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Author Topic: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?  (Read 11727 times)

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Offline spacebarsux

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Hey guys, was just thinking about random stuff and thought I'd toss this out.

How has HIV, if at all, changed you as a person and what you want out of life?

Me: HIV has made me more aware of my mortality and acutely aware of being alive, it has injected a sense of urgency in re-prioritizing my affairs to fit with my short term and long term goals, which are now different from before.

I have become more compassionate of the suffering of others but at some level I have also become indifferent of the happenings in the lives of certain other people as mine is enough to handle, for now, and in that sense more selfish.

I seem to have become a bit of a recluse and find myself over-analysing, drawing inferences, reading meanings in to things that I wouldn’t have otherwise- sometimes, I think, it gives my life more meaning and insight but at other times, it drives me insane.

Overall, I know I am the same person but I can't help feel different. Whether that is  a good or a bad thing remains to be seen, I suppose.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2011, 02:01:36 PM by spacebarsux »
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline mecch

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2011, 05:46:45 PM »
Me: HIV has made me more aware of my mortality and acutely aware of being alive, it has injected a sense of urgency in re-prioritizing my affairs to fit with my short term and long term goals, which are now different from before.

It did that to me for the first year, but only 4 months after infection I went on HAART and probably after a year or so any sense of urgency about my mortality faded back to pre-infection levels.

I did start worrying more about how to afford retirement.  Also feel locked into living in Europe forever, until a cheap treatment or cure comes along.  Feel somewhat secure here, with the long-standing thus reliably affordable universal health care.  I guess that could crumble if all the economies tank, though....   If for some reason I wanted to or had to move back to the US I would have hideous anxiety about affording health care. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2011, 05:52:43 PM »
I am still the same caring, loving individual that I was before my diagnosis. HIV didn't alter that or make me into a bitter, miserable cock sucker.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Joe K

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2011, 06:10:44 PM »
I am still the same caring, loving individual that I was before my diagnosis. HIV didn't alter that or make me into a bitter, miserable cock sucker.

You owe me for a keyboard.   ;D

Offline surf18

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2011, 08:33:57 PM »
i guess i have appreciated more things. sat back and chilled a little more. im a little less driven at work. not so good since i own a business. little less hyper at the little things in life and at work,that part good.
a bit more mean. that is a new thing, i was actually kind after dx, a bit to soft i d say.
but the where the op said something along the lines of being more compassionate to suffering people but not really into others problems as he has his own is spot on to how i feel too.
for instance my mom will tell me a fucked up story about someones health and i think to myself i dont give a shit i got my own shit to deal with. or i might be reverse and have wicked empathy.

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2011, 03:08:32 AM »
Yeah, I have become a little self-involved too. A friend of mine was going on and on complaining about how she hates her boss at work and that she is going to have a nervous break down. I would listen to her intently before.

Now I was busy playing Angry Birds and thinking 'quit whining it's doing my head in'.  :)
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline newt

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2011, 05:39:33 AM »
Yes, but not as much as getting older

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline hope_for_a_cure

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2011, 06:51:13 AM »
Yes, but not as much as getting older

Agree. 

In my case there were other factors at play.  The fact that my career came to a screeching halt a couple of years before as well as the fact that I relocated as a result of (my diagnosis) changed my outlook the most. 

I deal with whatever life throws my way as best I can and change is a part of that. 

Offline ARMANDO

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2011, 07:59:41 AM »
i thought i was the only one that felt thAt way!!!it has been 20 yrs since i was first diagnoised and i have the EXACT SAME FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS that you have expressed.i thought that it would eventually get better but i have found myself more of an introvert,al of my friends have died and i really don't have the desire or effort to make new friends.in my opinion it is NOT the disease that i hate but it's the SOLITUDE,I FELL THAT I AM ONLY EXISTING in this world and i see no life.i have always made plans and decisions based on my own mortality and yet i'm still HERE!EVERYDAY JUST ROLLS INTO THE NEXT,NEXT WEEK ,NEXT YEAR.SOMETIMES  i wish i had died along with my friends but for some reason i have survived;maybe this is my punishment......LIFE?

Offline surf18

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2011, 08:04:51 AM »
yep hearing people whine about the trivial stuff i used to whine about kills me. i want to say shut the fuck up you have your health you dumb ass!

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2011, 09:49:25 AM »
@Armando- I really feel for you man. I hope you can find a way to snap out of this 'groundhog day' lifestyle, because life is definitely worth it and is not a punishment, it certainly does not have to be. I was diagnosed fairly recently so my perspective is a bit different I guess.

