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Author Topic: My Story :(  (Read 5184 times)

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Offline Ruefulwonder

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
My Story :(
« on: July 07, 2014, 05:16:03 AM »
I am a straight woman in my 40's...I found out I was HIV+ three months ago. I am still....still....in shock. I still can't believe it. It feels so nightmarishly bad that I still can't integrate it mentally. As I've read, the original me died a couple of seconds after I first heard "you showed a reaction to the HIV test" (a Unigen 10 minute test). Of course the Western Blot result a week later was completely positive. Also as I've read here, I already have so many problems (mental and emotional) that I don't know how I can deal with HIV on top of it.

I caught it from a trusted client while working as an escort. He was the only one I didn't use condoms with because I stupidly trusted he was clean; I am sure he didn't know he was positive. He'd tested negative in the past so he thought he was ok. When he tested positive, he and I were both shocked. I guess it's just so weird to see that line come up so quick on an Oraquick, even though it wasn't me.

My seroconversion was the classic worst-flu-I've-ever-had; I was sick with three different illnesses for one month. I've never had such deep chills and fevers for so long. I had thrush, and got a huge ulcer in the back of my throat; it was a 1" square canker sore; so painful I could barely swallow, let alone eat or drink water. Went to the ER and they gave me fluids but didn't catch that it might be HIV; and of course that was a month before I found out I had it. I suddenly began losing way more hair in my comb than usual, parts of my gums were very sore, I had a lump behind one ear (still there) and a lump on one lymph node. The hair and gums stopped being a problem a few days ago, to my relief. I went to the HIV clinic right after I tested positive; my CD4 was about 1,000 and my VL was also high; almost 100,000 I think. Will post the numbers on my profile. A month after, my CD4 and VL were about the same levels.

I'm glad I found these forums because I feel so alone, isolated, and depressed about it. I haven't told anyone besides close friends, therapist, and psychiatrist. Too scared to tell my family, who has never been there for me with other things. So terrified of being judged and shamed. After I told my clients I was HIV+, all of them except for two (including one who gave it to me) immediately disappeared; I completely understand but it hurts. I feel like a shameful diseased leper that people are or would be afraid to touch.

That's the part of me that has split mentally - that pain is so bad I haven't absorbed it consciously. I have a history of trauma so splitting and dissociating is normal for me. Whenever I talk about having HIV with anyone, even online, I immediately start crying.

I am getting excellent care at the nearest big city's HIV clinic; I just need to be around others who have it, which is why I'm glad this place is here; it helps the isolation. The way I found out my status was because I was getting tested monthly at Planned Parenthood because of escorting. The two women who told me I was positive were unfortunately very cold and detached; one was overtly scornful and judgmental. That didn't help at all. I almost collapsed from shock; I began crying and hyperventilating and they weren't empathetic at all, I'm guessing because they knew I was an escort.

My biggest fear and hurt is thinking I'll never find anyone who will want to marry me or have a relationship with me when I have HIV. That's what hurts the most. It was already difficult enough at my age and with my psyche problems...now it seems impossible.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 05:30:09 AM by Ruefulwonder »
All 2013 Negative
Dec/Jan 2013 Exposed
Feb 2014 Negative
Feb 2014 Seroconversion
Mar 2014 Positive
Apr 2014  CD4: VL:
May 2014 CD4: 983 VL: 93,000

Offline MaxellSmith

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: My Story :(
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2014, 08:51:09 AM »
Wellcome to the forums Ruefulwonder.

I am sorry we have to meet this way :( My boyfriend was diagnosed 1 month and 2 days ago. I completely understand when you say your old you died. We both died the moment he received his diagnosis. And right now we are trying to cope with the news and trying to find ouselves again in the process. Here you have a place to find other who understand your feelings and who can give you some shelter.
Please, stay strong. Do not let the virus define who you are. You are more than that, a person with your own ambitions and dreams, so do not let this to stop you from doing those things you want to do in your life. It is also completely normal you only want to share this with people you really trust, and your family doesn't necessarily has to be one of them. Listen to your heart, if you feel you cannot tell them then don't. Have you considered therapy? Maybe you could meet there people who has also been recently diagnosed and that could help with the isolation feeling.
Also, don't think too much about what others would think. Haters are gonna hate. The reasons may be many: because you are an escort, because you are HIV+ or because you are blonde, skinny or wear an ugly dress.
Do not lose hope on finding someone who loves you as you are. Life can be surprising and you don't really know, so try to mantain a positive attittude :)
For anything else the whole forum is with you, I'm pretty sure people will start leaving you other love messages.
Keep strong xx

Offline TheDancingCookie

  • Member
  • Posts: 17
  • All will be well.
Re: My Story :(
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2014, 03:29:56 PM »
Hi Rue

Got my diagnosis 11 days ago and totally understand when you say the old you has died.  I feel the same - that me is gone and the HIV+ me took his place.  I feel lost and strange. But I'm still here and I hold hope that it will get better.  All my best.

