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Author Topic: To plan ahead  (Read 2321 times)

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Offline Common_ground

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To plan ahead
« on: July 06, 2012, 10:38:31 AM »
Since I got dxed I have problems with how to plan for the future, pretty simple stuff like savings, work, education,travel etc etc.

There is, to me, a need to prioritize and try to adjust my life accordingly to my new hitchhiker HIV. I know a lot of you say, you have HIV but HIV doesnt have you, but the circumstances has changed, - to + , and I think it is appropriate to "dream" in line with this. This doesnt mean I let HIV rule my life but I think in the end I will be more comfortable to take HIV into the equation and let it be a part of me.

For instance I have decided to not save for my retirement, Im 27 now and that would be around 30 years away give or take. The reason is that I rather have a better quality of life now than later, if there even is a later. You get my point.

How do you think in terms of this?

It would be strange to live day by day and frankly I dont think anyone is able to function thinking like that, we all have worries, thoughts and dreams placed in the future. So how to make a fair balance between living for the day and still preserve some kind of "there is still more to come"?
     
2011 May - Neg.
2012 June CD4:205, 16% VL:2676 Start Truvada/Stocrin
2012 July  CD4:234, 18% VL:88
2012 Sep  CD4:238, 17% VL:UD
2013 Feb  CD4:257, 24% VL:UD -viramune/truvada
2013 May CD4:276, 26% VL:UD

Offline Rockin

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2012, 10:52:15 AM »
Since I got dxed I have problems with how to plan for the future, pretty simple stuff like savings, work, education,travel etc etc.

There is, to me, a need to prioritize and try to adjust my life accordingly to my new hitchhiker HIV. I know a lot of you say, you have HIV but HIV doesnt have you, but the circumstances has changed, - to + , and I think it is appropriate to "dream" in line with this. This doesnt mean I let HIV rule my life but I think in the end I will be more comfortable to take HIV into the equation and let it be a part of me.

For instance I have decided to not save for my retirement, Im 27 now and that would be around 30 years away give or take. The reason is that I rather have a better quality of life now than later, if there even is a later. You get my point.

How do you think in terms of this?

It would be strange to live day by day and frankly I dont think anyone is able to function thinking like that, we all have worries, thoughts and dreams placed in the future. So how to make a fair balance between living for the day and still preserve some kind of "there is still more to come"?
   

Common Im new here and plenty of people disagree with the things I said but here's what I think:

Im 30, found I had it a year ago but have probably been infected ever since 2010. Ive been taking meds for a year now. At this very moment Im completely healthy and my doctor is confident that I might live a long time and grow old.

You have not said anything about your current health, VL and CD4 so I don't know how well you are. But there are people here who have this thing ever since the 80's. And they are doing fine.

So why being so gloom? Sure, do not take HIV out of the equation, is part of you now. But dont be so negative into thinking youre not gonna live long enough to need a retirement plan. You still need to think about your future just like everyone else, HIV does not change that at all.

Offline Jeff G

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2012, 11:14:11 AM »
Since I got dxed I have problems with how to plan for the future, pretty simple stuff like savings, work, For instance I have decided to not save for my retirement, Im 27 now and that would be around 30 years away give or take. The reason is that I rather have a better quality of life now than later, if there even is a later. You get my point.

How do you think in terms of this?


If I were you I would plan as if I'm going to live forever . I cant begin to even put into words how strongly I feel about the advice I just gave you , I'm not saying it to cheer you up but I really believe it .

Some of us that were diagnosed in the 80's were certain we would not live 5 years and we lived our life like there was no tomorrow . I am one of those guys from the 80's , I'm 50 now and have lived over half my life poz and wish I had planned ahead ... god I wish I had planned ahead LOL .

