Sunday, April 10, 2011

Med Changes and Hope

Well,  I started the Reyataz, Norvir and Truvada combo on March the 2nd.  I stayed on that combo for a month.  The side effects, mostly fatigue and nausea,  were a constant.  Im sure the Bactrim and Zithromax didn’t help.  Emotionally it got to be kind of hard.. the first week wasn’t to bad   but after that with the constant nausea and fatigue, I started feeling pretty low. The toll it was taking on me made me have all sorts of feelings.  I began wondering what I was doing.  At that point I felt better before I started the meds than I did while on them.  I just assumed that it was something that I was just going to have to get used to.

I had another doctors appointment on March the 30th where I got more labs drawn,  and we talked about how I was doing on the meds.  We talked a lot about the nausea and apparently vomiting 10 – 20 times a month is not acceptable.  We decided to keep taking the Reyataz and Truvada,  but without the Norvir. Since the reyataz was no longer boosted we increased the dosage of it up from 300mg to 400mg.  

So far so good on this combo.  Hopefully they will do their job  and my counts will reflect that.

It was at my last doctors appointment when we started talking about how I was feeling that my Dr. assured me that being on meds didn’t have to be that way.  I could be on meds and feel good,  we just had to find the right combo.  I was so relieved when I realized I didn’t have to feel bad to combat HIV.  It was so relieving to know that the Doc would work with me and I wasn’t alone in this.

I think I am still trying to accept HIV as a part of my life now.  Im still pretty new to life with HIV and right now it’s the biggest part of it,  I think it will continue to be for some time to come.  Im ok with that.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Starting Meds!

Well,  as of 3/2/11 I started meds for HIV.

Actually it started out kind of iffy.  I called the Doctors office to see what time my appointment was and lo and behold,  They hadnt wrote my appointment down. THey worked something out and squeezed me in at 10:30.

I went back with the Doctor for my appointment.  I knew we were planning on discussing what meds to go on and all of that.

I was hoping for atripla,  but knowing my past medical history and mood dissorder i knew that would be an unlikely choice.

We talked about my options and decided on Reyataz, Norvir and Truvada.  It was at this point that i found out the test i had to wait for pre approval from medicaid for was actually the genotype test.  The doc wanted me on meds anyways and said that if it turned out that there was resistance to the meds we could switch them later.

The Doctor also wanted me on 3 times weekly Bactrim DS, and 1200mg azithromycin a week as prophylaxis.  After i got home I kind of found this odd since most people dont start this until their CD4 is below 200.  Im not a doctor though so Im sure he knows what he is doing.

Before I left the office I was told that the genotype test had been pre approved and I needed to go visit the lab.  Turns out it takes 3 vials of blood for this one test.  Didnt help that the technicians hands were shaking. Ended up bruising me worse that time than it did the time before when they took 13 vials of blood.

Well the doc asked me where I wanted my prescriptions sent to and out of habbit i gave him the name of my local pharmacy.  He advised me that it might not be a bad idea to have them called in to a different place outside of my home town so as to protect my privacy better.  We opted to have them called in to the closest Wal Mart pharmacy. which is over an hour from where the doctors office is but only about 20 minutes or so from our home.  Well,  we got to the pharmacy and found out that they never recieved the prescriptions.  We called the Doctors office and they assured us they had sent them and were assured they had sent them to the right pharmacy.  After many calls on our behalf and the pharmacy the precriptions were finally filled and we got to leave wal mart 3 hours later.

We got home and of course i researched the meds to death.  LOL

My only dillema was when to take it,  morning or night.  After much dilliberation i decided to take it that night. Now I'm wishing i had taken it in the morning.

So far the side effects havent been horrible,  the first day or so came with alot of fatigue and Nausea. 

Around the second or third day,  im not sure which,  the nausea got to be a bit much and I decided to take a phenergan in the afternoon,  WELL  that was a mistake lol  an hour or two later i felt like i had taken a ton of sleeping pills or something,  Knocked me right out!  I did ask the doctor if I could take phenergan with these meds and he OKed it.  I guess things just affect people differently.  Now i know only to take it when the nausea is really bad and I want a REALLY long nap lol

Now, 7 days later the side effects are very mild and Im handling the meds really well.  The days I take the bactrim and azythromycin along with the HIV meds are the worst but still not to bad.

Mentally....  Thats a different story.  Up to this point I have been handling things very well,  Keeping upbeat and positive.
Taking meds sort of took the wind out of my sails a bit.  The idea of having to take meds for the rest of my life was and is kind of sobering.  I deal with the thought better each time i take them though.

Well,  that was my long drawn out story of starting meds lol 

Thanks for reading,
Autumn

Friday, February 18, 2011

Doctors Appointment and Lab Results

Well I had my DOctors appointment with the Infectious Disease specialist.

I loved the whole team.  They were great. Very Caring and sympathetic.

I had a ton of blood drawn,  over 13 vials worth.  They tested for everything under the sun.


I ended up having to wait quit a while to get my results back.  Several weeks actually.

The results were good though.

My cd4 is 456
My Viral Load is 2,077
Im not resistant to any meds.
My white count is high.
I'm vitamin D  Defficient.
The hep C and A tests were negative.
I'm immune to hep B.

My doctor does want to start me on meds. Im not sure how I feel about that, but im going to move forward and do what they say.

Overall my counts and everything are ALOT better than i thought they would be.  Im very thankful for that.

My next appointment with him is March the 2nd.  I guess we will start the meds then. 

