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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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QQQ
Newbie

Reged: 09/30/00
Posts: 7
inspiration for the worried well (sick)
      #18486 - 06/17/01 02:17 PM

I haven't posted here in months and I only check in every once in awhile anymore. At one time last year I think I checked in every couple of hours. I was scared crazy. My story to give people waiting for hope is as follows. I know these types of posts help me get through too.

In April 2000, I had unprotected sex with a female I picked up in a bar. She was mensturating at the time, but I was so drunk I didn't care. I was so drunk I didn't even think about my girlfriend of 5 years. These things happen, but never again for me. I've learned my lesson.
Anyway, after a couple of months I was fine, no real symptoms, although I developed a cold sore in my mouth that took like 3 weeks to go away. It alarmed me enough to go get an HIV 1/2 test. It was negative. Then I went on the net an starting searching for all kinds of stuff. Well, come August 2000, I start losing weight fast and I feel hot all the time. I was taking my temp about 4 times day. My tongue turned completely white and I developed what my dentist calls Geographic tongue (glossitis) and burning tongue (glossodynia). After losing 20 pounds (I was only 165 to start) I was going from doctor to doctor, getting more hiv 1/2 tests. I had them at 2, 4, 5, 5.5 6.5, 8 months and 1 year. I also paid $300 for a PCR test and another $200 for a Hep C test. Needless to say all were negative. I even was lucky enough to find the girl that I cheated with. She was nice enough and took a home HIV 1 test at 5.5 months. Negative. This still was not enough. I still have geographic tongue and occasional burning tongue. I get tiny aptheous ulcers that last only a day or two when I eat salty foods. What finally convinced me that I don't have HIV, well nothing yet. But I am alot better. My weight came back and then some. I can function at work and home again. What help the most was going to a psychologist specializing in HIV infected patients and those afraid of STD's. He taught me that guilt is a form of depression. I defineatly was suffering from guilt (still haven't told my girlfriend) and depression can lead to weight loss, lathargy, and a lowered immune system. What is still causing my geographic tongue that is always white, I don't know, but I do know that if a person does not relax, get therapy and deal with there feelings of guilt, depression and obession with HIV, then they will not die in 10 years of Hiv, they are more likely to die from depression or suicide, So please go get help. Talk to someone, a friend, family member or professional. Good luck to all. Hang in there. You are most likely negative. I will try and keep practicing what I preach.

QQQ



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KitG
Expert

Reged: 01/15/01
Posts: 103
Spot on! new
      #18493 - 06/18/01 08:40 AM

Great post, every word of it. Totally identify with it now. If I'd read it a few months ago, it would have given me hope for an hour or so, until I next visit the bathroom and notice a spot on my leg, or feel a pain in my groin, setting of the next feverish spell of doubt, fear and internet searches!

Question to everyone
Do some or more of the following apply to you?

Fear and Anxiety (about HIV, pain, illness, death)

A bit of knowledge, learned from the media, friends, internet etc.

Body checking

Hopelessness, Helplessness

Regret

Enforced secrecy

Loneliness, frustration, isolation


A combination of some or all of these factors can cause REAL physical symptoms which can mimic virtually EACH and EVERY symptom of acute HIV infection you will ever read about. I know because I went through it and I've been reading this board long enough to know that other people have been through it too.

I also know from experience that stories such as mine are not going to take away everyone's fears. You'll find another symptom, or fact, or anecdote, for which you can't find any answer or explanation. And so your HIV fears will multiply.

All I can say is that one of the biggest things I learned is that not all the answers are out there.

Sorry to keep quoting my old sparring partner Jackie, but I remember an old post where she said something along the lines of, medics might not always be able to tell you what you HAVE "got", but they can usually tell you what you HAVEN'T "got". In the case of HIV, this involves the use of a highly sensitive test, used by, often, a group of highly trained and knowledgeable professionals. When they know you HAVEN'T got it, their job is done, so they move on to others who are worried, or to people who HAVE "got" it. If the neg people carry on badgering them, they quite rightly and caringly refer them on to others, and because there is an absence of physical problems, the "others" are likely to be mental health professionals.

Trouble is, you're experiencing all these physical symptoms, which you're convinced aren't purely psychological. So you get more and more lonely, frustrated and isolated. The only conclusion that makes sense is the one you yourself have come to, and which nobody else believes.

The "window period" is such a great name for it. You're like a butterfly or a bumblebee on a lovely summer's day, trapped against the window pane, unable to find your way out, even though a Good Samaritan has already a nearby window for you.

It just takes some time for you to find your way out.



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Jackie_Blue
Legend

Reged: 10/26/00
Posts: 2028
Re: Spot on! new
      #18494 - 06/18/01 09:01 AM

Glad you're feeling better Kit!

J.



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