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Author Topic: What A Difference A Year Makes...  (Read 3719 times)

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Offline drewm

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  • Posts: 1,034
  • Mmmmmm Hmmmmmm!
What A Difference A Year Makes...
« on: May 05, 2011, 10:55:01 PM »
A year ago today I turned 48. Tomorrow, one year ago, I was admitted to the hospital through it's emergency department after falling unconscious twice, once at an urgent care. What I thought was an upper respiratory infection was pneumonia and with that dx came more life changing news, I have AIDS.

The results were horrible. 8 t-cells (eight) and a viral load of a half million. I was sicker than hell. I weighed 140 pounds (normal weight for me is around 180). Anemic, I had a blood transfusion. A scope found Karposi's lesions in my air-way. Strangely, I was never scared. The pain I felt was truly for those I love. I could see the anxiety in their faces and hear it in their voices. I embarked on one hell of a journey, similar to ones shared by others before me and since.

After a battery of tests for everything on the planet, my pneumonia resolved, my temperature went down, my condition stabilized and the path continued. I went on the FMLA at work, went to apply for every assistance program under the sun and went to my first appointment with a doctor who specialized in AIDS. I'm not going to bore you all with a blow by blow account of the entire past year. I am sure our experiences are similar and different at the same time shaped by our own unique lives.

A year later, I am still here, in better health than I have been in years, my counts have rebounded to 'normal' levels and I am back to work. This diagnoses has been a life changing experience. I take better care of myself, take my meds religiously (Atripla, Bactrim, Valtrex, Fluoxotine) and no longer take life for granted. I celebrated my birthday today by going back to the hospital and visiting the nurses and staff who took such good care of me. It was an incredibly emotional moment for me and even for some of them.

The doctors were right, they reassured me that they could manage this disease, that they could reverse the numbers. I believed them. I never allowed fear to enter my brain but wow did it try. For a long time, I felt like I was dying but I kept those assurances in my mind and hoped for a better tomorrow. I am a Christian and a strong believer, I relied on my faith strongly and He saw me through.

I am blessed to have a loving family and friends who care about me in a most sincere way. I have spent a lot of time today thanking them for being in my life. I also want to thank you all on this board. I'm a little emotional today, I can't help it, it's just who I am. There are people on this board who reached out in threads and PM's that have comforted, shown compassion and at times opened my eyes and ears and for that, I am forever grateful.

I wish for all of you good health and a rich, worthwhile life and even though it doesn't always seem like it or maybe I forget to say it, I treasure everyone here. Here's to 50 next year  :-*
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 10:58:13 PM by drewm »
MAY 2010
VL>500,000 CD4>8

JUNE 2010 STARTED ATRIPLA

DEC 2010
VL>30 CD4>323

Atripla. Valtrex, Trilipix, Fluoxotine

Offline klouny

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  • Posts: 142
  • ~ can you see me now~
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2011, 11:09:01 PM »
congratz on your heatlh and happy birthday :)
Hope you have MANY, MANY happy birthdays to come
~Strange ideas are Superfluous and unoriginal~

Online tednlou2

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  • Posts: 4,760
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2011, 11:11:14 PM »
What is it about birthdays and holidays for learning HIV statuses?  It seems like many here were dx'd during the holidays or around their b-day.  I know Leatherman had things happen to him on 2 b-days--I think.  I was dx'd on my cousin's b-day and during the holidays.

Wow, you have been through a lot and I admire your ability to keep fear at bay.  I think I was more in shock than fear.  In fact, the fear and depression didn't set in for several months.  I've mentioned this before how I would wake up everyday, even wknds, very early and got so much stuff done in the months following my dx.  It was about 10 months later that the fear and depression set in, and that is when I found this site.  My mind must have taken over trying to get me through it without going crazy.

I'm so glad to hear you feel healthier now than you had in years.  All the best for continued health until you're 100 and are on the Today Show's Smucker's Birthdays.    

Offline thunter34

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  • His name is Carl.
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2011, 11:21:56 PM »
Good health and a rich, worthwhile life to you, Drew.

Happy Birthday.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline klouny

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  • Posts: 142
  • ~ can you see me now~
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2011, 11:27:52 PM »
What is it about birthdays and holidays for learning HIV statuses?  It seems like many here were dx'd during the holidays or around their b-day.

I found out a little after the holidays, but I was sick as a dog during christmas and new years when I seroconverted. I have NO pictures during those holidays   :(

my only memories where my family bringing me my meds, food, and gifts during christmas
~Strange ideas are Superfluous and unoriginal~

Offline mikeyb39

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Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2011, 11:29:50 PM »
very nice post, glad you are doing well!!!

