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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December 30, 2014 Tuesday Afternoon

The past week has gone from happy to uncomfortable.

Christmas this year was very good.  We went to Tony's brother's house (the brother that walks Rose) for Christmas Eve.  It was a little different having it at his home due to the divorce.  The wife, or should I say, ex wife was not at the Balistreri Christmas on Christmas Eve.  We got to his house around 6 PM and got home around 9 PM.  Had a very relaxed and nice evening.  Tony's sister drove up with her three kids from Illinois so it added to the fun.  They did not make the drive the past couple Christmas's.  Spent the rest of the night watching TV with the dogs until about midnight and then went to bed.  We did not buy anything for each other this year and to be honest I think it made for a happier Dave not expecting Tony to buy a gift.  I just said don't bother and it was much less stress for both of us.  We have everything we need. 

Christmas Day at 10:30 AM Tony's brother Tom came to our house so we could take the dogs to the dog park eight blocks north of our house, in between our house and Tony's shop.  This is the same dog park Tom takes Rose to daily and after all the talk at Christmas about how much fun Rose has there, we made a date.  I walked Casper, Tony walked Bo, and Tom walked Rose.  I was very impressed how Rose listened to Tom and how he made her wait at each intersection for him to say it was OK to cross the street.  Casper was skittish at first, but handle the walk due to Tony and Rose being along.  Got to the dog park and my heart was pounding.  This is out of my comfort zone.  Got into the block big park, one square block that is a field, and let the dogs run.  I was in tears.  You can see video of them at Rose and Casper on Facebook.  Casper ran like the wind.  Bo had so much fun with all the tennis balls, and Rose followed Tom all around the park.  There were about six other dogs at the park and at times I had to make Casper not play so rough.  It made for a best Christmas ever moment to be honest.  Walked them home after circling the park twice.  After a bit we left for my parents house, dog free, for the afternoon.  Had a nice Christmas with my family.  Did find out my mom is having serious back surgery the end of January.  Left around 4 PM for home and got home by 5 PM.  Spent the night watching a little TV and off to sleep after a round of lovin. 

Tony took Friday off and like the day prior Tom showed up at 10:30 AM and we again took all three dogs to the dog park.  The dogs again had so much fun.  Casper did pull his leg out of the socket once and I had to massage it back in place.  I have to be careful he does not play to rough due to his bones not being totally normal for a dog his weight and size due to being starved to death for his first two years.  He never had a chance to grow and now six months with us he is almost twice the weight and size.  Got home shortly before noon and then went to have lunch with the guys.  Took a short nap in the afternoon after lunch and spent the night watching movies.

Saturday was much the same as the prior day again.  Tom came at 10:30 AM and we again walked the dogs.  The weather in Milwaukee since Christmas has been around 40 degrees.  Very warm for this time of year.  Not going to last and very cold as I type this today.  Went out for lunch and after getting home spent the rest of the day with the dogs watching TV and movies.

Sunday we were going to spend the day in the house until Tom called around noon asking if we wanted to walk the dogs.  He loves Rose.   Figured it was the one thing we would do and soon we were walking the dogs again to the dog park.  Picked up some ham and rolls at a neighborhood deli and lottery tickets at the corner grocery on the way home.  Spent the rest of the day watching TV and movies with the dogs.

Since Christmas my left under arm has been having pain or feels inflamed.  By Monday it was to a point where it was time to call the doctor.  Was surprised I got a 9:30 AM appointment and showered and went to the doctor.  It feel like my glands or lymph nodes under or around my left armpit are swollen.  It is not painful as it is uncomfortable and causes numbness and pain in my arm and fingers.  Like I have said in the past, I know my body since finding out I was HIV.  I take note of everything.  Doctor felt me up and could not feel a growth.  Sent me down for an X-ray.  X-ray did not show anything so I have no other choice than to wait it out and see where it goes.  Figure it could be from the 10 pounds I have gained since Thanksgiving and maybe a fat tumor is pushing against a nerve, I decided it was time anyway for a serious diet and start working out.  The blood test results from the week prior told the story also.  My cholesterol levels are very high.  Dangerously high.  Higher than they even were last time.  So I do have to loose weight, lay off the candy, eat better and work out.  I am at 193 lbs that day and I need to get back down to 175 lbs.   I feel best at that weight.   My knees, back and now my armpit are feeling the weight.  Lets hope it is that.  I do go to my HIV doctor the second week of January and if there is still pain I will address with him since my doctor did talk to him also.  My doctor thinks it might be my shingles coming back.  Yah, wtf?   I found out 1 in 3 get shingles again.  Time will tell and I am waiting for the rash if it is.  I just feel like something is not right with my body, time will tell if I am right.  I had this same feeling when I pressed for an HIV test six years ago.  Yes, been six years this next month.

