Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Tipping Point

tip·ping point
  1. the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change.

In the past month or two my Doctors, Nurses, friends, etc. have definitely noticed a change in my mood and over all outlook towards life, they all have the same question.  "when do you think this change occurred?"

Well we would have to go back to January of 2013 when I reached one of the lowest points in my depression.  After my suicide attempt in November of 2012 I realized I could no longer afford my rent, bills, etc.  Friends decided it would be a good idea for me not to live alone, and a friend happened to have a room for rent with all utilities, etc included. So I moved into his place in January.  That's when the low point began. I stayed in bed for days at a time, some days I wouldn't even eat, I rarely left the house, I hadn't lived with roommates for almost 15 I had 2-3 roommates. It's extremely difficult for a person like me to adjust to other peoples "stuff" and over a year later Im still trying to adjust,  It was a HUGE time of change for me, I was still grieving the loss of my mother just a few months prior.  I completely stopped taking care of myself.  Meaning I was only taking my anti depression and sleep meds.  I quit taking my HIV meds, because frankly I just didn't care if I lived or died.

Over a period of a full year I was slowly deteriorating, it began with my energy level declining, I was walking at a snails pace, I would occasionally be short of breath.  Then it escalated, all the things mentioned before increased and then I started having dizzy spells and occasionally stumbling when I was walking. I would take a shower and I would immediately have to lay down because I had no energy. The stumbling while walking turned into major falls, the last one was when I couldn't get myself out of the bath tub and fell numerous times.  I went to see the Dr the next day and was sent to the Emergency room where I was admitted to the hospital on January 10th 2014

They tested me for what seems like everything.  I had biopsies of my lungs, x rays, blood drawn daily sometimes multiple times for further testing.  They kept me for 11 days, I believe just because they couldn't figure out what was wrong.  I did unfortunately have another little fall in front of a nurse so that may have extended my stay.

I truly believe the only reason I was that sick was because my T-Cells were 32 and my viral load was over 4 million.  I would imagine that would affect every way your body works and supports itself.  In other words I was slowly allowing myself to die.  I also had some pre cancerous lesions that required surgery and the recovery from that has taken a while.  Im sure that added to my overall health issues,  but Im almost healed up from that surgery, just in time for a new surgery in June or July.

So here is the good news.  I have been on all the proper medications since January, and although my t-cells haven't gone over 250 yet my viral load has gone from 4 million+ to just over 2200.  I am back to seeing a therapist weekly.
When your body is working properly your mind is also in sync.   I'm not nearly as crabby as I was before, I let (most) things slide right off my back,  I'm back to volunteering at The Center interacting with people and I have found a new passion in the Mental Health/Mental Wellness field trying to educate and advocate.  I've been very busy helping with a friend that is extremely ill and has been in the hospital for a couple of months, although that doesn't make me happy it does make me realize how fortunate I am to have my health and to be given yet one more chance at life.  I must be like a cat. I figure I'm down to 6 lives now.  

Will this change be a permanent change?  Let's hope so.  Depression and anxiety are always going to be there but they are manageable.  Right now I seem to be managing perfectly well.

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