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Author Topic: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?  (Read 7560 times)

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Online tednlou2

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,052
Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« on: November 13, 2009, 12:40:58 AM »
I was diagnosed last December after getting the community acquired strep-pneumonia after a mild flu.  My CD-4 in the hospital was 171.  Within about 3 weeks of leaving the hospital, my CD-4 rebounded to over 1,000.  It was 800 last check.  My VL was just 400 the first time it was checked and was 14,000 last check.  So, my doc wants to wait on starting meds.  I'm pretty sure I was infected 8 years ago.

I'm wondering how many people are in a similiar situation or were at some point?  I find that I actually feel pretty good most of the time.  On the days I don't, I actually think it is the depression and anxiety causing me to have physical symptoms.  I've noticed when I'm alone I tend to not feel as well.  Or, I have more anxiety after doing blood-work.  I just did blood-work for an upcoming doctor's appt.  Also, if I have a sore back, I immediately think I'm getting pneumonia again.  I think I'm getting it even though I haven't been sick with the flu.  I'm not sure whether you can even get pneumonia without first being sick with the flu.  I know you can get PCP, but that is suppose to only happen when you're under 200 T-cells.

Anyway, I'm wondering how people learn to live.  I've always had minor depression with anxiety, so I'm probably just more likely to feel this way.  Some people I know who are poz don't seem to worry about it at all.  They party, drink, and smoke.  I actually wish I could be that way.  I wish I could rarely think about it.  It has only been a year, so maybe I will one day. 

It is a big debate whether to just start meds now.  I'm not sure whether it is the anxiety causing physical symptoms, or the HIV causing me to feel down and depressed--the chicken and egg thing.  My doc keeps telling me that I have very good numbers and nothing should happen to me--at least as far as HIV goes.  I keep thinking there must be exceptions.  There must be people who get PCP or some other problem with high CD-4.  After all, I got strep-pneumonia last year and CD-4 rebounded.  I'm not sure what my CD-4 was before that, but it must have been around where it is now. 

Any thoughts would be appreciated-

Ted

Offline Nestor

  • Member
  • Posts: 430
  • What we love, we shall grow to resemble.
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2009, 01:22:43 AM »
Those are fantastic numbers to have eight years into HIV!  On the other hand, to go from 171 to 1,000 is a more dramatic fluctuation than I've heard of in anyone else, but the very low one sounds like it was a result of the strep.  Are you sure that you were infected eight years ago?  The flu, the low T-cells, and the dramatic rebound afterwards sounds like what I've heard about seroconversion.  Is there any possibility that you'd just been infected at that time?  

But whatever the case, I wouldn't worry about getting pneumonia again.  You got pneumonia when you had 171 T-cells; now you have 800.  

Was the VL of only 400 from the same set of labs as the 171 CD4 count?  

I feel basically the same as before being infected.  I'm tired a little more often, but I think that has more to do with a disagreeable work schedule (have to wake up at six--uggh!) than anything else.  On the other hand I am actually less depressed, by far, than I was when I was in my twenties.  In the past two years I've gained too much weight, mostly from too many desserts; I'm trying to correct that now.  That's all that I can think of.  
« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 01:27:02 AM by Nestor »
Summer 2004--became HIV+
Dec. 2005--found out

Date          CD4    %       VL
Jan. '06    725    25      9,097
Nov. '06    671    34     52,202
Apr. '07    553    30      24,270
Sept. '07  685    27       4,849
Jan. '08    825    29       4,749
Mar. '08    751    30     16,026
Aug. '08    653    30       3,108
Oct. '08     819    28     10,046
Jan '09      547    31     13,000
May '09     645   25        6,478
Aug. '09    688   30      19,571
Nov. '09     641    27       9,598
Feb. '10     638    27       4,480
May '10      687      9    799,000 (CMV)
July '10      600     21      31,000
Nov '10      682     24     15,000
June '11     563    23     210,000 (blasto)
July  '11      530    22      39,000
Aug '11      677     22      21,000
Sept. '12    747     15      14,000

Offline tommy246

  • Standard
  • Member
  • Posts: 435
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2009, 03:08:55 AM »
I was in hospital with pnuemonia this summer i hand cd4 535, vl80.000 and % 17,one month before ,on  arrival in hospital i had 190 cd4 225.000 vl, 15% and one week later my numbers shot up to 415 cd4 20 % ,a month later i was 591 cd4,59.000 vl, 15 % so doc said my immune system was still farly ok but i started meds last week as my % was low and would rather take meds than go to hospital again,also i am 49 only 2 or 3 years pos but the older you get the harder it is for your immune system to recover so that swayed me and i am delighted with my decision.
jan 06 neg
dec 08 pos cd4 505 ,16%, 1,500vl
april 09 cd4 635 ,16%,60,000
july 09 ,cd4 545,17%,80,000
aug 09,hosptal 18days pneumonia cd190,225,000,15%
1 week later cd4 415 20%
nov 09 cd4 591 ,vl 59,000,14%,started atripla
dec 09  cd4 787, vl 266, 16%
march 2010  cd4 720 vl non detectable -20  20%
june 2010  cd4  680, 21%, ND

Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10,053
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2009, 07:16:33 AM »
There's no way I feel the same now as I did before I was poz.  But of course, that's what happens after 20 years after diagnosis.  However, I don't panic when I get sick either.  Unless it's something really serious.  Then I don't "panic" either.  I have faith in my doctor.

