Twenty eight days of taking ARV’s and only two more to go!
It’s been a long hard month which has been an extremely testing time for me. I was warned very seriously from those that had taken these medications(PEP) that the side effects were many and unpleasant but in true Rachel style I was determined that this would not be the case for me That somehow I would be stronger, more resilient and not let them effect me. So I started out on a positive note as usual which I was able to maintain for the first two weeks. I was truly amazed to find that apart from slight nausea, lack of appetite and a general tiredness which I could overcome keeping myself busy I kept myself remarkably well physically. Emotionally it was a different matter and I found myself rejecting the medication each and every time I had to swallow those three huge pills. It felt as if I really poisoning my otherwise healthy body. After two weeks I came down with some sort of infection. Whether it was ‘flu or some weird virus I started to feel a sickness come over my whole body. It started by finding hugely painfully enlarged glands in my neck. At one point I tested for Malaria even though the symptoms were not typical and I felt sure this was not the problem. I began to worry that I was developing full blown AIDS. I was sufficiently worried to visit one of our specialist doctors who reassured me that it was extremely unlikely. The underlying doubts still remain. I spent three days at home determined to care for my health and fully recover. It took nearly a week to clear with just a few painkillers and anti inflammatory drugs. The week ended with a relaxing three days at the lake which always serves to renew and refresh me in body and spirit. I am not feeling good. However positive I try to be, the fact is, I still feel as if these drugs are poisoning me and therefore am experiencing the side effects more acutely. I am tired, just so tired. The one thing that keeps me going is to be on Labour Ward. Once I am there and involved in my work I don’t even notice the tiredness. When I stop, when I come home it is there again. Just two more days then I will be eliminating the drugs from my body and start to be Rachel, return to the enthusiastic, energetic Rachel that I know I am. Until then I will care for me, I will rest and I will find the strong positive Rachel which has pulled me through so many difficult situations so many times.
Am I still worried that I may still test positive in a few weeks time? Yes…. I guess I still have that niggling doubt, however small. The chances are very small the statistics assure me that it is very unlikely, but…..