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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

August 22, 2018 Wednesday Afternoon

Today I started new HIV / AIDS medication.  I was taking Epzicom and Viramune (in generic form).  Last night I took my first dose of Biktarvy, a new one day pill to replace the two I was taking.  It is suppose to be cleaner and less side effects as the other two.  I was just happy to see how much smaller the one pill is to the other two I was taking.  Sad to say I did wake up this morning throwing up bile, which I was hoping would change with this new drug.  Time will tell.  Here is a picture of the two HIV AIDS drugs I was taking and the new drug Biktarvy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

July 25, 2018 Wednesday Afternoon

It has been a while since I posted or update my blog.
I saw my HIV doctor today and got my new numbers, they are posted with my post numbers.  Both the doctor and I are happy with how things are going at the moment.  I was informed about a new one pill a day that could replace my two pills, Epzicom and Viramune.  I will begin the new one pill named Biktarvy.  I am hoping it gives me some relief from the vivid dreams and the rashes on my body. 

The biggest news since I posted last is the passing of Vito.  Vito died March 28.  He would have been 15 years old this August.  He was my blind diabetic dog that I had to carry out and take very good care of.  It was quick.  I think he had a stroke.  Putting a pet down is the hardest thing anyone can do and the fact I have done it seven other times didn't make this time any easier.  The only thing is you know what to expect and what steps to take.  I miss Vito every day.
Life is otherwise going well.  Too fast.  Each day seems to go faster than the day before.  Tony still takes Rose to work daily.  I walk the other five a couple times around the block each day for them and for me.  I enjoy the walks just as much as they do and walking kept my Grandma alive to the age of 98.  Tony and I are doing good.  He is still working on settling his sisters estate which should end soon.  It is an undertaking I don't wish on anyone who didn't make out a will.  The dogs are all healthy and happy.  Blackie has become more friendly with each day.  I could not have wrote a better plan on having a cat in a house with all these dogs better.  She is a once in a lifetime cat.  I sleep on the pull out couch nightly with her, Bo and Casper.  They are the only two dogs that don't want to eat her.  Tony sleeps with the other four dogs in the bedroom.  I can now hold her.  I even put a collar with a bell on her this past week to stop her from bringing me mice and birds as presents on a daily basis.  I am happy we have Blackie in our lives.  Domino, the other cat I fixed and released still comes daily too for food.  He comes as far as in the front porch, but does not come into the house like Blackie does.

So life is going good.  I still can not believe the daily crap from our President and the people working for him.  Thankfully there are many like me who will vote in November.


Friday, February 2, 2018

February 2, 2018 Friday Evening

I was asked to put this link on my blog.  It seems like a great source for help with HIV for college students.
Supporting College Students With HIV
Here is the link:

Friday, January 19, 2018

January 19, 2018 Friday Morning

Hello.  It has been a long time since I posted to my blog.

Life is going along pretty good.  We still have all seven dog and all are happy and healthy.  So anyone who thought I couldn't keep seven dogs safe, fed and happy should be ashamed of yourselves.  We also now have the black cat we fixed in June living in our spare bedroom.  Since we saved her and her four babies she has taken to us.  We started feeding her out front and soon she was living on our front porch.  She became so tame she now spends most of her time in the house with the dog and us.  Vito and Bo love the cat and spend as much time as possible with her.  The other dogs are a fence away and seem not be bothered.  Life is good.

We did have the passing of Tony's sister Sandy about four months ago.  It has not been easy since Tony took it on himself to be personal representative to settle her estate since she didn't have a will.  It is not easy when someone doesn't have a will. We are in the process of trying to sell her house.  We finally got it cleared out.  She was a hoarder. 

I posted my latest blood results.  Things seem to be going along pretty good health wise.  Besides the normal colds and flu, knock on wood, I have been doing pretty good. 

Tony and I are doing great.  We will be celebrating 29 years together this March. 

I continue to check comments and will delete any comments about fake cures for HIV and AIDS.  There is no cure and I will not post fake news.  If a real break through comes around I will be the first to post it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 19, 2017 Wednesday Morning

Been quite a while since I posted.  Went for my six month HIV appointment the other day.  Got my latest test results which were a little disappointing.  My CD4 count went down a lot which we did expect to some point since the previous number was so high, but was not happy with the percent of good cells going down also.  Hopefully it was just an 'off' day for me to have the blood test.

Life just keeps rolling along.  It is a very hot humid day today in Milwaukee.  I am not fond of hot and humid.  I am having lunch today with my neighbor that moved from across the alley 2 years ago.  We have been good about meeting once a month for lunch and I do look forward to our lunches together.  I feel good physically and am trying to by positive mentally.  Some days are easier than others.

We are up to seven dogs now.  Yes, seven.  Tony watched a beagle pug mix get hit by a car near his shop and after rescuing it no one came forward to claim her.  She is so sweet and get along with everyone so we decided to keep her.  Here is a picture of our current gang:
Vito has had his ups and downs the last few months but seems to be happy to keep enjoying life.  He still enjoys going out daily for a short sniff and walk in the alley.  I am able to walk the new Beagle (Lucky) along with Bo and Casper all together.  I still am working on Armani and Toby when it comes to walking.  I do love my dogs.

The Summer is going by so damn fast.  Every day and week for that matter seems to.  I blink and another week has gone by.  I still am taking my anti depressant and seems to be doing what it should.  Do not find myself crying during the day like I was prior to starting it.  Walking the dogs daily really has keep my healthy physically and mentally.  I keep thinking of my grandma that lived to 98 because she walked daily.

I still think of death and dying.  Having another young friend die a couple weeks ago at 43 yrs old hasn't helped.  I still am searching for the answers to life.  Tony and I are doing OK.

Hope you all are enjoying your Summer.  Thought it good to check in and let you know I am still alive and feeling good.  Feel like I am in a good spot in life right now.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March 28, 2017 Tuesday Morning

Hello.  It has been a while since I posted.  I did update my blood results from my January visit with my HIV doctor.  Actually got my best numbers yet with that visit.  Life seems to go so fast that I blink and another day has gone by.  Let me try to update what has been happening in the first few months of this year:
I still am taking the anti depressant Velafaxine.  I honestly hate taking an anti depressant and am not happy with the very vivid dreams I have on this drug.  It is like when I was on Atripla which I had to stop taking due to the dreams.  I wake up yelling.  Always a dream in turmoil.  My doctor even had me switch when I take the meds and it has not helped with the dreams.  I see my doctor for my anti depressants again in April and will address this then again.  Other that the dreams the meds seem to get me out of the 'dark' or 'sad' times I feel at times.

I stayed in therapy for the month of January.  February came and I ended up stopping my visits with this case worker / therapist.  It was due to a combination of things.  One being the weather in February was the warmest on record here for that month.  I spent a lot of time outside with the dogs walking and training.  Vito continues to go on 'carry walks'.  The other being the fact I just wasn't getting anything out of the visits.  The last straw was when the therapist was yawning while I talked.  I felt like I was boring her with my petty problems.  There are only two therapists and the other I do not like much either.  Will see how life goes but for now I am done with therapy.

Healthwise, by the middle of February I got a sinus infection.  I get these infections twice a year and it is usually the end of March and October.  I think the warm weather brought allergy season earlier than in the past.  By the first week of March I was seeing my doctor for the sinus pain.  Got an antibiotic and was told to see an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist.  Last week the ENT speciallist told me I have TMJ Pain and to see my dentist.  Was even given a brochure on it because I thought he was joking.  I have a dentist appointment on the calendar for middle of April.  Two weeks ago my teeth ached so bad for three days I could not eat cold or hot food or drink.  Anything I ate sent me to the floor in pain.  I still don't know what that was all about but am so glad it stopped.  Why can't life be pain free?

Last Friday afternoon I was taking a nap with the dogs and heard Vito hit the floor.  Fell off the bed.  I have a very secure area for him to sleep on and he is usually very good about staying in that area.  Got to him on the floor in pain with his left paw in the air.  FUCK!   Poor guy.  Being blind must just suck.  Spent all last weekend carrying him out and holding him to relieve himself.  He can not put any weight on the foot.  Took him to the vet yesterday and the doctor says she does not think he broke anything but will take a long time to heal.  Will have to carry him EVERYWHERE for a while.  Thankfully being blind for as long as he has been, and his other leg injury, he is not very mobile and has learned to listen to me and work with me with all his needs.  Also set up an appointment for him for next week to have a glucose curve done on him to see how his Insulin levels are doing.  It has been a while since we had these levels checked due to the cost, but it is time if I want to be a good dad.  Vito will be 15 in July.

The other five dogs are doing great.  Rose still goes to work with Tony daily and is waiting at the back door to leave with him.  Rose loves going to work with Tony and when she is there taking his brother Tom, who works there, for a morning walk.

So other than life's stumbling blocks and the aches and pains of old age and HIV, I am still alive and kicking.  I am looking forward to Summer.  I should say Spring because Summer gets too hot.  I like Spring and Fall best.

Vito is whining on his pillow so best to get back to attending him.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December 28, 2016 Wednesday Morning

What a difference time, and an anti depressant can make in one's life.

Merry Christmas to everyone.  Guess if your reading this we all made it through the holidays.  I was not looking forward to going to my family's house this year due to them all being Trump supporters but it all turned out OK.  Did not spend as much time at my family's home as usual but that was good this year.  Stayed away from any political talking.  We did have a great time at Tony's family Christmas Eve playing Cards Against Humanity. 

