Saturday, January 29, 2005

Frankenstein Returns

Without the bandages... 27 stitches.

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I can report that he has less wrinkles on his forehead.
I can report that he is considering having the doc look at the skin cells between his cheeks and his ears.


I know he's just after a free -nip and tuck-.


Okay. Really. It's just me getting him back for that bad injection. Besides. It's an issue of Basil Cell Carcinoma, so not worries, right?

Don't tell him...

Playing Nurse-maid

I don't think I'll be letting TheHusband give me a shot anymore.

It was a good idea, I thought. What if I get hit by a bus tomorrow and he has to take care of me? That would include giving me these silly shots, right? I know, it's morbid and it probably won't happen, but still. He needs to know how to do it.

So I show him how to mix it all up. Wash your hands. Use the big needle and put the water in that little vial. Slower, it creates bubbles when you do it that fast. Okay. Let it sit for about 1/2 hour.

Wash your hands. Now, take the little needle and stick it into the vial. Turn it upside down. Slowly. Air bubbles, remember. Now, draw out the plunger on the needle. Slower. Slower. You're getting air bubbles. Slower. Okay, one way to get rid of some of those air bubbles is to flick the needle. Try that. Not so hard, you are creating more bubbles. Okay, let's let it sit for a bit.

Okay, wash your hands. Now, grab my belly fat. Yeah, I know, there was so much more of it a few years ago, let's not talk about that, shall we? Not there, that's where I gave myself the shot this morning. What I think we should do is choose over here on the other side. You know, morning side and night side. Alcohol swab the area. Okay, the shot has to be put in "subcutaniously", so not into the skin, but not into muscle either. Good thing I don't have a six pack of muscles in my abdomen. So, at a 45 degree angle. No... a 45 degree angle, not 80. Wait, that's closer, dear, more like 75. Keep going. There you go, not plunge the needle into me. No worries, you can't hurt me too much. It's a very thin needle, don't worry about it.

Okay. good job. Now, start pushing down on the plunger. Careful, you are moving the needle. Yeah, push it in. Not too fast. Well, okay, you can go faster. Really, faster than that, because you are moving the needle too much and it's starting to hurt. Good job dear. Yes, you did fine. Now, wash your hands.

I don't have the heart to tell him that it still hurts where he gave me the shot. And that it is quite "tight" where he gave it to me. I don't think it's supposed to do that, since none of the places I've given myself a shot are tight like that. And a big lump.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Doctor Visit

Ok. I want you to keep something in mind here. I have NEVER had more than 350 T-cells in my body. Well, at least as far as I've been tracking them. Normal people have about 1000, and when AIDS was first figured out, that's the benchmark that they judged everything against. You should have somewhere between 1000 and 1500 as a normal, healthy, individual.

Since day one of my conversion/notification, I've had less than 350 T-Cells. A few years ago, they decided that the "viral load" is really what is important. So let's go with that, shall we? Last year, I had 250 T-cells and zero viral load. That's when I was taking more pills than I can count here, including the pills that I was taking that contradicted the pills than I took to fight the infection. It's confusing, I know. Let's just say this: I was taking up to 30 pills a day. That's got to be a lot by anyone's standards, right?

So I went to the doctor today. I knew he was gonna start me on a new regiment of pills. I stopped taking them a year ago, after all. (I mean really, I had to work... and I couldn't work on all those pills, right?) Anyhow, he didn't judge. That was nice. My scores were: 168 T-cells and a vial load of 65,700.

So I told him that I didn't want ANYTHING that would me sick all the time. Nothing that would make me run to the bathroom to puke. Simple as that, right? Well, no. I have quite a history with these drugs. A lot of them, I can't take, either because I've taken them before (and there's a lot of them) or because the -type- of infection that I have is in -itself- resistant to the drug.

So he says "fine". He gives me three pills, one that I take twice a day. Nice. I also ask about the injection medicine. He says it's a good med... the efication is great. (Is that a word?) So yes, I can take it.

I've heard about it. Take a shot, self injected once or twice a week. Great. What? It's everyday? Wait.... TWICE a day? Okay. I can still deal with that. So the doc sends me back to the nurse to explain the whole sitch.

Personally, I'm thinking the doc shoulda mentioned it, but, obviously, that's just me.

