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Less than 2 weeks since positive diagnoses

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actonye:
Hi everyone,
Not sure where to start here. After going through medical school and being a doctor for 7 years, having my family look at me as the golden child, and now to be diagnosed with hiv? I had always been the advocate for safe sex, advising all my friends and anyone who cares to listen to practice safe sex, and then I get infected, still very confused as to how it happened. My ex has refused to answer my calls since my diagnoses.
I'm so scared as to what this means for my medical careear. I live in ireland and was planning on moving to the states to continue my medical training, now that's a dream that will never happen.
I'm so worried about my future, I can't tell my parents. My consultant tells me it'll be alright, but how can I ever be alright. As another healthcare professional, I would like to talk to anyone who out there is in the same situation as me . Please I'm severely depressed and feeling really suicidal at the moment .. Not sure if life is still worth living now..

tednlou2:
If you are feeling suicidal, please seek care immediately.  It is cliche, but suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  Well, the virus isn't temporary, but these feelings you're having are. 

Why can't you still come to the U.S. to further your training?  HIV doesn't change that.  Do you not have a friend to confide in?  Keep in touch here.  As a doctor, suicide would send the message that if you are infected with a virus or ill with something, then why try to live and get medical treatment?  You may as well just kill yourself.  I know you don't want to give that message.  Obviously, someone considering suicide isn't thinking clearly.  But, put that medical training to work.  See someone for your depression. 

I think from what you said, you have so many expectations on your shoulders.  This is the mistake many parents make.  It is good to be proud of your child, but don't make them feel that they have to be 100% perfect.  Many professionals, like medical students, do commit suicide in large numbers, because so much is expected of them. 

I hope to hear that you have sought out treatment for the depression.  Do this tomorrow, please.  Actually, in Ireland, the sun should be up soon.  There are other medical professionals here.  Actually, one just made a post looking for other med professionals. 

Things will get better.  Keep in touch. 

Ted

Souledout:
I'm quite new to this too so I can easily remember the world shattering impact of the diagnosis. I can tell you that it gets easier, now HIV only occupies about half my thoughts ;) I echo the post above about seeking help, there will be some available (although I'm still waiting on counselling and I was diagnosed in September.a right ballache that I can tel you).

I also completely share your confusion about how you got it. I played safe 100% of the time for anything other than oral sex, must've been some tiny break I missed. Some people are just unlucky I guess. Very unlucky.

If you're completely isolated, come to Manchester, we'll have a beer. I don't know any other positive people so I'm kinda feeling a bit cut off myself.

And remember - it does get easier, don't do anything rash. You'll get through it and it'll make you far stronger than you could possibly imagine :)

Danigirl:
Hello Actonye,

I'm sorry to hear that you tested positive, I know how devastating it feels when you are first diagnosed.  My husband just tested positive last month...me...negative so far.  Apparently, he has had it for years without knowing. 

We are both in the medical field.  My main concern was his exposure to sick patients and him getting sick. Working in a hospital as you probably already know, sometimes patients come in for one thing and you come back the next day and that patient is in isolation after you worked with them all shift the day before.  So, I was concerned about his exposure while having an already compromised immune system.  In the beginning we even played with the idea of him switching professions.  After informing ourselves further on HIV we decided that it is not necessary.  As long as he takes his medication and eats healthy, exercise, etc. everything should be fine.  Besides, he loves what he does way too much to quit. 

I know it is a lot to take in but you are not by any means alone.  There are plenty of people in the medical field who are HIV+ as well.  Your life is NOT over! What you have is a chronic condition that can be managed not a death sentence.  Furthermore, you do not have to disclose your status to anyone unless you want to so that is not an issue. 

Please seek help if you are feeling suicidal. You can get through this!

mecch:
actonye

I asked some questions after your post in the thread about Health professionals with HIV.

Now I see the answers here.

You are all topsy turvy from this shocking diagnosis.  However, keep in mind, you are not going to die. And you do have legal protections in Ireland against employment discrimination for HIV, which is considered a disability.

You can inform yourself of your rights, here:
http://www.equality.ie/en/Contact-Us/

I realise just because the law protects against discrimination, that it doesn't always shake out so lollipop perfect in reality...  But still....

Seems like you should contact an HIV / aids service organisation, such as the one in Dublin,
http://www.dublinaidsalliance.ie/index.php?page=community-support

or, in fact, ANY kind of social service / crisis center that can offer you a discrete and professional person to talk to about some of your distraught emotions. 

You have a right to all your feelings - but you really need to address this extreme shame and disappointment in yourself, and quickly. 

Since you are a doctor, you know that your diagnosis is not a death sentence, but for the moment, you seemed overwhelmed by this heaping dose of reality - in the form of bad news - slamming against an image you have created for yourself, and one which perhaps others foisted upon you.

Time to shove all that "how it should be" off your shoulders and just deal with the reality.  You'll be more powerful, more your true self, and more grounded when all is said and done...

And, there is no reason you can't still be the "golden boy" with HIV.  You got your career, your mind, your ambition, please don't throw it away cause of some temporary emotional crisis.  Or how others might view you.  Or shame..


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