I am now taking 25 mg of my anti depressant twice daily.  My doctor thinks we should stay at this dose since it has made such an impact on my quality of life.  I have stopped crying or thinking about sad thoughts, and look at life half full, rather than half empty.  I continue to walk the dogs almost daily for my health as well as theirs.  It has been cold here in Milwaukee and walks have been limited to when it is over 30 degrees.  Thankfully more days than not have been over 30 degrees so everyone is walked and happy.

I do have to set the record straight on a comment I received on my last post.  The comment was totally off on all accounts.  My dogs are what I live for.  If I did not have my dogs I would not be a happy person.  All our dogs get along great and no one is shorted any attention.  If you follow their Facebook page Rose and Casper you will see they spend most of their hours on top of each other in a dog pile because they truly love each other and happy to have each other.  No one is slighted in any way.  Six dogs might be a lot and more than planned, but everyone is well fed and loved equally.  Also, I walk some dogs two at a time and others, that don't walk as well yet by themselves, for their safety.  When you live in the city a stray dog can come out at any time.  If I have more than two dogs I do not feel I can properly protect MY dogs.  So it is by choice I walk them one at a time or two at a time.  It also gives them one on one time with me.  

Tony also has changed in the past month since out 'correction'.   I still have not brought him his plate of food since his rude request last post.  I now make up his plate and tell him it is ready.  It has been good for both of us to be honest.  Know that when I vent about Tony it is with love.  We have been together going on 28 years.  If you have not been with anyone for even close to that amount of time I seriously doubt you can give me relationship advice.  No relationship is perfect but when someone stands by you through the good times and bad, you remember these things and look past their faults.

I get my results back this Friday from the memory test I took a few weeks ago.  I did not do well on the test and think my short term memory is a problem getting worse as time goes on.

I am still seeing my therapist weekly or every two weeks.  It helps to talk through things.  So I am helping ME by taking the steps to get help with therapy and anti depressants.  I am proud of myself in that respect.  I hope I continue to make changes in the coming year.

I am not looking forward to 2017.  I am very fearful of the new administration.  I think Trump and everyone he has hired are going to ruin this county and get rich in the process.  I fear for my social security, my ADAP, my medicare, as well as Tony's health insurance with a pre existing condition.   When we look back in the years to come there will be no one to blame but the Republican's.  No Obama or Hillary to blame things on.  Should be a bumpy ride.

All the dogs are doing great.  Vito had a stroke / vestibular disease about a month ago.  I was fearful we would loose him but he pulled through and is back to walking around the block when the weather permits.  Took him for a long walk with Bo yesterday. 

Happy New Year to everyone.  Hope you had a good 2016 and wishing you a better 2017.

Friday, November 11, 2016

November 11, 2016 Friday Afternoon

It has been quite a hard week. 

I finally last week saw a licensed psychologist that thought I really could be helped with an anti depressant.  I am so hesitant to go on one not only because of the stigma when you tell any doctor your meds and include and anti depressant as well as the side effects I know come with them.  I have been on them twice in the past and was not happy with the results.  Over 15 or more years ago.
I said I would give it a try since I would not be sitting in her office if I didn't know something was just not right.  She put me on Venlafaxine.  Started me on a half pill twice a day so that is 12.5 mg each dose for a total of 25 mg a day.  I eventually would be up to 75 mg a day which at this point kind of scares me.  I say this because this morning, being the fourth day on the meds I honestly thought I was freaking out.  Had a bad panic attach this morning after listening to the news.  Now this all might be because of this election which scares the hell out of me. 
I am under review for social security for AIDS.  I could loose my social security and that would make me have to buy healthcare through the Affordable Healthcare Law which Trump has vowed to dismantle.   So I could be without health insurance very soon.  Meds are about $2000 a month for my AIDS. 
I could also be considered a second class citizen because Trump has also vowed to make our marriage null and void.  All this has cause me so much stress I have eaten very little all week.  Slept very little all week.  Have had a huge fight with Tony.  And cause me to break down several times.
The huge fight with Tony is due to me seeing a councilor also the past few weeks.   As I talk to her and tell her things I am surprised how I have settled and honestly how sad our marriage has gotten.  We don't talk much, at least he doesn't.  When I ask Tony 'How was your day', I get "Fine"  "How was yours".  Unless I then tell him anything that happened that is it for conversation lately.  Passion?
What is that?   I told Tony this morning I feel more like roommates than husbands lately.  
What started this was the other night when I bought Tony his plate of supper like I usually do, he a little while later spilled some of his crystal light on himself and looked at me and snapped 'if you can't bring me my plate of food with a napkin, don't bring me my damn plate of food'.  I was shocked.  I looked at him and asked him what he said and he repeated it.  I than looked him in the eye and told him I would never never never bring him a plate of food ever again.  I am not his waiter or servant.  What shocked me the most was how he looked and sounded like his father and that is not a good thing.  We fought all night and have said little to each other until this morning when I told him how unhappy I was with our marriage and suggested counseling for the both of us.
So long story short, my life is a mess, but I am getting help.
The six dogs are all doing good.  I do walk them at least once a day, most days twice.  Morning and late afternoon.  That is a lot of walking because I take them one at a time a few times around the block.  My grandma swore walking kept her alive until 98 and I believe it was a factor.  Keep moving.
The weather has been warmer than usual and I will not be happy with Winter does finally get her.
If anyone has any experience taking the anti depressant Venlafaxine I would love to hear if it worked or any concerns you had.

Friday, October 21, 2016

October 21, 2016 Friday Morning

Hello.  I am still alive and getting through life.

My followers will be happy to know I finally broke down and made an appointment and went to the appointment last week Monday with a counselor at ARCW here in Milwaukee.  We started a health assessment and the counselor thinks I should see a shrink and likely get on some mild depression meds.  She is sending a recommendation so I can see the person there at the office.  They will then test me for depression which she feels I have at this point.  It took a lot to finally get in there but I am proud I made these first steps.  I see her again next week and the shrink and testing will be some time down the road.  I simply can not cry as much as I do doing a day.  I can not go through life thinking about death and dying daily. 

I got a letter this week from social security asking me to update my information and health records to see if my benefits will continue or be cut.  I am some days honestly just not able to work.  Most days.  Especially the ones where I start off the day throwing up bile in the sink at 6 AM.  Not sure what job will let me take a nap from 1 - 3 daily.  I would then loose my Medicare and health insurance so I am very scared.  When I originally was awarded SS it was for 5 - 7 years and then to be reviewed.  I am at the end of my seventh year. 

The nice Summer weather has come to an end.  I do not mind the 50s or 60s, but when it starts to get to the 40s and lower it makes it very difficult to get the energy to go outside and walk the dogs.  The dogs are all doing great, all six of them.  I took a picture recently of them all in the Packer Jerseys for this years Christmas card.  Here it is.
Is that cute as hell or what?

So, I am still pretty much the same mentally and physically, the best news is I am starting therapy to help with my depression and sadness.  Will let you know how this works as we go along this new path.  I am not opposed to depression meds, but have used them in the past with not good results.  My counselor says the meds have come a long way from when I was taking them 20 years ago.

Hope you are all doing well.  Please stop posting silly cures or home remedies.  I will just delete them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August 17, 2016 - Wednesday Early Afternoon

Note:  If you comment and post about a cure I will delete it.  Until a scientific cure is found I will not post false hope or information even as comments. 

It has been a while since I posted.  I just spent the past half hour deleting comments about quack doctors and cures.  The past couple months have gone so fast and so much has happened.  A few weeks after Kali died we found another Pit Bull.  We were on our way home July 9th from a family picnic with Rose in the back of the car about a mile from home when I saw her running across the boulevard.  We circled back and stopped a house ahead of her.  I walked right up to her and she did not run.  I then went back to the car and got Rose's leash and went back and looped it around her neck.  What do I do now?  I don't know this dog and we have Rose in the car.  She followed me to the car and I got in and let her sit on the floor in front of me.  Neither Rose or her seemed to care.  I told Tony to drive home quickly.  On that Monday I took her to the vet to find out she was chipped and the owner was contacted.  Owners information could not be given to us per the owners paperwork.  After three days, three calls, and three times being told 'I work until 6 PM', no one contacted us and we started our search for her forever home.  I refuse to take her to a shelter and have her locked in a cell where her personality will never shine.  She is sweet.  Has not hurt anyone.  Actually trained better than my dogs.  lol.  We did have a house divided again for two weeks.   As I sit here typing this she still is here.  Yes, we now again have six dogs, four being Pit Bulls.  I am not proud of this or ever dreamed of having this situation.  Unfortunately because of other people being irresponsible pet owners, I am stuck with their burden.  Her name is Armani and she is a two year old spayed female:
Tony still takes Rose to work, but that still leaves me five dogs to walk each morning. 

We thought we were going to loose Vito a week after my last post.  He went through two bad weeks and we even had 'the day' scheduled before trying one more antibiotic.  It worked and Vito is back to his diabetic blind 13 year old self. 

