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Author Topic: I'm not scared, just going with the waves  (Read 1764 times)

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Offline clubsolar

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I'm not scared, just going with the waves
« on: August 24, 2019, 12:52:27 am »
Hey Ya'll,

Just like so many people here I have so much to say, but the will to write wears off eventually. My name is Ricky, and I found out I was HIV+ on August 11, 2019 after taking a self administered test at a partners house. Reviewing memories I can now recall when I ARS, which was from January 29th to February 11th. It was a horrible illness and moment, because my boyfriend at the time was an abusive, mentally-ill, drug addict (which I was unaware of). While I was going through some of the worst flu I had ever had in my life, I was dealing with getting hit and stomped on as well as watching my house get destroyed, because I had no energy to kick this guy I had only known for 2 months out. Luckily in the middle of my ARS sickness, I was able to have him removed from my property. It all does make since that I caught it from him. He never had an appetite,was always nauseous and fairly skinny; Later, I would find out he smoked and sold meth, so I'm not sure if any of this was from HIV or drugs. I do refuse to play the blame game though. At the end of the day I must realize that I took the risk, and made myself vulnerable to infection.

Lets go back to the day I found out. It was just like any normal hot ass summer. The current person I'm talking to and I were wanting to have unprotected sex, and he had been tested recently because you have to when you are on PrEP, but I had not since October 2018. So I hopped on my motorcycle with the gayest backpack ever, which I borrowed from him to store the test in. I went into CVS and bought an Ora-quick test, which oddly enough the pharmacist didn't even know they carried it; It was covered in dust. I hop on my bike and take back off to the person I'm seeings house.

I make it home and take the test. The time recommended for results is 20 minutes. I took a peak at 7, and it was already clearly positive. We look at each other, and I kind of just went emotionless. The best thing through it all was that he was supportive through it all. For the remaining 13 hours in the day all we did was cuddle, and watch movies. He filled me with words of encouragement. It was honestly the best way finding out could have went. I also just happened to be with the right person at the right time, because he was able to connect me with so many people and resources as he is a prominent figure in the local gay community. He also has friends who have gone through this. I'm currently on a waiting list, as I do not have insurance.

I've accepted knowing my status pretty easily because I have been educated about the virus for years, but there have been a few hurtful moments in this process. After telling my best friend on day 2, and talking about it for 2 hours she asked if that was all we were going to talk about for the rest of the day even as I was frantic. On day 3 I told my mom, and she was A typical mom but is now OK with this because bigger things happened. On day 6 my grandma, which is the woman who raised me passed suddenly, which masks everything else that has been going on. Her passing has been the hardest part of this, because its like a double whammy. On day 7 I had enough with my best friend who would not even attempt to console me. She said other people have problems too, which I understand but in the grand scheme of things these 2 problems are life-altering. Lets just say she is not my friend any longer. I must also mention that in the middle of all this I am training for a new position at work, and also planning a move. So that is just even more stress.
I also found a few swollen lymph nodes in my neck and behind my ear, and have slight eczema on my forehead. This could be from stress or HIV, either way I know it will get better once I start medication in the coming months. It is weird how once you find out you are sick, you can make yourself sicker by thinking about it. As shitty as it is, I have to wait until I move to tell other people I had sex with out of fear for safety, because they know where I live.

Here we are tough! My spirit is crushed, but not because of HIV, or the loss of my best friend. I just want my grandma. I just want to smell the cigarette and coffee fumes that are stuck on her hair.

It is just day 12, but I feel like after this year and especially after this month its all going to get better. Everything that has happened has prepared me for the future to make me a stronger person. Everyday my smile comes back a little more. Hopefully the next one million days be better. Either way they are coming, and I'm so fucking ready to live!!!


« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 01:10:12 am by clubsolar »

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: I'm not scared, just going with the waves
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2019, 01:14:29 am »
Hiya,

Firstly my condolences on the loss of your grandmother, wishing both you and your family strength during this time.

Thank you for sharing your story and sorry to hear about the abusive relationship, glad to hear that's over though, also good to hear you have someone supportive to talk to during this time.

Must admit I don't get the whole testing before sex but glad you tested so you can seek support & treatment if indeed confirmed positive.  On that last part if I understand correctly on you have had a reactive result on a self-test, but have not been seen by your healthcare provider to perform testing & confirmation testing and viral load measurement? In that case, I will ask you to only post in this thread until you have tested, feel free to ask any question you may have here.   

As for HIV contact tracing, talk to your doctor & the health department to confirm,  but most places have anonymous contact tracing meaning they will not disclose the source. 

Until you have tested positive though I would recommend not overthinking things.
Keep us posted.

« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 01:19:52 am by Jim Allen »
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Offline clubsolar

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Re: I'm not scared, just going with the waves
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2019, 01:57:02 am »
Does anyone else get annoyed when you tell someone your POZ, and they tell you how sorry they are? That is the worst. I don't need your pity just your support. Also as I experience symptoms and the waves of diagnosis while I am waiting for meds, I find it extremely annoying that people keep asking me if I'm sad,sick, OK, or stressed. I do not feel like that, until people tell me that how I look or am acting Its not good for my mental stability right now. It doesn't hurt as much when it is coming from someone who does not know, but it hurts especially when they know whats going on. Either way I feel bad now for asking people if they are OK, or even telling them they look sick. It is weird how I have never been affected by anyone words, but now stuff like this bothers me. You would think Id be used to this since I have resting bitch face and am told constantly how I look. This is different though.

Offline clubsolar

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Re: I'm not scared, just going with the waves
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2019, 02:12:41 am »
I guess I forgot to mention al
Hiya,

Firstly my condolences on the loss of your grandmother, wishing both you and your family strength during this time.

