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Author Topic: Southernguy's thread  (Read 3485 times)

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Offline southernguy76

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Southernguy's thread
« on: December 22, 2006, 07:29:13 AM »
Hey folks, this is my first-ever posting here... thanks a ton for the information!  I was diagnosed HIV+ 12/6/2006, and since that time have had a chance to get much more educated about HIV and the meds... I thought I knew a lot before, but boy was I wrong!!!!

I've read virtually every page on poz.com and aidsmeds.com (not to mention the forum), but was looking for more advice on choosing an initial drug therapy.  My first results came back with a CD4 of 156 and T4% of 16 , which I know is low.. I was likely infected about 2 years ago from my boyfriend, and we've probably been re-infecting each other since (VL is 15,700).  I feel absolutely fine and have never had any symptoms whatsoever.  But due to my results, both me and my primary physician are looking to start meds soon.  I am awaiting results from a genotype test (12/29), but I've read that the results may be a bit misleading for someone who has not been on meds to begin with.  In the meantime, I'm working hard to get in with an infectious disease specialist for primary HIV care, but it looks like that won't be possibly until later in January.

So, after a lot of reading regarding initial regimens, it seems that something like Atripla would be a good start.  Am I jumping the gun?  Over-analyzing?

Thanks a ton!  And congrats to Nadine!  ;D

-Shawn


(edited by a moderator to change the title of the thread)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2006, 10:09:32 AM by Ann »

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2006, 10:12:30 AM »
Hi Shawn, and welcome to the forum!

I put your first post in it's own thread - you'll get more responses this way. When you want to create your own thread, go to the top of the forum you want to post to and look for the "new topic" button on the right hand side of the page. I had to go into your post to edit the title of the thread - otherwise it would have had the same title as the one you posted in.

You may want to also have a look at the Welcome Thread found at the top of this forum, where you'll find more information about this website.

I'm glad you found us and I'm looking forward to hearing more from you.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline bear60

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  • Posts: 4,104
Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2006, 10:15:19 AM »
Well..... anyway, I get to officially say WELCOME.
The one piece of advice I can give you today is this:  "Hang on, its going to be a bumpy ride".
I hope your stay here is as rewarding as it has been for me.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline woodshere

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  • ain't no shame in my game
Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2006, 10:35:24 AM »
Hi Shawn,

You have found a place of great information and great people.  I of course can't speak for your primary care physician, but mine was crap.  I didn't make any decisions until I had met with my ID doctor, who has a very large HIV practice. about a month after I was diagnosed.  My counts were CD4-179 and vl 55,000, which were found out 2 weeks after my first meeting with the ID doc.  I went with what he recommended.  So you might want to wait until you meet with your ID doc before deciding on your meds, unless your PCP is well versed in HIV.

Another great site is THEBODY.COM.

Best of Luck,
Woods
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2006, 10:54:28 AM »
Hi Shawn, and welcome!   We're glad you joined us.   The price of admission is rather steep, don't you agree?

I look forward to hearing more from you.......

Hugs,

Alan
"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 ACinKC

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Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2006, 11:23:29 AM »
exactly what alan said!
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline thunter34

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  • His name is Carl.
Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2006, 11:50:03 AM »
Hey!  Welcome to the forums, buddy!

-Tim


PS:  And additional greetings from another Atlanta mess!  LOL
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Blixer

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Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2006, 12:57:27 PM »
Shawn,

Welcome to the forums.  What you said is so true about thinking you already knew a lot about HIV and then when you get infected and start reading you find out how little you really did know. I was in the same position just over 11 months ago and I learned a lot in a short period of time.

In your reading I'm sure you have found that there are lots of initial options.  The one you mention is probably the simplist, being only one pill daily.  You probably know that your CD4 is low enough that you are statistically at some risk for opportunistic infections.  But I would agree with Woods that you should at the very least see someone certified in HIV care before making the final decision on meds.  I found a general practitioner that is certified by the American Acadamey of HIV that I have been very happy with.  I also see an HIV specialist, but when I finish the study I'm in, I will probably just see the general practitioner.  She is fantastic, knows HIV frontward and backward, and pays attention to all of the general health concerns too.  In the meantime it might be worth talking to your doctor about some preventative antibiotics since your CD4 is on the low side.

Hope this helps!
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 marco23

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  • Posts: 392
Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2006, 02:21:08 PM »
Welcome and I'm sure you'll enjoy this forum.  There are a lot of people here who give great and excellent advise as you have already received. Now I shall share with you my wise words of wisdom,

"Hi there!"   ;D
Don't hide your hurt, pain and feelings inside..for they will harden your heart.

