Needless to say, I left the doctor’s sad. Having a hard discussion about the long term impact of having advanced AIDS was not easy. I needed a break from it all. So I went to dinner with my girlfriend and fellow blogger Dwana and we ended the day at More Cupcakes, one of my favorite spots. It was a great ending to a hard day, but the moment I stepped into my home things changed. I had major diarrhea. By 3:00 AM it was clear to me that I was sick. It was also clear that this was new. I immediately thought that I had some kind of food poisoning. I never even got a chance to enjoy my cupcakes.
As I described the symptoms to my doctor, her sighs got deeper and deeper. I knew this could not be good. So we developed a new plan. Treat the symptoms with the hope that it will pass. But the anti-nausea medicine was an #epicfail. The side-effects only compounded my current situation.
HIV/AIDS treatment and care. This shit reads like some soap opera or the making of a reality show. It seems that I could have very well had food poisoning from my dinner. Any number of things would have caused it from the crab cakes to the sauce. *sigh* Like with most people with AIDS, food poisoning is not that simple. Having a compromised immune system leaves you vulnerable to infections that most people fight off in just a few days.
So it seems that the food poisoning made my stomach even more sensitive. An extra sensitive stomach combined with toxic medications and the mild problems I was already having increased the sensitivity and made it more difficult for me to tolerate my regular medicine regime. So the bottom line is this, it seems that my body is on toxic overload. My stomach cannot withstand my current medicine regime, as a result of the sensitivity created by the food poisoning. Unbelievable... I know... Right? *SMH*
The solution is the scariest part: a Drug Holiday. What the Hell is a Drug Holiday? Well, I will have to stop taking all of my HIV medications for a week or maybe even two to allow the toxins to leave and my body to readjust. Currently, I have way too much going on and it’s not getting any better. And, I’m losing a pound like every two days, not healthy at all. Plus, I’m freaking miserable! No joke! I am miserable!!
Drug Holiday. I could develop a resistance to my current medicine cocktail, which means that when I try to go back on my medication, it will not work. I know what some of you are saying, there are tons of HIV medications out there. True, but not for me. The fact is, no matter how much you like me, or how good I look, or how much energy it seems that I have, I do have advanced AIDS. I have already taken everything under the sun. And even with complete compliance in my medicine regime I still already have serious drug resistance. The fact is, there are not a lot of places for me to go in terms of treatment. So I’m faced with the dilemma I have never been faced with. Stop taking my medications to get better. But the consequences could mean drug failure, which in the end limits my treatment options.
Let’s face it, I’m a walking miracle. This I truly understand. I also understand that life and death is in God’s hand. But I have also been there before. Limited treatment is no walk in the park. In fact, it is your worst nightmare with AIDS. Without effective treatment the quality of one's life could deteriorate to nothing. It is scary! I’ve been there and done that. It’s the stuff old school AIDS is made of.
Post Script: We make this decision on Friday...