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PSYCHOSOMATIC FREAK PART DEUX
Apr 9, 2005

Well Bob the donation is on the way. Part of my reaction to my situation has been to consider myself a worried well and since everyone else has played along I thought things would just get better. After a month an a half I went back to the clinic I got my rapid tests at because I had red sores all over my tongue, with white stuff, diharea for 4 weeks, muscle twitching, tingling burning skin, swolen nodes in every place and aches everywhere. The clinic told me to come back in 2 months if I was worried. So this time I got a women who told me I had tested out the window period for NY. As far as I know the window period is not 4 weeks. I also found out the person who I was afraid about the fingering incident with is a heroin user. I would love to me optimistic about my situation but I am physically falling apart. I have taken great comfort and strength from all the experts in the community, especially you. I am going out living life without worry but I cant sit through dinner or a movie cause of diahrea and it's hard to drive cause of my muscle twitches. I sent out a home access test because of a freinds recomendation and thanks to George Bush my 55 year olddoc cant see me till next week cause he's busy flying planes in the reserves. I feel lost and so unsure. I am not scared of HIV although I should be. I am simply sick of the uncertainty and being treated like crap by the health care grinder. However I understand my suffering is not even close to a mili fraction of the suffering those who deal with HIV day to day deal with. I am a recent college graduate and all I want to do is get on with life and contribute. Whether or not I am positive no matter how remote the possibility my time as a hopeful worried well has shown me a community full of strength that is hidden from mainstream America. One way or another I will take everything I have learned from this experience and not forget it. While I would'nt wish this fear and worrying on anyone. I think more of middle America needs to know the work, the suffering, the strength and determination and love that makes up the HIV/AIDS community. You have no idea how much it has comforted and meant to me to have you respond to my email and I can not imagine how much good you have done for others in my position and as a doctor. While I am not the praying kind I do believe in the strength of the individual and I am in awe of yours.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Part Deux,

Welcome back to The Forum. As always, I appreciated the French ("deux"). Even if you are finding it difficult to be optimistic about your situation, I certainly am not. Hopefully your physician is back form duty. (It appears Dubya and Rummy are running low on toy soldiers to move around in their war games. Gee, I wonder why the armed services are having such difficulty getting new recruits to sign on?!?!?) I am glad to hear you are "going out living life without worry . . . ." Chances are your "diarrhea and muscle twitches" will be evaluated and treated quickly and effectively as soon as you can re-access the healthcare system. Until then, try some over-the-counter products.

I, too, believe much of Middle America continues to view HIV/AIDS as a distant threat someone else's problem. What they don't understand is that it's a clear and present danger in their own community and the largest health catastrophe of our time. With one person dying every 10 seconds, the magnitude and devastation of this human tragedy have reached proportions not seen since the Black Plague decimated a quarter of Europe's population in the 14th century. And yet, shockingly, so many people remain apathetic.

I'm confident your compassion and new awareness will give you the strength to persevere through your period of "uncertainty." And as I mentioned above, I remain very optimistic about your chances to "get on with life and contribute." I remain convinced that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it!

Good luck. I'm here if you need me.

Dr. Bob



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