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Thank you for giving me hope with your last comment, "Help is on the way"
Feb 25, 2010

Hello My Beloved Doctor, Thank you so much for your comment that filled me up with HOPE OF HELP from caring, giving and loving strangers, even though I have lost hope for so many years. Just the posibility of help brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart... I pray there are people out there that can help me with my unfortunate circumstances so that I can continue to not only live a semblance of a "normal" life (is that even possible under my circumstances)but to be able to continue helping all my other very ill, disabled family members that also bless me with their help, cause I desperately need it. Your saying it... Well... Just makes me glow inside. THANK YOU! MUAH I have a problem that I PRAY you can help me with. My son who is also positive, all of a sudden developed "issues" and if you think my previous problems were (and are)extremely disheartening, this call is my worst nightmare. It doesn't seem I will ever get at least some measure of happiness and at least peace from my daily constant heartaches. My son has a viral load of "undetectable," thanks to my God and my constantly giving his meds without fail all his life, as well as having a T-Cell count of about 600 plus. All of a sudden, he cannot sit the way one does normally, will not eat or drink (I force feed him and he becomes so upset... (sorry crying) which makes me extremely upset. He had taken a long time in the bathroom, so I went to check up on him and he was standing there with his pants and underwear on his ankles, staring at his poo. He will not clean himself, I have to and please take note of this important detail... He would NEVER allow me to see him naked and all of a sudden, with hand gestures he asks me to please stay in the bathroom with him and help him bathe and dress himself. I also have to brush his teeth for him. PLEASE MY FAVORITE DOCTOR. Is there any way shape or form that this sounds to you in your personal opinion like something that HIV can cause? I finally called his doctor, (the one who would not change his Ziagen) and his nurse said, "Well, we first have to check his blood work." I asked her what in addition to the usual (he just had blood work done on him about three weeks ago) and she said, "The usual, nothing different." That made me SO UPSET because I told her I felt that because we just did the blood work three weeks prior, OTHER testing should be done to see if he is deficient in something. She said, "No. The next thing we would do after you get his blood work done is, we must see him to check his body." My beloved Doctor, am I missing something?" What will "looking at him" tell them about his behavior? Mind you, we are an EXTREMELY CLOSE KNIT FAMILY and DO EVERYTHING TOGETHER. That means neither one of my children has EVER been without my husband, myself or my mom. Thanks to that, he never experienced sexual abuse in any way, shape or form, nor mental or physical abuse. My son LOVES my husband who has raised him since their father died and they have a wonderful relationship. What can it be Doctor Bob? What possibilities come to your mind? PLEASE Doctor Bob, I AM GOING TO LOSE MY MIND AND I CAN'T AFFORD THAT CAUSE MY KIDS NEED ME... Now I have to make all these trips (in addition, my mother in law whom I also help care for was hospitalized with clots in her lungs and legs) without my van, trying to find DECENT health/mental care for my son (I don't want him anywhere he has to stay in without me being there, and neither does he.) Have you EVER heard of anything similiar? I even tuck him into bed and he is a teenager that used to be very independent, intelligent, stubborn and determined. He is currently on Kaletra, a higher dose of Zerit which was recently changed due to his being older and weighing more and Ziagen. What could it be Doctor Bob? I know you can't diagnose him because we are too far away from you (I wish you were close.)I am lost Doctor Bob... I can't take anything else... I am being slammed and thrown in a billion directions with a billion issues, problems, health situations, financial situations and I may be the one who winds up locked up or who knows... I would NEVER hurt myself because I believe my life, despite the turmoil is a gift, and my children need me, but I cannot assure you how much more I can take. Other than yourself, I have NO ONE TO TURN TO. Please forgive me for troubling you with this. I just want you to know once again, even when I am in despair and feel desperately lonely because I cannot trust anyone to talk about all these issues with, I always, even while crying hysterically, think of you... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. You truly are a "HUGE" blessing to me. I love you Doctor Bob. Please take outstanding care of yourself. I am sure many others feel the same about you as I do. Kisses from myself and your nephews. Mommy of Three

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello again Mommy of Three,

We may have to petition The Body to open an expert forum dedicated exclusively to your increasingly complex and numerous health problems! Isn't it time that black cloud over your head moved on? I think you've had more than your share of hard luck and challenging situations!

First, regarding "help," we can't write directly to you without your specific consent. Please write back to me privately with your e-mail address if you would like us to be able to contact you regarding possible connections with folks offering assistance. You can write to me here. I won't post it publicly, but rather forward your consent and e-mail to The Body who will in turn forward the contact information of those wishing to help to you. You can then choose to personally contact these individuals if you wish. OK?

Next, regarding your son, you are correct: I cannot diagnose specific conditions over the Internet based on limited information and not having the benefit of a complete medical history, laboratory studies, and a complete physical examination.

You mention he is a teenager, but you fail to mention how old he is. You also mention this new behavior began suddenly. How suddenly? Were there any precipitating events? Having to bathe and dress a teenager is indeed worrisome. If he had routine blood work three weeks ago, there is no reason to repeat it again. He does, however, need a thorough medical history and physical examination by a competent pediatric HIV specialist (if he is in his early teens) or an internist (if he is in his late teens). With his undetectable HIV plasma viral load and good T-cell count, it seems unlikely this new behavior would be related to a complication of HIV. It is possible he is having psychiatric problems complicated by knowing he is HIV positive (and thereby "different" from his peers). If no physical cause for his change in behavior can be identified after a thorough evaluation, he should have a psychiatric evaluation.

Good luck to you and your family.

Dr. Bob


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