Take care
---------------

On another note, the existential angst I am experiencing probably has to do with a host of factors including the fact that I am single and also dissatisfied in my current line of work (I am looking to change).

The upside is that I am much more driven and determined to make changes in my life and set it on a positive trajectory. The problem is I don't really know what those changes are or how to make them! I find it really hard to go on 'just like before' and pretend things are the same, when they are obviously not. Carrying on with life the way it used to be - seems a little wrong to me and leaves this nagging feeling.

This may sound a little naive and silly, but things like leaving my mark on this planet before I go has sort of gained some relevance when it didn't even cross my mind before.

Can anyone relate?
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline elf

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2011, 10:48:39 AM »
As discussed before, many of us had low self-confidence, and somehow ended up with this diagnosis.  ???
I took care of too many people around me, and neglected myself.
HIV made me respect myself more. So, in a way, it made me more aware of myself.
Now I do what I want, how I want, when I want, not thinking much of what other people may think.  :)

Having HIV sucks. You can't move to many places (like Canada or Australia) nor you can visit many places (Dubai)...I'll have to pay more when I visit SE Asia, because all cheap airfares  include a plane change in Dubai, and if they see my HIV meds in Dubai, I'm deported.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 10:55:26 AM by elf »
Let's have a Kiki!

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2011, 11:02:33 AM »
if they see my HIV meds in Dubai, I'm deported.

Hide them. A little elf should be able to sneak in without getting noticed.  ;D
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline Gio

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2011, 11:14:18 AM »
I have definitely become more a homebody..  I noticed that lately i laugh and smile more.  Well I have a lot too laugh about these days :)  But one thing that has been the biggest change is the fact that life's perceived Dramas does not affect me in the slightest I just tell myself "this is beyond your control, confront and deal with it" I really dont have time for the bullshit and just do my own thing as well if that just means being at home watching a good movie with good company.  8) 

Offline Since2005

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2011, 01:23:27 PM »
Hmm.. very interesting topic especially for me at this time.
I don’t know how to answer this. As some of you may know my situation is a bit different than others. Sometimes, I feel like “I am recently diagnosed as having to go to doc for the first time to know my med stat (viral load/CD4 count etc.) but I don’t fully belong to that category since I have passed that panic mode and done enough of that since I was diagnosed in 2005. Again,  I don’t feel or belong to the same level of some one who has been dealing with HIV/AIDS for 6/7 years and dealing with meds etc. I guess, I could relate to someone with is HIV+ for 6/7 years and not on meds as of now. Though, my situation may change soon once I get my med result and I might not feel the same as what I am feeling now. My result could be AIDS defining( CD4 less 200) or it could be nothing (CD4 above 500) or my CD4 could be somewhee between 200-500. I guess, I would be able to tell how I feel about the outlook on life depending on my status ( its kinda silly I know..). Though to answer your question, till a month ago, HIV has nothing or very little impact on my outlook on life and living. I know it may change anytime soon or it may not.
Gosh, may be, space, you should have started this thread a month later :)

Offline kellybryana

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2011, 02:36:47 PM »
For me, HIV has shown me who I truly am. I'm really proud of myself and how I've handled this. I've kept a really good attitude, and taken personal responsibility for how I got it.

At diagnosis, I saw HIV as a reason to be a better person. I saw it as the universe telling me that something needs to change and that I need to grow as a person. And that is what I have done! I immediately started reading books and watching documentaries about how to live as healthy as possible, including diet, exercise, and spiritual/psychologically. I choose to be happy more often when I could very easily choose not to be.

A month after my diagnosis, and one day after moving into a new place with my bf I found out that he had cheated on me with a guy, and I never even knew he was bisexual. The guy who he cheated on me with was actually my coworker, and is a loud mouth. So basically everyone I work with knows my status, and my situation. I've had a lot of people at work come up to me and tell me that I inspire them, which is really cool. I like inspiring people  8) I've found out how strong I really am through this experience.

Also like you guys are saying, I don't sweat the small dramas in life. Its easier to spot the small dramas now, I think/ Whereas before, there was a LOT that would get to me that shouldn't have. Now, it's really easy to see that something is not going to mean anything in a couple days, so I shouldn't worry about it.

If you're wondering, I have broken up with my boyfriend, and I am moving out in the next couple weeks. He will remain one of my best friends though, and I forgive him for everything.


