. There is a med school/researchers attached to a local university--so a number of ID docs are available. If you have access --take advantage --I did and it was a  life saver ..and not just physically.
My next bloodwork results were at Sept.11.08 clinic. VL 490,788  CD4 292. It was decided I would meet with the pharmacologist a week later. It was one of the most stressful weeks in my life waiting for that meeting. But, as soon as I met with her --she was amazing-- apparently one of the best in Canada. She put alot of my fears at ease. She  started me on Truvada/Norvir/Rayataz on Sept 17. ( The docs had discussed Sustiva--but because of my mental state/anxiety--thought it best to hold off  ...try it if it's needed down the road)My blood was tested Nov 25..... VL had dropped to 41  and CD4 444. I just remember my ID saying the results were 'fabulous'.  I take the 3 pills all at once, around 10pm. Takes about 10 seconds. I had very minor side effects  and none to mention in past 2-3 weeks.
I'm feeling well --have gone back to part time job and restarted my business.  3-4 months ago I would not have believed it. For those just starting out on the journey --give yourself time, it's OK to have all the range of feelings you go through. Find someone to talk to. Just reading these forums was a big help. Thanks for allowing me to share. I will keep in touch.

Offline Nashvegas

  • Member
  • Posts: 196
Re: New To The Forum
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2008, 04:26:48 PM »
What a great uplifting story.  Those first few months can be hard, but it sounds like you've come out on the other side.  Keep us posted.   
8/12/06 - sero-conversion
9/14/06 -- Positive Test results confirmed
9/21/06 -- CD4 - 586; viral load 8,000; 29%
12/25/06 -- CD4 - 373; VL 2,800; 23%
2/10/07 - CD4 - 228; VL 865; 25%
3/15/07 -  CD4 - 365 (no viral load test)
5/1/07 = CD4 - 341; VL 4,358; 27%
8/1/07 - CD4 - 315; VL - 2,300; 25%
9/20/07 - CD4 - 378
11/22/07 - CD4 - 257; VL 7,300;
2/27/08 - CD4 231 (16.5 %), VL 5,960
5/20/08 - CD4 229 (18.3%), VL 11,100
6/17/08 - CD4 166 (14.5%), VL 9,030
7/2/08 - CD4 272 (20%), VL 113  :-)
7/16/08 - CD4 -217 (21.1 %), VL - Undetectable
7/30/08 - CD4 - 220 (20.4%). VL - 92
8/14/08 - CD4 - 280 (22%) VL-undetectable
1/04/09 - CD4 - 250 (28%) VL-UD
5/15/09 - CD4 -393 (28%) VL-UD
8/15/09 - CD4-346, (26%) VL-UD
11/15/09 - CD4-373 (28%)

Offline anniebc

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,156
  • AM member since 2003
Re: New To The Forum
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2008, 04:30:57 PM »
Hi there

Welcome to the forum

It's good to hear you are doing well after a bad start, keep up the good work, attitude and knowledge are the best medicines, (IMHO) and it's good to hear you have a good support team, look forward to hearing more from you.

Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline tag_man08

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
  • Keep Dreaming!!!
Re: New To The Forum
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2008, 02:54:04 AM »
you did the next step...you told your story....sometimes just telling someone makes it feel like you are not alone....with time....you will get stronger....and everyday you will think about your diagnosis a little less....life is still waiting for you....keep dreaming....
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 YaKaMein

  • Member
  • Posts: 368
Re: New To The Forum
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2008, 03:02:53 AM »
glad to hear from you Scotian. Coming forth as you have indicates improvement in your outlook. Keep up the momentum in getting a handle on your life again. Just pick up the pieces in easy, manageable portions at your own pace. There's lotsa info from us here to help guide you. Welcome.
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 auspoz

  • Member
  • Posts: 178
Re: New To The Forum
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2009, 07:14:14 AM »
Hi Scotian,

I'm really pleased to hear how well you're doing. That first part is just so hard, but it sounds like you've made it through. Congratulations on getting back into work, and keeping the momentum going.

Thinking of you, and wishing you the best,


Offline Peacock

  • Member
  • Posts: 72
Re: New To The Forum
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2009, 01:41:57 PM »
thanks for the uplifting story,you explain your feelings and emotions so well. its good for other newly diagnosed to read about what you went through and how youre coping now..it gives hope that things DO get better!
Your results are looking fab...all the hard work youve put into fighting it has really paid off,ey!
Good luck with starting your business, youre an inspiration 8)
Diagnosed 07/01/2002
Started Haart- 25/11/04 Cd4: 205 VL: 76'500
                      19/12/08 Cd4: 623 VL: UD
      26/03/12 Cd4: 497 Cd4%: 30.10 VL: UD
Combivir and Nevirapine(200mg) x1 of each-Am & pm
Not changed Meds since starting on HAART
Green Tea,Multivit,Selenium ACE,Folic acid,Vit C,Aciclovir 200mg 5x per day for 3 days-(ONLY when I have Shingles!)
100 percent adherence-with the help of a wristwatch!

Offline macv

  • Member
  • Posts: 30
Re: New To The Forum
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2009, 05:35:43 PM »
scotian, glad you are doing well, and as another just diagnosed, your experience has given me hope for myself. keep well. macv

Offline northernguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,347
Re: New To The Forum
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2009, 09:54:10 PM »
Welcome.  Interesting they put you on meds so quickly, rather than wait to see where your set point numbers would end up after seroconversion.
Apr 28/06 cd4 600 vl 10,600 cd% 25
Nov 8/09 cd4 510 vl 49,5000 cd% 16
Jan 16/10 cd4 660 vl 54,309 cd% 16
Feb 17/10 Started Atripla
Mar 7/10 cd4 710 vl 1,076 cd% 21
Apr 18/10 cd4 920 vl 268 cd% 28
Jun 19/10 cd4 450 vl 60 cd% 25
Aug 15/10 cd4 680 vl 205 cd% 27
Apr 3/11 cd4 780 vl <40 cd% 30
Jul 17/11 cd4 960 vl <40 cd%33
April 15/12 cd4 1,010 vl <40 cd% 39
April 20/12 Switched to Viramune + Truvada
Aug 2/12 cd4 1040, vl <40, cd% 38
Oct 19 cd4 1,110 vl <40 cd% 41


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