27 April 2007

Stylin' Friday: The Baseline CD4 Count

The follow-up from my diagnosis, in a feeble attempt to imitate the style of Oink Grrr

As my PCP (pneumocystis carinii pneumonia) surrendered, microbe by microbe, to the constant onslaught of the fairly simple antibiotic, it came time for me to return to the scene of my damsel-in-distress faintness (after the bronchoscopy). When my stalker - er - caring doctor asked me if I would consent to having an actual HIV test, it was almost anticlimactic. What could be easier than having a test for which we were all reasonable sure of the outcome? With no hesitation, I held out my arm for the onslaught of the vampire.

As it takes a while for these things to come back (yes, dear pea-hens*, even when the answer key has been faxed to the whole class, the markers take their time), I returned to the drudgery of my job at the time. I might have whistled while I worked, but I am apparently genetically incapable of emitting that kind of sound.

Going back to the hospital, I got my next surprise. It seems that my CD4 count, which should have been the equivalent of this scene of a beach teeming with walruses…

…looked more like this:

My stalker caring doctor tried to explain the situation with some kind of military metaphor (generals and soldiers and such) while my mind wandered to thoughts of how I might politely point out that I had three university degrees and might do better with real medical terms. In the end, it boiled down to my having a baseline CD4 count of 4, which my stalker doctor said meant that I had been infected for at least 10 years, probably more (this was 1997-98). If I had been able to see into the future, I might have named them lumpy, humpy, dumpy and frumpy, but being limited to the here and now (or the there and then), I had no choice but to call in "Nervous Nelly" to work and go home to consume bonbons and daytime television for the rest of the afternoon.

*I did have to come up with my own poultry and my own term of endearment for it, but this does refer to you, the reader.

My next instalment will likely be about looking back on where this infection might have come from — or not — and other such philosophical ramblings. Any suggestions on a style?

1 comment:

Ken Monteith said...

(What a geek I am, commmenting on my own entry!)

Just to say that I am quite excited about next Friday's post, written as a sonnnet. Still open to suggestions for future styles, though...