Offline mecch

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2011, 03:22:43 PM »
As discussed before, many of us had low self-confidence, and somehow ended up with this diagnosis.  ???

"Somehow" I doubt this is an accurate generalization.  Plus I think it moralizes or psychologizes a virus and is a component of stigma and stereotypes.

nor you can visit many places (Dubai)...I'll have to pay more when I visit SE Asia, because all cheap airfares  include a plane change in Dubai, and if they see my HIV meds in Dubai, I'm deported.

You say "many places".  Then just Dubai.  I think there are just a handful of countries with bans on HIV+ people visiting.  Frankly who gives a crap about Dubai.

Also, I would investigate this detail about not being able to layover in Dubai.  Seems entirely an invented fear on your part.  If its a layover, you won't even have your luggage with you.  And deported???  From an airport??   

Sign me, incredulous. 
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 03:24:41 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2011, 03:33:06 PM »

Also, I would investigate this detail about not being able to layover in Dubai.  Seems entirely an invented fear on your part.  If its a layover, you won't even have your luggage with you.  And deported???  From an airport??   


Agreed.  If it is no more than a connecting flight then there should be no reason to be this frantic. 

Some times this virus creates more paranoia in those who live with it than what is actually valid or necessary.
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2011, 03:47:32 PM »
Me: HIV has made me more aware of my mortality and acutely aware of being alive, it has injected a sense of urgency in re-prioritizing my affairs to fit with my short term and long term goals, which are now different from before.

I had that sense as well, for the first three years or so but it has faded some over time.  For Mecch it seems to have faded more rapidly.

So, if you think the changes it has made in you are important and worth keeping, you might want to be developing habits now that will last after that sense of your luck and the value of being alive starts to fade for you as well.

I did some of that, and like the changes. 

But of course, in other personal and especially in professional/career ways, HIV was a disaster, pure and simple.  Its important not to romanticize HIV ...
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline kellybryana

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2011, 04:58:41 PM »
I don't think its a bad thing to be optimistic.

Offline Ann

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2011, 10:07:07 AM »
because all cheap airfares  include a plane change in Dubai, and if they see my HIV meds in Dubai, I'm deported.

Rubbish. My bf has had to change planes in Dubai en route to Thailand several times over the past few years with his hiv meds in his carry-on. Never once have they batted an eye. Besides, why would they go to the trouble of deporting you when you're only there on a lay-over anyway? You're not staying in Dubai, you're only passing through.

As for a change in my outlook, in a nutshell, I don't take shit from anyone any more. I used to be a bit of a doormat, but not now. I'm not saying it turned my into a bitch, it just made me more assertive where my own health, safety and welfare are concerned.
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Offline wolfter

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2011, 10:31:20 AM »
The diagnosis created a horrible outlook on life.  Advancement in treatments provided the positive outlook that I now possess.  I've reached a point where HIV isn't much more of an issue than loosing my hair.  I'm confident some other bad behavior will kill me instead of this little bug.

Being told and living with a terminal condition and then being given another chance at a long life is too joyous to not enjoy each and every day.  Even if it's some little thing, I try to find something beautiful daily.
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Online Jeff G

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2011, 10:48:26 AM »
When I was diagnosed in the 80's my doctors told me to eat , drink and try to do all the things I wanted to do because I probably would only live a year or two . I took the advice and lived a fast paced lifestyle of indulgence and it almost killed me before HIV ever had the chance .

Many wonderful times and people have been a part of my life since I was diagnosed and I would like to think my early days of always believing the end was near taught me to appreciate the people I love more deeply . I also have a different appreciation of the good times as well as the bad ones , its all valuable to me .         

Offline Buckmark

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2011, 11:40:28 AM »
I am still the same caring, loving individual that I was before my diagnosis. HIV didn't alter that or make me into a bitter, miserable cock sucker.

In a way, I relate most to Miss P.'s statement.  I've had HIV for so long, that it's difficult to discern how much my outlook has changed, or even remember what it was like to not have HIV.  Out at 22, Poz at 25. 

Quote from: jg1962
When I was diagnosed in the 80's my doctors told me to eat , drink and try to do all the things I wanted to do because I probably would only live a year or two

My doctor encouraged me to be hopeful, but I'm not sure it had any basis in fact, and I think he was just trying to avoid tell me there was little hope.   It was 1990, and protease inhibitors were still 5-6 years away.  The only game in town was AZT.    Even if my doctor had given me that kind of advice, I'm not sure I would have taken it (though sometimes I think I might have liked to).
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Offline likinglife

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2011, 11:46:02 AM »
In my case... HIV has made me a little jaded toward other peoples perceptions of their problems.
Since all my co-workers and subordinates know my status... every time I hear someone complain that something isn't fair... or whine because something didn't go their way... I ask them if they really want to talk to ME about "FAIR". This generally meets with mouths in the shape of O's and glazed eyes.

