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Author Topic: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?  (Read 5955 times)

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Offline CalvinC

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  • Posts: 159
Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« on: August 10, 2006, 10:36:40 PM »
Hi all

I am almost three months past my diagnosis and I am wondering where others were at this point.

Me, I'm doing quite well, as my numbers are excellent and my support is top-notch. My struggles still focus on a (now fading, thank god) ex who decided to chart a different course the day after I told him, and my more important decision to change my common reaction to life (ie, sleazing around town at the drop of a hat) by re-engaging with 12 step work and meditation and just day-to-day small changes, all so that I might become a better person.


Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2006, 10:52:24 PM »
On the floor of a train station toilet lying in a puddle of what I hope was my own vomit.


Offline otherplaces

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  • Mutant Super Hero
Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2006, 01:25:33 AM »


It sounds like you're doing very well.  I was also hanging in there at 3 months.  But at 9 months I back peddled quite a bit.  Here I am fighting off smoking and drinking again at one year.  So I guess staying focused might be prudent advice :)  It's definitely hard work...be proud of your progress!!!

I wish you all the best,

Offline Blixer

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Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2006, 01:47:36 AM »
At three months I was just starting meds and headed for a trip to hell.  As one of my friends said, "I met the devil and looked him in the eye."  But I made it back and things are looking up.  Through it all I've gained a much better understanding of what others go through and I'm much more sympathetic to the issues other face.  It's made me a better person.
Diagnosed 1/9/06
8/27/2007 CD4 598, 29%, VL 58 (72 wks)
11/19/2007 CD4 609, 30%, VL < 50 (84 wks)
2/11/2008 CD4 439, 27%, VL <50 (96 wks)
5/5/2008 CD4 535, 28%, VL <50 (108 wks)
10/20/2008 CD4 680, 28%, VL <50 (132 wks)
Changed to Atripla in 2012
1/14/2013 CD4 855, 35%, VL <40

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2006, 05:20:29 AM »
Hi Andrew. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. 3 months past diagnosis I was in denial (not in Egypt unfortunately) ... however, 3 months into treatment (more helpful info I would assume) I was more at peace knowing I surived my first 14 days on meds and my body did a good job adjusting - those 14 days were *not* pretty. I remember I  missed my apartment alot (had to move in with aunt/uncle) and was still boo-hoo'ing over the loss of my pride and self-sufficiency. nowadays all that's less pronounced but still there. so just stay strong 'n sensible, and know we're here if you need us  :-*

Offline wellington

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  • Don't sweat the little things.
Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2006, 10:51:14 AM »
3 months after diagnosis I was in ICU fighting off PCP. Almost checked out but managed to keep a smile on my face and pull through. Despite the initial 30 pound weight loss, I've recovered and weigh more now than ever before in my life - and alot of it is muscle. Suddenly, roller-coaster sure seems an apt metaphor. Of course, I think that applies equally well to the daily minutia - working, emotions, diet and trying to sleep well. On the whole, I think my life is either more balanced or that I'm more aware.

Offline angels4kelly

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  • IT JUST IS!!.....OKAY!
Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2006, 11:40:13 AM »
At three months I was out getting wasted trying to act/feel like this was not happening to me. I only managed to make myself very ill.




Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.
Failure is not in falling down,
but the staying down

Offline Life

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  • Member 2005
Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2006, 02:14:18 PM »
I had lost that first 16 pounds the first two weeks... At 3 months,  I had lost any sence of self and self worth...

But I am better now.... ;)

Offline jkinatl2

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  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2006, 02:32:20 PM »
At three months, I was on the set of a TV pilot, playing the security guard on board a space ship. I was shooting guns and flying pretend rockets. I was also working days as an assistant manager at a fine dining place. I used to tie my bow tie by hand... while driving.

I was freaked out about my status, of course.  But I knew that my life had to go on, and that opportunities available then, at what I figured to be the peak of my physical health, would not wait for me to settle into acceptance. Good thing I made that choice, because I was pretty well right.

Within a year, I had been hospitalized twice for PCP, gotten an AIDS diagnosis, and wrecked my ability to work full time. Throwing myself into my work, ironically, was as bad on my health as denial would have been.

But ya know. After I recovered from the PCP, I went on to found and head a small HIV prevention and education organization. Also made a few more TV pilots, commercials, and co-wrote and co-starred in a small Indy film. All within two years of my diagnosis.

Life does go on, if you let it.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2006, 02:57:22 PM »
At three months (1993) I had CD4 192/ 16% and of course VL didn't exist.  I just went on AZT and either ddi or ddc which ever was around then, as well as Bactrim.  I'm sure I probably had headaches, etc.  I was also going for twice/monthly acupuncture sessions as well as indulging in a cornucopia of holistic stuff, vitamins etc.  Oh, and was very into this treatment that involved blue green algae and some other natural enzyme capsules.  Very expensive all around.  I also started attending a support group of about 20 members that I think lasted around 3-4 months.  Once I was in the group I realized most other members were much more freaked out by everything than I was, or so it seemed.  I cried quite a bit for a week after diagnosis until I decided that crying wasn't a very effective technique for dealing with a disease!

