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The diagnosis [3]

Wednesday, 15 July 2015 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Gay Men, Newly Diagnosed, International , Living with HIV, Population Specific , Revolving Door, Guest Authors

Guest writer RYU Matsumoto from The Philippines with the third part of his story of being diagnosed with HIV. Today - - on leaving work, stronger family bonds, getting support and a concerned boyfriend

The diagnosis [3]

“Thank you, Lord!” I said. I might die if he’s also reactive, and it’ll be because of me.

Indefinite leave and Resignation

It was one of the hardest decisions I had to make. Not because I had a good position in the company, but because of the friends I would leave behind. I was able to establish a good team whom I treated as my own kids. I hated the feeling of being left behind. I did promise myself that I won’t do this to anyone. But I had no choice. Saying goodbye wasn’t really easy. It hurt that I just had to send them the farewell messages while I was on the hospital bed, feeling so weak. It pierced my heart so deep. It really hurt.

Stronger Family Bonds

My mom and dad didn’t inform my other family members yet about my condition. We are four siblings. I’m 2nd to the eldest. I do have an older brother and two younger brothers. One of my younger brothers visited me at the hospital after school. “So, how are you? What did the doctor say?” I still couldn’t answer the question honestly. I just said that I was still waiting for the results and the news. What he said after that shocked me. “I hope it’s not something really serious. Like HIV.” He gave me the look as if he already knew what’s going on. I also saw the worry in his face.

It was time for him to leave since he still needed to go to school early next day. My youngest brother paid me a short visit that same night. They went home together with my mom, leaving my dad to be my companion for another night in the hospital. According to my mom, she told my two younger brothers about my situation on their way home. All they had to say was “What? Seriously?” They started to cry. I really can’t imagine them in that situation. It made me smile, but when I thought about how they felt that night, I turned blank.

My older brother, who was working out of town that time, received the news as well. My mom just had to wait for him to come home since she didn’t want to cause any distraction to my older brother. I wasn’t able to grow really close to my older brother. We’re so different. Being gay was one of the differences I had with my three other brothers. I wasn’t expecting much support from them (I know this sounds rude, but that’s how I felt that time), but what they did to me really touched me. My older brother sent me a text message. “Hey bro! I’ve heard about what happened. :'( Get well soon. I really miss seeing you in the house. It felt different without you in here. Please come home soon.”

My younger brother often visited me at the hospital to get updates. He always arrived and left with a tight hug. My youngest brother sent me a message as well. “Kuya (older brother)! Please get well soon. I’m waiting for you to come home. I will have a welcome party for you. Love you!” All this time I really felt not so close to them. What they did for me made me realize how I’m loved by these guys. It’s funny but I felt like the “only girl” among the siblings. The security and the care they gave me was amazing.

“We have your back!”

I informed my very close friends about my situation really late. I did that on purpose. I really didn’t want them to see me in that situation. I was really skinny by that time. I was wearing a mask. Oxygen helping me breathe normally. I was at the stage of my life when I saw myself as really pitiful. I was only chatting with them that time, and I couldn’t help but cry. I always told them not to visit me, because I didn’t want to scare the hell out of them. Little did I know that they had made plans for visiting me. It was a total surprise. I don’t know if I was supposed to feel happy, mad, irritated, or shocked.

The first group of friends who visited me were my college friends. They gave me a tight hug. Tears started to show in my eyes, but I was trying to control them from flowing. They started joking and fooling around, our usual thing when we are together.

The second group of friends came from the workplace. I saw one of them cry upon seeing me. That friend went out of the room for a moment, but gave me a really tight hug when he entered the room again. I was trying to calm my friend down. “I’m not dying, okay? Stop crying, please.” They weren’t able to stay for a long time, since my doctor advised me not to have a lot of visitors at the moment.

The “too concerned (almost nega)” boyfriend

My boyfriend stayed there most of the time with me. He always paid me a visit before he went to work. By the way, we worked at the same company. I think he cried several times as I did after hearing the news. There were times when he just looked at me. I asked him why, but he didn’t respond. He would just start to breakdown. He saw how I looked like in the hospital, and what he saw was something he didn’t really like at all. He worried every single day that I might…die.

I could totally understand where he was coming from. I always told him that I would be fine, that I’m not going to give up. However, he kept doing the same thing everyday. I have to admit that I felt irritated. It felt like he didn’t really believe that I’d survive whatever I was going through.

To be continued . . .

These excerpts first appeared on the blog Optimistic Ryu (Everything about my POZitive life and more) here.

You can follow Optimistic RYU on twitter @RyuMPLUS