I have developed the strong opinion that life is anything but fair and you better learn to deal with that fact. It's an evil world. HIV is an evil virus and it isn't fair that I've got it... it's not fair that anyone has it.

I find now that I'm a year into my diagnosis it doesn't effect my life too much but it does keep me isolated from other people because I find it hard to relate to those with average healthy bodies... they have relationships... I don't, they enjoy sex, vacations and live every day without swallowing pills or thinking of their CD4 counts. It bugs me a little when friends say "gosh you look great... better than new... it's good to see you back to your old-self". I know they mean well but I can't help thinking... no... I'll never be my "old-self" again.

*sigh*
PCP 7/15/10
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Offline mecch

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2011, 12:56:43 PM »
I dunno.
It strikes me as the wrong path to be thinking other peoples problems pale in comparison to being HIV+.
I'm a little bitter having been manipulated 2x by HIV+ boyfriends (when I was negative) who used their serostatus as some trump card.
The first one gets a pass now, since it was in the 80's, a long time ago, and time heals, and HIV was so dire then.  The second one, shame on me, really.  Why did I fall for that bullshit again?



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

Offline kellybryana

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2011, 03:58:52 PM »

 It bugs me a little when friends say "gosh you look great... better than new... it's good to see you back to your old-self". I know they mean well but I can't help thinking... no... I'll never be my "old-self" again.
 

When my friends tell me I look "healthy" I just retort back with, "Oh good! So my AIDS isn't showing?" That usually shuts them up real quick.

Offline mecch

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2011, 04:14:51 PM »
LikingL
Kelly,

Why refuse to take a compliment that is also empathatic to a challenge that is behind you?

If HIV laid you low, or just the diagnosis and the stress even, and you have since rebloomed, why would you think your friends are cynical? 

And Kelly, why "shut them up"?
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline wolfter

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2011, 04:30:13 PM »
Living with HIV for 26 years and AIDS for 20 years and 1 month, I totally enjoy those seldom spoken compliments about my appearance.  I would never wish my friends to shut up else they might do so permanently.  I try not to compare my issues with AIDS with the "less serious" issues others deal with.  Really isn't much point in that.  Do those suffering worse health crisis than me trump my condition?

If people are making comments in a nerfarious manner, that's a totally different situation.

Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2011, 05:12:40 PM »
LikingL
Kelly,

Why refuse to take a compliment that is also empathatic to a challenge that is behind you?

If HIV laid you low, or just the diagnosis and the stress even, and you have since rebloomed, why would you think your friends are cynical? 

And Kelly, why "shut them up"?


I can relate to this. In my mind no one who is 'negative' can understand what I am going through and sometimes even well-meaning comments from them can be construed in my mind as annoying.

It's like 'you have no idea what it feels like so quit tossing your pity my way'.  I hope it has something to do with newly diagnosed behaviour and will pas...cos it's a really silly way to think and doesn't help my mental health.
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline kellybryana

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2011, 05:31:03 PM »
I look the same as I ever have, and I think its funny when people tell me I look healthy, as if I shouldn't or something. I look great, I feel great, and I will for a very long time. So find something else to compliment me on, because there are so many.

I don't know. I'm not a victim of this virus, and I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me.

Offline mecch

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2011, 06:17:53 PM »
Oh yes, Kelly, I misunderstood your reaction.  If you didn't go through a looking like crap period, then a friend saying "You look healthy" could be a bit clumsy, as if you could look otherwise.  Since you've got the Aids...  

But some are probably just being kind and upbeat.  Or honest!  Not pity.

Not many people like to be the object of pity.

Personally I think pity gets a bad rap cause its not necessarily a sign of contempt or superiority. Its also empathy and compassion.

But if one is doing quite well living with HIV, pity isn't really justified, is it.

Sounds like we worry sometimes that others may MISUNDERSTAND living with HIV.  

EG, looking healthy whereas the observer considers us sick.

My ironic joke is that 4 months into seroconversion I was SO overrun with billions of virons, I was sleeping a lot, had lost a lot of weight, and was thus quite skinny, rested looking, and chic wearing my devine suits from the 80's when I was tall willowy young man, and everyone thought I looked fabulous.  Big joke.

