Dear Momma

 Posted by on 2012-05-13 at 2:43 am
May 132012
 
Dear Momma

Dear Momma,

I’ve been thinking about you so much since you’ve been here. Yes, I thought about you a lot when you were in Colorado, too. Or in a pickup truck and travel trailer with Poppa. Or living in that incredible home you and he built “on the hill”—El Shadmir. I’m even recalling memories from Colby and the farm.

You know, when Poppa was dying, I remember promising him that we would do everything possible to make sure you were ok. That you would live as good, happy and healthy life as we could possibly manage, and that if you ran out of money, we’d even make sure you get through that. I don’t know how many of the other sibs had a similar conversation and/or commitment, but I think it was most of us. He was just sure no one else knew you well enough—like him—to be up to the job.

97

 Posted by on 2012-05-07 at 12:02 pm
May 072012
 
97

97. That’s my latest CD4+ count, less than half the count from six weeks ago.

That’s it. I have tried as many alternative treatments as I can think of to reverse the decline. I will be starting my third round of pharmaceutical ARVs as soon as I can get a prescription and fill it.

This decision has been a long time coming, and in hindsight, I probably should have restarted a few months ago. There’s nothing magical about 97, or being below 100, but it’s as good a breaking point as any. I’ve long argued that there are two things to keep in mind about CD4 counts: one is the long-term trend; the other is single- or low double-digit counts.

Sunshine in the veins

 Posted by on 2012-05-02 at 9:54 am
May 022012
 
Sunshine in the veins

I first learned of ultraviolet blood irradiation (UBI) a few months ago from a mutual friend. UBI is also known as extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) in the medical literature, and most recently BioPhotonic Therapy and Photoluminescent Therapy. Photopheresis been around for more than a century, and started gaining attention in medical circles as early as 1902. Like many alternative protocols, the spectacular success of antibiotics to fight battle field infections in WWII captured the hearts and minds of physicians and started the West’s love affair with pharmaceutical solutions to disease.

Today, as best as I can tell, UBI is approved by the FDA for only two purposes: cutaneous t-cell lymphoma and graft-vs-host disease. It’s use is far more widespread in Europe, Russia, China and South America for a variety of conditions, though it is currently being studied in the U.S. as an alternative treatment or adjunctive treatment for malignancies, auto-immune disorders, and yes, AIDS.