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Author Topic: Giving support and managing our feelings  (Read 3033 times)

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Offline EllieGolden

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
Giving support and managing our feelings
« on: April 13, 2010, 02:44:30 PM »
A very dear friend of mine recently told me he was HIV+. He has had it a long time (nearly 20 years) and says it doesn't affect him day-to-day anymore, although it used to. I know this should be reassuring but I still worry about him. He looks quite jaundiced and drinks quite a bit.

I posted on another board about his physical symptoms but am also curious to know how I can show support without being intrusive?

I also need to learn to manage my own feelings e.g. worrying about him, feeling tearful. I am a natural fretter and couldn't bear the thought of anything bad happening to him.

Any tips, suggestions or advice would be really appreciated.  

Thank you very much.
Ellie

Offline Hellraiser

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  • Posts: 4,136
  • Semi-misanthropic
Re: Giving support and managing our feelings
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2010, 02:47:39 PM »
If he's been positive for 20 years he's doing something right.  As for the drinking that's really every man for himself.  You cannot or will not change his mind if he chooses to drink, even if his liver is endangered.  I'm fairly blunt so if you were seriously concerned you could sit him down and talk to him about it, but in the end it's really his life to do with as he wishes.  He has the virus under control obviously or 20 years in he wouldn't be around.  Don't fret over him unless you seriously think he wants your help or you think you could reasonably get him to change his ways.  Most people don't like that sort of thing.

Offline EllieGolden

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  • Posts: 10
Re: Giving support and managing our feelings
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2010, 03:23:13 PM »
Thanks so much for your reply. I should probably clarify that when I say I am a fretter I mean that I worry inside my head. I would never nag someone or flap around them as I agree that would be a complete pain! It's just difficult sometimes to know how best to help someone you care about.

Ellie 

Offline mecch

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  • Posts: 11,263
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Giving support and managing our feelings
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2010, 04:16:29 PM »
Well you could learn about HIV yourself.  Then you could tell him you are worrier and explain what you are worried about and maybe he will clarify things for you.  If its HIV you are worried about, maybe he has good numbers and HIV is not a big threat to his health.
If he is a drinker that would be another health challenge.  Also, heavy drinking and HAART (tritherapy for HIV) aren't the best for the liver.
Anyway knowledge is power so you got to educate yourself a bit.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline kev72

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  • Posts: 106
Re: Giving support and managing our feelings
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2010, 04:27:50 PM »
Hello Ellie,

Glad to see you back. I responded to you're first post.

I think the guys already gave you some good ideas such as educating yourself. I would then approach you're friend in a caring way and say "You know me, I am a worrier, so I have been learning about HIV so I can be a support system. I am sure you're friend will appreciate it even if he says he does not think about it much. I am sure he thinks about it, and just does not want to make it look like a big deal to people who are not educated about it. I act that way also as to not make it look so bad.

These sites are great reference and I think you're friend will be thankful he has someone to talk to who has an idea of what its all about.

You sound like a kind person and a terrific friend. I only wish everyone had understanding concerned friends. It would make life much easier.  Have a great day, Kev

Offline EllieGolden

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
Re: Giving support and managing our feelings
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2010, 06:06:38 PM »
Thank you all so much. It's really interesting to read all the different ideas.

I have already started reading up about treatments and living with the virus as I agree this will definitely help me feel more informed.

For those posters who are living with HIV I wonder, what do you appreciate most in your (HIV-) friends? Any do's and don'ts?

Ellie.

Offline kev72

  • Member
  • Posts: 106
Re: Giving support and managing our feelings
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2010, 06:24:24 PM »
Hi Ellie,

I find that many people who are not educated about HIV are way off in their thinking. I only wish my HIV neg friends and family would do some reading and like you, educate themselves. It would let them see that it is manageable and not all that horrible as they think.

As I said before, I bet you're friend will appreciate the fact that you are taking the time to learn.

Have a good one, Kev

Offline megasept

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  • Posts: 478
  • Steven here...
Re: Giving support and managing our feelings
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2010, 07:26:52 PM »

For those posters who are living with HIV I wonder, what do you appreciate most in your (HIV-) friends? Any do's and don'ts?

Ellie.

great question Ellie!

speaking for myself and no one else I appreciate hiv- a friend who:

---listens instead of telling me how to live with my illness.

---doesn't ask medical questions unless willing to listen to my answers.

---doesn't make fun of my body shape (lipo), tendency to sweat, skin problems, belching/burping/runs, and other side effects of my disease, my treatment, or both.