Actually I seem to remember this was a sort of gallows humor in the 80's when briefly people with AIDS were model thin, before the rotting and dying.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 06:22:31 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline kellybryana

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2011, 06:37:46 PM »
Yeah, I was lucky (or smart) to catch it less than 6 months after being infected, and my seroconversion wasn't very intense, so I never gave the virus an opportunity to ravage my sexy bod.  :P

I understand the compassion part of feeling bad for someone, but I'm just not interested in being the object of someone's pity whether or not they mean well. Also, I feel like people are sometimes uncomfortable with me being HIV+, and walk on eggshells with their words. So making jokes like, "oh good, my AIDS isn't showing?" and "I'm not just positive, I'm HIV+" break the ice a bit and make people more comfortable around me once they know I'm HIV+.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 07:57:19 PM by kellybryana »

Offline leatherman

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2011, 07:28:14 PM »
I think its funny when people tell me I look healthy, as if I shouldn't or something.
the more and more, through my ASO, that I talk to people in the general public, the more and more I have come to see that the basic opinon about HIV from the 80s is still prevelant. Most people seem to still equate HIV with imminent death of AIDS. if your friends are anything like the 20-somethings in the local colleges here in upper SC, then it's no wonder they think you're looking healthy - they're probably surprised you're not dead yet. The ignorance level of what HIV was in the mid 80s to what having HIV is like today is simply incredible.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Offline Valmont

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2011, 07:46:54 PM »
My HIV detection put in evidence the terrible mess I had in my life and habits, also it could allow me to find I was going in a wrong way and to take some actions to correct...

For now, this is stilla process that will take its time, because HIV is one more problem I have, and maybe it is not the worst...

About how I feel, well, it has not been so hard to accept it for me, I always had to accept hard things I did not want in the last years so now I ´m a little more fatalist, what has to happen happens, what can we do?...

About health, I was not very well the first month after the new, I loose pounds and I got tired very easyily....

For now, after 3 months and travelling outside the country I live, I feel much more better and quiet, can make some project at medio sight and try to re planify everything...  I try to enjoy things without postergation and living more in the present...
Apr 2011: Diagnotized
Jun 2011: CD4: 504  VL: 176.000
Dic 2011: CD4: 714  VL: 95.000
May 2012: CD4: 395 VL: 67.000
Jun 2012: CD4: 367
Agu 2012: Starting Emtricitabine 200 mg / Tenofovir 300 mg and Efavirenz 600 mg (2 pills) different brands or VIRADAY/ATRIPLA/Mylan....
Sep 2012: VL: 138
Dic 2012: CD4: 708 VL: <34  %CD4: 32%
Jan 2013: CD4: 707 VL: <20
May 2013: CD4: 945 VL: <34 %CD4: 33%
Agu 2013: CD4: 636 VL: <34 %CD4: 50%
Dic 2013: Latent TB, started Isoniazid

Offline leatherman

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2011, 08:48:11 PM »
actually my diagnosis didn't change my outlook at all. My partner and I were very sick and clearly expected to die.

what changed my outlook, thanks to HAART, was that I didn't die! Not dying, while my partners and friends did, made me appreciate every freaking day I've been alive since that last near-death experience on my 36th bday back in March 1998.


I try to consciously acknowledge something good about everyday -
After mowing the yard today, I took pictures of the last of the Summer flowers blooming.

I try to take hold of every opportunity to do something when it's presented -
I'm still glowing from my recent trip to Seattle for AMG 2011 this past week; I'm getting ready to man the ASO health fair booth at Charlotte Gay Pride Festival on Sat; and I'm making arrangements to go to SC Pride next weekend down in Columbia.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #36 on: August 26, 2011, 02:16:43 PM »



    My HIV diagnosis changed my pill consumption and made the dating pool, at the time, much better quality wise.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline phildinftlaudy

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #37 on: August 26, 2011, 03:57:26 PM »
My diagnosis solidified my view that I am a survivor - that life is full of challenges, obstacles, and barriers, and that usually the difficulties of one experience that we are able to overcome are preparation for other challenges that will be experienced. 

