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Worst Birthday Ever.

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minus_25:
Well, today is my 29th birthday and I had my first appointment with an infectious disease doctor.  Yesterday, my primary care doctor told me I was HIV positive with viral load count of 20,700.  I swear I must have contracted it orally, but in the end, I guess it doesn't matter.  What's done is done.  For what it's worth, here is my story:

November 9 - went to bath house and had protected sex with several guys, but not protected oral.  Only one guy came and I made it a point to check the condom.

November 23 - Developed a fever of 100.5 and vomited a couple of times.  There was no stuffy nose, no sore throat, and no body aches accompanying this fever.  It lasted about 2 days.

December 1 - I developed a rash like the one on this page - http://www.hiv.bg/hivskin.english.htm.  It was on my torso, back, arms, and upper legs.  The rash was not itchy and I had no other symptoms with it - no fever, no aches, no diarrhea, no vomiting, no sore throat, nothing.  My best friend did notice that my face seemed a little swollen though (lymph nodes?).

December 4 - I went to the doctor with the rash.  He gave me a shot of something in the office and prescribed me mehylprednisolone and hydroxyzine.

December 6 - The rash subsided.

December 7 - I was worried at this point and gave blood at a clinic for my first HIV test.  It would take two weeks for the result.

December 15 - I coudn't wait for those results so I went to my doctor's office and gave them blood to be tested for all STDs including HIV, which I did sign for.  The doctor told me the following week that everything is fine with my tests.  This was a relief, so I figured not to worry about the test at the clinic.

Before Christmas but after I received doctor's office test result - The clinic called and told me they had an indeterminate result and wanted me to give more blood sample.  I couldn't come in until after Christmas though because I was leaving town.

January 2 - I went to see a counselor at the first clinic and he told me that I had a reactive ELISA test and an indeterminate WB test.  I told them about my doctor's test and gave them more blood.

January 3 -  I started freaking out so I went to a different clinic for a rapid HIV Oraquick test.  The test was reactive.  They wanted to take blood to confirm, but I told them I am already having that done.  After the test, I called my doctor and he had me come in and told me to take a Viral Load test the next morning and also prescribed me Epivir (once a day).

January 4 - I gave blood for the Viral load test in the morning.  I told someone I've kind of been seeing about what I was going through and he freaked out on me.  I took him to get a rapid test and it was negative which was a relief.

January 8 - The doctor told me the bad news about the viral load test.  That evening I told my best friend what I went through and the bad news.

January 9 - I went to see the infectious disease doctor for a consultation.  Unfortunately, he didn't have the lab results at this time released from my other doctor's office.  He seemed reassuring and kind of theraputic, asking me my feelings, what I've been thinking, etc.  He also told me to stop taking the Epivir and gave me some homework (reading material).  I am going to see him again in 2 weeks.  After the visit I went to my original doctor's office to sign a release and get copies of his notes and the lab results.  I have to bring this to my infectious disease doctor before my next visit.

...And that's my story.  Tonight, my friends are taking me out to dinner for my birthday.

My emotions have been all over the map these last couple of months.  I feel like the world has fallen under a twilight like this video game I've been playing.  I have been involved in taking jazz, modern, and aerial dance classes and low-flying trapeze.  It has been difficult for me to go to those classes these last couple of months because of my constant worrying and anxiety, but when I go, it does take my mind off of things.  The doctor was reassuring today, but when I started reading the material he gave me, I became scared and worried again.  A part of me would like to believe that a cure will be found within 10 years, but another part believes that it's more profitable for drug companies to keep people alive with "life-long treatment."  So they have no real incentive to find a cure.  Hopefully, that part of me is wrong.

Boo Radley:
minus,

A few days before my 34th birthday in 1989 I got my test results.  I don't remember anything about that birthday but I've gone through 16 more since then.  Testing poz is not the end of one's life.  You can still take classes and enjoy activities as much as you've done before.  Lots of people using these forums are actively engaged in school, work, and pursuing goals without being hindered by HIV. 

You're right that how you became infected doesn't matter and you need to focus on your needs now as an HIV+ person.  Every person who tests poz goes through her/his own period of grief, anger, fear, sadness, and other emotions.  What you feel now is natural and you should allow yourself to go through the range of feelings as best you can.  Talking to a good friend or counselor or therapist might help you with the process.

A viral load of 20,700 is pretty low but until your CD4 count is known you have to wait.  Easy to say, I know.  Your CD4 count will probably be pretty good and you won't have to worry about meds for some time with such a low viral load.  When you start meds you will probably have an easier time of it thanks to the thousands of people who were guinea pigs during much of the 80s and 90s and the number of treatment options available in 2007.

This birthday will be the first of many more to come and next year you'll probably be in a much better frame of mind.  I'm sorry you're blue on your birthday but it's certainly understandable.  Maybe you can forget about HIV for a short time tonight and enjoy the company of people who love you. 

Happy birthday anyway! 

Take care,

Boo

Ihavehope:
Hello there.
Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Listen try to calm down and it does no good trying to remember how and who gave it to you. It's hard to accept it but if u read alot of posts in the forum it is better to have found out now than in the hospital.

What are your CD4 counts? They should have given it to you when they gave you your viral load. THey usually ask you to wait 1-2 weeks but they usually have the results in 5-7 days so give them a call and find out.

UALaw77:
Happy birthday!

I know that may seem inappropriate in light of what is undoubtedly a most unfelicitous development in your life.  I can totally relate.  I am also 29, and I was also diagnosed less than a month ago after a similarly inexplicable timetable of possible exposures.  I haven't gotten my first CD4/viral load count back.  But I have already resolved not to permit this challenge to steal my happiness.  I am fortunate in that I am healthy and that I have wonderfully supportive people in my life.  In some ways, HIV has made me MORE appreciative of my blessings and MORE sensitive to the hidden heartaches that others have in their lives.  I pray that, in time, you might rediscover all the things in your life that are still cause for joy.  Accordingly, I pray that today might be yet another

Happy birthday!

rick21007:
Really sorry you are hiv---the timing of the news really sucks, but am waiting to here when a good time to here this would be!   I found out myself on December 11th so everything you expressed is still pretty fresh for me too.

You will find that for what reason I have yet to figure out this board seems to attract people with the biggest hearts you can imagine.  You probably noticed just reading the responses to your posts.

Anyway glad you are here.  Stick around,  The company is pretty cool here.

Rick

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