Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Me versus a retrovirus.

I did the Viva Las Vegas thing and the Happy Thanksgiving thing. Now I'm playing catch up. Every agenda item for the year which got procrastinated is on my todo list for the next few weeks.

I'm getting a lot of AIM spam today and making good use of the "warn" button. What will AOL do when every possible combination of letters and numbers is exhausted by these IM spambot scripts?

Tomorrow I start taking powerful and expensive antiviral drugs which may give me a rash and diarrhea. The HIV diagnosis itself never really stressed me until my most recent blood work came back showing that I had 419,000 copies of the virus per milliliter. The doc says that's a lot of strain on an immune system.  The goal is less than 50 copies per mL.  My CD4 cell count has increased from 235 to 264 per cubic millimeter over three months.  Then, in mid-November it went the wrong direction to 246.  The doc wants it above 300.  800 is the low end of normal.  If the virus kills off too many CD4 cells, a simple pneumonia could kill me.  When my number is up, so be it, but I'm not going to worry about something which I cannot control.  I'll simply remain determined to live well.  I'm going on the ART (antiretroviral treatment) meds, including Truvada and Viramune.  So far, without meds, the only symptoms I've seen are some skin blemishes which the dermatologist said was common staph and some redness which they decided was a reaction to an antibiotic they put me on.  I'm seeing the best available doctors.  I've been eating healthily and working out.  I'm getting stronger and keeping a positive attitude.  The less I dwell on it, the better I feel, and that's that.  I'll know if the ART meds are effective by mid-January.  Unless I have a bad reaction to the drugs and have to switch regimens, that'll be the next update on the topic.

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