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Author Topic: I'm One Of "Them" Now  (Read 8549 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline BobbyJay

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
I'm One Of "Them" Now
« on: January 10, 2007, 03:05:27 AM »
I received word from my family doctor January 3/07 that I was infected with the hiv virus. My doctor said I was the first patient he has ever had to test positive for hiv and this was relatively new to him. When he was telling me what he knew, I was totally confused and all I can remember was that he was making an appointment with a specialist who apparently is the best in the area where I live.

In early December I was quite ill for about 5 days, diarrhea and extremely weak. I felt relatively OK for the next few days, then it hit again. Extreme fatigue, no appetite and severe sweating at night time. I eventually was able to get in to see my family doctor after 7 days of sickness. He had me take chest x-rays, ECG and about 8 different blood tests including hiv. The chest x-rays showed pneumonia, which doctor prescribed antibiotics for, it cleared up within 6 days. I waited almost 3 weeks over the Christmas Holidays to hear about the hiv test.

Now I am waiting again to see the specialist and have no idea when that will be. I also am supposed to meet with the Public Health Dept apparently as well. Meanwhile I am feeling fine physically. I do think I am coping with the news very well. I had a few bouts of crying when I was telling my very close friends. I have undertaken the task of informing everyone I had intimate contact with over the past 4 months that they should get tested for hiv as soon as possible as they may have contracted it from me or i may have contracted it from them. I have some dear friends who are helping me with understanding this disease until I can get the professional counselling.

Anything anyone here can offer would be greatly appreciated. My feelings are that I am as I always was. Nothing seems to be different except, I am not having sex anymore....at the moment.

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,180
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2007, 08:09:38 AM »
I was totally confused and all I can remember was that he was making an appointment with a specialist who apparently is the best in the area where I live.


Hello Bobby,

Welcome to the forums. One of the first and foremost important things, that you can do for yourself, is to get a qualified doctor, knowledgeable in HIV treatment, So, your doctor is right on the ball by making an appointment with a specialist. When that is arranged, he will do some blood work, so that you will know what your viral load is, and what your current t-cell count is. To understand about those numbers, you can read about them in the lessons also.



I know that you will have plenty of questions, but my advice to you would be to read the lessons portion of the site.

http://www.aidsmeds.com/lessons/StartHere1.htm

Don't try to jam it all in at once, read what you can, when you can. After reading the lessons, if there are things you don't understand, go ahead and ask away. You will most likely go through many emotional periods, the main thing, is to try and remain as focused as you can, and get that professional care that you need. It's good that you have friends, that you are able to talk with. No-one, can handle HIV on their own. Communication is necessary! Let us know when you get your appointment with the specialist. This is the main thing to do right now.



Take care/ Keep posting---------Ray



Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg 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


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 8/2514,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 62 years young.

Offline rick21007

  • Member
  • Posts: 286
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2007, 08:45:29 AM »
Hey BobbyJay---Actually you are one of _us_ now!   Welcome and glad you found the forums.  I was diagnosed in December so am new myself.  I can tell you the greatest bunch of people hang out on this board.  It's been a God send having the emotional support and having access to the information.  I am finding out it has made the biggest difference learning from folks who have hiv themselves.

I hope you get a good hiv specialist.  I also think the more you learn about the disease and about your own body the more you will be able to be in charge of your treatment and to be able to make the best choices in terms of what is available and what will work for you.

Best to you----when somebody says that here they really mean it too!!!!   Rick

Offline BobbyJay

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2007, 11:04:06 AM »
Thank you Ray and Rick, I certainly will stay in touch here :)

Offline aupointillimite

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,229
  • FUS DO RAH!
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2007, 04:48:05 PM »
I'm really sorry to hear about your diagnosis... I'll never forget the first few days after I find out... alternating between numbess and wild emotional changes... anything you want to know, don't hesitate to ask!

But, as Rick said, you're one of us now and welcome!

There's a lot of cool cats on this board... a bunch of very supportive and kind people.  I hope you stick around!

It's good that you're opening up like this... I wish I had earlier.

Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline koi1

  • Member
  • Posts: 713
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2007, 08:26:07 PM »
Hey,

I am sorry to hear about your status. I am a month and a half new to this, but I can even tell you that it will get better. Knowledge is power in the case of HIV. 6 days after starting meds today, I feel so much better. Feel free to IM me if you want to ask me anything. And you know what? You are still you. You will find yourself again. I felt the same way.

rob
« Last Edit: January 10, 2007, 08:28:36 PM by koi1 »
diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
Drawn 02/10/07
cd4=160 viral load= 131 percentage= 8%
New labs 3/10/07 (two months on sustiva truvada
cd4 count 292  percentage 14 viral load undetectable

Offline Nico

  • Member
  • Posts: 262
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2007, 08:46:48 PM »
Bobby,
Welcome.  You are "part of a family" now.  I contracted HIV in late '89 or early '90 and converted 1/1990.  Same symptoms you described.  But guess what?  I am here, still working in a stable relationship for 17 years and have good numbers.

Make sure you ask your ID doc all the questions you wish!  Do not be afraid to say what is on your mind.  Ask all the questions you want.  Trust me, I have scrolled through the list and everything is shared and supported.

Just remember, you have a place to come to and vent, scream, curse and share you best moments.  Again welcome!

Cheers!
Roger
Poz since 1990.

Offline Boo Radley

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,252
  • Not a "real man" and damn proud, mithter... FAB
    • Animal Rescue New Orleans
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2007, 02:18:48 PM »
BobbyJay,

Like everyone I welcome you to this great site, our "family."  I empathize with your experiences as a newly diagnosed HIV+ person.  Your attitude seems very good compared to that of many of us who dealt with that "brand new [leper]" kind of feeling [you don't feel like a leper I hope but it's not uncommon -- I sure did].   Fear, anger, sadness, doubt, and other feelings and emotions are ordinary at this time.  Cry if you want to, talk to your friends, check out the services of your local AIDS Services provider (if you're lucky enough to have one), do anything necessary to deal healthily with this illness.

I totally understand the added tension waiting during the Xmas holidays for test results -- not telling any family or many friends, not being able to enjoy the festivities with this dreary cloud over your head.  My test results were given to me a few days before my 34th birthday in late December, 1989. 

Right now you have to remain calm (sounds like you're doing that) and wait for the blood test results.  Seeing a doctor who has as much experience and knowledge as possible about HIV is very important.  Like your GP said you are his first HIV+ patient (the first one he's aware of because undoubtedly there are and will be others) and he doesn't know enough to help you make informed decisions about dealing with the virus.  If you have medical insurance of some kind you might think about making the HIV specialist your primary care physician unless you have other health issues he/she isn't as competent in treating. 

There are a lot of people here from whom you will get great advice as well as develop friendships and bonds.  A lot of us use AIDSmeds as our extended Internet family.  There is a diverse crowd here and although we occasionally have our squabbles and misunderstandings we manage to maintain civility through most of them!

Welcome to AM.  Please keep us updated and remember, there is no question too stupid to ask (well, there are some but you'd have to be looney tunes to ask them).  You might think about posting in the "Living with HIV" section as well as this one once you become more comfortable as a person living the poz life.

Best of luck!

Boo
String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline indyguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 260
  • Hoosier Boy Single Again.
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2007, 12:49:00 AM »
Hey whats up man. I found out 3 weeks ago and am doing the state department of health thing. My family doctor who is very old school just told me when I found out for sure (second test) to bring him the paperwork and he would refer me to someone and hung up on me. I have found a person here in Indiana that manages my care and she is great. I am looking for a new doctor because mine does not like people who are gay I can tell. She is helping me with that. I have been lucky that I have friends that are HIV+ and they are acting like my mentors through all of this. Remember that we are not going to die, we just have to manage it. I may have to show the state that I work part time if my insurance does not cover the meds and get on a state assistance program. That part would suck for me. Hang in there. Keep the faith and know that we are all thinking about you. If you ever come to Indianapolis I would be glad to show you around. Later
Meds doing well so far.

Offline koi1

  • Member
  • Posts: 713
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2007, 08:52:25 AM »
Hey Indy Guy,

I hope you don't stop until you find a good ID specialist.

rob
diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
Drawn 02/10/07
cd4=160 viral load= 131 percentage= 8%
New labs 3/10/07 (two months on sustiva truvada
cd4 count 292  percentage 14 viral load undetectable

Offline FiercenBed

  • Member
  • Posts: 183
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2007, 08:36:07 PM »
dude....itz all about the doc. hez got what i call the 'magic pad'.....lol. if the doc dosnt make u happy find another 1. and DONT be afraid to get a 2nd opinion. medical universities are always good for that. make an appointment and even if ya gota drive go. forums are littered with good and bad doc stories. id like to say itz gonna b easy....but id b lying. where i can tell ya the truth is after some time it all settles down and comes in2 focus. good & bad. hang in there!

