Hello, everybody. I'm new to these here Forums, it's a real pleasure to meet all of you, and am definitely Looking forward to a meaningful and worthy stay here.
Apologies in advance if my first-ever post here would make me out to be as some sort of crazed Hyponchondriac. I just need to find a suitable place to dump all of this, as I feel like I'm on the brink of losing my sanity.
Well, a couple of months ago, 6 months to be exact, I had ORAL SEX with multiple partners. The thing is, I never have been (and never will be) on both ends of penetration. All of my sexual activities were strictly limited to oral sex. At that time, I made sure that my partner's penis didn't have any open wounds, similarly, I made sure my mouth was free from mouth ulcers, open wounds and dental cavities. As I understood that the risk for contamination of this kind of sexual activity is remarkably low (and given all the necessary precautions I took to make sure the activity is performed clean), I went ahead and swallowed my partners' cum.
Now, fast forward a few months, I have been showing signs of HIV symptoms, which I have become overly obsessed diagnosing myself with. I'm afraid it's already gotten the best of me, to the point that I linger on the possibilities day in and day out, further deteriorating my overall general well-being, and giving me more reason to believe I have the dreaded infection.
HOWEVER, I have reasons to believe that the symptoms I am showing/have shown can be credited to something else. But because of my severe and morbid need to associate every little thing I'm feeling with HIV, I'm afraid I've become somewhat irrational and unreasonable with my thoughts. Here are the list of symptoms I've felt/am feeling:
Mouth Ulcer: I live in a tropical country, where walking out into the porch honestly feels like you're walking into an open sauna or something - it's that bad. So it's not atypical for someone like me to experience having cold sores once in a while, as a matter of fact, I get it once a year, at the very least. But this one is different, it's big and hurts like hell. It lasted for a few days before it completely healed, after I had the school nurse apply something on it. I read online that cold sores can easily be spread through direct contact. I remember my boyfriend (became steady and faithful to him for 2 months now, but still I haven't had penetration sex, even with him!) was feeling very ill (with colds), and I was asking him to kiss me, which he did, and several hours later, I started feeling ill myself. I thought I was having flu-like symptoms, only to find out a cold sore appeared out of nowhere the next morning. Take note, I've never gotten the flu.
Sore throat: This one happened a couple of months back. Still, I have reason to believe this wasn't brought about by the dreaded virus because my throat started irritating immediately after performing oral sex with my boyfriend (he's clean by the way, he's HIV negative). By the way, I deepthroat, so that could have contributed to why I was feeling what I was feeling. Lasted a few days, completely gone after I took some Difflam and Lozenges.
Rapid Weight Loss: This one's a bit tricky to tell. I never really did notice myself until a couple of friends pointed it out to me. And when everyone else started saying the same thing, I became paranoid and checked my weight. If memory serves me right, I was 160 lbs last April and now I'm down to 150 lbs, in two weeks time! I started really panicking, only to find out the scale I had at home was rigged, and when I used the one available at our school, I was only at a 157.5 lbs or something.
Also, this manifested a week after my Mouth Ulcer and Sore Throat healed, and at the time I had those, I wasn't eating anything because the presence of food in my mouth (or even liquid) further aggravated the pain.
Skin Rash: This one was the most puzzling. I had a couple of rashes that itched like hell appear out of nowhere a month back. The thing is, I looked at images online to check if they resembled the rash HIV-positive patients experienced - they didn't. They were neither big, nor they resembled boils. What's more is that they completely disappeared during the day and only appeared (and itched like crazy) at night! That sounded a whole lot like HIVES Rash (brought about by insect bites) than the the actual HIV rash to me. Come to think of it, I once saw a millipede or something crawling up my leg just a month back, trust me, our house is chock full of 'em. Anyway, two anti-histamines did the trick and they're a thing of the past now.
Diarrhea: I only encountered this once and attributed this to the fact that I had a tall glass of icy cold water immediately after chugging down a boiling pot of strong coffee. I never had this symptom since.