Tednlou2, I would give yourself some time.  You've only been diagnosed a year.  If the depression/anxiety is starting to cause problems in your everyday life, you may want to see a therapist (unless you're already seeing one). 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline GSOgymrat

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,045
  • HIV+ since 1993. INTJ
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2009, 08:53:05 AM »
I have not noticed any difference in the way I feel in general, even when my CD4 was below 100.  However when my CD4 was low I had a lot of infections (thrush, molluscum, shingles, pneumonia) that I don't have now that my CD4 is higher. I can't "feel" when my CD4 is low or my viral load is high.

Offline WildcatCC

  • Member
  • Posts: 91
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2009, 09:34:35 AM »
Hey bud.

What's odd to me is that I feel great and am in the best shape I've ever been in in my life. This is mostly due to I now HAVE to focus on my health which to me is eating right, exercising my body and my brain, and keeping a positive mental attitude. Even though I am having issues at the moment with fluctuations in my numbers, I must keep a positive outlook. It helps me with perspective.

I've always been a "glass half full" kind of guy so it comes a bit easier for me then some. It's also annoying to some.  :) It's been a year for me as well (and not-so-fun bout of PCP last year) but I have decided that we are on this earth for such a short time and I need to make the most of every waking day.

Are you seeing someone about the depression or bouts of melancholy? Maybe consider discussing with mental health professional the need for anti-depressant/anti-anxiety drug before going down the HIV drug route?

Keep in touch.

Apr  08 - Diagnosed
Apr  08  cd4 8, vl 150k
Meds: Prezista/Norvir/Truvada
June 08 cd4 250, vl 1600
Aug  08 cd4 275, vl 450
Meds: Atripla
Nov  08  cd4  386, vl 255
Jan   09  cd4  415, vl 2100 (spike?)
Feb   09  cd4 460, vl 212
May   09  cd4 515, vl 1200
Aug   09  cd4 717, vl 1535 % 23
Sept  09  cd4 535  vl 1710 % 18
Oct   09  genotype shows mutation. Discussing w/ ID Doc
Nov  09   cd4 480  vl 650   % 19
Dec  09 genotype slight mutation to Epivir and Retrovir
Jan 10   cd4 508 vl 250 (21%)  low vitamin d - on supplement 2000 iu/day
Mar 15 Change to Isentress and Truvada
May 5 cd4 498 vl 1485
June 16 cd4 550 vl undect!!!! (finally dammit)

Offline Nestor

  • Member
  • Posts: 430
  • What we love, we shall grow to resemble.
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2009, 08:32:15 AM »

Hi again,

I just saw your response in another thread which more or less answers the question I asked above.  So, in that case you seem to be very strong.  A t-cell count of 1,000, and a VL of 400, would be great at any time, and especially eight years after infection; and to have an illness and be down to 171 t-cells, and then go all the way up to 1,000 t-cells within three weeks suggests a very strong immune system.  Of course you'll have a fuller picture of your situation after a few more sets of labs, but in the meantime your situation sounds pretty good! 

Summer 2004--became HIV+
Dec. 2005--found out

Date          CD4    %       VL
Jan. '06    725    25      9,097
Nov. '06    671    34     52,202
Apr. '07    553    30      24,270
Sept. '07  685    27       4,849
Jan. '08    825    29       4,749
Mar. '08    751    30     16,026
Aug. '08    653    30       3,108
Oct. '08     819    28     10,046
Jan '09      547    31     13,000
May '09     645   25        6,478
Aug. '09    688   30      19,571
Nov. '09     641    27       9,598
Feb. '10     638    27       4,480
May '10      687      9    799,000 (CMV)
July '10      600     21      31,000
Nov '10      682     24     15,000
June '11     563    23     210,000 (blasto)
July  '11      530    22      39,000
Aug '11      677     22      21,000
Sept. '12    747     15      14,000

Offline Miss Philicia

  • Member
  • Posts: 24,422
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2009, 09:51:03 AM »
I've been infected too long to remember how I felt before I was infected, but I somehow doubt that at 45 that I'd feel like I did when I was 23 anyway, but whatever.  I kind of got sick often when I was young, so it was actually good training.

tednlou2, you've mentioned anxiety and depression in many of your posts since joining and I just wanted to make sure you have a therapist.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline onemoretime

  • Member
  • Posts: 142
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2009, 03:14:49 PM »
Hey you,  1 year your still learning to deal with it.  HIV messes with your brain.  it does.   I  notice that i am better off just not thinking about it all the time.  Its hard though.  My numbers are great.  before meds I got pluracy. I was in bed for 3 weeks.   they wanted to admit me to the hospital but i sneeked out and smoked so they sent me home.. anyways.. this board is great for info and support.  I have felt just like you do alot.    try to stay in the moment and not let HIV to run your mind
08/04 diag 490 cd4 vl 50,000
10/25/05 436 50,513 hvb 1.1 billion
12/13/05 truvada sustiva
02/16/06 742 und, hpb 63,000
04/27/06 740 und hpb 60,000
01/05/07 458 und hvb und
03/08   470 undetectable still on atripla. Non smoking (chantex)
08/08 cd4 550 undetectable hiv, Hep B UND. Atripla
06/09  cd4 444, vl undetectable testo 130
09/09/09 CD4 687 46% UND  Testo 213 started androgel
10/12/09 cd4 682 46% und testo 597
01/12/10 cd4 842 48% und testo 434
041010 cd4 693  53% testo 492
100410 cd4 568 48% testo 523
012711 cd4 523 hcv 56 testo 596
083011 cd4 280 Hcv/HIV und
042912 cd4 158 hcv /hiv und, was on hep c for 11 months. do have ssdi filed and getting LTD
061912 cd4 151, bactrum, hep c and hiv und
071712 cd4 287 52% HIV HCV und
112012 cd4 520

