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Woo hoo and a bit of an essay ;)

Jun 22, 2009

Hi Dr Frascino,

Hopefully this is the last update you'll get from me - I sent you a mail 2 days back to say Friday was results day, and I'm happy to say they came back as negative. I know you say 12 weeks is totally conclusive, but the woman there said they tell people that 6 is the timeframe they use ... mine was 8 and a half (one more week and maybe I could have had Kim Basinger give me the news - hehe).

Anyway, I thought I should email again just to list exactly all the "ars" symptoms I had, so in the future someone else searching might find them and gain some comfort in reading that all is not always doom and gloom!

I'd also like to say I think you should setup some sort of a Paypal subscription system to your charity so that people who want to give regular donations could do easily :)

Anyway, without further ado - this is how it all went down:

Got jiggy with a woman in Thailand I met in a club - to compound matters (in regards to worry) - did pretty much all the methods there are ... lol. 6 days later I start to feel a bit odd. My arms and legs become extrememly tired - even walking around the supermarket becomes awkward and walking up my apartment block stairs makes me feel knackered! A day after this, I come down with a fever combined with nausea and a really bad headache (mainly behind my left eye) which causes my vision to go all white. I try to sleep it out, but suffer serious night sweating which then causes me to get chills and wakes me up .... grrrr ... Notice now I have a really white tongue too (like seriously horrible towards the back, but a load at the front as well) This all goes on for a few days, then clears up (not completely, but enough so I feel I can do something rather than sit at home all day) 4 days later it returns again, this time with me actually throwing up (after which I feel much better). At this point I was putting it down to a bug I picked up on the plane on the way home, but then the damn rash arrives - a few massive pimples on the left hand side of my chest, along with smaller ones which appear on the shoulder and continue along down my arm (just the top bit) - all of this is only on the left hand side, nothing on the right. Symptoms last 5 days or so then calm down (Except rash, which stays) Think I'm all better, so plan the weekend, only for the symptoms to all get worse again and this time diorreaha (sp) too. Still having night sweats on and off too. Finally another 3 or so days later, everything clears up except the rash which is gone a week or so later.

Of course by now I am pretty concerned something is wrong and so began the evil waiting time!

So there we go - I know you'll read all the time about how ars symptoms can be many other things, but it doesn't help to stop the worry - but I hope my experience shows you can get pretty much everything in the "ars list" and it to be perfectly innocent. The "white tongue" thing is also a real red herring - go ask any of your mates to see their tongues and I bet you 80% of them will be white already!!!

Also, another thing I worked out (in my experience) is stress by itself really can cause a lot of the symptoms - and even others can be easily explained, but not in the way you expect.

For example - you worry you have caught HIV, so you start to get depressed. This makes (me at least) your body feel all limp. Of course this now makes it seem like your body is all feeling tired and lathargic (ars symptom 1). Now it gets worse, you worry more so you don't want to eat or drink (no drinking = more white tongue (symptom 2), no eating = more tired). This worry then builds up even more and makes you feel sick (ars symptom 3) and if you really get your tummy tied, send you off to the toilet as well (ars symptom 4). All this stress and worry can then cause nightsweats (like fear, you wake up clamy - Ars symptom 5) which as the sweat cools, will give you chills (symptom 6). To combat the chills, you wrap yourself in your bed covers which causes blocked pores in your skin which in turn causes pimples to form (oh look, now we have the ars rash and symptom 7!)

In my case, it seems like I did indeed catch the flu, which then set my sinuses off. The rest of the symptoms I reckon came from within my list above ...!

Anyway, blimey, I've written loads now - I won't take up anymore of your time - but I hope the above has been helpful and can calm some of you down whilst you await your results!

Good luck everyone and thanks again Dr Franscino!


Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Ben,

First off, WOO-de-frickin'-HOO!

Second, thanks for taking the time to write in and share your story and newfound insights! I'll add them to the archives and hope that others trapped in their own self-induced worried-well hell will read your testimonial and find comfort.

Finally, regarding donations to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation, the foundation does accept PayPal donations. For those wishing to donate on a regular basis (every month, two months, whatever), we make those arrangements directly through the foundation office. Donors can contact the foundation via e-mail at to set this up.

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob

Pianos Rock (The Sequel)
Please please please help! oral exposure - PEP warranted?

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