I thought that I had lost my mind when I opened the window at 4:00 A. M. and stuck my head out of the window to cool off on Friday. But when I felt the impulse to raise my t-shirt in front of the window this morning so the heat and sweat that was under my breast could cool down, I knew that this was out of control.
I had been fighting the truth of this for three months now. I just couldn’t come to terms with it. I had been on a medication that caused me to have hot flashes for 6 months so I made myself believe that this was a residual from that medication even though I’ve been off of it for three months now. But when I pulled my shirt, yes you heard me right, when I pulled my shirt down and moved from the window, I picked up my iphone and called the doctor.
MENOPAUSE! Are you kidding me? Yep MENOPAUSE! WOW! I didn’t think that I would live long enough to see menopause. #For Real When I made a transition to AIDS the life expectancy was three years and at one point I was sick enough to die. And the truth of the matter is AIDS has a mind of it’s own, you never know how it’s going to hit you or when, but make no mistake it will hit.
I remember when I first started speaking I would go to high schools and ask the freshman to stand, and I’d say, “By the time you graduate I’ll be dead.” And according to everything we knew about AIDS, I should have died.
Yes, I had a great doctor and I did everything that was expected of me, but honestly HIV/AIDS treatment didn’t take a turn for the better until the mid-nineties and by that time I had been infected for over 10 years.
I remember when my t-cell count was 8, my viral load 400,000, and I was a size 0. The quality of my life had withered away. My life consisted of speaking and bed. I would crawl myself out of bed, pull my Diva together and go speak and turn right back around and crawl back into bed, until it was time to speak again.