May 10, 2012
I had to have contracted HIV through a previous relationship; I had back then been with many young ladies, and it was the unfulfilling life that helped me decide to settle down and start a family. Through the starting of a family I really thought I was doing the right thing and didn't think any STD would ever effect me; I could have never been further from reality. Then again was it the homemade tattoos, needles that weren't cleaned properly?
Either way its not an issue to me anymore, I have HIV, and now live my life knowing it will follow me for the rest of my life. But I don't give in to HIV, I'm fighting it with everything I have, and with a lot of help from my wife. Even though it put a tremendous strain on our lives at first, she stuck by me and is still doing it. Knowing I have a support system in place at home is a comfort to me, because without the system I have in place now, I'm not sure where I would be right now.
OK, I will say one really outstanding fact. I realize now the doctors where I go reach out almost daily to their clients. It makes good sense to continue to question, and find out how we are doing. Well the doctors had me come to them to advise me of my options, which were needed to ensure I brought myself into a healthier situation.
I was advised that first day that I needed to be on medications right away, and being I didn't like taking pills, I was apprehensive to just jump right into it. But, after doing a lot of reading I was convinced it would give me a much better chance to get a semblance of a healthier outcome.
The first regimen was truly hard on my body. I was put into the hospital because of Sustiva, which I was told has some side effects, but it took my thinking into the toilet. I wasn't able to communicate clearly and accurately to the questions they were asking, so to the hospital I went for almost a week, just so they could stabilize my situation.
When we all realized how intense and necessary medications were in this area of health care, we changed the medications. Things were starting to do their job.
In the learning of what I was going through, I knew I had to take this stuff very seriously. The whole thing put my wife and me on an unstable path, which I was mainly the person who was responsible for the whole issue. We had a very difficult time for a few months, especially while she waited for her results to come back for a confirmation she wasn't infected. During this time, we couldn't really talk about the future, where we were heading in life, now that what I had was a difficult thing to deal with.
I left home because I felt we wouldn't be able to overcome this problem, I felt I had let everyone down in my family. I was thrust into a depressed area in life. I had been so hard pressed about everything, I felt my only way was to avoid everyone in my family, so I threw myself into a destructive mode. I was trying to mask my pain of the HIV and the worry about how my family would do without me. I tried to do the drink-until-you-pass-out so I would be free of the stress and mask my personal pain I was experiencing. No big surprise though, it doesn't work, trust me I know. This move worsened the problem; it caused my numbers to skyrocket.
Knowing what I was doing, and not caring, should let everyone see how much of a toll this can cause, and a strong clean mind is our best defense.
Don't be afraid to talk with your doctors, or if needed see a specialist. This is what helped me to become more confident to carry on, without all the alcohol. It's helped me.
Not then, but now, my older kids know about HIV/AIDS. They are understanding about how to avoid it as well, because I took the time to tell them about my illness, and they seemed to understand what I was letting them know and they knew I was very adamant they used an insightful thought process to avoid this at all costs. It did cause some tears, but I say tears about learning something so vital is a worthwhile venture. After all, the alternative will give you more than a few tears. It may leave you with a sense of failure which it did to me for a long time.
My hope for everyone who may read this is use it as a way to be a bit more open on this subject. If you have children, I feel we as parents need to do more about informative advice about issues such as HIV/AIDS, and for that matter any STDs. I think we are the most qualified to teach our children about safe sex than some teacher, who may be a bit apprehensive about the content of their lessons, or just not feel they have the most updated information at all. It seems society is more tolerant about sexuality, but they have yet to just come up with the most comprehensive education on this most important issue. It does affect us all. The more we educate the rest of society, the better off we as a world society will be able to end the problem, and we can help many others from even needing to go through what we positive individuals deal with daily.
Got to go; you guessed it, time for the medication to be replenished in my body.