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Author Topic: after 17 yrs, over 300 and the 1st yr undetectable  (Read 3338 times)

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Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
after 17 yrs, over 300 and the 1st yr undetectable
« on: May 15, 2009, 12:22:05 AM »
May is an odd month of "anniversaries" for me. I still mourn for Randy who has been gone for 15 years; while I am still in some deep grief that Jim has been gone for the first year now. My domain (reigningpages.com) and computer-help "business" (ReigningPages/ComputerTutor) are both 11 years old this month. And at my doctor appt. yesterday, I found out that I first started seeing this doctor 8 years ago this month.

Back then, about a year and a half after my second hospitalization with pneumonia and back off any meds (resistance issues and there were no more meds to try), I only had 44 t-cells and my viral load was 176,000. I switched to this doctor, who was much kinder than my previous doctor* and more willing to try the newer meds coming out in 2001 to find a combo that would work for me. (*looking back now, I see that my first doctor was having personal issues watching his AIDS patients passing away. He's now been banned from the area hospitals and is having many legal problems from his drunk-driving.) Unfortunately by May, 2003, I was back down to 69 t-cells and a viral load of 300,000. However, the doc and I finally got the right combo that didn't make me sick and was going the trick (Reyataz, Norvir, Viread, Videx EC). By May 2004, thanks to my doc's help, my adherence and the love of a good man, I reached my first undetectable viral load ever in those first 14 years of having AIDS.
Now, for the second time in the last 12 years, my t-cells have actually gone higher than 300. Back in Feb of 2007, they climbed to 311, before falling back into the low 200 range that has keep me on Bactrim (as a prophylaxis against PCP pneumonia) for all the years. Unbelievably, the results this time came back at a super 305! And since it's been a year since the last time I had a blip in my viral load (2500 in 4/08), I just lived my first whole year (out of the last 17) with an undetectable viral load the whole year!!
I had some extra good news out of this visit to see the doctor - I get to drop a med!! With my t-cells holding so stable, I don't have to take the antibiotic Bactrim anymore. Of course, that isn't the one that makes me barf, so I would have happily kept on taking it LOL (norvir is the culprit in the nausea). It'll be odd not taking this pill as it's the ONE med that I have never slacked off taking in the 11 years since I last had pneumonia. But I'm sure not complaining about losing a med - no way! I started off taking 24 pills a day, hit a high of 32, and now I'm down to only 6 a day - 2 first thing in the morning and 4 with dinner every night. WooHoo!

The only downside on this visit to see the doctor was my doctor himself. He seemed a bit envious of how healthy I looked and my incredibly low 146 cholesterol level. Not surprising either, as he was also looking pretty gaunt, like he had been through some sort of illness himself. I probably should have just asked if he had been ill; but I was surprised by the change in him since the first of the year. I sure hope he's doing okay. I've already outlived two partners, 8 cooker spaniels, and a ton of friends, I'll be very distressed, if my "quit-smoking curse" acts up and I end up outliving my doctor too. ::) ;D

celebrating 305 tcells and 90+ days smoke-free,
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

All the stars are flashing high above the sea
and the party is on fire around you and me
We're gonna burn this disco down before the morning comes
- Pet Shop Boys

chart from 1992-2015

Offline aztecan

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  • 32 years positive, 60 years a pain in the butt
Re: after 17 yrs, over 300 and the 1st yr undetectable
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2009, 02:51:13 AM »
Hey Mikie,

Congrats on the T-cells!  ;D

Oh, and the three months of smoke-free living. That is fantastic.

Keep it up!



(Who still is glad he quit smoking.)
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline AndyArrow

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  • Posts: 1,196
Re: after 17 yrs, over 300 and the 1st yr undetectable
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2009, 04:39:11 AM »
What wonderful news!  Thanks for sharing and great big congratulations!!!

Hugs & Stuff,
It is not the arrival that matters.  It is the journey along the way. -- Michel Montaigne

Offline bear60

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  • Posts: 4,105
Re: after 17 yrs, over 300 and the 1st yr undetectable
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2009, 08:31:10 AM »
Its great that you can celebrate the GOOD STUFF.....congrats.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline MOONLIGHT1114

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  • Posts: 1,918
  • Cheech 2.2.94 - 4.23.10 We miss you so much!
Re: after 17 yrs, over 300 and the 1st yr undetectable
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2009, 09:27:35 PM »
Hi Mikie~

I just got back online after a few months away.  I am so glad to read your good report!  I know you've had it rough, esp last year with Jim.  You are such a good soul, Mikie, and I only wish good things for you!  Yay!

~ Cindy
HIV+ since '93, 1/12 - CD4 785 and undet.   WOO-HOO!!


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