Here We Go Again: Lab Results and My Fears
February 7, 2011
Here we go again! Yes, that is what I always say to myself. Every 4 to 6 months I go through this s**t !! After so long, I should be used to this, but I am not! I have so much fear and anxiety like 1 week, or even longer, before I go to see my doctor for the results ... I am a very positive person, but I am human and I have my fears! Especially when I see people around me telling me their T cells went down and their viral load is up ... And my worst fear, they have become resistant to the medication that they are used to already! I mean give me, them, all of us, a break! And then again, who am I to freaking complain?! Do I just want to have the perfect life with this illness?? Which would be FINE to being HIV positive! Even taking my medication ... but without all the things that come with it! Like no side effects, no body changes, no toxicity, no resistance, just a medication I can take even if it's for the rest of my life ... but knowing that my immune system will be OK and viral load will be dormant.
People will probably think, "damn Maria, stop complaining, or stop thinking negative!" Or as my partner, Lisa, and my Mom tell me, "EVERYTHING WILL BE OK!" But how do they really know? I know and I even preach this, we have to live one day at a time and not stress about the future, because the future is uncertain. But I just get scared like a little girl every time. I literally shake, can't sleep ... my mind doesn't stop thinking. I know that everything we put out there, we attract back (LAW OF ATTRACTION) ... and I know for a fact stress itself can lower my immune system. With all that, I am realistic. I know that there is the possibility of resistance which is my FEAR. I am scared to put more medication in my system that I am not used to or even harsher than the ones I take now. I fear what comes with those medications ... like body changes, maybe more neuropathy, just more toxicity.
I am so strong and I try to have these conversations with myself, "come on Maria think positive!!" But in the back of my mind I know it can change any day. I guess I feel guilty or I don't know what I feel exactly! Because I am not at my worst but then again I am not at my best ... maybe I am just going in circles. UGHH, maybe I just know too much! I mean, if I would have wrote this 2 days ago, this blog would of been all over the place.
Let me just try to express how I feel now. I got my results yesterday ... I went to my doctor's office and asked the girl in the front desk for a copy of my lab results because my social worker needs them. Yeah, my social worker did ask me for them, but I could have waited for my doctor to give me my results! But I had to get done with this little torture I put myself through. She said, "well, I don't know how to read the labs!" I said, "No worries, I do!"
I mean, was she even supposed to give me those lab results without the doctor reading them first!?
So here I am ... while my wife Lisa is video taping all my moments with her phone, I'm desperately looking through everything and reading everything! Yay, my viral load is less than 48 copies! Hmmm, my T cells went down a little, but that is OK! Lisa is telling me "you see, everything is good ... I told you!" And I am just reading and reading. I am looking for the percentage of my whole immune system, and see that everything is basically the same. Yes, my T cells went down from like 304 to 274 but I don't worry about that, because I look at my percentage and it is the same. I probably brought my own T cells down with my own stress ... smh (shaking my head)!
Lesson learned? NONE.
The truth is, THIS IS ME! Everyone is different. Some people are just more calm and some more nervous or intense! And as the years pass, I just get more scared! Because it has been many years and how long can I be so lucky? But then again, I know that is not the way to think ... so you see, this is the confusion in my brain. I know what I should do and how I should act but I guess my personality or my FEARS get the best of me. All I know is that I don't have to worry about this S**T for another 4 months ... well most likely I'll drag it for 6 months. One less thing to worry about and just continue being adherent to my medication and all that good stuff. For now, I am happy about my results! Especially the undetectable (viral load) part! And I know how some think, "You are worrying too much! You can die of a heart attack tomorrow!" or "We all are going to die someday!" I know this! And it's not that I am scared to die! Because really, I am not! Or am I?? Oh my god, how confusing! I really think I am not (afraid to die), I just want to continue taking the same medication without anymore problems that I already have until some new genetic medication with no toxicity comes along. Is that too much to ask?? Maybe it is considering the crisis we are having in our country, or better yet, in the whole world with people wanting their medication so badly and they can't afford it. Just here in Florida it is soooo bad! People will be with no medicine and ADAP has thousands of people on a waiting list! I bet you if they talked to me they would say, "HEY let's trade places!" I guess I would also! But we all go through our own cycles. So for now I am well, as I already knew my doctor told me everything is fine..etc etc.. and I am looking forward to Valentine's with my wifey/partner Lisa. We are going to see Andrea Bocelli!! Yay!
And then Feb 16, I will go see my rock (my mother) in Colombia! I really can't wait! This is something I look forward to every year! Nothing like home cooked meals from your mother and her love! She takes such good care of me! I mean, I get 120 percent nutrition over there. Everything is so natural! Time to RELAX, I really need this ...
I guess we all have fears ... I hope there will come a point where I don't have them anymore! Or less fear ... this is my goal.
I feel so much better, much more positive and calm.
Until the next time ...
Love and Light
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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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