Saturday, December 31, 2005

So How Did I Do...?

Think it's time to review last years New Years Resolutions. This is going to be a bit shaming, but then who ever manages to keep all of them? So here we go...

Put on (a little) weight and build up (shape) my body

I did have a pretty good go at this and was doing really well with it. But then a bout of depression made me start losing interest in myself and the week when I couldn't eat. So even though I've got a slightly better body form than this time last year I've not managed to put any weight on. And any that I have I know I've lost - my watch is too loose to wear on my wrist.

Eat more healthily (that does include regular portions of cock!)

Everyone was going on at me earlier in the year about healthy eating. Then I reminded them that maybe I needed to get more into the habit of eating and then move on to improving what I eat. But I'm still gonna keep trying with this one. It is important.

Don't put up with shit from anyone

Getting so much better at this one. Even though most of my time I spend making other people feel better I've learned that sometimes I really need to put my own needs and feeling first. This one has forced me to look more into myself. I've learned a lot, and some very hard lessons. Independence is one thing, but when you tie yourself to others you're shacking that freedom. So fuck you, this one is for me!

Make sure I'm happy for the majority of the time

For the most part this is one that I have been able to achieve. There's lots of factors involved here, but at the moment I am the happiest I've been for a very very long time. The people who are helping me stay happy know who they are and I love them very very much.

Cut back on smoking (that doesn't include cock!)

Erm. No comment! If I'm honest I'll say that I'm smoking more now than I did last year. I know its a bad habit, and it is one that will go at some point in the future. Just not now.

Try and achieve at least one thing a day

This is one that I have been able to achieve. And consistently. I was explaining it to someone not long ago. It's about making some part of the day count for something and setting realistic goals. So during the day I'll decide on a few things that need doing, as long as one of them is done, I've achieved something

Get my house sorted out (decorating) and get my finances into shape

Oops! Was talking about this with Mum. The decorating I started last January still isnt finished. And I got a pair of curtains as a Christmas present so I really need to get on top of this one. As for my finances, well, I've not run out of money for a while but I still need to get myself organised financially. I'm not very good with bills but I am very good at spending. You can pretty much guarantee that I'll forget to pay something off each month.

Make the best I can out of every situation

I think I've achieved this one.

Go on holiday with my babies

Not happened this year. But Mart and I have had a great number of chats about this one. We know we need to get away, we know we want it warm, it's just a matter of deciding where and when. This will happen in 2006.

Give up sex (Yeah! Right!!!)

Tee hee he. Hope you recognise this one as a joke!

So my overall rating: pretty poor.

Still thinking of resolutions for 2006. Maybe I'll do better next year. I'm trying to decide if 2005 has been a good year for me or not. So much has happened and I know I can't remember all of it. Memory tends to favour the good events and there have been a great number of them. Somebody involved in music, I really cant remember who, once said that as long as the ending is good it really doesn't matter what happened before that. With that in mind, I'm seeing 2005 out on a high note. Liam and Adrian are out, I'm out with them and Mart will be there too. What more can I ask for to see 2006 in?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Y'All Ready For This?

It's December 24. And since 10am this morning I've been giggling like a kid. I'm so excited!!

I'm meeting Liam and Adrian in a few hours and then spending all of Christmas Day with them. Don't think I've looked forward to Christmas Day like this since I was about 8.

You know I'm gonna get fed in more ways than one...

Back With The Numbers

New blood work numbers:
CD4: 393
VL: 25120

Friday, December 23, 2005

Get Back On That Horse!!

Been a while since I wrote anything and a lot of things have happened. So Where do I start?

May as well begin where I left off, or thereabouts. Well, there was a flu-type thing doing the rounds. I kinda felt myself coming down with it. Usual viral symptoms (for me at any rate): headache, dizzy (very dizzy and off balance at times), variable temperature, muscle aches, pain in my spine and upper arms and a complete inability to settle. Managed to get through the Monday and Tuesday after D-Day weekend, just. Then on the Wednesday I had a meeting at work. I really didn't want to go to it and in hindsight I really shouldn't have done. I collapsed at work. Twice!! Ambulance was called, as is our procedures. They checked me over and decided that I was ok, but should go home and rest up. So I got driven home and told to stay in.

I'd been in contact with the clinic that morning anyway. I'd noticed a lump at the side of my anus which was painful and causing problems with me going to the loo. The earliest appointment was for Thursday afternoon, I took it. It was cleared that because I was feeling lousy that I could work from home the Thursday morning and then do clinic on the afternoon.

