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ontariogirl
New User

Reged: 09/11/09
Posts: 2
My dad was just diagnosed with advanced AIDS
      #247521 - 09/11/09 01:12 PM

Hi everyone. I just found this forum and have an intense need to talk about what's going on anonymously. It's been a terrible 24 hours.

My dad is gay and spent pretty much his entire life hiding it from everyone. My parents finally split for good about 7 years ago, and while my mother has gone on to have a good life on her own, my dad really lost it.

Long story short, he had a good job with the government for over 25 years, and within a year of splitting up with my mother he got hooked on crack cocaine. Within two years of the onset of his addiction, he had lost his job, house, car and over 500K in savings. I have tried my best to stay in touch with him, even though everyone else has pretty much written him off. He has only seen his grandchildren once in the past four years.

To the point, he's been totally reckless with his health. I've been pushing him to see a doctor for years, and three weeks ago he finally went in. He's lost a ton of weight, has a persistent fungal skin infection all over his body, in his mouth, and recently has trouble even getting out of bed.

Yesterday he called me after getting his blood test results. Even though I knew in theory that he was likely HIV + I was devastated to hear he's been diagnosed with "full-blown" AIDS as he put it.

His life has been hell for a long time, and I'm afraid he won't even both to seek more help/medication from the HIV clinic at the hospital. I live two hours away from him.

I don't know what the point of this post is, aside from needing to "vent." I've been crying on and off since i found out and didn't sleep last night. He doesn't want to see me but I do not want him to be alone.

I know there isn't a simple answer to this, but I want to know how long he has if he doesn't seek treatment. And even if he does, considering his t-cell count is below 200, he's got opportunistic infections and his lifestyle includes both crack and alcohol addiction, is there anything doctors can even for him at this point.

I'm sorry to ramble. I just love my father so much, no matter what, and I need to find out as much as I can.

Thanks,
Bronwyn

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laurel
New User

Reged: 08/18/09
Posts: 13
Loc: Nevada County, California
Re: My dad was just diagnosed with advanced AIDS new
      #247527 - 09/11/09 11:02 PM

Your Dad may be okay.
I don't know you or him, and nothing is ever certain in life.

There is reason to hope...

I remember a year and a half ago when my husband had night sweats, was gray and thin and had yeast (thrush) everywhere. I had him go to the walk in clinic and get the HIV test. My husband had full blow AIDS and denial. It's terrifying! His T-cell count was 17 (unfortunately you will learn all the jargon.) and we still don't know exactly what infection he had/has.

I can't say for sure, but the HIV meds REALLY help. He felt better in less than a week. (He also needed IV hydration.) 6 months later he was SO much better, even though his progress has been much slower than "normal" recovery.

Don't worry about insurance/money, just get him medical care. Get help for you from people who can be 100% supporting, and the rest can go ***** themselves.

You can't force someone, he'll have to be willing to go. But do let him know, there is hope.

Blessings,

Laurel

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ontariogirl
New User

Reged: 09/11/09
Posts: 2
Re: My dad was just diagnosed with advanced AIDS new
      #247544 - 09/13/09 12:26 PM

Thanks so much for your reply Laurel. It's really good to know that the meds can help even when he's let things go to this point.

We've talked on the phone a lot over the past two days, and his outlook seems to be improving. I tried to explain that the medications have gotten so much better...I think he views AIDS as a quick, inevitable death sentence and that the treatments are the same as they were in the 80s. He seemed quite surprised when I told him the medications will help, even though he's past the HIV stage.

He's going to a clinic this week and they'll plan a course of action, so hopefully things will start to look up.

I really appreciate your reply.

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DJones
Member

Reged: 04/02/09
Posts: 84
Loc: Milwaukee Wisconsin
Re: My dad was just diagnosed with advanced AIDS new
      #247554 - 09/14/09 06:13 PM

Hello
I was diagnosed with AIDS January 2009. I had a viral load of 334,000 and TCell count of 106. Nine months later on Atripla I am undetectable and have a TCell count of 315. I started a blog the day I found out my diagnosis and am very honest daily on what I have gone through with this disease. My best advice is to listen to him and be there for him. Inform yourself via the internet and keep telling him it is a different world today. Many like me can tell you that.

--------------------
http://daveslifelivingwithhiv.blogspot.com/

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bnagayguy
Member

Reged: 01/29/09
Posts: 25
Re: My dad was just diagnosed with advanced AIDS new
      #247567 - 09/15/09 04:06 PM

Wow - you definitely have a plate full to deal with.

For 19 years, I never said a word about my being HIV+ to my family; I only said something as I became rather ill and my docs in Los Angeles gave me 6 months to live. My thought was, since I did some act to contract HIV, I needed to deal with it independent of anyone, other than my doctor(s). So, this might be part of what your dad is doing.

As for the addictions, I watched my father's addiction, much like you are doing. And I know that, if your father does not get help to arrest the addictions now, in addition to HIV/AIDS medical care, the addictions may kill him before HIV/AIDS does. Without a doubt, arresting any addiction(s) would require mental therapy, as well. To deal with addiction, one must address the issues that got them to the point of needing/wanting the toxic substance. Otherwise, it would be a waste of time.

It is not uncommon for many to seek out "relief" from learning to accept being something other than what they've lived. Now that your dad has AIDS, maybe this is fueling his desire to just simply die; hence, the addictions.

As for you, I would urge you to get some support from others outside your family, given they've written off your dad. Know that as much as you love him, you have to love yourself even more. Maybe you can help him locate some providers to help him deal with his situation. Check out these directories to locate possible providers: http://www.thebody.com/index/hotlines/national.html or http://directory.poz.com/ .

Key to your dad's situation is a desire to get better - to address his addictions and the issue(s) that got him there; to start and religiously take any HIV/AIDS medications as part of the treatment for his AIDS status. If he doesn't want to "get better", there isn't much that you can do......it's up to him!!

I commend you for loving your father, as I think you do. Know that the most you can do is help him locate treatment providers; your dad will have to make and keep any and all appointments with the providers - that's his responsibility, not yours.

Finally, one question you might want to ask your dad, when you have contact with him is, "what do you want for the rest of your life; do you want to live, or die?" His response will help guide you to proper action(s) and involvement with him.

I wish you all the best; you're in a tough place!! Feel free to write back if you need/want to, here on TheBody.com or, my email address: bnagayguy@yahoo.com

Edited by TheBody (09/15/09 06:05 PM)

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laurel
New User

Reged: 08/18/09
Posts: 13
Loc: Nevada County, California
Re: My dad was just diagnosed with advanced AIDS new
      #247641 - 09/21/09 09:52 PM

I'm glad my earlier post was helpful. How are things with your Dad? And with you?

One of the other posts was right on. You have to love yourself first and foremost. I hope you can get some support through this because it hard on many levels.

None of my business, but ... You mention his grandkids, and I just wondered if you're a mom and trying to help your dad at the same time. I have a six year old son and being a mom and a partner to a man with HIV is tough on the nerves. Somehow, no matter what, you just have to keep plugging along.

Best wishes,

Laurel

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allangering
Member

Reged: 07/04/09
Posts: 46
Re: My dad was just diagnosed with advanced AIDS new
      #247737 - 09/26/09 02:25 AM

It is sad to hear about your Dad. at the same time its not as bad as it appears .I came across what kind of treatment is availaible and seems that lots can be done these days I also recently read somewhere about a camera lens that is now being inserted in the eyes to give better eyesite. Having said that I wish him good luck and try not to worry too much.
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