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Author Topic: New Member, just got my results  (Read 17889 times)

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Offline gavelkind

  • Member
  • Posts: 23
New Member, just got my results
« on: March 22, 2013, 06:18:20 PM »
Hello everyone. I've been reading this site for a while and decided to officially introduce myself.

I am 28 and live in NYC and I tested positive just a month ago. A few years back I was severely depressed and self-destructive. I had unprotected sex a few times as a result. A year ago, things in my life started getting better and I went back to using condoms, but I did not get tested because I was afraid of the results. I kept telling myself I wasn't + because I never got sick, and I didn't get the flu even though my two roomates did. Anyway, I finally had the courage to do it last month and my worst fears were confirmed.

I suppose I've been handling this well. I'll get depressed over it but not in the same way I was depressed a few years ago (meaning I'm not being self-destructive). I've started going to the doctor and had my first batch of results come in. My cell count is at 880 (this is great!) and my viral load count is at 130K (I guess that means I'm highly infectious?). We are waiting on my drug resistance tests to figure out what medicine I should go on. I've also spoken to my doctor about seeing a therapist/psychologist. I've always thought that was bs, but I'm afraid of getting depressed again since that's when I become self-destructive. In a way, I'm more afraid of my depression than I am of having hiv. 

I guess that's it.
2/13- Diagnosed
3/13- CD4,  885/39%   VL, 135,542
5/13- CD4,  867/46%   VL, 553
6/13- CD4,  720/42%   VL, 32
7/13- CD4,  1095/36%  VL, <20
10/13- CD4, 884/47%   VL, 42
1/14- CD4,  1165/48%  VL, 31
2/14- CD4,  1214/46%  VL, <20
5/14- CD4,  1715/49%  VL, <20

Offline mitch777

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,357
  • wish i were here
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2013, 06:30:46 PM »
Welcome Gavelkind!

Don't beat yourself up for what happened in the past.

It sounds like you are dealing with this in a healthy way.
Getting the diagnosis is a bit of a heavy load to say the least.

In hindsight, I wish that I had gone to get help on an emotional level when I first learned of my status.
It's really not as frightening as you may think.
In fact, it is not frightening at all, just helpful! :)

I'm sure more advice will be coming to you from other members here.

Looking forward to hearing more from you.

m.


31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline WillyWump

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,098
  • PLEASE no masturbating to this pic!
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 09:43:04 PM »
Hi Gavel, Welcome aboard.

You've got some nice CD4's there. Once you start meds and get your VL Undectable then you may even raise the CD4 level even more.

As far as the therapist, yes I would definitely say go for it! It's not BS  ;)

-Will
POZ since '08

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

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline tednlou2

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,758
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 10:31:10 PM »
Welcome to the forums.  I am sorry you're here, but nice to meet you.  It is good you got the courage to test.  I was too afraid to test for years.  I had a very strong feeling I was likely poz, but I kept my head in the sand.  I did test anonymously, but was too afraid to return for the results.  So, I ended up finding out after getting pretty ill. 

About seeing a therapist-- I now see one every couple weeks.  I've found it beneficial to be able to discuss fears and issues.  I've had those feelings that I'm paying someone to talk, and he usually tells me things I already know.  I mean, I am fairly self-aware and know my issues and faults.  However, there have been a few times that he's gotten me to see things from a different perspective.  So, I think it is beneficial for that, and to just talk. 

Anyway, all the best, and keep in touch.

Ted

Offline wolfter

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,344
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013, 07:02:36 AM »
Welcome Gavel.  Looking forward to hearing more from you.

Wolfie
productivity breeds content

Offline texaninnyc87

  • Member
  • Posts: 245
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2013, 02:37:22 PM »
Welcome to the forums, theres a ton of great information on here. I'm in NYC too and was diagnosed in September. I started going to a support group for newly diagnosed gay guys in their 20's that was really helpful. There's lots of great resources here in the city so it's not a bad place to be if you're positive. Sorry to hear about you dx but glad you're getting the help you need!
Dxd: 9/11/12
Blot confirmed: 11/12
12/12 cd4: 280 (20%) vl: 129,000
1/13 $tribild
2/13 cd4: 350 (26%) vl: 80
4/13 cd4: 510 (29%) vl:: 35
6/13cd4 350 (31%) vl: 21
9/13 cd4 492 (30%) vl: ud
12/13 cd4 846 (36%) vl: 100
1/14 cd4 480 (31%) vl: UD
3/14 cd4 650 (33%) vl: UD
6/14 cd4 410 (35%) vl: UD

Offline gavelkind

  • Member
  • Posts: 23
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 11:16:05 PM »
Hey everyone! Thanks for the replies.

