Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Fantastic Mood

So unusual for me. Not that I'm always in a bad mood, it's just that a really good mood, a fantastic amazingly good mood is pretty rare for me. Today, for some reason I woke up in such a great mood! It may have something to do with the fact that I put all this moving stuff away and negotiated a new lease with my landlord. You might say it's given me a new lease on life, knowing I have a home for the next year and feeling good about actually living to see the next year.
Since my diagnosis, I've been on a daily dose of Paxil. It's taken some time, but I feel the effects in that I don't feel the need to cry every day like I once did. Back before I was diagnosed I spent an inordinate amount of my time feeling so blue that the only thing that helped was crying by myself for hours every night. Often I would sit alone in my house in the silence and cry for a variety of reasons. Since then I have read much about the symptoms one experiences during the transition from HIV positive to full blown AIDS. One telltale symptom is crushing depression. I remember it lasting a long time before my body finally gave up and succumbed to Pneumocystis and Thrush.
Perhaps my good mood today is the result of the medicine, my current good health or maybe it's just the great weather. Whatever the reason, it's nice when life feels good and the future seems reachable. Not much to chit-chat about today... just needed to share my sunny outlook while it lasts.

Hope your day is great!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sitting Tight

Okay, so I looked at a super cute house for rent, just around the corner from my folks. The landlord wants a little more than I am able to pay and it just isn't worth it. Besides, the whole point of possibly moving was to save money, right? I'm hoping I can negotiate something with my current landlord to just sit tight where I am.

It's been almost two months since Vince has communicated with me in any way. I go over and over in my head, every day, trying to figure out what in the world I could have done to him that was so awful that he thinks I deserve to be treated this way. A friend isn't supposed to abandon you if things get difficult. A real friend will at least tell you that they need to separate from you because your situation is just too much for them to handle. Only the very shallowest of people cannot bring themselves to do that and are more comfortable just blowing you off, avoiding your calls, not responding to texts or emails and generally disregarding you as disposable. I never would have dreamed that Vince would handle things this way. I guess it just illustrates that you never really know how someone will react when AIDS becomes a factor. I can do nothing but move on with my life alone, the best way I know how.

Work has been giving me more than my share of stress. My dad used to say that a company takes on the personality of they person running it. If that's true, and I know it is, the company I work for is a real tool. Our boss needs to get off the coke and quit screwing (both figuratively and literally) his employees. Also, return the 10% wage cut we all took and be a little more positive in the attitude. Twelve million dollars a year in the current economy isn't bad when you only employ 60 people and own your property outright. Again... it is what it is and I need to stay employed and insured so moving forward in spite of the obstacles is the thing I must do. I am protecting myself in the situation because it is me that I need to look after.

My health is okay. Still hanging with 131 TCells, getting enough rest and slowly taking off some weight. If only I could motivate myself to do some real physical exercise. Perhaps I'll swim tonight.

It's lovely weather... let's enjoy it together.

Love Betsy

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Apartment Hunting...

Not liking what I'm finding available in the area where I want to live. The units I've seen are amazingly small. I have to wonder who on earth can conduct their lives from just 500 square feet of living space! Tiny little kitchens, itsy bitsy bedrooms, windows that look out at bare walls, alleys or in one case a lovely view of DWP's lot.
From what I can see, there's no good option for me. Any savings on rent that I might capture will be used up in paying for laundry, buying a refrigerator, paying for off-site storage of stuff that won't fit into such a tiny space and all the deposits and fees that accompany moving to a new place. I'm thinking I should just suck it up and stick with my current apartment. Now that I've seen what's out there, I feel pretty fortunate to be living where I do. Nonetheless I will be making a couple adjustments to try to save a little money every month.

On an unrelated subject, work is getting really weird. The boss is really out of touch with what's going on in the company. He seems to be too preoccupied. No wonder... I ran into him last night while walking my dog. It appeared that he was leaving the office around 8pm with a pretty female employee who had clocked out at 5. Now I understand that his wife is home recovering from transplant surgery and  okay... he needs his fun... I don't begrudge him his coke either... but with an employee... in the office? Yuck! Spring for a cheap room somewhere. Don't shit where you eat and don't get caught. Running into me had to have been awkward for him. I know he was hoping I didn't notice the mistress as she sneaked down the alley to her car half a block away. I think I'll take more frequent walks.... so much to see out here in the world.

Have a lovely week.

Love Betsy

Thursday, February 2, 2012

APLA ... Who's "Home Health"?

AIDS Project Los Angeles is a fantastic organization here. They are the model of an ASO (AIDS Service Organization). But I have one question for my case workers when we meet today. I want to know why they call themselves "Home Health Care" instead of APLA.

I suspect it's because of stigma and the effort to respect the privacy of those they service but it's just a shining example of how the HIV community has further fed the stigma associated with being an HIV or AIDS infected person. Why on earth should the rest of the country deal with the hateful HIV/AIDS epidemic when even those most affected are ashamed to step into the light and demand help.

I desperately wish sometimes that I were a public figure or celebrity with some kind of sizable following. If I were, then my disclosure would make some difference but alas, I am only one obscure person who no one really wants to see or listen to. Proof of this is the fact that many of my friends are now strangers, more or less, and don't like to have to deal with the reality that this nasty virus is out here still killing people. Maybe I am too "out-there" for them. Some of my friends have told me that if they became infected that they either wouldn't want to know or that if they found out they were infected, they wouldn't tell a soul... not even family. When I ask "why?", they tell me they wouldn't risk being stigmatized. Don't they understand that secrecy only proliferates the stigma and validates the shame???

So I meet with my case workers today. These monthly meetings are necessary to maintain my place on the list for services should I ever lose the ability to work, my health insurance or in the event that I need legal help. I know they will again bug me about my yearly TB test and my overdue mammogram. Hopefully they won't suggest a yearly PAP smear (last years' was torture... my equipment is pretty rusty these days) as my PCP doctor is female and none-too-gentle in her use of the speculum.

Interestingly, they send two case workers every month. One asks me all questions related to my physical health. The other asks me questions regarding my mental and emotional health. Both ask about my adherence to my medicine schedule and my current blood-work numbers. Today I will be telling them that my Cholesterol has not improved much, I've managed to wrestle off seven or eight pounds, I have 131 CD4 cells and my viral load is still undetectable. I feel okay, no pains or problems.

My lease is up on my apartment at the end of February so I will have to begin hunting for a more affordable home this weekend. I dread moving and all of it's hassles... utilities and cable to move... deposits to make and change of address cards to fill out. I wish I could stay where I am but the rent is outrageous and I'm tired of living like a pauper just to pay the rent. I'm used to having more disposable income so I can't continue living here.

I'll keep you up-to-date on the home-hunt.

That's it for now,
Enjoy the beautiful weather we're having and have a great Super Bowl Sunday!

Love Bets'