Thank you for making me hopeful for an answer...
Mar 6, 2006
Yes, Ma'am of course I will refresh your memory and I am so sorry for the inconvenience. I had almost given up hope but you have literally put hope for a direct answer back in my heart! I am the person who asked you about the rights of people who do not wish to disclose to a dentist regarding their status although we know that it is recommended that we should. My question was also asked to Dr. Bob and you mentioned to me that you may have overlooked my email and may have then asked Dr. Bob and how you felt that he gave a wonderful answer. I replied to your email and stated that I had actually tried to email your forum first through any expert and then I chose you and that what I am praying for was at the least, a simple yes or no as I cannot begin to tell you what an extremely conservative town I live in. They go through peoples mail, trash, and show no shame in coming right out and asking extremely personal questions. I live literally petrified more so because I have three children whom I protect at all cost and I really do not want them to be singled out and not be allowed to have other children play with them or worse. I have not had as much as a dental cleaning because I was discriminated in such a way that I felt contaminated, dirty, filthy and so very ashamed. I am crying while I write this email to you because I myself struggle not to feel that way about myself none the less to have someone professional making me feel so humiliated. I stand behind Dr. Bobs reply under "normal" circumstances. Dr. Bruer, if this was me alone, I just may have the courage to say whatever needed to be said under this or any other situation regarding treatment of people with this illness. It is my three innocent children, one of them whom is infected as well (their dad did not tell me he had AIDS and that is how we acquired it. He has since passed away.) I just want to feel normal. To be able to see a dentist and not have to worry about being discriminated against, that I can go in a pool and not have to worry about being attacked. On two separate ocasions, when my children were just babies, I was kicked out of two rental apartments because the landlord found out what we had. Please, please, please. Can you help me? Is there any way that I do not have to disclose my status although it would be recommended for me to do just that? Again, a simple yes or no if that is all you can say would be... I can not tell in words what it would do for me. Thank you as I have expressed to you before for your kindness, your willingness to stand up and fight for the rights of people like me. That is why I love Dr. Bob. I feel that I am a little normal when he emails me and gives me a little bit of courage to deal with this situation. God bless you for all you do and I anxiously await your reply.
Response from Ms. Breuer
Clearly this has become a major issue in your life, and for your children's sake and your own, you need and deserve to get help from someone who isn't just an email correspondent.
I am not a medical doctor. My specialty is workplace issues, and I do know that you are not required to tell your dentist that you have HIV. In most settings, it's a good idea to share that information because dentists often see conditions that need care that are related to HIV. But your experiences have burned you, and I don't encourage people to go out and get burned again.
My strongest recommendation to you to help you manage the past discrimination and the fear of future discrimination is to get personal counseling. There are indications in your note that this is overwhelming you. When we feel overwhelmed, we need a counselor--a face to face, flesh and blood counselor. Please find one right away. You need and and your children need a mother who doesn't have to carry around these awful feelings. Please. Okay?
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