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Friday, January 29, 2010

January 29, 2010 HIV+ And Thankfully Not Single

I daily am amazed at the stories I still here from people who are alone dealing with HIV and AIDS. I am so thankful to have Tony by my side daily dealing with this. From just having someone there when you first find out to support you to dating, it is not easy and sometimes so sad. I had a conversation with a very handsome man on Monday about being single and dating with HIV. Wow, was I blown away. This man is very handsome and still has a hard time even getting a date because of his HIV status. We talked about the part of when you tell someone your HIV+ when dating. Do you date someone negative or positive? Or how not many negative people want to even start a relationship with someone positive, which is understandable to some extent. He talked about when you tell someone and what their reactions usually are. Reaction ranges from 'I will have to think about it' which never ends up good to running fast. Either way it is rejection at it's fullest. How sad. Thank god I have Tony. I often wonder if I will be alone the rest of my life if something happened to Tony. Who would want me? I will be in my 50s and HIV+. Not a good offering to anyone looking for a mate is it? If a handsome guy in his 30s can't get a date and keep a partner to share life, where will I be if something happened to Tony? It scares the hell out of me because I have never been the kind of person who likes being alone as you have read in this blog. I am so thankful Tony has stood by me, we still have a very comfortable relationship, and he still wants to kiss or have sex with me, limited as it may be. I am thankful. I can not imagine meeting a nice guy, wanting to start a friendship leading to a relationship only to be rejected over and over because you are HIV+. My grandma was my age when she lost her husband, my grandfather, and she spent the rest of her life alone with his memories. She lived to 98 years old. I would never want to be alone that many years. I still hear that little voice kicking me down every day, all day, telling me I have AIDS. The voice is not as loud as it was one year ago but there just the same. The reality of having AIDS sometimes is overwhelming.

It would be nice if my followers gave me a little insight into their relationships or lack of them due to their HIV status. Please share so we can help each other.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January 27, 2010 Wednesday Late Afternoon

Sunday afternoon after doing a little grocery shopping and getting the weeks lottery tickets we went to a bar across the street from the grocery store for a friend's kid's Birthday party. Stayed for 2 drinks and some food and got home to Stella shortly after 3 PM. Spent the rest of the day laying around watching TV.

Monday I went to work around 9:30 AM and got home by 3 PM. Had Tony come home in between around noon to let Stella out. The vet called and said her platelet count is still not increasing so now she is on 3 meds. She has to pee every 2 hours or so. Had to of course call Tony around noon to remind him to go home. Why does no one have to remind me? I got home and did a little around the house before setting some food out for Tony and I went to a dinner meeting on AIDS at Bio Script. Was a good meeting. Got home and went to bed around 9 PM.

Tuesday morning I dragged myself back to work for a 10 - 2 shift. I say dragged because I was up so many times during the night due to Stella. At about 3:30 AM I was so surprised she hadn't wanted to go out until she moved off the bed I and noticed she had peed in her sleep. On the bed. Jeez. So now at 3:30 AM Tony and I are changing the sheets once again down to the mattress. Not like I can yell at her. She doesn't even know and really isn't her fault due to the meds she is on. Poor girl. She did have a good day all day today. She actually seemed happy. Must be the good night's rest SHE got. Made home made pizza for dinner and watched the last year season ender of Lost. Can't wait till this series picks up again next week.

Today I went into work again because I had a project to work on and brought a bunch of paperwork and spreadsheets home to work on at home the next few days. I worked 10 - 2 again today. Got new price lists and sku's for merchandise we carry that I will spend the next couple days at home working on, updating the information. I love working from home, staying warm, with my dogs. Got home and after letting the dogs out I laid down and took a couple hour nap. Needed it. Stella snuggled next to me the entire nap. I think I will figure something out for dinner because I don't think I am leaving the house again until Friday's lunch with the guys. It is once again so cold here in Milwaukee. Tomorrow I think a high of 10 degrees for the day. So I will not be going outside. Now I just have to figure out what to make for dinner tonight and turn the heat up.

