Life Changing Story

  • Joeyphx444

    Posts: 2382

    Apr 02, 2013 4:19 AM GMT
    OK, so all the events in this story happened back in late October and all November of 2012. It's taken me a while to really want to put it out there in words and on here. I think it's important for me to share it here because, even though some people here drive me crazy and reading the forums drive me mad, I feel as if this is one of the only outlets I have for sharing my feelings on being gay with other gay men. I know there are truly good people on this site as well, politics and beliefs aside.
    My father was visiting me for the week of my birthday (November 1) and I hadn’t been feeling well for a little. I took off some time at work already since it was stressful there and I had a cough with phlegm and I was just tired as well. My father arrived on the 27th of October and the next day, I had the chills pretty bad. We went to a walk-in clinic at CVS and the lady took my temperature. It read 104 degrees so she advised us to go to the emergency room ASAP. We rushed there and they did some tests and found that I had double pneumonia. I was admitted and then I remember waking up and it was November 6. My mother was there and she was obviously really emotional. She flew in on a quick flight from Connecticut (this was during Sandy, so she made it in time). Apparently, I had low oxygen and was having trouble breathing. They put me into an induced coma for eight days. I was on a ventilator and had all sorts of tubes and wires hooked up to me. I remember nothing from that time, like I am supposed to, but it sounds terrible. I cannot imagine what my parents and my whole family had to go through.
    I was then told that I had HIV. My immune system was weakened so much that I got severely sick. I remained in the hospital to clear out the pneumonia for about another 5 days. I lost about 15 lbs and all my strength/muscle. I hate to do some physical therapy for walking and moving, etc. When I was released, I got started on drugs and seeing an HIV doctor right away. The doctor I have is really great and his staff is great as well. They are really optimistic, unlike the doctors who told my parents terrible news about my life expectancy. The HIV Dr said to ignore what the GP’s said since they are not specialists. I returned to the hospital on Thanksgiving for dehydration and had a few complications since I was still getting used to getting back to normal life again. I eventually gained back strength and muscle pretty quickly. I would say I am in the shape I was before the hospital, if not in better shape. My job that I was at had to voluntarily terminate me since I was out too long and wasn’t employed long enough for FMLA or anything.
    So, now I am back to a somewhat normal life. My dad has stayed with me but is leaving this week. I just need a job now. My parents bought a home out here to eventually move here to be closer to me even though that won’t happen for a few years. I will use the house first. At the same time that I was in the hospital, my aunt learned she had breast cancer. Thankfully, she got radiation treatment and is just on some pill. Unfortunately, my uncle just passed last week from a long fight with liver cancer. Also, my grandma is recovering from a broken hip from a recent fall.
    All this just taught me how life can change so fast and you can never expect things to work out the way you planned. Our family is just taking it day by day and as am I. I understand what has happened to me and I have come to terms with it. The best I can do is put the past behind me and live the best I can. I don’t drink or smoke and workout regularly. I am young and have bounced back quickly. I take my medicine everyday and have been careful with germs, etc. I hope this shows people my age why you need to be careful and get tested before it could be too late. I was literally hours away from death. God rarely gives second chances but for me to get a 3rd (after being adopted), is something special that I will always keep in my mind. There is some reason why I am still here. I have a life to live it still.
  • comical44

    Posts: 723

    Apr 02, 2013 4:31 AM GMT
    Thank you for sharing your story, you are brave to do so...It could and hopefully will teach people that you never know how your life can change in a second and it will teach people the importance of safe sex..

    Dont let HIV define the person you are...keep doing you and living your life. Dont get down on yourself just stay postive and you will do great....

    Their is a reason for you being here and always remember that!
  • Fable

    Posts: 3866

    Apr 02, 2013 4:40 AM GMT
    dat wall of text



    but glad you seein da light
  • cromi

    Posts: 489

    Apr 02, 2013 2:03 PM GMT
    I had to comment after reading your post joey... I always knew you were one of the good guys on here, stay strong...


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 02, 2013 2:35 PM GMT
    If this is an April fools post, I will hunt you down.

