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Author Topic: Diagnosed on 7/24/2013 ... SO, now what?  (Read 3334 times)

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Offline NewPerspective

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Diagnosed on 7/24/2013 ... SO, now what?
« on: July 28, 2013, 08:09:14 PM »
Hi everyone. I am male, gay, 28, from Hawaii, and now know that I am living with HIV. I told three friends, an ex bf, and my sister. From whom and how I got it seems like a pointless rabbit hole for me right now that leads to deep regret, anger, resentment, and most distinctly, self hate. I think I got over the shock and am dealing with in-depth and intimate depression. It's hard to put HIV on the side and try to move forward with my life, as I was living before this information was given to me.

I was diagnosed at my local HIV/AIDS non-profit and was quickly assigned a case manager to help me through this process. Considering that I already had HIV prior to being aware of it, I am fortunate to have been at the right place and around the right people when the diagnosis was given to me. So for that, I am thankful.

The recent days since my diagnosis have been really hard, fearful, and traumatic. I am educating myself and reading as much as I can. I watched MTV's documentary "I'm Positive" made in 2012 (I believe) that introduces three HIV pos people around my age. It's hopeful. And hope is something that I need right now.

My blood has already been drawn and I have an appt. to go through the results in a few weeks. Luckily, I am employed and with health insurance (at least for the next year anyway since my position is funded by a grant). So, for now, things will be doable. One step and one day at a time, right?

I opted to make an appointment with a clinical psychologist this coming Friday. I don't understand my emotions and coping is extremely difficult so I am looking forward to addressing my mental health. I also requested from the HIV/AIDS non profit to be connected with local HIV survivors. I have a meeting with a survivor of 22 years tomorrow. I am looking forward to his wisdom, encouragement, and creating a connection. Connection is something that I really need right now.

I'm not intimately seeing anyone at the moment. Being alone was something to which I looked forward because I like my "me time." But, having my "me time" while being surrounded by overwhelming thoughts is difficult to handle alone. I so hope that I am able to get back to a place in my life where I am comfortable falling asleep by myself and waking up by myself. I so hope that my self motivation will soon be back on the rise and I can move myself forward from within, as I once did throughout my life before this point.

One of the information materials that was given to me when I was diagnosed was the POZ magazine. I checked it out online and found this forum. I anxiously awaited registration approval so I could post, hopefully to receive feedback, advice, support, encouragement, and friendship.

The biggest frustration for me is that I now have this responsibility that I didn't ask for and frankly don't want. But I have it. And it is my responsibility. Denial brings about no resolve. So, I have to buck up and face this head on, right?

Waking up has been the worst for me. I can still hear the counselor asking me, "Are you ready for your result?" I say, "Yes." Then, she says, "You are HIV positive." I collapse in her arms and wail excruciatingly. No tears. Only shock. This scene plays over and over in my head. I hate the mornings right now. I lay in my bed paralyzed and try to force sleep again so I don't have to deal with my thoughts. I KNOW this isn't healthy and that I am depressed. Heck, I haven't left my tiny apartment in two days. I confess. Writing this out and sharing my story, hopefully, is a therapeutic process that will help with the healing. And, by the way, I did promise my sister, who lives on another island, that I will leave the apartment today. I've already showered and will get "the hell outta here" after I submit this post.

I've already read through a number of other posts on POZ and noticed quite a bit of activity. I am looking forward to building a network of support and friends through this forum. I just want to know there is hope. I just want to find comfort. I just need support. I just want to return to the person I was because, right now, it's so hard to believe that I'm the same.

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Diagnosed on 7/24/2013 ... SO, now what?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2013, 02:18:08 AM »
Just wanted to welcome you to the forums.  I think most of us went through the same emotions, fears, and depression.  Did you get out today?  How did that go?  It is good to hear you are being proactive and that you are meeting someone, who has lived with the virus for many years.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Diagnosed on 7/24/2013 ... SO, now what?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2013, 06:12:44 AM »
Hi NP, welcome to the forums.

You're not even a whole week into this yet and your emotions are completely normal at this stage. Please know that it DOES get better in time.

Hang in there and go easy on yourself - but going easy on yourself doesn't mean hiding away. Getting back into your usual routine will help.

Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline NewPerspective

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Re: Diagnosed on 7/24/2013 ... SO, now what?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2013, 06:43:55 AM »
Thanks Tednlou2 and Ann for your encouragement.

@Ted - I did get out today, as promised. I got some food and ate in the new apartment (I am moving this week into a bigger space). I felt the sun, which was great! I did some grocery shopping and met up with a friend (who doesn't know my status) and talked for a while. It was nice to put HIV on the side today and, as Ann said, get back into my usual routine.

Deep breaths. One day at a time. 

Offline Faith313

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Re: Diagnosed on 7/24/2013 ... SO, now what?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2013, 06:34:19 PM »
Hello @NewPerspective I know how you feel. Check out my post. Although I'm still going "thru it," I def feel A WHOLE LOT BETTER after a month of telling myself that I am  +. The weekend I found out - gay pride - I stayed in my place the ENTIRE weekend and HATED the mornings. I felt like, 'what's the point,' but now - a month later - I work out still, have drinks w/ friends, and I am learning to handle it differently.

Offline a2z

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Re: Diagnosed on 7/24/2013 ... SO, now what?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2013, 06:45:32 AM »
Your feelings are quite normal.  Oddly enough, I don't think I had tears when I found out - and I can get pretty emotional.    Just shock.

You are already doing the right thing by seeing a mental health counselor.  The first thing you need to understand is no one "deserves" this.

Something ironic I found.  I've been poz now for a number of years, and despite having both family history of heart disease and diabetes, and being overweight, I have neither issue.  Why?  Because I get more medical care now, being poz, than I ever did when I was negative.   I keep an eye on blood sugar, cholesterol, etc. because I have to have that damn HIV blood work done every three months, and I nip these problems in the bud, early.

You're going to be an emotional see-saw for a while and that's okay.  It's a huge life change.  You'll get through it.
Dates are blood draw dates:
3/12/15: CD4 941, 36.4%, VL UD
9/4/14: CD4 948, 37.9%, VL 150
5/23/14: CD4 895 --.-% VL UD - Truvada/Isentress
09/21/09: CD4 898 27.0% VL 120 - back on track, same meds.High level enzymes, but less so
06/15/09: CD4 478 21.8% VL 1150 - high liver enzymes... looks like I may not be resistant
05/22/09: Fixed insurance, resumed medicine
04/17/09: Ran out of medicine, could not resolve insurance problems
04/01/09: CD4 773 28% VL 120 - high liver enzymes
12/01/08: CD4 514 23% VL 630
10/17/08 started Reyataz, Norvir and Truvada. -- possibly minor neuropathy, but otherwise okay.
9/10/08: CD4 345 17%, VL > 78K
8/18/08: CD4 312 18%, VL > 60K (considering meds)
12/19/07: CD4 550 28% VL > 100K (no meds yet)
Diagnosed 10/23/07

Offline NewPerspective

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  • Posts: 17
Re: Diagnosed on 7/24/2013 ... SO, now what?
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2013, 05:32:04 PM »
Thanks A2Z! It really helps to know that "it does get better." This is such a huge psychological adjustment for me and I am trying my best to 1. Reach Out and 2. Cope. But, I can't relieve myself from the constant fear of financial burden for the rest of my life.

On that note, anyone interested in starting a tech startup and banking millions??? Then, at least, we won't have to worry about paying for our medical expenses. (Just trying to make light of the situation ... but I'm actually kind of serious).


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