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Saturday, February 28, 2009

February 28, 2009 Saturday Night

Spent most of the day either in bed or on the couch watching TV. I do feel a bit better at this writing. Tony is still feeling quite ill. He says every bone in his body hurts. I hope if I get a good nights sleep I will feel even better tomorrow. I sure hope so anyway.

The dogs are driving us crazy. Plus we are dog sitting for a friends dog which puts us up to five again. I was about to make dog stew tonight with a couple of them. They just don't seem to understand that their daddy's are sick and do not want to play much less let them outside every hour because they are bored. And of course they have to go out one at a time so you have to sit there and wait for 5 dogs to go out and then come in. There are times I scream 'Everyones going out NOW!". The friend whos dog we are taking care of went out of town to most likely say goodbye to his mother who is very ill, probably for the last time. So sad. I can not imagine what that day will be like, or would be like. His dog is about 15 years old, white husky, long hair, sheds like crazy and is very stuborn. He lays off to the side, in a closet, and we notice with this visit he has no hearing, or very little hearing left. I think our friend will be losing a mother and his dog within the same year or so. So sad. We have taken care of his dog many many times and is totally comfortable here and gets along with our gang of dogs. But it is not in the best of health anymore at over 15 years old.

Going to start a movie. I hope I feel better tomorrow. I feel better now than I did this morning. But it seems to not last long. Now if I can only get Tony healthy. Poor guy, his chest hurts so much from the coughing and the fact his chest is wired together from his open heart surgery makes it worse. He does not have the usual shield plate most people have between their lungs and rib cage. Maybe a little Vicks Rub later if I'm lucky. Talk tomorrow.

February 28, 2009 Saturday Morning

Tony and I got hit hard by this flu going around Milwaukee. We were both up most of Thursday night coughing and in pain/body aches. Tony opened the shop and came right home and spent the day in bed he was so sick. I spent most of the day in bed also. The phamacist said it's going around and just need to drink water and get lots of rest.

Today I feel a bit better. Hope we both get better as the day goes on. I am so tired of being sick.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

February 26, 2009 Thursday Morning

Hello. After my nap yesterday to my surprise there was a box sitting by my front door outside. I got the box, it was addressed to me. In it was a gift basket with comfort food and snack from Suzanne and Erin. Is that sweet or what? On the day I might have received bad news Suzanne sent me a gift basket. Thank you so much. I cant wait to meet Erin when you guys come to Milwaukee. Suzanne, you are the greatest.

Only four of us showed up for last nights meeting and we were all so tired we only met for about an hour rather than the hour and a half we usually meet for. Got home, watched a little TV and then went to bed. Woke up by 3am with Tony coughing and sweating like crazy. Guess he is sick. So I stayed up with him till about 5am getting him medicine and water. It was nice to repay the kindness he has shown me the last couple months, much less the last 20 years.
Once he finally fell back asleep I then got up and started doing stuff. I let him sleep till about 7am. He went to work to open the shop but he better be home soon or I will have to go get him. No car is more important than his health at this time or any other time. I am hoping he naps the afternoon away. I will join him.

Stomach feels a little better today because I took my irritable bowel meds right away when I got up. Still uncomfortable. But much better with meds helping. I am so glad my doctor said I could continue to take this medicine and not have any conflicting problems.

Suppose to rain all afternoon and tonight. Perfect for napping and sleeping. Got to call Tony and get him home and rest. Thanks again to Suzanne, you made my day and reminded me what good friends I really do have. I will try to post again later today.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

February 25, 2009 Wednesday

Hello. Woke up feeling tired and having the same bowel problems.
Went back to my doctor to find out my new blood levels. He is very happy with the results at this time. Within 3 weeks of meds my TCell count has gone from 106 to 229. The doctor thought this was better than he expected. Good thing I guess. My viral load is 1000 down from 335,000. The doctor was very happy about that. I get blood tested again in 3 weeks. Then again in 3 months. Guess this is all good news so I thought I would pass it on. Just wish I felt better physically but was told it is the medications and my body should adjust in time.
Have my Wednesday night meeting tonight. Talk later. Need a nap.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

February 24, 2009 Tuesday Morning

Woke up and out of bed by 6:30 am and got Tony off to work. Having the usual stomach and bowel problems again today. Hopefully the doctor tomorrow will have some remedy or suggestions. Took my anxiety meds around 8 am this morning because the panic started setting in by then. The little voice, I'm going to strangle him one day. I must admit I am happiest when I am sleeping. At least when I am sleeping I am not thinking about the fact I have AIDS. That can not be good.
Feeling pretty tired and worthless today. Had to ask Tony for some money so I could go grocery shopping this morning. Then this afternoon the two dogs go to the vet and who knows how much that will cost or what we will find out about Stella. Then tomorrow my doctor. So, as soon as I feel able to go out of the house this morning I am going to try to make it through the grocery store and get the grocery shopping done. Pretty f*ckin sad hey?
On a good note. As of today I still have not missed one dose of any of my meds. Not one. On schedule now for over a month and a half without missing a dose. Not easy, but my reality.
I was told I can not miss a dose of my AIDS drugs more than once in a month. And that is even bad. You can not let the virus get strong again. It learns very quickly if you miss more than two doses a month. So, I guess I am doing all I can. Got to brush my teeth and get to the grocery store while I feel I can still perform that task. Sad hey?