Offline David_CA

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,246
  • Joined: March 2006
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2009, 03:18:49 PM »
I don't feel as good now as I did pre-HIV.  I don't have near the energy or stamina that I did a few years ago.  Who knows if it's the virus itself; it's more likely a combination of the meds and the fact that my lungs are damaged from PCP (pneumonia, not the drug!).  I've never suffered from depression, though I did have a bit of anxiety when I was diagnosed and trying to come to grips with that and was stressing over how to talk about it to my family. 
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,253
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2009, 05:48:03 PM »
Hi,

Very simple answer !   NO!   I was 33, almost 34 years of age in 1985 when I was diagnosed HIV positive.

I a now 57 years of age. I  Will be 58 in a few weeks. I've been on meds since October of 2003, and none of those years, leading up to today has been easy.  It's a constant struggle, trying to keep those energy levels up, dealing with neuropathy, concentration issues, and on and on... But,  the meds have kept me alive.

Prior to being diagnosed positive, I could work two jobs, party all night long, and still have all kinds of energy.  The energy levels are just not there, even though all my blood tests say that things are OK.

But, then again I am almost 58, so I have take age into consideration. I try to pace myself as best as I can.


Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 8/25/14,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 62 years young.

Offline bufguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 161
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2009, 07:30:09 PM »
I feel better, because I am taking very good care of myself. I run or use the elliptical at least 6 times per week. I get plenty of sleep and I eat better. Seeing the doctor 3 times per year keeps me honest and motivated.
My cholesterol is down (173), HDL 63, LDL 97 and I've lost 15 pounds...Now 180 lbs, 6-1.

Think about we are monitored better than the vast majority of the population,
5/29/08 confirmed HIV+
6/23/08 Vl 47500  CD4 511/29% CD8 .60
start atripla
8/1/08 Vl 130  CD4 667/31% CD8 .70
9/18/08 Vl un  CD4 not tested
12/19/08 Vl un CD4 723/32% CD8 .80
4/3/09 Vl un CD4 615/36% CD8  .98
8/7/09 vl un CD4 689/35% CD8 .9
12/11/09 vl un CD4 712/38% CD8 .89
4/9/10 vl un CD4 796/39% CD8 1.0
8/20/10 vl un CD4 787/38% CD8 1.0
4/6/10 vl un CD4 865/35% CD8 .9
8/16/10 vl un CD4 924/37% CD8 1.0
12/23/10 vl un CD4 1006/35% CD8 .9
5/2/10 vl un CD4 1040/39% CD8 .9
8/7/13 vl un CD4 840/39% CD8 .9

Online weasel

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,709
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2009, 08:17:04 PM »

    Other than my   " I just took my pills "   syndrome  ::)

    I feel   As   GOOD  as any  55  years  of age  MAN   could feel !

     I spend my days  building cabinets .

   My time off is working in the yard !

    Today I spent   8  hours  removing the  pool  then adding dirt , then raking  it all

    flat !  I hope   :o

   I can work  circles around  young people .

   IF  I really go at it , I may have to take a down time day ,BUT  that is an age thing !

   Mental  state  has a lot to do with it !

   I REFUSE   to be bottled up in the house  or stuck in a chair  dangling my feet !


 I have issues of Bipolar  , but that has been a life long issue . I really do NOT  dwell on it  ;)

                          Wishing you a quick adjustment ,  do what you feel best !

                                                                     Carl




P.S. I went  18  YEARS  before starting meds ! I felt perfect ! Meds NOT so perfect  :P


P. P.S. Tomarrow I will fill pool back up , It had better be level  :D
 
" Live and let Live "

Offline Texan38

  • Member
  • Posts: 686
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2009, 09:05:30 PM »
To answer your question. Yes. I feel the same as I did back in 1993. Sure, a lot of things have happened and I'm sure you'll get LOTS of different opinions.  Exercise, eat right....yes, do that! Although, I never did any of that. Lift weights, build up muscle.....I did that for one day, didn't get buff so I stopped.  Meditate, pray, drink your vitamines and other natural funky things you'll hear about and your immune system will fight the HIV virus!....um, I didn't do any of that either and I'm still here.

Pretty much, it all comes down to you.  What you believe, what you want to try, what others tell you.  My advise, just be careful.  Do your research, don't let anyone force anything upon you, ask your physicion - if you have one, and don't believe everything you read on the internet....but, most importantly, follow your heart.   

Live your life. Laugh, dance.  Do what you would always do but always have a condom with you.

Hope that made sense....Take a deep breath, and enjoy.
In Hollywood an equitable divorce settlement means each party getting fifty per cent of publicity.
~ Lauren Bacall

Offline GNYC09

  • Member
  • Posts: 702
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2009, 09:36:48 PM »
No way.  Ever since I started my meds, I've been unable to digest fat without taking digestive enzymes.  Even when I take my enzymes, I still sometimes end up with explosive d-- multiple times after my meal (bleh!).  I also freak out every time I catch a cold or feel tired, which is often.  And my sleep isn't as good as it once was.  Hopefully some of these problems will pass with time.  In the meantime, I've learned to live with them and not let them hold me back.

