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Author Topic: Questions and more Questions  (Read 4227 times)

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Offline purplerain

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  • finally figured out the pic thing
Questions and more Questions
« on: June 28, 2006, 07:58:36 AM »
I just found out a week ago yesterday that I am +  thru a rapid test and will be going in this Fri 2 get the results from my western blot and 2 talk 2 a counselor type who has repeatidly asked what it is I need from her.

My question 2 u guys is what are some questions that would be good 2 ask her?  What do I need? LOL

(I feel like I have a million questions swirling around in my head but when I really try 2 focus on what those would be I go blank.)
She's not a doc I think she's there 2 help refer me 2 different places and services.  Just wondering if there has been any services that have helped U guys out that I should ask about....

Also any questions other then the ones listed in the lessons that I should take with me when I start 2 go "interview" doctors would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks JAG

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: Questions and more Questions
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2006, 08:20:43 AM »
Hi JAG - Personally for me I find the counselor from the hospital  very knowledgable ... Love her - I have not ever spoken with a counselor outside the hospital. Anyway Lorna (that's her name) provides me with information on state and city programs that I might qualify for. She tells me about hospital services that I can take dadvantage of or that i might not know about e.g. applying for aid such as disability or SSI (i.e., the do's and don'ts), free acupuncture on Wednesdays in the hospital, free individual psychotherapy - again, in the hospital, state-assisted tuition reimbursement (so that one can be equipped for a possible career change). She is like a clearinghouse of information.

She also jots down information that she hears thru the gravepine and she shares that. People tend to open up to her and she's like a sponge for information and she has a good memory. So that's like a triple whammy of "good" - Everyone likes her

Anyway, I would say just open up to this person with whatever's going on in your life, whether it be physical/actual/circumstances (e.g. housing, training for job skills), or mental (e.g. you feel you need group therapy or individual therapy)  ...The more open you are about your life and wha'ts going on in your head, the more value you'll find in him/her

Take care,

Offline bear60

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Re: Questions and more Questions
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2006, 08:22:03 AM »
Hi There......
Welcome to the AIDSMEDS  forums. There is a lot of supprt for you here, but you may need the help of that counselor.  It would appear that you do not have results from your bloodwork yet. After you have those results you may OR may not have to start medications.  Questions often are:
How will I pay for meds? Advice about  resources in your area are important. As well as advice on insurance or disability.
Can I continue working?
How and when do I disclose to my partner/ wife/husband? And to whom else?
What is resistance?
What meds are available and what are the side effects.
Am I depressed?
These are just SOME of the questions newly HIV positive people have asked.  
And.....be sure you know that asking for help is a good thing.

Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline purplerain

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Re: Questions and more Questions
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2006, 09:17:10 AM »
Thanks Alex and Bear I feel like right now any info and advise is good info and advise

Thanks again JAG

Offline aztecan

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  • 32 years positive, 60 years a pain in the butt
Re: Questions and more Questions
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2006, 09:59:33 AM »

There are two things I would ask right off the bat, based on my expience:

1 Where do I find a qualified doctor?

2 What is the nearest ASO (AIDS service organization.)

Through these referrals, you should be able to access needed services and assistance available in your area.

Good luck on Friday.


"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Christine

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Re: Questions and more Questions
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2006, 05:51:30 PM »
Hi Jag,
The one thing I wish I had done right away is talk to a counselor. It took about a year for me to see a therapist, and I should have gone sooner. Contacting your local ASO is a huge help also. Our ASO helped me to get an appt at the local hospital, helped with insurance, drug programs, all kinds of info, support groups.

Write all your questions down, take notes when you go to the doctor. Can anyone go with you? ASO or the hospital social service department can sometimes have a case worker go with you to appointments. It is going to feel like you are in a whirling vortex, at least it did for me for months, that is normal. Take things day by day.
Poz since '93. Currently on Procrit, Azithromax, Pentamidine, Valcyte, Levothyroxine, Zoloft, Epzicom, Prezista, Viread, Norvir, and GS-9137 study drug. As needed: Trazodone, Atavan, Diflucan, Zofran, Hydrocodone, Octreotide

5/30/07 t-cells 9; vl 275,000

Offline Eldon

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Re: Questions and more Questions
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2006, 06:11:45 PM »
When you get there ask for the counselor or case manager and tell them that you are HIV and you need to get a Doctor referral. What is the nearest ASO that you can go to for help, and ASK QUESTIONS for your treatment, how will the meds get paid for etc...