Monday, February 23, 2009

February 23, 2009 Monday Night

Went to my therapist appointment this morning. Was OK. It is what you make them. I enjoy them. Came home and had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and then slept the afternoon away. Made left over Chinese Food from last night for dinner. Off to bed very soon. I do have to address this with my doctor on Wednesday. I am always just so tired. I could sleep 20 out of 24 hours a day it seems. Hopefully he will have some suggestions or reasons. I am getting very nervous about Wednesdays appointment. It will tell me if I am getting better or not. Or at least give me a base line for my viral load since this is the first time measuring. Hopefully my TCell count has gone up.
Tomorrow I have to grocery shop and then take two dogs with Tony to the Vet at the same time.
More money out the window.
Stomack problems persisted all day. Not a good day in that department. Guess I have to address that too with the doctor Wednesday.
How the hell did my life turn into this? Sometimes I get so damn mad. Will I ever have more than one or two good days a month? Guess I'm just feeling sorry for myself. Doesn't fit well on me from my end. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

February 23, 2009 Monday Morning

Hello. Sorry I didn't post over the weekend. Not sure where the weekend went. Guess thats a good thing.
Saturday was a very good day. I remember telling Tony it was my best day since the beginning of the year. We had a big snow storm here all day in Milwaukee. We got about 7 inches of snow. I shoveled three times during the day on Saturday just to keep up so the final shoveling would not be so bad. It felt very good, I must admit, to get out and do something physical. Didn't even need to take a nap on Saturday afternoon.
Sunday we went out to breakfast with Tony's mom. I was not in the mood but forced myself to go knowing that would probably be the only thing we would be doing all day. Had a nice breakfast and came home. Spent most of the day just laying around watching TV and relaxing with the dogs. I took a nice bath in our new spa tub and went to bed about 10 pm.
Today Tony and I both woke up with a cough. I feel tired. I think we are both getting sick. Tony was nice enough to try to put my fears aside by telling me "I'm sick too", "Its not just you, so stop worrying". Have an appointment this morning with my new therapist. I'm so tired and have no energy I feel like canceling it. But I will not. I will shower, push myself along, and do it for my own good mentally. Plus I've already told Stella we would spend the afternoon napping. Having stomach problems again today. Didn't on Saturday or Sunday. So now I feel like I am paying for two days without pain. I will write again later today. Off to the shower. I need to start keeping track of what I eat daily and find out what and how I can stop these horrible mornings of stomack cramps.

Friday, February 20, 2009

February 20, 2009 Friday Afternoon

Hello. Having one of the best days I have had since the beginning of the year! Feeling good. Feeling strong. No stomach problems today. WOW.

Last night Tony and I decided to meet some friends at a local gay bar instead of checking out the new group I mentioned in yesterdays post. I figured it would be better therapy to be with friends than strangers. We had two drinks and home within two hours. Home by 8:30. Had a great time and was very glad we went.

Woke up with Tony at 6 am today and got him off to work by 8 am. Did my usual cleaning and stuff and then Tony and I met the guys for lunch at the Brady Street Diner. Only four of us today but did we end up laughing and having fun. Layed down for an hour this afternoon with the dogs listening to music. Writing this post. And soon Tony will be home and the weekend is here. Not sure if he will feel like going out for dinner or staying home. We both had a big lunch. In fact I usually just have soup. Today I had a burger, soup and fries I felt so good. We are suppose to get 6 inches of snow tonight and tomorrow. I love snow days. Don't love the shoveling after, but love the do nothing laying around the house on snow days.

Feels good to feel good. Have a great weekend everyone. I will try to post if I have time and something to post. Today was worth living.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

