Post # 1
I can’t get into too many details but I work in healthcare and due to poor communication on both our parts hiv contaminated blood was flicked into my eye and mouth.
I immediately rinsed out both and follows procedure for reporting it. I was started on medication to reduce transmission rate within 2 hours of exposure and had a negative pregnancy test. I now have to wait 6 weeks to find out if I contracted hiv yet and I’m so anxious. They said chances of contracting it are 0.3% but I won’t rest easy until I get that result in 6 weeks!
The main thing that breaks my heart and has reduced me to tears is that I want children so badly (plan for TTC in September 2020) and if I’m positive the chance of transmission to a fetus is 2% if you’re on the right meds but that’s 2% too high for me. I don’t think adoption is an option for us for several reasons (please don’t ask, it’s private). I don’t even know if I would go through with the wedding. Having children is so, so incredibly important to both of us how could I ask him to commit to a childless marriage? I’d be robbing him of the life he wants. He says surrogacy is an option but idk if we could afford it I’ve literally spent a year with baby fever researching everything I need to know for TTC and beyond, we have names picked out, I’ve fantasized about how I’ll tell him about our BFP, and now this.
I’m just looking for hugs and support and advice on how to survive the next 42 days without going absolutely crazy. I only told my fiance and one close friend, no need to worry anyone until I have the test results. But the flip side is that I don’t have much support (fiance and I haven’t seen each other in person since tuesday morning despite living together since I work long hours and night shift so it’s not like we’ ve sat sown and talked it out deeply). So I’m reaching out to you guys. Tell me something encouraging. Tell me something funny. Post a picture of a cat. I don’t know what I need right now.
and some not helpful things: I’m not a christian and don’t believe in god. Please don’t mention him as it’s more irritating to me than comforting. And yes we both should have been more careful and hindsight is 2020 but it was an emergency and we saved the guys life and the other nurse feels horribly so no use playing the blame game
Post # 2
I’m so sorry this has happened and understand and totally sympathise with how you must be feeling 💛 I know it’s very different but when I’ve been waiting for test results for cancer it has been on my mind every day until I’ve got the results.
That medication is rough too which I’m sure isn’t helping. Is there any way you can take it easy especially on the next few days, would your work be understanding if you took a few days off to be with your fiancé?
I know it might not make a difference emotionally but I’d suggest to just keep reminding yourself of the statics. The chances are very low. Even lower at this point that anything would happen to a future child of yours, just 0.006%. There is probably a 0.006% that lots of things could happen to any child. Try not to focus on a statistically unlikely worst case scenario if you can. When you know more you can make an informed decision then, and in that (unlikely) event, i’d suggest counselling, including genetic counselling, to work through your options and your choices for children.
sending you love and strength bee.
Post # 3
I’m so sorry bee. Sometimes life is shitty for no reason but hopefully your results will come back all clean.
Post # 4
keikochan : flip the statistic – your chances of NOT contracting are 99.7% which is fantastic! And don’t count out children – my husband has a friend who contract HIV as a toddler due to a contaminated blood transfusion. She is now in her 30s and lives a full and happy life. HIV isn’t the death sentence it once was.
All the hugs the internet can send. It’s going to be a stressful 6 weeks and nothing we can say will change that, but keep yourself busy and try to keep yourself as distracted as possible.
Post # 5
Oh, honey. I am sorry for all of the anxiety this is creating for you. It is certainly understandable. I hope you can find some comfort in reaching out to the people who love you, especially your fiancé. This is such a bad time for you two to be unable to connect.
You certainly understand the medical and technical details far better than I, so I won’t attempt to address that. I will just say that the Bees are here, we’re always open.
