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Author Topic: what now?  (Read 2964 times)

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Offline wimble

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
what now?
« on: March 04, 2010, 11:50:58 AM »
Hi all,
I've been confirmed HIV positive for little over a week now and am awaiting my cell and viral counts.  I'm still devastated by the consequences of my drunken mistake....its only now that i realise the impact this illness is going to have on my life, everything has completely changed, outlook on life, aspirations etc. Turns out i contracted urethritis a long with HIV, otherwise my chances of contracting the disease may have been minimised quite drastically. What is that old saying..."just my luck.." or indeed lack of...
Isn't it funny how only now you appreciate everything you have in life...family, friends, good health and everything is jeopardised by one silly mistake...i don't know how I'm going to move forward from this...I Sense people around me will figure out something is wrong soon enough i just cant face up to letting my family know, it would hurt them more than the news hurts me...  I'm just not the person I was before all this happened...I guess I'm here to just ask for advice on how to cope with the tough times ahead...

Thank you God bless,
Wim.

Offline sdguyloveslife

  • Member
  • Posts: 134
Re: what now?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2010, 01:40:11 PM »
Hey Wim,

I'm truly sorry to hear about your diagnosis.  The good news is that everything is going to be OK.  Of course you don't believe me now, but like the rest of us, you're going to go through all of the emotions that many of us did upon learning about our HIV positive status. 

It's really important to forgive yourself for this mistake - which I know is much harder to do than me writing it here.  We're only human and as humans, we make mistakes.  You mentioned God in your other thread and I want to tell you that God is NOT "punishing" you for any action or role you took in contracting HIV - nobody deserves this virus...nobody!  Suggesting that also implies that we're a bunch of evil sinners and the fact is, we're not (well, maybe some... :P...just kidding!).  Remember that this is a virus, not a moral judgment. 

It sounds like you've already started to do the right things...getting your CD4 count and viral load.  A few more suggestions include...take the time to educate yourself about HIV - learn what's happening to your body and take charge of your health so that you and your doctor can work together.  You might also consider building a support network (you've already made it here!) - a few other suggestions include finding a support group in your local area, seeking therapy or telling a best friend or a close family member.  Give yourself time to work through the emotions and cry as much as you need to. 

  I'm just not the person I was before all this happened...

But you are Blanche, you are... :D   (hmmm, just noticed you're straight so you might not get this one... ;D)

In time you'll see that while HIV presents some new challenges, it's nothing you won't be able to overcome.  With today's treatment options, you will live a full life.  Hang in there...it's all going to be OK. 

Take care. 


Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.

Offline Joe K

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  • Member
  • Posts: 3,773
  • 31 Years Poz
Re: what now?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2010, 02:03:19 PM »
Hello Wim,

I'm very sorry to hear that you have tested poz, but I can tell you that you will get through this, so for now, just take it one day at a time. You have been given life-altering news and it will take some time for you to adjust to being poz, so give yourself permission to feel whatever you feel and just take it slow. If you have a close friend or family member, I urge you to consider telling them, because you need the support and providing support is what true friends do for each other. Yes it will be hard on them, but if you reverse it; how would you feel if someone close to you, had HIV and did not tell you. Asking for help, is not a sign of weakness, but of great internal strength. It is recognizing that there are some things we just cannot handle alone and we need to reach out to someone. Be aware that if you tell someone, you need to give them a little time to adjust to the news as well and help to guide them, on how they can help you.

For now, just take five deep breaths and relax, because you have all the time in the world. I always gauge how I feel, using my lab results, but also by knowing my body and if I feel good, then that is what matters. No matter what you might think, you are the same woman you were yesterday, it's just now you have a stinking virus. You did nothing to deserve HIV, period. However, you must face whatever role, you may have played in becoming poz and forgive yourself, because while the result of that mistake is major, the simple fact is that you made a mistake. I also urge you to become your own best friend and when you are ready, you will need to take charge of your health care and decide how you will live your life.

For today, just take it slow. Your emotions will be on overdrive with a million questions or worries and the best thing you can do, is to just experience what you will feel. You don't need to take any actions right now and I suggest that you do not make any major decisions, at least for the next few weeks.  Continue to take care of yourself and that includes your mind, body and spirit. Try and keep your stress down and remember that you are not going to die tomorrow, nor the next day, nor the next.