On the flip side, I'm alive, I cut myself more slack, eat better, and generally have more energy than I've had in years.  And I find more joy in the small things in life - like a normal poop  ;)  

Online tednlou2

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,052
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2009, 02:25:45 AM »
Answers To Some Questions I've Gotten: 

First, I want to thank everyone for their input, suggestions, and just caring. 

I can't be totally sure when i was infected.  The only possible exposure I can think of is 8 yrs ago in 2001.  I remember getting a mono-like illness with very sore and swollen lymph nodes.  This lasted for a couple years actually.  A couple docs felt I must have recently been infected, since my numbers are still so "good".  However, VL should be way higher after infection and from what I've read, most newly infected people wouldn't get so sick with strep-pneumonia.  Getting so sick usually indicates you've had HIV for some time.  Most newly infected people don't get any HIV related illnesses--besides the sero-conversion illness.  It usually takes 8+ years.  This is why I worry my "good" numbers may not be telling the whole story.

I have seen a therapist.  I think it has helped.  He was able to bring out other issues.  I've always had minor depression and anxiety.  We talked about a situation that happened when I was about 6 yrs old.  My family and I were eating at a restaurant and a man came in a shot and killed his wife who worked there.  He then killed himself.  It was very traumatic.  My therapist actually diagnosed me with PTSD--the same thing soldiers are diagnosed with.  This surprised me, but it made sense.  I got deathly sick and was told I had a "deadly" virus.  I put that in quotations because some people do still die from this.  A lot of people do absent meds. 

Anyway, I'm planning to start a depression med.  The only problem is that I've read many depression meds can interfere with HIV meds.  I guess you have to watch your liver levels more to make sure all is okay.  Some HIV meds increase the effects of other meds.  This is true for Xanax.

Thanks again for all your help.  I would still like to hear from anyone who wants to reply.  If I'm incorrect about anything I've read or been told, please let me know what you've heard.

Sincerely,
Ted

Offline MWCLTonline

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2009, 05:35:50 PM »
  :o My Fellow Thoroughbred!  ;) Some days I do, somedays I don't!  ;) In retrospect, I believe that it depends a lot on how you felt -in general- at the time you were diagnosed  ??? !  That was 18 yrs ago for me and post "Coming OUT" the first time  :( !  Today is one of those days...

"Well, it's Sunday morning (11/15)  and here I am pondering why...  After I've survived and lived thru all the other stuff I have, it comes down to me & these damn critters  ???...

Pisces:  You need to figure out what's important to you and what's not. It's time to take stock of what's going on in your life. The good news is that your significant other, trusted friend or mentor is more than willing to talk about it, and they'll have just the perspective you need. All you have to do is call that all-important meeting. Don't be afraid to put your heart and soul on the line.

Think of today as a time of restoration for yourself, dear Pisces, in which you can come to a point of great ease and comfort. Trust yourself and the people around you. Open your eyes to the reality of the situation at hand. If you are currently working through some major changes in your life, make sure you have faith that whatever happens will work out to your benefit.
 
Just when you thought you had everything planned out and working smoothly, dear Pisces, (love) LIFE!  comes in and clogs up the works. Suddenly your attention is diverted and your concentration flies out the window as that dazzling being A BedBUG!  catches your eye. This could be a good thing or a bad thing,  depending on how you view the situation. Remember that both aspects of your life are important, and the key now is to find a healthy balance between the two.

Quote of the Day:
"Freedom means the opportunity to be what we never thought we would be." -Daniel J. Boorstin

Hhmm...   "WTF: Now!  I'm gonna Live...!?"  For this ...  I need a 'cookie'...  :P"

Don't worry, there'll be plenty of time for that when you turn 50!!!  ;)  I'm right up the road and experienced with the ropes in the Bluegrass!  I'll be in touch  8) !
Later...
Michael in Cvg!  :P
 http://mwcltonline.spaces.live.com/default.aspx?sa=505572895

Answers To Some Questions I've Gotten: 
First, I want to thank everyone for their input, suggestions, and just caring. 

I can't be totally sure when i was infected.  The only possible exposure I can think of is 8 yrs ago in 2001.  I remember getting a mono-like illness with very sore and swollen lymph nodes.  This lasted for a couple years actually.  A couple docs felt I must have recently been infected, since my numbers are still so "good".  However, VL should be way higher after infection and from what I've read, most newly infected people wouldn't get so sick with strep-pneumonia.  Getting so sick usually indicates you've had HIV for some time.  Most newly infected people don't get any HIV related illnesses--besides the sero-conversion illness.  It usually takes 8+ years.  This is why I worry my "good" numbers may not be telling the whole story.

I have seen a therapist.  I think it has helped.  He was able to bring out other issues.  I've always had minor depression and anxiety.  We talked about a situation that happened when I was about 6 yrs old.  My family and I were eating at a restaurant and a man came in a shot and killed his wife who worked there.  He then killed himself.  It was very traumatic.  My therapist actually diagnosed me with PTSD--the same thing soldiers are diagnosed with.  This surprised me, but it made sense.  I got deathly sick and was told I had a "deadly" virus.  I put that in quotations because some people do still die from this.  A lot of people do absent meds. 