Offline leatherman

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2012, 11:53:00 AM »
For instance I have decided to not save for my retirement, Im 27 now and that would be around 30 years away give or take. The reason is that I rather have a better quality of life now than later, if there even is a later. You get my point.
for many years now, studies have shown that people with proper treatment are living "normal" life spans. Quite frankly, your "plan" is the exact opposite of what is suggested to those who are newly diagnosed. Instead of being foolish with your money, life and future, you actually need to plan for living up into your 70s or 80s (or even your 90's or 100s! who knows? genetics and lifestyle have a hand also in how long one may live) and take the necessary precautions so that you don't live in poverty and misery in your senior years.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Offline mecch

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2012, 08:01:13 PM »
Common - how is your salary? Are you just scraping by or is there already some leeway to put away for retirement?

Secondly, what did you doctor say about your life expectancy. Mine says normal life expectancy.

Thirdly, I think you should count on retirement and I think you should watch Suze Orman. She will tell you to take advantage of your youth and the many years that your retirement money can build if you start putting a little bit away at your age.  If you have a decent salary, who knows, you might even be able to retire early!! 

On the other hand, if you are just scraping by, then I guess I understand the rationale not to worry too much about decades in the future.  Thats only human.

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

Offline emeraldize

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2012, 10:24:32 PM »
Since I got dxed I have problems with how to plan for the future, pretty simple stuff like savings, work, education,travel etc etc.

For instance I have decided to not save for my retirement, Im 27 now and that would be around 30 years away give or take. The reason is that I rather have a better quality of life now than later, if there even is a later. You get my point.

How do you think in terms of this?
   

You've asked how do I (any one of us reading your post) think in terms of this? I think if I have a job, I save something from every paycheck. I'd like very much to be your age again and read the Suze Orman texts I ended up reading at a much later age.

When I was your age I did not save with a true eye for the future. I also wasn't HIV positive. That would surely have been a layer of stress and uncertainty that only more scotch may have salved. I wasn't saving then, except in short-term ways for short-term goals.
 
Unless you stand to inherit and your attitude stems from that, I suggest you save as much as you can for as long as you can.  Figure out what amount of savings will give you a reasonable amount of life quality now and give you a buffer for the future, too. Don't starve yourself of fun, but make hay while the sun shines. Make savings a game. Envision that something curative or fantastic will happen from the continuing efforts of HIV research and you will be ready for that longer life, that trip to celebrate the health of the world taking a huge step forward.

Ever read any Suze Orman? I'm with Mecch about her advice-- reading it changed my life at one of its low points that was just a few years before my diagnosis.

Em

Offline Common_ground

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2012, 03:01:32 AM »
Im not buying in to the whole "normal life expectancy" story, sure we could all be alive but in what state? Science seems to be quite optimistic but from these forums I get another view, from the people actually living with HIV and not just reading from a book.

Ive read plenty of posts from the LTSs who have been living with this virus, and "luckily" are still alive and the majority seems to be in such agony and pain, both physically and mentally, that I wonder If they feel so bad then how the hell am I possibly going to live another 10-20 years past the age of 40. And if I wont die of AIDS well then the meds sure will do the trick, so they say.

Am I all doom and gloom? Maybe, maybe not, only time will tell. I guess what I am looking for is some kind of assessment method or way to look at the chances for living x years, be it 10, 20 or 40,the number itself doesnt matter to me, but a piece of mind does.

@ Rockin - I dont have my stats right now but Im healthy and on meds. Im about 1 year poz, diagnosed a month ago.

@ jg and leatherman - I both "know you" through your posts here on this forum and your posts is just what I need to hear. You both been in the game for a long time and your a huge inspiration. I better start saving now :)

@ Mecch - I have some savings,about average for my age. Enough to stay off work for a year or so at least. Ive met two doctors so far, they were much more pessimistic than the replies seen here and did not want to discuss life expectancy. One told me the ol "Hit by a bus" story, which I felt was no more than a big insult.

@ Em - I will take a look at Suze Orman. Sounds promising.

2011 May - Neg.
2012 June CD4:205, 16% VL:2676 Start Truvada/Stocrin
2012 July  CD4:234, 18% VL:88
2012 Sep  CD4:238, 17% VL:UD
2013 Feb  CD4:257, 24% VL:UD -viramune/truvada
2013 May CD4:276, 26% VL:UD

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2012, 03:17:55 AM »
I'm an LTS. My experience counts for shit?

