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Author Topic: Unexpected call: test results  (Read 3938 times)

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Offline DanMo

  • Member
  • Posts: 235
  • Finally undetectable! ;D
Unexpected call: test results
« on: March 14, 2011, 05:36:25 PM »
Hi guys,

Today I received an unexpected call from the Health Department. They had my test results. I was surprised since they told me it would take two weeks. I was looking forward to another week of waiting. I was taken aback to say the least.

The results came back positive.  :'(

There wasn't any CD4 or VL numbers. I will be receiving treatment from the Health Department if I am eligible (which they told me I most certainly would be since I don't have health insurance and I only work part-time). I have an appointment April 5 to fill out all the Eligibility paperwork.

I went to a local HIV clinic where they provide free services in the form of case management for people with HIV. I have an appointment with them for the "in-take" next Monday, the 21st.

I've just told my mother as well. She was devastated, convinced that her only son is going to die... I tried reassuring her that I won't be dying anytime soon. But I'm still worried about her. I haven't told any other family members yet.

As I'm sure is the sentiment of many here, I never expected to be dealt the HIV hand in life. It was something that happened to other people. It feels surreal, like it must be some sort of huge cosmic prank... I know it's manageable and treatable and I can live a full life... it's just the added burdens that comes along with it that I'm fearing. A month ago, before my first reactive swab, I was the happiest I've been in a long time. Now, I'm not sure how to keep going. I'm going to need a lot of strength, that I know for sure.

I'm really glad to have found this forum, I really hope I'll get to know a lot of you well so we can mutually support each other. Here's some basics about myself: I'm 23 years old, I'm gay, and I'm a college student. My plan is to get a Master's Degree in Spanish and teach at the college level.

*Deep breath*

Dan
“I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.” —Frida Kahlo

11 Feb 2011 - Preliminary positive
07 Mar 11 - Inconclusive WB
14 Mar 11 - Diagnosed positive
05 Apr 11 - 355 (21%) / VL: 186,054
27 Apr 11 - 390 (20%) / VL: 285,095
06 Jun 11 - 298 (19%) / VL:  78,380
01 Aug 11 - > STARTED ATRIPLA <
30 Aug 11 - 699 (31%) / VL: 1,938
03 Nov 11 -                / VL: 645
27 Dec 11 - 559 (35%) / VL: 1,189
11 Jan 12 -                 / VL: <20
09 Apr 12 - 686 (40%) / VL: UD
11 Jul 12 - 793 (37%) / VL: 25

Offline hope_for_a_cure

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,502
Re: Unexpected call: test results
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2011, 06:20:58 PM »
Hi Dan,

It is a huge blow when you first get that diagnosis but I can tell by your post that you have a plan of action mapped out already.  These forums are a great resource and I am glad you found your way here but very sorry to hear that you are HIV+. 

Life is not over for you (my read from your post tells me you realize this) and you will have the strength needed to push forward with your plans.  Its tough for some of us to see the 'reaction' our moms have when we have that 'I'm HIV+  talk'.  If she is like mine, she will reiterate that she loves you no matter what and will stand by you during this difficult period.  I take it you were not having major health issues such as PCP Pneumonia when you were tested.  Knowing your status now as well as seeing appropriate medical personnel will actually benefit you.  It may be quite some time before you start on medication.

You will find the group here to be quite diverse, informative, honest, and humorous (at times).  Most of all you will know that you are able to communicate with individuals who basically know what you are going through.  Welcome!

AND:  Mucha suerte a obtener su título español!


Offline DanMo

  • Member
  • Posts: 235
  • Finally undetectable! ;D
Re: Unexpected call: test results
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2011, 06:47:28 PM »
Hi Hope,

It was a huge blow! I'm trying to remain calm and get everything in order cause the feeling of being in control helps... I feel like I've lost control of my body and my health to a malicious set of code.

I know my life isn't over, it's just this whole thing hit me like a ton of bricks. The worst part I think is that I only became sexually active recently (around October) and this happens to me. I just wish I could take it back. But that's not how life works.