The case worker knows what you need to do, they are familiar with this.

Offline bear60

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Re: Questions and more Questions
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2006, 07:41:47 PM »
Write all your questions down, take notes when you go to the doctor." quote
Thats important!!!! It helps to have written out your concerns.....you may feel rushed and forget them.
But the message behind that is this: you are going to be a team with your health care providers...you must trust them and if you dont....change doctors. Its kind of bils down to this: gut feelings count.  Be informed...before you go for a doctors visit, read up on what you need to know, or come to AIDSMEDS and talk to the guys here.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline purplerain

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  • finally figured out the pic thing
Re: Questions and more Questions
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2006, 08:01:06 PM »
THANKS guys and gals I am taking notes as we speak


Offline doyourowndamndishes

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Re: Questions and more Questions
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2006, 01:01:26 PM »
Hey Jag,

I've copied and pasted some very generic info regarding the first doctor visit.  If I was more computer fancy I'd have posted the link instead.  Anyway, it's from the web site CATIE: www.catie.ca
I know it's a little out dated but the questions to ask yourself after the visit are really helpful in determining if this is a good doctor for you.  If you can not keep an open and honest line of communication with your health care provider; if you don't feel comfie talking about certain subject matter with him or her than you might be compromising your own health care.

I agree with what everyone has said.  And ya, it's really important to find your local ASO; you may have to register there before you can access services.  That's at least how both ASO groups right by me work.  Hopefully they can help you find counsellors and support groups is you need it.  They can also help you find a primary doctor who specializes in hiv care. 

Managing Your Health, 1999 edition
Chapter title: Health-care Professionals, Hospitals, and Home-care Services
Section title: Doctors
Subsection title: Your first appointment with a new doctor

There are some things you can do to prepare for your first appointment:

Make an appointment to talk with the doctor. Make sure you will have enough time to get to know the doctor and give
the doctor a sense of your medical history and current state of health.
Make notes about the questions that you want to ask during your visit. If you're nervous, or worried that there may be too much information to remember, you can make a list, or take a friend along to help you keep track.

After the appointment, ask yourself:
Was I given enough time?
Did the doctor give me a chance to ask questions?
Did he or she answer them in a way I could understand?
Was he or she knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS? Was he or she willing to learn?
Did he or she listen to what I had to say about my specific conditions or situation?
Is he or she knowledgeable about the conditions specific to people in my situation (drug users, women)?
Is he or she willing to try different approaches to treatment?
Is he or she willing to work with me as a partner in my health care?
Did he or she seem to be prejudiced against me in any way?
Did I feel comfortable with this doctor? Was he or she friendly?

One visit doesn't commit you to a relationship. If you have some worries, you may want to shop around some more.
Once you have chosen a doctor, arrange to have your last one pass on your medical records. This will give your doctor a better idea of your history. Sometimes it costs money to have documents transferred. There is no standard fee; your doctor determines the cost based on the amount of paperwork and photocopying. However, you can expect to pay around $25 for a simple chart transfer.

You will also need to make an appointment for a complete physical exam. Complete exams usually take about 45 minutes. This will give your doctor a picture of the state of your health right now. This is called a baseline. It will be used to compare with how you're doing later.
If I can think of other questions not already mentioned I'll pass them on.  It has been a while since I had that "first" appointment that I really can not remember.  And ya, take notes, my head was swimming with all the new information I was bombarded with.  Just take your time trying to absorbe it all.  There's too much to take in all at once so slowly go over it.  If you have further questions jot them down for the next doctor vist and post them here as well.

Your head may be spinning but it will slow down long enough for you to see where you are going!


"All that we are is theresult of what we have thought." -Buddha


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