By Timothy Stahl Coach Tim, CHHC, AADP, HIVegan
HIV/AIDS, once an obvious killer, is now quiet and subtler. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hearing about PrEP, viral suppression, meds, doctors, etc. After all, we’re adults and should have the basics under control. That’s where I come in as your life, health and wellness coach, guiding you through what comes next. When learned I had HIV in 2004, I wanted to know more of how to control my own health and thrive with HIV. Something told me there was more than appointments and meds.
Not to make light of HIV education and the importance of medication and viral load suppression, but there’s much work being done in this area, and little information reaching a community seeking more.
HIV is no joke; the meds are tough on the body, even if you don’t feel these effects. Although they help us live as long as our HIV-negative counterparts, they age us significantly, putting our organs in super overdrive and continual inflammation. Being positive gives a smaller window for mistakes with our health, carrying complication-risks including cancers, heart, kidney, skin, and mood disorders, and a significant increase in dementia and Alzheimer’s. We’re only beginning to understand what it means to age with HIV.
I care about your health and can coach you to live your best life, being thankful, even grateful, to have HIV. Yes, grateful. Take this as a wakeup call you must answer. We didn’t come all this way to let those less fortunate down, and must live and give respect to those who gave us this great opportunity.
The LGBTQ community can be cautious, even pessimistic, for obvious reasons. We’ve been through hell to be true to ourselves. I don’t blame naysayers for being skeptical of a health coach about HIV; it’s not them I want to coach. You must be coachable and want, not to only survive, but thrive with this disease.
There’s a notion that becoming HIV positive is a now walk in the park; many stay silent thinking they’ll be fine. Silence is deadly and I acknowledge that it’s not easy living with HIV; we need to talk about that and support each other. Some of us have guilt for surviving, are in denial, or think we’re indestructible. Many think we should suck it up, after all, we’re living. I call this the quiet killer. It can be a part-time job keeping things together and many fail miserably. You don’t have to.
I want to help. In 2013, nearly nine years after being diagnosed, I was suicidal, with brain fog, insomnia, acne, stomach issues, endoscopies and colonoscopies, eye exams, throat exams, etc. I went through it and you don’t have too. Nothing helped, not switching meds or specialists. Although my numbers were ok, I suffered with wanting to stay alive, depression, anxiety, loneliness and defeat. Little did I know a holistic approach to life and nutrition could help me thrive with HIV. I wish someone had told me in 2004 what to expect and what was possible.
Doctors are good at the basics but less so at discussing nutrition and a holistic approach to HIV regimens once meds are controlled. I don’t blame them; our healthcare system only allows so much time to spend with us and much of that is paperwork.
My life changed when I took control of my health and my doctor became part of my tribe. It takes a village. My t-cells tripled, my meds remained the same, and everything melted away. I still have hard days, but now I know I’m doing everything I can to stay healthy into my fifties, sixties and seventies. You should be doing the work now, reducing inflammation, so your body will hold up for decades to come.
If you are coachable, let us set up a free twenty minute immunity consultation by phone or computer and discuss how I can assist you towards better health; physically, mentally and emotionally. Check out my website at www.timothyericnutrition.com. You can also sign up for an appointment on my Facebook business page at TEN, Timothy Eric Nutrition.
I have one goal, to share my knowledge with you and support you anyway I can. To be a friend and mentor in this crazy world, while living with a shitty dis-EASE. To be a part of your village.