February 19, 2009 Thursday Morning's Panic Attack

So, it's going on 9 am and I just took an anxiety pill because I am in the middle of I guess what is called a panic attack. So I am hoping that writing this will take my mind off the crap I keep thinking about till the pill kicks in. So bear with me. We will get through this one together. I was fine this morning till Tony walked out the door to go to work around 8 am. Stella seems to be handling / keeping down her meds now and hopefully we will find out more on her next week with her next round of blood tests. So I start getting stuff cleaned up around the house and doing the dishes and morning chores and then out of nowhere this feeling like someone stabbing me in the chest hits fast. I know it is because where my mind is and what I am thinking about that does this. As with each day it begins with this little voice saying "you have AIDS" and then goes to "your going to die" and then the fear and the panic set in. I also start to think "what would I do if something happened to Tony" ? "How would I survive"?, "Who would take care of me"?. It goes down hill from there and that is where I sit right now as I write. I tryed deep breathing from my nose slowly and that helps, but the empty feeling in your chest sometimes feels like someone is ripping it apart. I hope this makes sense to someone. I know the answers to all the fears in my head. Stella will either get better or not, at that point a decision will have to be made, but that is not today so stop worrying. I know I have AIDS but many people I meet have been HIV+ for over 20 years on meds. Even heard more horror stories about ATZ last night. Guess that was the worst thing they could have done, but who knew. I know that I can not control if Tony drops dead of a heart attack so why do I worry? I just dont want to be alone. Maybe there is something to those guys that have more than one wife, like a back up. Hmm. Like I said before many times, I do not know how someone gets through these thoughts or this kind of situation like I find myself in and not have a partner or someone, anyone to help them. Jeez. I hate this line of thinking my mind dives to. The "what if's".
On a positive note, I hate that word now by the way, I heard of a Church here in town that has a support group the second Thursday of each month for people afflicted by HIV. Non denominational, and the guy is really cool. The person who told me of this / him said he is very similar to Lew Broyles who did Tony and my Holy Union and I was hoping to use someday if I need spiritual advice. Well, he like I have said, died a few years ago of a heart attach. Anyway Tony has agreed to go tonight with me and meet this new group. I was also told of another real cool church group here in town and the pastor guy is gay and has a lover. I was told he is young , cool, and good lookin to boot. So I think Tony and I might go to that church this Sunday. It is for LGBT people. Like I said before. I have a hard time believing in God and have for some time. I don't want God pushed down my throat. I simply want to come to peace with dieing when that day comes. I want to know that it will be ok in some way. I am not sure if I will ever find the peace I am truelly looking for but I have to search. Doing nothing doesn't seem to be the way to go. So, I do not think it is a bad angle to pursue at this time. OK, we are a half hour into the panic attack with the anxiety pill. Not totally gone yet. It usually takes about an hour after taking the anxiety pill that I feel some relief. I am down to only 2 pills a day and can take up to 3 a day. So I am getting better. Just so damn scared all the time about everything.
It is very cold here in Milwaukee today, wind chill is below zero. Sunny, looks like it would be nice out but the thermometer I have outside shows it is not above 10 degrees even. Thankfully I do not have to leave the house for anything today till tonight when Tony and I go to the church group. The cold outside doesn't help in any way with the cold I feel with my body when I have these attacks. It's a really cold cold feeling.
Forty minutes in and I am starting to feel a little more relaxed, a little spacey, and tired. Plus my typing is harder to do since I have to concentrate much more to find the correct keys.
OK, an hour has passed I folded a load of laundry and I am ready to continue with the daily chores. Thanks for going through this with me till the anxiety pill kicked in.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

February 18, 2009 Wednesday

Hello. Woke up feeling ok today. Then cleaned up all the piles of bile that Stella was nice enough to leave around the house from throwing up all night while we slept from her first round of pills.
Fed the dogs, gave Stella her second round of pills which she is keeping down this time and after my shower was off to meet with my case worker at ARCW. At this point it looks like ADAP is the thing I should sign up for. The state will then pay for my AIDS drugs and health insurance if it goes through. Was told to hold off on the disablility till we know more about my health status.
Then went downstairs at ARCW and got my 1st months worth of free food handouts. WOW, did I feel low, like on welfare or something. I did get 5 bags of some very nice food. It will help. At least on the grocery bill that Tony is paying each week.
After I make some lunch I will take a nap with the dogs and then make dinner and off to my Wednesday night meeting tonight. We were suppose to get a snow storm, but it turned out to be mostly rain thank God. Shoveling is not fun. Feeling ok today except for the tiredness.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

February 17 Tuesday Afternoon

Well, where do I start.
Got up at 6 am with Tony and read the paper and got him off to work at 8 am. Then I had my appointment with my case manager at ARCW. When I got home there was a message from the vet that said Stella's blood tests came in and she is a very sick dog. It was good Tony spent the $250 for the blood tests. She was brusing easily and had a mole that was of concern. I guess she has Thrombocytopenia.
So, now Stella is home, keeping her calm not to get hurt and bleed and just started two drugs. Prednisone and Doxcycline. Bottom line. Get this. It is like 'the opposite of AIDS'. That was the vets words exactly. Her platet level is below 10,000 and basically undetectable. Not good. It is also considered an infectious disease. What the f*ck? So now the vet will do more blood tests to find out why she is so sick and will have to see where it goes from here. The opposite of AIDS. I can not believe this.
Going to take a nap with the dogs and give Stella some special hugs. Unbelievable.
I was actually having an ok day up till finding out all this.

