My first pill was accompanied by a whirlwind of emotions: anger, depression, frustration, happiness, denial and sadness. I was diagnosed in April 2014, and everything is very new. But the months that followed led me to a trip of such proportions that there was no amount of support, information or prior knowledge that could have prepared me! I was a victim of sexual abuse for nearly three years, the test I did was contaminated and therefore gave a false negative reading.
I remember, in October 2013, I started having major health problems. She (health) began to decline ... I had over 500 gallstones, while my weight was dropping. Since then, my health has been in a downward spiral. In the short time October 2013 until today, I had seven surgeries, six procedures and more medical appointments that I wish I had 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 with hours holding the wrappers of drugs in my hands went as I slowly struggled with myself about which side of the coin would be and I lost ... My life was slowly falling out from under me and I had nothing that could do with it.
"What have I done to deserve this?"
It was the only thing I managed to ask me several times. I called my doctor and told him that I was having trouble with taking pills. He assured me that everything would be normal and that my numbers (viral load and CD4) were not the best because of the years that I was unaware of my serology and without receiving medication - so my body had a major recovery work for make (my viral load was 101.500 and I had a scoreCD4of 51). However, I was fighting against gallstones, appendicitis, tonsillitis,HPV(human papillomavirus), a hiatal hernia, gastritis, depression and thrush in the mouth.
Before taking my first antiretroviral pill, I had thought that this was only postpone the inevitable. After hours of struggle, I managed to get my meds. To me it was prescribed (Isentress, raltegravir) twice daily andTruvada(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.
Many failures later, I realized that I could not handle it alone. I called my family and asked the friends who would encourage me, and I could do it. Halfway through the end-of-week my doctor could prescribe me something to help with the side effects. Unfortunately, due to the number of operations that I was having, my body never had the chance to recover or gain enough power to handle anything. Just lost my job, I had to quit school and I was always in the hospital. Six months later, and I'm still struggling with the side effects of my medication, but always reading the other testimonials stretches in The Body I was told that one day would not be so difficult.
My wish is that I was one of the lucky ones who do not have any side effects; but what does not kill us makes us stronger. For those who are having problems with the medicines I say you think that this is an internal struggle! Do not give up. Do not give in. I can continue to look forward with hope in his eyes and know that everything will get better will get better!
By John Poole
From November 10 2014
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