This year has been a real roller coaster for me. Back in March I had a spine operation which involved the insertion of a metal cage as part of treatment for extreme back and leg pain. In addition to this I've had significant weight loss ( around a stone) which seems to have come off my buttocks which has almost disappeared, making sitting a painful procedure, partly mitigated by using foam doughnuts and the like. What remains of my backside is numb, which is possibly related to the spine problem. I think I understand the reason for the buttock weight loss, but why now and so late?
I also have a major balance problem which first appeared some months before the back operation and has got steadily worse, so much so that bending down to do anything is nearly impossible without nearly falling over. This has not been explained at all.
The latest set of problem concern my legs. My left leg has a large foot ulcer (4 months currently) which refuses to heal. Seen a specialist about this and he sees no problem with it eventually healing with some 'off-loading'. Taking the pressure of the ulcer during the day is problematic as I look after numerous flocks of free range chickens (200+) and is time consuming ( I should add these birds are pets).
The right leg has suddenly (matter of weeks) become almost useless as I cannot raise or lower the ankle, nor move any of the toes. This combined with the weight loss of the buttocks makes walking without a stick impossible, both outside and inside the house. I realise that this leg problem is likely to be related to the back operation, but I'm reluctant to have it further investigated as frankly I've had my fill of hospitals and disinterested GP's. Both legs and feet are largely numb and I do suffer from Neuropathy.
For your information, I'm almost 65yrs of age, was diagnosed with HIV in 1994 very late with PCP and a zero CD4 count. Was initially treated with AZT (which saved my life) and then Abacavir, D4T and 3TC. Currently taking Tenofovir, Raltegravir and Abacavir. I live in Scotland, in the UK and am lucky to have the National Health Service.
Finally, my question(s). The balance problem, is this likely to be related to HIV? Also, would you think it worth investigating the nerve problems associated with the right leg?
Thanks so much for your time,
The balance problem could be due to long standing HIV infection coupled with deconditioning from your numerous nerve/spine/leg ailments.. Fraility appears to be accelerated in some HIV patient and given all of your. Slow healing of foot ulcer raises concern for diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and smoking related vascular disease (hope you are not smoking). Any further insult you sustain can really set you back to evauation of your new right leg problem seems warranted. KH