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My father has HIV
      #111827 - 09/22/04 06:39 PM

My father is HIV + and has been for close to 10 years. I am only 21 so I have been dealing with this most of my life. He also has Hepatitis C, heart disease, and schizophrenia. His schizophrenia has pretty much been controlled, but his mother, my grandmother just passed away a little over a month ago and for the first time in years, he actually opened up and talked to me. His blood count for his T-cells are down to around 280 I think, so it is only a matter of time before it turns to AIDS. I have never met anyone who has had to deal with a loved one having HIV and I feel so alone most of the time not having anyone to talk to about it. My husband listens but says he just can't comprehend what I am feeling and what I go through. On top of it all, my father is a drug addict and an alcoholic, so his health is not good otherwise either.

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Re: My father has HIV new
      #111843 - 09/23/04 04:00 PM

I know what it's like to feel helpless when it comes to a parents health. My mother does not hiv that i know of but she has heart disease, hcv, and much more from yrs of drugs and alcohol. I grew up with my father who worked all the time for me and here i am with hiv myself. I don't do drugs or alcohol. I got hiv because i trusted a man with my life. Your father can pull through this but really it has nothing to do with you. He has to want to. I wish you so much luck. Your father's counts aren't terribly bad. If he takes meds he could bring them up and avoid aids for maybe decades. He needs treatment for his own demons first.
take care

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Re: My father has HIV new
      #111870 - 09/23/04 09:24 PM

Thank you so much.

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Re: My father has HIV new
      #111921 - 09/25/04 04:52 PM

Illness - Any illness - in our loved ones is distressing. Even the minor common cold can be a bit of an anxiety causing issue when someone we love gets it.


1. We are powerless to do anything. We can't reach inside and take out the illness, we can not take away the discomfort the illness gives.

2. We are not clinically trained, even if we were we would still be human and have human feelings about pain and suffering in others. Doctors and Nurses are not heartless robots, they still feel the patience pain and suffer. They have just been trained to cover and hide it and find ways to "forget" at the end of the day...

...Or they become jaded and harsh and cold hearted about the whole matter.

We are not trained, we are not desensitized, we can not just walk away at the end of the day and quietly put it out of our minds.

3. Part of loving another is the desire to give to them happiness, comfort, joy - to protect the from the colder aspects of life. Unfortunately we are not Gods and Supermen, we too are vulnerable and limited. Diseases drive this home in ways which are final and certain.

I dare say you are not alone, many of us have a loved one who has some sort of terrible disease eating at them, a disease of the body, a disease of the heart, a disease of the brain a disease of the soul - all are terrible, all leave us feeing helpless and all come with their assorted box of anxiety covered doubts and fears.

Sure some of us can cover it up and hide the terrible anxiety we have - We are Great Pretenders seemingly able to withstand the stress like supermen, but inside we are melted down, inside we are breaking, inside we are screaming for it to go away.

It is human to be like this.

I have many sleepless nights and a stomach full of knots and a lot of secret fears - and like you no one to listen, no one to understand, no one who I can tell.

It is worse for me since I must be the strong man and be supportive of others all the time. Gender rolls may appear to have left the building, but in reality even in this enlightened 21st century men are supposed to be emotionally stronger.

I can't do anything to help my loved one, you can't do anything to help yours.

Fortunately for you you CAN get support for one of those issues you face:

Alanon is for the sober loved ones of alcoholics and drug addicts. It is a support group which is composed of other people who, like you are dealing with a person who is drinking or drugging. I am willing to bet that you will find that there are other people there that are also dealing with the HIV/AIDS crises along with the addiction/alcoholism.

What you may most need right now is a group of people - live people, to surround yourself with those who understand and know part of where you are, those who you can hang with not only for support but as a network of friends.

You are a woman, you fell things differently than men. Yes its true, Women approach problems in different ways. Women prefer to validate emotions before working on the issue. Men prefer to go directly to bat and start working on the problem.

Women prefer to talk about things, men prefer to roll those things into tiny balls and swallow them. This is why men are more prone to heart attacks, ulcers and strokes.

Your husband may understand, however he can not (is unable) relate to the problem exactly like you do. It may be true, he can not (is unable) to comprehend the situation like you do. I am willing to place bets that your husband does feel the burden and anxiety, but in different ways, the ways that men feel things. Those gender rolls are programed right from the start and are difficult - extremely difficult - to break.

Go to a few alanon meetings, get a support network around you over the Alcoholism and drug addiction.

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Re: My father has HIV new
      #118915 - 12/02/04 07:46 AM

Tell your father to see his Dr. If he has no insurance, he can get it through the state he resides.
If his count is in the 200 range anti-retroviral therapy will help.
I wish you the best of luck!

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