Robby, that is so very sweet of you and I appreciate it. I makes sense. It is also easier to say from your side of the fence assuming you are HIV negative. If you are HIV positive, then God Bless You and keep setting a good example for us wimps.
I can't handle the drama and trauma of it all. I wish I could tell everyone, like if it were Cancer, everyone would know. But what I have is the plauge and it's everyone's worst fear, including mine.
I will fight this ugly disease until my last breath and hope I can take your advice and allow my friends to support me more. Robby, you are a great guy, I can tell.
Personally I couldn't care less if you had HIV, I'd still ride with you and treat you as I would anyone else. If you came to me and told me then yes, I would appreciate it but it would not change my view of you as a person.
Unfortunately I've had friends who have died of HIV. One friend was a BF of someone I rode with and he tried to hide it. I respected that and never pressed him to admit it to me. He kept saying he had cancer but I knew better. He never really told anyone and when he passed away we were all kind of angry with him for not telling us. His BF told us that he would think we wouldn't want to be near him if he told us (the straight people!), what rubbish!
I don't know if telling one person is the way to go. What if that person is not around if you are injured? Then what? A medical armband or necklace tucked under your clothes is a good idea. If you trail ride with the same person then you should tell that person since that person will pretty much be with you the whole time you are at the barn. I was taught that when a person is injured the best thing to do is run and find help ASAP. Moving or touching a person can actually harm them more if you do not know what you are doing. You are stressing out over this a lot and for good reason, but remember you will not know a person's reaction until you tell them. I think you will find that people will not be as harsh as you think. If they are, then that is their problem not yours. You have to be strong for yourself. They will probably appreciate being told and just leave it at that. Don't worry about what they think or how they treat you. Ignore it. You can't help what has happened to you anymore than someone can help or change what nationality they are or what their height is, or the color of their eyes.
It really angers me that people still have such a reaction when they hear "I am HIV+". How many times has an HIV+ handled your food in a restaurant, repaired your car, manicured your nails, etc.? Wild Filly, I am so sorry that you are going through so much stress and heartache over this. Too bad you don't board with me, I could definitely use a trail riding buddy!! You can email me anytime you want if you ever just need or want some support or just someone to talk to. Just enjoy your horse and remember you are at the barn to do YOUR thing with YOUR horse. The time you spend with your horse is the most valuable and most precious. Don't waste time worrying if someone doesn't like you because they know you have HIV - that is their problem. You can just look at them and think "There but for the grace of God go I".
Haven't read the entire thread, but I agree with the others whose ONLY concern regarding your positive HIV status would be in case of an accident and being able to provide the paramedics with info which could help save your life.
I would have no problem riding with you just because you are HIV positive...and I am sorry the "stigma" is still attached for some people...especially in the horse world...I'd venture to say there are many others who keep silent.
...and welcome to the board!
I vote for the Medic Alert bracelet or armband. Probably the armband, as you can put more info in it (I think...). Rather than telling people all about your illness, merely tell people that you are wearing an armband and in case of emergency, it contains important information. This is non-specific enough that you shouldn't be concerned about negative reactions, but they will know it's there. If anyone presses you for more information, tell them that your medical history is not their concern and the information is merely there in case of emergency.
I'm sure that people with HIV deal with these issues all the time. I would discuss this issue with a HIV support group and go from there. There are probably on-line groups if you prefer to go the anonymous route.
Wild Filly...welcome to the BB.
And I can only imagine how hard it is to tell peoplewhat you are going through. I would want to know, but only for YOUR safety. Meds, timing, etc can be important with HIV and the more educated we ALL are, the better the chance we could potentially help you!!!! Carrying gloves is a great idea, and a med.alert bracelet also sounds like a great plan. Also make sure SOMEWHERE visible at the barn are your loved ones' phone numbers and your dr's number just in case.
If you don't know your barn manager very well, then I can see your hesitation/fear. I'd opt for a medic alert bracelet, and some sort of card in my wallet, on my person somewhere, when I rode- heck, you want 'rescuers' to have a chance to know, but as someone stated previously, the smartest response to a medical emergency is to assume the victim IS HIV+ and use appropriate precautions.