Armani does have issues (the recent found dog).  Something about dark and moving things in almost dark bothers her.  I honestly think she was put in a dark basement with a bad dog.  She freaks to the point where I am afraid she will bite one of the other dogs from a bad memory, only when we are going to bed at night.  I have been making her sleep on the love seat in an enclosure next to the bed since we got her.  I just can not trust her.  Something about the TV being on, the ceiling fan, that kind of atmosphere, freaks her out.   She is very tense with the other dogs.  Naps are fine, go figure.  It is just at night, with the TV on.  That light beings something out of her I am not sure of. 

I have been doing OK health wise.  My only complaint right now is having to pee every two hours day or night.  I can not go more than that time.  Even doubled my meds for this problem and will address with my doctor in a month when I see him.  I am up by 5:30 AM, sometimes still throwing up, feed the dogs by 6:30 AM.  Tony leaves for work with Rose around 7 AM.  By 10 AM I have walked all the dogs for at least an hour around the block.  It has been a very hot Summer so I have been working them from about 8 AM daily before the heat sets in.  After that I am just mush.  The heat makes me just want to sleep.  On our way to hottest Summer here in Milwaukee.  Spend the rest of the morning doing things around the house or running an errand.  By 1 PM I nap until 3 PM and then wake up and start my day over again.  I do enjoy my naps with the dogs and notice a difference when I am not able to some days.

Tony is doing good.  Be careful what one asks for.  I have been for years badgering Tony about taking a day off, a week off, any time off.  On your death bed you are not going to wish you worked one more day I tell him.   Last week he comes home telling me he is taking the last two weeks of August through Labor day off.  Two weeks.  We will kill each other.  LOL

I still feel depressed and think of death from time to time but honestly have been so busy with the dogs to let it go on for much time.  Training Toby has been my biggest challenge.  I am even working with a trainer's advice and still having problems getting him to walk nice.  He just has too much energy.  Armani even walks better than him (the dog we recently found ).    Posted my July most recent blood results.  Doctor was happy as was I with the numbers.   I do remember a time when getting through a day didn't feel uphill all day.  I am still getting up that hill.

Monday, June 6, 2016

June 6, 2016 Monday Morning

It is June already.  The last few weeks have not been good around here.  Last week Tuesday on May 31, 2016 I had to say goodbye and euthanize my almost 17 year old dog named Kali.
Kali was my baby.  Kali even used to go to work with my years ago.  Her health had been in decline and it was truly her time.  It just hurts so much to say goodbye to a beloved friend and family member.  I spent the last 16 years keep Kali safe.  Kali did not suffer in the end.  She will be so missed.

Of course this has not helped with my depression.  I did try to make an appointment with a counselor at ARCW but I honestly don't like the three they have to offer.  I have met them all and counseled with them and eventually we just hit a dead end.  I sometimes wish I could just close my eyes and not wake up again.  With that said, who would take care of my five dogs I still have?  I'm just tired, sad, and spend my days lately in tears thinking about Kali.

Tony has been very good and I wonder how I would ever make it through life without him.  I just wish I could be more like him and just move on and not think about the pain and sadness.  I thought when Summer came and getting outside it might help with feeling so sad, but it has not.  This death has just sent me deeper into depression.

I do go to ARCW again today for a dental appointment and will try again to make an appointment to see someone for counseling.

I was back in physical therapy for my feet again the past 7 weeks.  It has helped a bit.  I find just changing out my shoes during the day lately is the only thing that gets me through the day on my feet.  I had to cancel my last two therapy appointments due to Kali last week.  Not sure if I will even reschedule them at this point.

I keep busy around the house.  The yard is ready for the Summer.  The other dogs are doing OK.

So, I am still here.  Still feeling very depressed but making it through life.  I did read all the comments from the last post and agree with all of them.  I just wish I was happy.  I have so much to be happy about, why can't I see it, and be happy.   I will look into therapy again today.  I need it.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

April 21, 2016 Thursday Morning

It has been a long time since I posted.  I am alive.  Life has been more ups and downs as I go through life.  I honestly feel I am just going day to day and just trying to make it though each day.

Physically I feel pretty good.  If I was to complain about anything health wise it would be the pain in my feet and toes when I walk and the morning bouts with throwing up bile.  I have seen my foot doctor again and he had me buy some new foot inserts, which did help a little.  There are days I wish I could just have the second and third toes, the two next to the big toe, removed.  The bones in my feet just don't track good anymore and some days I can not find a pair of shoes to wear to walk without pain and discomfort.  I go back to the food doctor next week and he keeps trying to get me to do cortisone shots.  Everything I read on them sound temporary and worse problems down the road.  I think the best thing would be for me to loose 10 lbs which would help with the feet, knees and back.  The morning bile situation seems to flare up about once a week.  I use to be a morning person and now it seems between my bowels and stomach problems I hate the first hour or two of my day.  I have found taking a hit of pot around 5 AM helps but then I am stoned for most of the morning with no energy.  My prostate still acts up once in a while and I feel pain in that area.  Honestly my body just feels like it is falling apart and I am really feeling my age.  My grandma used to say that any day you wake up and get out of bed is a good day.  I am not sure if that is true.

Mentally I am a mess.  I think the reason I don't post as often is because I am tired of talking about my fears of death and dying and I think my readers might also.  God I wish I could find a magical book to read to put all my fears aside.  I went to a funeral a few months ago and the sermon was about how 'we all suffer at the end'.  What a horrible sermon topic.  It has been on my mind since.  It is my biggest fear along with the fear of life simply ending.  I know that sounds weird to some but I just can not fathom this.  I read the obits daily looking at the names and wonder how they did it.  Maybe the fact I turn 55 this Saturday has my mind more than usual thinking about death and dying.  I wish I had a support group or therapist to talk to to be honest.  It has caused me a lot of tears and depression lately.  When I was 30 I never thought of life ending or death.  Now that I have all I need to make me happy the thought of loosing or no longer being alive to enjoy all these things is so scary to me it makes my heart beat fast, I can't breath and I feel a panic attach coming on.  I have googled 'afraid to die', 'accepting death' and search words such as that and still I find no book or help to get me through this.  I at least have to find a way to stop thinking of death 24 hours a day and being in fear of it.  Especially since I honestly can't do anything about it.  Anyone have any thoughts or help on this please tell me.

I have been training Toby to walk on a leash nice the last 3 weeks.  I had a guy who trains dogs come to the house and show my some techniques.   I take Toby out at least twice a day for training in the alley and walks around the block.  Toby is a puppy and has way too much energy.  I also take Bo and Casper together for a walk around the block almost daily too.  The last couple weeks on nice weather days I have been picking up Rose at work around noon and stopping at the dog park with her.  Yesterday I was in tears watching her play with a beagle puppy.  She is so gentle for a Pit Bull.  I was so impressed and such a proud daddy watching my big Pit Bull be the best dog in the park.  When we enter all the dogs come to her to say hi.  It really has made my day and I plan on getting her today to do the same.  The excised is good for the dogs and very good for me.  All six dogs are doing good and still alive.

No plans for my Birthday this weekend.  I did buy a nice cake yesterday and Tony and I will go out for a nice steak dinner.  I laugh as I type this since steak is a favorite of mine but lately does not go through me well and I pay the next morning.

Thankfully the weather is getting warmer here in Milwaukee and I can do things outside.  Hopefully that will help with my depression and dark thoughts.

One last thing. I love comments but if you post a comment about a cure from some quack doctor I will delete the post.  There is enough bad information out there and this false information helps no one.  Please do not post false medical claims on MY blog.  Thank you.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March 2, 2016 Wednesday Morning

It has been almost a month since I posted last.  I must say as of this posting I am doing quite well.  I pause when I say this because it never seems that these 'highs' last very long before another problem or life situation comes along to bring me down.  I am happy to enjoy the good times but that little voice in my head always tries to bring me down with thoughts of death and dying.  My feet still burn and hurt and I am walking on different shoes during the course of the day.  My teeth still have problems and I had to have a crown cemented back on Monday.  I see my foot and prostate doctor in two weeks.  But, I am alive, and many have it worse.

February was a very above average temperature month here in Wisconsin.  We even had a few days during the month above 50 degrees which is unheard of.  We did get a few inches of snow yesterday but it sounds like next week will again be in the 50s and the snow will melt away.  We don't usually get temps in the 50s until the end of March.  Anyone still denying climate change?  What humans have done to this planet and continue to do is going to destroy human existence and most of the other animals also.  Look how we have changed this planet in say the last 50 years compared to the last 5000 years.  Our forests are disappearing, our animals are becoming extinct, the glaciers are melting, and soon it will be too hot to survive on this planet.  Hopefully I will be dead and gone by the time we notice these horrible effects and change the world as we know it.

The dogs are all doing great.  All six of them.  Toby continues to learn how we do things around here and still has been so good I have never regretted keeping him.  No, we did not need another dog but Toby is so good with the big and small dogs as well and continues to learn, I honestly don't know what anyone wanted in a dog that he didn't give them.  Very sad.  I daily look at my dogs and smile as I say to myself "I am the luckiest guy in the world".  I really am.  Yah, I have AIDS, my future is uncertain, my days range from good to horrible, but I have a happy home that I feel very secure in and happy to just be me in the moment.  I don't need fancy dinners or vacations to make me happy.  Just looking around at what I all have makes me smile and say 'look what I have made'.   I can at any time turn my head to see one or two dogs snuggling with each other or playing.  I can look out my window and see the yard and home I have created.  Now I just need to keep my depressing thoughts at bay so they do not take over.