Today I spent most of the day setting up the basement to work out.  I have a tread mill, weight system and bike to get me loosing this weight and getting back in shape and I am going to do it.  I seriously have never used them and they are just siting unused in the basement.  Worked out dancing and stretching for a half hour.  Walked for a while on the tread mill and really felt good.  Worked out for over an hour to music, slowly, not over doing the first work out.  Still have the underarm pain but working out is the best 'coffee' one can do to make the body feel good.  So, I started my new work out system and even put a weight board to monitor my weight as I begin this journey to healthiness. 

Over the past week we have watched many movies.  We have watched Pride (very good), Dolphin Tale 2, The Interview (was just OK), Gone Girl (didn't understand the ending, but was very good), The Dark Place, Beneath, Devil's Due, and As Above, So Below.  The last few were horror movies and OK.  Best of the bunch was Pride and Gone Girl.

I hope to post a top five of my favorites in music, TV, movies and such in the next few days.

Happy New Year to anyone who follows my blog.  I hope we all have a safe, healthy and happy 2015.  Thank you for another year of memories.

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014 Monday Afternoon

Another week or so has gone by since I posted.  You would think that with that amount of time going by I would have something, anything, to say ......

I did get the basement cleaned and organized last week.  I bought four shelving units at a Estate Sale last Monday and spent Tuesday cleaning the basement and getting all the 'crap' on shelves, hopefully ready to go out for a Rummage sale this Spring.  Also spent a day cleaning a couple closets and was happy with the results. 

I do try to plan on one thing each day so I feel a sense of accomplishment even though I do very little. 

Last Saturday afternoon Tony and I did go to Bayshore Mall to do a little Christmas shopping.  I had a $10 Boston Store cash coupon that expired that day and I was determined to use it.  Of course everything I wanted to buy, nothing really needed, it could not be used on the items.  I did end up buying a new spring jacket that Tony said looked nice on me.  We finally bought a couple pizzas to go home with and went home.  Christmas shopping done.  We will have a Christmas with no real gifts to exchange this year, which is fine with me. We have everything we want or need.  We have our dogs and each other.

Sunday we spent the day watching movies and only left the house to get lottery tickets and go grocery shopping for the week.

This week is Christmas.  Christmas Eve we will go to Tony's brother's house for his families Christmas.  We are in charge of bringing the canned cooked ham and two dozen rolls.  The brother got divorced this year so there will not be much of a spread of food in any way.  What we bring will probably be most of it since Tony for some reason refuses to ask the other brothers to bring things, even snacks.  I don't get it but I am just going to let it go, it is his family.  We all bring a $25 gift to swap out with each other in a game we play.   Christmas Day we will go to my mom and dads in the afternoon for a couple hours to exchange our presents.  We do buy token presents for each other.  Dad always gives us a nice size check.

I still have very little ambition.  Feel tired a lot and just want to sleep.  My lungs feel better.  Could be the lack of sun this time of year in Wisconsin. 

We have watched a lot of movies since there is little on TV.  Thankfully I have a lot of shows still in memory to watch.  We have watched This Is Where I Leave You, Sex Tape Speak No Evil 1 and 2, Skeleton Twins, Guardians Of The Galaxy and Good People, to name a few.  None were all that great that I would say 'go out and rent it'.  TIWILY was most likely the best of the bunch.  We also binged watched the HBO show Getting On, which I recommend both seasons to watch.  Great show.

The dogs are doing awesome.  I smile as I type that.  They really are my life and what makes me happy.  I am happy to be safe at home with them and when I look at them I smile.  Life could not be any better at this point with the dogs.  Tony still takes Rose to work for the morning.  I try to walk Casper at least every other day around the block, and Bo goes over to 'treat ladies' house a couple afternoons a week.  Casper is now walking past people and actually interested in them as we walk by which is a big step from when I got him and he was afraid of everyone and everything.  He still has his issues, but has come so far.  Rose loves going to work and stands by the door at 7 AM so Tony doesn't forget her, lol.   On the weekends we have to explain to her 'no work today'. 