You have time to adjust and I know you can do it. Be good to yourself and someday, yes really, HIV will become just another facet of your life. HIV does not mean the end of anything, rather it constitutes a new beginning. You will adjust and you will go on to live a long fulfilling live. I should know, as I have been doing just that, for 26 years.

Offline anniebc

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,942
  • AM member since 2003
Re: what now?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2010, 03:32:18 PM »
Hi Wimble

It's always sad ro hear of another diagnosis but welcome to the forums anyway.

Just remember the reaction to the results is difffernt for everyone, but over time you will find a way of coping with the virus that suits you and it might be quite differnt from how others deal with it.

No one here will ever tell you it's easy, it's ok to get angry or scared but don't let it take over your life, stress is natural it can actually help some of us get through certain situations but excessive stress can cause you physical symptoms and can damage your immune system further, just find ways to manage any stress you may be feeling, learn to relax and listen to your body.
Along with HIV comes anxiety and one way of tackling this is through information. gaining confidence in yourself and making informed decisions about your future.

Support is very important and you can get this from a qualified ID doctor , family and friend that you trust and there are many support organizations out there...just make sure whoever you discuss this with is sympathetic,supporting and  non judgmental about your HIV status.

Most important of all you have to remember that being HIV+ does not stop you from being the person you were before your diagnosis....and don't let anyone tell you any different.

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

Offline tommy246

  • member
  • Member
  • Posts: 435
Re: what now?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2010, 03:50:37 PM »
Hi wimble , i just wanted to add that when i got my pos diagnosis 14 months ago through straying out of my marraige i was also devastated and luckily for me found these forums.
I was quite ignorant of the advances in hiv treatment so initially i thought i just had a few years to live untill i realised that its now a chronic illness as long as you look after yourself we can live a full life.
My other major concern was how was i going to tell my family and friends so i didnt . Obviously i had to tell my wife who is neg and she took it well and i also decided to tell my brother who also took it well and thats it and i am happy i made that decision. I got all the support and answers to my questions on here .
People say you will get better in time and i didnt believe it i was thinking hiv 24-7 the first month or two but now hardly ever think about it . Take your time you will be fine .
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 mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,902
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: what now?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2010, 05:17:41 PM »
Turns out i contracted urethritis a long with HIV, otherwise my chances of contracting the disease may have been minimised quite drastically. What is that old saying..."just my luck.." or indeed lack of...
Sorry you had to hear this news.
On a technical note - if you got urethritis at the same time from the same person who transmitted HIV, the urethritis did not increase your vulnerability to disease -- because you didn't have any symptoms yet. 
You got HIV from some unsafe sex act.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline wimble

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
Re: what now?
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2010, 06:03:39 PM »
I just want to say thank you to everyone who has given advice...there seems to be tremendous spirit on these forums and I hope to be part of this support network and make some friends a long the way!

I think I'm pretty well educated thus far on the basics of HIV so that should help....I got shingles shortly after the exposure and was convinced I had HIV from the beginning and luckily i did a lot of research to try and ready myself for the news that came. ....obviously nobody can prepare you for that kind of news once you're in that situation. If I hadn't got shingles I would have been non the wiser to the virus because I didn't have any stereotypical ARS so probably wouldn't have got tested and could have put other people at risk luckily that was not the case.

It seems the general consensus is, life will go on, just one day at a time...everyone has their own take on HIV and I find it heartwarming the amount of support people show to one another, its incredible!

Quote
No matter what you might think, you are the same woman you were yesterday
Kill, I'd like to think that I'm a man, unless of course I wake up tomorrow with a pair of hooters... it would seem  impossible, but the way life goes you never know! ha ha  :-\

I want in on the Blanche joke, Sdguy.....is it at all related to an old lady and a soap? ???

Quote
the urethritis did not increase your vulnerability to disease -- because you didn't have any symptoms yet. 
Yeah i understand what you're saying mecch, i think the doctor was trying to  imply that it made the carrier more infectious...

Quote
No one here will ever tell you it's easy, it's ok to get angry or scared but don't let it take over your life, stress is natural it can actually help some of us get through certain situations but excessive stress can cause you physical symptoms and can damage your immune system further
Cheers Annie..stress is playing a big part atm as im sure it is for a lot of you ..its making me feel exhausted all the time...also my lymph nodes have been painful and swollen for about 2 weeks now, i dint know whether that's part of the stress or an indication that my Cd4 counts are low, well see what the doc says....