---treat me like a fellow member of the same species, not some fragile entity from Mars.

this is what i like from my friends and my family. in your case, just be yourself!

-steven (aka  8) megasept)


Offline TabooPrincess

  • Member
  • Posts: 279
Re: Giving support and managing our feelings
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2010, 12:24:41 PM »
Thank you all so much. It's really interesting to read all the different ideas.

I have already started reading up about treatments and living with the virus as I agree this will definitely help me feel more informed.

For those posters who are living with HIV I wonder, what do you appreciate most in your (HIV-) friends? Any do's and don'ts?

Ellie.

I don't know if this helps Ellie but one of the reasons that I've not disclosed to anyone is because I can feel 'normal' still around my friends - no-one knows so they treat me the same and obviously don't talk about it, I'm no different to them.  This guy has lived with it for 20 years and so has most likely got his head around it and doesn't want a big deal made about it.  IMO the best way to be a friend to him is to carry on being the same with him as you were before...if he wants to talk about it then he'll bring it up...but yes, educate yourself and realise what a strong and determined friend you have.
09/ 2008 - Seroconversion
11/2008 - Tested pos, cd4 640 vl 25400
12/2008 - cd4 794 vl 27798, 35%
03/2009 - cd4 844 vl 68846, 35%
06/2009 - cd4 476 vl 49151, 33% (pregnancy confirmed)
08/2009 - cd4 464 vl 54662, 32%
Started meds for pregnancy (Kaletra, AZT, Viread)
09/2009 - cd4 841 vl 3213, 42%
10/2009 - cd4 860 vl 1088, 41%
11/2009 - cd4 771 vl 563, 38%
12/2009 - cd4 885 vl 151 42%
Discontinued meds after baby born
02/2010 - cd4 841 vl 63781, 38%
05/2010 - cd4 1080 vl 113000, 39%
08/2010 - cd4 770 vl 109242
12/2010 - cd4 642 vl 111000, 34%
06/2011 - cd4 450 vl 222000, 33%
11/2011 - cd4 419 vl 212000, 24%
03/2012 - cd4 280 vl 118000, 26% (repeated Cd4 at 360)
05/2012 -cd4 360 vl 99,190
10/2012 Atripla, cd4 690, vl 80
12/2012 Darunavir, norvir, truvada, Cd4 680, vl u/d
07/2013 cd4 750,ud

Offline Moffie65

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: Giving support and managing our feelings
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2010, 10:10:18 AM »
For those posters who are living with HIV I wonder, what do you appreciate most in your (HIV-) friends? Any do's and don'ts?

Ellie.

Unconditional Love and Support.

Educating yourself is also a really good idea, so you have a good basis of knowledge for yourself. 
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline Stone

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  • Posts: 55
Re: Giving support and managing our feelings
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2010, 04:11:16 AM »
Hi Ellie!  As both a registered nurse and chonic worrier I had some challenges with my brother early on.  Sometimes you can have a little too much education and when the emotions kick in forget about it.  I have learned to really use my fliter and ask myself if what I want to say will make him feel better or me.  Will it change the outcome or just add more stress.  Is really necessary to say it at all?  If I decide that I have to say something, I make sure the timing is right and present it as totally my deal.  Like when his ID doc wasn't checking kidney function.  I said something like "It really makes me nervouse that he hasn't ran the labs.  The meds can be hard on the kidneys so it is important to know that they arent being damaged.  I realize it is totally your deal but I just had to say something because it scares me."  Also if it something not likely to change, ie my brother smokes alot, I don't say anything at all because he isn't ready to stop and my saying something is just going to start a fight.  I am very careful not to use words like "clean" when refereing to neg status folks nor do I ever say that I know what he is going through as I clearly have not a flipping clue. I am careful to treat him just like I always have and not baby him.  I have an auto immune disease that you wouldn't know by unless I told you and I have told very few people.  I don't want anyone to treat me like I am sick because I am not and there is nothing that I could do before that I can't do now.   Anyway thats my two cents

Offline EllieGolden

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
Re: Giving support and managing our feelings
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2010, 05:49:59 PM »
Thank you so much to everyone who has shared their thoughts and feelings. It helps a lot to hear other people's experiences. It makes me realise I am probably doing ok in terms of offering support but not being a total pain!

I saw Peter the other day and he looked a lot less jaundiced. Made me feel so happy!

Thanks again.

Ellie

 


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