Get Outta My Head, You Crazy Virus!
My HIV Anniversary Date, With a Changed Perspective
March 23, 2017
April 7, 2017, marks 24 years living with HIV. This year feels different. I acknowledge the virus that has literally been with me now for half my life, and there are so many times I wonder what my life would be without it. Yet, I feel almost numb to its presence. I'm taking my meds daily, and that's a feat for me because I take a shitload of meds. I almost got into a new gene study, but my drug regimen actually made me ineligible in the end. That bummed me out, but I am in the anchor study for treatment and prevention of anal cancer so that's new for me on the medical front! I have multi-drug resistant HIV and lots of inflammation cardiac, gastrointestinal, nervous system, etc., but hey, bottom line, news flash LOL: I'm still here! I'm so grateful for the life I have, and for the love that surrounds me, and my faith that centers me.
Advocacy Is a War Worth Waging
August 11, 2016
It's been a very busy few months since I last blogged. I am proud to say that I remain undetectable and am adhering to my medication regimen. I just asked my HIV doc about switching to a single, once-a-day regimen and giving that a try again, but with multi-drug-resistant HIV she does not feel that is wise at this point, so again I will wait. Patiently. I'm not always this patient. In fact, sometimes I can be aggressive and demanding. Relentless and single-minded. Driven and determined. Not to mention perceived as quite annoying or even bitchy. Somewhere in that mix, however, is the recipe for a true advocate.
Gender Inequality and HIV in South Africa: Learning From Dr. Wendee Wechsberg of RTI's Global Gender Center
May 23, 2016
My blog entry this month is a little different from my usual writings. I had the opportunity to interview one of the world's leading researchers in gender inequality who specializes in HIV and AIDS. On April 12, 2016, RTI International, a renowned research institute focused on improving the human condition by turning knowledge into solutions, hosted a two-day global gender conference featuring world-renowned researchers, policy-makers, gender experts and survivors sharing their research and developing a plan of action to implement their proven solutions.
Universes Collide: Volunteerism, Charlie Sheen and My Depression
February 1, 2016
The holidays can be difficult times for many. Loss of a loved one, distance from family or friends, illnesses, personal struggles, etc. are all things that make the holiday times trying for many while others bask in the joy and warmth that the seasons of celebration can bring.
Reflect and Refocus With HIV
November 24, 2015
Well, this blog is long overdue.
In the Hustle and Bustle of Fall, No Day but Today!
September 18, 2015
The hustle and bustle of the fall is here. Each year this particular time and season is busy for any parent; but this year not only do I now have a married 20-year-old with a new daughter-in-law, but I have an upperclassman in my youngest son and a new college freshman in my daughter! I would say this school year is as busy as ever for the Arnolds.
Looking Forward to the Next 22!
May 6, 2015
Last month I celebrated twenty-two years since the day I found out I was HIV positive. My long-term memory is so shot but I do remember a lot of things about that day. It's a date that never goes unmarked by me. It was a cold, rainy afternoon in Lancaster, PA. I was scheduled to work the evening shift at Community Hospital in the ICU as usual. The Employee Health Department had called me the day before and told me to stop by and get my test results from the needle stick injury I had received approximately six months earlier, on Sept 9, 1992. I was undergoing routine post-exposure testing. This was no big deal. Once I cleared this hurdle I would have one more test to go at the year mark. It was that simple.
Hanging on for the Ride
February 10, 2015
Well, January is almost over as I write this and it's been a crazy end to 2014 and a wild start to 2015. I've been hospitalized several times already and have had some major life changes, some good, some bad and I'm learning to roll with the punches. The end of the year saw my oldest son get engaged and we had a huge party to celebrate. He's in the Marine Corps and as we welcomed his fiancée into our lives I couldn't be more proud of both of them and it feels great to be here to celebrate that milestone in his life.
Shaking It Off This World AIDS Day
November 29, 2014
My favorite song for this year is by Taylor Swift "Shake it Off." I love the music but I especially find the lyrics fitting. She sings about finding your own beat, doing your own thing, dancing to your own music and shaking it all off! Letting the players play and the haters hate! My future daughter-in-law and I went to the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival this year and she was both startled and upset by the small group of assembled protesters. She stopped to listen as they spewed their hatred and read their hideous poster board signs all as a slight drizzle started to rain down upon us. She wondered why I was not intrigued. I explained that I have been at plenty of events where they had gathered and they were old news. I learned to ignore them as most of the crowd was doing. Why give them the time of day. They were always present at the AIDS WALK as well. Their words were nothing I hadn't heard before; their methods were nothing new.
So Very Thankful!
November 9, 2014
Moving on from October ... finally feeling better, glad to be home here in sunny California and starting to feel the seasons change! Yes we have them -- don't let people tell you otherwise! It's the month of thanks and I have a ton to be thankful for. I guess it was that coming-to-Jesus meeting in the hospital when my fevers were so high and I literally thought "OK, God, I'm not gonna make it am I?" Well, since I did make it out I have turned a new leaf. I'm taking my meds. My numbers are going up -- not quite undetectable but pretty darn close. Not sure I need to be and not gonna stress over it really. Doc is happy. I'm happy. Trying to see if I can stabilize off the Neupogen and clear the neutropenia. To rid myself of twice-weekly injections right now would be pretty cool!
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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March 23, 2017 - My HIV Anniversary Date, With a Changed Perspective: A Blog Entry by Lynda Arnold
August 11, 2016 - Advocacy Is a War Worth Waging: A Blog Entry by Lynda Arnold
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
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