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thanks Dr Bob
Mar 24, 2006

Hey Dr Bob,

Thanks so much how you can be so kind to someone youve never met astonishes me esp someone this dumb. I mean, people I know arent that nice to me! So thanks. And yes, you just about made me smile. Why arent all doctors like that? Hope I can return the favor.

Anyway, sorry to complain-I know u must get it alot, but Im completely washed out. Im in hospital (I collapsed whilst at a drugstore buying paracetamol and woke up here surrounded by many a bleeping machine and more embarrassed than Dick Cheneys press secretary. So whilst I really dont wanna be here, Im equally too spineless to leave.) Sorry but this is my nightmare Im still terrified of hospitals. (I know, I know, call me Dubya). Im not gonna say why on a public website (sorry to all our avid readers hope ur all taking heed of my stupidity) but its a pretty good reason. So Im mighty scared over here. Sadly I cannot help but notice a distinct lack of handsome male nurses where on earth do you work? Sounds like the place to get sick. But on the other hand, here we have lots of overworked underpaid doctors poor guys.

I am on IV pentamidine and corticosteroids. Which is fun. Not as fun as the arterial blood gas now theres a laugh a minute. (Spot the sarcasm OK so it may be the lowest form of wit, but at least its a form). CD4 115, VL 425000. Ive been pretty out of it most of the time so dont really know what else is going on. I know theyre having probs controlling my fever and the fact that I keep losing weight (which I guess is inevitable?) I guess its my fault for being stressed I know, alot is in my head Im trying to beat my brain, but sense is losing to experience sorry. I am trying really hard to stop being such a wimp, but god its not easy. Past experience bites down hard is all Im saying. I mean, I really dunno what to think about any of it I really think decisions and prob even lucid thought are completely beyond me atm.

I hear you about a second opinion, but Im a bit wary dont wanna offend my doctor and, well, am kinda nervous (as uve prob realised by this point) of new people, esp. doctors (again trust me I have a good reason, which is not 4 public consumption). Thanks for the house call comment if only. I have to say, since we currently live on different continents, geography might prove a bit of a hurdle

Yeah, support networks thanks for your concern. As u can see, Im a total wimp, but I have had some bad experiences. Heard of once bitten, twice shy? Also, Ive learnt its kinda my own fault why should I take other peoples support whore more deserving? As for envelope licking, letter stuffing, quilt folding, champagne pouring, ribbon pinning, shipping meds, culling questions sounds like an offer I cant refuse. For a gay dude, you sure know how to charm a girl. Seriously though, Id love to help ur right. Just a shame I dont live in the states anymore eh? (Except then of course, Id have to live in a country with Dubya, not just watch in horror). Sorry Im rambling a bit, my microscopic brain is really really confused. Thanks again I stand (or rather lie down) in awe.

Penny (scared doofus)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Penny,

This may sound strange out of context, but I'm absolutely delighted you're in the hospital! Even if your arrival there was rather less than voluntary and more dramatic than one would have wished, I can think of no better place for you to be at the moment. The IV pentamidine and corticosteroids and yes, even the oh-so-nasty arterial blood gas test, all sound right on target to me!

As for avoiding a second opinion because you don't wanna offend your current doctor . . . Penny, do you really think that's a valid reason? No, of course you don't! If your doctor is offended by such a request, he has absolutely no right to be your doctor. As for my house calls, different continents are not a problem as long as you live in one of my favorite cities. Paris? Sydney? Taormina? As for the stunningly handsome male nurses, they travel with me. Did I forget to mention that?

I do believe you must have had a very traumatic experience to cause such deep-seated fear; however, I also believe from your wit, charm and rationality (which are often in very short supply for many of the folks who write in to the forum), that you can, and will, overcome these fears (justified or not). Post-traumatic stress is real and it's also very treatable. Why not arrange for some counseling while you're in the hospital? Also, do give those support groups another try. Do it for me, OK?

As for letter stuffing, envelop licking and stuff like that, I forgot to mention that our volunteers do that while sipping Sauvignon Blanc in a Jacuzzi with the aforementioned male nurses. We are saving a spot for you, but you have to get better first. That means putting up with the hospital, the overworked doctors, the blood gas tests and the IV pentamidine and tackling your fears, OK?

Good thoughts, Penny! I'm here if you need me.

Dr. Bob

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