"I know, I know," my doctor said
"It's just, I want to feel better."
My doctor's big round eyes full of empathy and compassion looked straight at me as I complained
"I'm just tired," I said with tears in my eyes.
"You've had it really hard lately," Dr French interjected,
"Yes and I need a break," I put my hands to my face and rubbed them across my face and over my head, fighting back the tears.
"Like I don't understand," I lamented, looking at my doctors face hard. I was searching for answers.
"It's just," she began
It's just people rarely live this long after they have been as sick as you once were."
I sat with tears in my eyes as she explained
"As sick as you were years back, it's just rare that a person would live this long after being so sick." She paused
"That's not just with AIDS, but with any illness, heart disease, cancer." She took a deep breath
"People just don't live this long."
I sat in silence digesting what she was saying
"Damn I'm a miracle," I said to myself. "Man up black woman you're a miracle"
"Your immune system was really low at one time."
"My T-Cell count was 8," I said confirming this fact.
"It just the damage that was done, can't be reversed and we haven't really had as many people live this long after being so sick with HIV, we just don't know." she concluded.
And with this finality there wasn't much else to be said.
She told me that I was a miracle and beyond that there's not much else to be done other than keep me alive. The quality of my life is not good. Not good one bit and that is just as much true, as is the miracle of my life.
I've lived with HIV for 30 years and AIDS for 21. But over 15 years ago I was so sick that I was on the AIDS timeline for death. It didn't seem like that to people because I was out there hitting the pavement doing what I could to educate and challenge stigma around HIV. Speaking engagements galore, TV interviews, I was going down having done what I could for the cause before it took me out of here.
Yes, I was on the timeline of a hard horrible AIDS death, But God had the last say and now I'm here trying to figure out what to do with the miracle of my life.
I'm a miracle for sure, but lately I don't feel like one. Lately, I feel like my world is falling apart and my health is hanging by a tread. The glass is half full and half empty. This is not just how I look at it; it's my reality. I'm a walking breathing dichotomy and my miracle is hanging in the balance.
Now be clear, for all practical purposes my HIV in under control. My T-Cell count is 555 and my viral load has been undetectable for the last 7 years. This a miracle in and of it's self. Prior to 7 years ago we couldn't keep my viral load below 5000 and it typically lingered around 15,000 and at it's height it was 397,000. That's what make my current state of health hard to digest. Hypocritically I should not be sick.
On top of that, I'm having a lot of female related issues. The doctor is trying to work it out. It's important to dot the i's and get to the root because women with HIV have more gynecological issues then most. So we are trying to figure out if it's my endometriosis that I was diagnosed with about 8 years ago flaring up, or is it the on-set of menopausal issues or what. I had yet another endometriosis biopsy two weeks ago; and when she cut up in there I thought I saw blue, green and Jesus the pain was that bad.
These are the constants that I wake to every morning. Between the nerve pain and the pelvic pain and my vagina on fire, I don't want to get out of bed and my attitude will make me curse you to hell and back for real. I'm just being honest about my truths. I'm an emotional basket case right now and I'm not liking this. I don't want a damn thing to have more control over me than me; not a man, not a thing, and certainly not AIDS. But right about now, I'm having meltdowns over stupid shit. I need a change! I can't even enjoy my miracle; it feels like a lie.
I help my life coaching clients to get unstuck. I push them to step outside the box so that they can be their best and I decided when I left my doctors office that day that I was going to take my own advice. If you keep complaining about your circumstance and do nothing to change it, then your complains are worthless chatter. Somethings God wants us to do for ourselves. The answers are before us, but complaining is easier. Change is scary, sacrifice is scary and change requires sacrifice. My Pastor preached about this yesterday. 2 Kings 7:3- The men with leprosy could have stayed by the road and remind hungry or they could start walking and see where it leads. If they had never moved, they would have never been blessed. Sometimes the blessing is waiting for us, but we stay stuck in our right now.
You have to choose! You can't say that you want a change and then do nothing to make that change. For sure life is a blessing in and of itself. For sure life is so worth the living. But the miracle of life becomes a waste if we don't use the many tools that God has given us to live our best life. It's not enough to say you want better, you have to do something to get you to better.
Dr. Rosen at the West Loop Chiropractor on next week. He is both a board certified Chiropractor and a Homeopathy doctor, who came on the recommendation of my good friend Dwana. She's so happy right now and lawd she will shout if I should ever stop eating refined sugar. But I told her that there is no life at all if I can't have a cupcake :)
I've already begun a supplement on his recommendation that does not interfere with my HIV medication. So I will be blogging about this journey. Now Dr. Rosen believes that he can help me and I will give more details as I go, but he was clear this will take time. I'm willing to put the time in because that's better then doing nothing at all. Oh and he's into Social Media, so you know I love him already. He's on Twitter @WestLoopChiro He's in the process of putting together a comprehensive plan for me.
Also, I will be dragging my tail out of the house on Wednesday's to Bible Study and church on Sundays. Not only is the fellowship good for my spirit but Pastor Jakes message is always a source of encouragement to keep going. I need everything I can get right about now.
I will be pulling together an regular exercise routine after I have two more test on today. Exercise is an overall health benefit whether you want to acknowledge it or not. It is great for your overall well being from metal health, to your physical health. I'm going to also incorporate some message therapy to help reduce my stress and work on better eating habits because to much sugar for example, will zap the life out of you in the long run. NO, Im not giving up cupcakes, just not eating as many.
Dr. Rosen is not going to have microwaveable results. Some of this stuff will take time. I'm willing to put in the time, because I want to be my best me.
You must declare to yourself, I'm not Dying Here! I'm not stopping Here! I'm not giving up Here! God has given you the power to jump start your own liberation and that's exactly what I'm doing and now, what about you?