That Day In August
"I am going to die, I won't be able to have any more kids. .. what about my son!?" I was sobbing over my doctor's desk, hyperventilating in what felt like the slowest moving movie scene. My tears begin to soak my shirt, my breathing became uneasy, my face began to swell, and the denial kicked in. "This cannot be real, this cannot be my labs.. I've been with one guy!" I was speaking loud enough to tune the buzzing out in my head. I sat down in the chair across from my doctor's paper-filled desk, a small folder with my name printed sat right on top. My doctor placed her hand on my knee, "Well, has he been with one person. ..?" Her tone was heart-wrenching, like she was begging me to lie to her. The reality she had spoke stopped me dead in my tracks, the reality the partner I had been with exclusively for two years had been cheating with another woman the whole time, a reality I had only come to know a few months before.
Presented with stigmas about HIV
I doubled over onto my own knees in the chair, crying silently while murmuring snot filled, dry lipped "Why Me" chants. She placed her hand on my back, and rubbed it as as my grandmother would. "Is there anyone you would like me to call? Maybe you can have your mom come here, and I can explain it to her," She was trying to counsel me on something I didn't believe to be true. All the stigmas I had learned to date about HIV, I was presented with, personally, on this fall day in August 2017. All of the unknown questions I had never even considered littered my head.
What I learned about my diagnosis
I was more confused than I had ever been, but I learned a lot that day, and since then. I know now that HIV is not something that will kill me, if managed correctly. I learned that I can protect my son, and future children by being properly educated and healthy. I also learned that my diagnosis does not define me. And every day, I am still learning.
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