It has filled me with an indescribable level of pride and joy to have shared that I have had 100% compliance with my new HIV-med regimen which I began January 26. However, due to that little pesky little term “blatant honesty” I am forced to admit that the best I can now aim for is 99.99%.
Tuesday morning I had created such a need (in my head, of course) to rush to get ready to go where it was that I was going – for the life of me I cannot currently remember what it was that was so important; In my frantic preparation, I skipped over the part of my routine in which I take my morning meds and lay out my dosage for that respective evening. It was late-afternoon when I remembered that I had forgotten. And with the plans I had made including a rehearsal and meeting a prospective cast member for Superheroes Who Are Super! I was not going to get home until nearly midnight.
My only hope was that I had taken them and just could not remember – something I have done more than once since January. In those instances, I was always relieved when I returned home to find the nighttime doses waiting for me, and, since they were sitting alone, it meant that I had taken the morning dose as well. Sadly that was not the case on Tuesday; I arrived home to see the empty space on the table where the meds should have been, which meant I definitely did not take the morning pills. I should probably also admit at this point that even though it probably would have been wiser to take the nighttime dose, I decided to forego that one as well – it may seem odd to most people, but one of my quirks is having certain things in balance; since I began the new regimen with a morning dosage, I would have felt out of balance if I had taken two nighttime doses in a row.
Despite my feelings of frustration surrounding my 24-hour lapse, I still am happy with the progress I have made in the area of my life; as I shared early on (see 86’d – AGAIN) my track-record regarding taking my meds was so far off track that I sometimes think that my care-providers just gave up hoping I would come close to even a semblance of compliance – though they never gave up on me.
One day without my meds may not be the ideal, but the fact that I realized what I had done and immediately corrected the error by starting up the very next morning shows that I have reached a point where I am seriously willing to do what I can do to make improvements in my life – much different from when I simply said I was willing to take those actions. And when I shared this mistake with my friend Sean, he pointed out the very fact that I was upset at having missed just one day is also progress; I had once shared with him that in the past I was unhealthily non-chalant about my erratic attitude toward my suggested treatment plan.
I don’t know how it is that I am having this experience with an equal mix of concern and calmness; it might have something to do with my increasing understanding of the phrase I hear in so many 12-step meetings, “Progress not perfection”. As I have accumulated more 24-hour periods of I sobriety I have learned to be kinder and gentler with myself: On the rare occasion I think a glass of wine with dinner would taste good or smoking a joint would relax me or any similar thought involving mind-altering chemicals, I know that, as an addict and alcoholic, I am going to have those thoughts – it means nothing unless and until I follow through on those thoughts. If I do the next right thing and share those thoughts either at a meeting or even with a single other sober fellow, than I have taken the step to correct my course, for if I do not share those thoughts, one thought will lead to a second thought which will lead to a third, fourth and fifth and, eventually, an unhealthy action.
When it came to my meds, I would let one missed dose lead to a second to a third to a fourth to a point when six-months had passed and I was just simply unhealthy – so much so that I would inevitably end up in the Emergency Room if not admitted to the hospital with some type of opportunistic infection – if not two or three.
Because my health is still in the process of climbing up from “poor” (I think now I can call it “fair to good”) I want to and will continue on the path of following the guidance of my current health care provider. I’m not looking forward to telling him of this instance when I see him next in June, but if I can get through years of telling my past providers time and time again that sometimes I took my pills and sometimes I didn’t depending on if I felt like it or not, I certainly can handle telling my current doctor that my current level of compliance has been almost perfect!