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Christmas nightmare

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an92:
So here i am again to share/vent about how difficult it is to live with hiv and be diagnosed with generalized anxiety at the same time. Things that are normal to others, or seem normal are not to me.

I finally got to fly and see my family today after two years. Because of covid and all the endless precautions one has to take at the airport these days i ended up washing and disinfecting my hands too many times… by the time i got home and showered and washed my hands to eat with my family they were very dry. After the meal i noticed that my hands were bleeding in several places on my fingers, by now it was dry blood. I understood why my grandmother kept looking at my hands while we were eating. I served her tea, and touched the salad bowl, all the utensils on the table, i broke some chocolate pieces for her. My grandmother is an angel, if there ever was one. She is my favorite. I cannot believe i put her at risk, even if that risk is small.

I’ve spent all year in treatment for my anxiety. I am the curious case where all my blood work results are very good, but i had an uncontrollable fear of infecting my husband. I finally managed to improve that by 90% this year, but now the fear and anxiety have been triggered and come roaring back. does it ever get better? I dont know if it ever will. I have destroyed my mind over the last few years. I went from being absolutely normal to insane.

If i ever infect my grandmother somehow i won’t be able to live with myself. She doesn’t know about my hiv, so i cant talk to her about it. I cant  believe i had blood on my hands when i handled her teacup for her and served her food. My status is undetectable from my last test two weeks ago. I have been undetecatble for three years consistently.

I have a feeling this will ruin my christmas. I haven’t seen them all for two years.

The worst part from my anxiety perspective is never knowing if i infected her or put her in danger because she will never have the idea to get a hiv test. Of course i am now flooded with thoughts of her getting aids and dying and never knowing that i infected her. I know this is all insane. It makes me feel so stupid for typing this.

But i want people to know that anxiety is no joke. It has destroyed my life, i no longer recognise myself. The anxiety meds just make me feel drugged and drunk and are not a long term solution. Ive been to three psychologists they dont help. Sometimes i just want to crawl under a rock. I have become insane, and the worst thing is thati can see how insane i am to other people, and i can remember how normal i used to be. This sucks. Sorry, rant over.

Poor granny, she has no idea.

Jim Allen:
Hiya,

Firstly I am sorry to hear that you are in pain and struggling with this, you are not alone though.

 
--- Quote ---After the meal i noticed that my hands were bleeding in several places on my fingers, by now it was dry blood. I understood why my grandmother kept looking at my hands while we were eating. I served her tea, and touched the salad bowl, all the utensils on the table, i broke some chocolate pieces for her. My grandmother is an angel, if there ever was one. She is my favorite. I cannot believe i put her at risk, even if that risk is small.

--- End quote ---


--- Quote ---If i ever infect my grandmother somehow i wonít be able to live with myself. She doesnít know about my hiv, so i cant talk to her about it. I cant  believe i had blood on my hands when i handled her teacup for her and served her food. My status is undetectable from my last test two weeks ago. I have been undetecatble for three years consistently.

I have a feeling this will ruin my christmas. I havenít seen them all for two years.

The worst part from my anxiety perspective is never knowing if i infected her or put her in danger because she will never have the idea to get a hiv test. Of course i am now flooded with thoughts of her getting aids and dying and never knowing that i infected her.
--- End quote ---

There was no HIV risk, none.

Your undetectable viral load is totally irrelevant in these situations. Regardless of your viral load, you can't give granny HIV through a teacup, utensils or passing the salad bowl.

So take a deep breath, Granny does not have HIV unless she has been engaging in condomless sex or injecting drugs. I know you had similar fears with regards to cuts etc last year: https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=74905.msg

As a mod note:

Normally I would move transmission fears into the prevention thread, but I will leave this thread here for now, although, let's stick to the topic of anxiety and not how HIV is or isn't acquired.


--- Quote ---I know this is all insane. It makes me feel so stupid for typing this.

But i want people to know that anxiety is no joke. It has destroyed my life, i no longer recognise myself. The anxiety meds just make me feel drugged and drunk and are not a long term solution. Ive been to three psychologists they dont help. Sometimes i just want to crawl under a rock. I have become insane, and the worst thing is thati can see how insane i am to other people, and i can remember how normal i used to be. This sucks. Sorry, rant over.
--- End quote ---

It's not insane or stupid.

Anxiety can be overwhelming and it isn't something to be taken lightly, there is no easy fix. You are obviously having a rough time and anxiety isn't something that can be resolved overnight, so do keep working with your doctors.

You mentioned you have seen three psychologists but are you currently still seeing one? Besides the forum, do you have anyone else to talk to about how you are feeling at the moment?

CalvinC:
Hope your Christmas went well (enough). Let us know!

Anxiety is a beast, and rumination is certainly part of it. Jim's covered most of the stuff about ruminating over infecting your grandmother, and he's quite right.

But if you think that your anxiety meds are not working, please ensure (if you haven't) that you tell your doctors this, in no uncertain terms. Or find another doctor. I know it's tiring, but try to find the strength to press on.

One psychiatrist I saw thought I had a borderline personality disorder (no, I didn't), complicated by my issues around sex addiction (which is/was true, and which I've overcome). He put me on Zyprexa. Awful. I was walking around drooling, in a total fog. I told him I was stopping it. Then risperidone. Awful again. I felt like I was being used like a pin cushion. Got off the drugs and dropped him. Best thing I ever did. Now handle my anxieties with an SSRI and the occasional lorazepam.

Of course, your journey is different than mine. But there is an answer for you. Please don't give up the search!

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