I received my blog in book form for the first year in the mail today. I have a book now! My first year dealing with AIDS in hard cover. I was so proud and showed Tony. Of course the first page he opens deals with something personal to him and he was not happy. I once again heard 'you don't have this on your blog for all to read do you?' I had to say yes and remind him again why I created this blog and all I have touched because of my honesty. I don't think he liked the answer but he moved on and I didn't hear it from him again. Of course he put the book down and didn't read any more. He does not follow my blog unless I point out something so he is sometimes surprised what I write. Hey, it's my life, like it or not. Now I just have to figure out who will play me when they make my book into a movie.....................any suggestions? LOL

Saturday, January 23, 2010

January 23, 2010 Saturday Morning

Friday I got up and drove to Hobo to buy another box of tile / flooring for the bathroom floor since I was short 2 pieces. Stopped off at Mc Donald's and got gas on the way home. Spent the morning finishing the bathroom floor. It turned out great. Got showered and picked up Tony to go have lunch with the guys at Baker's Square. Had a great lunch as usual. Spent yesterday afternoon just listening to music and watching TV. Very low key after I did a little vacuuming and such. Tony didn't get home until close to 7 PM from work and then I made us some soup and sandwiches since we are never very hungry on Friday nights because of our lunch with the guys. Started watching a little of the Haiti telethon and got bored so we watched stuff we had DVR'd during the week until 20/20 came on and an interview with Lady Gaga. I love this lady and her music. Went to bed shortly after 10 PM.

This morning I got up shortly after Tony around 7 AM. Tony fed the dogs prior to me getting up. Only had to let Stella out to pee twice during the night last night. Tony drove to McDonalds and got us breakfast, of course they screwed up the order, seems to only happen to him. Yah, I eat too much McDonald's for breakfast, but I love the Bacon Egg and Cheese Bagel. Tony left for work after we finished eating. I did a little cleaning up. Got outside and picked up the poop from the dogs prior to the next two days of rain we are suppose to get. Rain, yuk. This afternoon and all day tomorrow it is suppose to rain and be nasty outside. Just above freezing. Pulled out some black berries I picked last summer from the freezer and am making another batch of Black Berry Jam. Used up the last of what I made. Have to boil the berries for about an hour and the jam is so good. Great on pancakes as well as peanut butter sandwiches. Hopefully Tony will come home from work around lunch as he said. Never can count on it though. Will most likely spend the afternoon laying around watching TV and after dinner head out to Brookfield for a company party we were invited to. The party is for the Brookfield Salon the company I work for is having. A late Christmas party at a bar / bowling alley. We will make an appearance but be home early due to the weather and Stella needing to be let out. Tony has a small crush on the manager of the salon. He is handsome, but needs to come out of the closet. Hate Saturday mornings when Tony goes to work. I find myself walking from room to room, staring out the window, watching the clock, waiting for him to get home. Wish I could make my own happiness and not depend on him to add to it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January 21, 2010 Thursday Dinner Time

Monday I pushed myself to go into work. I still did not feel great but since I took off all last week due to being sick, I could not take another Monday off. Worked until about 3 PM and came home to a mess with Stella. Too much water, too much time not being let out, the prednisone. Cleaned up the messes and laid down for a while, or at least tried. Finally gave up and fed the dogs and got dinner ready. We were in bed, lights out, by 9 PM. Tony's balls were still a little sore from his surgery on Friday.

Tuesday I didn't go into work until 10 AM, had Tony come home at noon, and was home by 2:30. No messes. Did a little around the house and then went to lay down because I was still not feeling great and tired. Took an hour and a half nap. Fed the dogs and made dinner. Was too tired to go out for Tuesday taco's. Once again it was an early night.

