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Author Topic: update/school help?  (Read 965 times)

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Offline TheFuturesEnd

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
update/school help?
« on: December 14, 2009, 09:00:03 AM »
Hey everyone...

I went to that appointment that I missed a few times. I guess the news wasn't good news... but not bad news either. My CD4 count is 407 and my VL is a little higher than 11,100. Good news is that I am not resistant to any drugs so I can be happy for that.

I thought that those numbers are kind of strange in regards to the numbers of people that post them on here... Almost time for meds according to my CD4 count but a rather low VL? Or am I too new to this?

Anyways, I have seen 2 counselors 2x each for the severe depression I am experiencing... Also a case manager and another case manager? IDK but I hate the things they tell me. All of them say that I need to just get over the fact that I am poz... which will happen when my mind is ready to.

The one case manager was really nice and a good listener but at the end of the meeting she did my budget and basically told me that my life is going to need to change if I am to survive... To give the facts: I am a college student, making it on a $1000 grant and the rest in student loans. I knew that it wouldn't be enough when I started the year but was determined to make it work because to me, and because of my goals, it was the last chance I had to get through school. Why... because I am 22 and have been dicking around at a community college for the better part of 4 years. In that time I overcame an addiction to cocaine, lost most of my friends, the girl I planned to marry, and a $3000 savings account...

Anyways, this semester was ruined from the start when I found out I was poz (because my roommate found the papers and blackmailed med... detailed in an old posting) and left me to pay rent and utilities by myself for 2 1/2 months. I am completely brook now and don't get my next loan amount until the end of January. I still have a week of school left and several extremely hard finals to get through. I am super smart and was hoping to get at least a 3.75 so that I could transfer to the Honors College next semester... But with all the drama in my life I will be lucky to even pass any of my classes. The reason that was so important is because the only thing I have ever wanted to do it go to law school. To get into a good one (one in which you can come out making a good amount of money and work for a good firm) you have to have great grades, participate in extracurriculars, and well, shine.

Back to the point I was making a paragraph or two ago... The case manager basically told me that I will have nowhere near the amount of money I need to get by. That my only option was to get basically a full time job (30hr/week) or to drop out and continue when I pay off my debts and save up money.

Pity party (not for the faint of heart): So, I am obviously not in a mental state to be in extracurriculars, am not shining, and well, fu**ked by GPA better than someone trying to. I am so scared that I will not pass one of my classes. The repercussion being I loose ALL financial aid and am immediately responsible for paying back $11k in loans. I honestly don't know what I'm going to do if that happens. I am so distracted by my personal life that it is a near impossible task to write papers that would normally take me a night to crank out. All i do is cry, still, and just sleep ungodly hours (this weekend I slept 16 hours Friday night and got up and ate then slept another 13 hours). I dont return phone calls and cant find my phone half the time. Keep dropping stuff, misplacing stuff, loosing stuff. Im a helpless klutz these days.

Everyone keeps telling me get over it its fine just do your work only you are responsible blah blah blah. Its not that easy, when you have your future riding on one semester, get the poz news, gets screwed by a friend, have no money, face the real possibility of eviction unless I can miraculously find a job, get a speeding ticket I coudlnt pay for and lost my drivers license, have $2000 in credit card debt, no friends anymore, family that pretends like nothing is going on. SHIT! that's literally all I can say.

Does anyone know of any scholarships for poz people? My situation sucks as does the federal governments formula for calculating the amount of money that you can get. My "parents" that in name only and do not have $1 for my college expenses. Yet the feds say they should be contributing $8000 to my education. HAHAHA. When pigs fly. So I could only borrow the $11,000. After fighting them I got them to apply for the parent federal loan but guess what? DENIED.

I am in the worst situation imaginable. Honestly couldn't think of a way it could get any worse. Honestly. Even if i do get through this semester the monetary situation for next semester, as my case manager bluntly told me, isn't supportive of me continuing school. Job market where I live is a joke. The 4 jobs in the University paper are jokes. Jobs in the regular paper either are full time only or are not in my qualification field. What am I supposed to do? Even if I took a full time job I wouldn't be able to keep up with school, and to keep my loans I need to be a full time student.

I know I am depressed and no amount of talking or shrinking will benefit me. A lump sum of cash is literally the only thing that would help me and that just ain't gonna happen. These are the thoughts that bounce around in my mind as I am currently trying to complete a 14 page paper that was due a week ago this morning.

