This is My Story

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 7:06 AM
Hi PozziePinoy,

How are you?  It’s been awhile since we last talked.  I know you are on your best of health and everything’s doing well on your blog site. I have taken your advice about focusing on myself for one month and just to inform you that I had my CD4 count taken two weeks ago and it is at 289. I am about take my first pill TONIGHT.  This is it!

Anyway, I just would like to share to you about my recent encounters….Encounters are of medical in nature of course (you naughty mind…LOL).  I have always been asked by my doctors and nurses on my disposition and how I carry my medical condition.  They have been telling me that I don’t look or feel I am + as to how I face my situation.  Well, besides having the scar on my eyebrow due to shingles (grrr…)everything is OK. Concealers and eyeliners are doing its purpose. 

The only reply I say is that I have to move on and suck it up (again, accept my condition…you naughty mind again).  But you know what? I was not all in rainbows (rainbow talaga) and flowers (flowers din talaga..haay) when I got sick last December.  So let me tell you what
I have been through for the past three months and how I moved forward. When I had shingles last week of November of 2012, I had to research what it was all about.  I was totally surprised that a chickenpox-like rash appeared on my eyebrows.  I thought it was just two big
pimples (or pigsa..hehe) appearing.  Accidentally, I had the two big blisters scratched and you know what happened next.  I searched over Google and found out that it might be shingles.  While reading the causes, one factor could be due to compromised immune system due to chemotherapy or HIV.

Whoa!!!  I was so dead stricken about that point and the thing I dreaded most is taking an HIV test.  Yes, taking a test.  So I am just as scared as hell as those who are or who have been on this kind of condition.  I don’t think it’s the fear of undergoing the test but the
fear of knowing the results of the test.  Well, before I had my HIV test, I had to focus first on the first issue-- this irritating thing that popped out of my face (of all places this virus has to choose my face).  I went to the doctor and had it checked and confirmed that it
was shingles.  I had to take Acyclovir and complete house arrest for two weeks!  That’s the good side of this, I got to spend two weeks at home without work e-mails, phone and video conferences.  It was really great.
Unfortunately, having a painful, blood-shot eye on a boring 1st week was killing me.  Plus the fact that I was so really getting paranoid behind the culprit that triggered the herpes zoster virus—HIV.  Just to forget about this, I had to put it at the back of mind (or should I
say escape for awhile) and go out.  On my 2nd week, I asked my partner to go to Batangas, together with his friends.  We stayed there for three days just to forget about my possible condition.  But at night, before I go to sleep, it haunts me to my bone that this is unique.
Although some of my officemates had shingles, still, I cannot get over the fact that it is due to HIV.  So, suffice to say, I am human, as I underwent the same process that most of your readers do- the fear, the paranoia and the WHY me but less the drama.  Just a side note, tawag sa akin nang schoolmates ko is Bato.  Kasi lagi lang ako dedma. Walang
emosyon kumbaga.

Anyway, after four days and the scars had healed, I got the courage to go to RITM Alabang after reading your blog.  I was planning to go to the Manila hub so I can get the results early but at the back of my mind, there is still fear about the results so I’d rather wait for two
weeks instead.  Ang sabi nga sa akin nang in-charge sa Head Nurse station (damn, I forgot her name), ang tapang ko daw to just come over and have myself tested.  Kung alam lang nia, kung anu-ano ang ginawa ko to have the courage…. My style is retail therapy!  Take note, I had to splurge, treat my friends for a nightcap, bought 5 puppies before I finally got the decency to undergo the extraction .  Again, I just have to face it.  I would rather know where it leads for peace of mind.  Nakakabaliw kaya yung hindi mo alam kung + ka ba or hindi.  Isa
pa, butas na butas ang bulsa ko.  Maysakit na nga ako wala pang anda, e nganganga na lang ako pagkatapos. Going back to my story, the head nurse told me to check after two weeks which was like 3 days after new year.