"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 Grasshopper

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2012, 04:14:10 AM »
sure we could all be alive but in what state?

And that's just why it's imperative to start planning ahead, so you can at least maintain some (financial) peace of mind (when or if, shit hits the fan) in the future.
I'm quite comfortable today, because I did some serious planning 20 years ago !

« Last Edit: July 07, 2012, 05:33:17 AM by Grasshopper »

Offline emeraldize

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2012, 07:19:05 AM »
Hiya CG,

Great -- you've got twice the recommended savings to cover loss of income near-term. And, it reads as if you're employed and if so, I hope you've got health insurance. So, you're already capable of delaying gratification and planning ahead.

Perhaps more important than reading Suze Orman or the daily news is your health care provision and its impact on your view of the future.

Do you have a selection of HIV docs near you? Unless I had zero alternatives, I would fire a practitioner if he/she spoke in less than optimistic terms to me were I as freshly diagnosed as you or any other patient for that matter unless it was apparent there was nothing left to be done (for any medical state be it HIV, cancer, organ transplant indicated, etc.).

But I also see within your post a clue to another aspect of life to adjust to. You wrote "I guess what I am looking for is some kind of assessment method or way to look at the chances for living x years, be it 10, 20 or 40,the number itself doesnt matter to me, but a piece of mind does." I think the number does matter to you and if you had it that would give you some peace of mind.

So try to adjust to the fact that there is no true assessment -- it's all a crap shoot whether you're positive or negative. Watching my high school chum succumb to cancer at age 19 was my first experience of the nonexistence of accurate forecasts of the length of life. How about if you estimate it? Wanna have 40 more years? Live until you're 70? Keep saving and take care of yourself including getting a doc whose attitude is aligned with yours to help you achieve that long lifespan.

Em




Offline Common_ground

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2012, 09:14:35 AM »
Em , I do have numerous docs to choose from. I didnt like my first one although he was optimistic and all. My current doc is more personal and sure to also look after my emotional health. So i prefer someone being straight and up front about the disease but telling me in a friendly way, kind of.

I read some statistics and I didnt fall into any of the high risk categories (coinfection,age,cd4 and OIs) so I guess for short term Im at least ok, and people seems to be doing quite ok even thou theyre +, of course you could be the outlier but lets hope not.

It might be that Im new to all this and just dont know what to expect. When I was diagnosed I felt and thought I was dead and that it was just a matter of days or weeks. I still carry this feeling, I might be young but to me HIV is a death sentence, that was what I knew when I got dxed and its hard to change that perception you kept for 10 years since high school.Some people talk about stigma or not finding a partner, to me HIV is not about this, its about being alive.
2011 May - Neg.
2012 June CD4:205, 16% VL:2676 Start Truvada/Stocrin
2012 July  CD4:234, 18% VL:88
2012 Sep  CD4:238, 17% VL:UD
2013 Feb  CD4:257, 24% VL:UD -viramune/truvada
2013 May CD4:276, 26% VL:UD

Offline emeraldize

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2012, 10:53:34 AM »
Hi CG,

Thanks for taking the time to explain a little more. I think you're in that absolutely normal phase of looking at every nook and cranny of what's going to happen. Unless one is extraordinarly laid back about traumatic events, I expect this.

I'll bet a year from now (or less) you won't be thinking about duration of life, but instead grocery shopping, new recipes, family and all the normal stuff.

It is a big deal to be diagnosed positive, but like all big deals, it will settle down and find its place on the scale of importance.

Comparatively, I look at what others deal with and I can say well, I'll take HIV over World Trade Center post-crash jet fuel having melted my face and body, or stage IV metatastic breast cancer (colleague just got that dx last month), and so on. I have used that comparative exercise on those isolated days of I'll never this again, or I'll never that again. I might start with I have a lower jaw and can chew my food, I have lips, I'm ambulatory, I'm not writing from the psych ward, I have a couple friends and a nice family, I live in a democratic, developing country. That kind of stuff helps beat the Doom Dragon down -- measurably. There are people on this forum who are struggling in ways that make me wish I had a magic money wand to wave over them and their countries.

