My Timeline with HIV
Here is a bit of my backstory with HIV and the meds.
Date: 1/22/2014 4:29:49 AM ( 6 y ) ... viewed 871 times
I contracted HIV from sharing needles with my ex-boyfriend when I was a teenager, in 1998. My health was good, really good for about ten years, which seems to be a common timeframe for the virus to lay dormant. My entire life changed in 2007, and I was working in two stressful jobs and had a tense homelife. My health started to decline, and I eventually contracted pneumonia, which left me bedridden. By spring of 2008, I was brought to the hospital, where the doctors told my family that I likely would not have lived more than another day or two had they not brought me in. I didn't want to surrender to the hospital but I knew I was I dying.
I spent four months in the hospital, undergoing two surgeries on my intestines and lying with tubes coming out of my arms and sometimes throat. Most of my friends have since told me that they really didn't think I would make it. I think the doctors even had their doubts. Spoiler alert: I didn't die.
When I was reconnected and my digestive system was working properly (I'd had a mass of fungus removed along with 40% of my intestines), the doctors started me on an retro-viral regimen, telling me that one day I might be undetectable if I took the pills loyally. It seemed like a long shot, and I am not one who enjoys taking pills or giving my power up to the Western Medicine industry. But those doctors did save my life, and some of them worked around the clock to make sure that I stayed out of death's reach, so I thought the least I could do would be to try the medicine. Up until I got sick, I wasn't sure that I believed that HIV was as deadly as we were all told. I wasn't sure I believed it caused AIDS. I knew that AZT had been given to a lot of people with horrible results, and I didn't trust the industry to try their new drugs on me. But after becoming so, so indescribably sick, my personal philosophies were shattered. SOMETHING had almost killed me. And the sicknesses that had gotten the worst of me were ones that were pretty much HIV exclusive. Meaning that usually only people with HIV contract them (PCP pneumonia, histoplasmosis). I fit the profile.
I started taking about five pills a day in August of 2008. By October I was undetectable. I couldn't believe it. I was walking five miles a day, trying to rebuild the muscle I had lost from being sick for so long. I was still weak for quite a while, but you would never know to look at me. The meds were an annoyance that I learned to live with. I became nauseous when I was hungry, and first thing in the mornings I would often dry heave or throw up on the way to work. The vomiting became less frequent over the years, a d my side-effects were relatively minimal - numbing of the lips after taking them, nausea and diarrhea became a part of my life and I just dealt with them.
And then one day, after four years, I decided to stop taking them.
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