I'll add more soon,
Autumn

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Rescheduled HIV Doc Appointment

Well  My first doctors appointment was rescheduled.

The Doc apparently had a death int he family.  My heart goes out to him.

Im learning that all of this is going to be a huge waiting game.  I hate waiting.

Ive been sick for 2 or more weeks.  Cough, sinus headaches, fevers, chills.  Been through 2 rounds of antibiotics and lots of steroids.

This round of meds may do it though im starting to feel a little better.

Im ready to know my CD4 count and viral load,  at least then I will know what im working with and what i need to do.

I really wont know anything till this appointment with Dr. Abraham.  It is for the 26th of January  this coming wednesday.

I really dont know what to expect for this first appointment.  What they will do or anything.  I hate being in the dark.

Well,  Its only a few more days to go,  then we will know.

Ill keep yall posted

Lotsa Love,
Autumn

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Glimmer of Hope

Its been a while since i've posted anything.  So,  i figured it was time.

Things have been up and down lately.  I retested for HIV  and of course it came back positive.  I guess i was kind of hoping that there may have been a mistake.

I guess that kind of made me lose alot of hope for a while.  Things felt sort of "final". I have HIV, ill never be rid of it.  I guess right now im working on accepting that. Its not easy and some days i want to scream and cry but,  Im moving forward.

Thats what its all about now.  Moving forward. Its easier said than done.  Some days i just want to lay down and die, but i cant.  I push and scrape along but I do it.

Im still scared.  I dont want to get sick.  I dont want to die. BUT  I also realize that everyone gets sick  and everyone eventually dies.  Its no different for me than it is for anyone else.

I started chatting in a chatroom on yahoo  HIV/AIDS.  The people there are nice.  ITs nice to talk to people like me,  people who act jsut like everyone else in the world.  Its nice to know that life goes on and things can be normal.  Life is what you make of it.

Its only 7 more days till my appointment with the hiv specialist.  Im nervous but ready to see him. Being well informed is half of the battle.

I am STILL waiting on the packet they are supposed to send me.  I dont know what the deal with that is.  Im going to call them later today to find out.

Thats really all i have now. Ill update more later

Autumn

Friday, December 31, 2010

Rough Beginings for the New Year

Well,  Its New Years Eve and things are pretty rough.

Ive been trying to remain optimistic about things but today has just been one of those days.

It started off ok,  like most days do.  Then i just keep feeling like there is something i should DO.  Of course there isnt really anything I can do right now that im not already doing.

My stress levels lately have been at an all time high.  Panic attacks are more frequent and seem more severe. When I go out I feel like people just know that I have HIV. I know they cant.  It just feels that way.

I bounce around from anxious to angry to exhausted constantly.

I put up a good front around my family.  Im the care giver,  the support or "rock"  for our family. Especially my mom,  so it wouldnt do to show weakness in front of everyone.

I've been trying to do the right thing lately.  I started on a vitamin regimen.  Been looking into an exercise program too. It jsut doesnt seem like enough.

I've read where people start taking control of their lives and start putting themselves first.  I have no idea how to do that.

I have a few goals I think will help me in the coming year.

1. Take my meds on time and dont miss doses.  Not HIV meds,  but meds for other things,  havent started those yet.

2. Eat a more well ballanced diet.

3. Start a good exercise program and stick with it.

4. Continue with Therapy.

That all seems pretty do-able.  I dont see why it shouldnt be at least. 

My boyfriend and I have a few projects were planning on working on this year and I'm actually looking forward to them. 

We're actually putting in a new breaker box and replacing the old "Fuse" box YAY! We're gonna run quite a few new electrical outlets too.

We started building a shed this summer and im looking forward to seeing it finished.

I keep telling myself that if I focus on all the things that are good in my life that this one part, HIV, wont seem quite as unbearable.

I want to live a normal life.  and maybe, just maybe, Im begining to realize that i can still have that,  even with HIV.

I've went through ALOT in my life.  Its never been easy.  I've dealt with adversity since i was old enough to know what it was. I guess I just have to look at this as another hurdle,  something that I CAN overcome.

I want this new year to mean something to me.  I want it to truly be a new begining.

More soon,
Autumn

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone

Well, Its Christmas Morning!

Im doing my best this morning to try and have a happy and productive day.

I plan on spending the day with my family. Mom, Dad, Brother and Niece.

I have had a hard time being around all of them lately. I have always been the strong one. The one that is there for everyone else when things get tough. So, lately, Even though they all know of my recent change in status from Negative to positive, Ive been sort of just pretending that everything is ok. I hadn't realized how much this was effecting me until yesterday. Its hard being everyone elses rock when you are falling apart inside.

I havent really taken the time for myself to just grieve. This has been so very hard for me. My whole life is different now and I dont really know what to do with myself. I dont know how i really fit in to our family dynamic anymore. On one hand I dont want them to treat me any differently, on the other, I dont want them to just pretend that everything is ok either. Maybe a happy medium would be nice.

With eveyone basically sticking their head in the sand over this I feel so alone. Im the only one dealing with it andIm not doing the best job of actually dealing with it. Thank god for therapy, I wish I got to go more often.

My BF had to work today, and after work he is going to stop by his parents house. Probably wont see himuntil 8:30 or 9 tonight. SUcks but the holiday pay will be nice for him. Thank god for him, If it werent for him, I dont think I could go through this.

Maybe after today, the holidays, I'll be able to take a break and get my head around what is going on in my life.

Thats it for now,
Autumn