    Times like this I wish I had the words that come so easily to the likes of MuscleComeBack and others, who give brocagazm, but I don't so all I can say is thank you for reminding me...

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    Apr 02, 2013 3:58 PM GMT
    Sometimes our experiences don't change us. They just reveal us.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Apr 02, 2013 4:00 PM GMT
    Very sorry this has happened to you. It's doubly unfortunate that the guys who most need to read this will probably find it tl;dr.

    It should remind everyone who is sexually active to play safe and get tested regularly. It should also be a reminder that life can throw you a curve ball any time. HIV is just one of them. We all need to make the most of the time and life we have and not take any of it for granted.

    You're very fortunate to have a family that loves you and is supportive. Not everyone has that regardless of their health. I know this will mean a readjustment in your life's priorities but you can still live a happy, long and rewarding life. I wish you the best and thanks for sharing your story.
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    Apr 02, 2013 4:10 PM GMT
    Thanks so much Joey! Your story is just what I needed today. All the best to you!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 02, 2013 4:21 PM GMT
    Thanks so much for the story! <3
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    Apr 02, 2013 4:23 PM GMT
    As an ICU nurse, I have taken care of several HIV/AIDS patients and unfortunately, some of them didn't make it. You are different however! Based on your story, you have shown us that you are a fighter and and so incredibly strong, you were able to overcome obstacles some of my patients did not. With that said, you have my utmost admiration and respect. Thanks for sharing your story! Stay strong and courageous!
  • RescueMe

    Posts: 2

    Apr 02, 2013 6:10 PM GMT
    I really hope you to continue to live a long and happy life. Be strong!
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    Apr 02, 2013 6:22 PM GMT
    Wow that is certainly a life change! You are handling it well mate! I know someone who this happened too and he denies it happened and tries to keep it a secret to men he talks too (not the way to go). I wish you good luck and a healthy life and continuance on your strength for you and your family.
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    Apr 02, 2013 6:22 PM GMT
    Thanks for sharing your experience. One thing it can teach is to never take things for granted.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 02, 2013 6:27 PM GMT
    Thanks for sharing..

    I'm glad you pulled through..and i'm very happy to hear your parents have been nothing short of Amazing!!
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    Apr 02, 2013 7:19 PM GMT
    I'd like to read it. Can you tweet me?
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    Apr 02, 2013 8:23 PM GMT
    Good for you for overcoming your hardship to be better than before!
    Much love and respect to you icon_smile.gif
  • blueyedgrey20...

    Posts: 285

    Apr 02, 2013 8:41 PM GMT
    Dude respect is what ive got for you! WOW you are one kickass dude tough mo fo too! Great story man thank you so much for sharing! I think its safe to say you got our support :]
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    Apr 02, 2013 9:00 PM GMT
    Thanks for inspiring us all Joey! Your story is uplifting and is another great example of miracles happening every day. (As an adopted child, I too feel deeply blessed to have a wonderful family.) I agree with you; we must savor every moment we have because everything can change in a heartbeat. Stay strong and peaceful! Thanks again! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 02, 2013 10:46 PM GMT
    Wow, I'm glad you shared this. I think that it slaps all of us with the reality that life can be cut short at any time. I'm happy that you were able to pull through it all and that you have a positive view on the future. Sure there will be up and down days but with that attitude, you will be a great mentor and example for many other guys who feel down on their luck or struggling with issues.

    Hang in there, thanks again. Hope you're feeling like you're getting back to your old self!
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    Apr 03, 2013 2:19 AM GMT
    Wow, this is a great reminder for all of us. After I read your story I started thinking about how much I take for granted. Thanks for writing your story out.
  • MarvelClimber

    Posts: 511

    Apr 03, 2013 2:27 AM GMT
    eb925guy saidWow, I'm glad you shared this. I think that it slaps all of us with the reality that life can be cut short at any time. I'm happy that you were able to pull through it all and that you have a positive view on the future. Sure there will be up and down days but with that attitude, you will be a great mentor and example for many other guys who feel down on their luck or struggling with issues.

    Hang in there, thanks again. Hope you're feeling like you're getting back to your old self!


    Could not have said it better myself.
    Be well!