I got an e-mail yesterday from my doctor telling me that my lab results have come in.

Your routine labs are acceptable.

Your CD4 is 526 (21.76%) from previous of 498 (18.4%) done last July. Congratulations, good job.

It’s the first time since I’ve been diagnosed with HIV in 2008 that my CD4 is above 500. And if things haven’t changed, I remember my first doctor telling me that people without HIV naturally have a CD4 of 500 and above. So, for the first time in seven years, I finally have an immune system that is the equivalent of someone who is non-reactive to HIV.

My CD4 is up and running. I'm stronger now than I've ever been in seven years.

My CD4 is up and running. I’m stronger now than I’ve ever been in seven years.

I don’t know exactly what has lead to this point. I have been taking better care of myself since 2010. I take my meds regularly. I sleep my 7-hours, and I try to sleep before midnight (I don’t always get to do that but I try), I force myself to eat at least my three meals a day, and when I stress out, I just lie in bed and relax. I try to do as much exercise as I can as well.

I’m still trying to quit smoking. Work has been piling up and I am having difficulty writing at the speed with which I need to make it to my deadlines without a cigarette. I’m working on that one. I’ve been able to cut down to less than ten sticks a day but that’s still a lot. It’s the hardest part yet. I really do want to quit but it’s not easy. I don’t think it’s the nicotine that is the problem; I think it’s the psychological act of lighting up a cigarette. It’s an oral fixation, for sure. And candies aren’t doing the trick. I’ve associated smoking with my writing habits and passing the time. It comes hand-in-hand already at those moments.

I think my mental state has been very helpful as well. I’ve grown up so much that I handle sadness, depression, disappointment, and similar emotions in a much more positive manner. I believe stress can damage your immune system and make you feel weaker. I have been better at managing my stress level.

So I’m still going to be around for a long while. I see this as a continuing upward trend. I know there are people living with HIV who have a CD4 of over a thousand. If they can do it, so can I.



3 thoughts on “526

  1. Honest and True….CONGRATULATIONS… I was diagnosed in 2008 with AIDS… I understand what you are going through and want you to know that everyone is proud of you and your accomplishment.. Since I started at 0 CD4 I have risen to today my highest number 324… I lived for 6 years at 250….. My Doctors are Excited.. I have additionally been able to take off my hearing aids, I no longer need glasses to read, and they removed my shunt for Dialysis as my Kidneys…. well they decided to turn back on…. like you I need to exercise more and the foot pain is better every day so walking about 1 mile a day…. I smoked but while living in ICU for 5 weeks and then the hospital for 5 months… I got to quit quite easily.. KEEP TRYING… you will feel so much better..

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