Post # 6
Also here’s a cat playing a guitar that I find both cute and funny xxx
Post # 7
Oh Bee, I’m so sorry – sending you big internet hugs. It’s natural to consider the repercussions of the worst case scenario. As difficult as it is at this time, try to keep hope and a positive mindset. As the previous poster mentioned, the statistics are very much in your favour; you took all of the important actions after exposure. At this time, there is nothing that you can do but wait. Waiting is hard – it can feel like putting your life on hold. Don’t spend this time fixating on the what-ifs; instead plan some activities to look forward to. Maybe these are lunches with friends, little road trips, market visits, a spa day – anything that offers you a positive distraction. You could also choose to use the 6 weeks as a time to challenge yourself to learn a new skill (language, crafting, etc) or anything else than interests you.
The intention is not to minimize the seriousness of the potential, but rather to focus on your own resilience. You’ve now mapped out the bridges you may have to cross in the future, there is no need to revisit them over and over until it becomes necessary to cross one of them.
Last, for what it is worth, I am in constant awe of all those in the healthcare profession. You are amazing – thank you for working so hard and selflessly to provide the best care you can.
Post # 8
keikochan : if you’re a nurse/health care worker you’ve been exposed to so many bacteria and viruses in your life I bet your immune system is better than most… your chances of contracting anything is probably less than general public. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for a prescription for some antianxiety meds to get you through the next 6 weeks. Hugs girl!
Post # 9
I’m so sorry, Bee. I’m an HIV researcher and the likelihood of transmission is so very low, esp if you are on PEP right away.
I know it’s going to be hard to wait, but hang in there. Try to focus on today, rather than the million whatifs, esp as it relates to TTC.
Post # 10
Thank you everyone, especially for the cat pic! I’ve been sleeping so poorly the last 2 days since exposure I can’t imagine 40 more. I know the odds are low but there is so much at stake here. Ever since middle school I’ve known I wanted to be a mom. When I picture my life without kids I don’t even know what I’d do. Everything we have done in the last 3 years to get out lives together has been in preparation for raising children together. I appreciate all the virtual hugs ❤️
I started making a list of things to focus on for the next 6 weeks:
1. I’m presenting my research on geriatric mobility to prevent night time delirium at a conference on the 23rd, that’s super exciting and something I’ve worked a long time for!
2. My next project might be considered for approval, I find out next week if I have the clearance to submit for approval
3. Grey’s anatomy season 15 ends on may 16th and then I can finally start binge watching
That’s all I have so far but hopefully that list will grow!
Post # 11
mrstodd2bee : unfortunately that’s not how the virus works. You don’t build up immunity to hiv by being exposed to other pathogens. But I know what you mean. I don’t bat an eyelash when a patient with corona virus (common cold) sneezes on me. I just don’t get colds anymore
Post # 12
kia2019 : the kitty made me smile, thank you ❤️ And yes, the medication is rough. So far I’ve kept down a banana, some yogurt, and a bowl of soup in the last 48 hours. I’ve been working to hard to gain weight for TTC because I’m chronically underweight. It took me 12 months to gain 8 pounds and I’ll probably undo it all in 6 weeks! I have anti nausea meds which help but I still feel like crap all the time
Post # 13
Oh Bee, I’m so sorry that this is happening to you! I can totally understand how you feel, I imagine I would be in a panic attack state for the whole time. I send you a lot of hugs and hope that your results will come back negative!
For the baby part, it just needs to go on hold for now until you know. It sucks that you were already gaining weight and where already so much into planning, but what counts for now is that you take the medication.
I just add a photo of one of my furbabies, I hope it brings you a smile!
Post # 14
Sending you so many internet hugs. I work in a hospital lab and totally understand the anxiety regarding exposures. I had a needle stick one time, luckily from a non-infected elderly patient but still waiting to hear she was clean was anxiety inducing for me. Keep that 99.7% stat in your mind. As far as I know the risk is higher with a needle stick so you’re already on the better side of statistics with a splash. I will keep you in my thoughts!
Post # 15
keikochan : I’m glad it made you smile.
Bleugh, I’m so so sorry. I’m sure you know this being a nurse but crystallised ginger is the *only* thing that got me through chemo nausea. I found it more useful than any anti sickness tablets. Might be worth a shot?