Hello all,

It has been a while since my last entry. Finally got my doctor to prescribe sleep medications. Apparently I am not the only Combat Veteran with PTSD and HIV to suffer from sleepless nights.

Upside: I don't have nightmares very often any more. That is a HUGE relief. I was at the breaking point of having a psychotic break down. The last thing I want to do is unintentionally harm an innocent person who puts their hand on my shoulder or wakes me up by tapping me on the arm.

So after a scary incident where my best friend said something off collar and I completely snaped, I realized that I may have a small problem when I found myself pinning them to the wall and had a combat knife at their throat. When the haze cleared and I realized I wasn't being attacked and was not in danger I made an appointment with the VA Psych department.

They told me several things. 1st. this is very common for Combat Veterans now out of the service and that my body is still operating on a flight or fight situation.

2nd. They told me that there is help, if I am willing to accept it. Apparently stuffing everything as long as I have and as intensely as I have is having a very negative effect on my attempts to live a normal life. Well paired with the HIV it is an unstable stituation at best.

So with that said they prescribed me sleep medications to help me sleep and not have what they call "Flash backs and situational confusion. This apparently is a common condition that most of us guys who have come back from being over the wire experience.

Well as my goal is to remain out of the VA hospital and living on my own, I have decided to take their advice.

The sleep medications are starting to work wonders. For the first time in nearly Three years I am actually sleeping more than 2 hours of sleep. It is a friggin miracle.

On another note, the Doctors up at the VA told me that the effect of being diagnosed HIV positive, being torn from my Unit prior to a deployment, and getting out fo the Service all in such a short time is going to take many years for me to work through.

That and given my reluctance to start an HIV regimen; well things will get complicated.

I decided that there is no square one to ever start back at. Hell I don't even know what square one looks like. Since comming home about 3 years ago life has been interesting. As much as I would like to have contact with my family they seem to not want any with me. This I guess is how it is.

My Cats have over all been my constant companions. My average day consists of getting up, figuring out what I am going to do for the day and in general trying not to think about the service or HIV.

My newest hobby is Knitting. This seems to keep the stress levels down.

But over all I think that while my numbers are not all that great ( CD4's keep bouncing between 425 and 857) and well the viral load is slowly making it's way up there. According to the VA my Viral load is around 3,850/UL)

My last appointment with my HIV doctor went well. He has hopes for me, but tells me that at almost 4 years into this disease things are pretty good.

I keep asking him what he thinks will happend in the next couple of years, and he (every time) says well don't put all the eggs into one basket, but it should be interesting. Not that I am over eager to go on HIV medications, but I really would like to have a time table for which to plan on when and at which points.

On the other hand I think my biggest problem is that I feel so alone most of the time, cut off from the world, and well I am just another number in the great system of HIV/AIDS care continuim.

I am sure a lot of people feel the exact same way. But at this point I am ready to say "You know what?" I just want to spend however many years I have left creating knitted masterpieces, and doing a simple job such as a farm hand or a weaver in some third world country. I don't want much out of the world, but I do know one thing. No man, poet, philosopher, or warrior is an island to himself.

Well thank you for letting me rant. Feels good to get that off of my chest. On that note I have to of the most awsome Cats to go and curl up with. When they purr and wink at me all seems better in this world if but for just a single moment.



  1. Author
    MarcAnthony 11 years ago

    Ahh, yes, this journey in life…can be a twisted road sometimes but once you find your stride, turns out, the journey isn't that bad.


    Glad you posted….ranting does wonders for the soul and gives peace of mind.


    Take good care.


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  2. Author
    toddha 11 years ago

    Thanks for sharing. It does feel good to get it off your chest. I have many, many friends in my life, but sharing your concerns with your HIV status and PTSD with people that actually UNDERSTAND helps more than anything. I enjoyed reading your post, because we have remarkably similar situations (similar counts, problems with family etc). I've never been in a situation that would cause PTSD, unless you count my HIV diagnosis. I hope that you will continue to use HIVTribe as a tool to help deal with all that is facing you. There are people here that can help. T

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  3. Author
    j_powell01 11 years ago

     I know it is off topic but, thank youi for serving. I appreciate your sacrifice. J

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