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Author Topic: Too Close for Comfort.....  (Read 4874 times)

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Offline JohnOso

  • Member
  • Posts: 817
Too Close for Comfort.....
« on: September 05, 2006, 04:20:08 AM »
Happened to be at work tonight. 

I work in the, um, "medical" field and in my unit we were receiving a patient from ER with AIDS (well, actually more problems than that).  One of my co-workers went to the usual Internet medical site, but mistakenly typed this patient's particular OI into the space at the top of the page (you know, like the one above "http://forums.poz.com/" instead of in the Search function of this particular website.

Of course Google went right into action, and up pops a hit for.....(drum roll).....

aidsmeds.com!   :o

I was sitting right next to her at the time.   She said, "Hey, this isn't the site I wanted to go to..."  Of course, inside I was screaming, "Jesus Christ...don't look at this page," since my picture and story are plastered around all over the place.  OK, a little dramatic, but i've been very careful about not accessing this site at work so as to NOT leave fingerprints.

Needless to say, I quickly took control of the keyboard and steered the poor girl back to some other "safer" generic medical site. 

All this while she was informing me that this patient was "end-stage" because his CD4 count was 11.  I didn't have the heart (or the nerve) to tell her that the guy sitting right next to her at the keyboard had a CD4 count of 13 just a few months earlier.  :-X

I know it will distress all of you to no end, but no more woofy pix of JohnOso for now...just fluffy little bunnies or happy little trees.    ;)

Take care,

Offline IzPoz

  • Member
  • Posts: 332
  • God, grant me the serenity...
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2006, 06:48:12 AM »
I know that feeling of "too close for comfort"... which is why sometimes I hesistate leaving my picture.  I may end up changing it again soon.  I have a fluffy little bunny I use every now and then....
The reason angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly. ~ Chesterton G. K.

Offline Jena

  • Member
  • Posts: 101
  • To God Be The Glory!
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2006, 07:31:08 AM »
You are right John, sometimes we get too comfortable and thats when stupid things happen. I'm going back to my "fantasy" pic for awhile. Thanks for sharing honey

Offline LatinAlexander

  • Member
  • Posts: 599
  • Bogota, Colombia
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2006, 10:04:59 AM »
Wow,,,too close...

Poz since Jul 19 2006
Initial numbers : CD4-250 VL 3500
First labs after HAART (Dec 04-2006) : CD4-432 VL-<40 (Undetectable)  cd4%=25.11%
Started HAART: Combivir+Efavirenz Aug 26 7:38 pm
Feb 08 2007 - Gradually stopping HAART cause of Myalgia. Protecting Efavirenz. Stopped Efavirenz, ahead with Combivir....
February 17 Combivir stopped.
April 3 -07 : Started ddi+3tc+efavirenz...
Gay and positive (What a lack of Identity...:) )
Looking for my Ben....

Offline ACinKC

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,994
  • Bring it VIRUS! #2 Ranked In-crowd Member!
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2006, 10:28:53 AM »
You would have had to have killed her to assure your secret identity!  How VERY James Bond!!! 

LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A

Offline Life

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,389
  • Member 2005
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2006, 10:39:28 AM »
Had the same adventuer a few months ago... John I will miss your mug! FUCK!

Offline Iggy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,434
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2006, 10:48:10 AM »

« Last Edit: January 12, 2007, 09:37:32 PM by Iggy »

Offline nick2046

  • Member
  • Posts: 35
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2006, 01:13:52 PM »
Hello JohnOso-san, i'm relatively new so i know very little 'bout active members here.

I once was @ that "end-stage" but i ain't as lucky as you: you have had a rapid recovery!

One thing i want to ask is this: are we supposed to keep our status from those who are close to us? In the beginning i didn't even want to tell my parents.  I couldn't anyway 'cos i lost my abilty to speech; but the doctor reminded me that my dad wasn't stupid.  I still didn't tell my siblings or most of my friends.

I feel guilty from not telling 'em the truth, though my pharmist friend knew... & I distanted myself from her...

How do you deal in your situation?  Sometimes i just wanted to tell my siblings, so they don't make the same mistake.  However, i don't have the  courage; they're still young, they'll find out when i die anyway.
And so it has been, and so it is written
    On the doorway to paradise
    That those who falter and those who fall
    Must pay the price

Offline cmhjeff

  • Member
  • Posts: 870
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2006, 02:37:22 PM »
Hi John, not so much the same situation and don't want to hijack your thread but I've had similar situations pop up regarding porn sites when the cable guy was here fixing our cable internet.  ;)

Offline JohnOso

  • Member
  • Posts: 817
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2006, 04:41:19 PM »
Hi John, not so much the same situation and don't want to hijack your thread but I've had similar situations pop up regarding porn sites when the cable guy was here fixing our cable internet.  ;)

that begs the question....just how interested did he seem to be in what he was looking at?   :D

Take care,

Offline AlanBama

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,670
  • Alabama: the 'other' 3rd World Country!
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2006, 06:39:58 PM »
Hey John

I understand, you have to protect yourself at work.   I'll miss seeing that handsome face though....

