89 T Cells from an AIDS Diagnosis

Yes! Sad but true, this is my current situation and it stopped me dead in my tracks. Basically I overwork myself and stress about things I shouldn't be stressing about. I try to overcompensate from time lost in my youth…and I am killing myself slowly while doing it! I take my meds every day and vitamin infusions constantly, plus my juicing and eating and exercising as much as I can. I am undetectable and have been this way for almost 16 years! So why if my medicine is working and I do everything to have my CD4 cells go up and my percentage as well…am I with 289 T Cells??? Because of me!

So after my boss Krista Martel (who is an amazing human being) from The Well Project ordered me to NOT work and take the rest of the week off, I said "Wow, I am doing a good job!"

I have amazing people around me: Lisa, my Mom, Dad, friends in my groups, people I know, even my friends from CDC - especially Amber Dukes whom I like so much! She sat with me while we were doing a PSA for CDC #STOPHIVTOGETHER and said, "Maria, I am worried about you!" I actually listened. I felt I was going on empty! I have been traveling nonstop for like a year and a half! And on top of that I am a 'yes person' so I am doing a million things at a time!

As a Global Ambassador for The Well Project, I am part-time, but I often choose to work so much that I have completed my hours for the whole month by day 10! As Krista said to me (and I will never forget), "We brought you in because of the work you already do and to try to compensate for your time spent! Not to overwork you or have you get sick!" I DON'T KNOW HOW I WILL EVER REPAY The Well Project for all their care! What loving and caring people they are! I will support them until I die! If I ever become wealthy I will be one of their top donors! Believe that!!! smiley So after that talk with my boss, I decided that I would disconnect and use social media for around an hour, not 16 hours like before! I took some days off and also cancelled a trip I had pending for April.

I am going to listen to the advice I am hearing and will not continue pushing my body this way! I think all the good care and taking my medicine and alternative treatments that I do help me…they have to help me because if I were not supplementing myself with something I would have already dropped dead! Believe that!

So what is the moral of this story? What my Father said to me: IF YOU WORK TO LIVE, WHY DO YOU KILL YOURSELF WORKING? And this is so deep and true! I am a soldier and a warrior! I have a high work ethic! And because my past was filled with many mistakes that made me stronger, I have to forgive myself and not be so hard on me! It is OK to relax and not be on the GO GO! I can't fear loss or losing my job! I know I do a very good job and it felt so good to hear that from Krista. smiley She doesn't know this but I cried after we spoke. It was cleansing!!! She uplifted me as a human being and a person! All bosses should take pointers from her. She is compassionate and has empathy when she herself is overloaded with work. All of the people that gave me advice and talked to me might have saved me. One thing I feel for sure is if I would have continued on the track I was on…I would have either been dead or in the hospital by the end of the year fighting for my life and I CHOSE TO LIVE!

So balance is the key! And also having fun! Lisa and I went to wonderful events and concerts. smiley We are looking forward to many more that we have coming and my birthday month, APRIL!!! Many important things will happen. I will go on representing The Well Project as their Global Ambassador and will be at AIDS Watch in DC with many of my sisters from The Well Project and many friends from all over the USA. smiley I believe I am the only lesbian and Latina representing Florida for congress. I can't wait to meet the congressmen and congresswomen. smiley

I am also having an HIV/AIDS anniversary!!! It will be 26 years of living with HIV! As many know, I was infected in 1989 at the age of 16 and did not know it. I was diagnosed in 1991 at the age of 18. I found out April 18, 1991 and my birthday is April 11, 1973! In those times it was a death sentence and I never thought I would see my 28th birthday. This is just how it was back then.

Sooo…I will be damned if I kill myself!!! STRESS KILLS! And I am putting unnecessary stress on myself! This is NOT a good thing...but, I am correcting it. wink I also can't wait to do a keynote in Anaheim, California for the Hispanic Nurses Association in July. I will continue to do the work and continue my mission of saving lives and giving hope to the hopeless - as a more calm, stress-free, soon to be 42 year old woman. heart

I hope to continue sharing my life and journal/blog all of my ups and downs to everyone! It is not easy when you are the pillar of hope for so many to have them see you when you are down. But as any soldier, I may fall down a million times, but I will be back again. smiley And last but not least...how can the vessel help...if it is broken? heart

Love and light to all and thank you for reading me smiley

Maria T Mejia

To read this blog in Spanish, click here / Para leer este blog en español, presione aquí

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It is a great thing that you

boseolotu's picture

It is a great thing that you are giving yourself a break.

And you are undetectable,  for me it has been a very long time since I had my viral loads check.  My CD4 cell count is still dropping, but what I was told my the counsellor is that I need to be at the clinic as early as 7am to get my CD4 cell count test done again in JUNE. the clinic don't run viral load test again.  So for me I am just taking my Azt,3TC and Nevirapine.  For almost 12yr now, I was once at the undetectable level but I can be too sure of that. Thank God for your great boss that could be kind enough to make sure you take a break.  I have miss some few dose of my med in this past weeks.  I believe it shall be well with us all and that God gives us the strenght and courage that we all need to be able to face the various challenges that comes our ways.  Stay strong sister.  Love you......
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