Tony and I are doing good.  We are coming up on our 27th anniversary the end of March, much less our 2 year wedding anniversary on the same day.  I don't know where the time went and sometimes feel my 30s and 40s are just gone and a memory.  It feels like I blinked and was in my 50s.  What is sad is if I am lucky I will have the amount of time left that Tony and I have had together, left in my life.  What is sad to think is how fast those years went and how fast the next 25 or so will go and soon be gone.  I will blink again and be on my death bed.  Tony and I might not be as romantic as we once were but we still take the time to give each other a kiss goodbye in the morning when Tony goes to work, and snuggle at night in bed before we fall asleep and the dogs get in between us.  It is at those times I feel most secure and most happy.  Tony in my arms and all my dogs around us.  I still read the obits daily and shake my head wondering how they did it, dying, and how sad their lives are over.  We only get to go around once.  Seems the older I get the more I appreciate life.  I was talking to a 23 yr old kid at the pizza store the other day as I waited and was telling him that someday he will blink and be my age.  I told him to remember this old guy, me, telling him this 30 years from now.  It scares the hell out of me that the years or times are limited when it comes to my parents who are now in their 80s. 

I plan on going grocery shopping today.  My big event for the day.  Actually I have been taking more time to just enjoy the little things I have to do.  I have been going to a bigger, fancier grocery store and just taking my time as I shop.  Even last week bought a slice of pizza and ate it as I shopped.  The store is a bit farther from home, but makes for a much happier grocery experience.  It is in the 20s today in Milwaukee so besides grocery shopping and picking up the dog poop outside, that is it for being out doors today. 

I was proud of myself last month.  Tony was sick two weeks ago on a Saturday, they day of the Pet Expo here in town.  I love the event and go every year.  Tony was sick and I decided to go anyway by myself.  I don't like driving much anymore and don't usually enjoy going to events alone, but pushed myself to go, and damn if I didn't have an enjoyable time.  I was just proud I went on my own even though Tony was not there to drive or be by my side.  The death of my neighbors husband has gotten me thinking about how I would survive without him.  Would not be easy, but I know I would have to go on to take care of our dogs.

So there you have it, another month gone by so fast it makes my head spin.  Hopefully another month will not go by before I post again.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

February 4, 2016 Thursday Afternoon

It has been an interesting couple weeks since I posted last.

Root canal went well or at least as well as a root canal can go.  The three days after were very painful as it healed.  Was told the tooth was dead and most likely was the cause of all the pain I had over New Years. 

That weekend Tony started having stomach pain and was not feeling well. 

On that Monday Toby went in and got neutered, which went good.  Toby was very good and only needed a cone for the first five days.  After that the cone came off and he never once licked his surgery wounds. The night of Toby's surgery Tony went to emergency for his stomach pain.  Tony was in the hospital until Thursday late afternoon.  All they could come up with is severe colitis, sinus infection and enlarged glands.  He also had an enlarged colon from the MRI he had performed.  Came home still feeling like crap and spent the weekend getting better.  It was not easy holding the house together for four days while Tony was in the hospital.  With one dog just having surgery and the others needing attention it was a hard week to get through alone.  On Wednesday night while he was in the hospital and my tenant was taking a too high bath, I walked past our lower bathroom to see water pouring out of the ceiling.  WTF?   Ran upstairs and told tenant to stop doing whatever she was doing.  I think she was splashing water over the sides or the over fill is broken.  Still have not had time to address and told just to take showers.

On top of Tony's hospital situation I have also been going round and round with his doctors and the pharmacist regarding his Cholesterol medicine.  Tony had to switch insurance as of the first of the year and the new policy no longer covered his Vytorin and it would cost $250 a month.  Finally got the doctor to pull his chart and see he has tried all the other Cholesterol meds and has even had open heart surgery and needs the drug with a statin.  I think I finally got it all straightened out today, three weeks later and about 10 calls to the doctor.  It is very had because I handle all this stuff and Tony doesn't even know what he takes or for what when it comes to meds.  When you get on the phone with doctors or pharmacy they want to talk to Tony.  Finding generic alternatives is not easy and seems the doctor or pharmacist or not much help and you have to do the research on your own.  He doesn't understand how all this works and would rather just say 'the hell with it' and go without.  I love him too much to let them happen and let him die.

The dogs are all doing great.  I took this picture last night.  This is the gang.

My health has been good this past week.  Besides the being tired and needing a nap daily I got through the last few weeks feeling pretty good.  Knock on wood it lasts.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January 20, 2016 Wednesday Afternoon

Been a busy and interesting couple weeks since I posted.

The Pit Bull that was found in the neighborhood and we took is still here and no one has claimed him.  In the past two weeks I have spent time training him and having him get to know the other dogs.  He has been very good and learns very fast.  He seems to trust and obey me.  Well, last night the fencing and gates came down.  The night before last he spent the night on the bed sleeping with Tony and I and the other dogs with a leash on so if I had to control him.  Last night he slept on the bed, no leash and was so good.  At one point he was snuggled in between Rose and Casper.  We have named him Toby.  I guess at this point we have no choice but to keep him.  I honestly have fallen in love with this dog.  Monday he gets neutered and chipped with our names so I guess then he will be officially ours.  Of course we all know I needed another dog or challenge in my life like a hole in the head, but what can you do.  I have always lived by the thought that the best things in life come when you least expect them.  So we now have six dogs.  I know, just a couple more and I can be called a hoarder. 

Saw my HIV doctor today and discussed all my problems with him.  Feet ache to walk on, shoulder and underarm pain, throwing up morning bile, face rash, enlarged prostate, kidney stone, and of course my new numbers.  My TCell count went down from 564 to 498, but my percent of good cells increased to 29%.  This means they pretty much even themselves out and I am about the same as last blood test.  Hell I went all the way back to 333 when I had shingles.  A couple items were low in the blood work and I have to go back for another blood draw so the doctor can check some other levels and maybe put me on a vitamin or something to improve my RBC, Hemoglobin, and Hematocrit.  I am not sure what they are but they have been decreasing.  Was told not to worry, and the new blood test should help him know how to increase the numbers.  I am good now until this July.

It has been very very very cold in Wisconsin lately.  We had a very mild December and are paying the price now for it.  A few days never got above 5 degrees all day.  Wind chills at times of more than 20 below.  The poor dogs freeze up outside and I have to carry them in.

Tomorrow I finally get the root canal on the tooth that was infected and gave me so much pain over New Years.  It has been better with the IBprofin but I can still tell it needs a root canal.  So fun fun, tomorrow morning at 9 AM I will be having it performed.  I have had many before and know it really is not that bad, just takes forever. 

Not much else to say.  The dogs have kept me very busy.  Getting up at 5 AM, napping from 1 to 3 PM and then going to bed for the day around 10 PM seems to be my schedule lately.  It is very hard to make it through a day without a nap.

Friday, January 8, 2016

January 8, 2016 Friday Afternoon

I guess I should say Happy New Year.  We made it through another year together.  I was hoping I would have more time this year to post my feelings and thoughts as well as more of my activities, unfortunately the year has not started out good in that regard.

I have had so much going on I feel like I am ready to explode.

We found a stray dog running around the neighborhood on Christmas Day.  He is a Pit Bull over six month old and less than a year.  I know this because I had him already to the vet for a urinary infection.  He was peeing everywhere and most likely the reason the owner said 'enough' with him.  Luckily I have some knowledge and knew something was just not right.  Sure enough an infection and two days of antibiotic and he was fine.  Yes, he still is here.  No one has claimed him.  We found him with collar and leash so someone must have been walking him.  So sad because he is sweet but needs training.  I once again have a house divided with fences and gates to keep him from my other five dogs.  I am not sure if he will hurt any of them.  Though he has shown really no signs of aggression, he seems to want to play just too hard.  And play with biting.  I am already trying to get him to stop the biting.  We named him Toby and if no one calls on him by January 25 I have an appointment to have him neutered.  I can't believe they keep coming to us.

On to the next problem, tooth ache.  I ended up getting into my dentist the week of New Years to find out my crown needs a root canal.  They sent me to UWM university and a student looked at it this week and confirmed a root canal is needed and scheduled for the end of January.  Last weekend waiting for my antibiotic to work I was in so much pain I compare it to Shingles pain.  Ended up taking my IBprofin then a person should for the pain as well as pain pills.  Of course that has me all blocked up now with my bowels and I haven't shit in a week.   If not one thing another.  The infection and extreme pain finally stopped last Monday and I have just had to us IBprofin to get through the day.

The weather had been rainy here in Milwaukee and still warmer than usual.  If all this rain was snow we would be shoveling daily.  We had our warmest December on record.  I think that all ends this weekend because the weather is suppose to be high of 12 degrees on Monday and not much better going forward through the week.

So much more I wanted to say but I have to get back to the dogs and things around the house.  The dogs are all looking at me here at the computer like 'hey, what about us'.  

Thursday, December 24, 2015

December 24, 2015 Thursday Late Morning

Merry Christmas!  Happy Holidays!  Happy Hanukah! ........

Another Christmas is here.  At times I think how lucky I am to still be here to celebrate Christmas with Tony and our families.  So many were not as fortunate as I to still be here 6 years after being diagnosed with AIDS.  I hope to make some major changes in my life in 2016.  Most involve getting healthier mentally and physically. 