So while waiting, I have to carry on and do things the usual way.  I went back to work and do my everyday rituals until before Christmas, I had tonsillitis.  Eto na, so the paranoid me took over again and I have to read and google about HIV na naman.  Na memorize ko na ata lahat nang websites sa pagiging paranoid.  But what really helped during this stage is the presence of my partner.  Though he didn’t know yet at this time, he has been very crucial in helping me inch through this process.  Anyhow, I took an antibiotic and after three days, my
tonsillitis disappeared but another thing came up,  Diarrhea!  My golly wow!  Sunod-sunod!  What’s so bad about it was that it was like 2 weeks already.  Ni hindi ko ma enjoy ang noche buena at media noche! Lekat!  I had myself checked and it was gastroenteritis (daw).  To
cut the long story short, this period was really me beyond the denial stage already and more of gearing towards the acceptance stage. I cannot live like this forever.  There should be something that I could do!  I cannot be a slave anymore of this condition.  Biruin mong
kulang na lang na tumira ako sa CR!  I was so dehydrated and looked so sick!

So January 4 came.  I called up RITM if the result was in.  Sabi I have to call back again on Jan 10 at wala pa ang result. Jan 10 came but no result still.  Kabaliw!  I have shared this to my bestfriend and she was the first person who knew about my possible condition.  At
least there is a person that I can share my thoughts.  But at this stage, I have well accepted na that if I am positive I have to deal with it.  If I am not, then better.  Sad to say, the result came in Jan 18 and it was +.  That was the time that I first wrote you.

Well, moral of my story is/are: 

-Its OK to be scared and be depressed.  It’s the fear of the unknown and this reaction is a human condition.  So, all of us undergone this process.  Nothing to feel bad.  However, we need to move on and face it head-on.  We need to take control of our emotions and our lives. If I let fear managed me, I would not have undergone the test and I am not even sure where will I end up today.

-Take the test!  Nothing to lose here.  I know it’s easier said than done but it’s the only choice you have and you need to to know where you stand.  Don’t get tied up with that fear eating you.  It will not do you any good.  In fact, it will do you more harm.  Sus.  Baka sa Mental Hospital kayo bumagsak ha at hindi sa RITM or San Lazaro! Mababaliw lang kayo sa kakaisip kung positive kayo o hindi.  Not unless, manghuhula kayo.

-Have a support system.  They will help and guide you through the acceptance process.  My support system is/are my partner, my bestfriend and your blog.  I have learned a lot from the previous posts and how it enlightened me to have the courage to move on.  I am not out even to my Dad, only to close hetero friends so having other people who can help you go through with you will certainly make a big difference.

-Be educated.  Once you know all about our condition and how we can live a normal life.  It wouldn’t be as bad.  I’d like to thank you Pozzie for keeping me informed and in the know about the next step. Nabuhayan ako nang loob when you replied to my e-mailI would also like to thank TMC I-React people who helped take the next challenge that will forever change my daily routine.  Dra. Berma- this is my story so you know now why I have this different perception about my condition but bottom line, na depress din ako for 2 days at tao lang po ako. Ha ha. Lucie- thank you for accommodating me.  Though you may have forgotten about it, you were the person who assisted me on what needs to be done.  Dra. Tayzon- thanks for being patient with your patient.  LOL

-Take ownership of your actions.  If you are positive, then let it be but do something about it.

-Go out and do something wonderful!  Its not the end of your life and whatever’s left of it, put it to good use rather than sulk all day and night diba.  So Pozzie, I really wanted to start off our discussion on my proposed support system framework.  Your idea and concept will really help people and I will be there to partner.  And I am sure, a lot of your readers will surely volunteer as well.

Time to park my pen.  I am about to pop my first pill- Evavirenz and tomorrow, Lamivudine and Zidovudine (grabe tongue twister ito).  So once you pop (the pills), you can’t stop! This is my life starting tonight but I will make sure that I will make a difference.  BTW, type ko ung isang side effect nang isang med ko… Lucid dreams.  Hahaha.Sana makasama ko si Adam Levine sa panaginip.  LOL

Talk to you soon Pozzie.
All the best,

NO PLHIV is alone with his or her struggle with HIV!"


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