Monday, February 16, 2009

February 16, 2009 Monday Morning Blood Test

Woke up with the usual bowel problems that still persist as I write this post. Was very edgy all morning knowing I was going in for blood work this morning to test my viral load and TCell count. This will be my first viral load test to see how far the HIV has progressed. I get the results a week from this Wednesday. Another week and a half of waiting.
Had to really push myself out the door to drive to the hospital which thank God is only about 2 miles away. Three turns on roads. My head is a mess. I cryed the entire way to the hospital.
I was told the lab office was on the first floor and entered the parking ramp. No spaces on the first floor but to my luck a space right in front of the second floor door was empty. I took it. I can walk that far I had to tell myself. Took the elevator to the first floor and signed in. It seemed forever signing in even though I only had to sign 3 forms. The receptionist was good enough to continuely turn over the paperwork so no one else could see I was taking an HIV test. I did appreciate that. My palms were sweating so much and I thought I was going to pass out at one point. Was told to go into a room, which turned out I went into the wrong one, left, right, I guess theres a difference. Got into the right room and the large black nurse came in to take my blood. By this time I am sure she could see the fear, anxiety, and tears streaming down my face. She was very nice and spoke with me for a while telling me that I have the best doctor and that today an HIV diagnosis is better than a cancer one when it comes to treatments.
She was very patient with me and made the experience tollerable. Was out of the office and back to the car in no time. The drive home I cryed a bit more. Still crying right now and not sure why. I guess depression is setting in. Great, another pill I can take.
I have no other appointments or things today, Tony will take Stella to the vet today at 2:30 because I could not handle that right now. Just for shots and stuff, but I am having a hard enough time just trying to get myself through my day at this point. Left another message for my Case Manager to call me about financial avenues, hope she calls back. Starting to piss me off, the longer I wait to get paperwork in the longer it will take to process and hopefully start getting some benefits needed.
I am just amazed at what has happened to me in over a month. I use to be this outgoing person that was afraid of nothing. Now I am afraid of everything and just want to be at home safe.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

February 15, 2009 Sunday

Hello. Hope everyone had a terrific Valentine's Day.
Tony and a friend worked on the plumbing most of the day till about 7pm. Happy to have them work on it so don't want to make them stop once they start. The friend was suppose to show up today and help finish, of course, no friend here to help Tony.
Ordered Lasagna and some salads delivered and spent a quite night at home watching tv. Woke up last night around 1 am and had to fight the feeling to throw up. I kept saying to myself that the pill at bedtime hasn't been in me long enough. So I took a couple tums and layed in bed begging my body not to get sick. Fell asleep shortly there after. Kept everything down. Guess Italian and Mexican food our going to have to go. Jeez, what next, ice cream?
Today, I am very very tired. Just can not seem to wake up or get going today. Tony is working on the plumbing by himself. Seems I can be up for a few hours and then need to nap. Not good. I am sure it is the anxiety meds and other side effects. I can not imagine having a fuller life at this time. How does someone with a family or job go through this at this stage? Been on the internet here and there. A great sight is for information and blogs. Spent time reading a lot of blogs yesterday in the 'connect' section. Lot of frightened and lonely people out there dealing with this. I am fortunate I have the support I have from what I read. Lot of people in the same boat as I wondering how they got this also.
While Tony is working on the plumbing I drove to the local Open Pantry and got our weekly lottery tickets, had to force myself to do it but from what I read about panic attacks its the only way to live or you don't leave the house and it gets worse. As I bought the lottery tickets I though 'why' for a second or two. Why? If I won big what would be the difference at this point. I will probably not be alive long enough to enjoy it anyway. Like I said before, everything you ever thought about is different once you find out you have a disease that is killing you.
Tomorrow morning I go in and have my blood redrawn and then a week and a half later I will find out my viral load and tcell counts. This waiting to see if anything is working is killing me.
Watching the Monk marathon on USA channel. We were suppose to go to a classic car show here in town this weekend. Tony has free tickets. Not sure if we will make it since the day is going on and not much time left. I will not be disappointed at all if we do not go. Tony on the other hand still wants to go I am sure. We will see.
Talk to you later, going back to snuggle with a blanket, dogs, and the tv.