My diagnosis has reaffirmed that sometimes those things that seem like negatives in life are actually positives (pardon the pun).  Reminds me of a story of a farmer who had one horse and one son - the farmer relied on the horse to plow the fields and his son to work the farm.  One day the horse ran away - his fellow farmers said "what a bad thing to happen."  The farmer said, "it may be good, it may be bad..." well, his son located the horse and found 3 other horses to plow the fields.  The fellow farmers, when they saw this, said, "what a good thing!"  The farmer replied, "it may be good, it may be bad..."  Well, while training one of the horses, the son was thrown off and broke his leg.  He couldn't work the farm due to his injury. The fellow farmers said, "what a bad thing."  The farmer said, "It may be good, it may be bad..."  Well, there was a great war in the land and all of the male children of age were taken to fight, but the farmer's son didn't have to go because of his injury.  The fellow farmers said, "What a good thing."  To which the farmer said, "it may be good, it may be bad."  and the story continues in this way - showing that we really don't know.....

My diagnosis has not been a "bad" thing..... My diagnosis has not been a "good" thing

As Scott Peck says in his book The Road Less Traveled - "life is difficult....this is a noble truth.... it is a noble truth because once we understand and accept that life is difficult, it is no longer difficult - we transcend it as difficult merely be knowing and accepting that it is.... 

My diagnosis is just another part of my life - it teaches me things about myself and life; however, on any given day, I have a multitude of experiences in life that do the same thing - non HIV related - that consistently impact on my outlook on life and living.
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2011, 04:35:46 AM »
My diagnosis solidified my view that I am a survivor - that life is full of challenges, obstacles, and barriers, and that usually the difficulties of one experience that we are able to overcome are preparation for other challenges that will be experienced. 

My diagnosis has reaffirmed that sometimes those things that seem like negatives in life are actually positives (pardon the pun).  Reminds me of a story of a farmer who had one horse and one son - the farmer relied on the horse to plow the fields and his son to work the farm.  One day the horse ran away - his fellow farmers said "what a bad thing to happen."  The farmer said, "it may be good, it may be bad..." well, his son located the horse and found 3 other horses to plow the fields.  The fellow farmers, when they saw this, said, "what a good thing!"  The farmer replied, "it may be good, it may be bad..."  Well, while training one of the horses, the son was thrown off and broke his leg.  He couldn't work the farm due to his injury. The fellow farmers said, "what a bad thing."  The farmer said, "It may be good, it may be bad..."  Well, there was a great war in the land and all of the male children of age were taken to fight, but the farmer's son didn't have to go because of his injury.  The fellow farmers said, "What a good thing."  To which the farmer said, "it may be good, it may be bad."  and the story continues in this way - showing that we really don't know.....

My diagnosis has not been a "bad" thing..... My diagnosis has not been a "good" thing

As Scott Peck says in his book The Road Less Traveled - "life is difficult....this is a noble truth.... it is a noble truth because once we understand and accept that life is difficult, it is no longer difficult - we transcend it as difficult merely be knowing and accepting that it is.... 

My diagnosis is just another part of my life - it teaches me things about myself and life; however, on any given day, I have a multitude of experiences in life that do the same thing - non HIV related - that consistently impact on my outlook on life and living.

That's a great outlook Phil.  :) I think you also said in another other thread about how life is full of fights and challenges. We fight to get through school and University, we fight to find love, we fight to keep it, we fight to earn a living etc etc......HIV is just another fight added on that list...it can stand out  on the list of life's battles but it does not have to.

That really resonated with me.
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2011, 10:10:57 PM »


Some times this virus creates more paranoia in those who live with it than what is actually valid or necessary.

"some times"? That's an understatement.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Joe K

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2011, 11:57:12 PM »
My diagnosis saved my life, by exposing the lie I was living.  I lost virtually everything that I thought was important and started a new life within the HIV community.  Becoming poz changed everything, it not only threw me from the closet, but it sorted friend from foe.  For the first time in my life, I had lost everything and all I was left with, was me.  I sought other pozzies like me and for the first time in my life, I found unconditional acceptance and support.  With that support, I was able to become myself and to explore what I wanted from life.

At first, it was just staying alive that mattered.  I met too many fine people, who got sick and died... by the hundreds.  At times it seemed the carnage would never end.  There is a history that is ingrained in those of us who became poz in the early years.  It wasn't just that being poz changed us, it's that we insisted on changing what it meant to be poz.  We did for ourselves what others refused to do.  We had no choice and for those who survived, we have paid a very dear price.

I tested poz at the beginning of a plague and I have been poz for almost half of my age.  I really cannot remember what it was like to be negative.  I have changed greatly, but my becoming poz, was my first step on the Yellow Brick Road and my journey continues.  I want to believe that I have become the person I was always capable of being, but I will never know what role being poz truly played in that change.

