Yes, living and surviving with this disease and being able to be blessed that I’m still and feel great. Health wise……! This is truly a great story of life, that never really ends. I must have contracted the disease from some hot Puerto Rican in 1981, he was hot and the sex was great. It was a one night stand. How do I know it was him, well you almost just know when you get tested and think back. I got tested in 1987 because a new partner ask me to and I felt okay with it. And I was almost comfortable with what whatever the outcome since up to that point I had lived a great life.
So I get tested and the result came back positive, almost like I’d figure it would. Soon after testing I developed a really bad case of shingles and then all the other opportunists infections followed. I never really had time to think what just happened until about 10 years later. When I had survived the makers 6 months, one year, 3 years, 5 years and 10 years. I beat all the doctors odds. All thru that time I had 2 forms of cancer (karposi sarcoma) (lymphoma), a half a dozen times of shingles and many bouts of pneumonia. But I always thought I would see it thru because my genes were good. I know it had nothing to do with it. But I held on to that theory to get thru and it help.
During the 1st case of karposi sarcoma, ( internal ) the chemo was so difficult that I went out on disability which changed my life forever. Disability was never enough because you see I was only 30 and my prime had been cut short. But I persevered and took my meds and fought my way thru to the 15th year when things actually started to calm down and I knew I’d be around for awhile.
Telling the folks and friends was in the 5th year. I was strong enough and felt I had a good handle and confidence for the outcome. I had this great friend that stood by side when I told most including my parents. Thank God for him (my mother adored him) he helped hold it all together. And we kinda convinced them all was good, and I’ll be okay. Knowing fair well, who knew at that time what would happen. That friend is still very special to me even though we don’t communicate much.
I’m still on disability and time is passing by surviving and getting by with help of many friends, I thought they felt in back of their minds I would not survived. Hey I proved everyone wrong.
Here at 57, 27 years later and feeling great, some mental health issues that stem from the past and putting things aside, but happy for life.
I will not say it wasn’t rough it was, and it still is because income didn’t go up much but the cost of living definitely has. But I’ve owned beautiful homes and great cars, traveled as best as I could, along with being so grateful to friends and family. Some of them made it all possible, you know who you are and I’m blessed to of had you in my life. During this time I had lost so many friends and went to so many funerals it was numbing but you always pushed ahead.
With all the health problems in the beginning, my blood work always was good and I rebounded well, I had an angel watching over me as I do now (my mom). I continue to thrive with all the loss and challenges life has, along with the achievements I had.
There are many of us long term survivors that aren’t going to die of aids but just old age, isn’t that great! But we are left behind, not many want to hear these good stories because they have a happy ending. Not that it’s the end, just that we made it thru the toughest time in our lives. And there is so much more to live for.
Now we have the medicine’s and treatments that we can help others to let them know it’s not the end. It will be hard work but they can do it by staying healthy and taking care of their bodies. God Bless us all………..!
As I go thru this yoga journey, I have been getting in touch with a person that I have forgotten about or just push him way back. So I took matters into my own hands and I’m searching for him. I’m not an insecure or inhibited person. I’m usually in touch with my emotions, except with this tumult I haven’t been thinking about me. Yoga lately has done that for me, I’m getting in touch again.
When I decided to do this class, it took some time to make the decision. It was a Naked Yoga class. These guys are very seasoned yogi’s and I somewhat new. But I am good with the basics and am able to keep up.
I signed up for the class and had no thoughts about the type of class, I just wanted to do a class with a group who are serious about yoga. These guys were.
Fast forward to the day of the class to which I was so looking forward to. A new group and what I might take away from this class. I got to the studio and all I remember is that I grabbed my mat, water, and towel and said hello to the instructor. It turned out to be a private session because the other 2 couldn’t get away from work and it was afternoon. This was good for me, it becomes private.
The instructor and I greeted each other and that moment I felt a calmness and comfort. I had left everything outside except my mind, body, and spirit.
