The Full Story Of When I Found Out I Was Positive
I know I have shared this posting once before with some of my readers. Due to CNN running a special last night called "The End Of AIDS." I find myself compelled to repost this posting for all my new readers from MYSPACE, The GBBMC, and the "Ross"oholics.
I was dating a guy from the Monterey area. I will call him James. I am not really sure if it was James that infected me, but Matthew (my ex) and I both think it was him. I was totally infactuated with James. He was nice, kind, big hearted, and drove a porche. Him and I had the best sex in my life. Yes we had unprotected sex, but before we did he told me he was negative before we did. I knew I was negative also at the time, (from what I knew of him at that time I didn't think he would lie about his HIV/AIDS Status ) I do have to admit some of it was substance enhanced. Now I never shot up, but I did like to smoke. No I was never addicted to drugs as some of you might think. I put up so many barriers and limitations for myself so I wouldn't get addicted.
After we broke up, I was tested for HIV again, and the test came back negative. Little did I know at that time the virus was taking hold of my immune system. This was in 2001.
As the virus took hold, I just didn't feel like going out and doing things on my days off. I just wanted to chill in front of the boob tube and relax. My whole life was about working and nothing else. No sex, no entertainment nothing but working, sleeping and eating.
Three years go by and my boss at the time said to me one day "Are you working out or something because you are loosing a lot of weight." Little did I know at the time I started to go into what is known as "wasting." I was having these aches and pains and like most people I was thinking "It's just from getting older."
In the beginning of the summer of 2004, I remember something coming out of my mouth. It was a piece of thrush (I didn't know what thrush was at the time). I checked my mouth to see if there was anymore in there and there wasn't so I thought "Ok it just some weird one time thing my body was doing." I never told anyone that I found that piece of thrush until today. I didn't know all the symptoms of HIV and later I found out the list is as long as my arm.
So September of 2004 comes around and I look like a walking skeleton. Matthew and the people I'm around don't say anything about the way I look, or they were afraid to mention anything to me. I am trying to work, but I have to call in sick a lot and maybe be able to do 10 hours a week.
My weight is down from 140 to about 110 pounds. The thrush has completely taken over my mouth and is partially down my throat. In fact it so bad it is growing on the outside of my mouth. It was very hard for me to talk, let alone eat, and drink anything. When I would cough, big chunks of thrush got stuck in my throat. I had a towel by my bed so when I coughed up the thrush I had something to spit it into. I hid that from Matthew at the time so he wouldn't worry.
I can't pay the rent now for being to sick. I didn't have health insurance for my job didn't offer it, (I was working for a nationwide sandwich chain). The county refused to see me because I couldn't afford the co-pay they wanted due to being so sick, and couldn't see a doctor because of finances and no insurance.
Finally, Matthew asked his doctor in S.F. about what I was going threw, and Matthew asked me if I was tested for HIV/AIDS. I said not lately, I haven't slept with anyone since May of 2001. why would I need to be tested? The last test came back negative.
So on September 30, 2004 I tested positive for the HIV virus. One week before my birthday. When the person told me I burst out into tears right there in the free testing site. So after I was tested Matthew had himself tested to make sure he wasn't positive since we lived together. He was and still is negative. That night I cried myself to sleep thinking I'm going to die in a few weeks.
So Matthew's doctor tells him I should try to sign up for ADAP (AIDs Drugs Assistance Program). After I tested positive, now the county wanted to do all they could for me. One day before my birthday I see a county doctor. Later I found out my doctor is also positive. Sorry doc to "out you" but I wanted my readers to know because of the next few lines. He is asking me all sorts of personal questions thinking I had known I was positive for awhile , I am thinking he's a cold hearted bastard who doesn't care. Again I burst into tears in the doctors office.
On October 20 of 2004 I received my test results back. My viral load was 551,221 and my CD 4 count was at 65 (this is also known as your T cell count.) Yes, I found out I had full blown AIDS. Again I burst out into tears in the doctor's office. For those of you who don't know the standard right now is anything above a 200 count you have HIV+, anything below that you have full blown AIDS.
I still can't pay the rent due to not working and my benefits (Unemployment) have not come in yet. I can barely walk to the end of the driveway and back without being exhausted. About two weeks later, someone shows up at the front door. I answered the door and a person hands me an eviction notice from the landlord. About this time I started my cocktails.
The Sunday or two before we have to be out, I had to go to the emergency room. I try to drink and eat but things are only going half way down and coming right back up and out. I had to have three IV's bags of saline solution to rehydrate me. It seems I was allergic to one of the meds. I couldn't get a hold of the county nurses or the doctors at the time because it was a weekend and the ones on call never returned my messages. I have stopped taking that med and if I do take it again it will kill me.
So the week of Thanksgiving that year, I am made to pack up and move all our belongings with Matthew. Matthew is going to live with at that time with his so called boyfriend. Matthew and I were together 9 years, then he broke up with me but we still remained friends and lived together for another 7 years.
So now I am thinking I am going to be out living on the street.
The Org puts me into a HIV/AIDS support house. I lived in that house until the first of February of 2005 when I was evicted again for my benefits ran out and no one would hire me. Now I am living in another HIV house in which I enjoy even more. Yeah I had a lot of troubles and tribulations in 2005 and now things are finally starting to turn around, and I feel I can now have sex again.
I am not sure about the whole relationship thing yet. My viral load is now 62 as of February 2008 down from over half a million. My T cells are at 608.The thrush is gone now, it took over a year to go away from becoming resistant to the meds. I can say that it took HIV/AIDS to make me enjoy life again. I hoped you all enjoyed me bearing my heart and soul today. It was a little rough blogging this posting. I am putting this out to all readers. Please have yourself tested.