I did get all my Christmas shopping done.  I have very little and did most on the Internet this year.  Tony never shops for anything and I have learned throughout the 26 years to just buy what I want for myself and not fight the fact he just is not a present giving kind of guy.  He learned from his Father.  He and his family give money.  A card with money means more than a present in their family.  I have picked up on that and do sent cash a lot as presents for the nieces and nephews.  Tony and I really don't buy much for each other, if anything.  I have everything I need or want and if there is something I need ...  I buy it.  So what more do I need?  What we do is as we are Christmas shopping for others, anything we buy for ourselves we wrap and open as presents for Christmas.  I have a new pair of Crocs, jeans, and a water mister ready to open.  Tony has a couple pairs of underwear, couple pairs of pants, and got a $300 sawzall  a couple weeks ago that I bought on my credit card on sale.  Also bought a co2 detector for in the basement that I wrapped as a Tony present.  Tonight we will go to Tony's brothers house, tomorrow my parents home.  I have learned through the years that if I expect very little, I have a better time.  Seems if you plans or have this idea of how Christmas or New Years should go, when it doesn't the holiday seems ruined.  So I just learned lately to go with the flow.  It will be over in a blink of an eye anyway.

The dogs are all doing well.  I am very happy to report that Kali made it to Christmas.  I honestly never thought she would being 16 1/2 years old.  She is actually doing very well on just an antacid prior to eating.  You can follow my dogs on Facebook at:   Rose and Casper

The weather has been unbelievable here in Milwaukee.  Yesterday we broke the record for warmest day ever on this date, getting to 58 degrees.  Today it is in the 40's which is still warmer than it should be this time of year.   I am not complaining, just know January is going to be a reality check when we get below zero for a day or two.  It will happen.  Some of our outdoor plants are even beginning to sprout.  Makes you wonder how or why people deny global warming or climate change.  As a kid we had Winters with snow.  This will most likely go on record as the warmest December ever in Wisconsin.

Got a crown put on my tooth this morning and then picked up the hard rolls I order to take to the family Christmas tonight with a large canned ham.  That is our contribution.  Hopefully others will bring something but I won't hold my breathe.  Tony is going to be home early this afternoon and looking forward to the next three days off together.  A nap this afternoon is looking very good at this point. 

I hope to post prior to the new year.
Merry Christmas everyone. 
I wish you all a very healthy and happy holiday season.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

December 3, 2015 Thursday Afternoon

Almost a month has gone by since my last post.  I honestly don't know where the time goes.

Thanksgiving was very nice.  We went to my sister's house.  She has a very nice home.  My other sister and her family drove into town also.  All that was missing was my one of two brothers.  Everyone was very pleasant for an afternoon. 

I set up the little Christmas decoration I choose to put out this year.  I think every year I put a little bit less out in decorations.  This year I still have not set up my Christmas village and not sure if I will.  I did drag all the boxes up for it from the basement.  It gets to a point where you just realize time goes so fast that all the setting up and work will be for nothing in about 3 weeks, which is a half a blink.  lol.   I set up our 3 foot Christmas tree and it worked fine for the first day.  Yesterday I turned it on and only half the lights work.  I know they give you extra fuses but have you ever tried to open the plug where you replace them?  Anyone?  I can't get it open.  Think I will leave it as it is since the lights are out evenly and buy a new one after Christmas for next year when they are on sale.  I used to set up our 6 foot high fake tree but haven't in many many years.  It just is collecting dust in the basement.  I have done a little Christmas shopping and would say I am about half finished.  Most of the rest are gift cards so I can get that done fairly quickly. 

I have felt pretty healthy until last weekend when my sinus and teeth started hurting.  Thinking I have a sinus infection since I have had them so many times so today I broke out the prescription of Levoquin I have stock piled and will take it for 10 days.  I get two a year and was due.  I know when it is time to take the antibiotic when my teeth start to ache.  On top of the teeth aching from the sinus infection I also last weekend broke a tooth under a crown from eating some peanut brittle.  I love the stuff but should know better.  So I made an appointment at our HIV clinic and go in tomorrow for it to be checked and have the two cavities looked or worked on also.  The doc only has an hour so we are going to have to pick our battles.  I have another appointment for next Friday and I am sure I will need a couple more.  She only does one thing at a time and I know I have 2 cavities, a broken tooth that will need a new crown and hopefully not have to be pulled, and something painful going on with my lover left side under another crown.  So my teeth are a mess.  It always seems to be like this with my teeth.  I go for a long time OK and then I have a ton of work needed.  I do go to the dentist every six months with them for a cleaning and check.  The last check we found the two cavities. It just took this long for me to finally get in because they are so booked.  Sucks but who else is going to work on an HIV person and at their price scale.

The weather in Wisconsin has been very unseasonably warm.  Climate deniers need to stop denying the facts.  We are in the 40s all this week and might even hit 50 this weekend.  It is December and we should have snow and in the 30s or colder.  January will be a shock when it goes below zero and we are buried in feet of snow. 

Going to take a nap.  Naps seem more needed than ever these days.  Nap time is officially from 1 PM to 3 PM.  The dogs are hinting it is past 1 PM.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

November 10, 2015 Thursday Afternoon

Yes, I am alive.  I could not believe the date on my last post.  I am happy to say since my last post life has been OK.  Nothing major bad or good to report.  The best news of all is that Kali is still with us.  I had thought about a month ago that we would be euthanizing her since her health is declining since she is over 16 years old.  I am happy to report that the antacid I have been giving her a half hour before feeding seems to really help with her stomach problems and keeping her food down.  Having to get out of bed at 6 AM to give her a pill before her 6:30 feeding has not been fun.  I some morning find myself throwing up bile for a half hour between 6 and 6:30 AM.   Still have not solved that problem.  I also have switched her to a rice hamburger and some dry food for her breakfast and supper.  I still am just hoping she makes it to Christmas to be honest.  Health wise I am doing ok.  I am still working with my irritable bowel meds trying to get the dose correct.  The current dose has me so plugged lately so I have started this week cutting the pills in half and only take half dose twice daily.  I think it is a better dose, time will tell.  I went from having explosive bowels each morning to blocked and not being able to poo.  I also still have morning bile issues as I stated earlier.  I make a point to eat saltine crackers during the night and even take my prescription antacid about 4 AM and some days it works, most days it does not.

The weather here in Wisconsin up until today has really been very nice.  We have been in the 60s for the month of November which is unheard of.  I have gone on many walks on the river trails and woods.  I still feel so at peace when I walk in the woods alone.  Actually I don't feel alone and talk to my spirit guide or who ever will listen.  Call me crazy.  I have enjoyed watching nature get ready for Winter.  The last few days the wind has been very strong and the temps are dropping.  We might even be in the 30s by Saturday with snow.  I am ready for Winter this year more than most.  The new electric base board heaters I had installed in the living room and bedroom are wonderful.  I can stand by the front window and not feel chilled.   Remind me of this come January when it is zero degrees outside and windchill even worse. 

I also have made a point to use the treadmill almost daily and do at least one mile each day.  That and the walks with the dogs and river trails seems to be enough right now.  Naps in the afternoon are still needed and enjoyed.  I am not sure if it is the HIV or old age but a nap in the afternoon seems to be a must these days.

I did finally write the letter to my older self that I have talked about in the past.  I wrote a five page letter to myself for the age of 70 or sooner if I am dying, to open and read.  The main theme was to tell myself I had a good life and I should be happy with the way life all turned out.   I have a hard time making it through the letter without being in tears.  I speak of my parents and current dogs that will no longer be here in 16 years.  It should be interesting to read when I am 70 years old.

Making spaghetti for supper tonight. 

Got an email from a girl that had written me after finding my blog a while back to tell me how she is doing today.  Was so nice to get her email.  Thank you.  I do enjoy getting feedback or emails from anyone who my blog has touched.

One last point.  I find it very interesting to listen to people talk about Charlie Sheen's announcement that he is HIV.  About half in my circle know my HIV status so when I hear things like 'that's what you get for being a drunk slut' coming out of my husband .... I have to pause.   I did correct him but if even my husband jumps to that conclusion I know others do also.  Just for the record, you do not have to be a drunk slut to get HIV.

Next week is Thanksgiving.  We will be going to my sisters this year.  Should be a nice event.  Thankfully we will not have to stay long and will be home and snuggling with the dogs in no time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

October 21, 2015 Wednesday Morning

I am happy to post that for the past few days I have felt very good. 

The past week or so has been dominated by my 16 year old dog Kali.  She was not feeling good a couple weeks ago and after taking her to the vet the only thing we could come up with was pain.  So we put Kali on pain medicine only to have her in worse shape now throwing up.  Kali shakes a lot.  She walks up to me and shakes like she is in pain or some kind of distress.  A week of thinking we were going to euthanize her was not fun.  Walked on egg shells daily thinking the next day might be the day I have to say goodbye.  The vet then suggested Pepsid to settle her stomach and changing her food to more rice and meat.  I did that and things got better.  I then found an anti nausea med she has in the past and when I started giving Kali that, she was back to her normal 16 year old self.  I should have known it was a stomach thing more than a pain thing because Kali has always had stomach problems and sometimes needs a belly massage or burping after eating.  Since last week Thursday Kali has been much better and given me time to just enjoy life and lot be on a death watch. 

