Tuesday morning doctor's appointment was a follow up to my labs. I find myself faced with a dilemma. And I don't think I will be posting or talking about my lab results any more. Unless something happens worth talking about. You see I'm about as healthy as a person can get, and I have been for some time.
Everything in my blood work came back normal. Liver function, kidney function, red blood cells, white blood cells - normal normal check and check. The iron supplements are keeping my hereditary anemia in check. My cholesterol HDL/LDL is wonderful, my blood pressure is textbook. I'm not at risk for diabetes.
I've lost 6 pounds (intentionally) and while I'm shooting for 15lbs. total I will be happy when I get to 10.
My viral load is undetectable, and has been for almost four years. My T-Cell count is now 1053. Which is pretty fuckin' high.
And what I'm feeling lately when it comes to HIV, while not complacency, is a sense that I've fought the good fight. And won for now. I'm not proposing that I discontinue my quarterly labs, nor make any changes to my current drug regimen. I will continue to keep my appointments.
I just feel like I don't want to talk about it any more.
It's almost as if my identity, my sense of self, has been wrapped up in my being HIV+. But the fact is, or facts are, if you want to base it on my blood work, that I am absolutely fine, and I have been for quite some time. I dare say I know more about my health, the current state of how my body is functioning, than a lot of the people now reading this.
I don't walk around thinking that the lump behind my earlobe is a tumor. I don't worry that the lower back pain I get is some sort of Lifetime Television for Women spinal cancer. When I catch a cold I think it's just a cold and I know I will get better. I get a flu shot every winter because I don't want the flu. I'm not afraid I'll end up with PCP. I don't believe that writing this post will somehow rain death and illness upon my house.
Because I'm not sick. I'm not.
But I spent the first few years after my diagnosis thinking of myself as sick, and I guess I was. Unfortunately it sort of stuck, or I did. But now I'm better. And now I find myself thinking of the future, of where I want to go, what I want to do next. And I don't want to think of it, or accomplish it, or conquer it or even begin the next chapter as someone who is ill.
I'm just me. A middle aged HIV+ gay guy who is just fine. Maybe better than fine.