Stock your horse trailer with a good human-style first aid kit, and maybe strap a small one to your saddle, in the event you get hurt out on the trail, or you've hauled to a trail head and get hurt out there. If the barn has a first aid kit, quietly supply it with fresh gloves every now and then. Touch wood, they'll rot from lack of use before they're ever needed.
Also, unless I'm bleeding or cut up too, I'm not going to get HIV from helping you nurse a scraped kneecap and bruised ego, now am I?
Not unless you have an open cut and are exposed to my blood. It could be a paper cut and if it is still open, you would want to avoid any contact with infected blood. Thus the gloves are the best thing to have because you just never know. You may think you won't get any blood on you for very minor situations, but you never know and it's better to be safe than sorry especially when dealing with a disease that has no cure.
This board is a refuge for horse people ... I'm glad you found it. And, like others, I could care less if you are HIV positive, negative or indifferent! (tryin' to make you smile!!!!)
I haven't read all 6 pages either, but just as a note, I have taken numerous first aid courses and ALWAYS, it is stressed. GLOVES, GLOVES, GLOVES. Doesn't matter what, who or where. GLOVES.
And BTW, I've made some life-long friends on this board. Hope it's the same for you.
Just a thought...
Proud member of the SunnieFlax Clique
P.S. OMG! Only 8 days till I pick up my little guy! 10 days=nervous wreck; 15 day mark=babbling idiot. (thanks Spot!)**Newest member of the Klutz Klique** <bump, crash, waaaaa>
"For God hates utterly
The bray of bragging tongues."
Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders
My horse has been my refuge from this disease. Even if I'm not up to riding, I love to just hang out with him. Horse's are the best, one minute quiet as a mouse munchin on some hay and the next minute bucking rearing and fartin! I love when that happens, it's so cool to watch. Anyway, I love him very much.
Sweetie, you'll know when you are ready and until then don't add any more stress to your life than necessary! But do know that there are many who support you. Your HIV status does not define who you are to those worth your time. If you're in San Diego, drop us a line!
Irish Sport Horse x Hanoverian
Wild Filly...wow, I am so impressed by your courage, compassion, and heart-felt consideration. There should be more people like you in this world..people who genuinely care for others'. I would be proud to ride with you anytime. I will say this much regarding whether or not to tell anyone...
This BB is largely composed of people you don't know (I'm not sure if you know any of us personally outside the bb or not). We don't really know you...yet, here you have 6 pages worth of perfect strangers telling you we would love to ride with you, be your friend, etc. Now, I would expect my friends to treat me 100000 times or more better than perfect strangers...after all, friends know the real you, and since they are your friends, you can assume they like that real you, too. If we as strangers have opened our arms to you, surely there are friends in the "real world" who will feel and react the same.
I can't imagine how hard it would be to tell someone that you are HIV positive. The first thing that comes to mind though, were you my friend, is what Christopher Reeve's wife told him after his accident: "You're still you and I still love you." I hope your friends who already know and love you can say that to you...you strike me as a genuninely nice person who deserves only the best.
Take care....and know that no matter what, you now have 7,000 new horsey buddies to come talk with!
*"The English country gentleman galloping after a fox - The unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable." - Oscar Wilde
I am sure my friends will still love me, and support me. But in reality they will know and I'm just not ready. You can't tell by looking at me, I look normal and healthy. Heck, I'm married but I still get hit on every now and then. If people know, they start to look at you different, and if you happen to be sick and you don't look too good, there is nothing worse than that deafening silence when they don't know what to say. It's very uncomfortable for both sides sometimes. Not ready for all that crap! Just want to be the girl they have always known. No pity, no questions, no different.
I'm thirsty anyway, so bring on the rain...JoDee Messina
Welcome to the BB, Wild Filly! I, also, have nothing more to add than has already been said...except that anyone who has an issue with people with chronic illnesses (of any kind) should go stifle themselves.
The opinions expressed in this post are not neccessarily the views of this poster.~
~This is *way* more fun than doing something productive~
Count me among those saying welcome to the BB and I'd ride with you anytime!
I voted for tell one person. For your sake as well as theirs. If you're tired or under the weather one day, it would help for your trainer to know why and not push you that day.
Personally, I'd want to know. Not because I'd be worried for myself, but because I really care about all my buddies at the barn (we're a rather small, close group) and I'd want to be there for you if you were having a tough time!