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HIV Life >> I Just Tested Positive

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DrsNeedLoveToo
Newbie

Reged: 02/06/12
Posts: 5
Life Goes On? Just got confirmation today
      #260976 - 02/06/12 10:25 PM

Hey everyone. First, I want to say that I've really appreciated reading your posts for the last two weeks while waiting for confirmation...that and Ativan have helped immensely. I've not read any stories quite like mine here, though, and I'm reaching out for others to contact me and begin a friendship/support network.

Needless to say, I tested positive and got confirmation today. I'm only as calm about this as I am, because when I was in the hospital two weeks ago, I had a negative WB, but a positive viral load. So, I've had a couple weeks to get used to the idea. As most, I was hoping that it was a false positive, but that was not to be. It all started with me having a mild sore throat that became what felt like was the flu...body aches, fever, headache, neck pain, petechial rash. I ended up going where I can't stand...the ER. My white blood cells and my platelets were both low, so I knew I was sick. Of course, they tested me for everything. I had most recently tested for HIV in October, and was negative. When they told me there was chance that I was positive, I just remember the blood draining from my body and it was as if I was hearing everything through a tunnel. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The doctor was all business and didn't pull any punches....haven't decided whether or not I like his bedside manner yet, or not. Anyway, the waves of panic have come and gone since then. I chose to start meds immediately, before I even know what my CD4 level is. I think they said viral load was 500k, but I'm not so sure because my head was still spinning. I kept thinking to myself "I'm a doctor myself, this isn't supposed to be happening to me." It definitely doesn't discriminate, though. I still have yet to figure out exactly how I contracted it, but I know that I had done a spinal tap on an HIV patient and, even though I took proper precautions, I kept thinking that at one point I felt something splash in my eye, but was never sure. I also had a patient that kept bleeding and I had to tend to him...it was an emergency, but I'm pretty sure I didn't get any blood on me and that the gloves didn't break (had a cut on my hand at that time), but I kept wondering, especially after finding out that he had HIV. I only had sexual contact with two friends in the time period where the doc said I had contracted it. Stupidly, neither was protected since I thought I could trust them (still beating myself up for that). I keep going back to the fact that I'm a doc and this isn't supposed to happen to me...I'm supposed to set an example...but, I'm human. Now, all the anxiety has set in as to whether I will still have a career left. Medicine was a "higher calling" for me and to lose it as soon as I've obtained my dream, would just kill me. Then I wonder, who will want me as their Doc if I have this? If you have a choice, due to the stigma, most people would prefer a negative doc over a positive one. Then, I can't get over feeling "toxic" and that what woman or man will ever want to touch me in a romantic way ever again? I had just found a girl that is the "girl of my dreams" (had never had sex with her yet), but I'm afraid that when I tell her, she'll be gone...and then I'll spend the rest of my life alone. I don't know...I'm just conflicted on the inside. I do know I'm rambling. I just want someone to talk to and someone who understands. I feel very alone right now, and very isolated since I can't really talk to any of my colleagues. Is there anyone else in a similar situation out there? I have to get over the guilt and get back to being "me". People are commenting at work that "You just aren't the same lately"....I'm hoping that part is temporary. My energy is taking a while to get back to normal and I'm still sneezing some...I worry anytime I see a sick patient that I'm going to automatically contract whatever they have. It's hard to be rational when it's your health. Please help me....the responses I read from you all really have given me hope so far. Thanks in advance. My love to all of you.

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alitaptap3
Newbie

Reged: 08/21/11
Posts: 7
Re: Life Goes On? Just got confirmation today *DELETED* new
      #260980 - 02/06/12 11:14 PM

Post deleted by alitaptap3

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notinterested
All Star

Reged: 09/07/11
Posts: 127
Re: Life Goes On? Just got confirmation today new
      #260984 - 02/07/12 12:24 AM

Hello Doctor,
Hang in there. All will be ok. If your having a difficult time at work, take some time off for yourself, if you can. You deserve it. I took only a week off and it helped a little. I know others that took a month or 2 off. It's a traumatic thing to go through when you first find out. I remember during the week I took off, I took some long walks at a local park and did some soul searching. I also renewed my faith, prayed alot and read some spiritual books, one called the Shack and another book my Max Lucado. The one thing I didn't do which I regret is ask to be put on anti anxiety medicine as i really needed it. I eventually was put on clonozepam or clonepin for a short time until I could get a grip on it. That really helped me. Anyways feel free to send me a private message if you'd like to correspond, want support or just someone to listen, I'm here for ya. Peace and Love to you.

