I don't quite remember when I fell in love with tea but I do remember the most special moments of me drinking tea. I was eighteen years old and I went to live with my biological mother for four months. I had just met her months earlier and it was awkward for both of us. She and her ex-husband lived a very quiet life in Boulder, Colorado. He was a professor at one of the universities and she was a housewife. After years of drug addiction and being in and out of jail, she deserved the break. I was homeless so she and her husband agreed to let me come live with them. Each evening my mother and I would find a spot in the living room with a cup of tea and a book.

Now, years later, I'm a self proclaimed tea expert. I start each day with a wonderful English Breakfast tea to get me going. As the day progresses, who knows what wonderful tea I will crown queen. But for sure, I have at least three cups of tea a day. And yes, when I can, I have tea everyday at about 3:00 P. M. I love to invite my friends over for tea and cupcakes and so far everyone thinks it’s a delightful experience. I am always in search of the best blend of tea. Yes, I’m a tea snob, I prefer loose tea but I do like some bags also. I have learned not to judge a book by it’s cover. Some bags can be quite nice. And yes again, any Diva knows, what you drink your tea out of is very important.

Tea for me is a way of life. It's wellness for the mind body and spirit. Here, I will explore every expect of tea possible, with a high concentration on wellness. I will review the best teas, the best places to have tea, the best ways to brew tea, the best tea accessories, what tea goes best with what foods, and the list goes on and on. I plan to share my passion for tea with you. And I've been told, nothing I do is ever boring so be prepared to go on this tea journey with me.

RLT Collection Tea Ball Frosted Clear Beads!

Mint Medley by The Persimmon Tree Tea Company

About This Tea:

Until recently I had never drank Peppermint Tea made with loose leaves. And Honestly, I will probably never go back. The freshness of loose Peppermint Tea cannot be denied. When I open the can of Mint Medley, From The Persimmon Tree Tea Company, I feel as if I stepped into a garden of peppermint leaves. It is a perfect blend of organic peppermint and spearmint leaves grown in the US.

Mint Medley has become a favorite and I find myself reaching for this tea tin almost everyday. It is great for on-going nausea. The health benefits and endless. It relieves muscle aches, headaches, migraines, stress. And now that it feels like someone is sitting on my chest and I have a mean cough, I'm sure it will help to relieve some of this congestion in my chest. Mint Medley has been in my tea cup more than any tea as of late. It has really helped with my winter cough, congestion related to this bout of pneumonia. You can read my full review on The Persimmon Tree Tea Company Mint Teas.

RLT Collection AIDS Awareness Tea Ball!

Welcome to my world of books! As an pre-teen books changed my world. I fell in love with the writers of the Harlem Renaissance period and the more I read the more I wanted to read. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It spoke to my own degradation and gave me hope for a better tomorrow. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

I love to read! Inside a book I escape into someone else's life. There is something wonderful about turning to the next page of a wonderful story. Something intoxicating about the smell of the book and the story it brings to life. Reading brings me joy, and these days with my health in the balance, I find solace in my books.

I spent hours in my bedroom sequestered with the door closed reading the classics from the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes, Larsen, Hurston, Wright and Baldwin. Books became my escape and my salvation. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

Reading is the one thing that the pain of my life could never take away from me. It was the thing that helped to make it better. And even today, living with AIDS, books continue to be the safest place for me. It’s the one thing that belongs to me that AIDS cannot take away from me.The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS.

The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS. I have read hundreds of books from many different genres and I will pick the best of my reads over the years. I warn you, it will not be exclusively white or black, male or female, fiction or non fiction, it will be all of them.

I’m so excited and I’m grateful to everyone who wants to be a part of this venture. We already have 110 Book Club Members. You can email me @ RLTReads@raelewisthornton.com. The Twitter hashtag is #RLTReads. We can make this book club as wonderful as we want to make it. Who says that Oprah has to have the only ownership to a wonderful book club?

This Month We are Reading In My Fathers House by E Lynn Harris

Read along and join our discussion July 19th at 7 pm CST

For more Tea with Rae "Vlogs" Click here to visit her youtube channel

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday Reflection: Born To Fight...

Here I go again faced with another dilemma. Living with AIDS is an absolute Bitch. And I promise you if I wasn't the woman that I am, I would just quit. Just throw in the freaking towel. But God never gave me the quitting spirit. I was born to fight!

