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Main Forums => Pre-HAART Long-Term Survivors => Topic started by: aztecan on November 06, 2016, 10:10:11 pm

Title: Hmmm, getting older, eh?
Post by: aztecan on November 06, 2016, 10:10:11 pm
Hi all,

It's been a while since I've been here, so I thought I would post a quick update.

All is going pretty well. Living with the bug for more than 31 years now. It's under control, and I've been undetectable for 20 years now.

It's the getting older stuff that is rearing its head.

I had a nuclear stress test done recently, because I have recurring bouts of angina. My heart is actually in pretty good shape. The doctor thinks I have some blockage in the atrioles, the tiny arteries that feed the heart.
But, nothing too serious. The doctor said there isn't much I can do about it, and it most likely wouldn't cause any heart attacks, although parts of the heart may die off.

I am trying something new to keep the lipids in check. Yes, still fighting that battle. This time, my former doctor, who decided to retire, came up with an Italian study showing a combination of certain supplements could help lower the bad cholesterol.

So, I spend about $100 a month on things available only in specialty stores like the Vitamin Cottage. It involves six different supplements. I am rattling when I walk. But, it might help, who knows?
I also still take Cholestyramine, which is a powder you mix with water twice a day, and Niaspan timed released niacin, and 4 grams of fish oil each day.
I take more pills for cholesterol than I do for HIV. Isn't that a hoot!?

I just finished three weeks of physical therapy. My back was killing me, mainly because I haven't kept up with my exercising. Now, I am going to a continuation of  therapy that entails me working with a specialist who is tailoring a routine to meet my needs. Sounds expensive, but its only $30 a month, which is less than the gym membership was before I dropped it last year.

I decided to take this route instead of pain meds. Those are a dead-end street. I know too many people whose lives depend on the scripts, and the panic they go through if the scripts are delayed even for a day or two.
Nope, not for me. I can deal with pain pretty well, and I would rather learn to live with it than live on opiates and the side effects they cause.

The COPD is pretty well controlled, but I received a letter from Optum Rx, which manages the prescription coverage for my insurer, letting me know they are ceasing to cover one of the inhalers I take. No reason given, but I wonder if it wasn't one of those price hikes appearing with older meds.

So, I may have to switch or learn to live with just the single inhaler. I had to switch to this one because Advair contained a medication the doctor told me interacted with my HIV meds.

All in all, not too bad for someone who is in their 60th year. Halfway between 59 and 60, who'd a thought I would live this long?


Title: Re: Hmmm, getting older, eh?
Post by: J.R.E. on November 08, 2016, 06:49:13 pm
Hi all,

It's the getting older stuff that is rearing its head.



I agree Mark,....   And with the polls closing here in Florida,  in one hour and 15 minutes,  I think, I am aging quite quickly now.  :) My heart valves are a fluttering !

Will reply more,  later on to this thread, as soon as Hillary Clinton is announced as the winner, and I can have a sigh of relief !  Meantime, I am glued to the TV !

Ray  8)
Title: Re: Hmmm, getting older, eh?
Post by: DANIELtakashi on November 08, 2016, 07:58:32 pm
From Japan.

I am glued to TV waiting for the announcement that Hillary is a winner.
I just cannot imagine our prime minister having a bilateral meeting with Trump or Trump being with our emperor at the imperial banquet at the palace in Tokyo.
Title: Re: Hmmm, getting older, eh?
Post by: DANIELtakashi on November 08, 2016, 10:08:01 pm
Sorry that l jumped to the US presidential issue without greetings to the poster.
I have been just overwhelmed on this special day.

Mark, thank you for being there.
Title: Re: Hmmm, getting older, eh?
Post by: pozniceguy on November 14, 2016, 06:59:41 pm
Mark  glad to hear  you are persevering  and totally agree  about  "pain" meds   seen  so much bad  come from those    .. .many  friends  now  "hooked" ... cholestrerol  seems to be  one of the  most  persistent issues  ,others  seem to respond  better  to
'treatment''  had a few  on going jumps on cholesterol numbers .myself . good and bad .. so  kinda a nuisance  to treat  but  you obviously have the positive attitude  that says you will survive   so  nice hear from you  and start planning that next  Train Journey....couple of friends  went on the train trip  in Mexico...  still raving about  it  since  July

Title: Re: Hmmm, getting older, eh?
Post by: lipoenvy on December 05, 2016, 05:55:37 am
Hi Mark,

I too have been having angina, but in my case there's enough coronary artery blockage and probable heart wall damage that a full angiogram and stents are scheduled in a couple of weeks. 34 years of inflammation from HIV does tend to take its toll. I'm also switching meds to a regimen that does not include abacavir. Not expecting it will suddenly clear everything up, but it might make the battle slightly less uphill.

