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When Our Lab Results Are Not Normal

A Video Blog

October 13, 2011

This article was cross-posted from "A Girl Like Me," a program of The Well Project.

Fear, Strength, Positive Thinking and Conversations With Your Specialist

Well, my latest lab work showed that my ALT and AST levels are a little up! This has to do with my liver enzymes. When I received the news and read my lab work and saw that my enzymes were up, I freaked out! I mean I really got unbalanced and very anxious and nervous! We, as HIV positive people, always have to go through this every time we get our blood work done! I have been through this for 20 years and as the years pass and more of the meds are in our system, actually it is a scarier feeling for me!

One of the things that made me stumble is that I have never had my liver enzymes up so now the journey is to find out the cause of it! I had my blood work done today again and I hope -- and have a positive mind -- that they will get back to normal. If, by any chance, they continue to go up they will have a liver ultrasound done on me!

It is very important to ask questions (as you see in my video with my HIV specialist)! I am very proactive with my doctor as you can see and I love the way he has patience and knows that I have a normal fear! I mean the liver is no JOKE! So as I always knew and I already had done some research on alternative supplements, he suggested even before I was going to ask him about milk thistle! I am going to start it today! It is supposed to detox your liver.

I am the type of person that will do anything in my power to keep myself alive and healthy! And as Dr. Santiago mentions, this is what probably has kept me alive for so many years. Please we must learn to read our lab work! If your doctor is not giving you enough information or does not want to deal with a person that asks too many questions ... CHANGE YOUR DOCTOR. This is an example of what a good HIV specialist is! Dr. Santiago is realistic, but at the same time gives me options and hope for better medication that is coming out!

I have been trying to keep my anxiety level as low as possible but as you can see in the video I didn't sleep well and I look a little stressed and nervous. I am real and I can't always show a strong face ... I have to show the reality of what this virus is! IT'S NO JOKE! But I will keep fighting to the end! I thank my wife, mother, friends on Facebook like Ken Whitcomb, who was the first person I told besides my partner Lisa, and gave me peace of mind! And all the others who have been sending me so much love and healing energy and prayers! This is the perfect combination to live longer and healthier lives! Starting from a good support system, a wonderful doctor like Dr. Santiago and the wonderful people from the "international place for people with HIV/AIDS and the people who love us!" This is a group that I founded for those infected and affected on Facebook, and it has really been a blessing because by creating it, I also found that support system that I also need for myself.

Last, but not least, after the initial shock and trying to keep myself strong, a positive mind and visualizing that my ALT and AST are going to be back to normal again! Seeing myself in bright light and the mental power that we must have to keep ourselves strong and without those normal fears! True enough my levels are not really high, but I don't want them to get any higher! I will be getting my results soon and hope that everything can go back to my normal. And if it doesn't, I will do as I always do and TACKLE IT head on! I am a fighter and warrior! and I am not going to get myself sick over negative results. It is a part of having HIV/AIDS. But when we catch things early, we can do something about it!

Again to everyone, it is very important that you research, learn to read your labs and after you control your fears if they come back with negative results ... find ways to make them better. It starts with the PATIENT RELATIONSHIP with your doctor.

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This article was provided by The Well Project. Visit The Well Project's Web site to learn more about their resources and initiatives for women living with HIV. The Well Project shares its content with to ensure all people have access to the highest quality treatment information available. The Well Project receives no advertising revenue from or the advertisers on this site. No advertiser on this site has any editorial input into The Well Project's content.
See Also
HIV Medications: When to Start and What to Take -- A Guide From
More Viewpoints and Personal Accounts on Choosing and Working With HIV Specialists


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Time to Show My Face and Take the Stigma Away

Maria T. Mejia

Maria T. Mejia

I am a Colombian female who lives in Miami, Florida. I've been positive for 20 years. Although almost all my life I've been in long-term relationships with HIV-negative men, I am happily married to a woman who is wonderful and caring. We have been together almost three years and she is HIV negative. I have no children but we will look into having! I am an activist, a peer educator, a caregiver. I volunteered for the Red Cross in education for the Hispanic HIV community and also the American community. I was a pre- and post-test counselor. I have spoken in many conferences and done a lot of outreach in the community, especially in the schools for prevention and education. It is part of my everyday life to educate everyone I can on this subject. Being HIV positive is nothing to be ashamed about! We are strong women, and we will take away all the stigmas slowly but we have to open up.

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Read more blogs by women living with HIV/AIDS at "A Girl Like Me"

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The Well Project shares its content with to ensure all people have access to the highest quality treatment information available. The Well Project receives no advertising revenue from or the advertisers on this site. No advertiser on this site has any editorial input into The Well Project's content.

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