Tag Archive: flu


CD4 Count

It’s took me 3 weeks since my blood sample was extracted for CD4 count to pay H4 a visit to claim the result (and at the same time refill my AZT+3ZT and EFV supply). I was partial happy and disappointed with my most recent count after being on my ARV treatment since October 2011:

May 2010 – 424
February 2011 – 366
August 2011 – 97
May 2012 – 198

There you go. 198. up by 101 from more than six months ago. I’m happy that it went up as it’s a sign that the medication is working. I’m quite disappointed though that my CD4 count didn’t go up as I’ve expected. My lifestyle is to be blamed for this. I haven’t cut down on my smoking and have started consuming alcohol. Wasn’t even taking multivitamins as my doctors prescribe. Although I get ample rest (8-10 hours per day), my sleeping pattern is still incorrect staying up until the wee-morning hours for the sake of going out on dates or chilling out with my friends. I now resolve to correct these unhealthy habits and work on improving my health.

Dra. A is quite happy that the medication is working for me. She explained during my consultation that the count actually varies on a person to person basis and depending on our lifestyle. She reiterated that I need to work on targeting having more than 1,000+ CD4 count. Given that my count is still below 200, she prescribed that I take cotrimoxazole as prophylaxis against pneumonia M-W-F until my count surpasses the borderline level of 350.  She also reminded me to have pneumonia shots every six months and get annual flu vaccination.

Advertisements

Back from a bed rest

I have been out of circulation in the past few weeks. Busy with work, buffing up myself, and with socials that I forgot my limitations and the fact that I’m a pozzie. My body had finally succumbed to my weak immunity. I was down with the flu that started up as a bacterial inflammation of my tonsils. The past four days was an eye-opener for me. Ages ago, a simple tonsilitis won’t even develop into a more serious disease. In fact, bed rest and fluid intake would simply serve as cure. But now, a simple disease leads to further complications with extreme adverse effects. My dad even gave me a much more potent antibiotic as the one I’ve been taking before isn’t doing me any good anymore.

After 3 days of bed rest, I’ll be able to report back to work tomorrow. I have to refrain from straining myself from work and other physical activities until I have fully recovered. This three-day bed rest has been very beneficial to me as I was able to invigorate myself and retreat from the daily routine stressful activities. When I looked at myself in the mirror this morning, Although It seemed that I lost a few pounds, I look well-rested and fresher.

I have to regularly remind myself that I am no longer my old self. I’m getting older and my immunity getting weaker. I don’t want to start taking my ARV medication yet. I have to keep my CD4 high. Thus, I really need to take good care of myself.

I have mentioned in my blog entry before that I have told everyone about my status except for this particular ex-partner of mine. Let’s call him BB (that’s how I call him when we were still together.) I have attempted to tell him about it two weeks ago in person over coffee but my schedule didn’t permit us. Last Friday, I chanced upon him online on Facebook and I finally decided that I have to tell him about it. Surprisingly, he took it as if it’s nothing serious. He just assured me that everything will be fine as my CD4 count is still high and he guarantees my confidentiality given that he is a medical practitioner.

Yesterday afternoon, I posted my itinerary on Facebook. He popped me after a few and then asked if he could join me. I told him to meet me at around 9pm after work so we could catch up with each other. When I got off from work, I got to our meeting place ahead of time and he was late as usual. After almost 15 minutes of waiting, I saw someone walking towards me. It’s BB. I hardly noticed that it was him except for his eyes and smile. He looked so different – so thin and worn out. Words failed me. After the usual greeting, we walked towards the car in unusual silence and drove over to a restaurant somewhere in QC.

I wasn’t expecting that our dinner will be full of revelations. The reason why he was also eager to meet me in person is that he was intending to tell me the same thing that I was planning to tell him. He’s also HIV positive. and in his case, he found out about his status when he was hospitalized because of Pneumonia last January for three weeks. Prior to that, he had frequent flu and headache. And as a doctor, he was self-medicating. He took steroids which actually worsened his situation activating the pneumonia, and staphylococcus aureus (brain abscess). The later almost paralyzed him as if he had stroke. Until now, he has difficulty talking. The same condition explain why he walks in an awkward kind of way. His baseline CD4 count – 16. Currently he’s under ARV medication and I’m praying that his condition stabilizes ASAP.

While we were discussing about our past, our disease, and what’s in store for our future, another ex of mine texted. Let’s call him King (his SACCL screen name). I asked him if he would like to meet a friend of mine who’s also a pozzie. And when he agreed, BB and I went to his pad. Two of my most loved ex-partners of my life under one roof. And given that in the past, King despises BB that even in the time when he needed medical attention, he got furious at me for contacting BB. Funny that the three of us share the same fate and all that we could do is to hold on to each other — support each other as fellow pozzies.

King shared his night to us. He had told his father about his status the very same time that BB and I were having dinner. And another surprise. From being a spiritual person, he has finally converted to Christianity. You can read about it on his blog entry. We shared insights about HIV, our plans, how we told our beloved ones, etc. That one hour flew so fast. We had to go home as BB needed to take his medication and I had to sleep early for the next day’s engagements. We bid each other goodbye and then dropped off BB at his house.

Life is full of surprises. and mostly, they come unexpected. I’ll blog about my reflections while I was driving home that night later. This is it for the night. I still can’t move on with last night’s revelations.