So I go on into the nurse's office. He tells me that I have to watch a video (20 minutes) and then we'll do a "trial run". Great. I'm thinking it's a good thing that I told everyone at work that I wouldn't be back.

I watch the vid, and then go into his office to get my first injection. After all, I've gotta practice mixing all this nonsense, right? It took forever, that's all I am gonna say.

So we take out the kit. It includes two sizes of syringes, alcohol swabs, two vials (one drug, one water). We get it all mixed, but it takes 30 minutes to get it all done. Time is what is important here. So he helps me get the other syringe all ready. You know, the one that I've gotta stick in my body.

And then I've gotta stick myself. Houston, we may have a problem

I grab the fat in my stomach area. I grab the syringe. I hold the needle about an inch away from my little belly. I hold it there, ready to plunge it into my stomach. Ready to do it. Any time now.... Okay. Five minutes went by while the nurse encourages me to stick it in. Finally, I just do it.

It didn't hurt at all. In fact, I didn't even feel the needle.

Gosh, what a whimp I am.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Frankenstein in the making?

The Husband had a bit of minor surgery. He's prone to skin cancer (benign) so he's had the second one cut out. He's in quite a bit of pain, so I (of course) had to take a picture of it. Or two.


Yeah... I blacked out his face. Why wouldn't I?

I took both these pics with my LG cell phone. Not bad for year-old technology.

11 Days

110 visitors in 11 days.

Well, I'd like to believe there are more, since I didn't have a counter up for the first few days. Besides that, for about two days, I couldn't find a counter that I liked. So I tried three or four before I settled on this one.

So I may have missed a few visitors.

Any loyal ones out there yet?

I'm still an itchy mess. Get to see the doctor tomorrow. He's gonna give me more pills to take, I just know it. Haven't I run through them all yet? Oh, yeah. I haven't told you about that yet, have I?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


okay. plenty of people have visited for the required 30 seconds. thanks.

Flashback... D.C. 1990, winter, summer, springtime... whatever. didn't matter

I'd been in a relationship with M for four years. It was an open relationship from the start. He insisted upon it.
Anyhoo... I got a job at a bar on Dupont Circle. (The bar's not there anymore... ) I was working at the Department of Commerce as a low level administrator and was looking to supplement my extremely low wages. I got the job on the basis of my looks. I know, it's a horrible thing to say, but it's true. Nobody asked if I could pour a drink (I could!), but I got the job anyway.
I met a lot of men with that job. Most of them, I wouldn't have touched. Sometimes though, I had a few while working, so my defenses would be down. So I'd have sex with 'em. They had to have a certain look in the face and a certain amount... down below, if you know what I mean. This is not This place so I won't go into all the gory details.
Many times, I'd go to a bath house on a boring night. I know... I know... it isn't politically correct to admit that. Who cares? I'm telling the truth here, right? I went there and had sex with people that I don't know, didn't wanna know.. whatever.
Now that I've admitted that... does it change your opinion of me? I mean really, since you don't know me... does it matter? And to go a bit further, if you DID know me, would it matter? If so, I'd dare say that it wouldn't matter to me what your opinion was, really.
I will say this. I've mentioned that I was HIV+, but this is NOT how I converted. I know EXACTLY when and where I was when I converted. That's the subject of a future post.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Good-bye Johnny

Johnny Carson died today.

I didn't become a fan until his last couple of years on the job. Mostly, I just watched his show because David Letterman was on afterwards, and I wanted to watch that.

I still tear up whenever I see the clip of Bette Midler singing to him, as his last guest.

He really was brilliantly funny, without going to the gutter for the laugh. He didn't put other people down in jokes.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Blogging here and everywhere.

I joined Blogclicker today. It’s a service that gets you to read other blogs, as supposedly, to get others to ready your blog. Best I can tell, it go one person to read mine. How do I know that? She commented. If any one else showed up, I wouldn’t know it. Why? Because they also provide a hit counter, and it isn’t working.

I hate code. All I want is a counter that works, one that tells me that X amount of people ready my blog today, and how many of that X were new people. I guess that means I need to pay for one. So much for “free blogging”.