Anyway cheers guys, thanks for sharing so far. Peace.

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,902
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: what now?
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2010, 06:10:33 PM »

Yeah i understand what you're saying mecch, i think the doctor was trying to  imply that it made the carrier more infectious...


Yes.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline sdguyloveslife

  • Member
  • Posts: 134
Re: what now?
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2010, 03:23:10 AM »
I want in on the Blanche joke, Sdguy.....is it at all related to an old lady and a soap? ???


Yeah, I realized after I typed my message and suddenly recalled you mentioned a "she" so I'm sorry the joke went over like a lead balloon.  :(

OK, I hope I get this right because I’ve always been the guy who’s always under threat of having my “gay card” taken away by my friends.  If I do a lousy job explaining it, I’m sure there will be someone who can help me out…

There’s an old movie called “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” starring two of the most famous gay-icon-divas – Bette Davis and Joan Crawford – and they get especially “bitchy” and completely over-the-top, outrageous, and full of villainous drama in this movie.  There's a little synopsis online http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056687/ at imdb.com.  I’ve never seen the whole movie (I know, gay demerits for me on that one!) but there’s a famous scene that they always show on video screens in gay bars everywhere which is how I know about it.  Here it is.  The best quality clip I could find is a little long, but if you go to about 1:30, you can see the part I’m talking about.  The expression on Bette Davis' (Jane) face is priceless!   ;D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTtpDwrKaxo&feature=related

So, the phrase has become a kind of joke across gay culture (maybe not so much with the younger generation?), when someone is perhaps complaining about something, or denying something, it’s fitting to throw in the phrase “but you are Blanche, you are.” 

A really long-winded way of telling you that you really are the same person you were before the news of HIV.  I hope I at least got a smile out of you!  ;)
Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.

Offline Ann

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 28,140
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: what now?
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2010, 11:05:04 AM »
Wim,

I didn't want to hijack someone else's thread where you posted some comments about blame, so I want to address those comments here.

It seems you are still  struggling with some blame where the woman you got your virus from is concerned. When you first posted in these forums in the Am I forum, you pretty much admitted to having a drunken one-night stand where you had unprotected intercourse. At that time you wanted to "smash her face in". How do you even know she knew she was poz? You even said yourself that if you hadn't had shingles, you probably would not know about yourself. Many people don't know or have an idea until something like that happens. How could she possibly disclose her hiv status when she most likely didn't know?

For you to have been infected from a one-time insertive vaginal incident is both extremely rare and very unlucky. For this to have happened, she very likely had a sky-high viral load, as is common when someone is very newly infected. I really doubt she knew her status.

Blaming her or blaming yourself is not going to make hiv go away and it's not going to make you feel any better, physically or mentally. It's only going to make you feel like crap. Festering anger is not going to do your immune system any good either. You may want to consider counselling to work through your residual feelings of blame, anger and resentment.

You need to be aware that your initial numbers might not looks so good. It's very common for someone in the very early stages of infection to have a very high viral load and a lowish CD4 count. They will improve and stabilize in time and you may have years ahead of you before you need meds.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline wimble

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
Re: what now?
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2010, 11:28:53 AM »
Thanks for your post Ann, i respect what you do for this forum...your right about pretty much everything you say here and i appreciate all the advice. She is the only person I've had unprotected sex  with, (I've slept with one other person, protected) and I'm 100% certain i was negative beforehand....plus the clincher was that she admitted to knowing her status prior to sleeping with me, but didn't specify how long she had known...I'm taking each day at a time and blame and anger are slowly fading i just find it difficult to see why she would not tell me before we had sex....everything else i can learn to accept....counselling is a good idea somewhere a long the line just to see whether i do have any issues.....and you're right my health will suffer if i carry on...I'm sure with time things will get better....also thanks for the heads up about my CD4 counts....I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm moaning on and on about 'my status', I'm just trying to get as much info and advice as possible at this stage, i wont be annoying for much longer :)....i dont want to smash anyones face kin anymore, although i never really did.... that's a start eh  ;)

 


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