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.
For the last year I have been hospitalized after every vacation or trip I took or take. Either my karma was off or the illnesses just seemed particularly strong!! After our summer experience in London and Northern England, the last hospitalization came sadly almost as an expectation.
The drugs I use to control my neuropathy and HIV-associated bipolar have been back to wreaking havoc on my stomach. They have caused an intractable case of nausea and vomiting due to a gastric slowing and gastroparesis. Three weeks in the hospital and three weeks at home on IV therapy and I'm still working toward recovery!! I'm looking forward to ditching these IVs although my home health nurse is particularly nice!
For those out there thinking HIV is no big deal, I think I'd say otherwise as we continue to adjust antivirals and treatment plans and look forward to the future!! Not a big deal? Easy to take a few pills a day and get on with your life??? Maybe; it doesn't seem to come that easy for me and I know I'm not alone.
Staying current with all the treatment news, hope and hype is also somewhat of a full-time job. Add in managing my overall care through Workers Comp, two major hospital systems, one primary doc and now at least seven specialists recurring in my care and it's no wonder I feel busy all the time!! PT three times a week for overall strength, core conditioning, balance and mobility support gives me hope although it's a long process and my neuromuscular aspects just seem to have a mind of their own! This year I picked up a new walker ... I have yet to really use it but it's been prescribed now several times.
This fall I am also venturing out on the Poz HIV Cruise in November and am so excited to enjoy the experience, learn some new information and rejuvenate my senses aboard Princess Cruise Lines to some fabulous Mexican destinations and ports!
I have my second cataract surgery scheduled so finally I will be able to get my vision corrected; the new lens in my left eye is doing great from my surgery a year and a half ago!! I am also optioning to have a hysterectomy to cure some female issues and while in my treatment process with everything I am grateful that as an aside I'll no longer have to worry about an increased risk of cervical cancer!
So busy??? Yep!! Enjoying the madness??? Definitely it's when I do my best work. :-) Hopeful to end the year on a happy, healthy note and as my family and friends can clearly see -- you can't knock a girl down for trying!!
Really all I'm trying to do is live, love and survive with this deadly virus. My schedule may be nuts but it takes all of these elements collectively to wrap around my services and keep me healthy and functioning. So this month as we start all of the educational pursuits and my family continues to grow and thrive ... I welcome you to continue to read my blogs as I post and hope with me for a healthful last quarter of 2015!
Whatever you do or where you are at with your own HIV status -- my best advice: have fun and LIVE ... It can be done even with exceptional obstacles in your way. Coordination, planning and being willing to think outside of the box. Live, love and hope!!! Be well, think positive and whatever you do -- TRY (in honor of my daughter who was just cast as Maureen in her first college mainstage production of Rent) to think and remember -- there is still no day but today, live and love in the moment and treasure each memory. You know I'll be out there doing the same!
Until next time!
|Looking Forward to the Next 22!|
|Hanging on for the Ride|
|Checking Back in After My Long Hospitalizations|
|More Personal Accounts of Women With HIV/AIDS|
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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