Had a full check over at the clinic, cos I wasn't sure if it could even be piles. Adrian is rather generously blessed after all and it had been a while since I'd been regularly mounting something of those particular dimensions. The usual STI culprits were ruled out. But. It was questionable whether I'd contracted HSV or Syphillis. Fuckin wonderful!! Just my fuckin luck, I thought to myself, finally in a relationship where I'm happy, contented and so much in love and I'm gonna have to do the 'sorry guys, just given you pair a dose of something very nasty'. Strangely, 'sorry' just doesn't seem to be the right word for that one. I got told that we'd know more after they got the pathology back in a week. They gave me Aciclovir (for the HSV) anyway, in tablet form.

I also thought that my oral thrush was about to make a comeback so I asked for some Fluconozole as I know that that works for me. But they didn't want to give me that. I missed the reason, but because I'd been on a number of courses of it over the last two years I was aware of the resistance thing and decided that they knew best. Instead they wanted to try me on something else. A syrupy mouthwash called Nystatin. Actually doesn't taste as bad as somethings I've had in me gob but that's another story.

So I leaves clinic, pills and bottle in hand. Feeling lousy, but with that 'you wouldn't believe me even if you saw me' air in my head. Drives over to Asda to get something for tea as Mart is coming over. Really didn't have the right head for shopping and so consequently spent a fortune on fuck all! It was World Aids Day too, and I'd thought about going to the vigil in town but realistically knew that it was a non starter. Stood in the cold and the damp was only going to make matters worse.

Finally gets back home, puts the shopping away while trying to deal with work email. Something urgent comes in during the afternoon: account traces that normally only take me a minute - and if on a roll I can do 10 in five minutes - seemed to take forever. Pete rings me, and tells me that he's been chatting with Adrian. Hmm. The thoughts you have about what is said when an ex meets a current and you're not around... I'd sent them a message to say sorry for not seeing them on the Wednesday as I'd been sent home from work. Pete told them about me collapsing. Later on in the evening I get a frantic voice mail from Liam hoping that I'm ok and asking me to call.

Pete approves. Which is good, but wouldn't change anything anyway. But asks me what I'm doing later. So I tell him that I was thinking of going to the vigil, but wasn't sure whether I would cos I was feeling rough. We leave it so that if I do go out, let him know and he might play out too.

As the Thursday evening progresses I start feeling worse and worse. Mart arrives and I tell him the situation with me. I'd sent him a text when I'd got back on the Wednesday about me collapsing but knew he was at work until sometime on Thursday. Mart can see I'm distraught by it all, but as usual I'm trying to make good a bad situation. Just not doing a good job by anyone's yardstick.

Mart had brought some wine with him, so we cracked that open and I rolled a joint. We talked, joked and had a giggle. He also told me that he'd told Jay not to come cos he'd been doing his head in. That was a good idea, I told him, cos I wasn't up to him being around - he can be hard work at times. Anyway, it'd been a long time since just me and Mart had been together.

The weed started to make us feel peckish so I went into the kitchen to get some crisps for us to eat. I'd noticed that the wine was making my chest burn quite painfully, but I thought it was just because I needed to eat. I struggled through a packet. Really struggled. The pain was getting worse. My usual position of sitting on the floor was uncomfortable. The pain made my back ache.

Mart reminded me that I was to ring Liam and Adrian. I rang but they weren't there so I left a message explaining that I hadn't told them about me collapsing cos I didn't want to worry them, but that I'd be alright in a day or so, was really missing them and I'd see them soon.

I did another joint, hoping that would take the pain away. It didn't. Another packet of crisps and I had to lie on the floor on my back with my legs in the air. It was about the only comfortable position I could find. With the lumps on my arse even moving was painful. Mart commented about doing something that night. The stoned part of my brain told him that all I was capable of that night was a blow job and I couldn't even promise that! After all, pain and sex don't go together with me. Mart started howling with laughter. He wasn't meaning that. He actually fancied going out but realised I was in no shape for it.

I tried drinking milk, thinking it might help. Heh heh! It made it worse. The thought of me cooking, something I'd promised Mart earlier, was right out the window and I couldn't even take fluids. I've never ever been in so much physical pain.

Mart floated the idea of him becoming single again. He told me that the situation with Jay was getting very bad. So we decided to try and set up a Gaydar profile for him. I took some pictures, which are not bad even if I say so myself (though if you see them notice that they are all taken from a low angle) but we couldn't get Gaydar to send the account password email. The solution we chose was to change my profile for one night to become Mart's.

