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Author Topic: Scared  (Read 2411 times)

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Offline Casinokiwi

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  • Posts: 25
« on: March 06, 2013, 09:50:19 PM »
Hey all, I don't want to get a reputation for being filled with drama but these boards are an excellent source of information for me. 

I was diagnosed in early October after an awful sero with a viral load in the millions.  Since then I got on stribild and within two months I was undetectable and my cd4 count was climbing.   Six weeks ago my cd4 count was just over 500 and despite moving out of my house, getting divorced, and balancing an executive position I was feeling pretty good. 

I bought into the fact that I would live a long life and part of me was looking forward to the next chapter in life.  My house of cards came tumbling down on Monday when my doc called to tell me my cd4 count dropped to 255. I have been feeling a bit under the weather and have had low energy but I wasn't expecting a huge drop.  I went in to run more bloodwork that day and I am hoping it was a fluke.  I should find out more on Friday. 

I am probably over cooking this but I am an active and healthy man.  Even though I have been a bit under the weather I am functioning fine just a bit drained.  I have three kids that seem to be getting me sick but now I am terrified that what I thought was a lingering cough and cold (4 weeks) is something much more serious. 

I guess I am just looking for some insight and pick me ups until my test comes back later this week.  All this is so new to me and for the first time in my life I am admitting I am scared. 

Thanks in advance to anyone who responds. 

Offline Homopoz

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Re: Scared
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 03:33:15 PM »
I am not sure why your doctor did not tell to come to his office right away?  Since you are in executive position, maybe you are undergoing a lot of stress? My doctor told me that stress will reduce my cd4 count down. Now I am trying to balance my life avoiding stress. Another possible explanation is that the virus got too smart with strictly, and you may need to change it. In any case, don't get despaired, you will be fine......

Offline buginme2

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Re: Scared
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 03:43:22 PM »
I am not sure why your doctor did not tell to come to his office right away?  Since you are in executive position, maybe you are undergoing a lot of stress? My doctor told me that stress will reduce my cd4 count down. Now I am trying to balance my life avoiding stress. Another possible explanation is that the virus got too smart with strictly, and you may need to change it. In any case, don't get despaired, you will be fine......

This advise is just plain wrong.

CD4 counts can fluctuate.  Keep on keeping on and taking your meds.  They are doing their job as long as they are suppressing your viral load.  You started with a high viral load and it may take some time for things to settle a bit.  Dont stress about this.
Don't be fancy, just get dancey

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Scared
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 04:03:19 PM »
I have to agree with Bugs on this . I have seen to many blips and fluctuations over the years and I can honestly say you shouldn't be alarmed by this from one set of labs .

Stress is an unpleasant part of life and its not a good thing for anybody of any status but if times of stress were as harmful as some people believe we would all be dropping . 

It takes time to get used to the fact we are HIV positive and part of that process is realizing that every blip or cold we get doesn't mean the end is near . I completely understand why you are as alarmed as you are and I commend you for sharing it with us because now that you know we all have been though this or will go through this in the future we can remind each other that the sky isn't falling , its just another stressful day . 
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Offline aaware72

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Re: Scared
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 05:28:31 PM »
Stress effects everyones immune system.

"Lab studies that stressed people for a few minutes found a burst of one type of "first responder" activity mixed with other signs of weakening. For stress of any significant duration - from a few days to a few months or years, as happens in real life - all aspects of immunity went downhill. Thus long-term or chronic stress, through too much wear and tear, can ravage the immune system"

"The meta-analysis revealed that people who are older or already sick are more prone to stress-related immune changes...Those with chronic mild depression had weaker lymphocyte-T cell responses to two mitogens, which model how the body responds to viruses and bacteria. The immune response was down even 18 months later, and immunity declined with age. In line with the 2004 meta-analysis, it appeared that the key immune factor was duration, not severity, of depression. And in the case of the older caregivers, their depression and age meant a double-whammy for immunity"

America Psychological Association (2006) Stress Weakens the Immune System.  Retrieved on March 7, 2013, from, http://www.apa.org/research/action/immune.aspx
"Yes, knowledge is power. Self-knowledge brings mastery of one's body."

Offline Joe K

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Re: Scared
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2013, 05:39:09 PM »
I'm with Bugs and Jeff on this as well.  While all of this is new to you, learn how to read your body and understand how you feel physically and mentally.  Numbers change all the time, but unless your body is telling you something different, it doesn't mean that you aren't making progress.  It's very normal to fear becoming ill, especially after the rough start you have had.  But at some point, you have to stop looking at where you were and start planning for where you want to be.

Trust me, you aren't going to die today, tomorrow, or the next day... so what are you so afraid about?  Try to learn how to temper your fears by understanding what you body can tell you,  That way, when the numbers begin to float, you won't automatically assume you are getting sick.

It does get better... I promise.  It just takes time.


Offline tednlou2

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Re: Scared
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 12:27:14 AM »
Stress can definitely lower those t-cells.  I've had it happen twice, thus far.  Most say the CD4 can fluctuate by 100 in a day.  On both occasions with me, I knew I would probably have a drop.  I was very stressed and my anxiety was much worse than normal, when I did my blood work.  Both times, mine dropped about 200 points.  But, they rebounded next time. 

After 4+ years post dx, I still worry about getting ill, especially when my numbers drop.  You've certainly had reasons to be stressed with moving, a divorce, work, and the lingering cold.  I bet once all that settles out, you're numbers will be back to where they were. 


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