Anyhoo...I'm glad you have a choice of docs and that you've got some standards for your care givers. Yay!

Take care.
Em

Offline Common_ground

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2012, 11:22:39 AM »
I can relate to comparing with other people. Destiny, fate and how things can take a turn without prior notice and also how damn fortunate many of us are!

I got great healthcare,food, money in the bank, a girlfriend and all the chances in the world to make something out of my life.

I mean, take a step back, look at all the people around the world, things could be a hundred times worse!

When I read the newspaper about people dying I often think " They never saw it coming, poor bastards" and here I am still alive whining about my condition which isnt even , for now, affecting me at all.
 
I did the plane crash, I did the random act of violence, the other day I also read about some trapped minors, horrible way to die.

Happiness is always within reach, in our minds.

You too take care Em.

,

C   
2011 May - Neg.
2012 June CD4:205, 16% VL:2676 Start Truvada/Stocrin
2012 July  CD4:234, 18% VL:88
2012 Sep  CD4:238, 17% VL:UD
2013 Feb  CD4:257, 24% VL:UD -viramune/truvada
2013 May CD4:276, 26% VL:UD

Offline emeraldize

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2012, 11:48:34 AM »
Hey! You've got a girlfriend, too?

Now, that's fabulous and I would add that for you, happiness is not only within reach within your mind, but within your arms.

PS -- Let's make a variation on your "random act of violence" and add "random act of virus" -- we are no doubt on other peoples' compare lists. 
Item 4. I don't have HIV.   
This was fun. Have a good balance of the weekend, heh?



Offline wolfter

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2012, 11:52:39 AM »
I believe you're dealing with a lot of issues we all feel when first diagnosed.  A lot of us from the early days tended to live for the moment and not plan for the future since there wouldn't be one.  I was fortunate to have a partner who was more optimistic about the future.

He urged me to participate in my employee stock purchase and matching retirement programs and then later into PERS and FERS.  I would have rather bought more shoes. ;D

I already had my nursing license and didn't see the need to further my education; why waste what time was left in a classroom?  But again I was encouraged to live as if end would be a long time off.  I've since obtained a couple more degrees and am considering another one.

There should be a balance between living for the day and planning for the future.  Live and try to accomplish all that you wished for.  I once complained that I'd be 40 years old before I graduated the last time and Bill reminded me that I'd be 40 regardless. 

In the event that something should happen to you before you retire, then you prepared needlessly.  But it's a better option than living to be old without the resources needed to survive.  I still have another 20 years to go to see the fruits of my planning but at least I don't have to worry if I live to be that age.

You also mention that many of us complain about aging with this disease, but if you sit around with a group of HIV- folks our age, you'll hear a lot of the same bitching and complaining. ;)  It's still better than the alternative.

Take care and best wishes.
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline Billy B

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2012, 11:58:48 AM »
Hello CG:

"When I read the newspaper about people dying I often think " They never saw it coming, poor bastards" and here I am still alive whining about my condition which isn't even , for now, affecting me at all."

Exactly! It kind of sounds like you have a fatalistic attitude. You need to save all the money you can and if things do go south later in your life you will have a big pile of cash for your bucket list. 

Billy
VL 4420 CD4 340 CD4% 24   3/15/10 Started I&T
VL  UD   CD4 340 CD4% 26.5 05/13/10
VL  UD   CD4 360 CD4% 27.1 08/3/10
VL  UD   CD4 310 CD4% 28.4 11/22/10
VL  UD   CD4 420 CD4% 27.9 02/11/11
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 26.4 06/08/11
VL  UD   CD4 360 CD4% 27.7 09/23/11
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 28.3 01/20/12
VL  UD   CD4 430 CD4% 28.8 05/11/12
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 28.1 09/07/12
VL  UD   CD4 390 CD4% 32.3 03/14/13

Offline Ann

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2012, 12:16:09 PM »

There are people on this forum who are struggling in ways that make me wish I had a magic money wand to wave over them and their countries.


You and me both, sweetie.

