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Author Topic: Aging, HIV and planning for the future  (Read 5655 times)

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Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,530
  • 36 years positive, 64 years a pain in the butt
Aging, HIV and planning for the future
« on: July 27, 2019, 01:02:13 pm »
Hi all,
I thought I would drop a line to let everyone know I was still alive.
I have a new practitioner, a nurse practitioner. The doctor I was seeing decided to move to California.
She is great! Very thorough, and I've had more testing done than I have ever had. She is big on preventive care.
I hit a few rough spots. I had the laminectomy on my lower back, which went well. Now, there is stenosis in my neck and upper spine, which they want to fuse.
I told them no, not unless things become very desperate.
I did physical therapy for it, I still exercise to keep the muscles as strong as possible, and I am doing OK.
Aside from that, most everything else is working pretty well for someone in his 60s.
Who'd a thought I would ever see my 60s???
I'm still not allowed pain meds, but do well with the cannabis stuff. The salve I make does really work.
Now, the specter of actually retiring is looming before me. It is funny how things like "retiring" always seemed in the distant future.
I am trying to get my affairs in order to make it as easy a transition as I can. My plans are to finally retire in about four years, maybe.
I am not sure I will ever fully retire. We'll see.


"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline flashdance

  • Member
  • Posts: 35
  • Reach out and touch me....
Re: Aging, HIV and planning for the future
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2019, 10:56:50 am »
I early retired this year at 62. I have now had 4 socsec payments. My problem...not enough is happening to entertain me. Never really wanted to retire alone....

I have grown so sick of the current work environment....I hope I never see another paycheck again.

I still wonder what will happen with my current insurance coverage. At the moment...all is perfect. Great team of docs...all is paid for medically...but my income from socsec may knock me out of Medicaid. I can go with the flow...but just don't change my current docs.
You are never alone...and if you start to feel lonely....search me out...or grab your cat!

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 8,195
  • Positive since 1985, joined forums 12/03
Re: Aging, HIV and planning for the future
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2019, 05:06:10 pm »
Hi Mark,...

Good to hear from you ! I've had a nurse practitioner at the VA,  for about 7 years now, and as you say, I am also very satisfied, by the care I receive from her. Her patients include HIV and infectious diseases, and she is more than qualified to handle any issue, dealing with HIV and Hepatitis.  I remember her asking me years ago, if I would mind if she would handle my case, and I had no objection. She also stated that I could request the doctor at any time, but I haven't done that in 7 years.  She is very knowledgeable !! Also, like you, my nurse practitioner, is not hesitant ( Along with my Primary care)  to do any testing they deem necessary.  So I am real pleased with that. At close to 68, and living with HIV since 1985, I never object to any testing, to stay on top of things, for preventative care.

I recently had both hands injected with steroids at the base of my thumbs, to alleviate the trigger thumbs I had, and so far, It's been great.  No more snapping thumbs at the middle knuckle, no discomfort or pain. I also had some xrays of both my hands, and they found nothing remarkable and the impressions showed "Normal"

I retired in December of 2013, right after my 62 birthday. It was almost 6 years ago.  I am now 67, and close to 68 in about 4 months.

 I really enjoy retirement, you have to keep active, because it's too easy to not be active.  My 83 year old neighbor wants to take me golfing.  I never played Golf, but I am willing to give it a try, once the weather cools down a little. We still swim everyday, and walk at least 30 minutes a day.  I still have a gut issue, which will never go away.  ::)

I think if I had to do it over again, I may have worked until I was 65. If that was the case, I would have retired in 2016, but I really don't have any regrets.

I also have no objection to doing something part-time,  But it seems I have more than my fair share of Doctor appointments..., ( And that will only increase, as time goes on)... which could cause an issue, with someone hiring me. Of course, there's no problem with volunteer work, which is my primary choice. The VA hospital, is always looking for volunteers. If I was to work part-time I wouldn't want to work more than 3 days a week period !

I spent most of my working career, working all the holidays, and covering for others.  Can't do that anymore at 67 ! 3 days a week is enough.

I think if it was me, I would hold off on getting anything fused as well, or at least putting it off as long as I possible could. That is of course, unless they can give my an absolutely good reason, to have it done now.  I would also like to know, what happens if I was to hold off.

Glad to hear from you and that you're doing OK. Keep active !

Take care of yourself----- RAY  8)
Current Meds ; Viramune / Epzicom , Eliquis, Diltiazem. Pravastatin 40mg UPDATED 1/6/23

 Tested positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of November 14th,2022, Viral load Undetectable.

