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Author Topic: Confused and dont know how to help  (Read 3783 times)

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Offline Confused1986

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  • Posts: 2
Confused and dont know how to help
« on: November 04, 2011, 02:44:19 am »
Hi Everyone,

I'm hoping someone can help me with advice.

I'm going to apologize in advance if this is a long post, I'm trying to get things sorted in my head.

My dad was told yesterday that he is HIV positive, and the only reason he told me he was going for the test and told me the results right after he was told was because I got really angry with him last week because he was admitted to hospital with chest pain and they thought he had had a heart attack and no one told me he had been admitted to hospital I only found out after he had been discharged.
So I made him promise next time something major happened he had to let me know.

When I spoke to him yesterday he said he was OK with everything and he took the rest of yesterday and today off work so he could have the weekend to get used to everything and he said he is OK yet knows it will prob hit him at some point.

After my first conversation with him was finished, I went through such a range of emotions so quickly. I was shocked and confused, then for a brief moment I was angry with him for not being careful.
Then after that I went into "supportive" mode.

He is my dad, and he has been there for me during the darkest and hardest parts of my life and I will be there for him no matter what.
I just don't know what the best way to be supportive is.
I don't want to keep asking him if he is okay, I want to give him time to process everything without me constantly asking how he is doing yet I need advice on how best to be there for him?

He doesn't know what his CD4 count is yet, he has to go back to the clinic next week Thursday to get the results.

I think the thing that scares me the most is I don't know when he gets sick. I don't live at home anymore, and although my girlfriend and I go for dinner once a week yet if he is not feeling well he cancels and vise verse so sometimes we will skip a week or tow

The last time a few months back when he got sick he had really bad diarrhea for about a month and nothing he did worked, I didn't see him for 2weeks, and didn't think anything of it, thought he just had a tummy bug. When I saw him I couldn't believe how gaunt and pale he looked. I took him straight to the emergency room. After that it took about a month for him to get better.

A few weeks ago I decided to swing by his house to say hi because I knew he had leave for a few days and when I got there I was once again greeted by my father who looked incredibly gaunt and he had lost weight. Only to find out once again he was sick, and he hadn't eaten in 5 days and my older brother who lives at home hadn't done anything to help him.

I want to be there for him as best I can yet I dunno how.
Any advice would be welcome.

Thank you

Once again apologies for the long post.

Offline Growler

  • Member
  • Posts: 568
Re: Confused and dont know how to help
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2011, 03:52:36 pm »
Welcome to the board. I'm sorry to hear about your Dad, this must a difficult time for you both.
Sounds like you're doing the right things already. Communication, is the most important thing. Keep letting him know how much you love him, that you worry about him and want to support him through this journey.

Now I've bumped this to the top, I'll step back and let those with a little more experience share with you.

“If loving someone is putting them in a straitjacket and kicking them down a flight of stairs, then yes, I have loved a few people.”

Offline wolfter

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  • Posts: 5,470
Re: Confused and dont know how to help
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2011, 06:26:46 am »
It appears you're doing everything correctly.  Being available and showing genuine concern is the greatest thing you can probably do right now.  It's going to take a while for your dad to get it all under control.  A little tough love sprinkled with compassion will go a long way to helping him improve. 

I'd advise not taking ownership of his illness.  You can support him without allowing it to consume you.  Your father certainly wouldn't want that.  Continue to research the complicated issues associated with HIV and be able and available to discuss this knowledge with him.  Don't take anything personally as he will definitely move through a wide range of emotions.

One thing that I found annoying was loved ones who asked how I was feeling with that sense of pity in their voices.  It's OK to ask with genuine concern and it opens the door for him if he wishes to discuss it further.  And never tell him you know how he feels.  That one always raised my blood pressure.

It sounds like you 2 have a great relationship and you'll work through this together, just like any other illness that either of you might develop. 

Wishing you both well.
Being honest is not wronging others, continuing the dishonesty is.

Offline Confused1986

  • New Member
  • Posts: 2
Re: Confused and dont know how to help
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2011, 04:40:09 pm »
Thank you very much for the replies, much appreciated.

I have another question,

Now I know I'm prob jumping the gun here, and thinking too far ahead. And I'm still working my way through all the reading and information.

I live in South Africa, Our government hospitals, are short on space, under staffed and under budgeted. I know they do supply Arv's and like I said I know I'm prob thinking too much especially considering my dad doesn't even know what his CD4 count is.

I never used to think there was much difference between going to be a government hospital versus a private hospital and I recently discovered that it is actually a huge difference.

I'm not sure if I should try and get my dad onto a medical aid, and if not a full medical aid then at least a hospital plan. Any advice?

Also would it be better for my dad if he didn't smoke?

My apologies for all the questions.

Once again thank you for the replies.



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