Archive for cd4

6 Months after

Posted in HIV, Medical, Personal, pozzie life, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2010 by iamhivpositive

At the start of November, I started waiting for a text from the SAGIP clinic of PGH. It has been six months already and it’s the time for my next CD4 test. 2 weeks have passed and still no text from my doctor or from the nurse so I decided to call them. Once I was put through to the clinic, the nurse told me that there are no available slots yet and they’ll just text me if there is a slot already. She asked for my number to double check if what they have on their chart is correct.

I sighed. I’m getting disappointed with how they are handling us their patients. But I tried to look at the bigger picture, it would really be difficult for them to schedule us since we are just sharing the machine from other “schools” (treatment hubs). And so I waited for another week until I can’t help myself and again gave them a ring.

The nurse told me that there is still no available slot for the CD4 test and that they are prioritizing the “baseliners” (first timers in taking their CD4 test). I felt… unimportant? So does that mean that since I am a second timer I should not be prioritized? My health is also at stake right?

She then asked me if I am willing to go RITM since there is more chance of me getting a schedule there. Even though that RITM is quite far from where I live, I said yes. I would rather travel far than wait for a schedule from SLH. It might be too late already before I get a schedule. And so after 2 days, I received a text message from the nurse telling me that I was scheduled Tuesday before 9am next week.

I woke up really early that day because I don’t want to be late. A friend asked me if I want to hitch a ride since he is also going to RITM that day. Lucky me considering all the trouble that I will be facing if ever I go there alone. I haven’t been to Alabang yet and I’m quite slow with directions. Hehehe.

We arrived early in RITM and so we decided to stay in the cafeteria first. The first thing I noticed about RITM is that it is isolated. It’s the only building, I think, in that area of Alabang. It was very quiet and there were a lot of trees that will give you a very calm feeling.

My friend went ahead and guided me to the clinic. He was greeted by the nurse I’ve been reading and hearing a lot, ate Anna. Her warm smile could really make you comfortable and homey. She asked me if I was with my friend and I said yes, she then asked me to sit beside her and got my recommendation letter. While she was reading the letter, she kept on telling me that life goes on… and I smiled.

Once again, my friend ushered me to the laboratory where they will have my blood extracted. The nurse who’s going to facilitate was quite young and I can tell that she is still a student. I smiled at her and told her not to make it hurtful. She smiled back. As expected, she had a hard time in extracting my blood since my veins easily pops (pumuputok) or as they say, “sumasayaw”. After roughly 15 minutes, I was on my way back to the clinic. I was happy that at last, I am done with my CD4 test all I need to worry now is just the result.

Wanna know my latest CD4 count….? From 759 6 months ago…. It’s now…. 795!!!!
Yehey!!!! I though that my CD4 is going to drop since I am not taking ARVs. But I was wrong, thanks to Centrum, Vit. E with Selenium, Poten Cee and most of all YOGA for boosting my CD4 up!

Disappointed

Posted in etc, Personal, pozzie life, thoughts, work with tags , , , , , , , on September 28, 2010 by iamhivpositive

This past few days, I really feel like lady luck is running away from me… yes, I always almost catch her, but then again she always escapes… how come?

Last Thursday was supposedly a very happy day for my wallet. Yes, it was our pay day and not just an ordinary pay day but it is a bonus pay day. Everyone from our team was really happy and excited that we started making plans on how to spend our “hard-work-earned” incentive after shift. We were planning to go out and have some coffee and maybe eat in a fancy restaurant. The mood in the office was really festive!

