having no pre-hiv cd4 test, there's no way to tell what a person's "real" normal might have been. What is known is that cd4 <200 often mean people can be affected by opportunistic infections. The "normal" range is considered 400-1500.
and finally, it's not really how many cd4s you have; but how well they work - and that's based on your genetics. Some people with 400 are never ill; some people with >1000 often suffer from all sorts of illnesses.
fyi: starting with 5 tcells when diagnosed, it took me something like 15 yrs to get and remain over 200. for the next 10 yrs, I kept right around 300. they may not seem like much, but it has been 17 yrs since I was in the hospital with an OI and I can't even remember when I last had the flu or even a cold (knock on wood. LOL) I may not have a lot of immune systems warriors but the ones I do have are the best damned warriors ever.
personally, I've never worried about the percentage much. (although i know it is usually in the 16 to 20% range) before meds that percentage is good predictor of when to start; but after beginning meds and having some recovery, it doesn't matter so much. (heres some more info http://aids.about.com/od/aidsfactsheets/a/cd4percent.htm)
stay adherent. stay undetectable. try to live a healthier lifestyle (good food, less alcohol, more fitness, enough sleep, less stress) and enjoy life.
I usually try to stay pretty upbeat but I am just worried that I'll never get better.what are you using as a standard for "better"? Hopefully you're not thinking that having more cd4s or a higher percent equates to being/feeling "better". Better is how YOU feel. Do you have side effects? are you sick a lot? These are things that you and your doctor might find a work-around for, so check into that if you are having problems. Otherwise enjoy the health you have