My mother is what worries me the most at this point. She's the most important person to me in the world and I feel like I've let her down... I know it's irrational, but I can't help but feel responsible for the pain I've caused her, making her have to worry about my health. I wasn't having any health issues at all. I went in for a routine HIV test this past February and was blown away when it came back reactive. That was February 11, and the worst day of my life. I told my mother immediately after I got home (she noticed something wasn't right with me and I just broke down crying).

I'm contemplating telling my dad and younger sisters, with whom I live... I know I'll have to at some point. I'm the type of person who avoids at all costs serious situations, I tend to just want to leave things be and go on not thinking about it... but this is very serious and I just don't know how to deal with it. I totally wasn't expecting to know my results today, I was expecting them next week so I went in without any mental preparation. Just got the call and drove there right away... I spent the car ride mentally bracing myself for the worst.

I'm trying to remain calm, but I just want to scream and curse and punch a wall or something lol.

Dan
“I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.” —Frida Kahlo

11 Feb 2011 - Preliminary positive
07 Mar 11 - Inconclusive WB
14 Mar 11 - Diagnosed positive
05 Apr 11 - 355 (21%) / VL: 186,054
27 Apr 11 - 390 (20%) / VL: 285,095
06 Jun 11 - 298 (19%) / VL:  78,380
01 Aug 11 - > STARTED ATRIPLA <
30 Aug 11 - 699 (31%) / VL: 1,938
03 Nov 11 -                / VL: 645
27 Dec 11 - 559 (35%) / VL: 1,189
11 Jan 12 -                 / VL: <20
09 Apr 12 - 686 (40%) / VL: UD
11 Jul 12 - 793 (37%) / VL: 25

Offline WillyWump

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,202
  • Fall is in the air!
Re: Unexpected call: test results
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2011, 07:12:37 PM »
Hi Dan,

Welcome, as Hope says you have many friends here.

I think I can relate somewhat to your situation with your mother. I too am an only child and at first felt like I let her down. She was the first person I told, and she asked me how many months I had to live. She was pretty devastated. But I can tell you that she is now my biggest supporter. I took a few months to educate her on all of the amazing treatments that we have today and what HIV is and isn't. See, the last she heard about HIV was in the 80's when there were no treatments and people were dying left and right. So she was amazed to learn that HIV today is a chronic condition, and that I would have a normal life span (outside of a train mowing me down). Mom's can be fragile when they first learn their little boys have HIV, but I can tell you that they are strong as a rock as they settle into the news. Just try to educate her about the condition and the treatments.

As far as disclosing to the others, what's the rush? You'll have plenty of time to do that, take as long as you wish. Maybe with your moms help you can decide when the time is right (and just maybe she can help educate them!)

Hope to see you around the forums
-Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline DanMo

  • Member
  • Posts: 235
  • Finally undetectable! ;D
Re: Unexpected call: test results
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2011, 07:33:14 PM »
Hi Willy,

I gotta clear something up, I'm not an only child--I have a few sisters. I am, however, my mother's only male child. (Males aren't common in our family--my oldest sister has 5 girls and 1 boy!)

I think my mother has the same perception of HIV. When I first told her that I might possibly have it, her first reaction was, "But... that kills people!"

Even though I've reassured her that I will live a "normal" life span, she's still shaken up about my new reality, being sick. I've invited her to come along with me to me with a case worker that I found for myself. So, I hope that settles her down.

I'm really glad I found this forum... the mental aspect of being HIV is so hard, it's nice to have somewhere to just vent and get encouragement from other people.

I just want this "acceptance" phase to pass. I hate "realizing" over and over again that I'm HIV+ and start seeing it as something real in my life. It's so weird since I feel perfectly fine... but I'm not.