Usually, our pay becomes credited into our bank accounts around 4pm… 8pm is the latest. Curious on how much my pay is, I tried to check it online… after searching the banks site using google, I was on my way in finding it out with just a few clicks! After typing in all the necessary information, I finally clicked the “submit” button, closed my eyes, and prepared myself to be surprised…and I was surprised. The much anticipated bonus was missing! It’s not there. I doubled check it and still it gives me the same amount. My jaw dropped. It’s the time of the month were we need to pay our bills! Oh my God! (I know I might sound OA to some of you, but I’m just an average earner and a bonus would really get me far… lol)

I asked my officemates to check theirs as well and slowly, the happy mood in the office disappeared. We tried asking our boss what went wrong, but to our dismay, his explanation didn’t really satisfy our disappointed hearts… Since we cannot do anything about it anymore, slowly one by one took their phones and cancelled their scheduled night outs, I even went home immediately instead of having coffee with some of my friends. I also cancelled my appointment wit the dentist as I was major major unhappy.

I am unhappy not just because I didn’t get the bonus… I felt that we were given a false hope… I was unhappy because I had to cancel all my plans… If our expectation were just properly managed then we could’ve prepared… For sure, last Thurs & Fri, my CD4 dropped because of stress which actually continued the whole weekend…

I promised myself that starting Monday of this week, I will be happy and attract only positive vibes… but….

Vitamin E with Selenium

Posted in etc, Medical, pozzie life with tags , , , , , , , on July 19, 2010 by iamhivpositive

I was advised by Trese to take Vitamin E with Selenium instead of Myra E… so last Sunday, I went to Mercury Drug and bought a month’s supply of it. I also researched about it and here is what I found out:

Facts About Selenium

In order to understand the benefits of selenium, it is important to first understand the facts about selenium.

Selenium is a trace element found in soil, and is required in small amounts to maintain good health. It is essential for many body processes and is present in nearly every cell but especially in the kidneys, liver, spleen, testes, and pancreas.

Selenium acts as an antioxidant against free radicals that damage
our DNA. It is often included with Vitamins C and E to help fight against cancer, heart disease and even aging. It has also been used to fight viral infections and may even slow the progression of AIDS/HIV. Selenium also contributes to good health by promoting normal liver function.

Other benefits of selenium include the protection against heart disease, the protection against toxic minerals, and the neutralisation of alcohol, smoke, and fats. It can help to increase male potency and it also involved in the maintenance of hair, skin and eyes.

Remain In Good Health with the Benefits Of Selenium

Selenium may be useful in preventing cataracts and muscular degeneration, the leading causes of impaired vision or blindness in older Americans. It is also vital for converting thyroid hormone, which is needed for the proper functioning of every cell in the body, from a less active form (called T4) to its active form (known as T3). In addition, selenium is essential for a healthy immune system, assisting the body in defending itself against harmful bacteria and viruses, as well as cancer cells. Its immune-boosting effects may play a role in fighting the herpes virus that is responsible for cold sores and shingles, and it is also being studied for possible effectiveness against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

When combined with vitamin E, selenium appears to have some anti-inflammatory benefits as well. These two nutrients may improve chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus, and eczema.

source: http://www.nutritional-supplements-health-guide.com/benefits-of-selenium.html

APE

Posted in Medical, Personal, pozzie life, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2010 by iamhivpositive

All of us in the department was surprised when we received the notification email. The HR department sent us our schedules for our Annual Physical Exam or APE. It was too early, we usually have APE on the latter part of the year but how come it’s different this year? It was the last week of May. We are only given two weeks to finish have our APEs and of course, Filipino mentality, we decided to have ours on the last day.

I wasn’t scared nor nervous when I had my physical exam. I think I was already used to the needles, the doctors and the smell of the hospital. The only thing that I am not looking forward to is the blood extraction for the CBC count. I think I associated blood extraction already with HIV that’s why. The Medical Technician had a hard time looking for my vein that’s why he ended up pricking me 3 times! I know right?!? I felt like I was a cross stitch pattern as he even moved the needle left to right while the needle is under my skin. Ouch! I had my chest x-ray afterward and the doctor consultation. During the consultation, the doctor asked me if I am feeling anything different… I said no… And that was the truth. He also asked me if I am taking any medication, I told him I’m taking multivitamins, Vit C and Vit E… he scribbled something in his notes. He then asked me if I had any surgeries done, I said no, I lied. He then smiled and said I’m done and I could go back to the office.