I saw a variety of different blogs. Most I really wasn’t interested in. Why is it that they can’t target you to the types of blogs you might like to read?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

New format

I hope you don't mind, I changed the template. The other one was a bit difficult to read.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Meeting Someone

Washington DC, Springtime 1992

I'm a bartender/manager at a neighborhood gay bar. I'm downstairs at the front bar with Clarke, a bartender. He has one customer sitting at his bar. I've been working someone elses shift all day, and I've got to open my own bar, up on the third floor at 8:00 p.m. Someone comes in that has been previously banned. I ask them to leave, they don't, I call the cops. I'm still argueing with them, not really letting them into the bar (but just inside). The customer sitting at Clarke's bar says something like "Do you need any help", to which I reply, "No thanks, the police are on the way."

He's nice looking enough. Redish (!?!) hair, which I'm not crazy about. Pastey white skin, freckles. Not my type at all. Great arms... looks like he works out ONLY his arms. Muscles on top of muscles there. And he smoked.

I moved on. I had the cops come, remind the guy that he couldn't come in, and went about setting up my bar. Again... on the third floor. I thought this guy might take the hint. But I didn't see him again.

(It shoud be said that I was at then end of a five year relationship at that point. It wasn't over just yet, but that would happen very soon.)

Cut to some random Friday night a few weeks later. I worked that day, so I was off. It was late in the evening, around 11:30 at least. I was at the main bar talking with a drag-queen friend of mine. Suddenly, someone taps me on the shoulder and asks if they can borrow my lighter. I offer it without looking over my shoulder, and continue with my conversation. The night ends, and I go home.

Cut to June. Saturday the 20th. I'm in the bar in the afternoon, early, as a customer. I've finished my, let's call them errands, for the day and stop in. Howard is our bartender, and there are MAYBE a total of five other people in the bar. Two guys come in. After they get what they want, Howard starts flirting with both of them, as Howard does. Finally, they start throwing the coasters, a pet peeve of mine and Howard's. One throws a coaster at Howard and he (Howard) looks at me to see which one did it. It was a non-verbal signal of his, asking me. I tapped my head indicating that it was the one with the hat on.

This started a conversation between me and the one with a hat. He turned out to be the same guy sitting at Clarke's bar months prior. We talked for a bit, and made plans to meet the next day for Pride Day. We were to meet after the parade, right there.

The next day, I watched the parade with Randy and Ed. I was staying with them, since my EX (of five years) and I had split up. We were on P street, in someone's house on the 2nd floor. It was boring as usual. Washington DC's Pride parade was really quite embarassing, as far as entries go. So afterwards, we went to the bar. No date in the house. We had a couple of beers... okay more than a couple. Still no date. Great, first one and I've been stood up. Without getting into all that, we dicided to move on to another bar.

We went on to Mr. P's. We spent a number of hours there, they had a new patio bar. It's all wood, at least that's what I remember. At one point, I fell and scraped my knee. Sure it was superficial, but I bleed like a stuck pig. Later on, the bar was spilling out into the street in front. I'm out there with my beer (something we never did on a regular day...) And there he is strolling down the street.

I think I gave him a hard time about being late, but I'll be honest. I hadn't eaten and been drinking since, what, 10 a.m. and here it was around 4:00 in the afternoon. I don't think I was sloppy, but I was definatly drunk. We stayed there for a bit, but eventually, we went home. To "my" place. Well, okay, it was Ed and Randy's place, but I had a room.

Almost 13 years later, he's still hanging around. Or I am, whatever. He really has been my biggest supporter through alot of things in my life. Sure, our relationship has changed over those 13 years, but still the love is there. I still go crazy if I feel like someone does somthing wrong to him. When he is pissed about something, I tend to be pissed about it.

Funny thing is... he wasn't my type then, and he's not my type now. What does that say about our perceived "type"?
And I still itch, but the hives seem to have subsided. Now I am a walking dead-skin factory.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

2nd Post...

This blog won't just be about my "new" status... so not to worry.

I promise, I'll talk about other things, such as my life, my job, politics... whatever a typical almost-forty-year-old gay man who never graduated from college might talk about. So that pretty much means just about anything. Of course, I cant go into any depth, because I only graduated high school... but you get the point.

You get the sarcasm, don't you?

Moving on...

I had a reader already.... *HI THERE*.... who knew that would happen already? I've had a blog before, but it had to do -specifically- with the job I had before. When that came to an end, so did the blog. I think I had a total of four readers, and one was my sister, so that doesn't count.

