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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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golfguy
Member

Reged: 01/04/01
Posts: 18
I Think I'm Going Nuts and I Need Some Help!
      #16826 - 03/21/01 12:02 PM

Please help...I don't want to sound like Triple (no offense Triple), but I really need some reassurance.

I can't get past this thing.

I've tested neg. on ELISA at 15 weeks and neg on DNA/PCR at 7.5 weeks.

I keep getting "symptoms"--white coating on back of tongue (thrush?) that scrapes off easily, but doesn't bleed or leave red spots. Last few weeks I've had small blisters on my tongue, cold sores, swelling on my hard pallete...I'm completely off my rocker. Last night, I had mild night sweats...didn't need to change my clothes, but my brow was sweaty and the neck of my t-shirt was damp...couldn't sleep worth a damn after that.

I'm really going crazy...I went and took another DNA PCR on Monday, results back in 5-7 business days.

I can't eat, sleep, work, anything.

I thought I would be past this thing at 3 months, and it's as bad as ever.

Should I be able to put this thing behind me? I could really use some advice.

Thanks.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

I'm goin' a bit nuts myself! new
      #16830 - 03/21/01 01:08 PM

It must be in the air, folks .... because I'm beginning to get a tad scared again myself! I think I've been reading too damned much. But, this persistant dry cough, and sweating at night .... this sucks! As far as your tests golfguy - they are GREAT! I guess a lot of us are from the same mold .... but, even when everyone is telling you that you're fine; it's hard to believe it when your body is going through turmoil! Yesterday, I decided to go do some reading (I don't even want to list the site) about the window period .... and I didn't like what I read. I just don't know anymore - I don't know what/who to trust. This f___ing window period is like a never-ending bad dream.



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J.P.
Unregistered

Re: I Think I'm Going Nuts and I Need Some Help! new
      #16832 - 03/21/01 03:42 PM

I'm no doctor, but from what I know and the tests you've had, you should put this behind you. We've all got our stories to tell, and they all sound a lot alike after while. If someone else wrote a post like yours, you'd probably be one of the first to think "this guy has nothing to worry about." The only problem is its different when its you.

My story: tons of symptoms, including really bad night sweats, sore throat, weight loss, ulcerations in my mouth, fever, etc about a month after a 1-night stand. You name the ARS symptom and I had it. Then my wife came down with shingles. I was sure it was HIV and I couldn't think about anything else. I basically couldn't function. But, I had negative tests at 3 months, 5 months, 7 months, and even 13 months. Broke down and had another ELISA at 19 months (still negative).

Why did I test so long? Some of the same symptoms you have: mainly red ulcers on my tounge (mainly the tip) and gastrointestinal problems. Problems are still around 2-1/2 years later, but not as bad as before. Doctors never figured out what it was, but they say (and I finally pretty much believe) it's nothing to worry about. (But as you can see, I still check this board every once in awhile).

One thing that helped me deal with this was making up a couple of lists: one explained why each of my symptoms had to be HIV, and the other expalined each in non-HIV terms. Both lists made sense (in fact, the non-HIV list made a lot of sense in light of continued negative tests). Give it a try - it might help.

Best of luck.



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golfguy
Member

Reged: 01/04/01
Posts: 18
Re: I Think I'm Going Nuts and I Need Some Help! new
      #16835 - 03/21/01 04:45 PM

Thanks J.P. Sounds like you and I have similar stories. Mine was a one-time fling (affair) as well. I, however, haven't been able to touch my wife since it happened. I just cry everytime I think about what I might have done to her and my children if I'm infected.

The fear of this thing has taken over my life. My mouth seems to have a burning sensation in it these past few days, i've got a ton of acid reflux, I'm not sure if I'm coming down with a sore throat, etc.

I've thought about this non-stop since December 1. I can't get it out of my head. Every waking thought is punctuated (at some level) with the fear and dread that I've contracted HIV.

I guess, if I were rational at this point, I'd chalk most of this up to anxiety, stress, depression, guilt and angst...but I'm not rational; I'm irrational.

I just want to be o.k. and get my life back. I want to hug my wife, hug my kids and live my life. I'm 38 and feel as though I've thrown everything away for a meaningless, one-time thing with someone I don't even care about. I start to cry everytime I think about it...I feel so alone and am scared of being alone (and sick at the same time).