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AIDS2HIV
Unregistered

Post deleted by Becky new
      #260985 - 02/07/12 12:37 AM



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riverprincessModerator
Moderator

Reged: 12/25/11
Posts: 1742
Loc: Jersey Shore
Re: Life Goes On? Just got confirmation today
      #261008 - 02/07/12 07:51 AM

First let me say that being pos doesn't mean that having someone in your life is over. I know of many " mixed" relationships. Any intellegent mature person that understands the aspects of being pos would realize that its a managable thing even within a " mixed" status.
And as for you being able to continue your profession , there shouldn't be a problems either. I too am in the medical field and I know of surses that are pos and still working. Sure I went through a guilt stage but when you consider the universal protetction that is mandated then I realized that its not patients that are at danger but more so myself. So I continue to work in the field that I love . And I see it as a contribution not a hinderance. But it will take time to come to terms within yourself.

--------------------
Look up to the Heavens for the answers to Lifes questions .

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Positive_Angel
Newbie

Reged: 08/04/11
Posts: 5
Re: Life Goes On? Just got confirmation today new
      #261027 - 02/07/12 05:36 PM

Welcome Doctor.. I know how your feeling. I think Everyone goes through them at first. My best advise is to give yourself more time to understand the virus and love yourself. In time, the thoughts of what if's will go away and its back to your life.

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happysunshine
Newbie

Reged: 02/03/12
Posts: 6
Re: Life Goes On? Just got confirmation today new
      #261029 - 02/07/12 08:07 PM

to share in your experience, i'm don't work in the medical field. but tons of people in my immediate family do. i was infected because i trusted someone i had known long enough that it wasn't casual. don't beat yourself up. it's a virus. not a judgement. don't let imagined stigma take away your power. you have the power over who you tell, so you don't have to deal with anyone's prejudice unless you allow it. you have control over a great deal.

even if i were neg, i would have no qualms about seeing a pos doctor. as a pos man, i'd prefer it. he's not operating in theory on me. he knows what he's talking about.

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DrsNeedLoveToo
Newbie

Reged: 02/06/12
Posts: 5
Re: Life Goes On? Just got confirmation today new
      #261032 - 02/07/12 10:11 PM

Thanks for everyone writing so far, I need a few hugs!! That's one thing about me, I always hug my patients when I see them...hugs are good for the soul. Here, I can only get verbal hugs, but they are great, too. How long does this AWFUL FATIGUE last? I'm SO worn out and this is almost week 3 of all of this. I think part of my negative thoughts about HIV come from the fact that I work in an inner city and most of the patients I see with HIV are those that haven't taken care of themselves and I get to see what happens to them first-hand all of them time. It REALLY scares me, because I don't want to meet the same fate they do. Thanks again everyone....my love and friendship to each of you...

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alitaptap3
Newbie

Reged: 08/21/11
Posts: 7
Re: Life Goes On? Just got confirmation today new
      #261033 - 02/07/12 10:59 PM

Yeah ur right, I just want to reach out to someone. Tnx for reminding me bro.

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alitaptap3
Newbie

Reged: 08/21/11
Posts: 7
Re: Life Goes On? Just got confirmation today new
      #261034 - 02/07/12 11:04 PM

Hey Bro,
It will get better, that's all I can tell you. I am too in a med profession. I am still am... HIV doesnt define who we are and should not be a hindrance. Prayers and love. I'm here to listen and talk to If you need someone.

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riverprincessModerator
Moderator

Reged: 12/25/11
Posts: 1742
Loc: Jersey Shore
Re: Life Goes On? Just got confirmation today new
      #261042 - 02/08/12 08:43 AM

All the worrying and stress will exhaust anyone no matter what they're worrying about . This will all calm down. Isuggest to all to read the posting " The 5 stages of being Pos" that will help give you insight. And the fact that in your work you saw what not taking care of yourself does I have no doubt that your the type of person that definitly will take care of themself. Just give yourself time, go take a vacation . Sounds so easy because it is. Life does go on.

