Thursday, January 27, 2005

Doctor Visit

Ok. I want you to keep something in mind here. I have NEVER had more than 350 T-cells in my body. Well, at least as far as I've been tracking them. Normal people have about 1000, and when AIDS was first figured out, that's the benchmark that they judged everything against. You should have somewhere between 1000 and 1500 as a normal, healthy, individual.

Since day one of my conversion/notification, I've had less than 350 T-Cells. A few years ago, they decided that the "viral load" is really what is important. So let's go with that, shall we? Last year, I had 250 T-cells and zero viral load. That's when I was taking more pills than I can count here, including the pills that I was taking that contradicted the pills than I took to fight the infection. It's confusing, I know. Let's just say this: I was taking up to 30 pills a day. That's got to be a lot by anyone's standards, right?

So I went to the doctor today. I knew he was gonna start me on a new regiment of pills. I stopped taking them a year ago, after all. (I mean really, I had to work... and I couldn't work on all those pills, right?) Anyhow, he didn't judge. That was nice. My scores were: 168 T-cells and a vial load of 65,700.

So I told him that I didn't want ANYTHING that would me sick all the time. Nothing that would make me run to the bathroom to puke. Simple as that, right? Well, no. I have quite a history with these drugs. A lot of them, I can't take, either because I've taken them before (and there's a lot of them) or because the -type- of infection that I have is in -itself- resistant to the drug.

So he says "fine". He gives me three pills, one that I take twice a day. Nice. I also ask about the injection medicine. He says it's a good med... the efication is great. (Is that a word?) So yes, I can take it.

I've heard about it. Take a shot, self injected once or twice a week. Great. What? It's everyday? Wait.... TWICE a day? Okay. I can still deal with that. So the doc sends me back to the nurse to explain the whole sitch.

Personally, I'm thinking the doc shoulda mentioned it, but, obviously, that's just me.

So I go on into the nurse's office. He tells me that I have to watch a video (20 minutes) and then we'll do a "trial run". Great. I'm thinking it's a good thing that I told everyone at work that I wouldn't be back.

I watch the vid, and then go into his office to get my first injection. After all, I've gotta practice mixing all this nonsense, right? It took forever, that's all I am gonna say.

So we take out the kit. It includes two sizes of syringes, alcohol swabs, two vials (one drug, one water). We get it all mixed, but it takes 30 minutes to get it all done. Time is what is important here. So he helps me get the other syringe all ready. You know, the one that I've gotta stick in my body.

And then I've gotta stick myself. Houston, we may have a problem

I grab the fat in my stomach area. I grab the syringe. I hold the needle about an inch away from my little belly. I hold it there, ready to plunge it into my stomach. Ready to do it. Any time now.... Okay. Five minutes went by while the nurse encourages me to stick it in. Finally, I just do it.

It didn't hurt at all. In fact, I didn't even feel the needle.

Gosh, what a whimp I am.


Blogger Jin said...

Gosh, I can't imagine taking 30 pills a day.

Also, the idea of sticking a needle in my stomach makes my skin crawl. Could I do it to someone else? Sure. But myself? My dear, you are so much braver than me :)

1/28/2005 1:29 PM  

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