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Exercise and Disability Question
Dec 26, 2012

Hi, Ive been on disability since 07 due to hospitalization due to Aids and Crytococcal menengitis. I =used to work as a blue collar worker but now Im seeing that even if I were to want to go back to work my wife says...no...youll get hurt again or no..its easier this way....or this that and the other. I do get benefits for my son as well. So she decided long ago with her parents he should be put in private school. So, my disability money for him has paid for that for 6 years about 600 a month. My problems is I am in a constant rut that is impossible to get out of. She has a psych degree out of San Diego State and Im just a former Marine and tradesman. So, now instead of working I just work out daily...like a madman...I treadmill 5-6 miles a day. drink gallons of water and lift weights. When I was diagnosed I was near death and spent a month in the hospital. So, now that Im relatively healthy I find myself still in a financial nightmare. Its like damn if I do and damn if I dont. Im 49 so Im wondering if Im putting too much stress on my body by working out so much. I feel better though it just seems a bit impulsive. The alternative would be to sit month to month and wait till nature just takes its course. Ive tried volunteering at Habilitat for Humanity but that was too stressfull on my ankle,,I worked too hard for too long and really took a beating. I also suffered from some cognitive issues from the disease which is frustrating. The only good out of it all is I wrote an autobiography called My Life A Life Story Of A Man Infected. It was published on Amazon and has gotten good reviews. But for me personally Im at the age where I wonder whats it all about and why bother at times. My own father comitted suicide and we were raised in an abusive home in a beach town full of bikers. So I guess my question on aging is ...Am I doing the right thing by working out so much and am I heading in an ok path? It is very complex especially since Im living in NC where I was a Marine once in the 80s. Now I see its not what I expected but I got sick right when we moved here from California. My wife loves it here but Im feeling like a ping pong ball....sorry I know its confusing...Dave

Response from Mr. Vergel

I think you are using exercise to cope with your stress about finances and feelings of not being productive now that you are healthy.

Believe me, I know how this feels. I wrote an article about this:

The Long Term Survivor's Dilemma

If you want to keep your mental health, you really need to look at programs that help veterans get an education for returning to work. Luckily, there are several of such programs: Veterans with Disabilities Returning to Work

Nobody has done a study on the effect of "feeling productive" on survival in HIV or the effect of financial stress. But I can assure you that it is probably a negative one.

It is scary to jump into the work force as we age with HIV. But the benefits of feeling productive and earning money (and interacting with people) should be considered when taking that step.

I would suggest you call the numbers provided in the resource above and start exploring how you can get out of your "rut"

Good luck and please keep me informed.

Nelson



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