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Depression and long term dianosis
Sep 17, 2010

I was diagnosed with HIV in 1988. In 1992, I had a burst appendix resulting in peritinitis resulting in impotence. T cells were under 100 and in 1994 I developed CMV of the retina. The durgs which kept the CMV at bay lead to kidney failure. I was on dialysis for over 8 years. I received a transplant and it is working but since I started a new protical including Selzentry, I am having difficulty driving. On the outside, I look and act OK, but on the inside I have rage. I am tired. I don't want to be here. I haven't worked in 15 years. Any suggestion? I thinkI am a lost cause.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I'm sorry to hear you've had such a rocky and difficult clinical course. So many folks think having HIV/AIDS is really "no big thing." In reality coexisting with a virus that wants nothing more than to destroy you is often beyond challenging, as your testimonial dramatically demonstrates.

As for suggestions on how to cope with your mounting medical challenges, I've learned many lessons from those who have gone before us and also from my brother who died from lung and brain cancer three years ago and even from my aging pooch! The key seems to be finding the enjoyment in life despite its adversities. Fight against the rage or feeling like you're a lost cause. There is really no going back. We have to accept today's reality and focus on tomorrow. My pooch Presto used to love to run and jump. He's now quite old and has had his fair share of medical problems. Running and jumping are out of the question. So now he enjoys a good walk, and when that's too strenuous for him, he can be quite content snuggling next to his favorite plush toy. When he's having a really bad day, he's still very content to sit quietly in my lap and enjoy a head scratch or belly rub. He probably doesn't remember his running and jumping days. Rather, he focuses on how good it feels to have Dad scratch his belly. So how does this relate to HIV/AIDS? Basically it boils down to enjoying what you can do rather than raging at what you can't. Reading, listening to great music, watching movies or the latest hot TV show, or just visiting with friends can be very satisfying and requires very little energy.

I would encourage you to discuss your feelings of depression and rage with your HIV specialist. Counseling or antidepressant medications may be very helpful in changing your perspective from a glass half empty to a glass half full. You are certainly not a lost cause. You just need a good belly rub.

Don't give up. I'm here if you need me, OK?

Dr. Bob



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