When It Rains, It Pours
Last updated: January 2022
Have you heard of this saying before this article? I grew up hearing this saying. You may have some experience in dealing with this continuous situation yourself.
The last several months have been beyond challenging for me. I thought I had a lot of doctor appointments previously; now, I feel like all I do is go to doctor appointments, rehab, or scans.
Getting sick with COVID-19
In September, I ended up getting sick. By the time I went to an urgent care center, I had COVID-19 and pneumonia in my left lung. I felt awful.
Luckily, I was able to stay out of the hospital because I already owned things like a nebulizer to do at-home breathing treatments. For pneumonia, I also ended up with 2 different antibiotics and a steroid.
My symptoms were staying
Oddly enough to me, the COVID-19 symptoms were staying.
I did some research and learned about COVID-19 long-haulers. After learning that there are groups of people who still suffer from many COVID symptoms despite no longer having it, I felt a little relief. But the challenges for a recovery plan were just beginning for me.
Social Security disability denial
Another hit came to me while I was still struggling with COVID and pneumonia. I received a letter from Social Security - they completed my review (post 3 years of being on disability) and had decided that since my CD4 count was now above 50, I could return to working. I felt like all the air had been knocked out of me.
Not only is there so much more to managing HIV aside from a CD4 count, but I also have a handful of other health issues. Unfortunately, it looks like when I submitted my initial disability application, they only looked at the fact I had AIDS.
I do not know how this will affect my appeal, but I have managed to get my appeal paperwork submitted.
New health problems due to COVID-19
Since having the lingering COVID symptoms, I have gone to a post-covid clinic. Some of the symptoms that have continued are issues such as brain fog, headaches, chest pain, shortness of breath, and balance issues, among others.
I have encountered issues with my blood pressure staying very low. Additionally, I have had swelling and edema in both of my legs. This led to me having several tests done, including an EKG, echo, and a doppler ultrasound.
The doctors noticed that I have an atrial flutter. A blood test was also done and indicated heart failure. Due to all of this, I see a cardiologist soon.
Some of my blood tests are now also showing abnormal results in other areas as well. I am going to an endocrinologist to see if they can determine what is going on with the other parts of my body.
Doing my best to try to keep it together
The control I have over my depression is a fragile thing. My challenges with overcoming COVID tugged at that control. It is stressful and overwhelming to feel worse than I normally do.
It is even harder to need to see all these new doctors, do all these extra tests, and even do rehab. This has been an additional drain physically and mentally.
Trying to be proactive before my depression wins out
The disability denial was enough to send me spiraling on its own. It made me panic because I know that I cannot work and maintain all my doctor appointments. This also stressed me out because of the medical coverage issues that will occur if I am not on disability any longer. All of this led me to increase my appointments with my therapists as well before my depression wins out.
With everything that is going on, I am doing my best to try to keep it together. I have truly begun to take it one day at a time. This is the only way I can get through the multiple doctor appointments, rehab, and tests that are scheduled for me.
Have you ever dealt with a "when it rains, it pours type of situation"? How did you get through it?
Are you living with HIV? (select all that apply)
Join the conversation