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Author Topic: Today is special  (Read 1048 times)

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Offline woodshere

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,477
  • ain't no shame in my game
Today is special
« on: February 28, 2007, 02:16:42 PM »
Today is an anniversary of sorts.  It isn't the day I found out I was HIV+, that is later.  Nor is it the day I found out my initial CD4 count was 179 giving me an AIDS diagnosis, that is in April.  Today is special because one year ago today I took an HIV test, which I didnít realize then, but was the start of a new journey for me.  I had not had an HIV test since 1990, that was a lot of rest stops, back rooms and glory holes ago.  Far too many not to have been tested on a regular basis.  During that 16 years I rationalized that I didnít need to be tested because I was invincible, you know that feeling of  ďitís not going to happen to meĒ.  I also always practiced safer sexÖ..yeah right. But at least when I didnít it was ok, because my partner was negative.  I knew he was negative because he looked healthy, didnít have that ďAIDS lookĒ.  Of course we all know how reliable that HIV test is.  I would have to say though that the main reason I didnít get tested was fear.  I was scared of  being HIV+  and all that that ďgiftĒ brings to the party.

But last year having recently turned 40 I decided I needed to have a physical.  You know after the car has been driven (or in my case ridden) for 100,000 miles it was in need of a check up.  I really had no HIV symptoms, a swollen gland or two that I reasoned were due to being tired.  So to get a better picture of my health, as the doctor was finishing the blood work request I asked for an HIV test.   He said ok, checked the box, handed me the paperwork and said he would call if it came back positive.

Needless to say he called a week later.  But you know,  that phone call wasnít the end of my world, actually it didnít change my life that much.  Am I any different today than I was the day prior to hearing from my doctor that I was positive, only slightly.  Being HIV+ doesnít define who I am, it only enhances who I am.

Now I know there are probably those who think I am naÔve, in denial or just havenít suffered enough to know that being  HIV+ is a life changing experience.  Please donít think that I am that ignorant.  I realize that eventually my HIV could  become a devastating disease, but at this point my virus and I are getting along well.  And after all this is my HIV.  Even though we are all HIV+, the virus and our reaction to our own virus differs for each of us.  I am dealing  with my HIV the same way I have dealt with every major struggle in my life, from an abusive father to a gambling problem that destroyed my career to being in a co-dependant relationship that ended up with me being dumped for a guy 16 years younger than me - by accepting the circumstance I am in and doing what needs to be done to move on with my life.  And move on is what I have done. During the past year I have been 99% adherent to my meds, I have lost weight, I am eating better, I have joined a poz social group, I am now certified  to do pre/post HIV test counseling, I spoke as an HIV+ person at a student health fair at the university and still am looking for other ways to get involved.  So yeah my life has changed, I am more involved and feel a true conviction to doing more, something that has been lacking in my life for some time. Am I happy to be HIV+, of course not, but I am happy I know that I am positive.  I have no doubt had I not taken that test I would have ended up in the hospital suffering from some sort of OI.

I usually donít post something this long but wanted to today as a way to mark the past year.  A part of me hopes that someone who just tested positive will read this and realize that your life's journey doesnít end being diagnosed HIV+, it's just a changes direction.

Cheers to all,
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 Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 24,553
Re: Today is special
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2007, 02:29:41 PM »
Thank goodness you thought of getting tested when you turned 40, Woods. And that you have done so well since learning your HIV status. So many have not had that good fortune and by the time they learned their positive status were already far along on the continuum leading to serious problems.

Thanks for that sobering and encouraging personal report on your journey.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline Ihavehope

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,366
  • Yes, I'm a cry baby, AND WHAT?
Re: Today is special
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2007, 02:37:09 PM »
Woods

Indeed it is a special day for you. Thank you for sharing this special day with us. I like the way you phrased how you and your HIV are getting along right now. I kind of see my HIV as being a child of mine. Usually caring for a baby is really tough at first and requires patience, learning experiences and full of fears. The only comparable  downside about HIV is that unlike a child we don't learn to love it more but put up with it. Keep ya chin up cutie.

Al
Infected: April 2005
12/6/06 - Diagnosed HIV positive
12/19/06 - CD4 = 240  22% VL = 26,300
1/4/07 - CD4 = 200 16% VL = ?
2/9/07 = Started Kaletra/Truvada
3/13/07 = CD4 = 386 22% VL ?

Offline Longislander

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,486
Re: Today is special
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2007, 06:00:02 PM »
Hi Woods, thanks for the post, and happy anniversary of sorts ! I think we all have somewhat interesting first years. Alot of thinking goes on......~
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 poet

  • Member
  • Posts: 934
  • Poet living and working in Central Maine
Re: Today is special
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2007, 06:50:53 PM »
We all needed your 'long' post, Woods, because you had a lot of ground to cover with it.  Glad you took the time to mark the date with us.  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 dtwpuck

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,013
  • дано мне тело, что мне делать с ним?
Re: Today is special
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2007, 07:15:41 PM »
Wow, woods... I didn't realize that you have only known for a year.  It's a big anniversary, my friend.  And while congratulations are somewhat dubious on this... I think it's huge that you have made such large emotional strides. 

Thank you for your honesty, about your father, codependent relationships, and your other issues.  It's really tough to come out about things like that, especially when you hear about some other people's problems and you think "gee, my life isn't so bad".   Be thankful you can at least feel that way.   You are a terrific guy, and a little naivete, as you put it, is hardly something to be ashamed of.

My warmest regards to you, and here's hoping you have many such anniversaries and opportunities for growth.

Scott   
Floating through the void in the caress of two giant pink lobsters named Esmerelda and Keith.

 


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