Often the battle with HIV is not only against the virus itself, but it is against the stigmas that surround those who are affected by the virus. We have all experienced negative stigmas surrounding our HIV status or stigmas related to any other chronic illness, and we each have stories that we could tell about how those experience have effected us personally.
I may not be the best looking, have abs of steel, be 6 feet tall, an awesome haircut, or have a wonderful partner to hold me. In truth, you probably would not even notice me walking down the street. But I do have something in my life that so many are not as fortunate to have. I have peace. Peace with my diagnosis. Peace within my life. Peace about the choices I've made, be they bad or good. Yes, at times my life gets turned upside down and I can get pretty depressed, but with everything, that too passes.
As many of you may know my doctor did a series of test and biopsies earlier this year to test for certain types of anal cancer and those test came back showing that I had advanced precancerous tissue and my doctor recommended that I get it treated sooner rather than later.
I love to watch the TV show "Bad Sex" on LogoTV. Mostly it is because I think the host Chris Donaghue is amazingly hot and I have a huge man crush on him, but also because at times it can be a real train wreck. With each episode I find that on some level I am able to relate to something most of the members of the show are going through, it can be some small aspect or it can be the main reason they are there seeking treatment.
To start off, I apologize for it taking so long for me to write another post. I have still yet to hear back from my doctor about the biopsies that were taken at my last appointment, and all this waiting has had me kind of in a funk. Whoever said "No news is good news" didn't know what the hell they were talking about. Not knowing is driving me crazy.
First we went over my lab results from March. Still have an undetectable viral load and my CD4 count is still up around 1000 but my % went from 35% to 40%, which is great. That is the highest percent it has been in years. Usually it stays around 33-35%. Also my liver enzymes, which have been elevated for years, are back to normal levels. The doc said they were the best he has ever seen them. And on top of that I am still losing weight. I am down another 5 lbs. since January, which may not seem like a lot, but for me it is awesome.
Yesterday, I contacted a local tattoo parlor about possibly getting some work done. I have 3 tattoos and 3 piercings. I not only want some new work, but I also want to get some touch-ups on a few of the ones I have. Yes, tattoos and piercings are addictive and once you get one, you always want another.
I received a call this evening from The Marine's Wounded Worrior group that really got me to thinking. It was great to get the call in the respect that it makes me feel like I have not been forgotten and that I am still part of the Marine family that I love so much. But this call got me thinking, which is usually a bad thing. I guess this is just part of the funk I have been in for a while now.
Four years come and gone, and what a hell of a ride it has been.
Today, Feb 23, 2014 marks my four year anniversary of when I was officially diagnosed with HIV. Since then I have had plenty of ups and even more downs, and it has been a slow process but I am finally getting back to feeling more like myself.
Yes, there was a time when I wanted nothing to do with sex. It was right after my HIV diagnosis. I did not feel like even being touched, I truly thought of myself as one of those "untouchables." It has taken some time for me to get that drive back, but boy when I did it came in like flood gates being opened (no pun intended.)