CD 4 @656 /  CD4 % @ 18 %
Lymphocytes,absolute-3602 (within range)


Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,530
  • 36 years positive, 64 years a pain in the butt
Re: Aging, HIV and planning for the future
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2019, 10:55:48 pm »
Hey Ray,
Good to hear from you. I thought about retiring at 62, but I wasn't ready financially, and insurance would have been a problem. I would have had to rely on the health insurance exchange, which would be fine if I didn't fear the idiots in Washington wanting to repeal the affordable care act.
There has been another fly in the ointment. I was chatting with my nurse practitioner and mentioned having headaches, a bit of nausea and weakness on my left side.
In no time I was in the emergency room. She thought I might have had a stroke.
I hadn't, gratefully, but I do have issues with blood vessels in my brain becoming narrower. I got the famous "it is not uncommon for people as they age" line.
The numbness on my left if probably the spine issues acting up.
So, time to put one foot in front of the other and learn how to deal with this.
On the bright side, I didn't have a stroke, so, that is a positive thing.

Hope all is well.


"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline harleymc

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,483
Re: Aging, HIV and planning for the future
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2019, 06:53:27 pm »
It's Interesting how different systems affect our retirement options.

I'm 57 but my husband is 64. We won't be  able to get any govt assistance while I am under retirement age , 67 for my generation.

I earn a reasonable income to support myself but have no idea how we will cope if I have to support us both. Rent alone will take up over half of my post-tax income. It's doable, just.

Offline em

  • Member
  • Posts: 686
Re: Aging, HIV and planning for the future
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2019, 10:13:52 am »
planing ? aging ?

I am 55 and my plan was if I die from HIV no need to make plans . if they found a cure I would just pick up the pieces and move on with my life ? never did it occur to me that they might find a treatment that just left us in limbo . not dying but far from free of the virus .

retirement. in a way I have not held a job for twenty years and have been basically retired house husband raising children everything that encompasses and just doing a lot of thinking and free from worrying about my boss and keeping my job . there have been other stresses like all lives have .  lucky me . I have been able to get by . an extended sabbatical . I have found a way to get by and it may not be the best but it i what I have .

planing instead I have been just taking one day at a time and holding on while hoping for the best .

working ? My last job I told everyone I had HIV .  a few years later still doing the same job a coworker came up to me and said . I bet someone at this workplace would pay a lot of money to keep there secret . I just scrunched up my face walked away . and I thought what a piece of work this guy is .

after all this time .  I can not see myself fighting rush hour traffic and punching a clock at some dead end job because it was the best I could get . I may selfish and inconsiderate . lazy and worthless . but I am happy doing what I am doing .  in life that is hard to come by.  I have no student loans . my home expenses are relatively cheap. I do not live in a spacious expensive palace. my small residence is just fine .

planing . maybe I have said to much maybe bot enough . but good luck in your planning for the future .  I hope it works out whatever you do 

sorry to go on so much

all the best to you


Offline em

  • Member
  • Posts: 686
Re: Aging, HIV and planning for the future
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2019, 07:03:41 am »
do not forget about getting into the right nursing home and making sure you have the resources to pay for it .

planning for the future .

nursing homes . like boot camp for the end of your life. the nurses are drill instructors.

telling you when to get up when to eat and when to go to bed . sounds great NOT

something to plan for ?

sorry to point out  the facts of getting to be elderly

if you are planning for the future this might be part of it


Offline em

  • Member
  • Posts: 686
Re: Aging, HIV and planning for the future
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2019, 02:47:05 am »
how did I miss this thought ?

HIV and planing ?

I recall a life time ago thinking any day now will be my last and I should plan accordingly. never in my wildest dreams did I think I would last  over three decades .

but here it is thirty years sine I was told and I guess I am not a brave strong person. needless to say when I got the news I fainted .   I did not cry I just thought my life was over.

they made all kinds of movies and stories about the early years of AIDS  and people dying . does anyone know about a story they have made about people not dying and living . it might be just getting by but it is living. they did show a clinic in Africa were they had files of those with HIV and a small section of those who have lived for a long period of time .   but nothing main stream about it 

even a romantic comedy were one of the participants could have HIV and live happily ever after ?   

how boring right no one wants to see that ?

there have been some in show business who have gotten work even thought they had HIV .  even a couple here and there of sports figures and what not .   

ya it would be boring to show someone getting buy and well the truth be told trying not to be noticed because of the stigma still associated with the illness .   

thirty years ago when I told my mother I Had HIV ?  her response was without hesitation.   I did not think you were that bad .  like HIV only happens to bad people ?

planing for me anyway live another day and take it from there .

stay within budget keep out the weather and eat well.

best of luck to everyone and may life be inspiring and bring happiness and smile to your face . live love and laugh.   enjoy all you can.

that is my plan. 





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