I was 'end stage' back in 91...again in 94, 95....so what the hell am I now?
What comes after "The End"?  They roll the Credits!   So now I'm in "credit stage". I give thanks every day.


Alan  ;)
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,501
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2006, 08:44:39 PM »
Hello John,

Work is the only place, I refuse to disclose my HIV status to. I wouldn't be surprised if some people at work know of my status., especially those that have to pay the medical bills, through our insurance, seeing I have cost them quite a bit over the last 3 years. I am sure some of the intelligent ones have figured it out ! I wouldn't be surprised if someday, someone at work sees my picture on this site !!

But until then, I keep it very personal. Until health changes make it a point to bring this up at work, to the proper departments, I will continue to keep it a private issue.

Take care-----Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg






Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 9/16/16,  t-cells are at 501,   Viral load remains <40

Current % is at 12%

 65 years young.

Offline cubbybear

  • Member
  • Posts: 510
  • Joined August 2005.
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2006, 09:11:18 PM »
Hey my Oso,

I am so glad you got that keyboard away, and can totally understand hiding your pic, hence why my face pic is gone too.  You know I think the same, especially when you know who is on my computer.  Thank god for deleting browser history & cache!  Glad it was just a close call, though I am sure they would have been supportive of you at work, I mean.. who in their right mind wouldn't be!!

So much for "end stage" for a lot of us here, that are living on borrowed time.  So many members of the "Lazarus club" as Alan once put it.  That thought has stuck in my head, and one club I'm happy to be a member of.

Why aren't you online right now!!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2006, 09:15:30 PM by cubbybear »
There's a bear in there!
Positive since 2000
Diagnosed 17/9/2005 CD4 35 VL 293,000
Meds 23/9/2005 Sustiva/Truvada
Currently CD4 232 VL Undetectable

Offline Teresa

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,754
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2006, 09:31:01 PM »
Know how you feel about your pic. I had my pic up and showed it hubby and he freaked. Said what if someone sees it and recongizes you. So to make him feel better i took it off.

Hubby HIV+ 5/5/06
  %: 26.7
 VL: <20
Atripla (started it 8/24/06)

Offline Robert

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,658
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2006, 11:25:02 PM »
Hi John.

Well I can certainly understand wanting anonymity.  But I'm curious.  What about your "end-stage" patient, the one with the 11 t-cells?  How is he doing?  I hope he is all right.


Offline Sky

  • Member
  • Posts: 225
    • Myspace
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2006, 01:07:03 AM »
I must say that going into the Medical field, oh, in a couple of week I'm nervous about all the blood work they're gonna do before I start.
Poz since 2003.

Offline Eldon

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,664
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2006, 01:20:14 AM »
Hello John, it's Eldon.

I can certainly understand where you are coming from and you don't need the extra stress put on you. Wait till you get home to surf the net. I always did.

Have the BEST Day!

Offline JohnOso

  • Member
  • Posts: 817
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2006, 03:55:35 AM »

still on the vent and has cryptococcal meningitis as well as a host of other problems.  The liposomal amphotericin B was going up when I was making my exit (that's usually when I make my exit....nasty little drug, although liposomal form isn't quite as bad).

I try to steer clear without looking too obvious..   8)

Thanks for the words of support from everyone.  I think everything would be okay, but there would be lots of drama and that's just not my style.  I'm very laid back!

Take care,


  • Guest
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2006, 04:31:55 AM »
You would have had to have killed her to assure your secret identity!  How VERY James Bond!!! 

yeah, hospitals got lots of places to put dead bodies :D

Offline Moffie65

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2006, 05:33:01 AM »
You new guys just hold your commentaries till the end of this message.

I find this thread so very sad and reading it leaves me with an emptiness that shocks me.

I am not preaching here, just sharing.  

Back in 1983, when I was first told I would be dead before the end of the year; I vowed to not let anything stand in the way of my living honestly, and fully.  Not my employer, Eastman Kodak, not anybody.  Just so happens, I was very fortunate that they were so very supportive, and only upon returning to work, and having my boss say that my partner would be covered for therapeutic help if he needed it; did I realize just how lucky I was.  

What oh what is happening to this world that we now accept, a full 23 years later, the status quo of total denial to those closest to us?  How the hell are we supposed to live and truly survive this nasty shit, if we have to subjugate our power and our very life skills to a curtain of secrecy?  Oh I am so very sad that we have allowed this to happen.  

I am all for accepting our illness and taking power over it and one of the best ways to do that is to identify to ourselves, that we are NOT HIV, but we contain the viral protein in our blood, and like those with Hepatitis and other contagious diseases; there rides a certain need to make it less than we are in the whole.  In other words that I might even understand; we must come to a place of acceptance that we carry the lowest form of life form, a viral protein, and then we must place it in it's proper perspective.  It is simply a virus!