Anyway, I'm planning to start a depression med.  The only problem is that I've read many depression meds can interfere with HIV meds.  I guess you have to watch your liver levels more to make sure all is okay.  Some HIV meds increase the effects of other meds.  This is true for Xanax.

Thanks again for all your help.  I would still like to hear from anyone who wants to reply.  If I'm incorrect about anything I've read or been told, please let me know what you've heard.
Sincerely,
Ted

"HIV is something you live with every day for the rest of your life. You may never die of It, but you will always die with it..."

Offline ANDRES_UK

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2009, 07:03:13 AM »
Hey mate

I understand very well where are you coming from. I tested positive in April this year and it was a complete surprised I didn't even have a suspicion as I have always played safe but hey there you go I just can only think I got it from oral sex at the beginning of this year, honestly I cannot think of anything else.

Due stress after diagnoses I had an outbreak of shingles ouch!!! and swine flue I picked up here in London, still not on meds though my last lab result was CD4 600 and VL 32,000. Anyway what I wanted to say to you is what I got to conclude myself after weeks and weeks of feeling depressed and sad. There are 2 options here or you try to live the happiest you could possibly do under the circumstances or you just submerge in sadness and worries. Before my diagnosis I had no idea how long I would live or be healthy, today still don't know so from my perspective nothing has changed so far apart for the fact that I know I have HIV.

For over 8 years I've been a gym goer and I do take care of my body. It was very difficult to keep going after the big news but I have managed to keep it as part of my weekly routine and it has been my best choice so far. I am also studying Financial Law and working full time. All these things together have helped me to keep a very positive outlook in my new life. And I do want to believe that this is my new life not a sentence or an eternal worry.

Your numbers are great now live the moment and be happy. Big hugs
« Last Edit: November 21, 2009, 07:06:31 AM by ANDRES_UK »

Offline SoSadTooBad

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2009, 06:28:12 PM »
I feel as good as I have ever felt.  Even when my CD4s were down below 100, I did not feel all that bad.  I was pretty tired all the time, but I was really lucky in that I did not get any OIs.  Now - after 3 years on meds, I feel strong, energetic and pretty much back to "normal." 

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2009, 06:29:50 PM »
I don't remember, I was a teenager when I was infected. That was a long long time ago

Offline aztecan

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2009, 10:35:13 AM »
Like Sharkie, I don't remember. That was a more than a quarter century ago.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2009, 11:06:59 AM »


  I would say I probably feel better.  I was going through a hell of a lot of shit then.  I had lost a son, my mother, my father, and going through a divorce with someone I was still in love with at the time.  On top of that I was stressed out because my home was damn near in foreclosure and child support was behind, here in Florida child support don't care if you were in the hospital and out of work.... there gonna getcha.

  Today everything is back in order...  well most of it is anyways.  While I may have not feel as physically well, at least I am out of that mental hell hole I was in 5-6 years ago.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Trace67

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2009, 05:46:15 PM »
Some days I feel ok--other days i feel like I have been hit with a mac truck. Joins hurt, headaches, feet hurt, nauseous. Oh well---I'm gonna keep on "keeping on"!!

Offline rondrond

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2009, 07:54:39 AM »
Well Ted,

That's not a fair question to ask of an old man  ::) :D

When I was first diagnosed, I was young and had too much to do to: you see, when I was diagnosed, I was told that I was going to die, and to get my affairs in order. So, I was busy, doing just that. I did not have time to think about what was going on in my body, or how it might affect me in the future, because: I wasn't supposed to have a future.

I took my medications, and worked, and waited for the day that I wouldn't wake up. Being educated, and a thinker, I worried about this sleeping issue, and decided I could cheat death by not going to sleep: then I wouldn't have to worry about not waking up.

Needless to say, this messed with my mind and health as, well, ya know, a body needs sleep. I became depressed over  this, so I was put on Zoloft. Having a variety of friends, who all had their own take on this 'new' disease and how it and we were being treated, I received an influx of all kinds of theories, and cures. Many of which I tried, to some extent or other.

Many just gave up, and smoked, drank, an partied from sunup to sundown. These were the first to disappear. Not that I didn't know where they went (six feet under) just that I did not want to accept that they had left me behind. Eventually, e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e- I knew, became sick, ill, walking death, and then sleeping death. Except me.

So, I woke up one day, and there I was in an empty house  as I had given everything away, ( you can't take it with you) and I still had energy, and my health, and apparently the Grim Reaper was busy, and I must be down on the bottom of the page, as I was still here.

I started to collect things again as I like to have nice things and I decided that If I was going to be here, I might as well be comfortable, so I feathered my little nest, cautiously, as I had been told I was going to die, and I was witness that it would and was happening, just not to me. Doctor had to up my Zoloft as I was getting real depressed about it..this, not dying thing... I was jealous that they were gone and I was having to go through this alone. I had my family support, but, they weren't diagnosed with real soon, one day, you will not wake up.

Now, I find that I am still here, March 1st will be 17 years of 'Waiting on God', (that is a sitcom on channel 13) and I am not jealous anymore, I am more like sometimes angry that I am still here and having to deal with getting old and having to deal with not only HIV but Old Age. It ain't right. I wasn't supposed to be here for this.