Fate has been kind to me and I believe there are more good things to come.  My greatest comfort comes from my experience as I age.  I know who and what I am and I am enough.  I carry the memories of incredibly brave people, many of whom I was honored to call "friend".  I carry a part of each and every one of them and that brings me great comfort.  I realize that life holds endless possibilities, that I am stronger than I know and that loss still hurts.

Yet, with all of that, I choose to enjoy life, because the choice will always be mine.  Life is what you make of it, not what it makes of you.  Becoming poz can be a catalyst, but change always comes from within.  I think  that sometimes people confuse maturing and becoming more self-aware, as needing some outside force to happen.  If you don't possess the potential for insight, some things will never change.  Just don't confuse becoming poz, with the reason your life has improved.  HIV did not change you, it infected you.

You changed you.

Offline redredroom

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #41 on: September 04, 2011, 12:04:42 PM »
How has HIV, if at all, changed you as a person and what you want out of life?

Me: HIV has made me more aware of my mortality and acutely aware of being alive, it has injected a sense of urgency in re-prioritizing my affairs to fit with my short term and long term goals, which are now different from before.

I agree about how HIV can suddenly make one realize we're not going to live forever. :/  Reprioritization happened to me too.

For me, I learned that I had HIV a year ago.  Any damning thoughts and rampant images of death and despair was mitigated by my partner's optimism and support really.

To be detailed about it though, this is what i noticed changed.  Here are five:
1. Less adventurous sexually.  I hold back.  I know kissing doesn't transmit the virus but I'm a bit of a prude there now.  I'm also very careful during sex with my partner (who is hiv neg).  Not complaining though. :)
2. Not as ambitious.  I can't help but think of how my sudden untimely death impacts the organization i work for. :/  I'd say I'm currently okay with my current job and pay grade but compared to my zeal and enthusiasm before that led to a five year streak of promotions?  Not the same.  I find myself refusing any chances to shine.  (I know I have to work on this).
3. Generally dampened spirits initially sulking, one night of weeping, then not talking to people, etc.  Although these days a year after my diagnosis I'm becoming the old chipper person I used to be.  I'm increasingly feeling inspired again.
4. A revived love of eating.  Can be either healthy or not really. lol.  Pre-HIV diagnosis i took care of my body by exercising, eating a very specific diet, etc.  1 year after, I just basically said WTH and just ate whatever I wanted.  I'm not overweight, erm, yet, but i did gain 20 lbs. (slowly trying to go back to my old old ways now though).
5. Like you, urgent reprioritization.  I used to only think about myself and use up all my money for travelling around.  After the HIV diagnosis, I "settled down," insured my mom for her health, etc etc.  More aggressive in long term planning.

I'm 28 years old by the way.
08-10 = 524
03-11 = 630

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #42 on: September 04, 2011, 02:10:52 PM »
Welcome to the forums redredroom. I am 28 too.
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #43 on: September 08, 2011, 03:34:25 AM »
4. A revived love of eating.  Can be either healthy or not really. lol.  Pre-HIV diagnosis i took care of my body by exercising, eating a very specific diet, etc.  1 year after, I just basically said WTH and just ate whatever I wanted.  I'm not overweight, erm, yet, but i did gain 20 lbs. (slowly trying to go back to my old old ways now though).

YES. I used to be slim and fit pre-dx, now I am a fatty and can't be too bothered about my appearance. Need to really change this.

Oddly, I also think drastically cutting down on smoking (not yet quit) has contributed to the surge in my appetite. I love junk food.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 03:47:45 AM by spacebarsux »
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline jb1973

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #44 on: September 09, 2011, 02:22:21 PM »
It really hasnt changed it at all.  Initially i was going to do all these fantastic things to make my life etter, but , now nearly almost six month s in to this, business is pretty much "as usual" pre diagnosis.  It helps that I have a great partner who told me daily that everything was going to be ok.  My doctors telling me everything was going to be ok.  No medications as of yet. I plan on living my life the same way i lived it before i found out, with the exception of having un-protected sex. 
I think it would be great if I started exercising more and dropped about 25 pounds, eating more healthy, quit spending money like some rich whore......but, I said all of those things pre-HIV.  Initially, i had starting eating healthier for a few months but for some reason, maybe because it was summer, I stopped that.  I should get back into that, but, my point is, HIV really hasnt changed my life that much.....yet......
??Infected - 08-09??
3/3/11-tested POZ
3/18/11 - CD4-534 VL-6,600
6/24/11 - CD4-642 VL-10,800
10/11 - CD4-580 33% VL-9,900
1/12 - CD4-602 ?% VL-9,700
3/12 - CD4-552 27% VL=10,684
8/12 - cd4-550 24% VL=9.865
Started Isentress/Truvada
10/12- CD4-613 31% VL=UD