Wednesday I actually felt a little better. Worked on the spare bedroom painting the wood trim on one side. Cleaned up the side yard which really needed, four dogs remember. After Tony got home we went to Hobo, a discount hardware type store, to hopefully by the wood for the new floor in the spare bedroom I am remodeling. Also needed to buy tile for the finished bathroom that needed the floor completed still. Ended up buying some panels you would put in a garage and tiled the floor in front of the shower and toilet today. It turned out great. Not the usual floor, but coming out of a shower it is great. Also was much easier than tiling and the clean up and work involved in that. Didn't buy the wood for the wood floor in the spare room due to the cost. Too much money right now, will have to wait. Got home quick for Stella and we went to bed around 10 PM. We did end up eating at Taco Bell prior to Hobo.

Today I finished working on the bathroom floor, of course I need two more sheets so it is not totally completed. Damn. Why is it so hard to just finish a project? Took Stella to the vet for another blood test to check her platelet levels. Hopefully she is getting better with all this Prednisone she has to take and all the peeing and drinking of water she is doing. Got home with Stella and laid back for an hour listening to radio before I was out the door again to go to my monthly board members meeting for ARCW. Two hour meeting. Picked up my monthly food at the pantry in the basement and drove a board member home with me that lives down the road. Put all the groceries away and since being home Stella has been outside 3 times to pee, jeez. Making a quick dinner and hoping to just watch TV all night doing nothing. I don't feel great again today. It has been two weeks now and four days on an antibiotic. Will this ever end? I hate feeling sick. Maybe lunch with the guys tomorrow will help?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January 17, 2010 Sunday Night

Tony finally called me about 12:30 PM to pick him up at the hospital from his surgery that morning. I went and got him and then drove him to his auto body shop to drop off some keys the employees needed to open up some doors. The keys were in his coat pocket locked in a locker at the hospital or I would have taken care of it myself. Drove him home and spent the rest of the day taking care of his every need. Had to fill the ice pack he kept on his crotch most of the day and night. He wanted to show me, I said not yet. It's a guy thing when it comes to the balls. Watched a bunch of movies, Uncle Sam, The Hurt Locker, to name two. The Hurt Locker was good. I could never do what they do. Never.

Got up early Saturday morning and made Tony a nice big breakfast and got him on the couch with ice. He did end up having to go to the shop later in the afternoon, but for the most part I was able to keep him on the couch resting. The pain pills help. He is doing OK. Watched more TV and stuff we DVR'd. Ended up sometime in the afternoon watching Snakes On A Plane again.

This morning I got up and made pancakes. Showered and went grocery shopping leaving Tony on the couch. He is much better today. Colored my hair to get a little of the grey out. Once again I am so sorry I did. My head now itches so bad I want to pull my hair out. Since taking Atripla I just can not color my hair. My skin must have changed. I even put some color on my chest hair and my chest now has a red rash where I colored. I told Tony a little while ago to remind me the next time I want to color my hair, to just say no. Went to see the movie A Single Man with some friends this afternoon at a theater down the street. Went out to dinner for pizza after the movie. Movie was good, company was great. Two of the guys we have Friday lunch with. Now we are just watching the award show on TV and soon to bed. I do have to go to work this Monday and Tuesday. I have to make some money to pay all these damn vet bills. Still haven't gotten the blood results back for Stella. If the vet doesn't call tomorrow, I will call them. Tony showed me his balls today. They are not black and blue or anything, just the one is very swollen. Yuck.

Friday, January 15, 2010

January 15, 2010 Friday Morning

Wednesday I had to take Stella back to the vet for more blood work. Another $200. Should get the results today. Spent the rest of the day napping with her and the rest of the dogs until I went to a meeting about Adherence to taking our HIV meds. Was an interesting meeting and a good meal.

Yesterday I got back into the spare bedroom and continued painting and getting it into a den or office. Made meatloaf, mashed potato and corn for dinner. Went to bed early because we had to have Tony at St Mary's Hospital by 6:30 AM for his testicle surgery.