btw.....where r u? y r u waiting for the public health department? y did it take 3 weeks to get the results?  mine was 2 days and it was torture. i cant imagine 3 weeks.

hey boo......'squabbles' i like that....lol
« Last Edit: January 13, 2007, 08:48:36 PM by FiercenBed »

Offline swede_dish

  • Member
  • Posts: 682
  • I feel like an angel baby wrapped in a candy cloud
    • My blog
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2007, 10:40:52 AM »
BobbyJay,

Welcome my love..... If you need ANYTHING..let any one of us know...we don't mind at all..

Love,
Jenn
"I married a German. Every night I dress up as Poland and he invades me. "
-Bette Midler

Offline Javicho

  • Member
  • Posts: 268
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2007, 05:54:29 PM »
Welcome Bobby, you will find a lot of support and good people in this forum. I learn more in here than with my doctor like everybody says is very important to have a good doctor to understand your needs and answer your question. That's why I'm changing doctors now, thanks to this wonderfull group of people, Found out that my doctor was not good for me. Keep in touch  :-*

J.

Offline Central79

  • Member
  • Posts: 527
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2007, 10:41:53 AM »
Hey Bobby

Thanks for posting - I'm really sorry to hear about your news. I was diagnosed a year ago this Friday. I've actually just got back from my GP (general practitioner - they're primary care providers in the UK) with a prescription for anti-depressants. I haven't taken them all year, and felt pretty rough for large parts of it. I'm a medical student, and I'm about 5 months out from completing and having to sit some major league exams, so it's time to swallow my pride and take them. Part of me wishes that I'd started earlier.

I think everybody's reaction to getting the news is different, and there is no right or wrong way to feel. I have spoken to lots of HIV+ people and asked them how long it took them to "get over it" and the answers have varied from a couple of days to 25 years in long-term survivors. Myself, I feel things are getting better for me but I think a part of me will always be sad about the circumstances under which I contracted HIV (my bf and I broke up for a short time) and the effects it has on my relationship now, my career (I was going to be a surgeon) and the more basic stuff like survival and health.

So, what have I learnt in the past year? I guess the basic thing would be to hang in there. The trend has generally been up, but hard to see in the bad patches. I have done my best to look after myself, and given myself the space to loose it and cry. My friends have been great. I don't feel I can tell my family. I struggle to feel okay about that, but that's okay. I see a therapist, and now I'm gonna take these anti-depressants. I'm getting to the stage now where I'm starting to turn outwards to the world again and stop being introspective. Starting to see how I can make a difference, esp. given my medical training. I think that helps a lot. I have got a "promising research" folder on my computer, where I save optimistic research papers on eradicating HIV or new drugs as well as profiles from bigmuscle.com or other websites of big beefy guys, looking good and doing well with HIV! Whatever helps...

I'm guessing from your post and the way you're informing your partners that your a caring person that worries about other peoples', even strangers, health. I think that's fantastic. I wouldn't worry about stopping having sex - I did for a few months after my diagnosis. I had to get my head around it and work out how I was going to handle it in the future. Don't worry too much about it...

Anyway, I hope your first year passes easier than mine but leaves you feeling as optimistic as I do writing this.

With best wishes,

Matt.
Diagnosed January 2006
26/1/06 - 860 (22%), VL > 500,000
24/4/06 - 820 (24.6%), VL 158,000
13/7/06 - 840 (22%), VL 268,000
1/11/06 - 680 (21%), VL 93,100
29/1/07 - 1,020 (27.5%), VL 46,500
15/5/07 - 1,140 (22.8%), VL not done.
13/10/07 - 759 (23.2%), VL 170,000
6/11/07 - 630 (25%), VL 19,324
14/1/08 - 650 (21%), VL 16,192
15/4/08 - 590 (21%), VL 40, 832

Offline indyguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 260
  • Hoosier Boy Single Again.
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2007, 01:04:17 AM »
Hey Matt you have brought some hope to this thing. I found out about a month ago and have gotten more useful information here then on the net. Hope you do well on your exams. We need more doctors that treat the patient and not the desease. My favorite move was Patch Adams with Robin Williams, watch this movie and if you are anything like him you will be one hell of a doctor. Again good luck. Michael
Meds doing well so far.