Moving on...

My skin is itching like crazy. I am tired of the hives already. They can go. I've stopped taking the Bactrim, so they should be going away. Hell, they started within two days of taking the med, why can't they go away within two days of STOPPING the meds? Let me tell you how this started.

For three weeks, I'm dealing with traveling lumps. They are pimples, boils, whatever. They are just below the skin, the kind that don't come to the surface so you can squeeze 'em. They start on my ass... and when I say "on my ass", I don't mean my ... uhm... er... bunz. These bad boyz were "up in there"... causing pain when I wiped my ass each and every day. Fun stuff, we're talkin'. Then they moved up to my underware line, in the front. Finally, under my left arm. It's painful, but just under the skin. Feels like a lump. I thought it was starting to feel like it was a lymph node that was infected. I was having flashbacks...

I'm standing in a phone booth with my todler daughter, talking on the phone with my mother... she's saying:

"It's a cyst. Just a cyst. You never learned how to wash correctly..."

Okay. That wasn't me. That was "Terms of Endearment", but that's what I was thinking the doctor would be telling me. So I called him, hoping it would turn out better then that character.

They said they could squeeze me in. It's the VA after all. Ever been to the VA for an appointment? Horrible, and I don't recomend it. And they wonder why I stopped going for over a year...

The nurse takes my BP... it was high... and I had to explain why I stopped my BP meds quite a while ago. He finally looks at my cyst, and says: "It's looking mighty angry, isn't it?" in his broken English. I reply, "Yes, it is".

Three hours later.... I get to see the doc. The first thing he says is that my bloodwork looks good. I remind him that that bloodwork was from over a year ago... and let it drop. He says that my face is awfully red. I say that the ROSACIA has gotten worse, but a bit of Westcort cream usually does the trick. He tells me that it isn't good to use Westcort for too long, and I should see a Dermatologist. Thanks, I asked for that more than three years ago.

He looks at my blood pressure and says "Why did you go off the meds?".. I ask what it is... and point out that although it is high, it isn't high enough to put me back on meds. HA!!Finally, he looks at my cyst.

The only reason I said I'd go to the doc is because it was affecting my life. I couldn't walk normally because the arm would swing funny. I had a loss of range of motion. I couldn't type because the cyst was causing a loss of feeling in my fingers.

he decides that it is an abcess and it's infected (uhm... duh!). He perscribed two different and very strong anti-biotics. So I wait another hour to get these meds and go home.

Two days after I start taking them, I point out to TheHusband that I have this stuff growing on my tounge. He looks at it and immediately says.... "You have thrush". Great. I have a yeast infection. There's a new one. Haven't had that one before. TheHusband see's the doc a few days later. They talk about my progress. You see, doc has my blood results now, and wants me to take Bactrim because my T-cells are so low (as I refer to in my previous post).. And prescribes another pill for the Thrush. Two days later, I have the aformentioned Hives, but the Thrush has deminished. I stop taking the Bactrim.

and yet, I still itch. All over. All the time. Hives from my ankles to my hairline. It's not normal, not nice, and Just. Plain. Wrong.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

First Post

Steven has been my savior. He loves me and treats me better than most people in my life. He always puts me before himself and others.

I just wanted that to be my first words in this blog.

Over time, I'll contradict this phrase, but it's the truth. We'll disagree, but the basic thought is the same. He loves me. That doesn't always mean that I get what I want from him.

But that isn't the point of this blog.

You see... I'm HIV positive. Hell, more than that... I have A.I.D.S. I'm being told, once again, that I have less than 200 T-cells in my body. No... it isn't the first time that I've heard this. But usually, I have another blood test and the crisis is over... suddenly I have 250 T-cells... so crisis averted. But this time, it's different.

I've got an abcess under my arm. so what happens? I am given a drug. This causes another problem, so I'm given ANOTHER drug. Then my doctor adds yet another drug that gives me hives. Hives. Hell, I didn't even know what they were, I just thought it was an extension of my typical rash.

TheHusband says that once they are extended off my body, it's hives. Which was fine, until the little itchy bumps were so abundant that they merged into a massive red spot over my entire body.

I'm supposed to turn 40 in about a year. Think it will happen? I've started to doubt that today.

That's something that I was thinking when I first found out I was poz 11 years ago...