Saturday, August 16, 2008

9 Months Later

I am sure other people start a blog thinking they will change the world with their daily post and will faithfully keep up the posts.

Well, I didn't.

However, I wanted to take a few minutes and post my status.

I am doing great health wise. I could be the poster boy for what Atripla is supposed to do.
My viral load has gone undetectable. My CD4 count almost that of a non-poz person.

The mental part was a bit rougher but adding a small dose of anti-depressant to the mix and the world is a brighter place. Still lots of room for growth and improvements.

I take my nightly pill. I don't miss doses and I plan to be around for a long time. Now I just need to make that time a bit more fun!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I didn't know I was feeling so badly

I woke up this morning and realized, I feel good. I didn't realize I had started feeling so badly over the past couple of years. I think it snuck up on me and I blamed a lot of it on lack of exercise, stress, bad eating habits and getting older.

But over the past week or so I have noticed, I don't tire as easy walking from my car and up the stairs to my desk. Realized this morning I wasn't even out of breath.

Can it be? 40 days on meds and I feel better than I have felt in a year or years?

My optimism is growing.

Sunday, December 16, 2007 Forums

When I first found out I was HIV positive I (like most) freaked out.
I didn't want to share my status with friends and certainly not status. Where to turn?

Ok, some of the post are scary and some fed my anxiety but after I calmed, accepted my situation, I stopped visiting the site.

When it was time to start the medication, the fears and trepidation returned and I again turned to's forums.

Here I found a group of people that are truly remarkable and truly care. It is a very tight community that seems to know each other very well. I may have made a mistake by trying to jump in too fast and responding to others post. No one slapped me down but I recognized that even though we the virus from hell, we are very different people. I should have just sat back and allowed the experts to jump in. They are experts! The knowledge about HIV, treatment and side-affects is amazing.

The truly amazing thing about this group (of which I am not a part of but hope someday to be) is their willingness to answer the same questions over and over, allow people to vent, complain, cry, brag, share great news and tragedy. The most important thing is they care. They respond and they help. I can't recommend this group enough.

They are an incredible group of individuals with great heart.

Prime example, one member is currently struggling with insurance, co-pays and access to meds. This group has rallied and people are pitching in their own meds for an individual in need. I read what they are doing and are willing to do to assist and it brings tears to my eyes.
Although I didn't inherit the faith gene and consider myself a hopeful agnostic, there is god in these people.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

One Month In

What a ride!

I am one month and a few days into meds.

In a nutshell, a rough month adjusting to the meds which I suppose is a work still in progress. No major physical side-affects which is awesome but I have been having issues with controlling my temper. I constantly have to be aware that I may be overreacting to a situation but at least I recongnize it.

One minor outburst at the pharmacy when they acted like idiots and actually asked me to loudly announce my meds across the pharmacy floor so the dipwad at the computer could see why my script wasn't filled.

As the blond girl that I mentioned in an earlier post was ringing up the one refill they got right, I started to go off but realized I might be having a side affect moment and was able to calm down a bit. I just stayed pissed for SO long and wanted to go off on someone so badly that it almost become funny.

Anyway, last week, I went for my 30 day bloodwork and spent the next week waiting for results. Are they working? Do have I have a resistant strain? Is my liver going to blow? You know... all the possible bad things the on-line forums talk about.

Then the news.......... FREAKING AWESOME results! Viral load was at over 209,000 c0pies was down to 80!! How cool is that!?! CD4/T-Cells went up from 285 to 413!!

Couldn't be happier and makes all the stomach drama worth it. Other good news (at least for now) is I am down about 15 pounds. Could still lose another 25. (one expensive diet pill)

More to come

Friday, November 16, 2007

Week 1 - Oh My GAWD!

Liquid metal.

My head was full of it the first three days as it moved into my back and to my mouth.

I swear I lost 10 IQ points the first 3 days of the week and (of course) needed every bit of brain power I cound muster at work. Of course, the project my team had been working to deploy shit the bed and my days turned into 12-14 hour stress fest!

Thank God for my staff, two of whom are well aware of my issue and are supporting me like champs. They have my back.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Friday Night - The Event

Friday night, 10:00 PM. I sit on the edge of my bed holding the pill staring at it like it was a Soviet cyanide suicide pill.
Realizing I was having a drama queen moment, I swallowed it and watched Ghost Whisperer and Moonlight on my Tivo.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Medication - Drop off the script

I handed the Atripla script to the pharmacist through the walk-up window. Before looking down, she glanced up at me; she's seen me before for the Omeprazole and Propecia, and asked me if I wanted to wait. "No, I will pick it up tomorrow" as the doctor told me the first couple of days might be rough and I should start on Friday. OK, and she looked down.

I saw the flash of recognition and the immediate professional demeanor returned. Did I see the flash or did I imagine it? Hard to tell. My head is all over the place.

12 years. 12 years of no requirements for medication. HIV had finally won the battle in my bloodstream and knocked by T-cells under that line in the sand. Time to start the medications that will be with me until the day I die.

Tomorrow is the day. November the ninth, two thousand and seven.
I wonder if this day will mean anything to me in a year or two from now. Seems like it should.

Get home, get on-line and start reading about what to expect. My doctor was confident, maybe a rash and probably vivid dreams. Vivid dreams sounds kinda cool! Nothing like a wild dream. Interesting that lots of others talk about the dreams and , by the way, YIKES!; some people have serious trouble with side-affects. Personality changes; may not be a bad thing. Shit, I have been single for 5 years now. Maybe there is something wrong with my personality and a little change will do me good! I aggression might even be fun unless I slap the idiot at work that annoys the hell out of me. I wonder if they can fire me if I blame it one the meds? Hmmm...note to self, you might not have to take as much shit as you do.

Note to reader, you will get that I have a sense of humor and I will come out of this stronger and healthier and... never mind... no promises yet.