After almost 2 months of waiting, finally we received another email from our HR department that our results are in and is ready for pick up. Mommy (one of my colleagues) handed me my result and I eagerly opened it. I was waiting for this since weeks ago. I immediately hurried and grab the results and I just ignored the x-ray. I was browsing the results and summing it all up, it reads NO PROBLEM… I smiled. I then looked at my chest x-ray result and my eye brows raised… it says:

Chest X-ray: Abnormal
Chest X-ray result: Faint densities in the periphery of the right upper lobe
Recommendation: For Apico-Lordotic view Chest X-ray of the right upper lobe

Honestly, I don’t know what it means but my heart started beating faster. I feel like my heart wants to get out of my chest. I hurriedly look at the x-ray film but it looks normal. Questions started popping in my head…

what does this mean?
Am I sick again?
Do I need to be hospitalised again?
What do I need to do?

Panic was eating me and my focus was lost. I sat in a chair and mommy told me not to worry and we’ll just ask Sweety (another colleague) what it is since she is a licensed RT. I tried to compose myself. Mommy’s right. I need not to worry since I am living a healthy lifestyle. In fact, there might be a mistake since I also just had my x-ray last April and it was clear. It says in the result that everything is normal. Before the day ended, I texted babe (as you all know, he is a medicine student), Lil J (registered nurse) and Nurse A (from his name, registered nurse) if they know what it means. Nurse A immediately replied saying I should ask a doctor instead.

The following morning, I woke up to a brand new day and I found one new message in my inbox. It was from Little J saying the same thing like what Nurse A said, don’t panic, ask a doctor first or go for a follow up check up. I am less worried now since I was already able to rest and clear my mind from last night. I know I don’t need to worry and I need to wait for what the doctor will tell me since it says there I need to have another x-ray. For sure, the company will ask me to have a follow up check up since my result came back abnormal. After a few minutes, I received a message from Babe and he answered it in a very “doctorish” way… he asked me if I have a fever or cough and then explain to me that the infiltrates can just be artifacts and should be correlated with what I’m feeling. However, considering that I am immunocompromised, my body may not be able to mount the usual immune response to diseases like TB and pneumonia. He then asked me how was my CD4 count. Honestly, I only understood half of what he said but I replied saying he was of big help and my cd4 was high and it is 759.

When I got into the office, I immediately looked for Sweety and asked her what the result meant. She said that I need to have my upper chest be x-rayed again to check if I might have early signs of TB. My jaw dropped. TB?!? I started to get scared again… I think she noticed my reaction and told me that I need not to worry until I have my next x-ray result. She said that the result might be due to the bad positioning when I had my x-ray. I hope so. But the word TB marked in my head and I can’t stop myself thinking about it. Again, questions started popping in my head:

Does this mean, I will have TB anytime soon?
I will be hospitalised again?
Am I dying soon?

I shook my head. The last thing I need is to worry. With my worrying, I might really end up dying early so I decided to wash it off my mind and continue the day… Hopefully, this is something that I really need not to worry about… again, I’m scared… =(

759!

Posted in Medical, Personal, pozzie life with tags , , , , on June 7, 2010 by iamhivpositive

It’s been 2 weeks already since I had my CD4 count test and until now nurse A still hasn’t texted me about the result. (wondering what cd4 is?  Here is a description from http://www.aids.about.com – Your immune system contains different types of cells that help protect the body from infection. One of these types of specialized cells are called the CD4 or T-cells. HIV attacks these types of cells and uses them to make more copies of HIV. And in doing so, HIV weakens the immune system, making it unable to protect the body from illness and infection.)  I remember that the nurse in SACCL mentioned that the result will be on Thursday the week after I had my test.  I started to become paranoid again, like the last time when I was waiting for my HIV screening result… I was thinking that maybe the reason why they are still not texting me is because my result is soo low that they are already formulating the strongest combination of medicines or ARV that will help me.

