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DCNEW:
Tested positive last Thursday - first labs came back today. 109 CD4 and 85000 viral. Seems I've been infected for many years.

Surprised by the numbers. Doctor put me on meds to prevent OIs. 

Have to wait until genome test comes back in another three weeks before I start meds.

To say I'm overwhelmed would be an understatement. This past week has been a roller coaster. Depression and anxiety thru the roof - hard to complete even the simplest daily tasks.

How scared should I be? How should I alter my daily routines until I get my numbers under control? Dr. said that my CD4 may never increase. So confused.

Advice?

Irish Eyes:
Diagnosis is scary and the mind runs riot for a couple of weeks, with every scenario.
There's nothing that will ease the initial guilt, stress and fears other than absorbing the stories of others in the same position.
Your CD4 may not increase though you are unaware of what your number was prior to finding out.
Be advised that there are many here that have been positive for 20+ years and have full and successful lives.

Joe K:
Hey DC,

I'm sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but glad you found your way here.  Becoming poz is one of the greatest challenges you will ever face, so be kind to yourself and for right now, simply allow yourself to feel, whatever you feel, without the need to do anything about any of it.  I know your mind is in overdrive and that is perfectly normal.  It takes time to adjust and please feel free to ask questions or simply vent about issues that concern you.

I also empathize with your fears regarding your health, however, you are being treated and there is no reason that the meds will not work for you.  For me, our numbers are but one indicator of our health and should be tempered against how we actually feel.  I simply caution you about worrying about your numbers too much, because we have limited ability to change them.

What will help is for you to be kind to yourself and that includes your body, mind and spirit.  Learn to understand what you body tells you and realize that you are much more than the results of tests.  I also hope you believe that you have done nothing wrong and that you are the same person today, as you were prior to diagnosis and the ONLY difference is you are now poz.

I have no magic that will make your adjustment to being poz any easier, as time is really the only solution.  What I can offer is that you can live your life your way, if you take the time to invest in the one person that matters: you.  It will get better with time, I promise.

Until then, we are here for you.  While we cannot tell you how your journey with HIV will be, we can be there to walk with you, every step of the way.

Welcome to the forums.

Joe

pittman:

--- Quote from: DCNEW on March 05, 2014, 11:58:16 AM ---Tested positive last Thursday - first labs came back today. 109 CD4 and 85000 viral. Seems I've been infected for many years.

(. . . .)

How scared should I be? How should I alter my daily routines until I get my numbers under control? Dr. said that my CD4 may never increase. So confused.

Advice?

--- End quote ---

At this point it seems silly to be told by your doctor that your number may never increase. Based on what exactly?!  It is true that those starting with lower numbers typically take longer to rebuild their immune system. It is also true that natural variations exist in people in what their "normal" state or range is and in how they respond to treatment.

Read through the forums and you will see many who started with cd4 counts close to zero who have had some remarkable recovery stories.

As far as alter your daily routines, just some basic things:
- Take the meds from the doctor to protect yourself while your immune system rebuilds, and once you start your antivirals, take them consistently.
- Eat healthy.
- If you smoke, stop.
- Get a regular good nights sleep.
- Until your immune system rebuilds, avoid raw and under cooked meats, fish and eggs. No unpasteurized milk.
- Take some *reasonable* precautions around anyone with a cold/flu. Wash your hands, don't touch your face, etc.

In short, you will notice that all of that is just basic, general recommendations that also could apply to any one. Point being, outside of some common sense items anyone would benefit from, there is not a whole lot to do outside of the norm.

Joe K already said to be kind to yourself. I like that so much better than "don't get stressed" which seems unrealistic for most who are just diagnosed. So instead, accept that it will get easier, and allow yourself the time to adjust.

DCNEW:
Thanks all for the constructive and positive comments. I can not thank you all enough - this site has been a God send.  :)

Over the past few days I have mustered up the strength (with a little help from anti-anxiety meds) to face this head on. I really don't have any other option. In truth, I am in a much better position than I was a week ago. I know my status, the overall state of my health - - and there is an action plan to turn it around. I am not going to die today - and all I can do is move forward towards tomorrow, be optimistic and follow the advice of my doctors. Sure it won't be easy - but it can and must be done.

Over the past week I have turned to this site and all your personal stories repeatedly for strength and inspiration. I am by far alone in this mess. There are many who were in a much worse position than I - and have done just fine. I will too, I have no reason to believe otherwise.

Again, thanks to all for sharing your stories and advice. God bless.
 

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