Wow — what a Thanksgiving, and I have a lot to be thankful for. This story may not seem so at first, but stick with me.
Three weeks ago I came down with Bilateral Pneumonia, and was put on two antibiotics to kick it. They seemed to work and I began to get back into the swing of things. I went back to the doctor on the fifteenth for a follow-up . On that day, she ordered a full battery of blood work, which is normally done once a year, just to make sure everything was ok. I was also experiencing some lower left flank pain in my back , which she suspected was a kidney stone, most likely related to all the meds I take. ( 19 prescriptions and vitamins a day). She ordered a CT scan of my belly for that.
Then, this past Sunday, during the last set at Danville, I started feeling ill again. By Tuesday evening, I was bubbling and wheezing in my left lung again! Then, on Wednesday, around noon, my airways completely shut, and I could not breathe, so we called 911 and I took a trip to the UK ER. There, after an X-ray, some oxygen, a couple of steroid injections, (you can imagine this in the voice of Schwarzenegger if you want), and a great breathing treatment, they determined it was not Pneumonia, but Exacerbated COPD. I got back home at six PM. But it is what I found out while in the ET that is the exciting part:
All of the blood work from the fifteenth was back in. Now, it is normal for a physician to check the status of and HIV positive patient who is in an active stage before giving steroids, because they will knock the immune system down considerably. This is what the ER doctor did. Upon his investigation, he discovered that as of last Monday, my Cd4 count is now at 800. Normal is 800-1200. When I was diagnosed 19 years ago it was at 500, and in 2003 it was at 198. The other good news, even better, is the viral load. The viral load is the amount of detectable infected cells per unit of blood counted. Mine has been in the hundreds of thousands in the past. It is now at 48. Any number below 50 is considered undetectable.
This is very awesome news, and results we have hoped for since 2005, when I entered the clinical trial at UK. I know it is the hand of the Lord. I invite you to sing praises, bless Him with prayers and oratory, and simply join me in a general “shout” for this gift. God is so good!