Thanks again.



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TexGal
Master

Reged: 11/21/00
Posts: 139
Re: I Think I'm Going Nuts and I Need Some Help! new
      #16836 - 03/21/01 05:16 PM

Oh Golfguy...I know exactly how you are feeling!! When I had my "exposure" back in October, all I could think about was my child and how one night screwed everything up. I cried all of the time, was afraid to hug or kiss my child, and felt like I needed to suffer the "consequences" of my actions. Trust me, those thoughts aren't going to do anything for you except add to the guilt, stress and anxiety that you are already feeling. No one can punish you more than yourself! The only thing that is going to take those feelings away is your ability to become comfortable and believe that you are negative.

You are still in the self-punishment phase of this. Which is completely normal. It takes time but you will make it through this. Please forgive yourself, for you are human. Hold your head up high because you have every right to. Your kids deserve their dad back and you deserve the opportunity to work on the relationship with your wife.

I truly believe that you are negative but that doesn't matter. You need to believe it. And whatever the outcome....PLEASE DON'T STOP HUGGING AND KISSING YOUR CHILDREN! You need their unconditional love now more than ever. Draw strength from them.

We are here if you need to vent. Stay strong and I raise a glass to you that you believe your negative PCR this week. You owe it to yourself and your family to begin the journey of healing (emotionally, physically and spiritually).

Best wishes....

Tex



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golfguy
Member

Reged: 01/04/01
Posts: 18
Re: I Think I'm Going Nuts and I Need Some Help! new
      #16837 - 03/21/01 05:25 PM

Thanks Tex.

I do feel so all alone. I don't feel sorry for myself...I feel like I'm getting what I deserve.

I can't get the thought of having to tell my wife what I've done and what it has and will cost my family (my innocent family) out of my mind. I also can't get past the idea that I'll die alone and, prior to that, live a very sad life (o.k., maybe I am feeling sorry for myself).

What I can't reconcile is my negative tests and the symptoms I seem to be having. Unlike alot of people here, I really didn't start having any symptoms until AFTER my 12 week tests, then came the mouth sores and now a ticklish throat and, last night, mild night sweats. This is a nightmare...it was supposed to get better after 12 weeks...here I am at 16 weeks and I'm still going out of my mind. I keep thinking that I'm the 1% that will convert after 12 weeks (I don't even know if 1% is the correct figure...I'm so sick of reading equivocal answers from the doctors on The Body I could vomit) and that's why I'm coming down with this stuff now.

God...I just want this to be OVER!!!!!!!!!





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J.P.
Unregistered

Re: I Think I'm Going Nuts and I Need Some Help! new
      #16838 - 03/21/01 06:14 PM

Golfguy, our stories sound really similar. I'm 36 and had 3 small kids when I thought I had caught HIV. I thought I'd also given it to my wife.

I almost let guilt destroy me. I had to take my kids' pictures off my desk at work because I couldn't bear to look at them. What had I done to them and my wife? All this for a little excitment? What the hell was I thinking? I felt like I deserved to be punished and that's what was happening to me.

I finally confided in my brother and a close friend. I don't think I could have made it from that 3 month test to the 5 month test without them. I still remember getting that negative test at 5 months. I went home early, played with my kids, gave my wife and kids a big hug and kiss, and had 3 martinis. I had my life back (kinda - until I started to worry again later...).

Don't let your guilt destroy you. We all make mistakes at some point. Learn from this and move on. Obviously your family means more to you than you ever realized. Don't ever forget that. Look at this as a wake-up call that let's you see what's important to you and helps you to realize how easily all that can slip away if we let it.

With your negative PCR tests, it's just about impossible that you have HIV. You're probably more likely to have the Russian Mir space station fall on you this week than have HIV with your negative tests.

So, try to get past these guilty feelings and try to be objective. It's tough waiting out those test results, but keep thinking about how remote the odds are at this point. I went through the exact same thing and beat myself up every hour of every day. Pretty soon you'll realize that you don't deserve to be punished for this, and that your family needs you. Forget symptoms and how you feel - I still have some lingering problems like a burning sensation on my tounge (over 2 years later). Neither you nor I have HIV.