Today we were out of the house and at the hospital on time. Tony is under the knife as I write this post. Just waiting for a call from him to come get him. Sounds like he will be recovering all weekend in pain. Lots of ice packs I am told. Hoping he calls soon so I can drop him off at home, get him comfortable, and go to lunch with the guys. Told the guys I might not make it today because of Tony's surgery. Will most likely spend the weekend very low key. Got to keep Stella calm. She seems to be handling the meds good and getting stronger. Hopefully the blood results will be good news, I am hoping.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 12, 2010 Tuesday Night

Watching the nuts on American Idol. Why do I love this show?

Did not go to work this week. I still did not feel well on Monday and since I must put myself first I decided to stay healthy and at home. Ended up taking Barkley to the vet late in the afternoon because he has a sore on his foot. Ended up buying him more food, having his nails cut, anal glands cleaned, rabbis and distemper shots..................$220.00. Jeez. Made some spaghetti for dinner and went to bed around 9 PM.

Today I got up still feeling very tired and having stomach problems. Did not work again today. I did start painting the spare bedroom. About half way through the day I noticed Stella's ears so red from her scratching them they were almost bleeding. Called the vet and got her in right away because of a cancellation. Well, not good. On top of the ear problems she has a rash or bruising going on on her stomach. She has had problems in the past with her platelet count and I think it is happening again. Her bad cells destroying her good ones. We got it under control about a year ago. In fact right after finding out about my blood problems we found out about hers now that I remember. I would hate to loose her. Anyway, guess how much? $240. Yup, on top of the $220 I spent yesterday. Wow, there goes Kali's teeth cleaning any time soon. I will learn the blood results from Stella by tomorrow afternoon. Hope for good news, please.

Just going to stay around the house again tomorrow. I do have a dinner meeting. Counting down the days until Tony goes in for surgery, this Friday.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January 10, 2010 Sunday Night

Spent the weekend having terrible stomach problems. Feels like there is a fire in my stomach and bowels. Woke up this morning with the runs. Saturday late afternoon we did manage to leave the warm house and venture into the Milwaukee cold and meet some friends at a classic car show. Within minutes of being there Tony had to go to the bathroom and almost 2 hours later he still couldn't find us. He really pissed me off. Thankfully I had our friends to help control my anger. Drove home not saying a word to each other. Ordered some food from a local delivery restaurant. I had the potato soup hoping it would be good for my stomach. It was not. I ended up going to bed shortly after 9 PM because I felt so terrible.

This morning I woke up feeling the same. Jeez, is this the stomach flu or something worse? Pretty much laid around the house until Tony and I went to Pick And Save and did some grocery shopping. Making ribs and baked potato for dinner and a salad. It will be an early night of going to bed and watching TV in bed tonight. I am so tired and still just feel like crap. I did get all the flu shots so I am hoping it is just a cold. Hoping to work tomorrow, most likely a shorter day than the usual Monday unless I start to feel better.

Saturday morning I found a web sight called which can turn your blog into a book. I am having the first year printed as a book. Wow, I will have a book. LOL

Saturday, January 9, 2010

January 10, 2010 Saturday Morning

Had a pretty rotten day on Friday. Woke up around 2:30 AM to go to the bathroom and went back to bed feeling OK. About 5:20 AM I woke up and knew that feeling. Ended up throwing up again that morning. This seems to happen every two weeks or so. Anyone else have this problem on Atripla? It does not appear food related since there is no common food doing this or food group. Stayed in bed until about 7:30 AM and then got up to see Tony off to work. He had already fed the dogs by this time. After he walked out the door I went back to bed for about an hour until the unfinished shoveling of the 8 inches of snow we got that night got me out of bed and bundled up so I could shovel the front sidewalks and back parking area. Tony plowed the alley but there was a lot of clean up still needed. Pushed myself along to get the job done. My stomach felt like someone punched me or it was on fire. After spending some more time on the toilet I went back to bed for an hour or so. Finally got back out of bed around 11 AM and showered to get ready for lunch with the guys, our regular Friday lunch. I wasn't going to miss it since like I have said many times, it is my therapy. Had a good lunch. Ate soup and grilled cheese sandwich. Dropped Tony off at his shop and within an hour of being home I went back to bed. Slept the afternoon away only to wake up feeling horrible. Wrapped myself in a blanket until Tony got home around 7 PM. Made Tony some Spaghetti O's for dinner, yah, bad husband. I finally made a bowl of chicken noodle soup around 8 PM for me. It went down OK but my stomach hurt any time I even drank water. Went to bed around 9:30 PM last night.