--------------------
Look up to the Heavens for the answers to Lifes questions .

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DrsNeedLoveToo
Newbie

Reged: 02/06/12
Posts: 5
Re: Life Goes On? Just got confirmation today new
      #261060 - 02/08/12 09:55 PM

When do the panic attacks go away? Everyone I walk past in the hallways at work, I say to myself...."Why can't I trade places with him?" When will it not be the first thing on my mind when I wake up in the morning? When will I stop thinking that everyone who looks at me automatically knows my status? I've not been able to cry about this yet, even....the tears won't come out....afraid if they do, they won't stop. When will all of the initial symptoms of acute infection go away? It's been 5 weeks now and still struggle to have the energy to make it through a day. I worry about contracting something from every patient I see now because my immune system is weakened. I want to be in the symptom-free phase and on my medication. I want to get back to being my old self again...the guy with the sarcastic sense of humor who was always laughing and cracking jokes. I want ME back.....really struggling with all of this the last couple of days. Really wish I knew another HIV positive doc that I could talk to, as well. Feeling like I'm the only one. Glad I have people on here to listen to me ramble on about my feelings. My one friend who knows keeps telling me to find a counselor, but I don't want to find someone who will look down at me with pity. I'm not even sure what a therapist could do for me. But, anyway, thanks for listening. Would love to hear from some more friends on here....

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happysunshine
Newbie

Reged: 02/03/12
Posts: 6
Re: Life Goes On? Just got confirmation today new
      #261067 - 02/09/12 10:20 AM

does it have to be another doc or could it be another medical pro with similar exposure?

you're defining them as panic attacks, are you being treated for them as such? when i first found out, my stress was insane. not so much the virus, as the unknowns of dealing with insurance that had just changed.

the "they know when they look at me" thing is alot like when you lose your virginity.... no...no one can tell...it's in your head. your POV has shifted, nothing else has changed.

i knew not crying would be a time bomb. i have some songs that i listen to that cue me off.....or i can think about my dead cat that i still miss.

you're going to be fine.

i totally get the not wanting pity. you just need an ear to work through how you re-adjust your bearings and you will be fine. i had someone assume i was poz from something i said, and met with "oh, i'm sooo sorry...blah blah" like suddenly i'd become this write-off person. when in fact, he's more likely to die of obesity than i am of hiv if take care of myself. but i didn't want that 2nd class write off status... or any disclosure with this guy, so i told him something that mislead him and he stopped assuming it was a virus issue. (note: this is a friend, not a date)

people are often uninformed. it's often too taxing to have the task of educating people while seeking care

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DrsNeedLoveToo
Newbie

Reged: 02/06/12
Posts: 5
Re: Life Goes On? Just got confirmation today
      #261069 - 02/09/12 02:55 PM

It seems so different when it's you and not one of your patients dealing with this. Granted, I am going through Acute HIV Illness and still feeling the side effects of it, but I just got my first test results today. CD4+ was 266, VL >500k. That was 3 weeks ago before beginning Truvada+Prezista+Norvir. What do you think about those? I'm assuming the viral load is so high and CD4 is so low because this is an acute attack on my body...I also assume that the tiredness I'm feeling is my body trying to fight back. What are your thoughts? Anyone have any support/hope/advice?

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happysunshine
Newbie

Reged: 02/03/12
Posts: 6
Re: Life Goes On? Just got confirmation today
      #261071 - 02/09/12 03:01 PM

i'm an IT geek, not a medical pro.

your stress level alone would exhaust even a neg person.

i'm still waiting to see my ID Doc in 12 days so i can't comment on the numbers.

i remember when i was acute. i didn't know what was going on. i thought it was the flu or strep. but i felt tired for like 3 weeks, which was very odd. i didn't suspect my partner, and he never told me, even though i had explicitly asked.

as a physician, you have a different burden you are putting on yourself, but also you have more data and immediate resources than most.

personally, i compartmentalize. there are things i can control and things i cannot. what's done is done. i went into immediate task mode to assess and arrange the things i can control, but i still have to wait because i'm not a VIP. beyond that, you can make yourself crazy if you stress over things you can't control. that's true for anyone, regardless of any virus.

so when i getting caught up, i just throw myself into my hobbies.

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