My prostate still hurts a bit, maybe a 2 on a scale to 10 at certain times of the day.  I had to cut back on the prostate meds to lessen the dizziness.  I guess I have to either be dizzy or feel a little pain.  I would rather feel a bit of controllable pain than feel like I am going to pass out if I stand up too fast.  So I think I finally got my meds all figured out and like I said in the first sentence, I have had the best last few day health wise that I can remember.  Still have the back aches and pains but I am happy to say I made it through a bout of the flu and didn't have to take any antibiotics to get over it.  Guess my body still does have fight in it.

The weather has been very nice here in Milwaukee.  Fall has been good.  Today we should get to 70 degrees.  Temperature does get colder going forward.  Reality will set in soon that Winter is just around the corner.  I have been taking walks along the river the past two days enjoying the Fall colors and leaves falling around me. 

Last Thursday I had some electric floor board heaters put in the living room and bedroom.  Our house is over 100 years old and in those spots in Winter it is very cold.  Figure my comfort is most important and spent the money to make those rooms warmer this Winter.  We did have a cold day Saturday and we able to turn them on and enjoy the heat.  Will make for a better Winter experience.  Of course the estimate was $1000 and when was done turned out to be $1300.  Only money right?

It is nice to feel healthy for a change.  Hope this continues.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October 6, 2015 Tuesday Late Afternoon

I am so damn frustrated with the medical care I got today I could just scream.

Two weeks ago I made an appointment to see my regular doctor for a refill on my pain pills.  The appointment was for last Friday at 9:20 AM.  At 8:30 AM last Friday her office called to say the doctor would be out sick and I would need to reschedule.  I rescheduled for today at 2 PM.  In the mean time, last week I got very sick.  Started Monday with a sore throat.  Tuesday was sinus draining and body aches.  Wednesday was much the same.  By Thursday it moved to my lungs and I was coughing which made me happy I had an appointment the next day, last Friday.  So when I had to reschedule I was not happy.  Today I feel a bit better.  I at least think my body is fighting it off and it is all running it's course.  I get to my 2 PM appointment to be told at 2:10 the doctor is running late and will be at least a half hour more wait.  Well, OK, what can I do.  I finally get into the office a bit before 3 PM and I am finally seen by the doctor at 3:15 PM.  She walks in, in a hurry and after we start talking she tells me 'We really don't have time to discuss all that today. I only have 20 minutes with you and we will have to leave the other things to those doctors'.  WTF?  So we start going through what meds I am on to find my prostate drugs not in line with what she reads.  I explained we had increased my Doxazosin to 8 mg from 4 mg and I was also put on Finasteride 5 MG.  I went on to explain I soon realized I was very dizzy from the drug, assuming it was the new Finasteride and the doctor and I decided to take it at bedtime hoping it would help with the dizziness.  After a week I found out it did not so last week I stopped taking the Finasteride only to still today by dizzy at night.  I talked to my pharmacist today and he said it is most likely from the Doxazosin and not the Finasteride.   So when I told this all to the doctor today she basically told me she did not understand and sent my Prostate doctor an email note.  Got my pain pills and a z pack for my cold and headed home.  Also got a flu shot.  Got home to a phone call from the Prostate doctor wondering what the heck was up.  So now it is going on 4:45 and I just got off the phone with the Prostate doctor nurse.  We are going to cut my Doxazosin back down to 4 MG.  Stay off the Finasteride and see if my Prostate pain gets worse.  If it does I will stay at 4 MG of the Doxazosin and go back on the Finasteride, since that was not what was causing my dizziness.  Each time I talked with any doctor today I felt I was bothering them and they had no time for me.  To have my regular doctor a minute into our appointment tell me she only has 20 minutes for me because she is backed up and doubled her appointments to make up for her being gone last Friday .....  Is this the state of our medical care these days?   I feel like I am diagnosing myself these days and the doctors have no time to even listen to you.  Deep breaths.

As I said I was very sick all last week.  I pray I am on the way to getting better.

I can't believe it is October.  Kali is not doing well and I am afraid her time is coming to an end.  She is 16 years old and declining fast in health.  I don't think she is going to make it to Christmas. 

Last Sunday we took Rose to a dog parade and she was so good.  I walked around with a big smile and tears being a proud daddy. 

Other than that life just continues to be a struggle.  I just wish I didn't feel like I was going up hill every day.  Every day seems a struggle and I don't even have a hard life.  I can not imagine if I had to work with all my illnesses and feeling like crap from one day to the next.  Five and a half years into HIV and I am not liking it.  Glad to be alive, but wish every day was not such a struggle.

Monday, September 14, 2015

September 14, 2015 Monday Afternoon

The days and weeks go by so fast.  I swear I am going to blink and my life will be almost over.

Since I posted I have been on the new medications for my IB and enlarged prostate.  The meds seems to be working since there are times I do not have any prostate pain.  The 'other' times when I do feel pain it is a sharp stabbing pain.  So I am not sure what was better.  Low grade pain always there or no pain and then the occasional stab.  My IB has also improved but I think the pills have slowed me down to a crawl.  Thinking I might take one a day rather than every 12 hours.  The biggest problem now is the dizziness I get from the Prostate pill.  There are times I get up and feel like I will pass out.  Very light headed all the time. Vision problems also.   In fact I had to sit and rest several times on my last walk.  Will address this with my doctor but was warned. 

I did finally get the nerve to call the deacon that gave our Uncle Tom's eulogy.  I think I mentioned how he spoke of after life experiences and that it was the most personal funeral I have ever been to.  I don't know why actually calling and setting up an appointment is so hard but finally did on Friday.  He was happy to hear from me and said he will call me this week and we will meet in a park nearby.  I really am looking forward to speaking to him about death and dying.  I will end up crying the entire time we talk.  Just thinking about what I want to talk about has me in tears.  I have been making a list so when we meet I don't forget everything I would like to talk about. 

Last weekend the weather was very comfortable in Milwaukee.  We went to a couple block parties and spent time with the dogs.  All the dogs are doing good.  Casper does not seem to be in pain anymore.  Not sure if I posted about his problems.  Last week he was in pain.  Doctor thinks he hurt his back and we had him on pain meds for about a week.   He is back to feeling good but I can see when he climbs steps something still hurts.  Keeping him so he doesn't play hard with his mom Rose.  In fact since his pain Tony has been keeping Rose at work for the entire day.  She seems to love it and think she will continue spending the entire day since she does love that her Uncle Tom is there and takes her now on a morning and afternoon walk. 

I am moving my treadmill up from the basement to the spare bedroom.  I have it at the bottom of the basement stairs waiting for Tony to get home and help me carry it up.  It gets too cold in the basement in the Winter and if I am honest with myself, will use it more if it is right here in the house.  I need the exercise in the Winter since I hate the cold. 

I have still been going for walks along the river trails.  Unfortunately not as often.  I still enjoy them just as much but find myself taking a nap or getting involved in a house project instead.  Plus it was too hot for a while so now that the fall temperature is better I will go a couple times a week.  I swear a walk in the woods does more for me than any therapy. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

September 3, 2015 Thursday Afternoon

This week I have had more blood test and saw the GI doctor to find out why I have such stomach problems and still the pain in my prostate.  I can now add two more drugs to my daily meds.  I will be taking Finasteride for my Prostate, and Dicyclomine for the Irritable bowels.  I was also told to CUT my fiber which I have never hear before.  Just been trying to get from one day to the next.  Today I had to get more blood drawn to see if my stomach or intestines have a disease they are looking for.  Also picked up most of the meds for myself and Tony at Walgreens. 

Along with my problems Casper was in emergency Tuesday morning because he was in so much pain he could not walk, pee or poop.  He was tested for Lyme disease which came back negative and now is just on powerful pain meds.  They are working and doctor thinks he injured himself somehow and somewhere.  When the doctor examined him he cried in pain no matter if she touched his back or legs.  No matter what the doctor did it hurt.  So now that the Lyme disease came back negative we have no idea what if happening or happened to Casper.  Was told to just keep giving him pain meds and see if he gets better.  Jeez, this is like me, no frickin answers as to why we have pain.  I slept with Casper on the floor the first night since he could not even go up five steps to the bed without crying. 

So no answers, lots of meds, and we just go day by day. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

August 26, 2015 Wednesday Afternoon

Last week Friday I had an ultra sound on my gallbladder and other things around the stomach area looking for stones or anything out of the ordinary.  Found nothing.  Good news but not good news since I have having such stomach problems.

Since Friday I have spent every night waking up by 1 AM and sweat buckets until I get up around 4 AM to clear my bowels and take a hit of pot to stop the sweating and relax my body.  I am dripping wet when I get out of bed.  It reminds me of prior to finding out I was HIV.  This morning was no exception and I sweat from about 1AM to 4AM when I got up to get ready to go to the hospital for my Cystoscopy.

Monday I called my doctor and insisted on a stool culture to see if there was anything bad in my poop since it is the green and the consistency of cement.  Finally got an order and took it in at 2 PM.  Was called the next day and told nothing in my stool including Giardia which I have had in the past.