Slowly but surely I've been feeling better. Granted, I'm becoming a hardcore pothead which does worry me a bit. Otherwise, I've been eating healthy, drinking less alcohol and more water, and exercising. I still haven't talked to anyone I know besides my Dr. but reading about it online has helped.

I see my Dr next monday and we'll go over what meds I need. The following week I see a psychiatrist and that should be interesting since I'm horrible at talking about issues and tend to convince others I'm fine even when I'm not. Part of me feels like I won't be honest and instead say what I think they want me to say. I guess i'm afraid they'll put me on additional drugs and that makes me uncomfortable. At the same time, I think I smoke so much pot because I'm self-medicating. I look forward to taking meds for hiv but not for being crazy and I'm sure I'll get diagnosed with something.
2/13- Diagnosed
3/13- CD4,  885/39%   VL, 135,542
5/13- CD4,  867/46%   VL, 553
6/13- CD4,  720/42%   VL, 32
7/13- CD4,  1095/36%  VL, <20
10/13- CD4, 884/47%   VL, 42
1/14- CD4,  1165/48%  VL, 31
2/14- CD4,  1214/46%  VL, <20
5/14- CD4,  1715/49%  VL, <20

Offline songs06

  • Member
  • Posts: 114
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 09:49:03 AM »
good thing you live in NYC, there must lots of support groups. when i learned my test result almost 1 year ago, i was devastated and wished for a group therapy, just to hear how other people lived through that horrible days. but you seem to doing good for a starter.
18.03.2012 - infected.
14.04.2012 - first positive elisa - UD western blot
30.04.2012 - western blot confirmation positive
03.05.2012 - first lab- CD4: 256   VL: 2.3 M
01.06.2012 - sec lab- CD4: 390 (end of ARS)
01.07.2012 - third lab- CD4: 388 VL: 150.000
11.07.2012 - Started Truvada + Kaletra
04.08.2012 - CD4: 401 VL: 3800
30.09.2012 - CD4: 510 VL: 709
04.01.2013 - CD4: 650 VL: UD! (aka 20)
01.04.2013 - CD4: 460 VL: UD
09.2013 - CD4: 510
02.2014 - CD4: 490

Offline positivelynerd

  • Member
  • Posts: 33
  • Life isn't a struggle, it's a wiggle.
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2013, 01:21:13 PM »
Hey Gavel,

Sorry about the diagnosis, but you've come to a good place.  I tested positive in September and it's been a roller coaster ride.  There's tons of information out there but don't overwhelm yourself!  It's actually incredibly brave for you to seek out medical and psychological help so quickly, it's going to do you a world of good. 

Like you, I'm not one to express my feelings and inner thoughts well, especially in a face-to-face meeting with a stranger, but they are there to help you.  In fact, they WANT to help you, and if they were referred to you by your doctor (who is, I'm assuming, experienced in hiv treatment), they've dealt with what you're going through.  Be honest about what you're feeling. 

What I did the first couple of weeks after my diagnosis, I started a journal.  Yeah it sounds cheesy, but it's incredibly therapeutic.  It helps you really wrestle with some of your thoughts, especially if you haven't told anyone yet, and that gives you a chance to get more comfortable with what you're feeling before you talk to the psychiatrist.  Plus, in the months since, it's been nice to go back to those first entries, hear the darkness I was in, and realize just how far I've come.

Best of luck with your doctor on Monday, keep us posted. 

