Follow-up to "The Heart of the Matter"
Oct 31, 2009
I want to thank you for your prompt reply. I appreciate your honest assessment. I was hoping you'd say you never saw someone with good numbers, on meds or not, up and die. Having said that, I understand this virus is different for everyone, there are many variables, and you don't have a crystal ball.
As I said, I think many of us "newbies" don't know a lot about this virus. We just remember the media images from the past of people with AIDS. I'm sure many of us actually do have friends with HIV, but just don't know it because they are on meds and can keep it secret. Many of us don't have someone we know personally who has had it for years and are doing great who we can look to. Again, this could be because they are on meds and healthy, so we don't know. Just like people would look at me and think I'm very healthy and HIV negative. I actually keep gaining weight not on meds.
It is one of those things that people like myself have to deal with. I know I feel so fragile now--constantly worried about germs from people or around the house. I'm afraid to go hiking or on vacations, because I'm afraid to be away from medical help. I don't know whether to start planning for death. I realize you're not a therapist. When I see people with terminal cancer, I try to put it all in perspective. And, I try to remember all the people I've talked to online who've had it for 20 yrs or more.
I don't want to monopolize your time as I know you get many questions--because I read them. I guess I don't have another question. I really wanted to thank you for your honest assessment and all you guys do on this site. I know I have to get over being so scared of death and learn to live again. And, I know you are very optimistic about HIVers' prognoses in the Q&As I've read.
Response from Dr. McGowan
Thank you for your comments.
You will start to relax and feel more at ease when time passes and you realize--hey--I'm doing OK. You are already moving down the steps of dealing with things. Gaining knowledge is a good way to prepare yourself and fight back. I think you will do fine.
You should ask your doctors if there are support groups for you with peers who are going through what you are. Most HIV centers and many ASOs have groups or could refer you for support.
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