Ted,
that is true i have noticed the bday/holiday diagnosis.  I was diagnosed halloween weekend for all weekends to get that kind of news, i started my meds the day after my birthday
11/02/2010  cd4-251, vl-591000
12/09/2010  started Atripla
02/18/2011  cd4-425, vl-800
06/10/2011  cd4-447, vl-70
10/10/2011  cd4-666, vl-80
01/05/2012  swiched med (prezista,norvir ,isentress, )
02/10/2012  cd4-733, vl-UD  Viread removed
06/10/2012  cd4-614, vl-UD
12/14/2012  cd4-764, vl-UD
09/01/2013  cd4-785, vl-UD
03/06/2014. cd4- 1078, VL-UD

Offline drewm

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  • Mmmmmm Hmmmmmm!
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2011, 11:37:11 PM »
(((HUGS))) for you all  :-*

My sister, who has a dry and sarcastic sense of humor named my eight t-cells. We quit naming them after my labs improved ROFLMAO!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 11:40:57 PM by drewm »
MAY 2010
VL>500,000 CD4>8

JUNE 2010 STARTED ATRIPLA

DEC 2010
VL>30 CD4>323

Atripla. Valtrex, Trilipix, Fluoxotine

Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2011, 12:43:36 AM »
WooHoo! and Happy Bday! There's nothing quite like being alive to celebrate a birthday. :D

What is it about birthdays and holidays for learning HIV statuses?  It seems like many here were dx'd during the holidays or around their b-day.  I know Leatherman had things happen to him on 2 b-days--I think.  I was dx'd on my cousin's b-day and during the holidays.
i was dx-ed the day after christmas 12/26/92 and was in the hospital dying from "teh aids" on my 34th and 36th bdays. (that's why I know it's better to be alive for your bday than dead on it. :o  :D) Then I timed quitting smoking to be 47 days on my 47th bday, so it's been 830 days now ;)

I think we time these things out to happen around holidays and bdays, because we're organized and like to keep track of things easily. At least, that's my excuse anyway. LOL :D
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline denb45

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  • "1987 Classic Old School POZ+"
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2011, 12:54:09 AM »
I'm glad that u are continuing to improve, you'll get better and better if you keep taking care of yourself  :-*

BTW

HAPPY BIRTHDAY  :)  and many more

HUGS

Dennis
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline wolfter

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Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2011, 07:58:21 AM »
So glad you've made remarkable improvements.  Your renewed sense of life shines in your positivity.  I don't know how you can go through what you have and not have this new outlook.  Hope this path continues and look forward to hearing more from you.

Greg
productivity breeds content

Offline carousel

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  • Posts: 821
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2011, 09:54:06 AM »
Congratulations on your 49th Birthday.

Sounds as though things are going well.

You're taking Fluoxotine?  Had to come off these, after a year on them.  Was starting to get really anxious all the time, which eased off after I stopped taking them.

Anyway, have a great day.

Offline drewm

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  • Mmmmmm Hmmmmmm!
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2011, 10:47:40 AM »
Thanks yall!!  ;D
MAY 2010
VL>500,000 CD4>8

JUNE 2010 STARTED ATRIPLA

DEC 2010
VL>30 CD4>323

Atripla. Valtrex, Trilipix, Fluoxotine

Offline denb45

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  • "1987 Classic Old School POZ+"
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2011, 10:52:23 AM »
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2011, 11:01:16 AM »



   Happy Birthday
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline liketheboat

  • Member
  • Posts: 44
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2011, 11:09:39 AM »
I tested positive right before Labor Day. Then told my sister on her birthday, maybe not the best choice on my part. So far my birthday has had no issues, im keeping my fingers crossed.
Aaron
Memorial Day 2010 Seroconverted
Labor Day 2010 tested positive
Oct 2010 cd4 359 vl 6,500
Dec 2010 cd4 vl 306
Jan 2011 started Atripla
Feb 2011 cd4 250 vl ud
April 2011 cd4 399 vl ud
June 2011 cd4 293 vl ud
October 2011 cd4 354 vl ud
March 2012 cd4 561 vl ud

Offline Solo_LTSurvivor

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  • Posts: 1,176
  • Twerk Baby Twerk
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2011, 11:49:21 AM »
Happy Birthday, Drew!