If I had more going on in my life I would write more often.  I do have to go in for my 6 month blood test this week or next, some morning prior to coffee or food.  Another reminder of my HIV.  I will be coming up on 6 years this January.   I don't know where the time has gone, much less, cant believe I am still alive.  Life is good right now.

Merry Christmas to all who continue to follow me.  I hope someday we meet.  I wish you a Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and healthy and happy New Year.  Thank you for all your support and following my blog. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December 11, 2014 Thursday Afternoon

I first off want to thank you for the comments from my last post.  It is because of comments like that I have been able to write this blog and will continue going forward.   Thank you.  You help me more than you know.

Not adjusting well to the cold here in Wisconsin.  Winter started very fast and we were below normal in temperatures for a long time.  We now have average December temperature but that is still below freezing and cold.  Thankfully the sun did come out today since we have not seen it since Sunday morning.  I still am fighting this lung infection thing.  Some days it is better than others.  Got my chest xray results back and they did not show anything / they were negative.  I still have a dry couch and feel tired most of the time.  In fact I spent more time in bed today then out of bed.  The inhaler I got as a prescription also helps.  I am so glad I quit smoking cigarettes going on a year and half now.  I still have this little voice telling me there is more going on with my lungs and I am wishing there was a way to check for lung cancer.  Most would say I am nuts but I am more in tune to my body than most people are due to the HIV.  When I finally MADE my doctor give me an HIV test I knew deep down something was seriously wrong and even had a feeling it was HIV from all I knew of the disease.  I feel this way with my lungs.  Something keeps telling me to go the next step.  I couch most of the day and my shoulder blades and chest hurt.  Lungs sometimes feel raw.  Not really couching up much.   Oh well, time will tell.

The dogs are doing great.  I could not be happier with the way this fostering of Rose and Casper has turned out.   All the dogs are together now all the time except for feeding.  Bo has taken to eating with the big dogs since he wants to be with and like them.  So I feed Rose, Casper and Bo in the kitchen and Vito and Kali in the dining room with a door baby gate closed while they all eat.  I can not express enough how much these two dogs have done for me, and for Tony.  I can not help but look at them and smile with a tear in my eye knowing how they came here, and now how happy they are.  They show us all day how happy and grateful they are to be here.  Tony still takes Rose to work in the morning and his brother walks her to the dog park rain or shine.  When I pulled up in front of the auto body shop to pick her up today Tony's brother came out with her  unleashed.  I just shook my head and told him I didn't appreciate it, and would rather she be on a leash due to another dog or a squirrel or something.  He was trying to show me just how good she is and I saw that.  She has come so far because of him so I just have to accept what I can and make sure I voice my concerns and hope for the best.  If I honestly though my dog was in danger due to any one's action I would step in.  Rose loves Tony's brother and goes nuts whimpering and tail wagging when he arrives each day.  She cries for him.  It is very sweet.  I think it has worked out well for the brother since his divorce just became final this last few months and he has not taken it well.  Rose and him have bonded and it is really sweet.  Tony and I now touch base each day around 11:30 AM to figure who is going to bring Rose home.  So the dogs have even helped Tony and I get closer.  The house is so different now with no fear of anyone getting hurt and all the gates down.  Honestly when it comes to the dogs, life couldn't get any better.  Kali still makes it from day to day but when she sleeps she has a hard time breathing and she is going on 17 years old.  I just feel blessed each day to still have her and know each day could be her last.  When Rose is at work I let Casper and Bo play - supervised.   Have to keep saying 'not so rough' and 'be good, no hurting each other'.  Casper is still learning how to play with a small dog, and Bo is learning how to play with a big dog that is not his Stella. 

We started binge watching the HBO show Getting On last weekend and I recommend it.  It is in it's second season and each season is only six half hour episodes.  So it is easy to binge watch and get caught up.  Very good show.  Lots of stars and each show is sad, happy, and funny weird all in one half hour.   My favorite new TV show this season is the show Stalker on CBS.   I love this show even more than How To Get Away With Murder.

I put the massage chair we bought months ago on Craigslist again yesterday and got a call on it today.  A guy came and looked at it and put $200 down.  I sold it for $700 so we only lost $100 on the bad purchase.  If you remember we bought this and was one of our most miscommunicated mistakes in 25 years, both thinking the other wanted it.  Tomorrow the guy comes to take it and pay the balance.  Will be so happy it is gone.

