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Author Topic: My first HIV birthday  (Read 6139 times)

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Offline gatortony

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
My first HIV birthday
« on: November 03, 2006, 02:20:29 PM »
Hi guys,

I know this is the newbie section, but technically and emotionally I qualify.  Spent the first 12 months after diagnosis rediscovering every drug, bad relationship and self-destructive path I could find.  In a way, now that I have embraced sobriety it is as if I am accepting the diagnosis for the first time.  Have been present insomuch as have been a caregiver for friends since the beginning, so the "how could I have let myself, armed with all this info, get it"  depression tends to pop up like those unwanted seventh grade "go to the blackboard" hardons of my youth.  My year of living "la vida loca (and Coca)" has left me precious few HIV resources here in my small town, as months sitting at a bar being known as the second coming of Typhoid Mary has not left me with a fist full of friends.  I take my newfound sobriety seriously and intend, after a while, to mend some of the fences I burned down while haunting the less than upstanding places in town.  For now, I avoid the druggies, angry positrons and all people who make me feel less than human for "getting it".

I know forgiving myself is step one but, impatient bastard that I am, am expecting too much magic overnight.  Fighting the urge to pop the anxiety meds my docs have given me as a way to get sleep and stop obsessing over the illness.  Am aware these are not the eighties and there are meds to help when I get to that point (CD4 720) although I have already had thrush (Nystatin = yuck)

My question is: could the recent lift in my T-cells be due to the fact I am fighting major abscesses in my mouth?  Been on strings of antibiotics (Cleocid, Augmentin) until I can qualify for Ryan White (Dental care only).  It just seems weird.  I am more tired, and less healthy feeling, yet my CD4 has skyrocketed.

Please forgive me if I have posted in the wrong spot.  I look forward to making friends with some of you.

Best, hugs and peace,
Tony

Heureux, qui comme Ulysse a fait un beau voyage.....

Offline RapidRod

  • Member
  • Posts: 15,286
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2006, 02:35:37 PM »
Happy Birthday Tony and many many more to come. You can catch up with me if you like, 21 years positive.

Offline gatortony

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2006, 02:40:40 PM »
Thanks for the reply.  I look forward to toasting both of our birthdays (with seltzer in my case).  Thanks for taking the time to reach out and respond to a scared dude in need of a friendly voice.
Heureux, qui comme Ulysse a fait un beau voyage.....

Offline Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 24,598
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2006, 03:05:28 PM »
Glad you have made it through your first year, Tony. Just keep trucking.

And wishing you lots more anniversaries in good health.

Congratulations on your sobriety! That's a big one. Along with the challenges of maintaining that you will find the world continuing to open up in ways you couldn't have imagined. Stick with it cause you're worth it.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline pozniceguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,176
  • Niceguy Dallas
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2006, 04:54:41 PM »
OK , you have had your pity party ...now you can start facing the rest of the world like most of us have...me= infected 1984...first treated 1994....been undetectable and healthy for more than 5 yrs...The newer treatments are easier on your system ( for the most part) and better at beating this  virus down than any of the  stuff that was available to the rest of us over the past 20 yrs........
Try to stay sober/clean...there are many good people out there and certainly on this site that can provide all kinds of support /information....

Forget the "how did I get this " crap and move on ...you know how you got it and you can learn to do other things with your life that will work out much more to your benefit....otherwise  welcome to the best site on the web ...great info..super knowledgeable people and you may even find a few real friends...
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline DanielMark

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,475
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2006, 06:51:21 AM »
Hi Tony,

Ironically (or maybe not), in 1987 I decided to get off drugs and alcohol and clean up my life. That was a struggle with many setbacks, but in December I was sent across the border to Gay-friendly Rehab Centre in New Hampshire. It was during a physical checkup there that I was told I was likely infected with HIV.

Ugh! You gotta be kidding.

I left there not really feeling confident that I'd be able to stay clean and sober, especially since I had this new "thing" hanging over me.

So back home in Ottawa, I began an intense regime of weekly AA meetings – by my own decision, five meetings a week for the next five years – as well as weekly psychotherapy. I put off being tested until September of 1988 because I think I didn't want to know for sure if I was really infected or not. I don't regret doing that tho, since it gave me time to develop coping skills through recovery which helped me greatly in dealing with my diagnosis too, instead of running back to the escape of chemicals.

Here’s wishing you many more years of sobriety in your new life of *real* loving and learning.

Daniel
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
VL STILL UNDETECTABLE

DIAGNOSED IN 1988

Offline Blixer

  • Member
  • Posts: 712
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2006, 10:00:55 PM »
Hello Tony!  And Welcome!  I haven't yet reached my first HIV birthday but I'll be there in a couple of months.  I'm already on meds though.  I've had the anxiety and the sleeplessness myself but seem to have gotten beyond that for the most part.  It sounds like you have made some very positive steps in your life and the best of luck as you continue down that path.  You will find lots of support and assistance here.