So what am I supposed to do? you ask. What were you doing before that day those word registered in your brain? What are you doing now? You get up, you face the day, and you face the long night, and then do it all over again. What happens during the day and long night, is entirely up to you: unless you have a sister in a wheelchair who has three boys who need you...then you have to get creative and plan what happens in between their needs.  :D
"I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I sure as Hell am not where I was"
Wynnona Judd

Diagnosed/HIV
1993
AZT
Norvir
1994-2001
Crixivan/Epivir/Zerit
No Meds for 7 Years

04jul07/DVT-right leg/Bi Lateral PE's     
16oct08/DVT-left leg
Sept '09  6 blood clots in left arm
Coumadin 5mgs
                                     
Atenolol/50mg/2x
Hydrochlorth 25mg/1x
Gemfibrozil/300mgs/2X
Symbicort
Proventil Inhaler
Potassium
Rhinocort


*APR 08~Viramune/Truvada
March08  CD4 330 23% VL 452.000 
*Jan09 Med change~Epzicom/Viramune

Aug09   CD4 523 23%  VL<48
Diagnosed: COPD
Dec 2013: CD4 645 45% VL 49
Med Change: Viramune/Epivir/Ziagen/Isentress

Offline northernguy

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2009, 11:15:35 PM »
No.  :(
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

Offline StacheBC

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2009, 11:56:27 PM »
Actually a month after starting my new bff Atripla.
- Fungus in two of my toes has practically cleared... nice clear toe nails again.
- Stool consistency... back to normal.
- I need less sleep and wake up more rested... just feel like I have more energy.
- A very light pain I had in my ankles (that I thought was just from old age) is gone.
- I feel like I want to start excising again  :)
- Mouth issues (cold sores, sore throats, white stuff on the side of tongue...) has been doing a lot better.

I know the above sound petty, compared with what other have gone through... and being on meds is no picknick...  Other challenges might await me.
But so far I feel soooo much better... I guess this is how I used to feel before HIV came along.

So thankful  :)

Offline MarcoPoz

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2009, 08:21:37 AM »
No.

I was infected in my 20's.  I'm in my 40's now.

During the time I was infected I only had a few priorities:
-Transitioning out of the military and back into my studies in Philosophy
-Getting laid as often as possible and treating my sensuality like a sports car--testing its limits with every new partner
-Finally finding room in my life for my creative expression and art.

Now--well... some things are different--others aren't ;-)

Offline Snowangel

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2009, 06:36:42 PM »
Nope.
I was infected in 94 and started meds in 97.  I pretty much threw myself into my career and worked a lot so I wouldn't have to think about how crappy I was feeling because of the meds or the bad situation I was in, in my relationship.  When I got my aids diagnosis in 00, I felt better then, than I do now and I am undetectable now.
I have been on disability since 03 and to tell you the truth, I think that is what bothers me the most.  It does the body and mind good, to feel like you are getting something done and accomplishing something outside of the home and contributing to society.  I have started to do some volunteer work in the last couple of years and that has helped a little.
The best thing I can say is avoid stress at all costs, try to get all the negative out of your life, influences, people, habits.  Take the time to figure out what makes you happy and take care of yourself, mind, body and soul.  You deserve it!

Snow
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Offline onemoretime

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2009, 07:42:41 PM »
Snowangle,  great post..   I feel pretty good when i don't let the  mere fact that i have HIV make me not feel good.  I am only 6 years living with HIV,  had a neg test 6 months before my poz so I know where i am at.  You long term guys and gals inspire me daily
08/04 diag 490 cd4 vl 50,000
10/25/05 436 50,513 hvb 1.1 billion
12/13/05 truvada sustiva
02/16/06 742 und, hpb 63,000
04/27/06 740 und hpb 60,000
01/05/07 458 und hvb und
03/08   470 undetectable still on atripla. Non smoking (chantex)
08/08 cd4 550 undetectable hiv, Hep B UND. Atripla
06/09  cd4 444, vl undetectable testo 130
09/09/09 CD4 687 46% UND  Testo 213 started androgel
10/12/09 cd4 682 46% und testo 597
01/12/10 cd4 842 48% und testo 434
041010 cd4 693  53% testo 492
100410 cd4 568 48% testo 523
012711 cd4 523 hcv 56 testo 596
083011 cd4 280 Hcv/HIV und
042912 cd4 158 hcv /hiv und, was on hep c for 11 months. do have ssdi filed and getting LTD
061912 cd4 151, bactrum, hep c and hiv und
071712 cd4 287 52% HIV HCV und
112012 cd4 520

Offline tash08

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2009, 08:16:28 PM »
Hi,

I actually feel the same as I did before being diagnosed,I truly don't understand why would anyone want to live with this disease-bugchasers, I hope it gets cured soon rather than later. I also suffer from anxiety with mild depression. Lexapro has helped me a great deal, but if you ever stop go slowly I know I stopped taking it after 2 years and you have to go down with your doses really slowly otherwise you may get SSRI withdrawal. But your numbers do look great, I would recommend keeping monitoring your labs every 6 months, stay well and safe.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 08:23:19 PM by tash08 »
01/04/06-HIV-
03/09/06-HIV+
05/07-Atripla
04/01/10 CD4-681, VL-UD
07/10/10 CD4-450, VL-UD
10/10/10 CD4-473, VL-UD
01/21/11 cd4-522, VL-UD
05/02/11 CD4-638, VL-UD <20 copies Hell yeah!
08/3/12 CD4-806, VL-UD

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2009, 05:48:53 PM »
I was diagnosed last December after getting the community acquired strep-pneumonia after a mild flu.  My CD-4 in the hospital was 171.  Within about 3 weeks of leaving the hospital, my CD-4 rebounded to over 1,000.  It was 800 last check.  My VL was just 400 the first time it was checked and was 14,000 last check.  So, my doc wants to wait on starting meds.  I'm pretty sure I was infected 8 years ago.