Picked up my monthly HIV meds today at the AIDS resource center downtown.  I feel very comfortable going to the center and never have felt like I have to look over my shoulder as I walk in the door.  The staff has always made me feel so welcome.  I am glad I quit the client board I was on because it just was time to move on and it gives me more time at home with the dogs. 

I am almost done Christmas shopping.  Tony and I have gone a few times to stores like Target and Big Lots.   Bought a few things to wrap but for the most part we have everything we need so there is nothing to buy.  I buy more for my family and Tony's than for each other.  The only things we buy for each other seems to be underwear, socks, flash light for at work ..... things we could buy any day.  I just wrap anything we buy for ourselves between Thanksgiving and Christmas and that is what we open on Christmas morning.  I will go to the mall the week of Christmas for the afternoon just to listen to the music and feel Christmasy.  I'll find an item or two for each of us.

Thanks again for any and all comments.  They are appreciated more than you know.  Nice to know I am not just talking to myself.  If you aren't already following us on Facebook check out our page named:   Rose and Casper.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December 2, 2014 Tuesday Afternoon

I think about posting on my site often, but actually logging in and making a post seems harder and harder lately.  I did think this afternoon .... why?  I came to the conclusion that even almost five years into knowing I have HIV, when I go to post, it is just another reminder that I am HIV or have AIDS.  I honestly thought I was beyond this point long time ago.  I think it has more to do with the fact that my life is much happier if I just don't think about the AIDS.  When I see a report on the news about AIDS or a commercial on TV I feel sad and it brings me down.  So it just seems easier to live not mentioning the words HIV and AIDS.  I take my med regularly and have only missed one dose in five years.  I feel healthy for someone with AIDS.  I do most I want to do but fear I could never hold down a full time job with a schedule due to not knowing how I will feel from day to day, what my energy level will be, or if I just need to sleep.  So, I came to the conclusion I have been avoiding this site because it reminds me of my HIV and AIDS and brings me down.  Maybe in the beginning when I started this site the high of knowing I was helping people got me through the low of the reminder?  I will continue to post and hope this is just a phase.   Maybe it means I am moving forward?  Just wish I could leave the HIV and AIDS behind.

Life has been good the last few weeks since I posted.  We have a very laid back life style and am in bed by 8:30 PM nightly.  I am up by 6:30 AM to feed the dogs and usually take a short nap in the afternoon sometime between 1 and 3 PM.  I try to schedule one thing to accomplish each day whether it be at home or having to get in the car and do the task.  If I plan on to much I feel overwhelmed.  The cold weather has not helped and makes me not want to leave the house.

We have watched a lot of movies in between our regular TV shows.  We have watched the gay themed movies Dorian Blues and Monster Pies (both great movies), along with Frozen (not sure what all the talk is about), Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, All Cheerleaders Die, And So It Goes and Deliver Us From Evil.  Some were better than others.

Met my new doctor last Friday for the first time since my regular general practice doctor quit.  I did like my past doctor and was scared to meet and start over with a new doctor.  Had to make an extra long appointment and she gave me an entire physical.  Even put the finger up the butt.  Walked out with the meds I needed but getting pain pills from this doctor is going to be like pulling teeth.  Might have to consider a different doctor if I have problem filling my current needs with her.  I am not going to go and beg for pain pill I need to get from day to day, week to week and month to month.  Thankfully I planned ahead and have a pretty good supply to last.  Tony also met her and had an appointment with her that same day. 

Thanksgiving came and went.  We went to my parents house and had a nice enough meal and time.  The cold makes me just want to not leave the house.

The dogs are all doing great, in fact all the fences are down and all the dogs now are together 24 /7 every day.  It all started last week and not a problem.  I do watch them and if I leave they do get separated and fenced in different parts of the house just to make sure a squirrel or something out the front windows don't stir them all up.  Rather be safe than sorry.

Started my little Christmas shopping I do for Tony and my family.  Tony and I don't really buy anything other than stuff we need.  Anything we buy for ourselves while shopping for others between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I wrap and we open as Christmas presents.  Its not like either of us need anything, and if we did we would most likely have it.  I have very simple needs and not many at that.  Just happy to be home with my husband and dogs on a daily basis is enough for me.

I am having some issues with death and dying again but that might be because of the three close deaths of Uncles and friends in the past weeks.  I wish I could find someone to talk to or a good book to read about fears of death and dying.

So there it is, another couple weeks older and happier?