Offline anniebc

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  • Posts: 5,956
  • AM member since 2003
Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2006, 04:22:29 PM »
Hi there

A warm welcome from New zealand...hope you stay around, look forward to hearing more from you.

Take care and happy holidays
Hugs
Jan
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline Strayboy74

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Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2006, 04:30:44 PM »
Hey!  Welcome to the forums, buddy!

-Tim


PS:  And additional greetings from another Atlanta mess!  LOL

I"ve always wanted to visit atlanta... perhaps there's room for a visiting mess. :)

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2006, 04:48:43 PM »
Welcome to the AM forum!

With your results, I personally don't think you're overanalyzing by thinking about meds.  Of course, you'll want to make the decision with your doc, but I don't think you're jumping the gun.

Atripla (which is a combination of the drugs Sustiva and Truvada) is the most common first drug regimen.  It's the preferred option because of how easy it is to take and how easily tolerated the drugs are: one pill a day.  Sustiva and Truvada separately are one pill a day each and also are preferred starting drugs.
I take Atripla... and despite all the kvetching... it's really not that bad at all.

There are many awesome people here who all rule at life in their own individual ways... they've helped more people (myself included) feel a lot better about all aspects of poz life.

Welcome again!
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline Longislander

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Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2006, 05:28:50 PM »
Hey Shawn, welcome!
infected 10/05 diagnosed 12-05
2/06   379/57000                    6/07 372/30500 25%   4/09 640/U/32% 
5/06   ?? /37000                     8/07 491/55000/24%    9/09 913/U/39%
8/06   349/9500 25%              11/07 515/68000/24     2/10 845/U/38%
9/06   507/16,000 30% !          2/08  516/116k/22%    7/10 906/80/39%
12/06 398/29000 26%             Start Atripla 3/08
3/07   402/80,000 29%            4/08  485/undet!/27
4/07   507/35,000 25%            7/08 625/UD/34%
                                                 11/08 684/U/36%

Offline Jnm594

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  • Fight! Fight! Fight the Good Fight!
Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2006, 05:37:37 PM »
Greeting from the Rocky Mountains!

No you're not overanalyzing, just being proactive. But I will attest to finding a good ID doctor. Ask around and listen to what people say. You'll be in this together for a long time so ask around. It took me a few tries to find my current one.

And Welcome, There are some incredible people on here with years and years of experience! They have been a great resource for me,

And you can send me two pimento cheese steaks, rings, a frozen orange and a peach pie from The Varsity ANYTIME!!! That's one of the biggest things I miss about living in Atlanta...
When it gets hard I always listen to my favorite song of all time..........

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

Offline heartforyou

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  • I must be a survivor in many ways...
Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2006, 05:45:28 PM »
Hi and welcome from Belgium,

You did the right thing. Absolutely.
20 years of HIV and  11 years on meds have taught me to stay focused on the meds as good as possible. However, as Alan said, we all made mistakes , but we still are around.

Talk to your doctor about starting meds. He is the only one to be able to give you the correct advice.

Always welcome for tips and encouragement.

Hermie
Diagnosed in 1987 and still kicking
Viread, Kivexa (Epzicom),Viramune once daily

Happiness is the freedom of breathing fresh air every day.

Offline poet

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  • Poet living and working in Central Maine
Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2006, 06:10:37 PM »
Welcome, Shawn.  It sounds as though you have done your homework.  I hope that you don't feel overwhelmed by it all but your post didn't sound as though you were.  Yes, Atripla seems to be the med. of choice for reasons posted above, the one pill, once a day aspect to it, BUT remember that you would need to make sure that you don't miss that once a day regimen, even if your schedule shifted, you got stuck in traffic, etc.  If your primary care physician already thought of genotyping, IF you are delayed in meeting with an i.d. physician for much longer, you might even consider going with this unless he/she or you feel otherwise.  As noted above, your cd4's are low enough for you to pick up something other than hiv.  I would also suggest that you talk at length with your boyfriend whose own healthcare decisions will factor into yours.  Talk about the type of sex you are having with each other.  Talk about whether it wouldn't make sense for both of you to start at the same time.  Best, Win
Winthrop Smith has published three collections of poetry: Ghetto: From The First Five; The Weigh-In: Collected Poems; Skin Check: New York Poems.  The last was published in December 2006.  He has a work-in-progress underway titled Starting Positions.