Night Sweats: At some point in time, I started researching about my condition and Googled up HIV as a possibility. After seeing the similarities, I have never been so afraid in my whole damn life! And I believe I've just experienced my first ever Panic Attack episode! Right there and then, glued to my seat, I started sweating profusely, for no reason at all! And after a while, I found myself pacing back and forth around the house, convincing myself it's probably nothing and I'm probably overthinking stuff (like I usually do). That Thursday night (just this Thursday night 12/17/13), I really, really had difficulty sleeping, I was tossing and turning, and sweating profusely. It was as if the more my brain was thinking about the possibility that Night Sweating was an indicator of the virus infecting my body, the more my body was exhibiting it. But I couldn't help it, I was just literally paralyzed by fear itself. That night, I didn't get any sleep at all.
Like I said, I live in a tropical, warm country, and if I ever did experience anything like that in the past (my A/C is timed, it automatically shuts down after 4 hours or something of use and turns the fan on, to conserve energy), it clearly wasn't anything that horrific. My bedsheet and jimjams were drenched in my own sweat.
Just last night, I woke up drenched in my sweat again, after I had a nightmare about a nurse confirming me I was HIV negative. Yeah, I know I should be glad the dream turned out that way, but it just goes to show how much of the day I take up just obsessing over the fact that I may have it. I can honestly say that this past week, I feel like I've hit rock bottom. I haven't contacted any of my friends, only my boyfriend knows about this. Needless to say, it's negatively affected my work performance, school performance, and family life.
Dry Cough: After four or five sleepless nights and letting fear grab a hold of me (and that's putting it rather lightly), I felt my immune system weakening and I started experiencing flu-like symptoms late last Friday. Funny, I don't feel tired or sleepy at all, just really, really, really, really anxious about my HIV status. I immediately started fighting it with pills and serums before it even had a chance to present itself and it worked, for the most part, specifically, the remainder of Friday night and the better half of Saturday. After eating some chocolate and drinking a tall glass of ice water at dinner last night (Saturday night), I started experiencing the symptoms again and took a pill for it last night and early this morning, but to no avail. It's now a full-blown dry cough, no doubt about that, but it's not that I'm hacking away or anything, just a few light ones every now and then. My throat does feel terribly itchy though. But I have a couple of Menthols here for that.
Loss of Appetite: Again, I'd attribute this to the anxiety attack I had last Thursday night, but when I started thinking about the possibility that I might have contracted the virus, I completely lost the will to eat anything. So much so, that I only managed to drink water for the better half of Friday. Friday was the worst day for me.
Feeling of Nausea: I'd attribute this to my anxiety again. Although I've never really vomited, the thought of good food (something I enjoyed just a couple of weeks back) isn't as appetizing or appealing as it was before. And the possibility of me having the dreaded virus within me is making me sick to my stomach, literally.
When I finally mustered up the courage to go to a Social Hygiene clinic and have myself tested, lo and behold, the Med Tech was on leave. But the Peer Counselor and Registered Nurse stationed there were more than happy to answer any questions I may have had at that time and they shed a little more light on some truths about HIV, something Google never did. Even though I became open and honest with them, and told them all of the symptoms I have had in the recent weeks and how closely associated with HIV they were, they were still adamant that it's not, in fact, HIV, and that I was clearly having some kind of chronic anxiety (that's bringing out all these symptoms) stating the chances for infection via oral sex is very, very, very low but still allowed me to get the testing done tomorrow (Monday) just for the sake of my peace of mind.
If you read up to here, I sincerely want to thank you. I just need someone, anyone, to hear me out at this time. At this point, I don't care who you are, I just need somebody to give me their thoughts and insights about my condition. I'm on the edge of losing it, I can't even be sarcastic about. I've lost enough sleep overthinking and obsessing about this and even failed my College Thesis because I failed to contribute my part on it last Thursday night (that was the night I started reading up on the symptoms and experienced my first breakdown)!
Please. I am desperate.