Your body sure is stubborn about the cholesterol thing.

And chronic pain is a bitch. Due to other medications, my partner has limited options for pain control, and has resorted to a TENS unit at times.

Your perseverance is an inspiration.


Title: Re: Hmmm, getting older, eh?
Post by: wolfter on December 05, 2016, 09:16:13 pm
Recently had the nuclear test done also....much worse than the standard one.  But getting older is something none of us in the 30 year year club ever thought possible.  That's something I embrace everytime another issue arises.

Take care buddy
Title: Re: Hmmm, getting older, eh?
Post by: aztecan on January 12, 2017, 11:52:00 pm
I saw the cardiologist again. After all was said and done, he thinks my heart is sound as a bell.
The problem may be coming from GERD. I thought it was under control, but maybe not.
The only other issue that has arisen was during an eye exam. The eye doctor had to reduce the prescription for both my glasses and contacts. Then he said those fateful words: "We sometimes see this in people with your condition."
HIV? No, cataracts. He is only able to correct my vision to 20/25 at this time. My vision will continue to worsen during the next few years, he said.
Once I hit vision that can only be corrected to 20/40, I can have cataract surgery. He explained if it were up to him, he would do it once I hit 20/30, However, insurance won't cover it until 20/40, which is when they will take away your driving privileges because of poor eyesight.
He said the next couple of years may not be too pleasant, because things like light sensitivity and the ability to read will continue to get worse.
Ah, the joys of getting older.


Title: Re: Hmmm, getting older, eh? Oh yeah
Post by: marccram on May 15, 2017, 02:30:03 pm
Howdy 2 you also,

I'm Marc too! but with a c, see?

Surprise to see warning that this topic is here 60 days???oooooh!!!! what 60 days? We may erase it ??..I'm an newbie so I'll just go with the flow.

I too am halfway between 59 and 60, ok minus a month. THE JOYS OF GETTING OLDER. Indeed. Not quite the JOY OF COOKING but, just as long.

I can understand your enumeration of your health issues. I learned I was HIVplus in September 1985.... but I also dropped in on San Fran in 1976 and 1980..so maybe 34 35 37 years plus.

Boy oh boy, I could tell a story. Still telling it. Although technically some times  different from yours. Different presentations from long term exposure to HIV inflammation. I began with AZT ( of which I still take, 100mg, don't ask ) then to the
D drugs, DDI,DDC,d4t. I got neuropathy from them. Then quitting drugs completely, Then starting over, and surprise, still here. p.s. my Doctor(are) brilliant!

So along with p.n I have histoplasmosis (BAT SHIT crazy fungal infection well from bat shit. Some pneumonia ..some other stuff, so now I take them pills, still plural, and then boom... old age.. like wtf. So now it's cholesterol, and organ this organ that failure, AAAAAAAH!!

But, my Mom is 92 and my Dad is 90, so me, thirty years from now, I'll be a fucking cyborg, with adaptable vision modes.

I also have a few older canadian white male advantages. All the doctors and drugs are covered. Cause I'm on disability. Secure housing. Excellent AIDS service organizations here in Toronto. Whoosh, having that takes a load of your mind.

I came here today to make a comment about something Mark (!another one!) King wrote, but found on the newsy part of the site you can't quite talk to other posters. So I few clicks later and I found the forum and your posts!

Voila, I hope you are well Mark, and if you or anyone else wants to respond maybe they'll keep the topic open.

Hugs, kisses, snuggles and nibbles,


Title: Re: Hmmm, getting older, eh?
Post by: aztecan on May 25, 2017, 02:29:18 am
Hi Marc,

I envy your having Canadian health care, etc. It sounds like you have had quite a time of it through the years.

My doctor tells me I should write a book. I would have to censor some of the more lurid details of my youth or nobody would publish it.

Life has its ups and downs, but it is quite an adventure.



P.S. I have fond memories of Montreal. I haven't made it to Toronto as yet.