25 February 2005

mind/body shift for me...

Subject: mind/body shift for me...
From: butterscotch
Date: Feb 25 2005 1:01PM

Well, the day has come. I am no longer just HIV+, I am officially classified as a person with AIDS. Just typing those capital letters together makes me want to close my eyes. Somehow put it off for one more day.

Don't get me wrong...I'm not devestated by the news...I knew that I was getting close to the "magic" T-Cell-count number of 250. I was at 296 the last time I had my blood work done...and with the health problems I have had over the last two months...I knew my immune system had taken a beating. The new number 204 was a jolt, to be sure.

I have been feeling a little out of sorts for the last month...moments of creepiness, chills, lethargy...my afternoon naps had gone from a usual 45 minutes to 3 to 4 hours at a time. I knew something wasn't right, but I just kept telling myself that it was the head-cold that I was dealing with...

So, now starts a new chapter in my life. I will begin medications in a couple of weeks. I have an appointment with my doctor on Monday to figure out which ones I should try and take. When my partner began his regimine, it was brutal. He was violently ill for over a week and they finally had to take him off of one of the meds...I don't think I will even consider that one as an option. I'm taking off work for at least 5 days when I begin so that I can just take it easy and see where it takes me physically.

One med, Sustiva, is one that frightens me the most. It can produce night terrors...and I am a vivd dreamer already. My partner had them off and on for the first year he was taking it. I was punched in my sleep more than once...I just hope I don't become too paranoid to sleep.

Emotionally, I am pretty okay with the news. I'm not one to project ahead in my thought processes very far. I am a one-day-at-a-time kind of person. I deal with the reality of each day and go from there.

I really am not looking for any kind of hand holding or sympathy from anyone. The people that know me personally are the ones that matter the most. They are there for me. I am there for them. I will have all the love and support I could possibly need...and hopefully, I won't be needing too much.

I just wanted to open a window to those of you who may not really have an idea as to what AIDS patients are dealing with at this time. 12 years ago, it was a death sentence. Now, if treated carefully and diligently, (and one responds to the meds positively) an average life expectancy is not out of the question.

There is a rather large stigma attached to AIDS, even in my mind, that opening up about it, even with virtual strangers, can dispel the myths that still linger in many people's minds.

I am kind of numb, to be honest with you...but if I think about it, nothing has really changed that much in the last 3 months, except now I AM a person with AIDS. I am.

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