Friday, February 13, 2009

February 13, 2009 Friday

Had a pretty mellow day today. Spent the morning doing laundry and the usual daily things that need to get done around here and then went grocery shopping. Like I said last week, it is scary now how I make better choices of what to buy and eat. I don't think I bought one junk food item.
Tony and I had lunch with the guys on Brady Street which was once again very enjoyable. At least it puts my panic attacks to the side for a while. There was a time half way through grocery shopping that I thought I needed to just leave the cart and get out of there and get home. I never knew what a panic attack was till recently. They are not fun. I just kept taking deep breaths and said over and over to myself 'You Can Do It'. I sure hope it was to myself and not outloud or I am sure they now think I am a nut job at the local market. I've gotten to the point where I know I have to take an anxiety pill around 8am since the panic sets in around 9am. I then can go most of the day ok till about 4 or 5 pm. So the minute I start to feel the panic I take another anxiety pill. Its hard to explain. You can try and try to put that little voice out of your head and then it gets louder and louder and the panic comes. Denial just isn't an option. Would be easier to do, but not a healthier option. Oh well, the pill I took an hour ago is kickin in. I keep asking everyone if I should be concerned about this and everyone tells me to take them as needed and stop worrying unless your taking more than prescribed. I am not. I can take up to 3 a day. The third I sometimes take at bedtime if the cold chills and fear start to set in. Tony should be home soon. Hopefully we will go out for a fish fry at a local place. I have no patience at this point so standing in a line is not an option, so it will have to be a well known place, in and out, and back home where I at least can turn the heat up, stop the shaking, and feel more comfortable not crawling out of my skin with thoughts.
There is a local car show this weekend. Tony has 2 free tickets. I might just send him on his own since I get overwelmed so fast and crowds just make me uneasy. As I walked down the ailses of the store today you can't help look at people and say to yourself 'do you think they know I have AIDS?'. I hope this line of thinking ends soon. Monday I go in for blood tests to find out my viral load and T Cell counts from being on the AIDS cocktail for a month. I do not get the results back for a week and a half from Monday, but God am I needing some good news at this point.
I started having some minor pain in my bladder area yesterday, it has not gotten any better, but then again not any worse. Just want to make a note here just in case I need to refrence it later. I would say the pain is a 2 out of 10. I will keep an eye on this. Feels almost the same as when I had prostrate problems a year ago. I might have to go back on the Flomax but can not until I would find out if it can interact with the cocktail I take. Isn't life great?
Have a great weekend everyone. Love you all and really appreciate you even having an interest in my life and thoughts. Thanks. Love ya all.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

February 12, 2009 Thursday

Had a good day today. Spent the morning cleaning. Deep cleaning, like floor boards and stuff. I hate cleaning. Left a message with my case worker as to when I can expect to start receiving the paperwork I need to start filling out for getting some sort of assistance. It's out there and the sooner you get the paperwork in, I am told, the better. No call back from her. Will leave another message tomorrow. Started my book. Yup. Got a little done on it. Chapter titles, and started making notes. Took a short nap this afternoon and made supper for Tony and I. I think I had a better day today because I stayed away from books and information. It starts to just depress you. Overwelm you.
Going to spend the rest of the night with the TV. Tomorrow I have to fight with the insurance company to get my next months supply of Atripla by next Thursday, thru mail order no less. I was told I might be able to get that changed if I make a big enough stink. I just dont need the US Postoffice adding to my stress at this time. If I can fill my med in town, when I know I need them, I feel much better. We will have lunch with the Friday lunch group and then I have to do grocery shopping. Thats something in itself now. I now look for healthier alternatives and have to stay away from my favorite food - peanut butter. What next. Ice cream? I will have nothing to live for. LOL
Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

February 11, 2009 Wednesday

Very tired today. Not sure if it is the fact I was up three times last night to pee or the fact that it is raining outside and just crummy weather. Or of course it could just be my stage of my condition. Spent the day reading more information and watching tv. God am I fucked if the information is correct. Tonight I have my weekly HIV group meeting which have been very nice for me and needed. It does help to talk with people who have been down this path.

I've been giving some thought to writing a book. I have always wanted to. Wanted to start it years ago. I think, since I am not working, I will start next week considering it like a job and work on it daily. I think I have a lot to say and want to say it. I know it will not be easy because writing it will bring up all the memories of the past, but it will be something of me left on this earth when I am gone.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

February 10, 2009 Tuesday

Woke up early today with Tony. Had stomach issues most of the day, but they were manageable.
Had my first appointment today with my new Therapist. She was very nice and starting in two weeks she is clearing her complete schedule for me. LOL. No, but in two weeks we will start weekly appointments. Will be nice to talk to a trained therapist.
Spent the afternoon reading one of two books I picked up at ARCW today at the therapist appointment. One is called The First Year Of HIV which talks about what a normal person goes through, thoughts, emotions and stuff in the first year. Tests and what they mean, etc. Boy am I in for some fun. Half way done with the book already. The second book is called Living Well With HIV and AIDS.
Not sure I enjoy reading some of the information to be honest. Sounds like my AIDS is more advanced than it should be for just finding it out. Not good. It has made me a little mad that this was not caught sooner by a doctor, it should have been. But I guess I should just be thankful I found out now rather than even later in the game.
Not feeling like cooking tonight so I think Tony and I will go to a local bar for bargain priced burgers and fries.
One thing the books are telling me non stop is how important it is to keep stress and shit out of my life and how important a healthy life is if you want to live with this disease. I have stopped sweating the small things or problems with Tony and I, now I have to incorportate this into my daily life.
Bottom line today I had a good day.

Monday, February 9, 2009

February 9, 2009 Monday

Sunday night I took a short soak in the new whirlpool tub in our bathroom. Made the water too hot so I didn't want to stay in it too long. Yah, I could have added cold water and did, but didn't want to push it. It was nice. I lit a candle and laid there with the jets on for about 15 minutes.