Please go enjoy your family!



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golfguy
Member

Reged: 01/04/01
Posts: 18
Re: I Think I'm Going Nuts and I Need Some Help! new
      #16839 - 03/21/01 06:26 PM

Thanks man.

I've never told anyone but my doctor(s). I almost told my brother, but stopped short. Maybe if I had, I might not be suffering the way I am.

I hear you on the odds....from what I've read, a neg. PCR at post 28 days coupled with a neg. ELISA at 15 weeks puts me in the, maybe, 1-2% risk catagory. Can't stop obsessing, however.

I'm NEVER, and I mean NEVER,cheating on my wife again. There was nothing satisfying about it, NOTHING. If there is anyone out there who is thinking about straying, do yourself a favor and don't. If your marriage is in that bad of shape, try to fix it or get out of it...don't cheat, it just isn't worth it. Cheating is personally destructive and hurts those around you.

I really appreciate your support.

Golfguy



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jerri
Member

Reged: 03/13/01
Posts: 12
I understand new
      #16841 - 03/21/01 06:58 PM

I wish there was something that I could do for you and myself for that matter. From what I understand, these range of emotions are normal for people in our situation.
Even though I don't have the marriage thing to contend with, I do have twin girls that I adore more than life itself. The thought of leaving them early and never being able to have a relationship with someone again is almost debilitating. I live in such a small town. I would feel like damaged goods. You have some very reassuring, or conclusive depending on which organization you believe, results. I wish I had those negative results now. I fear that I will be the first one to go from the Am I Infected board to I just tested positive board. God - I hope not but I have a very bad feeling about this. I haven't felt well either and I am now 3 weeks from exposure. I'm completely freaking out about this. I'm in the perfect time frame for symptoms and it's driving me off of the deep end.
I feel like I'm drowning in my emotions right now. I'm sure you are feeling the same.
Try to take comfort in your negative results so far. And everyone has been telling me that symptoms don't mean a thing. That's hard to believe when you are on this side of the window.
May God bless you, your family and all of us still waiting.

Your fellow worrier,

jerri



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Hey Golf Guy new
      #16842 - 03/21/01 07:19 PM

Boy howdy, I'm with you my brother! However i wish I was standing at the otherside of the window period as you are! I'm just begining! I'm only a month out from a possible exposure.
I cry daily. I see my little girl (just 2) and think about not being there to walk her down the aisle at her wedding or to see my grandkids. I think about what my wife will have to go through if I have to tell her this. She will be devastated. I keep see her having to explain to her family why we are getting a divorce and then one day having to tell our daughter why daddy died. It is too much to bear.
I have had all kings of symptoms. Pain in my arm pits and groin, sore throat. I haven't had any fever or swelling but from what I read that means nothing. I am afraid of getting a pcr test because the CDC says that they have false positives alot! If I had a false positive I would go right over the edge. I'm trying to wait out the three month period.I just hope I don't go completely nuts first. I have lost about 20lbs. I can't eat and have a hard time sleeping. As soon as my eyes open I start worrying all over again. I want this to stop too!!



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duncan
Unregistered

Re: I Think I'm Going Nuts and I Need Some Help! new
      #16852 - 03/22/01 09:18 AM

I know how you feel golfguy - I'm in a very similar spot, though more in the window. I had a single fling(affair) that left me feeling sick with myself. I feel guilty, it's caused a lot of tension between my wife and I too - I can't touch her either. Most of the time, I'm OK, but when I think about what I might have done to her life - I loose it. I can't bear that thought. We don't have kids, but we wanted to start. She had a miscarriage in Nov, and I think depression and a lot of beer made me loose my mind and do what I did. I completely understand your guilt and fear. I can never do that again, and I wish I had read your post before I did the first time. I have to second your opinion - if anybody is thinking of having an affair DON'T - IT IS NOT WORTH IT!

The only thing that helps is thinking that odds are in my favor, and to try to use this difficult time to change my life. To see what is important, to learn from my mistake and try to do better in life. When I think about how I'll feel after my last test, I almost feel hopeful and grateful (almost) for this ordeal. I know it's hard, but take your good results to heart, and do what you can to put your life in the shape you want it - not necesssarily the way it was, but the way that would be best for you and your family.

Take care.



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