Offline siongi

  • Member
  • Posts: 42
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2007, 03:20:50 AM »
Hey Man,

Foremost i take this opportunity to welcome you to these forums. It is great you have discovered this site and hope you will find the info nad the people to be of great assistance as you come to terms with your new reality. Just like your self, each one of us here have come from where you are. Now as J.R.E has already said, get into the various info in the forums and also read the many blogs written by good people who have been in this longer and are able to put their experiences vividly in writing.

Welcome honey and lets hear of your progress.

Respects.

Siongi

Offline Central79

  • Member
  • Posts: 527
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2007, 03:49:35 PM »
Hey Indy

Thanks for the good wishes. Hang in there - that goes for all of you guys newly diagnosed. Take the time you need, heal and look after yourselves. The net is a fantastic resouce but try not to get to drawn to the morbid "what might happen" stuff. I do that, and it cripples me. The first thing I did after being diagnosed is come home and work out what bits of my profession I was now excluded from and then looked up K-M (survival) curves in a couple of studies from the late 90s! Not useful!

Matt.
Diagnosed January 2006
26/1/06 - 860 (22%), VL > 500,000
24/4/06 - 820 (24.6%), VL 158,000
13/7/06 - 840 (22%), VL 268,000
1/11/06 - 680 (21%), VL 93,100
29/1/07 - 1,020 (27.5%), VL 46,500
15/5/07 - 1,140 (22.8%), VL not done.
13/10/07 - 759 (23.2%), VL 170,000
6/11/07 - 630 (25%), VL 19,324
14/1/08 - 650 (21%), VL 16,192
15/4/08 - 590 (21%), VL 40, 832

Offline indyguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 260
  • Hoosier Boy Single Again.
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2007, 02:26:43 AM »
I had to do the same thing. I work in a mental hospital and can no longer do restraints because the patients tend to scratch,bite ect ect and of course can cause me to bleed.
Meds doing well so far.

Offline BobbyJay

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2008, 12:57:01 PM »
Well here it is just over a year later and I am doing great! My CD4 count has remained level at 460 and my viral load has decreased from 171,000 a year ago to 23,000 now. Mentally I am still the same old guy I always was, physically, well i'm a year older so I don't jump through hoops anymore LOL! Still have great support from friends and my significant other is still coming around to accepting the way I am. In the beginning he would wear longjohns and long sleeve shirt to bed, now we  are naked in bed and enjoying each other again. Sorry I have been away from the room so long but I been living my life to the fullest and enjoying every minute.

Offline OneMoreGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 77
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2008, 11:58:48 AM »
Now... that is a great uplifting story to read.

Glad to hear you are doing great BobbyJay, a year after all seemed miserable and bleak.

It helps the uninformed to read that there is hope and that the world does not end once one becomes infected.

It's a darn virus we all have to live with, but having high blood pressure a lot longer than I have had the virus, I already knew that without my HBP meds, I could have died of a heart attack long time ago.

Becoming infected is for most people no longer the death sentence it was in the early 80s, so live it up and enjoy life.

There is still a lot to be thankful for.
Psychologist, PhD
Counseling patients with HIV since Jan 1991
HIV since Dec 2005
There are three parts to any successful relationship (platonic or romantic): trust, honesty and communication

Offline TrilbyCowboy

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2008, 05:04:38 PM »
Bobby Jay,

Really glad to see you posted to this thread again a year later. Even happier that things seem to be going well for you. It took my partner, (then of 21 years), about a year and a half to come to terms with my hiv status. Unfortunately the stress on our relationship was observed by many. I had a much easier time dealing with my status because I have a doctor I feel completely confident in, and a support group of friends that are second to none. After exposing my partner to my support group, and having him go to a few doctor visits with me, he slowly started coming around. We celebrated our 25th anniversary in December, and our relationship is probably the strongest it has ever been. It feels great to once again be the couple that gives people hope that long term relationships do exist. Sounds like yours is headed in the right direction! Great to see your post.
Paul

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,180
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: I'm One Of "Them" Now
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2008, 05:15:42 PM »
Sorry I have been away from the room so long but I been living my life to the fullest and enjoying every minute.

Hello Bobby,

Sounds as though , things are going pretty well for you. Thats Great !! Wishing you the best... It doesn't seem possible that it has been a year since you first posted !


Ray  8)
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg 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


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 8/2514,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 62 years young.

 


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