Had some stomach and bowel issues this morning. Got them to pass by the time I took Barkley to the vet for his nail trim and anal extraction. I could hear him wailing in the back room as they did the anal thing, poor guy, but I was told it was badly needed. Spent the afternoon reading materials I have picked up along the way or been given to me that I might have read when I got them and was in no condition to comprehend them completely. Well, didn't do a world of good since I of all people never put two and two together I guess. Since reading what I read today, since my TCell count is less than 200 (its at 106) I am actually classified as Full Blown Aids. How nice it was to comprehend that information. I asked Tony tonight if he ever connected the dots and his reply was 'long time ago'. Well, I just connected the dots and remains quite a shock to the mind. According to the Government once your listed as AIDS, even if you improve to the point of being nondetectable, your still AIDS, not just HIV+. You never are just HIV+ again, you are always classified as AIDS. WOW. Hard to digest. Guess I better step up my plan to get this house more organized just in case my time is short. Receiced a letter that my AIDS cocktail can not be gotten at my local pharmacy anymore and will have to get it mail order through a certain company. Great, this is the pill I can not affort to ever not take and I have to rely on the postal service and ordering it way in advance and everything. Called the doctors office to find out the blood test paperwork for next Monday does not include a TCell count. It is only for a viral load count. I guess I don't know my viral load number yet. I asked her if we could do a TCell count too and we changed the paperwork to reflect one. Everyone keeps asking me what my viral load is and I don't know that yet, guess this next test will tell me. For some reason I hope to hear my TCell count has gone up or improved also. Tomorrow I meet my new therapist at ARCW. When they called to confirm it today my reply was 'I am looking forward to it'. I am. God do I need someone to talk to. I hope I like her. I haven't had good success in the past with councelors and finding someone I feel comfortable with. Hopefully this will be different. Hope she cleared her schedule for the day, LOL. Dinner is done, dishes in the sink, and just going to lay back and watch the Pres on TV and CBS comedys the rest of the night. One appointment tomorrow, I think I can do it.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

February 8, 2009 Sunday Evening

Today was another very good day for the most part. My stomach is feeling better than it has felt long as I can remember. I wonder if it is the yogurt type pills I started taking a few days ago? I hope it lasts because the mornings are not pleasant when your feeling like I was feeling each morning. I made us a nice breakfast, read the Sunday paper, showered, and cleaned up the mess from making breakfast. This is why I hate cooking. If someone cleaned up the mess (pots, pans, spoons,etc) it wouldn't be such an unpleasant thing to do. We then went to Home Depot and bought the new sink and pedistal for in the bathroom. Hey, when Tony gets moving on any project around here I am just grateful and move out of the way. I am told the tub can be filled with water now and jets and heater work too. So tonight might be a nice night for a bath in the new tub. Don't mind if the walls are plaster and stuff and still need to be tiled. I just look forward to laying back and letting the hot water hit my body. After we got home I cleaned up the winters worth of dog dropping in the pile that I pile them on till the snow melts like it has been. I do clean up the yard daily but in the winter I pile it off to the side in an area and throw it away like today. Even cleaned up the tenants back yard that needed it bad. It was so nice out today I felt like breaking out the shorts, well, with the cold winter we have had here in Wisconsin this year, today felt like a heat wave. I think it got over 40 degrees. Was nice to be outside and keep busy. Tony's taking a nap but can't let him sleep much longer since no one has spoke of whats for dinner or how we are going to get food. If I napped till this late I would have problems going to bed at night. Not him, he falls right to sleep. Emailed a cousin of mine today that is a nurse and asked her in a round about way how full her plate is. Would like to bring her into the know since she is a nurse and as I have said before, any and all information I will take. She has always been more than just a cousin, always a friend. Was vague on the issue as I could be. Will have to see where it goes. Actually this blog has helped, after I tell someone I can email them the link to the blog. Called my Dad today to wish him a Happy Birthday. He is 75. Makes me wonder if I even have a chance now of ever reaching that age. Not an easy call to make since I have not spoke to them since finding out I was HIV. I did speak to mom two hours after learning on January 7th but I was so still in shock and somehow got through the call. I don't want to break down on the phone in some way or give any signal that there is a problem. Spoke to him and mom for a short period of time. Enough to play the game I call 'smiles everyone, smiles'. Sounds like they will have their hands full for the next week or so with the sister and kids which is good. I hate keeping this from them but they are in Florida for one, two, I simply am not ready. Bottom line is, mom will be too busy to call for over a week so I can put that out of my head. I have enough to do just making it through the day these days. OVERWELMED That is what I feel these days. It don't take much to overwelm me. Then the panic and reality sets in and it goes down hill from there to tears. So I try very hard not to overwelm myself. I am told this is normal and I should not worry about it at my stage of learning. I am told, as time goes on, I will be able to handle more and more and life will go on. Yah Yah. Everyone says that shit.
Monday I just have one task and that is to take Barkley for a nail cut and anal extraction. He won't be happy at all and will need to be muzzled. I should be able to handle this one appointment for the day. One day at a time.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

February 7, 2009 Saturday Afternoon

Did more reading Friday night of the book The Last Goodnights by John West and got to page 200 of 250. Woke up at 5am today and just wanted to finish the book, so made coffee, whispered in Tony's ear to sleep in, it's Saturday, and off to the couch I went to finish the book. I did finish it. More kleenex of course. I can't recommend this book enough.