Dan
“I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.” —Frida Kahlo

11 Feb 2011 - Preliminary positive
07 Mar 11 - Inconclusive WB
14 Mar 11 - Diagnosed positive
05 Apr 11 - 355 (21%) / VL: 186,054
27 Apr 11 - 390 (20%) / VL: 285,095
06 Jun 11 - 298 (19%) / VL:  78,380
01 Aug 11 - > STARTED ATRIPLA <
30 Aug 11 - 699 (31%) / VL: 1,938
03 Nov 11 -                / VL: 645
27 Dec 11 - 559 (35%) / VL: 1,189
11 Jan 12 -                 / VL: <20
09 Apr 12 - 686 (40%) / VL: UD
11 Jul 12 - 793 (37%) / VL: 25

Offline drewm

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,159
Re: Unexpected call: test results
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2011, 07:39:52 PM »
Welcome to the forums Dan. Sorry about your dx. It's quite a bit to swallow all at once but rest assured it does get easier to manage. Family and friends you choose to tell may have concerns as well but it's important to remember that there has been a lot of positive (no pun intended) developments in the treatment of HIV/AIDS and it's no longer a life ending disease, per se.

Drew
Diagnosed in  May of 2010 with teh AIDS.

PCP Pneumonia . CD4 8 . VL 500,000

ATRIPLA - VALTREX -  FLUOXETINE - FENOFIBRATE


Numbers consistent since 12/2010 - VL has remained undetectable and CD4 is anywhere from 275-325

Offline geobee

  • Member
  • Posts: 284
Re: Unexpected call: test results
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2011, 08:01:00 PM »
Hey Dan,

I believe you mentioned cursing and screaming a punching a wall?  I say, "go for it!"  Then, of course, it's time to get back to planning your next steps.... but working off a little steam in a healthy way sure seems like a good idea to me!

I guess I just wanted to say "welcome" and "breathe."  I was diagnosed 2 yrs ago and, well, it's taken about that long for life to get adjusted to the new normal.  I also want to say that -- in my case -- establishing a good relationship with my new Dr. was key for me.  I was just overwhelmed in the beginning and it helped to have someone I could trust.

You'll find the people on this forums -- the old-timers and the "newbies" like me -- are a good source of information and support.   And you can still get your degree and fulfill your life's dreams, you'll see. -- George


Offline DanMo

  • Member
  • Posts: 235
  • Finally undetectable! ;D
Re: Unexpected call: test results
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2011, 09:33:13 PM »
@Drew: It's very hard to swallow. I've had a month to get used to the idea of being positive, so I'm doing ok under the circumstances. I need to take it one day at a time and get to a point where I accept this as part of myself. Right now it just feels like something that is happening... it's hard to explain.

@George: I would love to be able to sob my eyes out right now, but I've never been much of a crier. I've already cried quite a bit over this past month coping with the uncertainty. I'm anxious to get to that "new normal." It's been less than one day of being diagnosed and I'm already sick of being sad for myself.

Thanks for the welcome you guys, you'll be seeing me around here in the forums.

Dan
“I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.” —Frida Kahlo

11 Feb 2011 - Preliminary positive
07 Mar 11 - Inconclusive WB
14 Mar 11 - Diagnosed positive
05 Apr 11 - 355 (21%) / VL: 186,054
27 Apr 11 - 390 (20%) / VL: 285,095
06 Jun 11 - 298 (19%) / VL:  78,380
01 Aug 11 - > STARTED ATRIPLA <
30 Aug 11 - 699 (31%) / VL: 1,938
03 Nov 11 -                / VL: 645
27 Dec 11 - 559 (35%) / VL: 1,189
11 Jan 12 -                 / VL: <20
09 Apr 12 - 686 (40%) / VL: UD
11 Jul 12 - 793 (37%) / VL: 25

Offline Bobbyg2004

  • member
  • Posts: 1
Re: Unexpected call: test results
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2011, 10:48:22 AM »
Dan,

I'm sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis.  I understand what you are going through right now, when I was diagnosed in 1995 the Doctor simply walked into the room and informed me and my wife that I was HIV positive and that the life expectancy was only 10 years if I took care of myself.

