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Author Topic: Someone calm me down!  (Read 1784 times)

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Offline fulloflife

  • New Member
  • Posts: 2
Someone calm me down!
« on: November 15, 2006, 02:45:51 AM »
Hi.. I'm totally new to the whole blog thing, so please excuse me if this begins to look like a novel. My sister recently tested pos. ( about 3 weeks ago) .. We've already received the lab results and her count. Although, she should probably be one having a difficult time handling this (in fact I know she is), I'm helpless and don't know how to guide her. She's only 22. According to her doctor she has been unknowingly living with HIV for at least 2 years.   We're trying to take things one step at a time, but since she is my younger sister, and I've taken care of her for as long as I can remember, she looks to me to help her. I am just devastated that she has to endure this, and I'm not sure if I CAN guide her. I don't know what else to do. Her doctor said she does not need medication until her count falls below 350. I dont understand though? y wait? Wouldnt it make more sense to take medication when ur numbers r better rather than worse? She has her whole life ahead of her and I can't handle the thought of her suffering or worse. I'm assuming this is just the initial shock of things and hopefully it will get easier.. but I cant shake the feeling of helplessness and just total fear for her.  Any advice would be deeply appreciated...

Offline Jeffreyj

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,403
Re: Someone calm me down!
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2006, 03:50:44 AM »
Well you have come to a great place for help and understanding, and support.. Please be aware that is it a very complex disease, so patience is your friend, especially in the beginning. It is all overwhelming, so it is OK to be overwhelmed. Your coming to this site is a huge step forward. There are several in here who are willing and certainly able to help you and your sister. As far as when to start the meds, that may be best decided to be between your sister and her DR.  her . As much as you want to help her, which is admirable, it may be best to let her find her own way, unless of course she asks you.
I wish you both well. Just remember "less is more" sometimes. You have found a great place to learn and get support!
Positive since 1985

Offline Andy Velez

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  • Member
  • Posts: 29,935
Re: Someone calm me down!
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2006, 07:48:17 AM »
Full, the most immediately important thing is that your sister is under a doctor's care who will be monitoring her numbers. She isn't suddenly going to fall through a "black hole." Gradually over time you'll both come to see that while she has HIV in her life, that isn't all that her life is going to be about.

There are some lessons on this site which are worthwhile for both of you to read including the ones about when someone first tests positive, when to start meds and  the one about disclosure issues.

Your sister is not an invalid and she's not helpless. It would be a mistake for both of you to treat her that way. She is HIV+, but she is still a great deal more than that. It's important not to lose sight of that. While still being loving and supportive as you have in the past, one of the best things you can do is to nurture her ability to make informed decisions and choices for herself.   

Gradually you will each learn all that you need to about HIV and what to do for her to remain healthy. This is a place where you can ask questions and discuss anything that's on your mind.

Andy Velez

Offline AlanBama

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  • Posts: 3,670
  • Alabama: the 'other' 3rd World Country!
Re: Someone calm me down!
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2006, 12:08:28 PM »
Hi F.O.L,

Your sister is lucky and blessed to have you, and your concern and worry are perfectly understandable.  As Andy suggested, read the LESSONS on this site, they will give you lots of useful information.

See, the idea is that the doctor doesn't want to start her on meds until she is absolutely ready for them, because generally speaking, the meds will beome a lifetime committment.   No point in beginning them unless she is at the point where they are needed.   Her health is o.k., she's being monitored, so sounds like y'all are doing all the right things.   Her doctor will let you know when it's time for her to begin treatment.

Don't panic, some of us have been here a LONG TIME with this disease.   She can lead a happy and productive life.

pos since 03/87
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline fulloflife

  • New Member
  • Posts: 2
Re: Someone calm me down!
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2006, 02:26:57 PM »
Thanx for all of ur support. I know life will go on and we will both eventually have to come to terms with all of this.. and of course, not make HIV define her life. I guess I, myself just have to get past the shock of the whole thing. thanx again.. I'll be in touch

Offline vegaslocal39

  • Member
  • Posts: 50
Re: Someone calm me down!
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2006, 02:55:14 PM »
You have no idea how lucky your sister is to have someone just to talk about this with.  Many of us have no one to turn to. 

When to start meds is a personal decision that only your sister, with her doctor's guidance can make.  You can't just start and stop meds, because they will become innefective.  Therefore, many people choose to wait until their bodies need the medication.

For some people, this can be within a year of infection.  In my case, my viral load hovered around 5,000 (statistically low) while my CD4 (t-cell) stayed above 400, which is plenty to fight off opportunistic infections.  This went on for over eight years.

I was monitored every three months to check for changes.  One day, my viral load went up substantially, and my CD4 cound dropped below 300.  The doctor said, "It's time."  Because I had so long to get used to the idea, I was ready.  I was still nervous, but I was ready.

I've been on a two-pill regimen for three years now and am doing fine.

The best thing you can do for your sister is to let her know that you are there for her when wants to talk, and to support her when she needs it.  Life will get back to normal, you'll see.

Offline QueenofMYhouseOFblue

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: Someone calm me down!
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2006, 03:59:09 PM »
Full of Life,
Hi I am Amanda and I have been poz since 8/96. A long time. I never thought I'd get here or have what I have.
What do I have?
a loving husband who married me even though.
2 beautiful negative boys
7 years off of hard drugs...ya know

I have a great life when I'm not asking myself why me or throwing a pity party for me.

I'm here if either of you want to talk.

And thanks for helping me remember!  ;D
You gave me the best Thanksgiving present


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