Get Outta My Head, You Crazy Virus!
Living With Memory Loss
May 19, 2014
Sometimes people ask me what's the worst part about having AIDS. Over the years my answer has changed dramatically depending which symptom I was facing or side effect from the medication was particularly cumbersome. Right now, however, the most debilitating in my mind is my horrific and progressive memory loss. I don't remember how long I truly have been battling this but I do know that in the past two years it has risen to a crisis in my mind. People try to make me feel better by paralleling my experience with theirs due to age or depression or menopause. It doesn't really help me. Most times it just makes me feel more distraught.
Spring Has Sprung and Remembering My HIV Anniversary Date
April 27, 2014
I love Spring! It's my favorite time of the year. I actually find people to be a little friendlier: they smile more, they are more relaxed, their eyes are brighter, their steps are quicker, there's a lilt of happiness in their voice.
Lesson From the Freeways: Longtime HIV Survival and the Things Money Can't Replace
March 3, 2014
It's been said that you aren't a true Angeleno until you have your first traffic accident on our freeways. Well without having a true competition in our household, the fact remains that I beat my husband in this category by approximately six years. He was just indoctrinated this past week in his own five-car pile-up. Luckily in both our cases no one was seriously injured, but the sight of the ambulances, fire crews, police cars and navigating multiple cars to the side of the freeway in ongoing busy traffic is unnerving itself. Then there's the damage to the vehicles, the insurance claims, the inconvenience of repairs, rental cars and any out-of-pocket expenses. Needless to say it's a hell of a way to become a true Angeleno!
We All Fall, and We All Get Up
January 14, 2014
2014. Wow. Just looking at that number in print can be astounding for many. For me truthfully it makes me both excited and just really really tired.
Managing Stress Has Set Me Free!
December 20, 2013
Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I adore the holidays. I love the music, the good will and the happy spirits. I like to plan and deliver the gifts that I give to my children. I participate in toy drives with a loving heart and I always try to remember what the season truly is about.
Amid HIV Stigma and Negativity, Celebrating the 'Lollipops and Butterflies'
December 6, 2013
I remember a few years back when my oldest son had become quite a handful as he entered his teen years. In between his monosyllabic grunts and barely audible moans we were supposed to interpret his needs or better yet be amazingly adept mind-readers just to get through each 24-, no make that 12-hour, time period. He came out on the other side of those years OK and is doing really great. We as his parents wear our badges of bravery and show our scars proudly, especially in front of our 14-year-old son, as if to say, "you try any of that S**T, we have YOUR NUMBER ... Don't even think about it Bucko!!" So far, so good ... but really the parenting season has only just begun. It gets harder as they get older, we have found; don't let anyone convince you otherwise.
Restarting HIV Meds and Trying Magnet Therapy
October 29, 2013
Wow! I can hardly believe it's the end of October; Halloween is upon us and fall is in full glory! Living in California and being born and raised on the East Coast, I miss the change (the true change) of seasons and all the little smells, feelings and beauties it provides. Granted there were plenty of times I didn't appreciate them then but like other losses along the way, I sure do now! Living the LA life has made me a wimp when it comes to temperature changes. The rain and fog here are felt in my bones and the cool dips of temperature in the evenings at times make me want to break out that old winter parka!
Why Cry When You Can Laugh About It?
October 16, 2013
I'm not sure where to even begin this blog today. Since finding out I have HIV dementia, it seems my life has literally turned upside down. I've suffered through several losses of my independence. However there have truly been some really comical moments. Most have seemed funnier when I stepped away and looked back at myself not when I was right in the moment. However my friends and family members found them hysterical at the actual time they were occurring.
Talking to My Teens About Life, Sex and HIV
September 23, 2013
I have three teenagers, 18, 16 and 14. If I could, I would probably want to lock them away in some high tower and let them out after their teen and young adult years passed by so that I could enjoy them fully again and I could know that the risks in their lives could be minimized once again. Did you know that the average brain is not even fully developed until the age of 25? Yet teens every day face enormous challenges in decision making coupled with peer pressure and insecurity and many times can't even pull from the recesses of their brains to help them make healthy, and positive choices. When my friends and I say that we are raising our teens as a collaborative process, we mean it. We are living by the slogan, "It takes a village to raise a child." In our case it may be a virtual village, but it's a village alright and one I'm not sure I could live without.
Happy 21st Anniversary to Me -- Giving Thanks for a Precious Gift
September 9, 2013
September 9th is the 21st anniversary of the day I became infected. That means my virus is legal now. It's time for it to grow up and face the music. It should realize by now that I am a fighter -- with or without my HIV drugs I intend to survive day by day, week by week, month by month and yes, year by year. We can peacefully cohabitate until a cure comes as long as it agrees to behave. If not then I will continue to launch an assault every time I get a new symptom until I get my body back under my control. 21 years or not, I will never let this virus get the upper hand.
Get Outta My Head, You Crazy Virus!
Lynda Arnold, RN, BSN, MBA, was one of the first health care workers to go public after her occupational infection with HIV by an accidental needlestick in 1992. She successfully launched a nationwide campaign for safer needles in hospitals and medical facilities which resulted in the passage of federal legislation mandating the use of such devices in facilities nationwide to protect all health care workers from accidents such as hers. For many years she was a sought-after speaker on living with HIV/AIDS as well as health care worker safety issues, and she traveled the globe educating others. She garnered many awards, national distinctions, authored two children's books, and was the subject of an award-winning documentary. After the birth of her youngest son, Lynda chose to step away from the public eye and focus on raising her young family without the spotlight. As a blogger for TheBody.com, this marks her reentry into the public eye -- 20 years after her infection. She can be reached for further engagements, commentary and questions through her email.
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May 23, 2016 - Gender Inequality and HIV in South Africa: Learning From Dr. Wendee Wechsberg of RTI's Global Gender Center -- A Blog Entry by Lynda Arnold
February 1, 2016 - Universes Collide: Volunteerism, Charlie Sheen and My Depression -- A Blog Entry by Lynda Arnold
November 24, 2015 - Reflect and Refocus With HIV: A Blog Entry by Lynda Arnold
September 18, 2015 - In the Hustle and Bustle of Fall, No Day but Today! A Blog Entry by Lynda Arnold
May 6, 2015 - Looking Forward to the Next 22! A Blog Entry by Lynda Arnold
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