Dr, for the WW's.. PLEASE POST!
Aug 27, 2003
Dr Bob- Oh where oh where do I begin this tale. I was once a Worried Well, but no longer. I have just recieved my Home Access test results literally 5 minutes ago, and I just had to tell you and the whole world. I AM NEGATIVE! WOOOHOOO!!!! I have been wanting to do that for so long!! But the reason I write this is because I really wish you would share my stories for other readers out there, so they can gain some strength and courage, and maybe even some understanding. First I would like to say that you are a godsend. I wish every doctor I went to had the knowledge and compassion you do. You hear it in almost every email you recieve. Listen to it, you are an amazing man. You answered one of my first posts regarding my low WBC and fatigue more than a year ago, and I finally conjured up the courage to get tested. So without holding up the show any longer... here is my story.
I am currently 20 years old, Last year when I was 19 I had protected sex with a girl in my dormatory. I was under the influence of Marijuana and I was drunk. Throw in a striking blonde who actually wants you and its a deadly mixture. I enganged in intercourse with this girl who I later learned has had sex with 16 guys her freshman year in college and this is the end of freshman year, I am 17!!! and who knows how many partners she had before college! Well, the next day we wake up and go home from school for the summer. I think nothing of what happened because I wore a condom, but I knew that she inserted my (uncircumcized, which increasees the rate of transmission) penis into her for a second before I pulled out and strapped on the rubber. anyway... But I start to feel funny. I feel like I am getting sick 3 days after sleeping with this girl. Actually, I felt this twitching on my left side, like something is swollen in me. I get extremely fatigued and can not move. So much so that my parents take me to the hospital. The doctor draws blood and finds what? A LOW WHITE BLOOD COUNT. I freak out. I could not tell my doc what happened right in front of my mom, no way. so he tests me for mono which is negative. fantastic! It must be HIV!! Low white count must = viral illness, just had sex... yadda yadda yadda, next thing you know I have self diagnosed myself with HIV. Next come the symptoms. I had to nights of night sweats, I mean real ones, I had a fever and a low wbc, I definately had an infection, no faking here. Then I get a yeast infection on my penis so I figure I got it from her, and if I got that, than hiv transmission was a true possibility. And then, the sinker.. I start to get folliculitis, something I had never gotten before in my life on my arms and chest. Are you kidding me? I know they are common medical conditions but all this happening together was just too much for a 19 year old mind who has been combing the internet for days and days for information on HIV to handle!! So I freak out, have nightmares, my doctor perscribes Ambien so I can get sleep. I lost 15 pounds in two weeks after my exposure. My life was a living hell. Purple blotch on my tongue, fever off and on... this all continued for the summer. I went for a year thinking I was positive before I got the nerve to get tested. I would read all the responses every day, I had every symptom in the book, or so I thought, no really, I really did. I would read peoples messages saying, "I thought I had symptoms but I didnt!" after giving a bj or something, I thought "please, give me a real exposure here, you are just scared" when in reality I was just as scared as the rest! I had even bookmarked certain posts that would make me feel better before I went to bed, ones that offered words of hope, or that were similar to my situation that turned out negative. Everything was just sick.
But today, over 1 year and 3 months after exposure, I meet a girl that I am falling in love with. So I buy the home access, take the test, and get the negative result. Its definative, no way am I questioning it. Its a done deal. I am NEGATIVE.
Being a worried well has taken a year away from my life. Literally. HIV became a mental anguish for me and I would become seriously frightened when it was even mentioned in coversation. People, you need to get tested after 3 months, and thats it. Get the PCR early if you like, if warrented take the meds after exposure, but regardless, GET TESTED and GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE. This is the best feeling in the world right now, the knowledge of the truth. Stop looking on the internet for symptoms, believe me, I have googled everything from "folliculitis and hiv" to "low wbc and HIV" etc etc... all showed correlation. Disconect yourself from it, use the internet as a tool for information, but not for worry like so many of us do. So, its time to delete my bookmarks, time to put this experience behind me.
I will still continue to walk in the AIDS walks as I have for a couple of years now, quite a positive experience. And I will check back from time to time just to see how my dear friend Dr. Bob is doing and to read his witty responses. But other than that, I am done. Its time to go bang on the drums, and eat some junk food. I dont care! I'm indulging! and my advice is to get tested, and chances are, you'll be doing the same!
Best wishes to all.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Welcome back to the forum and WOO-HOO! Thanks for taking the time to write. Perhaps someone is book-marking your post at this very moment. Let's hope they follow your advice! I thought I heard some drums banging 5 minutes ago. It must have been you. Glad you've got your beat back!
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