Be sure and not go near any hands, lest you run the risk of feeling really jazzy today  ;)


don't equate intelligence with lack of masculinity
Jim Phelps, Mission Impossible
____________________________

Seroconverted: Early 80s
Tested & confirmed what I already knew: early 90s

Current regimen: Atripla. 
Last regimen:  Epzicom, Sustiva (since its inception with NO adverse side effects: no vivid dreams and NONE of the problems people who can't tolerate this drug may experience: color me lucky ::))
Past regimens
Fun stuff (in the past):  HAV/HBV, crypto, shingles, AIDS, PCP

Jan 2012: 818/21%
Apr 2012: 964/22%
Jul. 2012: 890/21%
Oct. 2012: 920/23%

Still UD after all these years

Offline denb45

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  • "1987 Classic Old School POZ+"
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2011, 11:56:47 AM »

And Jazz hands , and jazz hands, and kick, and turn, and bob fosse, and bob fosse  :D
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline drewm

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  • Mmmmmm Hmmmmmm!
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2011, 12:50:46 PM »
Happy Birthday, Drew!

Be sure and not go near any hands, lest you run the risk of feeling really jazzy today  ;)



I believe that young man could deliver twins! YUM  :-* :P


THANKS EVERYONE!
MAY 2010
VL>500,000 CD4>8

JUNE 2010 STARTED ATRIPLA

DEC 2010
VL>30 CD4>323

Atripla. Valtrex, Trilipix, Fluoxotine

Offline bmancanfly

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  • Medicare For All !
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2011, 05:56:45 PM »
That's an inspiring story Drew.  I'm happy that you're doing so well. 

And I'm glad you decided to stick around.   ;)

Happy Birthday!


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 Bertrand Russell

Offline drewm

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  • Mmmmmm Hmmmmmm!
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2011, 06:00:56 PM »
That's an inspiring story Drew.  I'm happy that you're doing so well. 

And I'm glad you decided to stick around.   ;)

Happy Birthday!




 :-* ;D
MAY 2010
VL>500,000 CD4>8

JUNE 2010 STARTED ATRIPLA

DEC 2010
VL>30 CD4>323

Atripla. Valtrex, Trilipix, Fluoxotine

Offline AlanBama

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Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2011, 07:53:08 PM »
Happy Birthday honey...hope you have many many more !

Alan   :-*
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline drewm

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Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2011, 07:53:42 PM »
Happy Birthday honey...hope you have many many more !

Alan   :-*

 :-*
MAY 2010
VL>500,000 CD4>8

JUNE 2010 STARTED ATRIPLA

DEC 2010
VL>30 CD4>323

Atripla. Valtrex, Trilipix, Fluoxotine

Offline frdfandc

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Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2011, 11:13:06 PM »
You started out exactly, and I mean exactly how I was just a couple of months ago. Even down to the weight loss.

Congrats on the b-day. This type of great news gives me even greater hope.

Offline drewm

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  • Mmmmmm Hmmmmmm!
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2011, 11:25:21 PM »
You started out exactly, and I mean exactly how I was just a couple of months ago. Even down to the weight loss.

Congrats on the b-day. This type of great news gives me even greater hope.

Hang in there! Doc told me there will be plenty more birthdays!  :)
MAY 2010
VL>500,000 CD4>8

JUNE 2010 STARTED ATRIPLA

DEC 2010
VL>30 CD4>323

Atripla. Valtrex, Trilipix, Fluoxotine

Offline frdfandc

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Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2011, 08:46:59 AM »
I'm not worried, but this type of news makes things a whole lot more positive to move forward

Offline OneTampa

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Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2011, 09:04:59 AM »
 :D ;D to you Drewn!
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

LabRat

  • Guest
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2011, 10:42:54 AM »
Congrats Drewn!

It is so cool that you went back to the hospital to visit the staff that took care of you!  :)

Happy Birthday!

Offline Nicolas2

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Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2011, 12:01:04 AM »
I started reading...a little bit concerned...wondering what the name of the topic would bring...

But at the end...such a relief.

Congratulations, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! and many, manu more to come.

--Nik

Offline drewm

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  • Mmmmmm Hmmmmmm!
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2011, 01:48:59 PM »
Thanks everyone. It's great to still be around  :)
MAY 2010
VL>500,000 CD4>8

JUNE 2010 STARTED ATRIPLA

DEC 2010
VL>30 CD4>323

Atripla. Valtrex, Trilipix, Fluoxotine

Offline drewm

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  • Mmmmmm Hmmmmmm!
Re: What A Difference A Year Makes...
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2011, 01:50:58 PM »
Congrats Drewn!

It is so cool that you went back to the hospital to visit the staff that took care of you!  :)

Happy Birthday!

I feel a strange bond with those people. It was very emotional. It was, as if, the world came down on top of me and those folks steered me through some very rough times. I believe in Angels.  :)
MAY 2010
VL>500,000 CD4>8

JUNE 2010 STARTED ATRIPLA

DEC 2010
VL>30 CD4>323

Atripla. Valtrex, Trilipix, Fluoxotine

 


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