My first pill was accompanied by a swirl of emotions: anger, depression, frustration, happiness, denial, and sadness. I was diagnosed in April of 2014, and everything is very recent. But the months that followed took me on a journey of such proportions that there would be no amount of support, information or prior knowledge that could have prepared me! I was sexually abused for about three years, the test I did was contaminated and therefore gave a false negative reading.
I remember, in October of 2013, I started to have major health problems. She (the health) began to decline ... I had more than 500 gallstones while my weight was on falling. Since then, my health has been in a downward spiral. In the short time of October from 2013 to the present day, I had seven surgeries, six procedures and many more medical appointments that I would like to have at the age of 25 years.
When my doctor told me about my diagnosis, I remember an immediate sense of emptiness. Was 10: 03 and went to work normally and actually finished my week without noticing anything different. Everything changed on Saturday morning. I got up and looked at the results and the bottle of pills that were with him. The idea that, before that, I had never taken any tablets except for non-prescription drugs affected me a lot and took a long time to come through in my mind the need that tablets ...
I remember me telling me I did not have to take medication if I did not, though I knew deep down I HAD to DO IT. As I have the privilege of having my family around me to support me and I was too embarrassed to tell any of my friends, I was facing the monster of battle all alone.
What seemed like hours holding the medicine wrappers in my hands passed as I slowly debated with myself about what the side of the coin would be and I lost ... My life was slowly falling beneath me and I had nothing I could do with it.
"What have I done to deserve this?"
It was the only thing I could ask myself about several times. I called my doctor and told him that I was having problems with taking the pills. He assured me that it would be all normal and that my numbers (viral load and CD4) were not the best due to the years I was unaware of my serology and without receiving medication - so my body did a great job of recovering for to do (my viral load was 101.500 and I had a count CD4 of 51). However, I was struggling with gallstone, acute appendicitis, tonsillitis, HPV (human papillomavirus), hiatal hernia, gastritis, depression and candidiasis in the mouth.
Before taking my first antiretroviral pill, I had thought that this was only to slow down the inevitable. After hours of fighting, I got my medicine. I was prescribed (Isentress, raltegravir) twice a day and Truvada(Tenofovir / FTC) once per day. In the first hour after taking them felt normal then things have changed. And I felt an immense pain in my stomach, accompanied by nausea, dizziness, headaches, hallucinations and loss of my short-term memory. I remember waking up on the bathroom floor, in an attempt to wash my face with water that never got a chance to complete.
Lots of flaws later, I realized that I could not handle this alone. I called my family and asked friends to encourage me, and I would be able to do that. Halfway through the weekend my doctor might prescribe something to help with the side effects. Unfortunately, due to the number of operations I was having, my body never had a chance to recover or gain enough strength to deal with anything. Soon I lost my job, I had to drop out of school and I was always in the hospital. Six months later, and I'm still struggling with the side effects of my remedies, but always reading the excerpts from other testimonials in the The Body I was told that one day would not be so difficult.
My wish is that I should be one of the lucky ones who do not have any side effects; but what does not kill us, strengthens us. For those who are having problems with the remedies I say that you think this is an intimate fight! Do not give up. Do not give in. I can continue to look forward with hope in the eyes and know that everything will get better will get better!
By John Poole
From November 10 2014
What was your first antiretroviral pill? If it was AZT or Atripla, we want you to tell your story! Write your story (between 200 and 1.000 words, please and send it to s and we will post if you authorize us to this
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