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Being supportive & understanding

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JustRhonda:
Hi Med Forum,

I've just started reading this forum, and became a member tonight to reply to you. Your post really struck a cord with me.  My situation is something like yours and maybe input from an older if not wiser woman will be of help.

I'm in love with a great man, one to loves me and who has been a big part of my life for many years.  He and I were together many years ago but parted company due to a lot of misunderstandings and even more pig headed pride (on my part) He and I got back in touch last summer and in a heart beat, it was like we had never been apart.  In that first face to face conversation, he told me that he was HIV+.  As odd as it sounds, I was so relieved when he finally told me, because I knew he was leading up to something bad, and I was horribly afraid it was something that couldn't be dealt with like some inoperable and untreatable cancer that hearing the words 'I've got HIV' was a relief. He is doing great with it, and his counts are down below detectable levels and he feels good again.

One thing I have become very sure of is that no matter what, we can work through this.  I was a medical professional for 10 years and I am very aware of the medical aspect of this disease, but I'm also aware of the great strides being made to combat it as well.  You can deal with anything as long as you lead with your heart and use your brain.

He worries a great deal about infecting me, and I've seen the concern in his eyes when he thinks what might happen if our methods of protection fail.  We aren't able to use latex condoms because I have a skin allergy to them (think red, itchy, swollen rash in 30 seconds or less) so we've been using the female condom which is made of polyurethane (sp?) with good results but nothing is perfect and I've accepted that some day I might become infected as well.

I know from talking to him that he feels like having HIV causes a stigma. That only people who do drugs or are prostitutes or who use prostitutes get it.  I think this is one of the hardest things to deal with, next to the whole 'toxic sperm' thing.  We live in the Midwest were understanding can be hard to come by and judgement by the folks down on the amen pew can be very harsh.

One thing in our favor is we're both just a bit older than you are, I'm 41 and he's 47 and we already have a child together... a great boy who turns 11 tomorrow.

Some days are hard, some days are good, but all days that this man is in my life are much better than the days when he wasn't. All I can say is no matter what the future brings us, it will be worth it to have had this time with him.

Hang in there... it really is worth it.

JustRhonda

med forum:
JustRhonda

Thank you for your encouraging words.....I too have good days and bad because I sometimes wonder if I'm being supportive enough or if this or if that and so on......it's difficult but I know that I have very strong feelings for him and that pushing forward is the only thing to do.

Have you been involved in any support groups? I have had a frustrating time trying to find a group that I could get myself involved in....you know a group for people who have loved ones who are positive. I live in Chicago and there are many resources but not much in terms of someone like me. I felt like the minority while I was looking over the course of several months. I am glad to say that I finally found a group that will only meet for 4 weeks but I figure that's better than nothing.

Look foward to sharing with you in the future!

Thanks again!
Peace & health

megasept:
Hello:

You give yourself too little credit. With an open heart like yours, you can "understand" most anything your man (and most of humanity) might be feeling. Your partner is lucky. You are most welcome on this site! Feel free to PM (Private Message) me anytime you wish.

 8)  -megasept

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