Hiding When I Am Sick Is Not a Good Thing
April 8, 2014
This April will be my 25th anniversary living with HIV. The last 2 years of living with HIV have been the hardest for me and many do not know this. I don't like to show or tell people when I feel ill, and it is very frustrating for me to know that I am doing everything I am supposed to and then some, and still feel like I am a baby -- exposure to any virus or bug and I am sick once again. It seems I haven't been able to catch a break as far as getting ill and I have written before about feeling stuck ... never completely ill for a hospitalization and never 100 percent healthy to feel good.
For those of you that know me, you know I am a hard worker and when I have energy I get so happy that I run myself out!! I know I have to take it easy, but it seems like I am feeling more weak more days, so those days that I am ok I want to live to the fullest and live intensely!! I am so grateful to my mother who prays for me daily and motivates me from far away. I don't like to tell her I am not feeling well because it worries her. :( But in those moments of despair I finally tell her "Where is the God you pray to???" And I get in this dark hole I do not like. :( I am very spiritual and I get these angry feelings and have these conversations with God and tell him, "Please!!! I know that I brought this on myself, but pleaseeeeee where are you? When are you going to heal me or just take me? Why do we have to suffer???" I know as always there are people a million times worse than me. I am blessed ... but no one else's pain is less than. We all have our own sorrows and cross that we carry. My problem is not having HIV, or taking my meds, etc., etc. My problem is doing everything I can to be healthy and still getting sick monthly with some type of infection, etc. So many antibiotics all the time, and just being so tired and fatigued to even do normal things. People that have their health just don't know how lucky they are! Please listen to me if you are newly diagnosed!!! Do not wait as I did for 10 years to have no T cells and get sick to start treatment. The sooner the better! And if you do not have HIV, pleaseeeeeeeeeee protect yourself! This bitch of HIV/AIDS is horrible and it is no joke! Most long-term survivors like myself go through this ... it's not easy. HIV with aging is a bitch, really.
I decided to be a normal human and I asked for help yesterday from an admin I highly respect in my international support group in FB, Martha Lang. She made me realize that all that I am preaching to others, I am not doing for myself. I need advice, support and need to start listening to my body again. I am pro-natural and alternative therapies and there are some things I am lacking like protein because I don't really eat things with much protein and also some other things I am very happy to try. It is not normal for me to be undetectable for almost 14 years (which is when I started meds) and for my T cells and percentage to be so low. I have never been above 450 and now it's in the 300s. Mind you I don't smoke, don't really drink, I eat super healthy, drink fluids, exercise, take my meds every day etc., etc. There is a missing link as my friend Martha told me. And there is! I need to ask my body questions and ask it what it needs and I will do it.
I also feel bad sometimes when I complain about not feeling good, because many people that follow me find their hope through me, and I feel like they will get scared if they see me break down or feeling vulnerable. But I have to think of me. I can't be good to help if I am in turmoil myself and I am human!
I am also so thankful for my wife Lisa who is there for me 24/7. But at the same time I feel she deserves to live a normal life with someone that is healthy. I feel guilty, but she says and reminds me that I am worthy and that she chose to go through this with me. <3 How special is that? For those that judge me (us) for loving each other, think before you speak! This is not about sex. This is pure and unconditional love! It doesn't matter what gender we are.
I have decided I am going to continue asking for help and showing the reality of what living with HIV is for me! I can't hide anymore and I will not do that to myself. I will fight till the end.
I accept I am vulnerable.
I accept whatever life has for me.
I accept that I can get weak sometimes and this doesn't mean I am not a fighter.
I accept that I don't have control all the time.
I accept that I need help from others.
I accept that it is ok to feel angry.
I accept I don't know it all.
I accept with an open heart and with all my flaws I am human.
Love and light,
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 TheBody.com to ensure all people have access to the highest quality treatment information available. The Well Project receives no advertising revenue from TheBody.com 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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Time to Show My Face and Take the Stigma Away
Maria T. Mejia
I am a 37-year-old 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.
Read more blogs by women living with HIV/AIDS at "A Girl Like Me"
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