I'm lost, hopeless, tired, have nothing else to give, tried everything. Defeated. That isn't me, or the old me, but I guess the new me. I have spent hours of google searching for some sort of monetary support for people in my situation but apparently it doesn't exist. What makes it worse is that as I have begged (which makes me feel pathetic and much more depressed) by teachers all semester to accept late work, let absences slide... and every single one of them has said "what happened to you? you seem like one of the smartest students in class, when you participate." one professor went further and said "its sad to see a student like you who is so smart start to go down this road. Its not like you are dumb, I mean when you eventually turn things in late you always get 100% on them. I just don't understand." IDK if I should say "I don't either but I guess thats what happens when you have my life." They always seem annoyed while telling me how awesome i USED to be... shit, im just annoyed i used to be.

I am utterly disappointed in myself because this took my life from me. I am like a zombie, a walking dead man. shit. there it is again. i need to stop writing before I start crying in front of the people in the library. so, and suggestions to help me stay in school would probably safe my life.

I am just hoping the days of me having lots of friends and being the teachers pet will return.

Offline max123

  • Member
  • Posts: 377
  • Carpe Diem
Re: update/school help?
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2009, 10:29:06 AM »
future.

glad 2 hear that you've gotten some things accomplished regarding your health, mental & physical. that's good news about no resistance. your cd4 may be rebounding or just a blip....see what the trend is over the next 2 draws. what's your cd4 %? just an fyi...stress can have a cd4 lowering effect on the body. yet another reason to get things together. as for the counseling, keep it up & if a course of antidepressants is prescribed, go with it. in short... yeah, you do need to accept what's happened to you...we all do. the key is moving through it & not getting stuck in a rut for years. and yeah i know it sucks, but what would suck more would be for you to let this virus control your destiny & dreams. you're smart...great. put that to work for yourself in learning to cope with hiv. move on & stay focused on your academics.

regarding failing a class & losing your financial aid...i've never heard of such a thing. if this is actually the case, file for a retroactive withdrawal from the failed class, which i recall having told you in an earlier post. for next semester, you can also consider dropping down on credits to the minimum load accepted to be considered a ft student, if you need to for financial or personal reasons ....check with your school advisor on that. also, as long as you timely defer, your student loans are held at bay, though they continue to accrue interest. learn the rules & work with them.

frankly, i'm unclear of what you're relaying here about what you stated that your case mgr is saying.... based on your finances, you should be eligible for ryan white benefits...have they not told you that? that will cover your basic healthcare & any meds, hiv or otherwise. your case mgr should also advise on the availability of food bank services if you live off campus & hold your own regarding meal prep. i believe that hopwa also administers emergency rent and, or utility payment but am unsure of exactly how that all works. it's def worth you further investigating. you shouldn't necessarily need to quit school and work ft...i cant imagine for the hell of me any case mgr telling you that. either they are uninformed or if you addressed them in the way that you have the peeps on here, perhaps they're just unwilling to extend themselves to help you. i guess only you know the answer to that. at any rate, if in fact you have a good r'ship with your case mgr, perhaps he/she is inexperienced in knowing how to tap into resources and a consultation with another case mgr would be helpful....remember, you also need to contribute research into finding those potential resources. and if it ultimately means that you have to work while going to school, even if it's a less than ideal job, welcome to the club...many of us have been there, done that...you'll survive it too, if you really want to.

my advice: put your 'smarts' to work for yourself, continue therapy, devise a survival plan, accept your disease, stay focused on your academic goals and keep moving forward. a pity party is only going to drag you down. laugh & the world laughs with you, cry & you look like shit.  ;)

I am just hoping the days of me having lots of friends and being the teachers pet will return

teacher's pet? lol you're a big boy now...snap out of it  :o

take care of yourself.

max



1/86 - 6/08 (annually): neg elisa
7/09: pos elisa/pos wb
8/09: cd4 560, cd4% 35, vl 13,050
12/09: cd4 568, cd4% 33, vl 2,690
4/10: cd4 557, cd4% 29.3, vl 6,440
7/10: cd4 562, cd4% 29.6, vl 3,780

Offline Nestor

  • Member
  • Posts: 430
  • What we love, we shall grow to resemble.
Re: update/school help?
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2009, 06:58:52 PM »

Future,

You write: 

Quote
"What makes it worse is that as I have begged (which makes me feel pathetic and much more depressed) by teachers all semester to accept late work, let absences slide... and every single one of them has said "what happened to you? you seem like one of the smartest students in class, when you participate." one professor went further and said "its sad to see a student like you who is so smart start to go down this road. Its not like you are dumb, I mean when you eventually turn things in late you always get 100% on them. I just don't understand." IDK if I should say "I don't either but I guess thats what happens when you have my life." They always seem annoyed while telling me how awesome i USED to be... shit, im just annoyed i used to be."

