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Author Topic: How am I doing?  (Read 4525 times)

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Offline mplsdoubled

  • Member
  • Posts: 52
How am I doing?
« on: October 29, 2007, 08:40:27 AM »
Hello Everyone.

Having tested positive on September 4 of this year I seem to be doing really well emotionally.  I've certainly had days and moments of "HOLY SH*T, THIS HAS REALLY HAPPENED TO ME!" But for the most part, HIV doesn't pre-occupy my thoughts or how I am living my life.  A friend who has been positive for 8 years told me that for the first year it was the first thing he thought of every morning when he woke up and it took him a while before he started to live more normally again.  This just isn't me.

My first set of labs on September 6 were as follows:

VL - 115554
CD4 - 337 (30.5%)

My second set of labs on October 10 were as follows:

VL - 62202
CD4 - 315 (30.2%)

My doc told me that if I were his brother, he would recommend starting meds but that he could support my decision to wait if I wanted to.  I have decided to wait for another set of labs to be taken in early December.

My numbers aren't freaking me out, my outlook is pretty good and physically I'm feeling great.  Being newly diagnosed I wonder if I'm dealing well or just in denial.  Should I be more freaked out about my numbers?

Would love your thoughts and suggestions re: starting meds and my general good spirits.

Offline keyite

  • Member
  • Posts: 514
Re: How am I doing?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2007, 09:39:45 AM »
Welcome to the forums!

Having read this and some of your other posts it strikes me you have a great attitude to the diagnosis and, by extension, to life in general. It'll definitely serve you well as you move forward. Doesn't immediately sound like you're in denial, because if you were, I doubt you would be this pro-active in dealing with your situation. I guess you just happen to be a very pragmatic type of person?

Your numbers have been pretty consistent and you have a very decent CD4%. There's also the suggestion your VL is on a downward trend. I think you're very wise to hold off on any decisions until you've got at least a third set of results. Particularly so if you also have reason to believe this might be a recent infection(?), as it takes some time for the body to adjust to the virus and then CD4s could well rebound. Still, if a trend emerges where CD4s are declining then I'd personally agree with your doc in his recommendation of meds.

Sounds like you've got a good doc and that's really important. Particularly pleased to hear he's sensitive to your wishes and doesn't just impose the decision about starting meds on you.

Fantastic that your numbers aren't freaking you out - a lot of newly diagnosed people find them very difficult to handle. Initially mine really freaked me out but as time has gone on I've learnt to take it more in my stride. Clearly not something you need to worry about! ;D

Offline Falkore

  • Member
  • Posts: 70
Re: How am I doing?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2007, 06:25:24 PM »

We are glad that you found us.  I agree with keyite.  It looks like you are doing well.  There was not a major change in your percentage CD4 so I would not be too worried at this time.  Wait until one more test and see were you are from there.  Take the time to talk with your doctor, it sounds like he's really open to your opinion and that is important. 

Feel free to ask any questions you want.  There are many people who would be happy to help you. 

"Ain't no shame in my flame"
Date:          CD4:     VL:
10/02/05     568       2,070
11/18/05     541       2,970
02/17/06     442       4,720
04/17/06     510       1,100
07/12/06     391       3,050
Start Atripla
09/22/06     595       Undet.
01/18/07     562       Undet.
05/25/07     540       Undet.
09/26/07     531       Undet.

Offline Winiroo

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,082
  • Positive since 1991
Re: How am I doing?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2007, 06:53:21 PM »
I've been told by some LTS that the CD4 percentage is what I should pay attention to rather than the CD4 count. They say that the percentage is a more accurate way to measure your diseases progression because it will show immune suppression even if you have a high CD4 count.
I had to look it up because my memory sucks but a percentage below 20% suggests serious immune deficiency.
Your percentage really didn't fluctuate at all and your viral load went down too. So it looks like you are doing good to me.

My tcells have been as low as 3 so I'm not wrapped up in the numbers anymore. They are a curiosity and they can be occasionally amusing and sometimes they are a triumph and sometimes a "well that's why I felt especially crappy" note to self.
You'll get used to this mess eventually. Until then try not to stress about it. Stress is a big no-no with HIV.

Now for a little unsolicited advice.
Take charge of your medical care be assertive and get informed in your treatment. Doctors can and do make mistakes.
Celebrate your life. Allow yourself to be silly sometimes, it will lengthen your years and brighten your life.


Offline mplsdoubled

  • Member
  • Posts: 52
Re: How am I doing?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2007, 08:21:42 AM »
Thanks for your support and advice.  Very much appreciated. 

My doc. is really great.  He's an ID doc and was my doc for years before I tested positive, particularly because he's gay and "get's it."  His office is holding a "Dinner with your Dr." tonight for all of their HIV patients.  It will be an opportunity to meet others and hear about the latest and greatest in HIV care.  I feel truly blessed to have a Doc who is so progressive, experienced and comforting. 

I have no inclinations to let this capture my health or my attitude and am thankful for all of you who have gone before me and are on this ride alongside of me.

Keep smilin' everyone!   ;D

Offline keyite

  • Member
  • Posts: 514
Re: How am I doing?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2007, 08:26:49 AM »
"Dinner with your Dr."

What a great idea - no doubt it'll be both informative and fun! ;D


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