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I was in limbo

Hello Blessed Ones,
Well, let me start by saying that my story is very similar to a previously posted one. After I read this young womans story I was compelled to share mine. When I first read her story "My life flashed before my eyes", my jaw just dropped! I'm a 31 year old African-American woman and I'm in a monogamous relationship. See, when I read her story I was in limbo waiting for my test results to come back. I too had self-diagnosed myself with HIV. I had, or rather still have these symptoms. These symptoms include being diagnosed last year with oral thrush. My dentist prescribed Nystain twice! After a long while the symptoms dissappeared. Later I noticed a bump under my left ear, which is a swollen lymph node and my dentist actually noticed a small rash under my chin. This rash had later appeared on inside of my arms (small rash) but undoubtingly a rash. In April I had treated a yeast infection that went away with no problem. About three weeks ago I caught another one I treated it and it did not go away, OK I thought maybe it was because I bought the store brand to save money. So, I went out and paid the extra few bucks for the name brand stuff. Guess what? It still didn't go away!!! Now, on the iside pamphlet of the Monistat I had purchased stated that recurring yeast infections could be a sign of a weaken immune system such as HIV but it also talked about diabetes. Now, I've never been diagnosed with diabetes so that wasn't it, so I just had to be HIV+. I went back to my GYN and she prescribed Diflucan, guess what? ding ding ding---you're right! it still didn't go away, it just got worse! I hopped on the internet and started typing in my symptoms just to see what else I could do about this yeast infection. What ya know----HIV kept popping up on all my searches. I must have visited every site about HIV on the internet. Rash, oral thrush, yeast infections, lymph nodes----yep I got it I thought. I was already blaming an ex-boyfriend that had cheated on me. I was also blaming myself for being careless. I had confided in my sisters about my findings and we prayed and prayed. Like this young woman I previous referred to, I too cried when I got tested. The young nurse that drew my blood helped me way more than I can express. She consolled me and prayed with me in the office and on the phone. She also made sure that I would get my results back in a week, not the normal 2 weeks it would normally take, Bless Her Heart!!!Inside my head I had my funeral planned and everything. I was looking to take out a new life insurance policy. I even started to doubt my boyfriends loyalty. After quite a few sleepless nights I decided to search for ways to live a healthier life with HIV and stop feeling sorry for myself. I figured that I better start now so I'm well prepared for when I do receive the news. I figured I could learn more from others personal experience. That's when I found this site. So many remarkable stories of encouragement. Stories of fear just like mine. I applaud everyone who has shared their story, this shows true strength whether you are Hiv+ or HIV-. Today June,4th 2004 I returned to the clinic for my results with both my loving sisters by my side. The HIV counselor told me that the results were negative and to stay off the internet. She told my sister make sure I cancel my online membership. Yes folks, the internet messed me up for two weeks mentally and phsically yet it also opened me up fully to HIV/AIDS awareness. I know that my results don't mean that I'm in the clear for life. I'm taking extra precaution to make sure I don't put myself through this again and plan to start volunteering my time to teach others about HIV/AIDS. The biggest lesson I've learned during my research is that if you are diagnosed with HIV you are not dying of HIV, you're just simply LIVING with HIV. We have access to so many resources to help those living with the virus live longer, and healthier lives.

Also, I go back to the doctor next week to get tested for diabetes. And I was recommended some natural herbs to balance out my overworking yeast. Will keep you all updated. God Bless


Sent via Email June 5, 2004 from NY, USA.


Follow up by author:

Hello Blessed Ones!
This is an update to my story "I was in limbo". I know it has been almost 2 years since I wrote my story but this subject is very important to me. I have received e-mails from people who read my story telling me how I've helped them through a rough time while assuming they had HIV. I cannot tell you how touching it is to receive these e-mails. If I can convince a few to get tested then I've done a lot! OK, now the update....

Well, the oral thrush wasn't oral thrush at all! I was using a whitening toothpaste and mouthwash that was irritating my mouth. As soon as I stopped using these products the problem went away! I also stopped seeing the dentist that diagnosed me with oral thrush because he just kept giving me Nystatin even though the problem wasn't going away. It was my new dentist that took the time to correctly diagnose me. My yeast infections went away after using the herbs. Finding a competent doctor is very important. I am still trying to volunteer my time but I just gave birth to a baby boy 8 months ago.....YAY! I had a rough pregnancy but all is fine now. I do talk about HIV to friends, family and co-workers. I've actually opened some eyes to this subject. I will never forget what I went through almost 2 years ago and I will not forget this site and it's efforts to help those of us that are lost and confused. It was a recent e-mail that I received that prompted me to write my update and I would like to thank that person for taking his/her time to share their story with me. Blessings to you all!


Follow up by site Editor:
I have been running this site since 1999 from my lounge room at home in Melbourne, Australia and coming into the 8th year of this site.....l often wonder if l have had my time and stop adding to the site or close it down but letters like these make me realise that this site is valuable to many people and is a stepping stone in starting their story. What l never hear is the follow-up, so thanks for telling us that people do contact you and in turn you are supporting many people from around the world.
I encourage people to let me know what response you have received from your story.

Carolena Helderman
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories Website

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