Tony was up and out of bed by 6 AM today. I stayed in bed until around 7 AM. Fed the dogs and soon Tony was out the door to go to work again. I did have a little 'talk' with him last night about the amount of hours he is again working. He had quadruple heart bypass surgery about 4 years ago and I got him after that to cut down on his hours. Slowly he is creeping up to high again. We don't need the money 'that' bad that he has to work that many hours. Life is to short. I plan on going back to bed after this post since Tony is working a half day. All four dogs love to sleep with me cuddling on the bed under the warm blankets since it is so cold here in Milwaukee. This afternoon we are meeting a bunch of the guys at a classic car show at State Fair Park. Indoors of course. I have no interest in the cars, just the friendship and the men at the show for eye candy. That will be it then for the day. Tony and I just realized yesterday that he goes in for surgery next Friday on his testicles. Jeez, here we go again. Will try to write again soon. Sure hope my stomach starts to feel better.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

January 7, 2010 Thursday Night

One year ago my life changed forever. I remember the day well. I called the doctor to get my HIV test results because he had not returned my call from the previous day. I was told by the nurse I had to come in and get my results. I knew this was not good. I remember trying to get to the doctors office as fast as possible and my heart racing. I remember hearing those dreaded words - 'your test came back positive'. I remember the feelings my body and mind had. I remember having to call my partner of 20 years and let him know he needs to meet me at home quickly. I remember telling him and dropping to my knees at the reality - crying and shaking. A week later I found out I actually had AIDS.

It has been quite a year. I am still here. I am still alive. I find myself smiling and having good days to balance out the bad. I would not wish my last year on anyone but I also must add that I have met, emailed, and become best friends of some of the nicest people anyone would wish for in their life.

I guess I am trying to say...........I made it. I am now undetectable. I now have less side effects. I now can get through the day without that 'little voice' destroying my day by reminding me I have AIDS. Shortly after my diagnosis I honestly was ready to kill myself. I am so glad I did not.

Thank you to all my followers and friends who have gotten me through this first year. I could not have done it without you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January 6, 2010 Wednesday Morning

Tony left for work early this morning since he was up by 5:30 AM and I got up shortly after 6 AM. So now it is almost 7:30 AM and I have already fed the dogs, watered the plants, straightened up the house and on my second cup of coffee. I have to leave the house today and go to walgreens as well as a local jewelry store since tomorrow we are suppose to get 6 to 9 inches of snow during the day. So I better get everything done today so I can lay low during the storm tomorrow. The minute Tony walks out the door it feels like part of me leaves with him. I feel lonely and alone. Even with four dogs at my feet and all their needs, I still feel lonely when Tony is not home. I wish I was more happy being alone. Tonight we go to see the play Dreamgirls here in Milwaukee. It is the broadway production. I have seen the movie and play in the past. It was on this years yearly subscription. It will be entertaining and who doesn't look forward to the part where she starts singing the main song the made Jennifer Hudson famous. Since it is so early I guess I will shower up and wait for the stores to open and make my rounds. Still have to vacuum the house today and pick up the dog droppings outside before the new snow arrives. I worked Monday a few hours and less yesterday. I took Kali to work with me yesterday since I knew I would not be at work long. She was an angel like always. Went out for dollar tacos last night for dinner. I am so tired of the snow and cold.