Today Tony dropped me off at the hospital at 6:15 AM.  Checked in and went to the 4th floor where the Cystoscopy is performed.   Was not happy when they told me I could not have a valium like I had thought I was getting.  Was told it would be in my IV.  Hell, I needed something to calm me down now.   At 7 AM the nurse came in to put in my IV.  She could not find a vein the first time.  WTF?   Second time now.   She finally had to clean me up and try again.  Around 7:20 AM they wheeled me into the room where the procedure is performed.   I do remember most of the procedure and was told it is because I was not put under as much as the Colonoscopy or Tooth being pulled.  I remember them injecting the numbing stuff and it stung like a mother fucker for 10 seconds.  Shortly then after I could tell the doctor was inserting the scope because it hurt a bit.  Once in I do not remember any pain.  I do also remember looking up at the screen when the camera was in my bladder.  The whole thing was over very fast.  Was told by the nurse I was one of the most chatty patients she has had and that I talked during the entire procedure asking questions and stuff.  Was told my prostate is enlarged and we will have to address it but no real problem that would explain why I have so much pain or bloating or stomach problems, or pain in my prostate area.  Wheeled me back to the room and soon it was time to pee.  I knew there would be pain but was more startled by the blood that came out prior to peeing.  I just grabbed the thing and blood started dripping out.  Not a happy sight to see blood dripping from my junk.  Got through the pee even though it stung.  Tony picked me up at the main doors of the hospital about 9 AM.  We stopped at McDonalds for a bacon egg and cheese bagel and headed home.   Have peed once since home and burned and bleed.  Have to pee again soon and not looking forward to it.

I do have follow up appointments next week with the GI doctor and have called and left a message to see the doctor who did the Cystoscopy today for what to do about my prostate.  That will be another appointment.  I am getting frustrated but we keep ruling things out.  I just wish someone could find the problem.  I honest think the stomach problems are due to the diagnosis of Severe Diverticulosis.  That will hopefully be addressed next week when I see the GI doctor.  This up all night dripping wet and having to change the bedding daily is ridiculous.  No matter what I eat, whether I eat or not, whether it is food or water, anything I do gives me bloating and stomach cramping.

Tonight we have the funeral for our Uncle Tom that die last week.  He was 89 and had a good life.  The end could and should have been quicker.  Time to go pee.  Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

August 20, 2015 Thursday Afternoon

Had a CT Scan with and without contrast done on Monday.  It was not as bad as I had remembered in the past.  I think it was best to tell the person performing the test about my fear of that 'hot' feeling when they inject the contrast because he told me he injected it slower and honestly the feeling was not that bad.  So I guess they can make it not as bad if they choose.  Was told to call the doctor on Tuesday for the results.  Called and left a message with no return call.  Wednesday afternoon I called the doctor again and left a message for the nurse about finding out my results and if I will be having the Cystoscopy on Friday.  No return call.  Today I got out of bed at 6 AM sweating bullets and went to Walgreens and bought Irritable Bowel medicine because of the cramping and sweating.  This afternoon I left a more heated message with the doctor saying I still have not heard from anyone about my CT scan much less if I am having the Cystoscopy tomorrow.  A bit ago I got the return call from the nurse saying 'didn't you get the results mailed'.  "NO', I said.  She went on to tell me I have a kidney stone that is 'just sitting there' and does not need to be addressed, I also have a dialation of the Gallbladder, and Diverticulosis.  I was told we still need to do the Cystoscopy but will now have to do it next week since tomorrow is not an option for the scheduler.  I also was told to call a GI specialist and given a referral.  I called the GI doctor and told them everything my Urologist told me and that I need to see him ASAP.  The doctors nurse argued with me about why I need to see him.  WTF?  I finally about broke down and said 'listen, I am just doing what I was told by Dr S's office'.  So the GI scheduler / nurse said she would call my Urologist / Dr Sandock and find out what or why I need to see the GI doctor.  What a bunch of bullshit.  All this and I am still in pain.  I do not want the Cystoscopy but have no choice since I still have pain.  So I am most likely going to have the Cystoscopy Wednesday morning, early, like at 7 AM.   That should be interesting.  My morning are bad enough.  Figured WTF might as well do it early and get it over right?  This all is getting overwhelming to me.  I did read a bit about Diverticulosis and will keep taking the irritable bowel meds as well as more fiber.  Just drank a big glass of water with two tbs of fiber powder.  Will go tomorrow and buy a pill or something.  Don't like the drinking powder and have little left. 

Just got a call from the GI doctor nurse saying she wants me to get a ultrasound of my gallbladder tomorrow to rule out stones.  Asked if the CT scan would show that and she said no.  No food up to the ultrasound at 1 PM.  Not going to like no food but I can do it. 

So that is where I stand.  Still trying to figure out why I have pain in my prostate area. 

I did go for a nice walk along the river trails today.  Has been a long time and I needed the time to clear my head.  Going to post and log off to clear my head.  Will keep you posted on the tests as they get performed and results are known.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

August 11, 2015 Tuesday Dinner Time

After feeling like crap for the last few days ... tired, bloated, the scheduler for the Urologist called me today to tell me they scheduled a CT Scan for Monday and the Cystoscopy the Friday after if nothing is found in the CT scans.   Both CT scans will be done, the one where you drink the liquid and the injectable dye.  I have had both test a while back and I am not looking forward to the one with the injectable dye.  I hate the hot flash feeling you get and feel like your going to die. It only lasts for about a minute, but it is a long minute.  The scheduler did put me at ease about he Cystoscopy because she assured me I would be in a twilight state and not remember a thing.  When I told her I had watched several videos of the procedure she said they tell people not to.  I actually would rather know what is going to happen rather then be surprised.  I don't mind when people tell me the end of a movie because it helps me then follow the plot to the end.  So, by next Tuesday night I should know more about this bloating.  If I don't get a good answer I will have to go through with the Cystoscopy the following Friday.  I am relieved to know I will be slightly under for the Cystoscopy.  I had my colonoscopy and a tooth pulled that way and would do it again.  If I didn't remember a tooth being pulled I am not going to remember them shoving a camera up my penis.  Oh man, just the thought makes me close my legs.

Spent a lot of the day in bed or on the couch.  I did have to get up when the refrigerator repair guy called to say he would be here to replace the door in a half hour.  Guess someone forgot to call me and let me know.  I figured at that point best to get it over with since I had not heard when the medical tests would be at that time.  The refrigerator door got attached but I was told if I call him back in two days and complain about the ice machine and dispenser, which is a problem on this model, he will put me down for getting a new refrigerator.  So I will go that route because I hate the ice dispenser and always more ice falls on the floor than in any glass.

Had an English muffin and some crackers all day today.  Anything I eat or drink makes me bloat.  If I can get myself together for an hour or so I am going to go with Tony to a car show at a local Mc Donald's so I don't have to cook tonight.  Actually can't wait to go to bed tonight and since I was not able to get a nap today I should sleep good. 

So, life still sucks but answers hopefully are coming in the next week or so.  Lets hope.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

August 6, 2015 Thursday Afternoon

Finally saw my Urologist today.  Was told I need to schedule a Cystoscopy.  I am not happy and scared to death.  I have not yet made the appointment.  I know I have to.  If anyone has had this scope done please let me know if it is as painful as I am thinking.  Jeez, who gets a scope and camera shoved up their penis?  I watched a video on the Internet and have read many people's stories of their Cystoscopy's.  Experiences range from 'piece of cake' to 'painful as hell'.  I am thinking it has a lot to do with what doctor is doing the procedure.  My doctor has been around for a long long time and considered one of the best.  He did tell me when I asked if it would be painful something like 'I am the pain free doctor'.   I know I am being a big baby and many have it worse.   But this is happening to me.  I keep looking at the phone number but can't bring myself to make the appointment.  The doctor didn't even examine me.  Just listened to what I said.  I think I might also be having a CT scan on that area also since I said my HIV doctor suggested it.  Will find out if I am having both when I finally put on my big boy pants and make the damn appointment.  I did ask to be put as under as possible.  He said he would relax me as much as possible and I wont remember a thing.  Yah right.  Help! anyone had this?

Life since I posted has been up and down.  A good day here, a not so good day there.  Made the mistake of eating some Kettle Popcorn I bought at a festival Saturday only to spend the next few days with bloating and gas.  I still am gassy.  Guess no more popcorn.  When I told the Urologist of this he said that is an entirely different problem.  Jeez.   I did go for a walk down along the river today to clear my head.  It does help.  Asked for a sign from my spirit guide and did not get it.  Was hoping for a sign telling me to make the damn Cystoscopy appointment. 

I did read the response from the last post about seeing another HIV doctor.  I am seriously considering it, but honestly he is the best HIV doctor in Milwaukee.  Maybe the Cystoscopy will find a problem and we can get this solved why I feel like crap every morning for two hours. 

The dogs are doing great. 

This past Tuesday night Tony and I went out for dinner and took Bo with us.  We ate at a restaurant a block away sitting outside.  I had the chicken sandwich, Tony had the steak sandwich.  About half way through dinner Tony stopped talking and had this glassy look on his face.  I asked him if he was choking and got no response,  I then asked again and when I got no response I jumped up, ran behind him, just as he stood up, and gave him the Heimlich maneuver.  On the second push a big piece of steak came flying out.  WTF?  That kinda put a damper on dinner and we took home the rest of our food.  We were the only ones sitting outside and no one else saw this or was there to help.  I was so glad everything I knew from videos and stuff kicked in when I saw him with 'that look' on his face.  I keep teasing him now that his life is mine from this point forward.  LOL. 

Going out for dinner again tonight.  The weather has been finally cool enough, in the 70s, to do things outside.  It was in the 80s for the past 19 days.  Too hot for me.  I decided no cooking this week and we would eat at restaurants outside.  Tonight we will get some 1/2 lb hamburgers for $5.

