Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Time for Labs again...

Ok, so it’s time for numbers again. I’m seeing my HIV doctor on the 4th of April so tomorrow I have to fast and have my blood drawn. I’m going to fast because I need my cholesterol number to look better so he won’t harp on me about it. Not that I mind, I just hate having to make excuses and look like I’m not working on it. I am working on it. I know I’m overweight… I have been all my life and even after my bout with PCP and my coma… the weight came back really easily. I’m not sure who is responsible for how this works but I think it’s only fair that we should be able to lose fat as easily as we put it on, don’t you? I mean, don’t we have enough to contend with in our daily lives without having to worry over our weight?

Anyway, I’m hoping that my CD4 count is higher than 131 and that my viral load has remained undetectable. I’ve been working pretty hard lately and am kind of surprised that my health has been as good as it has. With a CD4 count of less than 200, I would expect that getting sick would be kind of a given. Having no immune system to speak of has made me more careful about washing and coming into contact with others who are sick. Considering my job and the environment that I work every day in, this is no small feat. I am constantly handling filthy equipment and am in almost constant contact with several dozen people who come to work ill because they have no paid sick leave left. Personally I think three days of sick leave a year is far from adequate for even the healthiest of folks.

I’ll be sure to post my numbers here when I get them. I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Have a great week.



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Three People

The way I see it, there are three people who you must love and forgive, no matter what. This is not to say that you allow yourself to be hurt by them, but only that you forgive and love them unconditionally, no matter what their choices. It is essential to your continued good karma and peace of mind to never harbor ill feelings or intent toward these people.

The first is your parent. Your mother or father, step or foster. Hating or resenting a parent will only bring pain to your life and to the lives of those around you. You may hate what they did, what they do, how they act or who they are… but you must forgive and love them nonetheless because they are the only people who must also love you unconditionally. They must be there for you, no matter what your decisions are.

The second is your child; for all the reasons stated above.

The last is the only one you choose for yourself. It is the person you create a child with. You may fall out of love with them. They may cheat, break your heart and leave you destroyed. But because of the relationship your beloved child needs to maintain with them, you must look beyond yourself and understand that nothing good can come of your resentment for them. Forgiveness and acceptance is the only thing that can finally set you free. You will be able to be a better parent to your child and a better friend to those you truly value. Most important, you will never have to feel so hurt because of that person again. No one should think it's easy to do… but that is all the more reason to look carefully at the person you decide to have children with. That is a person that you must always love and respect for the sake of your child. A child must face united parents in order to grow up well-adjusted, emotionally healthy and able to parent a child him/herself. Parents need not be in love with each other, but they must recognize and share a united love for their child that transcends all things.

All others who cause you pain can be eliminated from your life completely. People who hurt and use you are not valuable in your world. Finding forgiveness for them is difficult and they don't deserve it anyway so letting them go and moving forward is the only way.

Love and forgive your three people (or more if you have them). Remember to choose number three wisely... 

Have a great week.
Love, Betsy

Friday, March 9, 2012

Glad to Grow Old

This is a post I ran across on my hard drive that I wrote in February of 2009. This was about a year and a half prior to my AIDS diagnosis. I enjoyed finding and reading it and decided to share it here. 
It's taken me a while to get back to this place in my head but it's been worth the trip.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life or my loving family for less grey hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so stylish on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the beautiful people. They, too, will grow old if they're lucky.

I know I am sometimes forgetful.
But then again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things anyway.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet must be put-to-sleep? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect and in love.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to see my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into the little lines on my face.
So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their
skin could wrinkle or their hair could turn grey.

As one gets older, it seems like it gets easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I think I've earned the right to be wrong. It’s okay if I’m not perfect.

So, in a nutshell, I guess I’ll like growing old. It will set me free. I think I’ll finally like and accept myself as I am.

I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

I hope you'll enjoy your weekend... 

Love Betsy