 

Do you by any chance know if you were given ARV medications while in the hospital?


Here is an article that appeared in Science Daily discussing a study that looked at a question similar to the one you ask in the title of this thread.

Some Patients Diagnosed With HIV Experience Improved Outlook on Life

LINK:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091126083418.htm
« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 10:01:22 AM by Inchlingblue »

Offline tommy246

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #31 on: November 29, 2009, 04:18:00 AM »
Thats an intresting link i feel my life is better. I no longer drink huge amounts of alcohol , stopped taking cocaine (was a weekend thing) , got my marraige back on track , appreciate the smaller things in life, totally ignore insignificant things that used to bother me, found out who my real friends are, spending more quality time with my 9yo daughter , eating healthier, joined a gym all in 12 months, feeling healthier ,energised and alive again.
jan 06 neg
dec 08 pos cd4 505 ,16%, 1,500vl
april 09 cd4 635 ,16%,60,000
july 09 ,cd4 545,17%,80,000
aug 09,hosptal 18days pneumonia cd190,225,000,15%
1 week later cd4 415 20%
nov 09 cd4 591 ,vl 59,000,14%,started atripla
dec 09  cd4 787, vl 266, 16%
march 2010  cd4 720 vl non detectable -20  20%
june 2010  cd4  680, 21%, ND

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2009, 09:22:34 AM »

Here is an article that appeared in Science Daily that looked at a question similar to the one you ask in the title of this thread.

Some Patients Diagnosed With HIV Experience Improved Outlook on Life

LINK:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091126083418.htm

Seems that the people in that study that claim an improved quality of life post-diagnosis are the ones having "come to Jesus" moments.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline LordBerners

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2009, 09:45:07 AM »
I have felt really terrible during my hiv/aids phase, compared to before - namely when I had TB.  Overall I doubt I feel that much different, though its hard to remember.  Basically I'd guess I feel slightly worse since back when I was negative, but I feel so much better since I was cured of the TB that it has somewhat masked the effect. 

Plus, the overall trend for all of us is we are getting older, positive or not.
Please, just call me Berners.. or Baron.

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2009, 10:00:07 AM »
Seems that the people in that study that claim an improved quality of life post-diagnosis are the ones having "come to Jesus" moments.

LOL, not necessarily.....I think they mentioned "religious coping" and "spirituality," which could encompass many things, "come to Jesus" moments and then some.

Tommy: That's impressive and inspiring.

Offline leatherman

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2009, 11:09:11 AM »
Quote
Some Patients Diagnosed With HIV Experience Improved Outlook on Life
After the second interview, approximately one-fifth of patients changed their answers to indicate life improvement after diagnosis; one-sixth changed answers to reflect a feeling of life deterioration.
I love numbers that mean stuff; but I'm not certain what any of this report really means. When you figure out the math of 1/5 and 1/6 changing their viewpoints, then actually only 4%, according to this study, had an improved viewpoint of their lives VS stayed the same or worse.

In looking at that link (since I can't afford to subscribe to actually read the report), it doesn't mention how ill any of these people were before and after diagnosis. I would think the mindset between 'being diagnosed HIV+' VS 'HIV+ and going on meds' VS 'AIDS and meds' would give vastly different outcomes. Nor does it mention when these participants were diagnosed. (are they comparing the people diagnosed <2 yrs along with people >10 yrs?) Nor do we know anything about what sort of medical/psychological treatment the participants in this study were given after their diagnosis. I would imagine that we can assume that those surveyed were able to easily obtain treatment with few hurdles as it was a VA study. Also the amount in the study seems too small - 347 is hardly even 2% of the amount of people with HIV and AIDS in my state of SC (which ranks about 18th in having the most cumulative cases)

Quote
"Change in perception for the better was positively associated with religious coping, whereas change in perception for the worse was associated with factors such as the study site, sexual orientation, shorter duration of HIV, lower levels of spirituality and lower positive religious coping scores," Tsevat says. "The two main factors associated with the feeling that life has improved, relative to pre-diagnosis, were optimism and spirituality."
if they weren't "come to Jesus" moments and then they were "already with Jesus" moments :D
and how does one measure "spirituality"? and what are "religious coping scores"? ???

All-in-all, I just think this report has widely variable co-factors and is highly subjective; so it probably doesn't actually mean much of anything practical - except "optimistic spiritual people" felt better about their lives 18 months after being diagnosed.  ;) I bet we could also do a study to find that "optimistic spiritual people" feel better about their lives 18 months after not being diagnosed with HIV too; because that's just the mindset of that kind of person. LOL ;D
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline wow1969

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2009, 11:17:49 AM »
In some ways yes ... my mental state is actually better now than it was before in that I appreciate things more than I dd before

However, physically? I was never sick now, I have a sore throat about every three months ... I'm also tired alot more than I used to be ...