David
Diagnosed 1/9/06
8/27/2007 CD4 598, 29%, VL 58 (72 wks)
11/19/2007 CD4 609, 30%, VL < 50 (84 wks)
2/11/2008 CD4 439, 27%, VL <50 (96 wks)
5/5/2008 CD4 535, 28%, VL <50 (108 wks)
10/20/2008 CD4 680, 28%, VL <50 (132 wks)
Changed to Atripla in 2012
1/14/2013 CD4 855, 35%, VL <40

Offline Queen Tokelove

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,033
  • Smokey the Smurf
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2006, 02:14:00 AM »
Hi Tony~~

Welcome to the Forums. It looks as if you are doing pretty good to me. You have become sober and have cut loose the negativity. My Dad was a recovering alcoholic and I remember he use to say serveral things such as one day at a time, people, places, and things among others. I don't drink very often. But I use both them terms in my daily life, I can only do one day at a time because no one can see into the future. And having to be selective with people, places, and things has taught me a few lessons and spared me a whole lot of drama.....Sorry, this is suppose to be about you.. ;D...

I wish you the very best and to tell you to keep your head up. If you ever feel the need to vent you can do it here and there will always be someone here to support you.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline gatortony

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2006, 08:09:43 AM »
Thanks to all who responded to my re-introduction.  Pity part complete now and fears of being on death's door tomorrow are pretty much banished.  In AA I have found even more meaning than when I was an HIV- drunk.  Not to play into the "My life is so much better since it" mindset, but I am glad the shock of my diagnosis and the fact I survived a year that would make Courtney Love go "oh Shit!" has forced me to reevaluate the direction my life is going.  Had I continued swerving down the doped out path I was on, my grave would have been full long before this new "challenge" could have taken me down.
Thanks for the strength, hope and wisdom this site brings.
-Tony
Heureux, qui comme Ulysse a fait un beau voyage.....

Offline Beatz4me

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2006, 04:15:02 PM »
Hiya Tony...

Cheers...I raise my glass...Can't wait to see my one-year too...
« Last Edit: November 06, 2006, 04:21:10 PM by Beatz4me »

Offline allopathicholistic

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,258
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2006, 01:00:46 PM »
Had I continued swerving down the doped out path I was on, my grave would have been full long before this new "challenge" could have taken me down.
Thanks for the strength, hope and wisdom this site brings.
-Tony

Hey Tony - Welcome to the site. Some people say everything happens for a reason. Consider all the poz-poz couples who were (hate to say it but) "brought together" because of HIV. Interesting question huh? In love & vitality, ~Alex

Offline allopathicholistic

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,258
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2006, 01:15:11 PM »
How are you doing today?  8)

Offline gatortony

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2006, 01:27:56 PM »
Chilling with the Smiths on my iPod wishing the work day would end.  Have fallen off the 12 steps, but nothing hideous.  Am not beating myself up over the failure in AA.  Am just living in moderation, trying not to focus on the negatives of this life and smile through the fears.   Still seeking support and getting it occasionally.  Nothing to complain about (at least nothing that dramatic).

Am often tempted by old ghosts of bad behavior past.  Especially in this holiday season during which I will be alone.  Will try and take the bummer of Christmas and go volunteer at a food shelter or something.  Even though I am a bummed out HIV+ dude, people out there have it a hell of a lot worse than I do.  Not thrilled over the weight I have gained since single-handedly reducing the importation of half of Peru, but it gives me a good reason to join a gym and find healthy alternatives.

Thanks for asking!  Hope you are well.
Tony
« Last Edit: December 19, 2006, 01:29:59 PM by gatortony »
Heureux, qui comme Ulysse a fait un beau voyage.....

Offline allopathicholistic

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,258
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2006, 08:06:31 PM »

 Not thrilled over the weight I have gained since single-handedly reducing the importation of half of Peru, but it gives me a good reason to join a gym and find healthy alternatives.

Thanks for asking!  Hope you are well.
Tony

Well Tony you always have us for venting/support pretty much every day and yeah even during the holiday season. You can always rejoin 12 step at any time right?? And we have Smiths fans here too - You'll find them hanging out in the Off Topic forum.

Here are 2 past threads on drinking as a poz person, in case you're in the mood for  light reading

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=2736.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=1826.0


Offline gatortony

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2006, 11:56:22 AM »
Read the forums you suggested.  Thanks!  Am not on any meds yet as my doctor thinks it is still too early.  My next appointment with her is late January.  I fear stress may have done a job on my CD4, but will wait for her to give me the news. 

