Monday, July 11, 2011

My Medical Status- The Elephant in the Room

It's late, I am tired, and I need sleep to come. So while I wait for heavy eyes, I thought I would address the Elephant in the Room: what exactly is going on with my medical status at this point. And while I could go on and on with other details, which I may do another time. But the main and overriding issue remains my immune system. It still has not reconstituted properly. My T-cell count is very low. This translates to "not good".

Here is an analogy. It COMPARES my immune system to a person with AIDS. I DO NOT HAVE AIDS. This is just how my Infectious Disease doctor has explained it to me. (I see him because of multiple chronic problems, NOT AIDS, that I deal with.

A person is considered to be HIV positive until their T-cell count drops to 200. At that cut-off they are now considered to have AIDS (rather than being HIV+). It is at 200 or below that a person with AIDS starts to experience many opportunistic diseases, syndroms, and conditions. Hospitalizations become frequent for most patients as their immune system is so compromised that it can't fight any of the medical problems that person has.

When the T-cell count goes down to 100, at this point the person is considered end-stage. The body simply is overtaken by various ilnesses and diseases. It's time to make final preparations and Hospice is often called in. There is little hope other than a miracle.

My T-cell count is 39.

I am scared of even the common cold. I worry someone will walk past me who has chickenpox. I isolate so I am exposed to as few opportunistic problems as possible. I am not allowed in my children's school because of the many germs naturally found at primary school. Every hospital visit I worry if I picked something up while I was there.

It has been over two years of this and it gets very old. I live but watch everyone else around me as they are living. There is a big difference.

I recognize that all of this information may shock you. But it's the truth, it's the explanation many have wanted, and it's my reality.

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