Offline Teresa

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Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2006, 06:17:00 PM »


Glad you are here!

Hugs
Teresa
Hubby HIV+ 5/5/06
CD4:320
  %: 26.7
 VL: <20
Atripla (started it 8/24/06)
 

Offline bravebuddharich

  • Member
  • Posts: 179
Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2006, 06:28:11 PM »
Greetings from Boston! This may or may not be helpful: I have found the once-a-day regimen of truvada, norvir and reyataz (3 pills each morning) has worked amazingly well for me! Almost a year ago, I got a parasite (usually water-bourne, but it can be transmitted through rimming, which is how I think I got it), and my numbers went down to cd4 of 53, and viral load of 26,000; my cd4 now is over 500, and viral load is undetectable. Of course, ask your doctor. on the fenwayhealth.org website there is a section called "Ask Dr. Cox", you might consider asking your questions there, just to do some more information gathering...

Metta,
Rich from Boston

Offline thunter34

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  • His name is Carl.
Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2006, 06:34:10 PM »
Oh, and for the record:  my CD4 count was right about where yours is now when I got the FABU news.  My viral load was off the charts...or 'gazillion infinity squared' as I like to say.  My own med combo involves 2 pills (now 3, actually):  Combivir and Kaletra.  These are taken twice a day for me.  The Combivir got busted up awhile back into its two component drugs because Big Pharma charges more than twice the dollar amount for the stuff if they provide it stuck together.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline J.R.E.

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  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2006, 07:02:31 PM »
Hello Shawn,


Welcome to the forums. When I started on treatment, back in October of 2003, it was after a two and a half hour consultation with my doctor, that the meds were decided on. At that time, it was Viramune (which I am still on) Zerit,( which was later changed to Ziagen--which I am still on), and Epivir-( which I am still on) I am also on Viread, which was also added, I believe around Sep. of 04.

When I began medication, I was also on a couple of other medications as well Bactrim, Diflucan, Zithromax... So it was quite a time juggling, and taking all these medications. Since that time, things have become somewhat simplified. There are once a day medications available.( such as the Atripla), but that doesn't necessarily mean, that Atripla, may be right for you. There are differant combinations of meds available.

Here's a link, that may give you some additional info :

http://www.aidsmeds.com/lessons/WhenToStart7.htm


So, one of the things you may want to discuss with your doctor is a simpler regimen, depending on your genotype results. Also, when you get those results, if there is something you don't understand about them, ask here.

 I would suggest, that if you have questions, make sure to write them down,  and make sure also, to ask your doctor those questions !! And, once again, if there is something that your doctor states, that you don't understand, don't hesitate to ask here. I have found out through time, that it is much too easy to forget to ask the doctor questions unless you have them in front of you !!



Take care--------Ray


Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 12/10/14,  t-cells are at 350,  Previous 8/25/14--- 402/ Viral load remains <40

 Current % is at 13% / Previous 8/25/14 11%

  
 63 years young.

Offline Eldon

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Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2006, 07:55:47 PM »
Yes, I AM Supporting You!

Hi Shawn...

It is GOOD to hear that you are educating yourself on HIV/AIDS and that you are reaching out to others to share your experiences just as well. Just remember that it does take time with the climb.

In my own way, I wish to extend to you a WARM WELCOME here at the AM forums. Here you will find all sorts of encouragement, acceptance, communication, understanding, support, some cries, some laughter, and many of your questions relating to HIV/AIDS answered.

Truly, this is a diffcult health situation to accept. However, it is strongly recommended that you Deal rather than Dwell on what has occurred. This will help tremendously to cope with what has occurred with your health.

The Handshake Of Reassurance


We have a great group of Real Peopleinfused with a lot of talent who will listen to you as well as answer you. We are here to Encourage, Learn, and HELP one another as we all walk on our journey in this life.

With the consideration of implementing a Positive Mental Attitude, it will also assist you on your journey in this life as well as having a Positive Impact on your immune system and your overall health.

In fact, through your Positive Mental Attitude, it will HELP you to push forward through ALL of the obstacles on your path that you are now walking on.

Talking and sharing your experiences with other people helps us see that we are not the only ones with problems. Feel free to come and vent with whatever is on your mind from time-to-time and to interact with the other members.

Often the act of writing and the ability to “SEE” your feelings leads to therapeutic insights and solutions..

In the interim, you may want to start taking a multi-vitamin, and some Omega 3, because it is all up to YOU where YOU want to be.