This afternoon while Tony and a friend are working on the plumbing on the second bathroom trying to get the whirlpool tub connected I took a short nap while listening to soothing music. Now I am up, it looks so nice outside, suppose to get maybe up to 50 today, I feel I should get outside and enjoy it. Would take a dog or two for a walk but with the snow all melting the sidewalks and such are so wet and sloppy that they would need a bath after their walk. So sorry dogs, no walk.

Emailed my brother last night, out of guilt for not being there for him more during his cancer scare he had a couple years ago. Tryed to be as vague as possible without giving out to many detail about my condition. He can not keep a secret. Thought I worded everything pretty good telling him how much I have learned to admire him for how he got through it without family support. I felt the need to tell him this. And the need to tell him I will be there for him in the future if he ever needs me. Of course this opened up all kinds of questions I am not ready to answer and we will have to see where this goes. He can not find out. I must keep this secret from him or the entire family will know. Not ready for that yet. When I am ready I will tell who I want and when. I left it as a 'health scare' with him, but I know he has more questions. I will have to be strong and let him know I am alive and well but not give many more details than that. Maybe I shouldn't have even opened the subject with him, but what is done is done, we will let the chips fall where they fall. I can't worry about things I can not control. Wow, did I say that.

I did pick up another book yesterday at ARCW library called Grief and Aids. From looking at the cover and back and table of contents it looked like a book I might learn something from. Well, I started reading it, will read it to the end evenually, but it is obviously at least 5 or more years old and so much has changed in the world of HIV since that time much less 20 years ago when I watch many many of my friends die of it. It was horrible, a horrible slow death. I will not ever let myself or a loved one get to a point like that. Maybe thats why I had to read the book The Last Goodnights. I will skim it for the information on stages of grief and stuff but keep in the back of my mind when it says things like 'people with AIDS live about 5 years after diagnosis' that it is outdated when it comes to medical advances. Still isn't easy to read.

I think its time for another anxiety pill. I can usually make it till about 9 or 10 am without a breakdown and a need of a pill. Took one this morning. Now its time for the afternoon pill. Then I take the third, per prescribed at night or bedtime to shut my mind off. I don't want to get hooked on the anxiety pills, not sure you can, but sure you probably could. But right now I really need them to make it through some tough times during the day.

I talked a little more last night with Tony about how my mind has been going lately. I explained to him that it is really frustrating to have to really really concentrate to do the most mundane tasks or push myself to leave the house. At this point I told him I can handle one appointment or something a day, otherwise I just get overwelmed and break down. Not good when your in public. People tend to look at you funny. LOL

Better check on the guys and make sure they are still working on the tub and not just standing there with a beer in hand admiring what they have accomplished. Why are men like that? I swear when Tony does a project he takes almost as much time admiring what he did as the time it took to do the project itself. I'm exagerating of course, but I think you get what I am saying.

Talk to you later. I must get out and do something outside. It won't stay 50 in February being Wisconsin for long.

Friday, February 6, 2009

February 6, 2009 Friday Afternoon

Hello. Having a good day so far. Went to a meeting with a person at ARCW about financial help and government services available for someone in my position. She was great, very helpful, and will contact me with any and all options and paperwork in a short period of time. Then Tony and I went to the noon Friday lunch. Only two people had showed, and we were way late, but had a real nice lunch with the two guys. The hugs are the best I think.

I was sent a link by a friend today via email very much worth checking out and reading. Even the comments are worth reading. It is another persons story finding out they are HIV+. It is very well written and will once again tell you in someone elses words what I am going through.
Here is the link

Going to take a short nap and then back to reading if I feel up to it. Till next blog, take care. Please take the time to read the above story.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

February 5, 2009 Thursday

Woke up feeling pretty ok today. No major stomach problems. Think I have to rethink what I eat prior to bed at night. I am a junk food lover all night.

Was done with the daily duties by 11 am and out the door to the post office to mail my taxes, gas station for gas at $1.99 a gallon (why its so high and keeps rising I dont understand), to the local book store to buy a book called "The Last Goodnights" by John West. Saw the guy on Good Morning America yesterday or today and his book sounded good. It is about assisting his parents suicides because they both reached terminal stages. Yah, I know, probably not a good book to read right now. I am not a book reader at all, so for me to buy one much less read one is an accomplishment. I'm about 2/3 done and can't wait till I have time tomorrow to finish it.
Only went through one whole box of kleenex reading it today.
Then went to the Natural Foods store in town with the intent to buy some good yogurt, since I've been told this will help my stomach by several people. I went with the pills instead. Was told the are actually better and have more of the good stuff you need. They are called Florajen Acidophilus. I guesss there are 20 billion cultures per capsule. So I guess I will see if these help with the stomach. Anyone know anything about this/these? Of course I will bring up all this stuff to my doctor at the end of the month when I find out if I'm getting better or worse. Bought some Chicken Tenders at McDonalds, picked up Stella from Tony's shop, and came home and read the book all afternoon. If nothing else, if your a book reader, google it and see if it is something you would be interested in reading, I think the author is great telling his story.
It must have been very hard on him. Once again it is called "The Last Goodnight" by John West. When I am done reading this book, if I decide to read another, I will make sure it is a more uplifting story.

