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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Hold Tight ...

By Rae Lewis-Thornton

October 13, 2010

I always say expect the unexpected because you never know where your blessing will come from or how it will come. Lately I've been feeling as if God was silent in my life. I've taken a very hard hit with my health and I've been overwhelmed beyond words. Last night after a very long day of dealing with doctors I went to bed with a wounded spirit.

Today I woke up to a dark, gloomy day with thunderstorms. I didn't think it would get better. With a killer headache from my HIV medication and Sophie in my arms, I decided to linger in bed for a little while longer. I turned on the TV and to my surprise it was breaking news of the Chilean miners being rescued. They were rescuing number 11 when I tuned in. I was happy for them for sure, but it didn't seem to have a impact on my life one way or the other. And then from nowhere it all started to make sense. It blows my mind when and how God shows up. And when He does, you know in your heart that it was just for you. Yes, the thing might bless more than you, but you know it was what you needed at the right time.

Going to commercial break they repeated a quote form the second miner to be rescued Mario Sepulveda Espinace speaking of his reality trapped in the mine. "I was with God and the Devil. They fought and God won. I held on to God's hand, the best hand. And at no point in time did I doubt that God will get me out."

It reached to my very core and reminded me that all I have to do is hold on to God's hand as tight as I can. Our faith is the thing that God wants most from us. It's the thing that will sustain us and the thing that will deliver us. So today, my faith is renewed and from my faith I will gain the strength to complete this journey no matter how difficult it may be. Like Mario said, all I've got to do is hold on as tight as I can and God will surely do the rest.

I was encouraged by Mario. His spirit is phenomenal. He emerged from that mine as if he was at a pep rally. Even in his interview it was clear that God has purpose for his life. I see why the miners chose him as their spokesperson. He said other things that resonated with me also. While it was clear that he was happy to be out of the mine, he didn't waver on his concern for the plight of his people. He used this world wide press event to talk not just about himself but about the plight of his people. It reminded me that God has a purpose for my life and it should always be at the forefront no matter what is going on with my health. My health is the catalyst for the work that God has appointed me to do.

He also made it clear that he is not a celebrity but a worker whose life is committed to this work. WOW! I try to tell people that every day. My go for it attitude and glamorous way of doing it changes nothing. I am my ministry. My life is not my own. It belongs to God. So while the devil and God are fighting it out I will continue to hold on tight just like Mario! I'm grateful for Mario he was clearly a gift from God right on time, at the most unexpected time. God's time is not our time. That is a fact!!

Health Update: Tomorrow I will have an endoscopy and a biopsy of my stomach. The only real way to diagnose this stomach problem I'm having is to go in. I will have to go under anesthesia and the procedure should take about 4-5 hours. With AIDS you can't take anything for granted. My stomach issues can be something as simple as very bad indigestion or I could have a parasite, bacteria or ulcers in my stomach. Tomorrow they will go on a fact finding mission to determine what it is and how to treat me. The doctor has some ideas, but I want it confirmed before I put it out in the universe.

Hold Tight ...
There is still a national shortage of the anti-viral IV medication that I need to treat an infection not related to my stomach issues. So the doctor and I have made the very hard decision to go ahead with the other medication. Now the other medication has pros and cons. The good thing is this infusion is once a week for about 4 hours. Unlike the other IV medication, which is once every day for 4 hours until I'm better.

The con, well it's a big one: renal failure. Yes my kidneys are at risk. So I have to take an additional medication to protect my kidneys. I will take 4 pills 3 hours before the IV infusion, 2 pills 2 hours after the hr IV infusion, and 2 pills 8 hours after the infusion. Now the medication that I will take to protect my kidneys has side effects also. Mainly nausea, but there is a chance that I could have an allergic reaction. The class of medication this belongs to, I don't tolerate to well. And it has created burning rashes before. So we will see. If I have a reaction to this medication to protect my kidneys then I will have to stop everything. Cause keeping my kidneys safe is major.

Hold Tight ...
So how long do I take this IV medication? I don't know. This is all experimental. There is only one published study on using this particular anti-viral medication for my infection. And my doctor has not used this medication in at least ten years. It was typically used for some of the infections people got with AIDS in the old days. So we are gonna have to wing it. Watch my kidneys closely and take it from there. Does the IV medication have other side effects? Yep. But the list is too long. I just have to wait it out and see how it all affects me. And hopefully it will work against this infection as effectively as the other one and I emerge in one piece.

So through all of this I will be holding on tight and asking for your prayers. Also I'm asking that you continue to support my blog. I know I have not been here as often, but your continued support means the world to me and shows potential advertisers that I have a strong following. So please keep coming back weekly, and tell your friends ...

This article originally appeared on Rae's Web site, Diva Living With AIDS.

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See Also
Ten Things You Can Do to Enhance Your Emotional Well-Being
More on Getting Support From Religion / Spirituality
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Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton

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.

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