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Author Topic: Day 7 and counting...  (Read 1426 times)

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Offline Broken_Sword

  • New Member
  • Posts: 2
Day 7 and counting...
« on: October 29, 2014, 03:41:00 PM »
Hi Guys,

My first post,
So, its officially been a week since my confirmed diagnoses. I last tested negative in May. This is all so overwhelming, its all i can think about right now, its consuming me, im struggling to focus and im really trying hard to just keep at it. Some days are better, some are worse.

My GP broke the news to me after my application for life insurance was unsucessful, Hes a super cool guy, tried to reasure me that hiv is no longer needs to be a killer disease, that its chronic and manageable, i honestly didnt even focus on what he was saying, my head was spinning, i broke down. He told me about his other patients who are living normal productive and healthy lives, but all i could see in my mind, was the images of HIV i was exposed to growing up. Theyre not pretty.

Ive tried to do as much research as i can on my own, but i think i need to stop, the constant search for information is driving me crazy. Ive since only told my manager at work, he was really supportive, the only person ill tell for now.

I have medical insurance which will cover the cost of treatment under a chronic plan which i have already activated.

I havent had a good nights rest since being diagnosed, i wake up like clockwork at 3am everynight. My mind immediately takes over and keeps me awake until i have to get up for work.

Then i put on my face, and try to face the world.

Im so glad i found this site, ive read some of the other posts and id like to commend the awesome job yall are doing.

Im seeing my doctor tomorrow and will hopefully at least have a CD4 count. Well decide what to do together with an ID specialist he recommended.

Other than the bouts of anxiety, i feel ok physically, im a healthy 30 year old, 6'0, 205lbs active and health conscious guy.
Im hoping to get to know you guys, and to share my journey. Im shit scared, but im ready to take this on.

Offline zach

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,924
Re: Day 7 and counting...
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2014, 03:55:05 PM »
you're going to be ok... promise

the emotional turmoil, totally normal, just don't do anything rash

no matter what comes next, stay calm

you are right to slow down on research, paralysis by analysis, information overload... trust me, you have time to become an expert, or not, either way is cool

nothing about you is broken, you just have a virus in you

the tests you can expect next will take a few days for results. you'll probably have a resistance profile ran, viral load, and cd4 levels taken.

get to know your infectious disease doctor and team. trust them, be honest with them
« Last Edit: October 29, 2014, 03:58:02 PM by zach »

Offline pittman

  • Member
  • Posts: 240
Re: Day 7 and counting...
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2014, 09:33:23 PM »
Also, when you do get back to looking at information about HIV, be cautious of some of the older articles out there as they can have out of date information. A lot has changed in the past few years, for the better.

Offline Tonny2

  • Member
  • Posts: 459
Re: Day 7 and counting...
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2014, 08:52:34 PM »

        ojo     welcome broken....like Zach said, you will be ok...its normal you are feeling this way, it will take a bit of time and courage, but eventually you will learn to live with it...stop your researching for something you might not understand, ask you doctor...I wish you luck and here we are for support...a BIG hug, you do need it, everything is going to be fine, trust me, after 20 years and still going      ojo

Offline Delby

  • Member
  • Posts: 121
Re: Day 7 and counting...
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2014, 06:37:03 AM »
Getting a HIV diagnosis is life changing, but not life ending. It's like having an accident. Your life changes, but sometimes it can even be for the better. I was diagnosed at the age of 28 (2008) and my first year, post diagnosis were some of the darkest times I have ever faced. Every waking minute was thinking about HIV and severe depression and anxiety took over. However, as time passed I realised that although my life had changed, I could still live a very fruitful and purposeful existence.

1 year after my diagnosis I met a wonderful HIV neg girl and we got married, had 2 healthy children and I also set up my own business. In fact HIV was a blessing to me in many ways as I was on a destructive path before my diagnosis. I'm not saying i'm thankful for having HIV, but perhaps there is a reason for everything.

I go to the gym 5 times a week and I keep and look healthy. Life goes on I promise you. Please don't be hard on yourself or judge your feelings at present. You will emerge stronger from this and you will one day soon look at the sunset and realise how beautiful it is again. I know the world looks different now, but it's not.

Give yourself time, be patient and realise that you will be fine. It is a manageable disease and the images you have from the 80's are not a reflection of the same disease in 2014.

