“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Saturday, April 16, 2011

XMRV Treatment: Month Two

So sorry I haven't posted lately.  I've been occupied by my writing (imagine that, focusing on real life and not my illness).  In particular, I've been participating in the A to Z blog challenge for the month of April on my writing blog.  It's been a lot of fun, but I find that it takes a lot out of me.

After two months of treatment, I asked my husband if he could see any differences at all.  He said there are hints.  I agree.

I notice that I am having more good days.  By good days, I mean that I feel lighter, happier, in a good mood, like a fog has lifted from me.  I have a little more energy, and I tend to do a little bit more spontaneously -- things like wash my sink, clear the table, empty another box (still haven't finished unpacking!).  It's not a big difference in my activity level, but it's definitely noticeable.

Unfortunately, that buzz of energy also keeps me up at night.  I have a hard time falling asleep, and when I do, it is filled with vivid dreams and wakings.  Which leaves me exhausted the next day, and it takes  several days to normalize again.  It's a cruel cycle.

Another thing that I've noticed is how horribly deconditioned I am after years of declining activity.  I can't help but feel that if I were in better shape, I'd be able to take advantage of my good days and do more with them.  It's a nasty catch-22.  If I push my activity level, I feel tired and crappy.  If I don't, I can't make any progress in my health. 

I've chosen to push myself a little bit.  I am doing gentle yoga in the mornings.  I've bought a pedometer.  I walk an average of merely 1,000 steps a day.  Before I got sick, it was around 8,000.  I try to walk just a little extra.  I'd like to get it up to an average of 2,000 steps a day.  For now, anything over 1,000 is a victory.

Many people have asked me what specific medications I am taking.  I don't feel like I can give that information right now.  It would be irresponsible.  I don't want to appear that I'm recommending this course of treatment for anyone.  I don't know if it works, and even if it does, I can't assume it will be right for everyone.  If you are as determined as I was that you would like to try antiretroviral treatment, then I recommend you do your homework, find which drugs target XMRV, and decide with your doctor which treatment is best for you.