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New diagnosis question
      #79957 - 01/06/04 04:42 PM

Okay.. my father was admitted into the ER, then the ICU 2 weeks ago for pneumonia. A lung biopsy showed pneumocystis (PCP) After 2 weeks of medical sedation & vent, he is now off the respirator vent, and is back on the road to a healthy life. His viral load & T-cell count did strongly suggest that he passed the line into AIDS. Although, he is not out of the woods yet, and is still in the hospital. Right now, he has been off the vent since Sunday, and he can talk some, but he cannot move any of his limbs/hands due to muscle atrophy & sedation for 2 weeks. But that's getting better each day. His mind sharpness is getting better each day, but the medication still makes him a little off-center & he sees odd happenings/things. We haven't told him what his final diagnosis is, aside form "pneumonia". We plan on telling him once his health has stabilized (not critical condition, as it is now) and when he can accept the news with full understanding. I have forbid all visitors to his room, and placed a gag on all medical information, pending his knowledge of the diagnosis, and for his dignity & modesty & choice in the matter.

Since this is all new to me, I need to know what your opinion would be on how to break the news to him. We intend on having the infectious disease doctor tell him & explain it to him, but should I and my father's wife also be in the room at the same time? I know that he would be devastated upon learning the news, and frightened if anyone else knew. But at the same time, I want him to know that I am okay with it, and we can deal with this normally. Opinions?

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Re: New diagnosis question new
      #79958 - 01/06/04 04:58 PM

If it were me I'd like to first receive the news alone from the doctor so I can ask all sort of questions. Then the doctor can say that both you and your stepmother knows. Then you should talk to him separately. Cause your stepmother will definitely have different concerns and they need time to figure out the future. You should go alone too.

Just my opinion. Good luck! Make sure he gets an HIV specialist who has at least 6 years of experience!

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Re: New diagnosis question new
      #80035 - 01/07/04 05:02 PM

I am so sorry for you and your family. Your situation sounds familiar to mine. My uncle was 24 and went into the hospital with pneumonia. It was 1987, so they didn't know it was any different than "normal" pneumonia, though. After testing him, they discovered he had AIDS. (I was very young then. This comes from my mom.) My mom and aunts knew, but they all decided, along with the doctors) to wait to tell him until he was well enough to handle the news. Unfortunately, he never recovered.

In my opinion, I think the doctors should tell him alone, but should be quick to tell him that you and your stepmother already know. Be supportive, and be ready for a range of emotions from the entire family. YOU ARE NOT ALONE and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Make sure your dad knows this.

My prayers are with you.

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Re: New diagnosis question new
      #81222 - 01/18/04 01:41 AM

I received my news of being poz when I had an AIDS defining illness. I took the news rather easily I thought because I had suspected it for awhile and needed the confirmation. Since taking HAART meds I am 100% healthier than before. Remember, AIDS is just an acronym. It is just an advanced stage of HIV. Once getting over that mental hurdle, life goes on. Just consider it a chronic disease like diabetes or many other diseases. I wish you the best. Mike

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