CG, I agree with the others. Save for your future and start now. I wish I had done that when I was your age.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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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 Rockin

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2012, 03:36:57 PM »
Ive read plenty of posts from the LTSs who have been living with this virus, and "luckily" are still alive and the majority seems to be in such agony and pain, both physically and mentally, that I wonder If they feel so bad then how the hell am I possibly going to live another 10-20 years past the age of 40. And if I wont die of AIDS well then the meds sure will do the trick, so they say.

Am I all doom and gloom? Maybe, maybe not, only time will tell. I guess what I am looking for is some kind of assessment method or way to look at the chances for living x years, be it 10, 20 or 40,the number itself doesnt matter to me, but a piece of mind does.

I know what you mean there...Im also new to the forum and I do read a lot of "doom posts" of people who are either struggling with their meds or mental health.

But I do believe that its silly to let a few people who are going through some bad stuff get the best of you. There are all kinds of people, regardless of their health situation. So some people are completely negative, some people find out they were poz once their VL was already very high, which can make things more difficult...some people were already suffering from mental problems before the HIV...

And then there are some people that are completely fine, people who have been poz for over 20 years. So there's no reason to "not buy the normal life expectancy" thing.

We all can get sick or get hit by a car tomorrow. Does that mean we should not think about our future? I do think about it...and I do hope that someday I might have kids, why not? Hell, maybe even grandkids.

Unless life proves me otherwise, I still think I can do it all.

Offline mecch

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2012, 08:38:29 PM »
Common_ground.  Do not apply the experience of LTS's to your own.  You are how old?  You never went through years of no hope. NO treatments. Then bad treatments. Not to mention the deaths and sadness all around. 
Please have a frank talk with your HIV doc about life expectancy.  You have misunderstood something essential.  The HAART is not poison. And it seems to me it gets better every 5 years or so. Who knows what the future will hold. I do know diagnosed in my mid-40s just a few years ago, my docs told me normal life expectancy and assured me the medicine WORKS and is not poison.  So I just take their word for it. I'm not trained in medicine or science and who am I to argue?
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: To plan ahead
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2012, 12:56:33 AM »
Well, this is a support forum. I imagine a larger percentage of people who utilize this forum will need information, support, or help. These aren't going to be the "no issue" people you might find in abundance in real life.

I personally find an equal amount of "suffering" and issues among the newly diagnosed as I find among the LTS folks.

Sometimes we jump our fence and roam around a but amongst the general pop. We are often, usually rounded up and corralled back into our respective forums.

But LIVING WITH HIV continues to be a forum where oldies and newbies are allowed, even encouraged to mix. Let's let that happen and take our respective experiences with our individual grains of salt.

Doesn't mean you can use a calendar to throw someone's experiential baby out with the bathwater.

There are twenty year olds who have studied their virus and who bring great knowledge to the table. And there are sixty year olds whose experience and adventures can serve as a guidepost to the rest of us.

I guess the trick is to discern who is full of wisdom and knowledge, and who is full of shit.

I suggest that as long as people with wisdom and experience have free reign to post here, those who don't know what the fuck they are talking about will be gently (or not) reminded that they have much to learn.

Odd. how some here assume that these people are part of some "clique."

If there is a clique, it is the general understanding that some members here are contributors to the site and it's vast library of current information.

Just because, a member, say, provides ample lemon bar recipes does not for a moment mean that this same member can't help with ADAP information or treatment guidelines.

Just because a member is cranky and blunt doesn't mean that his information isn't valuable and legitimate.

I submit that the things you want to hear the most might be the things you NEED to hear the least.

to the OP, the idea of providing for your own future is predicated on the notion that such future is afforded to him. Our collective wisdom and experience - along with the current scientific data - more than supports this assertion. PLAN for a long life.

If anything, over-plan. Because the newly diagnosed are in the most need for long-term access to the medication and monitoring that make the difference in HIV infection.

Certainly wish I had gotten the HAART memo in 1993. As it stands, I am broke and at the mercy of the state. Not a great place to be - and in the current climate, not a place out of which it is remotely possible to get.

"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

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