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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Accept the Miracles as They Come!

By Rae Lewis-Thornton

May 11, 2011

This piece originally appeared in Rae's blog, Diva Living With AIDS.

Let me tell you a story.. This is my reality and my truth... A month ago when I finished up my IV treatment for my Herpes infection things were great! That Tuesday, I was beat down from the treatment but other than that, things were wonderful; There was no herpes to be found.

All cleared up, I was one happy camper! I went on the road to speak at Indiana University, then to Indianapolis to spend a day of R and R with my good friend Pastor Mike. But when I woke that Friday morning I was in pain and discomfort. Are You Kidding Me?!?!? Was my first thought.

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I called the doctor and she said the same thing, but took it a step further. She said that it very unlikely that I would be having a new herpes infection again so soon. In fact, she said, the IV medication Cidofvir is still in your system, "No Way! It must be some kind of irritation. So Mike and I had a blast and I put it out of my mind.

But sure enough on Monday, I had an open raw sore that was growing it seemed over night. So we, me and my doctor made plan. The following week I would have yet another biopsy on my clit... I couldn't do it that week because I was on the road both Tuesday and Wednesday, which are our clinic days. I went on road and the herpes lesion grew and grew. And to make matters worst, I didn't take any pain medication because I wanted to be on top of my game, speaking and traveling by myself. And I forget the oral and topical medication to give me a tad of relief. But I kept it moving. I spoke in St. Louis, Visit a wonderful Tea Shop to blog about and fellowship with fellow blogger in pain beyond explanation.

I arrived home on late Thursday evening. That Good Friday, I could barley walk. The herpes virus was working helvic on my nervous system.. That's what it does, and there is no pain worst than nerve pain. That shit wears you OUT! I stayed on the sofa all day and by 7:00 p.m. I was already in bed. As I tweeted throughout the day and really that week, my followers keep me lifted in prayer. But I knew that I knew that I would be back on IV that Tue, just a week after I had ended the four week treatment.

But then I saw a miracle before my eyes. Saturday morning it started to clear up and when I got to the doctors on Tue for the biopsy, she said that it looked like healed herpes and there was no need to biopsy or go back on IV... WOW!! It was my Easter miracle and I was grateful. All I could say was that prayer changes thing.

But then a week later I had another tiny sore in a new place on my vulvar. I went into the doctor last Wednesday and she took three very painful cultures. But from the naked eye, it was clearly herpes.

My doctor sat there puzzled. There is no way.. No way.. No way I should be having another aggressive infection just two weeks off of the IV medication. And to make the confusion worst my T-Cell Count and Viral Load is wonderful. Why I continue to have this particular Opportunist Infection is beyond anything they understand; But so is the miracle of my life. I should have died 15 years ago, with a T-Cell Count of 8 and 3 rounds of PCP, the number one infection that kills people with AIDS, but I didn't.

As I as work though what's next, of course I feel like I'm at the end of the road. For Real.. I'm tried.. I'm tried of being n pain all the time... I'm tired of being reminded by AIDS that I made choices that has left me jacked up.. I'm tired of IV treatment and creams and drops and doctors looking, cutting and poking on my vulva Im tired. And I wonder if any man will look pass my physical and see any worth in me. No one wants to be alone for the rest of their life.

But like I told the graduates at Northeastern on Saturday. There are consequences for every choice you make in life. All I can do is be a woman and except the choices I made about my life and body. Even though my critics have said I was "veil" for telling them that! Deep....

But anyway...Being tired does not mean I want to quit. The contrary, I want all the miracles I can get in my life. I know, that I know, that God is moving in my life so I just hold on with as much Grace and dignity as I can. Even if a man never see value in me, I'm so grateful that God can.

But at the end of the day, with a pain wrecked body, I accept the miracles as they come with gratitude. If this week it seems like my world is about to crumble... I will hold on to the miracle of last week... It will keep me grounded and remind me that God can!

Post Script: Right now, we are trying other medication with a prayer that they work. But mostly, I think my doctor is buying time because she doesn't want to put me on IV again just four weeks out. In the meantime, she is reaching out to other doctors across the country to see if anyone else has the any answers for me. Please keep me in your prayers.. BTW... If I did not have HIV, I would NOT have aggressive herpes like this.. AIDS is no joke.. Keep yourself safe...

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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.

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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