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Author Topic: Recently diagnosed; not that bothered?  (Read 3588 times)

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Offline shemhazai

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Recently diagnosed; not that bothered?
« on: October 07, 2011, 08:04:44 PM »
Hey everyone, long time lurker first time poster.

I was diagnosed poz about a month ago [I knew something was up as it was the first time I ever got a flat-out refusal to get my results over the phone, and they had all been negative for everything up until this point]. It was a shock but at the same time I was kind of complacent about protection so to a degree it wasn't a totally alien idea. Anyway because I caught it so soon [last neg test was in March; seroconverted in June; tested in August] I am pretty lucky so far - CD4 is 560, and VL is in the ~8000 region, which means no meds until my next test, in a fortnight's time.

One thing I've always thought...I thought my life would be over if I got infected, but I'm feeling pretty upbeat about things, and curiously, that's what makes me feel weird. That I should be more concerned and upset than I actually am? I don't identify as a bugchaser by any means, but now that I have "it", I feel...different. Like it was almost a push in the right direction, to get me to notice my health more and take control of things that weren't really under control before, which are good things...I just wonder if I should grieve more over it?

Offline mecch

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Re: Recently diagnosed; not that bothered?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2011, 08:29:33 PM »
One thing I've always thought...I thought my life would be over if I got infected, but I'm feeling pretty upbeat about things, and curiously, that's what makes me feel weird. That I should be more concerned and upset than I actually am? I don't identify as a bugchaser by any means, but now that I have "it", I feel...different. Like it was almost a push in the right direction, to get me to notice my health more and take control of things that weren't really under control before, which are good things...I just wonder if I should grieve more over it?


Welcome.
Well nobody is going to give you a lecture because you are taking a seroconversion in stride.  It will take time to see how it all shakes out as to the shock it may or may not have caused. Thank your stars you haven't had an emotional crisis.
That said, your paragraph above is filled with contradictions.
On the one hand, you said you always thought your life would be over. NOw that it happened, you seem to have a shrug it off casualness.

 Like it was almost a push in the right direction, to get me to notice my health more and take control of things that weren't really under control before, which are good things..

That sentence gave me pause.  Since you did not describe anything about your life or health up to now, except that you were lazy about safe sex.  Getting HIV - well it certainly is NOT the easiest or most rational way to teach yourself to have safe sex.  You dont mention drinking, drugging, eating poorly, smoking, driving too fast, or walking around dangerous dark alleys.  So what exactly was out of whack. And for any of the above, I also submit that getting a life-threatening disease is not the rational way to correct a bad habit or lifestyle.

I'd say more answers will come eventually but think twice about casually giving props to HIV for putting a life back on track.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Recently diagnosed; not that bothered?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 12:39:33 AM »
Welcome!

I suspect that for many of us, grief is not a huge coffin and an elaborate funeral. For some, grief, such as it is, comes in dribs and drabs, one incident at a time.

First dating refusal. The moments when you see DDF UB2 on a dating profile. The AIDS jokes told by people at a club. The reluctance to disclose to the question "any chronic or infectious illnesses" on a job interview.

There are many times when you might find yourself grieving a simpler life. Personally, I think it might be healthier to grieve the things that happen, rather than grieve all the things that MIGHT happen (or even WILL happen, just not today).

Might come a time when it crashes down.  That's how it worked for me. I was totally OK for three months, took care of all the things one does when one tests positive (finding a doc, telling the folks and friends, etc) and then blammo. I was a nutcase for a while. Such is the way of things.

Better now, not always OK, sometimes a twang of alien-ness in this world. But after 17 years, not so awful, considering.

BTW it is not HIV that does good things to your life. Nor is it cancer, or the death of a parent, or a crippling accident. Those are things from the external that happen. What puts your life back on track is the stuff you are made of, the stuff that handles the things that happen.

YOU are the force of change, for better or worse. Not HIV or anything else.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline shemhazai

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Re: Recently diagnosed; not that bothered?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 01:14:25 AM »
@ Mecch:
I didn't mean to word it as such - my health was more things like weight, smoking, things like that, and I guess I worded it poorly that it was an "upside", rather than the "change I needed", which in hindsight is irresponsible. I guess I'm trying to find positives about the experience, so I don't get bogged down in all the negatives. That, and I don't have a comparison in my past experience for how my mind would deal with something like this; so naturally I sort of wonder how other people felt when they got diagnosed. I felt like the floor dropped away but about a week down the track, the parachute finally opened...

@jkinatl2:
Ironically, I've heard more AIDS jokes in the last month out of the blue than I had in the last ten-odd years of knowing what it actually was. One of those things, like when you learn a word and then for some reason it jumps up everywhere. I do occasionally have "grieving thoughts", and always that little part of you that feels somewhat sad when someone specifies they're looking for HIV- people.

Thank you both for the welcome! One thing that I have found here is how much more reassuring it is to hear from another poz person that while it's bad, it's not the end of the world. My nurse and doctor have been amazing in making sure I'm doing okay, but the best reassurance is from people who've had it for years and are still living as happy and healthy as they can.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 01:42:32 AM by shemhazai »

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Recently diagnosed; not that bothered?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 02:11:28 AM »
Hi Shemhazai,

Soz about your diagnosis. But Welcome.

While it's great you've been emotionally strong so far I'd say try not to view your diagnosis as a logical conclusion to your life-style choices, or something that was needed to make you turn a new leaf, or a life changing catalyst for the better.  HIV is a virus and has no morals. It's a life-threatening, incurable disease and that can't be seen in a positive light no matter how prettily one dresses it up.

It always makes me happy to see someone who's mentally cool about their diagnosis though, cos falling into a pit of weeping hysterics and grief for long periods never does anyone good.  However, I think sometimes letting go of yourself and grieving the end of an era of your life (and it is) can be quite cathartic and help you move on.

That said, I think it's awesome that you're choosing to see the bright side and not dwelling on the negative aspects too much since I'm sure you know that although it's a terrible virus, it is not the end of the world.

For a glass half empty, it is half full.  :)

Best
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 05:31:02 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 SetList

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  • Year One: Dealing
Re: Recently diagnosed; not that bothered?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2012, 10:48:53 AM »
I can relate.  I tested pos a month ago... and although it's so unlike me, I almost passed out upon hearing the news.  I was devastated.  Then... I quickly got educated.  And set up doc appoints, a counseling appointment, etc.  I'm taking the approach of doing everything I can that I can TODAY for my health, and putting the worry on the shelf. 

Here's my POINT... my whole life I feared I'd test pos.  But I never fully researched the disease.  I'm certainly not "OK" with it.  But from what I've read it seems so much better than I feared.  I still feel like "me."  It's not as bad as I feared (granted I feared the worse).  I know I have a LONG way to go, but I never dreamed I'd be as calm about this disease as I am right now. 

I do expect a roller coaster... I know it will all get worse and better and worse and better.

 


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