AIDS is relentless. I can’t even describe the uphill battle living with this disease. I want to say something positive, but there is no goodness in AIDS. NONE! I get so pissed when people reduce managing AIDS to a chronic illness. It’s much more complicated then that. And I won’t even tackle the stigma attached to this illness that no other illness seems to have. If you become infected with HIV, yes we can treat you but, your life will never be the same. That is the bottom line! And if someone tries to tell you it’s a walk in the park, they are lying. HIV/AIDS is complicated and treatment is complicated. Prevention is the key to winning against HIV.

So here I am again. The last time I reported on my health I was having some really kick ass stomach virus. Remember my blog No Easy Solution. Well, they put me on a drug holiday to solve my problem. I was off my HIV medication a total of four weeks. And I promise you I was a nervous wreck the entire time. I mean, I had nothing fighting HIV in my body and that was scary. I started back on my meds a week ago today. Yes, I am having major side effects and readjusting to the regime has been a challenge, but I'm doing it. (Mostly headaches, nausea and fatigue.)

So was it worth it? Well, the drug holiday sort of worked. I got some relief. It was so bad I could barely eat a thing. My relentless nausea went away for the most part. My food sensitivity also decreased. I can eat a cupcake, sort of. Ok, so what am I saying? Well, I got better but it didn't go away totally. Some foods still don't sit well and after I eat, I am so sick to my stomach. So tomorrow I see a specialist to see if there is an underlying problem that we missed.

At the onset of my stomach virus, I developed another infection. The one that requires me to go on intravenous medication. I’ve had it seven times in the last three years. It's left the doctors scratching their heads because the HIV medications are working for me and I shouldn't be getting an opportunistic infection. Those are the pesky infections that people with AIDS get. Some are treatable and some not so treatable. These infections are what kill people with AIDS. With AIDS you have no immune system to help you fight against them. The doctors think that there is a part of my immune system that won't repair itself and as a result I cannot fight this particular infection. It just keeps coming back.

So this time my doctor decided to give me a new treatment to see if it would work. Basically, this infection has been resistant to everything but IV medication. So we tried this new thing and it worked. WOW! It was a long shot but one worth taking at the time. Anything to keep me off IV medication. Things seemed to be going great, I was getting better but then a week ago the infection took a turn for the worst. We believe that being off my HIV medication for so long left me vulnerable. With HIV running wild in my body the medication I was taking was not enough to fight this infection.

So we came to the hard fact that I had to go back on IV medication. The doctor made the calls to get everything arranged only to discover that there is a national shortage. YES, I said shortage. The company has stopped production and is planning to begin again some time soon. Not uncommon when there is a low demand on a medication or if there is a problem with production. So I left the clinic extremely depressed last Wednesday. My doc decided that she would give me three different types of medications to try and treat this with the hope that it would hold me over until we can get the IV medication. But it only took five days for the infection to grow and I mean grow. So now it’s on its way to being out of control. Now this is the deep part. Hope you are able to follow me. The infection got worse a week ago because I was off my HIV medication. Remember, nothing to help me fight it. But now, it’s taking a real dive because I’m back on my HIV medication. WTH? Right! It’s called Immune Reconstitution. The best way to describe it: the immune system gets a boost from the HIV medication and the infection inside of you fights back by attacking your body. A while back I was hospitalized for seven days and bedridden for a month because of Immune Reconstitution.

Yep. When I tell you that HIV is complicated I mean it! Your best bet is prevention. So what do I do? The doctor is calling around today to see if she can find the medication anywhere. If she can’t, she will have to put me on another IV medication that’s even more dangerous to the kidneys then the one I typically take. It will probably mean I will have to do a drip of saline after I infuse the medication, which will add some hours to the amount of time I’m on IV daily. I’m waiting to see what it all means. I’m praying for the best medication, but I understand I have to take what I can get so I can get better.

Sometimes I wonder how I hold it all together. But I was born to fight. When I was born to drug addicted parents, I weighed three pounds. I stayed in an incubator for a month and I survived it. I know that I keep it together because God won’t let me break. I have to remember my history. My t-cell count was 8 at one time and I made it. So why would I think this is any different.

I have to draw on the small things that bring me joy. Like knitting, reading a good book, fine chocolates, fresh flowers weekly, a cup of tea from the best of leaves with a cupcake, my art collection and of course cuddling with Sophie. The list goes on. Nambi being old and fussy with a bark that drives me crazy, my friend Luke calling me three times a day cause he’s nervous and concerned, Audrey inviting me to lunch, Jay coming to sit with me after work, and the family I have created Tweeting, always praying and concerned about my journey. And even the people in my life who I know think about me daily, even when they don’t call because of their own journey. Yes, it’s the small things that keep me together. So today, I’m grateful for the small things that God has given me to let me know that my fight is not in vain and to bring me some joy in the middle of the battle.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Clicky Web Analytics