Thank you for sharing your story and sorry to hear about the abusive relationship, glad to hear that's over though, also good to hear you have someone supportive to talk to during this time.

Must admit I don't get the whole testing before sex but glad you tested so you can seek support & treatment if indeed confirmed positive.  On that last part if I understand correctly on you have had a reactive result on a self-test, but have not been seen by your healthcare provider to perform testing & confirmation testing and viral load measurement? In that case, I will ask you to only post in this thread until you have tested, feel free to ask any question you may have here.   

As for HIV contact tracing, talk to your doctor & the health department to confirm,  but most places have anonymous contact tracing meaning they will not disclose the source. 

Until you have tested positive though I would recommend not overthinking things.
Keep us posted.





I got it confirmed the day after the at home test. I have a team and everything. I thought that was implied. I guess not. Sorry for sounding like an asshole. I'm just on edge.

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: I'm not scared, just going with the waves
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2019, 02:21:44 am »
Hiya

I've merged your posts, please only post here in this one thread. - Thank you.

Confirmed within 1 day is not possible, anyhow I thought you were on a waiting list? Okay, must have misunderstood, what are your CD4 counts looking like & Viral load? What testing was used to confirm?

Have you discussed your treatment options with this team already & contact tracing?

Quote
Does anyone else get annoyed when you tell someone your POZ, and they tell you how sorry they are? That is the worst. I don't need your pity just your support
.

My two cents, the "sorry to hear that" is not pity but often just politeness expression as people don't know what to say or they wish to at least acknowledge you have unhappy news.

What reaction were you expecting from telling people? If you are expecting support perhaps consider the person does not know what support to offer or simply needs time to digest what you just told them, perhaps explaining how you are struggling or the challenges you have will leave the door open for them to offer support if they are in the position to do so.
 
Quote
I find it extremely annoying that people keep asking me if I'm sad,sick, OK, or stressed

To be honest, if I am feeling unwell, looking unwell or something is happening in life and someone asks if I am okay or how I am feeling etc,  I just see it as them expressing genuine concern for my wellbeing or wanting to understand if I need support. Doesn't personally bother me.

Look for many people it can be highly unsettling time with a lot to digest so I hope you are finding the support you need during this time. It's been less than 2 weeks so give yourself time to settle into this and as for telling people well for some, it can be a source of support but also pain, so just keep in mind you only control your actions & choices in life, not the reactions other people might have.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 02:25:27 am by Jim Allen »
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
HIV 101
Transmission and Risks:
HIV Transmission and Risks
Read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
Read about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
Read about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline clubsolar

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Re: I'm not scared, just going with the waves
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2019, 02:44:35 am »
I was confirmed at a local LGBTQ center. They done 2 additional types of tests. I believe one was a western blot, and I can't remember the other one. I don't have insurance, so I was set up with a case worker. I am on a waiting list for meds and labs. I will take my first labs Monday, but will not find out anything until September 19th which is my first appointment to be prescribed meds based on lab results. After that I have to wait another month to see a doctor who will then do something else which I cant think of at the moment. I was told by everyone that this process could be 3 or 4 months, but there are programs that will supplement and get me on mads ASAP while I am on the waiting list. I'm honestly not sure of all the details, because again it is a lot. Also sorry for the grammar and anxiety stricken rambling. I love to write, and this is the first time I have even attempted to write anything. Thank you for being understanding as well.

Offline clubsolar

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Re: I'm not scared, just going with the waves
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2019, 02:47:14 am »
and also that other post with about condolences was not directed at you. im so sorry I did not mean to come off that way. I did not read your first reply until after I wrote that. OMG I feel like an ass now.  :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: I'm not scared, just going with the waves
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2019, 03:19:40 am »
Hiya

Don't worry about the grammar, nobody here gives a damn about that.
 
Also, I did not feel attacked or upset/offended so nothing to apologize for, I've experienced much worse and international insult over the years from mainly the magic transmission crowds or the people pushing fake cures, so no worries  ;)
 
Look it's simply not possible to have WB test results in a day however it's good that you are getting into contact with a caseworker as they will be able to assist you through this process, and once you have some lab work done you will know where you stand.

Sourcing treatment without insurance can be tricky although there are support programs and your case-workers should be able to assist you with this as well, before this though you need that lab work to understand where you are in terms of VL etc and what treatment would be effective against the HIV strain you have.

I've moved your post back to "Just tested positive" as others might be able to assist you better particularly regarding the insurance and such, however until you have lab work please only post in this one thread - Thank you for your cooperation

Best, Jim
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
HIV 101
Transmission and Risks:
HIV Transmission and Risks
Read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
Read about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
Read about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline clubsolar

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Re: I'm not scared, just going with the waves
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2019, 12:38:44 am »
Got my 1st labs on September 19TH, which were taken Aug. 30. They were not the best. I was on the cusp. Vr 70000, CD4 204. Kinda scary to think it took less than 8 months to get there. I was prercribed biktarvy, and was able to start on the 23rd. Its been a few weeks, and was just wondering when/If  ya'll's lymphnodes went down after starting HAART?

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: I'm not scared, just going with the waves
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2019, 08:11:22 am »
Depends on why they are swollen but it can take I while, mine were swollen for a good few months.

Your VL is pretty small, should be undetectable fairly quick now your on treatment
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
HIV 101
Transmission and Risks:
HIV Transmission and Risks
Read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
Read about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
Read about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline lightalltheway

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Re: I'm not scared, just going with the waves
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2019, 06:00:46 pm »
hello Clubsolar,

in which part of the body do you have the swollen lymph nodes? I had them behind my ears and they took a good three month to completely disappear.

Prince

 


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