When you talked with your professors, did you tell them the truth about your situation?  I should imagine that the hardest-hearted professor in the world, if you go to him and tell him "I just found out I have HIV.  That is what has happened to me," would be understanding and give you whatever extensions you needed--or even let you cancel this semester and start it over again in the next one. 

The important point is that you want neither to drop out nor to get grades that would drag down your average.  You are hardly the only person ever to have a personal trauma interrupt the course of a college education.  College students have gotten pregnant, had their girlfriends become pregnant, had parents suddenly die or become gravely ill, or become seriously ill themselves.  None of these people is expected either to finish the term under superhuman conditions or just fail.  There must be some mechanism to deal with these things so that they do not ruin someone's entire education.  Your case worker is no doubt qualified to talk about this from the financial point of view but you need a professor or somebody who is already involved in your academic life to talk about it from the broader point of view of your career and your future. 

Of course I cannot know--only you can know--whether this semester can be salvaged.  Write those papers and see what happens, but talk to the professors and tell them the truth. 

I do not understand the part about your roommate blackmailing you.  Having HIV isn't a crime.  What is there to blackmail you over? 

Your CD4 doesn't sound very bad at all and the VL is, as you say, low.  You will not have a very clear picture until you get your next set of labs but in the meantime it is far too soon to be saying that it is "almost time for meds."  Did you get a CD4%?  That tends to be important. 

Good luck, and it sounds as if you have what it takes to get through all of this.  Sleeping a lot sounds like a good healing mechanism so don't fight it.  Don't worry about dropping things and losing things--you'll get over that too.  You already sound as if you are in a much better place mentally than you were in your first posts here. 

But you must, must, must tell your professors the truth.  Why should they help you if they have no idea that you have a good reason for handing in papers late etc? 
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 Dennis

  • Member
  • Posts: 781
Re: update/school help?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2009, 12:45:28 AM »
Hi Future. I'll keep this short 'cause I have to get back to studying for my finals as well.

If you are at risk of losing your financial aid due to poor academic performance, you should be able to petition for reconsideration. Typically, a medical reason is enough for a petition to be approved. You'll have to show documentation from your doctor. If you need to go this route, I would recommend submitting this paperwork asap; like before the college closes for the winter break.

You might also want to look into contacting the office of disabilities on your campus. Making them aware of your situation may help you down the road should you find yourself in a situation where you have to submit assignments late or miss classes due to a medical reason. They will not inform your professors of your exact medical condition.

On a side note; Don't stress yourself into thinkking you have to be an honors student or participate in all these extracurricular activities to be successfull after you graduate. That's false. It's great if you can accomplish it all, but don't beat yourself up over it. Do you know what they call a lawyer who just passes their bar exam under the wire and who made all C's in college? They still call'em a lawyer. An intelligent person will shine when they enter the workforce regardless of their college grades or extracurricular activities.

Besides, some of the dumbest people I know went to these so-called prestigious schools. And all they have to show for it is an average paying job and double the average college debt.



Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 10,732
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: update/school help?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2009, 04:27:30 AM »
Before you fail the semester, I suggest you go to the dean with a letter from your doctor and get either a leave or get incompletes.
You need to get on an antidepressant and perhaps HAART as well.
If you were on HAART, you might see things in a different perspective. Rather than thinking of doom, it could be a way to see that HIV is totally controlled and you can start rebuilding your life at the same time your body rebuilds itself. Since you are so young, your body will do just fine, its your mind and education and social life that need attention.
Anyway, thats my view.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Nestor

  • Member
  • Posts: 430
  • What we love, we shall grow to resemble.
Re: update/school help?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2010, 05:46:39 PM »

You okay Future?  Still there?
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

 


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