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Entrusting Her to the Father

6 Jul

About 3 or 4 weeks ago, our daughter went to her regular check up and some of her lab work came back strange.  So more tests were run and today we finally heard that every thing checked out fine the second time.  However her CD4 count is down a little, and her viral load (which previously was undetectable) was now detectable but  low.  So for now she will stay on her current meds.

Through the past few weeks  I let my mind occasionally drift off to various “what ifs” scenarios.  Thinking through “what ifs” only leads to worries for me.  I had to continually remember that I need to entrust my daughter to my Heavenly Father and not worry about her health.  Worrying is a sin, a sin I can easily slip into.  I think the tricky part is that I am parenting a child that does have health problems that I can not control. 

So I can worry about her health in the future or I can choose to trust God with her future.

Trusting God with her health is easy to say but hard to do.  For me it has to be a daily choice.  If I think of a “what ifs,” I have to think…I choose to trust you, Lord.  And then try to think of something else, or stop and pray for my daughter’s health.   So even though her viral load was up and her Cd4 count was down, I choose to trust the Father.

Psalms 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”

The Lazarus Effect Film

24 May

Watch this film about the amazing transformation AIDS patients experience with proper medication.

HIV Stages, AIDS Defining Conditions and the Lazurus Effect

19 May

People may not be aware that the World Health Organization stages HIV infection in individuals. A similar concept which people are more familiar with would be cancer staging. Staging is a sort of “how bad is it” measuring stick for HIV infection.

Children with HIV have their own staging system as well. 

Some people mistakenly believe that a person who is HIV+ automatically has AIDS. The truth is those terms define two different conditions.

A person with HIV can be healthy with no detectable signs of HIV infection but they will always be HIV positive. A person can live many years with the HIV virus without developing AIDS.

AIDS is the most serious stage of HIV infection. It results from the destruction of the infected person’s immune system. 

There are infections that tend to be common with more advanced stages of HIV infection. These are called Opportunistic Infections (or OIs for short) because they tend to develop once the immune system has been compromised by the HIV virus.

According to the US CDC definition, a person has AIDS if they are infected with HIV and present with one of the following: A CD4+ T-cell count below 200 cells/µl (or a CD4+ T-cell percentage of total lymphocytes of less than 14%) OR have one or more of the following defining illnesses. (also called Opportunistic Infections)

For now, once a person is diagnosed with the AIDS label it is a permanent one. Though, a person doesn’t have to stay permanently in that sick state. There is something termed the Lazarus Effect. It is used to describe the remarkable improvement seen in AIDS sufferers once they begin treatment.

Many parents who have adopted HIV positive children will testify to the amazing changes their children underwent through proper medical treatment, with adequate nutrition, and in the care of loving parents. Children who were on the brink of death can bounce back and the levels of HIV in their bodies can become undetectable with medication. (Undetectable means that the amount of HIV virus present in the body is so low that medical tests cannot detect the virus. This doesn’t mean a person is cured of HIV; trace amounts will always remain in the system, but, when controlled properly with medication, the virus cannot inflict damage upon the immune system)

Getting Sick

15 May

This week has been a little hectic in part due to a sick kid.  If you assumed the sick kid was my HIV child, you would be wrong.  She has been home for 5 months and has only had one little cold that did not require a doctor’s visit.  On the other hand our son, who has been home for 4 months, has been sick several times and is the one that is sick with his second double ear infection plus he has ringworm on his scalp.  We have thought several times…isn’t this our “healthy” child?

Aside from the HIV virus (which may need medication),  children with HIV are “normal” kids.  If their HIV medicines are controlling their virus well, they really don’t have a compromised immune system – where they are getting sick all the time.  Our child’s blood work or CD4 count looks like a “normal” child.  SO she has not been sick more than “normal” kids in fact she has been sick less often than our other two “normal” children. 

I assumed our HIV child would get sick each time one of our other children got sick…that has not happened yet. 

That being said…I would like to write about a few of the things I do for all of my children which I think benefits my HIV child as well.  These are common sense good health practices for all children.   Here are a few of the things I do…

*We wash our hands before eating even when we have been at home.
*We don’t eat or drink after each other.
*We always wear shoes outdoors.
*We don’t eat raw cookie dough.
*I wash all fresh fruits and veggies with soap before we eat them.
*I use hand sanitizer on their hands if we can’t get to a sink.

But you can only do so much.  Kid will be kids.  Our daughter has already eaten a handful of potting soil  and has been caught playing in the toilet 5 times.  What are you going to do?


24 Apr

I had never heard of the highly contagious virus called molluscum until I went to Africa.  There is no cure for it, but there are homeopathic remedies of one kind or another.  Many children we saw in Ethiopia had molluscum on their skin (faces).  They look like worts and are VERY hard to get rid of, but go away over the course of childhood.  Many parents have had the dermatologist scrape them off which makes the molluscum 10x worse.  Our daughter  had three of them on her foot.  They bothered her when wearing certain shoes.  I’m not a doctor, but I play one at home.  I tried the squeeze method which swelled up her entire foot.  I decided to buy “snake oil” medicine off the internet called Zymaderm.  I’ve put it on 2x a day for exactly one month.  I’ve seen a huge improvement in the size of the virus!

It does dry out the surrounding skin.  I’m still using it on her toes.
Our friend, Zymaderm!  It doesn’t burn or hurt in anyway.  And our daughter is ALL SMILES about her foot!