Friday, April 3, 2009


I saw Doc on Monday, and there's some good news to report. I'll count the blessings:

1. My weight is back up to 170 pounds!

2. My CD4 count (an immune cell measurement) is up to 570, the highest it's been since I was diagnosed with AIDS! That's about 25-30% of a "normal healthy" person.

3. I get to stop taklin' one of the most toxic AIDS meds (DDI)!

4. My triglycerides (a side effect of the AIDS drugs) is down from 1,400 to 560!

5. My viral load is down from a high of over a million to 155! (Per ml of blood)

6. The Peripheral Neuropathy I have may (or may not) decrease as a result. Time will tell. At any rate, it's unlikely to get worse!

7. I quit taking the bupropion (a social anxiety drug) several months ago. It used to be very difficult for me to cope with bein' around a lot of people (such as Walmart at rush hour). Bring it on! (Hey, I still don't like it, and who does? But I don't feel like I'm gonna freak out or nothin').

8. I'm actually starting to get noticeably stronger. Meanin', for the first time in nearly twenty years I'm increasin' my energy! It's been a long, slow slog, but jusy knowin' it's possible fills me with hope!

9. Patti and I are gettin' along better than ever. I would be lyin' if I said we had no rough spots, but we are improving...together. Patti is doin' so much better, too. I'm proud of the progress she has made! She is one tough cookie and my love continues to grow for her! :^)

10. I am so thankful for you, my friends, my sisters n' brothers under the pelt!
One could not ask for better friends and family than you guys! :^)

11. And even the painful, depressin' bad times. They are a blessin', because it has helped me grow stronger, increasing my hope, love, and faith, centered around truth.
And it has increased my gratitude and thankfullness. I avoid bitterness n' envy like the plague. I quickly notice, often by readin' what you guys write, when I'm takin' what I ought to be thankful for...for granted. And O! How I cherish and love my God given Liberty!

12. And I more easily recognize God's hand in my life, AKA my Destiny! My purpose(s) for bein' here! It's an ongoin' process. How can it be anything but? And yet it is so much more incredibly clearer than ever before! Miraculous?! You betcha! Hey! I'm supposed to be dead according to our best medical science. Dead since 1992 and never more alive!

13. Thanks Doc! And Thanks Lord! You guys rock! :^)


julie said...

That's all wOnderful news, Ben!!
I'm doing a happy dance for both of you :D

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks Julie! Don't tell nobody but I'm happy dancin' too. It looks kinda funny from my vantage point. Ha ha!

Joan of Argghh! said...

Oh Ben, that's just wonderful news for both you and your bride!

Happy, happy! Joy, joy!

Snoopy Dance!

walt said...

Great Good News:
All Praise to the Power of Grog!

a sproing in yer step...
texaco in yer tummy...
bring. it. on. suck-ah!

I sez:
"Let's have a Tea™ party!"

Ricky Raccoon said...

Captain Ben!
That’s great news! And on a Monday, no less! And broadband too?!
You better play Powerbucks. Or is it Megaball?
Ahh whichever. Glad yer doin good, m’ man.

Robin Starfish said...

Dead since 1992 and never more alive!

At 25% capacity, you've got more life than ten of us lesser ninjas. Keep on rockin' the free world!

jwm said...

Muy cool, space brother!
That starts my day on a positive note. Very good to hear! May this trend continue.


julie said...

Speaking of ninjas and pirates, I saw this just now and immediately thought of you, Ben :D

QP said...

From an undisclosed location, deep in the heart of Cowboy's garage, which doesn't mean anything profound, except I've mostly been disconnected from the internet, comes a connection to this bestest and blessest news!

Prayers of Thanksgiving for your healing Ben!!

Jimmy J. said...

What wonderful news!
Sounds like things are steady on course and picking up steam.

Steady as she goes now sailor. All ahead normal speed. May fair seas and following winds be your constant companions as you steer toward the next destination on your remarkable journey.

Good to hear the First Mate is looking lively as well. It takes a full crew to keep the good ship Conrad seaworthy.

From one old swabbie to another, "Well done, sailor!"

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks Joan!

Snoopy is the king of happy dances!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...


Ha ha! A tea party it is! With grog of course! Thanks!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks Rick!

You know, I feel like I won the spiritual lotto!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hey John-

Thanks, m'man! Spaceman you say? Are you requestion some metascifi?
Ha ha!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks Dojo!

That means a lot to me! Time to ratchet up the slack, eh?

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...


Ha ha! That's great! Thanks! That would be quite a melee on a ship.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks QP!

Cowboy's garage you say? You have fun now! We all know Cowboy is a gentleman so you don't hafta be home by ten. :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Jim!

Thank you, my friend! Our ship is haze gray and underway, headin' into a new port O call!

Gecko said...

What great nOooze, Ben!

BabbaZee said...

BabbaZee said...

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Babbazee!

It's so good to see you!
I can't see the video because I have dial-up but I thank you for breinging this post to my attention again, because I needed to see it.

It's funny in a not so funny way how quickly I can become too cynical (sinical) to count my blessings.

Thank you for being a blessing!