I was lucky my wife was very forgiving and, although we are not together, she still takes very good care of me when I'm ill despite she has a new person in her life.  I did inform my sister of my diagnosis and she has been watching over me as well.  Building a group of friends and family who will understand and help you is the best thing you can do. 

It is understandable that you feel the way you do especially since you had just started being sexually active and immediately you have been infected.  I know you feel like life has completely come to a standstill, it did with me.  I, however, took the bull by the horns and faced the situation straight on and with my support network I have succeded to live 16 years longer than what I was told.  Be strong and you'll get over this initial hump very quickly and life will begin again for you.  Life and love does not stop.

I hoewever, was and still am unable to inform my mother of my diagnosis as she was dealing with other health issues of herself and my now deceased father.  However, I do feel she does  know of my HIV status as she mentions things that she has kept  up with even though she won"t tell me she knows. 

Be strong for yourself and your family.  Keep taking your meds as you are supposed to and you will live a long and full life. 

I now work for and AIDS services organization as a Patient Navigator and really enjoy my job.

Keep your dreams going strong.

Bobby G.
---<--@

Offline DanMo

  • Member
  • Posts: 235
  • Finally undetectable! ;D
Re: Unexpected call: test results
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2011, 09:45:31 PM »
Hi Bobby, thanks for responding.

I can only imagine what it feels like to be told you only have 10 years to live. I'm glad you've lived much longer than what they expected.

Hearing that reassures me. I know how everyone says that HIV is not a "death sentence" any more, but I can't help being worried about my future. I keep asking myself if I'll live to be as old as my dad (he's 60). What I'm hoping for the most is living long enough so that I see my parents die. I do not want my parents to experience the death of one of their children.

I haven't been prescribed any meds yet--I haven't seen a doctor yet. The County Health Department is going to be handling my care. I have an appointment in a couple of weeks to get all set up. They'll draw my blood for the CD4 and VL numbers. Around the end of April is when they expect me to get the results. We'll see then what the doctor recommends.

I hope this gets easier...

Dan
« Last Edit: March 18, 2011, 10:40:35 PM by DanMo »
“I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.” —Frida Kahlo

11 Feb 2011 - Preliminary positive
07 Mar 11 - Inconclusive WB
14 Mar 11 - Diagnosed positive
05 Apr 11 - 355 (21%) / VL: 186,054
27 Apr 11 - 390 (20%) / VL: 285,095
06 Jun 11 - 298 (19%) / VL:  78,380
01 Aug 11 - > STARTED ATRIPLA <
30 Aug 11 - 699 (31%) / VL: 1,938
03 Nov 11 -                / VL: 645
27 Dec 11 - 559 (35%) / VL: 1,189
11 Jan 12 -                 / VL: <20
09 Apr 12 - 686 (40%) / VL: UD
11 Jul 12 - 793 (37%) / VL: 25

Offline drewm

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,159
Re: Unexpected call: test results
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2011, 10:12:52 PM »
The treatment has changed, the meds have changed, managing this disease was something unheard of 30 years ago. We are truly in uncharted territory and the gains made in the past are likely nothing compared to what is coming. The news that I received last May of a diagnoses of AIDS (VL 500,000 and CD4 08) is not the same, in any way shape of form as it was for many LTS'rs. I thank my God and those who walked this road before me for making this disease manageable and making the tremendous headway for those of us who came to the party a little late. The price that has been paid is not lost on me by any means.

That being said, I feel an obligation to carry the torch as long as I can so that maybe a cure will come in my lifetime and if not, maybe the generation right behind me.

Thanks for being here guys and gals, your thoughts and experiences are invaluable to all of us whether we realize it or not...

Diagnosed in  May of 2010 with teh AIDS.

PCP Pneumonia . CD4 8 . VL 500,000

ATRIPLA - VALTREX -  FLUOXETINE - FENOFIBRATE


Numbers consistent since 12/2010 - VL has remained undetectable and CD4 is anywhere from 275-325

 


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