Happy for you to ask me any questions you may have. Keep your head up, breath and be patient :)

Offline Broken_Sword

  • New Member
  • Posts: 2
Re: Day 7 and counting...
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2014, 03:08:04 PM »
Zach, Tony, Pittman and Delby, thank you thank you thank you so much for your advice and words of comfort. Its really amazing, you guys have no idea how many times over the last two months ive come here just to read your responses again and its given me hope and strength every time ive read them. I really really really appreciate that perfect strangers can reach out to each other on this amazing platform.

A little update:
The days post diagnosis were rough! I mean really rough!! I think i had what can only be described as panic attacks, i would wake up in the middle of the night (if i even slept at all) and i would have to slow my thoughts and breathing because my mind would just be racing with worries and thoughts, which is what would trigger the panic. I still wake up every morning with hiv on my mind, but at least its no longer the last thing i think about before i go to sleep. (progress...)
My follow up with my GP yielded a CD4 of 216(GASP!!) and a viral load of 38K. (The low count is very odd since I only seroconverted end of august). I was nursing a very bad throat infection as well, and my GP thinks that this could have contibuted to the initial low count. However, he promptly gave me a presciption for ATRIPLA.

The first month on meds was crazy!! The first night i had soe mad dreams, all fireworks! I woke up and was completely dizzy! I could hardly make my way to the bathroom to pee. The second night was better. Week two, i broke out in a rash, which i kinda expected, but i think that just made the whole thing real to me, and i had a mini break down at work. I called and sheduled an apointment with a therapist that very same day! His assessment was that im not depressed, im just going through an adjustment period (his words).
I felt alot better after two sessions with the therapist, and the side effects became less and less, and i have none whatsoever currently. No more dizzy spells, no more foggyness etc.

Im getting followup labs done after the christmas period and im hoping for good news! I sure need some. Ive also sheduled an appointment with an HIV specialist and his team, they have nutritionists, counselors and various other services for pozzies which could be of help. My GP is great and all but i would feel better if i get care from someone who deals with HIV all day every day.

I still think and worry about my condition more than i would like. This is the biggest challenge I have ever had to face. Damn, I was doing so well, I have an amazing career, i was healthy, active and happy. My diagnosis punched me right in the gut! I realised quickly that id need to start taking control, im already on meds, and now hopefuly finding the right care. My health insurance atleast provides good cover. Im just constantly worried, i worry about disclosure, my future health, will i be ok? Will i ever be as happy as i was before my diagnosis? I hope so.

I was reading an article in one of our local magazines about a positive hero, who was diagnosed positive 14 years ago, went in denial and developed full blown aids 7 years later, she has made a full recovery since going on arv treatment and is now an ultra marathon runner. 7 years after AIDS and still running strong. I was so moved by her story that i sent her an email thanking her for telling her story. We might get together for coffee after the new year. WOW... im gonna meet a REAL hero :-)

Anyways, enough gloating. Ive realised one thing though... life hasnt stopped. I still go to work, i still go for my daily run, i still love to cook, i still enjoy a good movie, intermittently between reading up on HIV (which i really should stop doing since its just feeding my anxienty!).

Thanks for the support guys, i think i might be all over the place in my post, but this is the only outlet that i have for now :'(. It feels good to share. To know that there is someone on the other side.

I am very greatfull to you guys.

Offline Tonny2

  • Member
  • Posts: 459
Re: Day 7 and counting...
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2014, 04:18:29 PM »

         ojo     Hi broken, it's nice to hear you are coping with your new life...yes, you will be ok, as long as you take your med as prescribed...I also had AIDS, 20 years ago, cd4 20, right now my cd4 is 538 and my VL UD, so, I can asure you, you will be fine...wishing you the best and let's know about your next set of numbers, they will be great, for sure...hugs     ojo

Offline Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 25,427
Re: Day 7 and counting...
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2014, 07:15:04 PM »
Sword, despite your understandable  concerns, what is especially encouraging in your comments is that you have a solid team of health practicioners working to get and keep you healthy. The drugs can be tough, especially at first, but when they kick in they really do the job.

You've already gotten a sense of how supportive and informative members can be here. Stay connected here. This virus is not something to struggle with in isolation. You're going to learn a lot and gradually you are going to see your life is going on and it's going to be a good one that is about way more than living with HIV.

Remember you are always welcome here where you can talk about anything that's on your mind.

I always recommend carrying a little notebook with you so as you think of questions for your doc or anyone else, you write them down and don't have to depend on your memory when you have an appointment.

Cheers and keep going, bud.
Andy Velez


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