Friday, April 6, 2012

Angels on Loan from Heaven

I have been not-so-skillfully surfing the rough seas of depression these past weeks. The loss of my very best friend (for some reason that remains unexplained) has really put me off my game and cut into my heart. My moods swing between anger/hatred for how he is hurting me and acceptance/grief for the loss I feel. If you have someone… be sure to remember how lucky you are to have them.

I guess it’s not easy to be the friend of someone with HIV/AIDS. Some days I can hardly blame my best friend for abandoning me. He is healthy. He has many friends and dealing with them is fun, not painful. He has a new lady-friend who is not comfortable with me or my illness so I guess it was inevitable that he would move on. I cannot describe how much I miss him. Having someone to call when you are lonely or someone to hang out with, to laugh with, to cry with… is so important.

There is one speck of light in my life… his name is Charlie… he is my own personal angel.

I have had many dogs over the years. My step-dad is a successful veterinarian so I have enjoyed the benefits of caring for animals my whole life, but Charlie is special because he was just a wee puppy when I was diagnosed and he was the only pet I was able to keep when I came home from the hospital. For four months he was the sole reason I had to get up and move around. Today he is my sunshine and usually the only one who even tries to bring a smile to my face.

Charlie has Alopecia X, a mysterious loss of hair fairly common among pure bred Pomeranians. Currently there is no known cause or cure (hence the “X”). When he was an adolescent he lost the hair on his chest and belly… exposing his cute black nipples… since boy-dogs don’t need them, they’re perfectly flush and look like they’ve been drawn on with a Sharpie. I started him on medication for a thyroid imbalance and the hair on his chest finally returned but this year he has lost much of the hair around his neck and back and all of the hair from his fanny so from the rear he resembles a baboon wearing furry boots. He doesn’t seem to mind the cosmetic imperfection and I think he's perfect anyway.

In my travels around the web and various blogs very much like mine… created for the sole purpose of flushing negative thoughts in the hope of helping others as well as ourselves… I find that pets seem to be foremost in the maintenance of our sanity and a common thread we all share, the desire to care for someone. Having that unconditional love is magical beyond description. I thank the universe every day for lending me the angel I named Charlie. I can’t imagine a life without him. He is truly my very best friend now.

Hopefully I’ll find a way to force myself out and eventually make a new friend, maybe. I have a tendency to isolate myself. I haven’t been able to figure out why and my motivation toward changing it is just not there yet.
Trusting someone again may not come easily.

I will try to post more photos etc. since they add more visual effect.
Great weather today and this weekend, I'm going to try to get outdoors, that always seems to improve my mood.

Happy Easter Everyone!
Love Betsy

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Numbers... A Necessary Evil

So here it is the 4th of April. I've had my appointment for months, did my blood draw two weeks ago and had planned the half-hour drive to my doctors office for lunchtime to minimize my time away from work and still they are going to ask me to reschedule my appointment because of our company-wide inventory and the bank auditors' visit today.
It's as if I do something so important here that they cannot manage a simple audit for an hour while I keep my Dr's appointment. Pathetic. Worse still, the boys upstairs couldn't be bothered to discuss this with me personally, they had to hassle my supervisor to call me at home last night to tell me they want me here for the bank today. All I can do is call my doctor and ask if I can show up a little late.

Well I made it through the audit with the bank and even to the doctor with time to spare. Numbers on inventory were good... very little discrepancy and it went as smoothly as it could have. Best of all... it's finally over and we can get back to work.

My own numbers are less encouraging. I have only 129 CD4 cells but my viral load is still undetectable and I feel pretty good. My doctor is less than thrilled with my weight loss efforts, but at least I haven't gained anything back. He is still unhappy with my cholesterol numbers but I am not as concerned as he is... no history of heart problems in my family and I think one of my ARV's causes my bad cholesterol to go up. He danced around the idea of swapping my Niaspan for a statin-medication but said he might have to switch one of my AIDS drugs to avoid any interaction. I told him I'd rather give the Niaspan a little more time. So next blood draw, I'll be ready to starve for a day, have a shot of wine the day before and hope the numbers improve.

Tomorrow I'll finally make the long-overdue-appointment for my Mammogram.

Till the next time,
Love, Betsy