Good health, hope, and love,
-D
5/25/12 Seroconversion
9/25/12 Diagnosed
10/12/12: VL- 799k, CD4 285
10/25/12 VL- 599k, CD4 274 
Started Sustiva + Epzicom
11/8/12: VL- 1790, CD4 412, 24%,
11/20/12: VL- 1470, CD4 350, 28%
12/19/12: VL- 584, CD4 293, 24%
1/16/13: VL- 411, CD4 404, 27%
2/13/13: VL- 314, CD4 523, 20%
3/13/13: VL- 171, CD4 404, 26%
4/10/13: VL- 96, CD4 397, 27%
5/8/13: VL- UD, CD4 422, 26%
6/5/13: VL- UD, CD4 462, 31%
7/24/13: VL- UD, CD4 559, 33%

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." -A. Einstein

Offline Souledout

  • Member
  • Posts: 145
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2013, 09:39:01 AM »
I second the journal idea. Just after I was diagnosed I poured EVERYTHING out onto paper, it helped unburden myself of so much darkness and depression. I did think I would go back to it but haven't felt the need recently.

Infection sometime April-August, no noticable seroconversion symptoms
Not currently on medication
13/09/12 CD4 672 (33%) VL <40 (diagnosis date)
18/09/12 CD4 ?               VL 43
27/09/12 CD4 ?               VL 127
19/11/12 CD4 676 (38%) VL 959
03/03/13 CD4 642 (32%) VL 291
04/07/13 CD4 791 (33%) VL 26,437 (active cold sore, tooth infection)
18/07/13 ------retest------VL 3704
18/11/13 CD4 802 (36%) VL 65

Offline anmlvrnyc

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2013, 04:43:40 PM »
hello gavelkind,
sorry about your diagnosis. i was diagnosed 2 years ago. i was very depressed and all i could think about was killing myself. but one day i realized that i couldn't leave my dogs. i knew i had to take care of them no matter how difficult my life was.
also i couldn't give up on my career.
pretty soon i stopped reading about hiv and started reading novels. also i started writing a blog about my raw feelings about my diagnosis and my life. i didn't care whoever was reading it. that was my therapy.
eventually and gradually i stopped thinking about hiv and started living my life. hiv is just another word to describe me like my eyes are brown or whatever. hiv doesn't define who i am.
i hope you find your own way to deal with this soon. you will be fine.
keep living.

Offline gavelkind

  • Member
  • Posts: 23
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2013, 11:31:50 PM »
Thanks for the kind words guys. Yeah, I've been keeping a "journal" and feel that's helped me. I keep thinking about 20+ years from now reading it and feeling proud of my journey. :)

I saw the Dr again today. I'm going to start medications tomorrow. I was supposed to do it tonight, but then going to the pharmacy, I looked at the pharmacist, made eye contact, got paranoid and ran out like a scared little girl. Well, no, but you get the point. I'll definitely do it tomorrow though. My Dr wants me to take 3 different pills a day which surprised me. He said I shouldn't take Atripla because I guess that's not a good drug for crazy people. :) I asked about Stribild and he suggested against it saying I should wait a year because of it's unknown side effects on livers. Not sure that convinced me. He said that if I do well for my first year, that he would switch me to a one pill a day thing. He mentioned some new drug coming out that wont have unknown side effects on the liver and how that'd be a better fit for me.

I joked to my Dr that I was disappointed I couldn't take Atripla because I wanted to experience trippy dreams. He said I'd probably have nightmares instead which kind of sounded even more appealing in a way since I love scary stories. I wanted some trippy dreams out of this damn it!

And hell yeah, I get dental now. I kind of feel rich now with all this access to healthcare. :)   
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 11:37:28 PM by gavelkind »
2/13- Diagnosed
3/13- CD4,  885/39%   VL, 135,542
5/13- CD4,  867/46%   VL, 553
6/13- CD4,  720/42%   VL, 32
7/13- CD4,  1095/36%  VL, <20
10/13- CD4, 884/47%   VL, 42
1/14- CD4,  1165/48%  VL, 31
2/14- CD4,  1214/46%  VL, <20
5/14- CD4,  1715/49%  VL, <20

Offline tednlou2

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,758
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 01:01:36 AM »
Here in the suburbs, we have drive-thru pharmacy windows.  They are a great way to feel like you're at McDonalds..lol.  It is good you have a sense of humor about it.  I remember being ashamed of my Bactrim prescription.  Ashamed may not be the right word.  I just felt they would now know I was poz.  I had gone there for years, and they got to know me.  I thought it was exclusively used for AIDS-related OI prevention.  I later learned it is used for other things.  My mom was on it recently.  But, in any event, I am sure they knew the office on the script was an HIV medical office.  But, I think I am over that feeling.

