Buckle Up Tight and Strap on the Helmet!
2007 looks set to be an action packed year, full of changes and - no doubt - a few plot twists along the way. I think it?s going to be one of those years where I need to buckle up tight and strap on the helmet.
On the HIV front, my virus and I will be commemorating ten years together and we just might toast it with a cocktail. Last year saw my CD4s show a definite trend ? my first ever. (Jan, 787, 32%; April, 628, 29%; July, 550, 26%; Oct, 447, 26% - VL at or below 18,400 through the year)
Many of you probably see where this is headed? to the corner of Time2Start Boulevard and WhatCombo Drive. I?ve been cruising down NoMeds Parkway for quite a while now and knew my exit would come up sooner or later. I?m waiting for the next bit of map ? the labs I had done the other day. It?s a Magical Mystery Tour and each bit of lab work is a clue to the journey?s next leg.
The Wizard and I haven?t talked first line combos since 2001, so I figured it was time to ask for an update. These days he?s using Kivexa or Truvada with Sustiva. Atripla isn?t approved here yet. We agree that only my labs will tell, but I probably have a 50/50 chance of my numbers bouncing up again. And yes, it also means I may be on meds before the year is out. The doc ordered an HLA (abacavir sensitivity test) and my yearly HCV viral load along with all the standards - I?ll have my results on February 27th.
I feel very calm and accepting about this. I first noticed the trend with July?s results and I, well, I didn?t exactly panic, but I did become anxious for about a week before I got it back into perspective. When the trend continued in October I was disappointed but not dispirited. It wasn?t resignation, it was acceptance. I?ve always dreaded the meds, not because of the side-effects, but because I don?t have a good track record for remembering meds. I?m frightened of ending up resistant. I?m lucky - I?ve lasted med-free into the era of once-a-day dosing and for that reason I know I can do this now, if need be. I can manage to remember once a day.
Either way, I know I?ve got at least six more med free months, very possibly more. If my CD4 is above 300, I?ll wait the standard three months to check again. If it?s below 300, I?ll ask to be checked again that day (Feb 27) as it will be six weeks from my last draw - and we?ll take it from there. I want at least two results well under 300 before I start. In the meantime, I can learn more about the drugs. I know the basics, but haven?t really put any of them under the microscope ? yet. Yeah, bring it on!
On the home front, I was evicted from my flat today. So far it?s informal, on orders of the Fire Department, but it will be formal as soon as the fire regs violations paperwork hits a desk or two on Monday. I?ve been on the local housing authority?s waiting list for eight years and this eviction ? by the same local housing authority ? means I will be moving, next week, to a house. I finally have enough points with the immediate threat of eviction to get a house. The fire officer initially wanted me out tonight and I?m only permitted to stay in my flat for the next few days on the promise I sleep in my daughter?s room. (Girl Scout?s promise!)
I found out at five this evening, with two fire officers, four local authority employees, my partner (not live-in) and I all squeezed into my tiny living room. What a few years of doctor?s letters supporting my housing application couldn?t do, a fire officer and his clip-board did in minutes. For the record, I didn?t have anything to do with getting the fire officers involved - but I won?t tell you that particular gem of a story as I do not wish to embarrass the hand that holds the house keys.
I?m not sure what house they?ll allocate to me ? the local authority guys were frantically trying to figure out where from the available stock they could re-house me at such short notice. Ah well, no matter where I end up, I will have central heating! For the first time in sixteen years! Crank up the heat and par-tay! No more washing mould and mildew off the bedroom walls! No more freezing in the bathroom! I?m going to have a real kitchen instead of a closet! I?ll be able to cook!
Yahoo! Whippee! Yay!
OMG I?ve got 1000 or so books to move. Oh. Dear. Hmmm?
I hate moving at the best of times and doing it at a few day?s notice is going to be? ~sigh~ It?s going to be interesting. Challenging. An interesting challenge? It?s gonna be one tough week. I?ll feel a lot better when I know where I?m going, but I probably won?t know until Monday at the earliest. In the mean time I?ll get packing and start reminding myself to keep an eye on the big picture. The upheaval will be worth it in the end.
On the personal front, I have another big change coming my way later on this year when my daughter goes abroad to study at the University of California, Long Beach. I?m really going to miss her. I think I?ll stay buckled in for that adventure too.