Exercise at least three times per week for a minimum of 30 minutes per day, as this will do you good to help keep that unnecessary stress away.

"Don't Give Up, Don't Give In... Cause it is ALL within you to WIN!"

Offline David_CA

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  • Joined: March 2006
Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2006, 06:27:50 PM »
Hi Shawn,

Welcome to the forums!  You've found a good place here.  I don't think you're putting too much thought into starting meds; it's about time for you to start.  I'd meet with an ID Dr. as soon as possible.  Although my numbers are quite a bit higher than yours, and I felt great, I got really sick with PCP.  The reason I advise you not to wait is that you DON'T want to deal with PCP - it really sucks.  Atripla is, for my hubby and I, easy to take (once a day and not so time dependent) and well tolerated (I don't seem to have any real side effects).  Good luck.

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline blondbeauty

  • Member
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Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2006, 06:43:21 PM »
Welcome Shawn!  ;)
The only member in these forums approved by WINBA: World International Nail and Beauty Association.
Epstein Barr +; CMV +; Toxoplasmosis +; HIV-1 +.
Counts when starting treatment:
V.L.:80.200 copies. CD4: 25%=503
Started Sustiva-Truvada 14/August/2006
Last V.L.count (Oct 2013): Undetectable
Last CD4 count (OCT 2013): 52%= 933

Offline southernguy76

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Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2006, 07:49:52 AM »
Good day everyone, hope ya'll have had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to a great New Years!  I just got back in town after a few lovely days in Orlando (tempature was in the 70s the whole time). :)))

I'm at a loss of words for the support sent following my initial post... not even sure where to start except to givea BIG THANKS to everyone.

Woods, I've got an appointment with one of Atlanta's best ID's on 1/16.  In the meantime, my primary care physician does have a large HIV+ client base.  Unless there is a big surprise on the genotype test results (this Friday), I feel pretty confident in starting a med like Altripla... I would GREATLY prefer not to start antibiotics unless I absolutely have to.  From watching others, I know those things can wreak havoc and cause some long term issues later down the road.  My physician feels that once meds are started, the numbers will bounce back and the opportunistic infection issue will go away.

And yes Alan, price of admission was a bit high...keeping a sense of humor about everything makes these early days a bit easier.  Well that, and having a worldwide support group on here!  :)

I'll keep everyone posted, but will likely be looking at starting meds on Friday.  LOL, just a few days before New Year's.  Guess I know what my New Year's resolution will be!  ::)

Take care and thanks again!
Shawn

Offline southernguy76

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Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2006, 03:06:01 PM »
Ok, got the genotype results back a day early. "No Evidence of Resistance" across the board, yippie!  VL was at 28,900 (from a previous 15,700) but I'm not too worried about it.  Starting Atripla tonight... can't wait for those dreams to begin! :) 

Offline thunter34

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  • His name is Carl.
Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2006, 03:50:13 PM »
Ok, got the genotype results back a day early. "No Evidence of Resistance" across the board, yippie!  VL was at 28,900 (from a previous 15,700) but I'm not too worried about it.  Starting Atripla tonight... can't wait for those dreams to begin! :) 

Great news!  28,900....whoop-dee-do.  Did they also give you any more current CD4 numbers since your last ones? 


BTW:  If you're starting tonight with the Atripla and considering porn before bed, can I come over?  LOL.  (Sorry...but after that other post you made about the bed sheets, I couldn't resist!)   :P

~tim
« Last Edit: December 28, 2006, 03:58:36 PM by thunter34 »
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline southernguy76

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Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2006, 10:24:49 AM »
 :D LMAO, two nights down, a lifetime to go!!!

Okay, I didn't do the porn before bedtime thing but I did take the Atripla about an hour before bed both nights.  Tim, I did get to TCOB before bedimte though (TCOB = Take Care of Business.. you figure it out   ::)  :P )

I didn't have any new CD4 numbers this go around but did ask for some new ones to be taken as a baseline.

First night I awoke at 2am (due to a phone call, grrrr!!!!) and dozed in/out for the rest of the morning until I got up at 5am.  First night I did feel very much buzzed and have woken up both mornings with a little bit of dizziness.  All in all though, I'd say the side effects have been very much less than I was anticipating.  I've talked to others that say they have there good and bad nights... time will tell.

Offline thunter34

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,326
  • His name is Carl.
Re: Southernguy's thread
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2006, 10:34:50 AM »
"Taking Care Of Business"   he says...



I   JUST CAN'T STAND IT !!!

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AIDS isn't for sissies.

 


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