And to make everything more complicated, a month after my diagnosis I was offered a good new job opportunity that involved much more money so, of course, I said yes.  Still, probably in hindsight it wasn't the greatest time to take all of that on and for the next year I was rather overwhelmed with juggling a major disease and a new demanding job.  All on -200 "little men" in my blood stream.  I suppose the new job helped keep my mind off of things but it's hard to recall very clearly.

Oh, and I immediately stopped smoking, drinking alcohol and doing recreational drugs which at the time, though not an addict by any means, I did indulge in periodically and had done for around six years.

Oh, and also everything was SO different in terms of information pre-internet!  Some of you newly diagnosed don't realize how different things are now where you can access so much information about this disease from the comfort of your computer screen at home.  I would have killed for such a comforting luxury 15 years ago.  My support was limited to a handful of close friends, as I had no partner at the time and did not tell my family. 
« Last Edit: August 11, 2006, 03:04:46 PM by philly267 »
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Eldon

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Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2006, 03:52:06 PM »
Hello Calvin, it is Eldon. Back then in 1990, I was in a state of shock and major denial. However, as time progressed I grew to accept it for what it was and moved on with my life.

Offline Moffie65

  • Member
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  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2006, 04:49:48 PM »

I will be the one on the Mobility Scooter, and you better make sure and greet me in Montreal, I am really anxious to meet you. 

At three months, it was Christmas 1983, and I was due to die, at least according to the Immunologist that had diagnosed me three months earlier.  He is dead now....... Tee Hee.  At Eastman Kodak, I was working on a promotion that came in January, and a nice bonus.  In my private life, I was nurturing the first Gay Car Club in the Country, The Freewheelers Car Club, and basicly making sure that I was "Living", instead of "Dying".

Andrew, you will do fine, and you have a load of years left to do everything your heat desires, and also to screw up whenever possible.  Your life will be full again, just let go of the negative and move on. 

Remember; Don't sweat the petty shit, and don't pet the sweaty shit".

In Love and Support.
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,517
  • 32 years positive, 60 years a pain in the butt
Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2006, 12:49:07 AM »
Holy sh.. er shoot, three months? Who can remember that far back?

If memory serves, I was taking a long, long swim in de nile.

I was still partying heavily, in every sense of the word. My motto was things went better with coke, scotch, MDA and sex.

Well, not so much the sex, because about that time, the proverbial manure hit the oscillating air circulating device. The bathhouses closed in droves (one, the Manspace in Los Angeles, burned to the ground in what was called a suspicious fire), and suddenly people began disappearing.

In those days, people didn't get sick, get treated and get better. They just died. Fast.

One week you had brunch. The next week they weren't answering their phone. The week after that, you dropped by for a visit and nobody lived there any longer.

Families bundled everything up in a snap. They didn't want anyone to know one of their family members died of the Gay Plague.

There were no treatments, no meds to be in a quandary about. I had a terminal illness for which there was no cure and no magic bullet, no pills to prolong my life.

Funny what I do remember about those days.

Picture it, Los Angeles 1985. (I adore the Golden Girls)

A doctor I had never met walks into the little exam room at the clinic. He looks at my chart. Then, with a stoic look that could have frozen water, he said, "You have HIV. You might have a year or two left, so you better make the most of it and put your affairs in order."

Then, being the sensitive professional he was, he said, "Good luck," and walked out the door.

So, I did as doctor ordered. I took a long swim in de nile, partied like hell, because there would be no tomorrow, didn't worry about paying bills or saving for a rainy day (how much harder could it rain?) and lived for the moment, usually in a drugged, drunken stupor.

So, somewhere in there, was the three-month mark. It took seven years before a friend kicked me in the ass and made me see a doctor. Bless him. May he rest in peace.

Well, you asked.



« Last Edit: August 12, 2006, 02:12:35 AM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline livingpositively

  • Member
  • Posts: 369
Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2006, 02:03:53 AM »
Three months post diagnosis was just two months ago.

I was here...a lot.

Planning a trip to Montreal to meet some "new friends"

Settling into my new house

Going to school


Basically leading the same crazy ass life I did pre diagnosis
4/6/07   CD4 450, % 23, No VL
2/19/07 CD4 487, % 26, VL 47,500
1/4/07   CD4 357, % 27, No VL
10/3/06 CD4 500, % 26, VL 18,000
7/6/06   CD4 530, % 29, VL 83,800
4/6/06   CD4 555, % 28, VL 13,000

Offline BB

  • Member
  • Posts: 168
Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2006, 04:48:16 AM »
I was looking for my first hiv specialist after realizing my primary care doc didn't truly understand hiv. I was also feeling very ill, very weak and very angry.