Another week had passed and still no text.  I was getting impatient.

And another week… it’s been a month already…. that weekend, I wasn’t able to help myself that I texted nurse A and Dr. R already and asked them if they already have the result… both of them, didn’t reply.  Great!  I’m already thinking of going to the clinic and ask them personally but I thought that that would be stupid if ever that the result is still really not there.  So, I didn’t have any choice but to wait.

Another day passed by and finally, I received a text from Dr. R telling me that he already has the result.  I felt like my heart suddenly want to escape from my chest… this is it…so I asked him what my CD4 count is… and he replied back with 759! I almost cried.  I want to jump and scream for joy… it was soo high.  (A person without HIV is said to have a normal CD4 count of 700-1500 while a pozzie should have 300-500, if it goes down to 300, you will be under medication through ARVs or retrovirals and will be considered to have AIDS. – I know, some of you are wondering how come my CD4 count is still high, this is possible because I don’t have any vice and it means that I have a stong immune system)P I thought that I have to take medications already… I replied back with thank you.  This was the best news that I received this past few months….

Positive!

Posted in Medical, Personal with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2010 by iamhivpositive

The sound of my message alert tone made me nervous… I don’t know whats with that day… I was uneasy…I picked my phone and it was the nurse from the clinic who messaged me.  I took a deep breath before I actually opened the message.  Somehow I already know what the message is… she is inviting me to go to the clinic for the result and I was right.

Like my previous visit, I filed a leave to make sure that I have the whole day for myself  whatever the result maybe.  I woke up early and prepared myself, my boyfriend and I will meet at 8am that day since he decided that he wants to go with me.  I arrived early in our meeting place, while waiting it gave me the chance to think.  I thought of the possibilities… what could happen if ever that it turns out positive.  After a few more minutes, my boyfriend arrive with his usual comforting smile.  He was carrying his laptop as he was from a conference in the hospital as well.  We wasted no time as we immediately head to the clinic.

When we arrived, the nurse was still talking to someone and she instructed me to wait outside the clinic first.  After almost an hour, my boyfriend told me that he needs to go back to the conference already and that he has to leave me.  I smiled at him and he smiled back, as if giving me an assurance that it is going to be alright.  After he left, the nurse then called my name.

I was instructed by the nurse to wait again in the 2nd cubicle.  The doctor came in after a few minutes and asked me how I was.  I said I was ok.  He then asked me if the nurse counseled me during my first visit.  I answered yes.  My heart was beating sooo loud I can be deaf.  He then slowly opened an envelope and read it to me… he started reading the result and slowly explained everything to me.  I was positive.

I was speechless, I didn’t know what to say that I just kept on nodding to everything he asked.  He explained to me what the next step was and that is to undergo the CD4 count test.  He was trying to comfort me by telling me that it is not over… that I can still live my life normally as long as stay healthy.  He even kid that I can still have sex as long as it is protected.  I was just quiet.  He then asked me if I was ok, I just smiled.

After asking me a few more questions that is related on how I got the virus, he told me that he will queue me in line to get a schedule for the CD4 count.  He said that it usually takes more that a month before I can actually have my CD4 count test so I need to take Vitamin C and Vitamin A for awhile since we don’t know what my CD4 count is.  The nurse got my number and I saw her write my name in their log book.  She as well smiled at me and told me to just wait for her text as she will be texting me once she got an available slot.

I was still not myself when I left the clinic, I immediately texted my boyfriend telling him that I’m about to go home already… He immediately replied and told me to just wait for him so we can have lunch together since it was almost lunch already…  I said yes and I am planning to tell him the truth… and I still have almost an hour to prepare myself on whatever his reaction will be…