Each Day Renders a Right Now
By Rae Lewis-Thornton
November 21, 2013
This piece originally appeared in Rae's blog, Diva Living With AIDS.
Well, here I go again!! I started IV medication last Tuesday and this week makes round two. I know for sure that I least have one more round. What a way to spend Thanksgiving week! Things had been going great until now. Other than recovering from the liposuction, I really can't complain. By the way, the healing from the liposuction is going well to! The swelling is going down daily. The doctor said it will take about 3-4 months to fully recover.
It's seems that this lifestyle change I have under gone with my diet and exercise is rendering some great results. My Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) was under control and I was feeling better overall. I wasn't blogging much, not sure why because I have lots to say, but I was pressing my way in other ways.
Then BAM, here I go again. So my life is turned upside down again. I'm sick as shit from the side-effects of the IV medication. Nausea and fatigue is the order of the day. Yesterday, I was so sick the smell of food made me sicker. I'm too weak to workout and cook and juicing went to hell in a hand basket. So this week I realized that my IBS is flaring up yet again. Yep, I'm constipated yet again. So for sure I know now that juicing and working out was actually the thing to get my bowels moving and was the thing that was making me feel better overall.
It's seems that this herpes continues to be the thorn in my flesh. It's been almost four months since my last round of IV medication and I was hopeful that it would be much longer before I had to travel this round again.
But basically I have drug resistant herpes. A very aggressive genital herpes that has been complicated by my impaired immune system. Herpes also attacks my nervous system causing nerve pain in my back and feet mostly. For the last 7 years, the only thing that will treat this form of herpes is two very aggressive anti-viral medications taken intravenously, cidofovir and foscarnet. I'm on cidofovir now. It's a once a week, all day infusion at the chemo infusion clinic and it wipes me out.
Yesterday I was so sick that I didn't want to do anything but be. It seems that this round is taking a toll on me. Typically, I'm able to bounce back and get back to some of my normal routine about 3 days after the infusion. Which is great, because I'm able to be human again before I have to go back for the next round.
But this time I'm just not bouncing back and that has left me with a funky attitude. I hate having a funky attitude, but being all chipper is hard when you feel like crap. I don't know how those, happy go-lucky, praise the lord people do it. You know what I'm talking about. You ask, "How ya doing?" and they say, "blessed and highly favored!!!" in that cheerleader beat and the world is falling down around them. Me on the other hand, I be like, "How the fuck you think I'm doing,?" *hangs head*
I just don't have it in me to fake it, until I make it. There's something about faking it, that adds an extra burden. Not only do you have to figure out how to keep your head above water, but then you gotta find extra energy, keeping that cheerleader beat. It's easier for me to just sit still, accept that my capacity is limited and take the time to get better. In the end, I can give an honest answer about how I feel. And y'all know that honesty is my only policy!!
I've done real well in seeking out alternative methods to be as healthy as I possibly can both physically and emtionally, and for sure I'm still searching. I'm thinking about adding medication to my routine and that my help me get through those dark moments a tad better. For now, I just listen to a little gospel music and cuddle with my baby girl, Sophie.
Living with HIV/AIDS and all the complications that come with it, could be a full time job. It certainly is a life style of its own. But even so, each new day renders a right now. So instead of faking it, I'm embracing the right now and seeking avenues to make the right now better. There is healing in the honesty of your right now. There's an African Proveb that I love and take that with me in all things, in all areas of my life, "He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured." Embrace your right now in truth.
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Rae Lewis-Thornton Speaks
Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award-winning AIDS activist who rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with AIDS in a cover story for Essence Magazine. She has lived with HIV for 27 years and AIDS for 19. Rae travels the country speaking and challenging stereotypes and myths about HIV/AIDS. She has a Master of Divinity degree and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Church History. Rae has been featured on Nightline, Dateline NBC, BET and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as in countless magazines and newspapers, including Emerge, Glamour, O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Jet, Ebony, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few. She earned the coveted Emmy Award for a first-person series on living With AIDS for Chicago's CBS News.
Rae is an active user of social media -- read "Long-Term HIV Survivor Discovers the Power of Twitter," an article on TheBody.com about Rae's social media activities.
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