Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Justin's HIV Journal: Justin Stops Drinking Alcohol & Health Improves
I believe everyone who knows me knows that I like to relax and have a good time. When I was “having a good time”, most of that time I could’ve been seen with an alcohol beverage in my hand.
In August I wanted to try something new; not only for me, but for my husband and my son. My health is not the greatest when dealing with HIV, but I know I have the tools to make it better.
So I decided to stop drinking. Let me say that it has not been easy to do but I wanted to see if it actually affected my health.
I didn’t go see my doctor for 4 months. The last time I saw my doctor it was in July and my T-Cell count was in the 300’s. Now that I stopped drinking my T-Cell count went up into the 400’s. I hope that this number climbs for me.
Most of the HIV positive people know want this number to go as high as it possibly can. Some are higher than 400 some remain lower. But you cannot worry too much about the numbers of other HIV positive people, worry about yourself and your own numbers. People are used to boasting about their numbers and that’s okay.
Then I looked at beers and wines that were non-alcoholic. So now I’m okay with have O’Douls, even though it sometimes upsets my stomach. So then I switched to St. Pauli N.A. which also has a Amber flavor that I liked a lot. When drinking wine I’ve learned to stick with Fre Wines. I will leave the links at the end of this entry to make sure you can check it out.
But now that I’ve stopped drinking I’ve had to analyze what I can do to stay in a social setting and be okay with everyone around me drinking. I started drinking non-alcoholic wines, beers and even champagne; and for me I started to like it. I like the fact that I was leveled headed when leaving a public setting, could interact with friends, not get drunk, and not have a hangover the next day.
When you are HIV positive, you have to work hard to stay healthy. Drinking less alcohol—or not drinking at all—can help you fight HIV disease and improve your health. Quitting drinking or cutting down on drinking is just one part of leading a healthy lifestyle.
· Can make you forget to take your HIV medicines on time or not care about taking them at all.
· Hurts your liver, especially if you also have hepatitis C.
· Can weaken your immune system so that it does not fight HIV as well.
· Affects your judgment so you may not practice safe sex.
· Increases the risk of side effects from HIV medicines and other medicines.
· Changes how some prescription drugs work in your body and can make them less effective.
For many people, drinking is a response to life’s problems and pressures. If you drink too much alcohol to deal with depression or the stress of living with HIV, talk with your doctor or healthcare provider.
Some of the facts that are stated in this journal entry can be found in the brochure. Alcohol and HIV A mix you can avoid.
St. Pauli N.A.