I think back to one year ago today. I remember it well. Last year on this date I remember very well leaving a message for my doctor to call me with my blood results from the prior week. I was very much looking forward to hearing I was HIV- and what the blood results determined. It was my last day being HIV- in my mind. The doctor did not return my call that day and it was tomorrow, one year ago that I was informed I needed to come to the doctors office and get those dreaded results. What a year it has been. I think I knew somewhere in my head that the results were not going to be good. I knew something was wrong with my health. Even so, those words...'your results came back positive' are never forgotten.

OK, time to pull myself together and stop feeling sorry for myself. My mom sent me a book she read called 'A Travel Guide To Heaven' by Anthony Destefano. Since her and I talk about heaven and death she sent it to me because it gave her great insight. I have read already the first four chapters and trying very hard to keep an open mind. The book is describing Heaven. Well, if I believed in God I guess believing in Heaven would be much easier. Heck, I would love to believe a better life full of color, friends and family, but would a God really let all this suffering happen in the world. It is my biggest stumbling block. What loving God would allow all this suffering? I wish I could resolve all these feelings. I used to say the Lords Prayer prior to going to bed every night until about a year ago. At that point it was the final nail in the 'there can not be a God coffin'. I will finish the book and most likely read a lot today and tomorrow. I will try to keep an open mind, heck, what's the alternative? Darkness and nothing?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

January 3, 2010 Sunday Night

New Years Eve Tony and I did end up going to a bar in Downtown Milwaukee to bring in the New Year. A friend picked us up and dropped us off so we had no excuses for the cold. We were home by 1 AM. Most friends didn't show because it was so damn cold here in Milwaukee and has been all weekend. Had an OK time but would have been happy to just stay home.............note to self, stay home next New Years Eve.

Friday we laid around until we got showered and had lunch with the guys. Was more than usual due to the holiday and no work. Had a very long and wonderful lunch. Laughed for about an hour and a half. Love my lunches with the guys. Tony and I went grocery shopping after lunch since we were not about to go out in this cold again. Spent the rest of the afternoon watching the movie Clerks 2, was not so good but slightly entertaining. Went to bed early with our heating pad on and nice and warm under the covers.

Saturday Tony informed me he was going in to work all day because two customers cars needed to get finished and were not due to the holiday. I decided to make the turkey I got from the food bank. Never made a turkey before. Used the 'in a bag' method and it turned out pretty good. Unfortunately by the time Tony got home around 6 PM it was quite dry from being carved and staying warm. Oh well. I thought it was good. Went and saw the movie Nine at the movie theaters. Was ok but not as good as Chicago or other musicals out at the theaters. Tony even fell asleep and needed to be woke up a couple times with the jab. It was more like Moulin Rouge than Chicago in style I think. Would have rather seen many other choices available at the theaters. Had dinner at a restaurant prior to the movie which left little room for the large popcorn. Also spent some time in the afternoon at a neighbors house catching up on her Christmas and New Years stories. Her family conflicts are always worth a laugh or two.

This morning after reading the Sunday newspaper I made Tony and I breakfast. Shortly after I showered and met the neighbor so we could go to Best Buy and look at laptop computers for her as well as wireless routers. I volunteered to give as much advice about them as I could. Ended up getting a really cute kid that was very very helpful and spent at least a half hour with us. The neighbor ended up buying a laptop, wireless router and a wireless mouse. I ended up buying a wireless mouse. I love it. After I got home I spent about 2 hours at her house helping her set up the laptop and internet connection. She is happy. She bought a Gateway and it works very good. Walked across the alley to come home and it was so So SO cold. Saw Tony sleeping on the couch so I curled up for a half hour power nap on the bed. Of course all four dogs soon followed and it was a cuddle fest on the bed, me and and four dogs to stay warm. Have to get this done so I can make Tony and I dinner, just making turkey sandwiches and stuff. Then it will be a bundle up and watch TV night.

One year ago today I had the dreaded blood test that on January 7th, 2009 the test results changed my life forever. I think of these things all day. Thursday should be an interesting day of reflection.