Offline alone32

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #45 on: September 10, 2011, 11:35:09 AM »
after diagnosis my life has changed in two ways. First, i was so mad that i wanted to drink and get high knowing that i will die anyways... then i was so mad that i wanted to infect everyone... but the realization was... i felt that i have more love, respect from other people so opted not to. instead i looked for a support group and other newly diagnosed fellow and helped them cope up with it.
Life has been the same the only difference was i am living healthier and meaningful now...

Philippines is having a struggle in stopping the spread of the virus, access to medicines and education about the conditions and rights of PLHIVA.

We have alot to do here to improve our situation.

Hope we can create linkages to help one another...

-CEBUPLUS-


Offline LM

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #46 on: September 10, 2011, 12:26:04 PM »
It's hard to answer this. I think that having HIV reminded me I'm not special, that I'm vulnerable. It made me accept the fact that some things in life will be out of my reach, but on the other hand, trying to sort out my professional life has become more urgent, as I'll need a good, stable job to take care of my health. So this may serve as a motivation.

At the same time, I've noticed some HIV+ people are jaded, so distant from other people and uncaring about their issues. They suffer because of it and then become self-centered in their pain. I didn't like that, and I certainly don't want to become like that. Why live if you're going to be a nasty person? I've been through many things in life and they all taught me to be closer to people, to know pain is part of living, and being there for each other is the best way to ease this pain and to make it more bearable.

But of course, I've learned much before in life that one should always fix his problems first and then worry about the others. You can't fix something or someone if you're broken yourself. So while dedicating yourself to the welfare of others makes life worth living, I know I should sort out all my problems first, including those related to HIV, before I think of anything else.

Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #47 on: September 10, 2011, 06:25:47 PM »

At the same time, I've noticed some HIV+ people are jaded, so distant from other people and uncaring about their issues... Why live if you're going to be a nasty person?


That wasn't a very kind or inspirational thing to say, especially the part in red.
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Offline phildinftlaudy

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #48 on: September 10, 2011, 10:30:52 PM »
At the same time, I've noticed some HIV+ people are jaded, so distant from other people and uncaring about their issues. They suffer because of it and then become self-centered in their pain. I didn't like that, and I certainly don't want to become like that. Why live if you're going to be a nasty person?
This reminded me of a story -
A man was always telling his friend how dirty his neighbors were and how he abhorred this.  He talked about it all the time - his neighbors were just so dirty - how could people live like this?  He talked about it so much that one day his friend said - "Let me come over your house and see what you are talking about..."  He went to the friends house and sat down at the kitchen table by the window - with a view of the neighbor's house.  He sat for a minute --- his friend said "Do you see what I am talking about?  Do you see how dirty they are? It's just pathetic!" 

His friend got up from the table, grabbed a paper towel and some glass cleaner - sprayed it on the windows --- and whaaaa laaaa the windows were clean and suddenly the neighbor's home didn't look so dirty anymore.

The moral of the story?  Sometimes it is our perspective that makes us think that others are jaded, distant, or uncaring --- even "dirty" --- when in fact, it may be our own issues or vision or perspective clouding our view..... many who may appear jaded, distant, or uncaring are actually empathetic, close to others, and understanding..... they have learned to live with this disease, with dignity, without shame, and with a heart and knowledge that knows that others can and should (for their own benefit and growth - as well as for the benefit of others who will follow in their path) do the same.
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline Joe K

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Re: How Has Your Diagnosis Changed Your Outlook On Life and Living?
« Reply #49 on: September 10, 2011, 11:53:41 PM »
The moral of the story?  Sometimes it is our perspective that makes us think that others are jaded, distant, or uncaring --- even "dirty" --- when in fact, it may be our own issues or vision or perspective clouding our view..... many who may appear jaded, distant, or uncaring are actually empathetic, close to others, and understanding..... they have learned to live with this disease, with dignity, without shame, and with a heart and knowledge that knows that others can and should (for their own benefit and growth - as well as for the benefit of others who will follow in their path) do the same.

Phil, this is stellar. You are wise far beyond your years.

 


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