A lot of people were very interested. Well, my baby does take after her mother!! And there's someone who is now very keen to take both of us on. He's had us individually, now he wants us together. And we ain't saying that it aint gonna happen. The opposite, in fact, but there's more to that particular line of conversation...

An online conversation between Mart and Kyle gets Mart really bored with Gaydar. Kyle, by the way, has lost the plot completely. Mart's horny. Stoned, tipsy and horny, but realises that I'm out of action. He suggests us going to MacDonalds. I decline. 'What?' screams Mart at the top of his voice. I don't think he can believe his ears. You know me, when do you usually need to ask twice about my presence there? So Mart tossed and turned the idea about going by himself. The thought of cock won, and so about 1am we put me to bed and he got a taxi.

He arrived back between 8.30 and 9 the following morning. I could tell he'd had a good time. He'd dropped a couple of pills in there (courtesy of some random pick-up) and was still bouncing when he came home. I was glad he was back and ok. He told me what he'd got up to. Pretty tame by my standards but I was still proud of him for doing it all!

Mart had things to do that day so went off and told me to call him later. Friday was supposed to be my day off. I didn't do very much. I couldn't eat and still couldn't drink. Sent Mum a text message about my collapsing and that I was still bad and she said she'd come round to see me on the Saturday. As Friday rolled on the pain was becoming unbearable. All I could do was cry. I just wanted to die, but knew I had to get that thought out of my head as quickly as possible. A couple of spliffs made me sleep through most of Friday so at least I wasn't aware of the constant pain.

Later on that night I was logged into Gaydar. Chatted to Kyle, or tried to, told him about how I was feeling but after six pills he didn't give a shit about anything other than where the next cock was coming from! Spoke to my old Master down in London and was pleased when he said he was coming up and would I like to meet. Pain and disorientation meant that I was having problems trying to balance conversations I wanted (with my Master) with a potential slanging match (Kyle). At one point the conversation with Kyle went like this:

Kyle: oo I'm on my sixth pill
Me: lucky you
Me: I haven't had a shit since Tuesday
Kyle: I'm twatted
Me: hmm. so when you coming back
Kyle: don't kick off at me
Me: hon with the pain I'm in at the moment even if i could be arsed i wouldn't waste the energy

Then in one of the conversation breaks I just logged off. I was crying in pain again, tired, ratty and wanted to go to bed.

I got into bed and put a DVD on. Tried munching on a Jaffa Cake. But even after a joint the extreme pain knocked me out. I knew this was bad.

Mum came over around midday on the Saturday. I was crying with the pain while i went to open the door to her. I was still in just my dressing gown. We sat down and Mum put her arms round me. She asked me what was up. So I told her about the pain and what the clinic had said. 'Mum, I'm so scared.' And then I just couldn't stop crying. 'I am too!' she replied and we both held each other in floods of tears. I explained about the eating and drinking. She'd brought some soup over and went into the kitchen to warm some of it up.

She gave me not even a teaspoon full. The pain as it went down was more than I could bear. I didn't even clear the spoon. Mum rang an Ambulance. Even through my own contorted face I could see Mum white with panic and fear.

The Ambulance crew arrive and I got bundled into an Ambulance and taken to Accident and Emergency. Mum comes along seperately as she had the car. Into a side room where they decided that because I'd not eaten or drunk anything they needed to get some fluid into me. So I got hooked up to a drip. They even attached me to an ECG machine where they told me that my pulse was 'lazy'. Gee, thanks. They found me a Doctor with HIV experience (he was cute and really nice). I watched Mum as I was talking with the Doctor. I told him about the pain, he had a poke and a prod, asked if I was on any medication so we showed him the Aciclovir and Nystatin but told him I was not on anything for the HIV. He asked me what my blood counts were. The one time I really needed to know that information I didn't. I gave him some figures but I knew they were way off. I'd already informed them that my records were elsewhere in the hospital anyway. He asked me whether I'd had an AIDS Defining Condition before. I hadn't. Then he mentioned that he thought it was Oesophogeal Candidiasis. I knew that one! Something I'd read ages ago. Oral Thrush can trackback into the oesophogus. I told him that I do have a history of Oral Thrush. I also realised that if I'd got the Fluconozole earlier in the week that this could well have ended up being masked!