Going to log off and veg the rest of the night away with Ugly Betty, Greys, and Private Practice.
I meet with a ARCW worker tomorrow who can steer me in financial directions. Should be interesting. Nite.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

February 4, 2009 Wednesday

Morning was pretty much the same today. Had my interview at 10:30 this morning. The talking part with the three I interviewed with was great but then there was a 1/2 hour long test on excel and word perfect. The test part was all things I have done at my past job, but the applications and how to do the task had always been set up for me, so I was at a loss how to do any of the parts of the test. Felt stupid, came home and had a major breakdown. Not feeling to hopeful for the future and hate this feeling of feeling my life has hit rock bottom and I can't get out. Tony came home to give me a hug, but I have to let him work. After all he can't be there for me here at home and be at the shop making money to pay the bills. Just feel like where the hell is my life going to go from here? I can't concentrate on any new task, everything feels like a burden, and I am so tired all the time. How the hell can I even think of taking on a job at this time. Yet, thats just not fair to Tony, even though he has not complained and continues to tell me in time I will be better mentally and physically. It's nice to hear, but they are just words when you are the one dealing with everything I've had to deal with. At one point after I got home from the interview the little voice in my head reminded me 'I have AIDS'. It sent me to the ground crying. Not telling this to get sympathy, just what is happening and how I am trying to get through this. I do realize it has been less than a month that I have had to digest all the information I've gotten since those test results on January 7th. I told Tony when he was home that if it weren't for the dogs and the guilt I know survivors go threw, I would end it all today. Don't think I'm off getting the gun. Like I said, I have the dogs to take care of and I would not want to put the guilt on anyone if I made that stupid decision. Plus I would just do it in the garage with the car exhaust, not as messy as the gun. No cars in the garage right now. Seriously, I will get through this day. I have my support group meeting with HIV people tonight. Thank God. I feel like a time warp just took me back to week one of finding out I was HIV and at the AIDS stage. I keep saying 'this can not be happening to me'. But it is.
I am so scared inside. I am back to feeling so cold. And have that empty feeling that hurts like hell in your chest, only someone who has heard news close to mine would understand.
I feel like I just want to crawl in bed, roll up in a ball, and cry.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

February 3, 2009 Tuesday

Woke up with stomach problems again this morning. I was told by a follower and my brother that I should eat more yogurt to help with the stomach problems. Will have to do that.

Had a case worker intake apt again this morning at 9:30, asked how long these are going to be, I guess we can do them every other week rather than weekly, she says she is 'here for me'.
I just am getting tired of all the meetings. Plus today I am so tired. I went grocery shopping on the way home (should have bought yogurt) and spent the afternoon in bed with the dogs. Case worker explained this is normal being so tired because of the meds are fighting with my body and will not last forever. The body all of a sudden is getting these drugs and has to figure out what to do with them. Plus the bad guys in your body are dukin it out with the good guys. Makes sense, but doesn't make me any more energenic.

Making a nice home cooked meal for Tony tonight. Pork chops, mashed potatoes and corn. More than I usually cook, and more work. But I have to start eating better.

Wednesday I have an interview at 10:30 am. Will let you know how it goes.

Monday, February 2, 2009

February 2, 2009 Monday

Woke up with cramping and shits today. Sorry, it's just the truth. Spent the morning dealing with that. At least I didn't wake up puking again.

Met with a Milwaukee County lady this afternoon to discuss current options and to get information on past sex partners in the past year and stuff. Guess I am now on the state list whatever that means.

A good friend is having dog health issues, say a prayer for him. We all know how much we love our pets and how important they are in our lives. Sounds like his dog is in need of prayers.

Cleaned and did the usual daily duties. Was going to go grocery shopping today but just don't have the strength. Have to put it off till tomorrow.

I added a new section at the bottom of the side headings called 'current medications'. So if anyone knows anything about them good or bad, any information is always appreciated.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

February 1, 2009 Sunday

Started the day at 5 am throwing up, don't think I can continue to eat mexican for lunch and then a pizza for dinner taking my new pills. The day got better as it went on.

Tony had breakfast with his mother while I read the paper this morning. Layed around all afternoon and then went to our friends house (Paul and Jan)(Paul is the one helping me from day one) for a Super Bowl Kick Off Party. Was very nice and was told the sweetest thing from Jan on my way out the door. He said 'remember, we were friends, now we are family'. Is that sweet or what? I really am a lucky guy when it comes to friends. I always said, I don't need a lot of friends, just a few close ones you can really count on. I sure have that. I chose wisely I am finding out lately.

Going to throw in a DVD soon, not a big Super Bowl fan or sports fan for that matter.

Hope everyone had a good weekend. Talk to you Monday.