Offline NewAdventure1

  • Member
  • Posts: 41
Re: My Story :(
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2014, 08:38:40 PM »
Hi Rue,

I umderstand how you're feeling, I found out on June 3rd I am HIV+. It is a big change, feels so numbing. But talk to your doctors. I have since went on antidepressants and will be starting HIV medicine tomorrow. Your CD4 count is excellent.  Hope things get easier. I am here to talk if needed.
02/2013 Tested Negative
Exposure between 02/2013-10/2013
06/03/2014 Tested Positive
06/06/2014  VL 787 CD4 881 38%
07/08/2014 VL 1756 CD4 813 38%
07/27/2014 Started Complera
09/08/2014 Undetectable VL!
11/2014- Undetectable VL
2/2015-:Undetectable CD4 771 39%
7/2/2015: VL UD
11/16/2015 : VL-UD CD4 804 43%
3/18/2016 : VL- undetectable
7/25/2016 : VL -UD CD4 1104 41%
8/25/2016 Switched from Complera to Odefsey!

Offline geobee

  • Member
  • Posts: 351
Re: My Story :(
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2014, 09:15:11 PM »
Hello Rueful,

The shock of discovery is different for everyone of course, but in all of us it was profound, upsetting, life-changing.  You are on a journey that you never planned to be on.

Fortunately, all of us are on it with you.  Welcome to the forums and I look forward to getting to know you.  It gets better -- hang in there.

Offline initforlife

  • Member
  • Posts: 816
Re: My Story :(
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2014, 11:46:59 PM »
Hi Rue , I was dx in March so it is still new to me also. we all have bad days believe me I have had some  really bad days. but from reading other stories on this site I know I'm not alone and  I know that one day as the shock wears off . I will soon have more good days then bad. We are all here for the same reason. Welcome and don't be afraid to ask questions I have if not public I have in private and have also started making friends in pm and it has help me a lot!
sometimes it is best to say nothing at all. then to offend

Offline Ruefulwonder

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: My Story :(
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2014, 03:08:59 AM »
Thanks everyone...you all understand how it feels and that helps a lot.

Maxell I have been in therapy for mental issues on and off for years; on meds too.

Next dr visit in a few weeks. Wondering why my VL is so high compared to others who are newly diagnosed?

When I first found out I had some mystical/probably manic experiences - I'm thinking they were a psychic defense against the shock because I'm not having them now. Did anyone else have that or any other weird mental things? My psych dr thinks it was the stress.
All 2013 Negative
Dec/Jan 2013 Exposed
Feb 2014 Negative
Feb 2014 Seroconversion
Mar 2014 Positive
Apr 2014  CD4: VL:
May 2014 CD4: 983 VL: 93,000

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 13,236
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: My Story :(
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2014, 05:46:57 AM »
Im sorry for the dramatic seroconversion and also very sorry you got HIV. I understand how many changes this will present for your life.

I wanted to tell you that you are mistaken if you think your body hasn't dealt well with the virus.  Your VL is not particularly "high".  Also many people have viral loads in the millions after sero-conversion.  Your CD4 level is great.  Take some comfort in the silver lining.  Your body did just great combating the first stage of infection.
You are in great shape numbers wise to start treatment now, or to get things in order and start when it is most appropriate for you. 
And remember, as long as you stay in close medical attention, and start when suggested, HIV isn't going to destroy your health. 
Really its all the other stuff that comes with the HIV+ status that is going to be a lot to deal with...

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ruefulwonder

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: My Story :(
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2014, 03:46:20 AM »
Wow Mecch...thank you so much for that affirmation....I will try to remember that. I am lucky my system is handling it well. I needed to hear that.

I will be diligent about my doctor visits, definitely...always been that way. That's how I found out I was positive.

And yep you're right about all the "other stuff". Was just talking to my client/friend who I believe gave the virus to me. It's the horrendous emotional impact/burden/stigma that feels so crippling and devastating. And the isolation of not being able to just tell people like one could with cancer, or some auto-immune disease, for example. Nope, not HIV...
All 2013 Negative
Dec/Jan 2013 Exposed
Feb 2014 Negative
Feb 2014 Seroconversion
Mar 2014 Positive
Apr 2014  CD4: VL:
May 2014 CD4: 983 VL: 93,000


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