Will seek out my fellow Smiths fans in the Off Topic section per your advise.

Best and safest of holidays to you.
Tony
Heureux, qui comme Ulysse a fait un beau voyage.....

Offline budndallastx

  • Member
  • Posts: 463
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2006, 02:02:12 PM »
Happy Birthday Tony !

I went into the funk when I discovered I was poz as well including some really stupid stupid things.  The key thing is that you know and have people who will help you get through with this.  I initially thought this was a death sentence but in reality HIV is nothing more than a chronic condition which if you follow the advice of your doctors leads to a long and happy life.

This forum has been a great source for information (and venting).  I've got several local pen pals now from the Dallas area so I know I am not alone dealing with this.  It's hard sometimes to talk to people who aren't going through the same problems you are especially people's outdated view of HIV/AIDS. 

My personal preference was to stay off the meds as long as I could and was recommended.  Currently the 200-350 range is when you should start.  I was fearful of the meds and the toxicity of them.  THey have made tremendous progress in the past few years and the future is brighter all the time.  Who knows what meds will be like in the future with less side effects ?

Once Again, Happy Birthday !

Tom
Meds since: 11/20/2006
Sustiva / Truvada
12/08/2008 VL:<48 CD4 622 (38%)   
9/8/2008 VL:<48 CD4 573 (30%)
5/2008 VL:<48 CD4 464 (30%)
1/2008  VL: <50  CD4 425(28%)
9/2007   VL: <50  CD4 465 (27%)
6/2007   VL: <50   CD4 443 (26%)
3/2007  VL: <50   CD4 385 (25%)
12/2006 - VL: <50   CD4: 384 (25%)
11/2006 - VL:  22K  CD4: 208 (18%)

Offline piscesmatt80

  • member
  • Posts: 2
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2006, 11:27:42 AM »
Well, we're going on four months for me and I still catch myself crying once in a while...  I fully expect to still have a lil emotional baggage come my one year, not to mention some feelings I've yet to encounter.  Life itself though is getting back to normal, albeit slowly.  I had the same initial reaction.  I was so bad for so long and it happened to me after I cleaned up my act.  A little over three years ago, I was homeless and at this point I was just beginning to feel settled.  How could it happen now and someone has a really nasty sense of humor were ideas that proliferated my mantra and still creep in from time to time.  I turned to drugs for support as I am thousands of miles from family and I did not want to burden my friends.  I also felt like all the effort I'd put into getting life back on track after being diagnosed bipolar was wasted.  I never planned on arriving at the grave in a well preserved corpse, but I certainly don't want land there as a result of drugs. I applaud you for having the strength that I am just finding.

Offline FiercenBed

  • Member
  • Posts: 183
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2006, 03:57:06 PM »
ya know.....if i had know then what i know now. i know itz easy to say hind sight is everything. i was aware of safe sex and rubbers and all that. as i told the doc on diagnosis, " i thought i was being careful". hez response was 'u thought'. if someone had sat me down and told me the ins & outs of this insanity, resistance, cross resistance, medication 1,2,3,4 5 and mayb 6, and all the other crap that goes along w/ it. i truly can say i would have bn abstenant.

Offline rick21007

  • Member
  • Posts: 286
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2006, 04:40:46 PM »
Hi Tony, and gang.  I am a Newbie--diagnosed two weeks and two days ago.  I will tell you one thing about these first two weeks.  I have made it through holding firmly on to my sobriety and to my happiness because of the strength and wisdom that I learned in AA.  The _first thing_ I did when I got off the phone, having been told my diagnosis by my doctor's office nurse was turn my hiv over to my Higher Power.   This gave me the strength and courage to take it one day at a time. And that is all any of us can do.  And I will tell you something else AA has taught me---none of us were made to make it in this world alone.    May God grant you the Serenity...........   Rick

Offline Jnm594

  • Member
  • Posts: 111
  • Fight! Fight! Fight the Good Fight!
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2007, 02:54:14 AM »
Hey Tony,

Gator here, class of '88, sober almost 14 years and I also just celebrated my first hiv birthday. You're making a lot of changes man. Just keep your nose clean (no pun intended) and keep it to the grindstone and you'll get through. And don't forget about that "road to happy destiny".
When it gets hard I always listen to my favorite song of all time..........

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJEYu3KgWCE

Offline Adonis

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
Re: My first HIV birthday
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2007, 03:30:33 AM »
Hey Tony:

I really respect your positive attitude. I think that it is important to realise that HIV is a manageable chronic condition and thus you are able to live a full life. Although I can't relate directly because I am not HIV positive, I do suffer from Depression, so at least I can relate to you on some level.

 


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