Now, please do not for one second think that I am not aware of the "need" to hide our status, and have been in positions of secrecy also.  I hated it, and that was possibly, one of the reasons that I lost so much money in the Trucking business.  I should have been truthful to my employers, as it might not have placed walls in front of ME, and I might have been more successful the honest way.  I will never know the answer to that question, but suffice to say, "I been there".

So, as I sit here and read of all of you who are petrified to show your nice faces here, and elsewhere, and see the fear of the truth that seems to permeate the group here; I am reminded that maybe we are letting "them" get far too much power over us.  The stigmas that were accepted over the years are now the status quo, which feeds the fear in us, fear in our friends, and fear in the society as a whole.  I cannot accept that this should be the norm, nor will I take to hiding back in my closet.  No, I have to say that we need to pave the way towards disclosure, we need to find ways to not let ignorance of this disease be the end all and be all of our future lives.  If we accept this new status quo, then we give all our power over this disease to "ignorance and prejudices" of a society that would shun us and place us "under the rug" of consciousness.

As far as "End Stage", a term that is used by the medical field that signals the "giving up" of care; I have been there twice over 10 years ago, and the "Professionals" that stated this then were wrong then and they are wrong now.  I don't let anyone in Arizona in this work even use this phrase which has its roots back in the very beginning of this pandemic, and shows that the person using the term is so very out of date and so very wrong most of the time.  What it does allow, is the physician to become lazy and not really fight to keep the person from slipping from life without any responsiblity on their parts.  Yes, my doctor told my partner that I was "end Stage" only to go home, survive twice, and return to the full and productive health I have today.  I am not a track star by any means, no, just a happy camper that is doing his damnedest to prove that this many years later, life can be full and joyful.  How is yours?

I am not advocating that you "come out:" and loose your jobs.  No, that would be stupid.  What I am begging of you is to realize that in hiding our status, we set ourselves up to hide our true selves for the rest of our lives.  Do any of you have a clue how much negative stuff this is going to bring to our futures?  I choose not to live the rest of my life in the shadows of secrecy.  It is just too much and just too degrading to my own psyche.  

Please don't hide who you are, come out of the shadows and claim this disease as your own and move on into a life of peace, productivity, and a life of joy.

In Peace and Love.
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 carousel

  • Member
  • Posts: 821
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2006, 06:40:28 AM »
« Last Edit: February 15, 2007, 12:25:11 PM by carousel »

Offline ChaplinGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 236
  • Eat my left foot
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2006, 07:11:29 AM »
Moffie, thank you for your great post! As I get up, drink my morning coffee and get ready to go to work today, it was incredibly empowering and uplifting to start my day with your thoughts of good spirit and overcoming (nay, BEATING) this little protein. Bravo you....


Offline sdcabincrew74

  • Member
  • Posts: 540
    • My Manhunt account
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2006, 12:31:47 AM »
hell I am end stage too!!!  I had a CD4 of 22 last year ... now I guess I am beginning stage since I am at 650ish
The difference between an overnight and a layover is luck!

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,513
  • 31 years positive, 59 years a pain in the butt
Re: Too Close for Comfort.....
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2006, 12:44:44 AM »
It is unfortunate that so many people fear the reaction of others.

I understand. First, I lived as a closeted gay man, back in the days when people were still fired, refused apartments, etc., for being gay.

I finally kicked that closet door open and came out. It was very liberating.

Then came AIDS. Then came my diagnosis.

SLAM! I wasn't just back in the closet, the door was deadbolted and nailed shut.

By hiding myself, hiding the fact I was living with this stupid little bag of protein containing reverse transcriptase, I was again living in the shadows, making up lies about my life to cover up the grim truth.

I had made a prison for myself. I was fearful others would find out. I was terrified I would lose the respect of those I loved. I was ashamed to look at myself in the mirror.

My life became a tissue of lies to cover up why I missed work for medical reasons. I made up stories to tell my mother and my sister to explain why I was making the 200-mile trek to the big city so often.

The reality was that was the nearest doctor who saw HIV patients. It was either drive 200 miles, see the doc, then drive 200 miles home, or do without.

The whole thing took its toll on me, physically, psychologically, emotionally.

It was at that point I realized something I had overlooked, forgotten or ignored.

I could never be happy, live a full life, be free, unless I could look in the mirror and like the person I saw there.

I made a decision. That closet door wasn't just kicked open a second time, I dynamited it!

I know not everyone can do this. I know there are some jobs where having your status known would be a hindrance, if not a down-and-out problem.

I also know not everyone is ready to disclose to those they love or who are close to them. It took me years to reach that point.

Today, I can no more hide my status than, back in the days when I hid my sexuality, I could force myself to marry a woman just for the sake of appearances.

My hope is, one day, all of those now afraid to be open about their status no longer have to fear.


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


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