Yes, I'm gay. I probably was since the day I was born. On my 21st birthday, I sort of had my debut. I came out to my parents. A little drama from mom, and some indifference from dad. An above-average coming out. Almost perfect.

Nine years later, two weeks before my 30th birthday, I found out... I'M HIV POSITIVE.

And so my story begins... I'm BACK IN THE CLOSET.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Luck of Sixes

Almost six months of not worrying about it.

Six months of ignoring it.

Six months of not thinking about it.

Six months of taunting it.

So will 6 still prove to be my lucky number? We'll find out soon enough... It's time for my CD4 count again.

Jun 2008: 343. Aug 2008: 328. Feb 2009: 484. Aug 2009: 493. So far, since starting ARVs in August 2008, my numbers had been increasing. Although my last result, an increase of just 9 measly points, seemed to show I had hit a plateau of some sort. Feb 2010 signalled my next count, and I was about to see if I had indeed plateaued. But of course, I would be unable to make that conclusion so easily.

This past six months covering Sep 2009 to Feb 2010 was riddled with so many factors that would make or break my CD4 trend.

Definitely, the period covered getting used to my new job. Hell, until now, I feel like I'm still adjusting to it... and you know how I am with change. And along with that comes wrestling with a longer commute to and from work everyday. Maybe it's not as bad as it can be, because I now opt for the comfort of riding a bus to work in the mornings, and just settle for the stressful yet speedy MRT on the way home in the evenings.

This past six months also stood witness to changes in my former non-existent lovelife. Ahem. Okay, fine. So maybe Papi and I are the least typical of couples you'll ever see. We aren't able to see each other every weekend. We don't see the need to text or talk everyday either. So it's pretty much a low maintenance kind of thing. But then of course, it's been far from perfect. There was that one "it's complicated" incident in January that threw us into the wind. Fine, it broke my heart and I cried that time. But right now it seems worked out.

Being in a relationship and being sexually active with each other also seem like two completely different things for us. With out going into detail... not like there's much to detail in actuality... my sex life for the past five or so months has been more or less confined to my right hand. Hmm. Not exactly how I'd like it, but it ain't exactly killing me. Okay change topic now, please.

This six month period also saw the birth of our little pozzie posse. Pozzie posse meant more gimmicks. Weekends, weekdays... didn't matter. Hanging out in places littered with smokers at times, but with drinking still kept occasional... just that occasions came more frequently. Argh.

Biggest change that the pozzie posse brought is that I had less of my alone time. Less siesta, less sleeping on time, more late nights out. Just this past week, I wasn't getting my full eight hours of sleep for five straight days: Thursday movie date with BFF GreenFrog; Friday late at the RITM with the posse; Saturday dinner, movie and coffee with W, W's newbie, LivingWithHiv and BFF; Sunday dinner with BruskoBoy and BFF; and Monday dinner with BFF and a couple of new couple pozzie friends. Okay maybe you've noticed BFF and I have been hanging out a lot lately... been moonlighting as a marriage counselor lately for him, helping him through the tough times. Oi, that was a stressful role as well. Hahaha.

So anyways, let me make clear that I'm not blaming the pozzie posse for anything. Any late nights and consumed alcohol and stuff was all by my own personal powers and choices. Thank you.

What else? Well, I no longer have the once a week serving of ampalaya that I used to have at my old office. Multivitamins, haven't been drinking them lately. Still recovering from a cold and cough that haunted me for the past two weeks. It's been so bad that I've been putting off getting my CD4 count. Remember, I was supposed to have it in February. I just went for it yesterday, March 2nd. Sort of fooling myself into thinking I could save up some CD4 points maybe. But not after still being pasaway for the past month.

So yesterday, I went. I wasn't alone. I was with W's newbie, Mr. Calf-Caresser, and my latest recruit... my new bunso. Despite knowing I wasn't exactly doing everything I could to raise my CD4 count for the past six months, I was actually excited to know how I did. I felt like I was experimenting to see how all these lifestyle choices would affect my CD4 count. Two words: Guinea Pig. So how exactly would I do? Would I drop some points or not? I could hear the drum roll already.

Good thing we needed to wait to talk to the doctor in the afternoon. I was sitting opposite Ate at her desk, when the curious cat in me took charge. My eyes were leafing through all the papers on her desk, when I recognized my patient code... Were these the results of the CD4 counts already? Ate told me, "Yes". Gawd. I saved my count on my phone, as well as those of W's newbie and Mr. Calf-Caresser. I texted them both their results, congratulating them because their counts meant they were still doing well enough to not need to start medications yet. How about mine?

Okay fine. Mine was... gulp... 447. Hmm. Still not so bad, being above 400. But as expected, it did go down. It went down 46 points to be exact. Hmm. I asked Ate what that meant for me, and she really thought it was no big deal, even attributing the drop to be a normal part of fluctuation. Hmm. Okay, I wasn't exactly depressed about it, but it did leave me a lot to think about.

Lessons learned? Well I'm not giving up my love or my friends exactly. Maybe I'll work some vitamins back into my routine. Maybe be more healthy somehow... or at least try. Less stress if that's possible. But as of last night, I was in bed by 10:00 pm, and even managed to squeeze in some shut-eye on the bus ride to work this morning. O diba, may takot din pala? Hehehe. Wish me luck on these next six months!


Trese said...

im going back to the gym this April. Just need to get my Hemoglobin count back to normal. Tara let's! Let's be buff and balingkinitan :)

Manech said...

I don't know much about it, but going back to your healthier ways sounds like a logical prerequisite to an increase. :)

Best of luck! :)


you have already enumerated the things that will affect your next count so its about time to work on it di ba? yakang yaka..... wag lang ma stress. diyan naman papi ah.

Ming Meows said...

lesson learned. im sure you can do it.

PinoyPoz said...

@Trese: Thinkin' about gymming as well... Esep esep esep. :-)

@Manech: Thanks! Logic does rule!

@BlackPool: Tell Papi wag ako i-stress. Joke!

@Meowie: Roar!


i will tell him if that will help you hahahahahah

daned said...

hi kuya!!! m happy that its still above 400. iwas RH n kuya hehehe leave that to me, il take your share hehehe...

you need to go to the gym.. look at E, he's doing good hehehe ... ingat po...

fishinthepacific said...

hi. i'm a newbie at this. had just been diagnosed and all. thanks. your posts are giving me a lot of hope!

Anonymous said...

Hi there...was wondering what can you say about how risky is receiving oral sex? i know you know way better hehe... thanks!