Damn the Torpedoes! Full speed ahead! Adm. D. Farragut.

Started Atripla 8/18/06 and if I eat the right food when I take my meds, I get to go on a-trip-la.

Offline sdcabincrew74

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Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2006, 03:24:40 AM »
Laying on the couch in my house as my mother and partner took turns attaching the bag of bactrium to the PIC line in my arm.  It was my second bout of PCP.  I weighed less than I did in JR. High School, puked, slept, and did nothing.  14 months later, all is well with the world and I am still kickin, in fact, feel better than I did 4 years ago!
The difference between an overnight and a layover is luck!

Offline CalvinC

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  • Posts: 159
Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2006, 02:11:27 PM »
This is very interesting.

I find the experiences here very different, between those from the 80s/90s and those from the very recent years.

It's true that the internet has made the dissemination of information quite easy and avenues of support have opened up. It must have been devasting to get a diagnosis when everyone was dying. I have read Paul Monette's remarkable books on the crisis (as well as Holleran's and White's/Mar's) and I simply can't imagine. Though I was around in the 80s and 90s, I personally did not know many people who died. Not sure why that was.

Today, I really don't think about being poz. Perhaps I would if I were on meds, but that looks like it's a few years off yet. So I have been very fortunate, with excellent health and numbers and support. Perhaps having all these things in place made it somewhat easier to deal with the worst blow: getting blown off by my boyfriend the day after I told him. The scar of his dismissal is so overlaid with my diagnosis that it is hard to distinguish them, but I am trying.

Most of the time, my life just goes on, and I'm striving to become better.


Offline sweetasmeli

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  • Love what you are...
Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2006, 05:05:13 PM »
A doctor I had never met walks into the little exam room at the clinic. He looks at my chart. Then, with a stoic look that could have frozen water, he said, "You have HIV. You might have a year or two left, so you better make the most of it and put your affairs in order."

Then, being the sensitive professional he was, he said, "Good luck," and walked out the door.

Bloody el Mark! How times have changed!
I saw my consultant for the first time on New Years Eve 2002 - the day after I was diagnosed - he had me laughing with anecdotes of people in the 80s spending all their money, then coming back to bollock him when they were still alive but bankrupt 5 years later! Then he told me to get myself a pension and prepare for old age!

3 months on: I was the opposite of swimming in de Nile - I had disclosed to all my family and friends and was a huge bouncing ball of energy and positivite thinking - everyone was amazed with how well I seemed to be coping. Of course I wasn't really - I was completely (and unconsciously) over-compensating for the utter shock I was in at the time. It caught up with me.

Over 3 years later: I'm only just beginning to come out of the shock...and even now it's like one step forward 2 steps back. I take life one day at a time - I enjoy my good days and roll with the bad days. Some days I feel so overwhelmingly sad and cheated by what I now have to live with I am inconsolable. But those days always pass. Sometimes I think I will never be able to accept and/or live comfortably with my diagnosis. But saying that, I think I may have been through more in the past few years than I have in all my adult life, so the fact that I'm still here and building a life for myself and still able to laugh speaks volumes I guess!

Andrew, you sound like you're doing ok, which is great. Am glad for you!

Melia :)
/\___/\       /\__/\
(=' . '=)    (=' . '=)
(,,,_ ,,,)/   (,,,_ ,,,)/ Cats rule!

The difference between cats and dogs is that dogs come when called, whereas cats take a message and get back to you.

Yeia kai hara (health and happiness) to everyone!

Offline Bartro

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  • Posts: 124
Re: Three months after diagnosis: where were you?
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2006, 06:54:30 PM »
I'm about at the three month mark.  Physically I feel pretty well.  I went to our ASO last week and completed a power of attorney for health care and a last will and testament.  This threw me into a three day tail-spin.  I'm feeling better today.  I still have to deliver the documents to those who have agreed to accept responsibility if needed.  I'm sure this will cause another tail-spin. 

The doctor says I'm doing well.  My labs are good so far. 

The biggest problem I have now is difficult to explain.  Maybe some of you can relate.  Sometimes I'll doze off on the sofa.  It's in the half awake, half asleep part where my mind wanders to some horrible places.  I swear I can feel the virus eating away at my insides.  I hear people talking about me as if I'm no longer around.  People are going through my belongings and trying to decide what to do with all this junk.  It takes me a good day to recover from these episodes. 

Lately my HIV consumes my mind during most of my waking hours.  I hope this passes soon.  It's getting unbearable.

I'm lucky to have plenty of people around most of the time.  I think If I were alone it would be much worse. 

Best wishes to all. 


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