Going to end this post.  Anyone with knowledge on the Cystoscopy please contact me on here or at my email with the header Cystoscopy. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July 22, 2015 Wednesday Afternoon

Saw my HIV doctor today and got my latest blood results.  My TCell count has gone down a bit but that could be very well due to the Prostate infection I have and had at the time.  My percent of good cells is about the same.  I am undetectable which is the goal.  Doctor is very happy with my blood work but was not happy with my Prostate problem and how it has progressed.  I explained how my day starts to my HIV doctor like this:

I wake up around 5:30 AM when the other half rolls out of bed.  I then lay in bed for about and hour sweating like crazy with cold chills until I can no longer be in bed.  At 6:30 I then get up dripping wet to feed the dogs.  As I am feeding the dogs I am usually throwing up or gagging into the sink to get the bile out that makes me feel like throwing up for the first two hours of my morning.  I get the dogs fed just in time to run to the toilet for an explosive bowel movement.  I can not even have a sip of coffee for the first hour due to the feeling of throwing up.  I also explained that if I have one good day like I had yesterday, I then pay the price like I am today, tired, feeling like crap, and just want to be in bed.  He was not concerned since he has seen worse and said we had talked about this before.  All part of being HIV and AIDS.  He did think we need to address the Prostate issue and asked me to call my Prostate doctor to get a CT scan and then an appointment with the actual doctor, not just his nurse.  My Prostate doctor reminds my of the Wizard Of OZ.  I have never seen him, only his nurse.  Not sure what you have to do to actually see the doctor.  I did just leave a message with the nurse requesting a CT scan and an appointment after with the doctor for the results.  I also for the past week have felt gassy.  Horrible gassy.  I have been eating about 12 gas x's a day during the course of the day.  My HIV doctor seems to think the tiredness and stomach problems might all tie into the Prostate and we need to get the infection under control.  So now I wait for the nurse to call and most likely tell me something different.  At that point I am not sure what I will do because I am very uncomfortable between the gas and the pain.

As I mentioned earlier, yesterday was a good day.  I got through the first hours and then was able to do 2 miles on the treadmill.  I walked Casper and Bo around the block early morning.  I made grilled cheese sandwiches for Tony when he came home with Rose for lunch and then went for a nice walk in the river trails.  Didn't even take a nap.  I was sleeping by 9 PM exhausted.   So now today I pay the price of doing all that.  One good day, one bad day seems to be my life story lately.

Wish I felt better because we do have a busy weekend coming up with block parties and bike races throughout the neighborhood.  Also a big air show that we can see since we are so close to the lake front where the show is held. 

So there it is.  The HIV meds are keeping me alive, but my body feels like it is giving out.  My Prostate is as bad or worse and I have no clue where I go from here.

Friday, July 17, 2015

July 17, 2015 Friday Morning

Thank you for the positive comment regarding the book Final Exit.  Like I said in the post I am not planning on going anywhere any time soon.  I have five dogs and Tony that need me.

It has not been a good week at all.  Monday I took my last of two months antibiotic for my prostate infection that refuses to go away.  I figured since I thought I had an appointment with my HIV doctor of Wednesday I would see what he has to say before I called back my Prostate doctor.  By Wednesday morning the pain was getting worse and now I was feeling very gassy.  Went grocery shopping Wednesday morning.  Drove quite a distance to my HIV doctor Wednesday afternoon to find out the appointment had been switched months ago to next Wednesday.  When I got home I confirmed I had changed it on one calendar but not the other, which I use to keep up with appointments.  (another one to add to my memory problems)   So I drove home feeling tired, bloated, defeated, and in need of meds for the prostate.  I left a message with my Prostate doctor that I either needed another refill for a month or need to come in and see the doctor.  I half hour after being home I went to the refrigerator for a cherry I had bought earlier to see they are not in the frig.  Started thinking the bags felt light.  I then thankfully still had the receipt to notice about 10 items missing.  Thinking back I then remembered watching the checker bag some items and send the rest down the belt for me to bag.  Everything I bagged I had, everything he bagged he never gave me.  So I then now had to call Pick N Save and have them confirm they had my groceries and come in and get them.  Though, they were put back so I would have to basically shop again.  Drove to the store a second time and got the groceries.  By this time I would in pain, exhausted, and mad as hell.   Called the HIV pharmacy to see if they could get me refills on the antibiotic and anti inflammatory. 

Thursday I spent most of the day in bed.  Tired and just feel like crap.  Pain in my prostate is a 3 on a scale to 10.  Gas is still a problem if I eat, so I guess the diet starts now.  Around 4 PM I called the HIV clinic to see if they got a refill request from my doctor.  When they told me no, I then called the doctor and left a message again asking for refills or an appointment.  A bit later the doctor called to say she faxed the prescriptions yesterday and if in a month not better I would need to come see the doctor.  When I called the HIV clinic to say they must have the fax / prescription refill they kept saying they didn't.  After being put on hold three times they finally found the fax.  WTF?  So I then drove downtown to get the prescriptions and give them a piece of my mind.  I get home with the prescriptions to notice the anti inflammatory says 60 pills and is circled to verify yet there are only 30 pills in the bottle. WTF?  Can this week get any worse?  I then had to call the HIV clinic to find out when I would get the rest of my meds and find out who fucked this up.  I ask for the manager to call me since I have many issues every month with this pharmacy.  From prescription not ready when I get there called in days ahead, to missing pills twice now, to no one ever answering the phone, to faxes not getting addressed and prescription filled .... I have a bone to pick with the ARCW pharmacy.   How can a fax from a doctor sit in limbo for over 24 hours and be told it is not there three times when it is?  Then the wrong amount of pills given out?  Honestly by last night going to bed I could feel the gas coming out and feeling a bit better from the meds again.  I pray this goes away since my next course is a scope up the penis which scares the hell out of me.

Today I woke up feeling like crap and tired.  Pushed myself to do a mile and 3/4 on the treadmill.  It is going to be close to 90 degrees today so I do not know if Tony will join us for lunch since he will be stinky.  Just being honest.  He works outside in this heat if not in the office.  After lunch I will most likely take a nice long nap.  Too hot to do anything outside.  Tonight we see the play Bent which I am looking forward to .  Plan on bringing tissue since I cry at plays like this theme. 

This weekend and into next week looks too hot outside for me.  Will have to think of indoor projects.

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015 Monday Afternoon

Summer has finally arrived in Milwaukee.  The past week we have had very Summer like temperatures for a change.  Has been a very cool Summer up until the past week.  Today it is very hot out and I got the little work outside done early so not to be out in the hot humid heat. 

The past weekend was very busy.  Last Thursday started Bastille Days and we went to the festival Thursday and again Friday night.  Both nights we did not stay long but it was nice to get out and not have to cook dinner.  Saturday we had the yearly family pool party for Tony's side of the family the weather was cool on Saturday but we went swimming anyway since it is the one time a year we most likely get to go swimming because someone we know has a pool.  Had a good time at the family event as usual.  Sunday we went to a car show around noon at another festival and then spent the rest of the day at home due to the heat. 

My prostate is still feeling a bit of pain.  I did take the last of my two month antibiotic today.  Someone asked my PSA level.  I don't know the number off the top of my head but do know it has been checked regularly due to my dad having cancer and is within normal range.  I see my HIV doctor this Wednesday and will address the problem with him.  I also was talking with the guys in our Friday lunch and was told I should start taking Florajen 3, a high potency probiotic dietary supplement, due to taking an antibiotic for over two months.  Was told my stomach problems and pain might be more due to my taking antibiotics for so long.  Worth a try and bought a bottle and started taking last Friday.  Will hopefully know soon if it will help.  It has already changed my morning bowels.

Was very tired again today.  Could be from doing a lot over the weekend or the fact we were up early listening to Vito bark and growl at the thunder and lightning that started by 4 AM this morning.  Actually went back to bed for another hour after Tony left for work this morning.  Forced myself not to take a nap this afternoon so I sleep good tonight. 

Not a lot on my schedule this week other than my Wednesday HIV doctor appointment and picking up my prescriptions and food at the pantry at the HIV clinic.  I did buy tickets online this morning for a play at a small theater, called Bent.  From reading the play it does not sound like a happy play but Tony mentioned before he left for work that he read about it in the newspaper this morning and would like to see it.  Got tickets for this Friday nights performance.  It is a very small group theater which I do enjoy just as much as the big productions. 

Dogs are all doing great.  Had to take Rose and Casper to the vet last week to update their Rabies shots and have Casper's ear infection in his left ear this time checked.  Have a feeling we are going to have chronic ear problems with Casper.  Rose still loves going to work and walks with her Uncle Tom.  Yesterday we were walking Rose, Casper and Bo around the block and Tom pulled up in his truck.  Rose went crazy and Tom walked with us around the block, Rose at his side.  She loves her Uncle Tom.  Kali sleeps a lot and Vito just seems to keep going even though he is blind and diabetic. 

Finished the book Final Exit.  I did enjoy it and learned a lot about ending one's life someday.  Don't worry, I am not planning on it any time soon but do want an exit strategy if I get very sick someday.

Mom should call soon for our 4 PM Monday talking on the phone.  I usually have to write a list or I forget to tell her things and then remember when we get off the phone.

Will post my new blood count numbers when I get them this Wednesday.