This inspiring post was written by one of our LTAI blog readers, Ellen. She shares her past experiences with health care providers and the impact it’s had on her.
I was infected by a blood transfusion 29 years ago. One of the doctors said, “It’s a good thing it didn’t happen to too many people”. Another doctor said “We used to take AIDS patients and put them in a room and not bother with them”. A risk management specialist said, “Don’t tell anyone. No doctor will treat you”. These are just a few of the comments from way back when I first found out, but they still hurt. Don’t let anyone of any institution intimidate you if you are infected. If we all stand together we can stop this “bullying” for good.
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Today we continue to share some tips and strategies from our LTAI members as part of our “Overcoming” series. One of our members turns to prayer and meditation when things get tough, and it gives her the strength she needs to overcome her challenges! If you missed the last “Overcoming” post you can check it out HERE! Here is what she has to say:
“Prayer-medication. Get feedback. I tend to make mountains out of molehills and distort the reality in a millisecond. I use the feedback to make a decision toward solution. Sometimes it’s to not do anything at all. Sometimes it’s a giant leap of faith into an “uncomfort zone.” I try to be courageous no matter what. “
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Today we continue with part 2 of our “Advice from a Caregiver” series. Our LTAI care giving member shares how her relationship with her sister has progressed and what she does to support and encourage her. She emphasizes the importance of knowing how to listen, something that can make a big difference in everyone’s life. Click HERE to read Part 1!
When did you become informed about HIV?
It wasn’t until now while in college that I have become more educated and interested in HIV. It takes knowledge to know that HIV can be managed and controlled. Don’t put everyone in a box. HIV affects everyone.
How has your relationship with your sister progressed?
If you find out a family member has HIV, you should not only console them and make sure that they are alright, but also ask them questions as they are getting treatment. Observe and listen. I observe if my sister is getting sick or if she isn’t feeling well, I make sure to give her extra care. I say “Ok, make sure you do this or do that.” I also run errands for her if she needs any help because stress affects your immune system, so I try to do anything I can to reduce her stress. I also listen to her. That’s another thing, being able to listen to them, which you should always do.
Do you have any listening skills and tips that you would like to share? Leave a comment below!
Here at LTAI, we emphasize the importance of advocacy in your community. One of our LTAI members shares how she is making a change in her small community by changing people’s misconceptions of HIV. Remember, no matter how small the change, it is change nonetheless and it can have a huge impact!
“I live in a small city where the people are so set in their ways and their thinking is pre-historic. They believe that if they were to just touch someone with HIV/AIDS they will get infected.
There is little to no counseling here, let alone a place to go get tested, except to a family doctor. I have been open about my status since I found out in July 2007, after I was given over 32 units of blood before they found a tumor in my stomach and liver. For the record, I go out of my way to tell people. If I cut myself and I start to bleed, I ask for alcohol and a bandage and tell them that I have HIV.
I have a wonderful doctor that I can talk to and a staff of nurses that are great too. But I live by a saying, “HIV/AIDS, I have it, but it doesn’t have me.” Because, if you sit on your backside and cry “Why me?” – you will miss out on the finer things in life. I live for my kids and maybe one day my little backwoods town will catch up to the 21st century.
My new goal in life now is to get more people to understand that when you touch, hug or even kiss someone with HIV or AIDS, they will not get it.
Well, I will be going to the city council as soon as I can to get on the docket and see what I can do to get people more involved. Wish me luck!”
Any words of support you’d like to share? Send a comment today!