There is a very real difference in my physical health

Offline Sky

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #37 on: November 30, 2009, 10:57:05 PM »
Health wise I'd say yeah I think so.  I don't really remember what it was like to be negative though.  Mentally I feel extremely beat down, nothing like I did before testing poz.  I've been extremely fortunate to have a pretty even CD4 this entire time, hovering between 500 - 800 for seven yrs, but depression gets the most of me a lot.
Poz since 2003.

Offline nikki

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2010, 10:00:38 AM »
That's why I write people in pencil. If they get on my nerves to bad I just ease then fr. my phone book.

Offline LordBerners

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2010, 11:15:31 AM »
Yes, I think I feel the same, honestly.  I've never noticed any specific feeling of illness from either hiv or the medicines.  I did have a few side effects on my first regimen, but none now, and never any that made me have a bad day. 

However I do feel enormously better than when I had my one major OI - tuberculosis.  So much so that I kind of have that syndrome people get when they think they're about to kick off and then get a lot better - I'm kind of excessively happy and cheerful all the time, more than is normal.
Please, just call me Berners.. or Baron.

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2010, 11:23:24 AM »
- I'm kind of excessively happy and cheerful all the time, more than is normal.

It sounds better than being morose and depressed.

Offline tplmc1964

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Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #41 on: March 21, 2010, 01:33:39 PM »
Your post and the replies that follow are intriguing. HIV and all that comes with it is three things to me. Mental, physical and emotional or spiritual. Separating symptoms into these categories can be draining and expensive. Therefore, group or, "one on one" therapy for us newbies offers many benefits.

My diagnosis came with a CD4 count of 333 and a VL of 48,000. At the time of diagnosis I felt perfectly fine. Two weeks later I'm covered in a fungal infection, I have thrush, night sweats, a chronic soar throat, sinus infection and digestive issues. I also have had generalized anxiety disorder / depression since my early twenties. I am a "glass half empty, with a crack in the bottom of it" kind of guy.

As as knock off the O.I. issues one by one, I slowly sink into a paranoia type depression. I think, "these will never stop, I will always have to worry, battle and fight." I don't focus on "can" I focus on "can't". My medicine cabinet becomes a small CVS pharmacy. I look at bank statements and my eyes roll over how many doctor visits I've made, how many prescriptions I am on or have been on. But what I don't think, until now by reading this and thinking about your question is, "how much of this is necessary?"
"Do I feel worse now?" Yes, but maybe I need to understand why?

"Do I really eat right? Have I quit smoking? Have I decreased my alcohol intake? Do I spend too much time alone...thinking? Do I sleep too much, (depression)?" This is my bowl of negative Karma, so what's in your bowl?

The advice I have for you and anyone reading this and especially myself is this. Look at those who have made amazing accomplishments. Doesn't have to be HIV related, but look at guys like Lance Armstrong, Greg Louganis or Scott Hamilton? Besides being athletic, these men had incredible mental and positive strength. They overcame obstacles that boggle the mind. Don't look or concentrate on those that didn't have similar outcomes, what good would come of that?

If having HIV means I have to stop smoking, quit drinking, stop spending too much time alone "thinking", eat healthier, etc. Then that would be a pretty clear path to enabling myself to tell you, "I feel better having HIV than before I was infected."

It's very hard to re-train our minds, it's very easy to succumb to every ache, pain, spot and freckle as a set back. I do this all of the time. A month ago my VL became ND. My CD4 is up 100 points. I still have some O.I. issues, I'll continue to knock them off. But rather than acting in the "I can't anymore" mode, I am going to try very hard to move that to an "I can" mode.

So, thank you for your post, HIV has a lot of aches and pains, everyone will tell you that. The ability to deal with them mentally, physically and emotionally, then which of these categories to file each issue under in order to move forward may take some work, but I think it's work worth doing.

Be completely honest with yourself and your doctor and I think I will learn to believe that I'll one day say I feel better now than I ever have.

Not sure if that answered anything for you, but I wish you well - you can't change anything now, you can only go forward. Thanks for asking your question it made me think and realize I'm doing a lot of this wrong.

Tim










Offline nikki

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #42 on: March 21, 2010, 03:49:58 PM »
since my diagnosis, I've had more work published. I write about everything: Pets, people, bus rides etc. I thin that I'm getting more accomplished now. I don't attend HIV support groups because the people get drive you crazy. I wish that I could find a group that met once /month w/ 90% sane members.

Offline azprince

  • Member
  • Posts: 153
Re: Do You Feel As Good As You Did Before HIV?
« Reply #43 on: March 21, 2010, 05:12:14 PM »
Health wise I am surprised that I dont have any of the things I was worried of, I expected to have a hell like life but I just take one pill  day and that is it, actually surprisingly I dont get sick as much as I did before: cold or flu I mean ( knock the wood everyone ) otherwise the stress is killing me, always worried about the future as if the HIV is the elephant that I take with me a everywhere I go, it scares me....I  watch my face every day in the mirror worrying that I am having more facial waste...and gaining extra pound in my belly was enough to make me go crazy thinking that soon I will  have more body changes ad blame it all on the Meds,  I guess the problem is mental and Social when it comes to HIV and no one seems to be experienced enough to help me deal with it.... the stigma and knowing that dating and starting a family is almost impossible now is a huge issue for me... I guess if you can get over the mental issue , nothing else to worry about
Good luck
I have to admit : the good thing is that from now on;  I have no option but to succeed , still its ok to worry :))

 


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