Anyway, all the best for your start tomorrow.  Many decide to build a month supply, before starting, just in case they run into insurance or other issues.  Let us know how your first days and weeks go. 

Offline life2

  • Member
  • Posts: 34
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2013, 06:33:39 PM »
After my initial labs my ID called me and informed me i had to start antibiotics immediately.  I was prescribed Bactrim but had to remind them that I can't take Bactrim so I was then prescribed Dapsone.  My ID asked me if I wanted to use the AHF pharmacy or my regular Walgreens because it was much closer to me.  Not knowing anything about dapsone i told them to send it to Walgreens.  When I picked up the meds a few hours later the pharmacy tech looked almost terrified when she handed me the bag and receipt.   Immediately I thought 'Oh my god, she knows'.  When I got home I looked up Dapsone and saw its primarily prescribed for people with HIV or leprosy!! 

I haven't been back to that pharmacy since:)

Offline oppozition

  • member
  • Posts: 1
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2013, 01:54:34 PM »
Hi Gavelkind,

Welcome. I am not a regular user of the forums here but they are a great resource.

I was diagnosed 17 years ago at 26 and coped quite well, I thought. However, it has not always been an easy journey but I felt quite able by myself. This year, for various reasons (feeling stuck, wanting to improve personal development but also awareness that my hiv status probably should have called for that way earlier...) I decided to give psychotherapy a try... and I am so glad I have finally taken that step. I have only one regret, which I knew I'd have all along: not to have given it a try a lot sooner!

It's an amazing form of support and development - not always easy but well worth exploring. Still early days for me, but how much pain might that have saved me!

Stay strong. Love from Ireland!

Offline gavelkind

  • Member
  • Posts: 23
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2013, 06:35:37 PM »
So, my numbers are improving even though it's slower than I hoped for. Weird thinking my CD4 was higher before the meds, and that the percentage dropped from last month as well.

Even my VL seems to be going down slower than it should.

I've been assigned to a psychiatrist. I was also supposed to see a therapist (what i really wanted) but for the past two months there have been "scheduling conflicts." I've seen the psychiatrist twice and both times she assigned a new drug to take. I see her again next week and I'll tell her I stopped taking the meds she assigned. I hate psychiatrists and was only willing to give mine a try because I thought I'd stomach it as long as I got to see a therapist. Seeing a psychiatrist but not therapist feels wrong to me.

I don't even want to see the therapist now. According to my Dr and psychiatrist it seems to be the therapists fault my appointment hasn't been set up, so even though I've never met him, I already think of him as unprofessional and a liar (he claims my cell doesn't take voicemails but that's not true).

Maybe I'll just stop seeing the psychiatrist altogether. My roomate and I started a vegetable rooftop garden and I've found that to be more therapeutic than anything else I've done since being diagnosed.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 06:38:05 PM by gavelkind »
2/13- Diagnosed
3/13- CD4,  885/39%   VL, 135,542
5/13- CD4,  867/46%   VL, 553
6/13- CD4,  720/42%   VL, 32
7/13- CD4,  1095/36%  VL, <20
10/13- CD4, 884/47%   VL, 42
1/14- CD4,  1165/48%  VL, 31
2/14- CD4,  1214/46%  VL, <20
5/14- CD4,  1715/49%  VL, <20

Offline mitch777

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,357
  • wish i were here
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2013, 06:56:55 PM »
Hey Gav,

You haven't been on meds very long. Give it some time. They do work.

As far a therapy...
It might take a few "docs" to find one that meshes well with you.
Don't give up. :)
The vegetable garden therapy is great too! I find it very therapeutic myself.

m.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline SweetSassafras

  • Member
  • Posts: 15
  • Tangerine! Don't touch that!
Re: New Member, just got my results
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2013, 11:26:41 PM »
Hi Gavelkind,

I am super new to the forum but I've been positive 5 years now.

As for your therapy, DON'T give up on it. Seek someone else out if you aren't pleased with who you have but don't count it out. I only wish I had the time to go.

Also, your VL seems to be decreasing pretty steadily especially considering where it was. Be patient... and the CD4? That'll bounce all over the place. You'll drive yourself nuts deciphering what the latest lab meant.

I don't have any advice other than that and probably won't have much cause... well I'm new here. But I'm always around to talk. :)


 


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