Wednesday, July 22, 2009
AIDS gone A.W.O.L.
I learned only yesterday that I will see my HIV doctor at Kaiser on Friday morning.
It's no stretch to call this visit a reunion. The last time that I saw Dr. Towner, my primary care physician in the Infectious Disease Department at Kaiser, was eight months and 76 medical visits ago.
Last November, Dr. T set up a colonoscopy for me but when I realized that preparation for the procedure involved drinking a large volume of a nasty laxative to irrigate my bowels, I protested.
"Doc! You gotta be kidding!" I said, after reading the instructions that were mailed to me in advance of the procedure. I wasn't swallowing much in those days, but I still could talk.
So Dr. T liberated me from that colonoscopy.
The main purpose of my visit with Dr. T on Friday will be to ensure that my health is sound enough for my biopsy on July 31. But I hope Dr. T also will send me to the lab for a long-overdue checkup on my HIV viral load.
I'm nostalgic for the days when I was merely an AIDS patient —and a dull one at that.
Since cancer burst into my life in January, AIDS has become my stepchild disease. Managing cancer has been more than enough to keep my hands full. Most days, I think about AIDS only when I grind up or pour my HIV meds to send them down my G-tube.
So seeing Dr. T on Friday will help me get back in touch with my inner HIV.
And that's not all: Now that I can ingest laxatives through my G-tube, Dr. T may put the colonoscopy back into play.
Sphincter, get ready for your close-up.