They gave me Morphine for the pain. That was nice. Very nice. Made my arm burn for a while - as he explained it might - but to be free of the pain was wonderful. The doctor left us and soon my vision gets a nice soft focus, I feel completely twatted and start to giggle. I try and hold a conversation with Mum. I probably rambled, and I'm pretty sure I swore and cussed a few times - something I never ever do in front of Mum - but I think she was just so happy that I was in a place where we could get this sorted.

a line in my arm
The drip line in my arm

tabs from the ECG machine
ECG tabs

In part of the ramble I started to tell her about Liam and Adrian. 'Oo,' I started, 'I've not told you...' And showed her the ring I've got on the chain around my neck. It's the ring Ade gave to Liam, which Liam then gave to me when we all asked each other to be boyfriends. Liam put it on my finger but with my fingers being very slim I was scared of losing it. So I got a chain, a proper silver chain and not the usual cheap shit I normally get, to put it on. It's not been away from me since. 'I noticed. I wondered about that.' she replied. So then I tell her that I don't have one boyfriend, I have two. She tries to hide a gulp but even twatted on Morphine I spot it. 'And they know about each other?' She queries. 'Oh yea. They've been with each other a few years and want me to be a part of their lives and everything. They're really really lovely.' I lift the ring and kiss it. I giggle at what I've just done. It's partly the Morphine and partly cos Mum will be wondering just what kind of slut she gave birth to!

'Where do they live?' She's thinking about last Christmas and an out of town boyfriend. So I tell her. She's relieved to know that they are local boys. Then I start about just how local Liam is. I'm still clutching the ring as I talk about them. I was wishing they were there, but I didn't want them to see me in that state. And I feel awful knowing that if my reason for being there is HIV related that I don't want them to find out about my status in that way. I wanted them so much.
As time goes by we are informed that they are going to admit me. Thank God for the Morphine, in a sober state that would have freaked me out. I've never had to stay in hospital but I knew I didn't have much option. And being tied to a bag of saline meant that I wasn't going anywhere in the near future.

There's a shift change on the ward and the nurse who comes to see me later to take my temperature spots the tongue ring and asks me where I got it. I didn't notice at first but he had one as well and we got it from the same place. The lovely Carl even did his too. Mum now knows about my nipple piercing and the PA (she saw the nip but no-one saw the PA). I mention that I think he's a sweetie, the Nurse grins and states that he can't comment on that. After he leaves I mention to Mum that he was nice, meaning the Nurse. 'Just you behave, you!' she chides.

All in all I was in hospital from the Saturday to the following Wednesday. It took until Tuesday evening before I was able to eat anything. I'd managed water with difficulty by mid-Monday. I do verbal with one Doctor saying that if they can't tell me what's wrong with me that that isn't satisfactory. But because I've got a normal Doctor and my own HIV Consultant dealing with me it becomes clear to everyone involved that no-one really knows what's going on. Too many cooks and all that. The regular Doc decides to stand-down. Makes sense really, I didn't know him and there was already a relationship with my Consultant. A trust. That was important. I had to appologise to nursing staff a few times. I do get cranky when I'm tired, frustrated and cranky when I can't sleep. Throw pain in as well and my usual sweet temperament becomes worse than psycho-bitch from hell. Though apparently I didn't need to appologise, they thought I was very very well behaved considering!

remains of my first meal!
Remains of my first meal (dont remember what it was - hospital food is unremarkable)!

It was later in the day after the stand-off with the regular doctor that they went through the options of what was possibly wrong with me. Though no-one was prepared to go out on a limb and settle on one.

Considering I was discharged with Fluconozole I've got my own thoughts about which of the three my money would be on if I were a betting man. Both of the last two are AIDS Defining Conditions. I think I've been a very lucky boy.

Got my 'all clear' on Tuesday and am pleased to report that I don't have Syphillis. That was such a relief. Went and met Ade who was so pleased to see me. We had a good night together - Liam was about, somewhere! Clinic is worried about my weight and I mentioned this to Adrian. He asked me directly whether I was HIV+. I bit the bullet, and said yes. He put his arms around me, gave me a kiss, and went 'it doesn't matter, you're still a great guy, and we still think you're lovely'. Seems they'd wondered it themselves. That was such a relief and I told him that. The shit-eating grin on my face told how happy that one moment had made me. I couldn't stop hugging him. Adrian and I got very very pissed that night. I had to go home and so did he, but my heart went where it belonged: to my other home, with him.