We chatted a bit about my life and what I wanted to achieve out of doing yoga, my health, some challenges, which all felt menial. I was very comfortable disrobing, you see I did Body Electric so I’m very comfortable with my body. We sat across and started a breathing exercise with some movement. The breathing set the tone for the whole session, it was all about breathing. Then moved into some light movements and of course more breathing. The breathing became intense because I was feeling my whole body with each move. Almost like a euphoric state of mind. I was entering into positions I’d never thought I could do. I just kept breathing. My body let go and my mind said you can do it. And I did. It was an hour in a half class. I didn’t even realize start to finish.
I realized that I (we) are capable of doing whatever we want.
We said our goodbyes and he recommended me to this selective group at this studio. I walked away and felt a feeling of it all doesn’t matter other that moment. I had a ah ha moment which was calming and nurturing. Sitting in the car and doing a lite meditation I realized that I’m capable of letting go and stepping Into a whole new way of thinking. I drove away with that same calm and peaceful feeling. No one could change this mood…………………..Thank you Matt…….
Well I guess you could say I’m an open book so I share with those most important to me. My therapist and my yoga instructor’s they both have special bonds with me. And of course one or two friends know mostly everything about me. But most of all I’m honest. I feel at this point in my life if I can’t be open honest and candid with the most important people in my life than what is the purpose of them in my life. I’m also honest with people if you ask me a question I told the truth.
You see it’s difficult hear in Los Angeles. I knew it would be. I knew the challenges I would face. I knew the obstacles that would be in my way.
But I took this challenge at 56 years old (now 57) because I didn’t want to wake up at 60 and say I should’ve, could’ve, would’ve. And I love Los Angeles in every way. I have connected with everything I could possibly connect with to give myself good health, a good mind, body and soul.
But I never knew at this point in my life I would still be alive 30 years later. They told me I would be dead by now so my planning was poor for the future. No IRA, no retirement fund not very much in savings since my healthcare takes a lot of that. Yes I do have health care and I am fortunate for it. But when you need a HIV doctor, cardiologist, an oncologist, psychiatrist, regular therapist they all take co-pays and that takes a chunk monthly. But I am so blessed to be alive and to be able to write this blog and tell my story.
By accident I chose the wrong neighborhood to live in, which causes a lot of stress in my life. I am searching and searching and searching for the right apartment in a better neighborhood. I am on a number of waiting list. So many I can’t count. But that’s good one of these apartments will call and that will make me very happy and I will be rewarded. So I continue to look and search.
So for now I can continue to speak about my life to my friends to the people I trust and the people who will understand and give me good analysis what I’m doing right or wrong. I think in life there is no right or wrong, we learn from our mistakes and learn from our achievements.
My therapist is a special guy he has good ears and he gives could analysis when needed, and always has great lead in questions. I trust him. He knows of all these challenges and obstacles that I have but always says make sure you take care of your body, mind, and spirit. Do not put any positive energy into the things you cannot change for now. Do not let it stress you out. You can’t change it for the moment. So work on what you can change and know that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, a big bright light. Because I believe with all this hard work and all these challenges I will be rewarded in the end. Hey look I’ve survived Aids almost 28 years that’s a huge achievement.
I have my health.
I have Lucas.
I have a roof over my head ( no matter how bad the neighborhood is) but a good roof.
I have food in the frige.
I am grateful.
I am loved.
I have loved.
I like myself.
I have friends( just a few, but a few is all you need)
I continue to meet new friends.
I made the right decision. (Los Angeles)
I’m proud of who I have become.
I am grateful.
I have my parents to thank.
I am blessed.
I am fortunate.
I love life.
But it’s tough but I will weather this storm.
I always do.
Picking the right one is always important. Larchmont Village, we have chosen the pizzeria that is not the one that everyone chooses! But it seems the healthiest. And I have Lucas with me. We had a good day and have a few extra dollars to eat out. Only because Lucas’s grooming was free! Bravo!!!!!
We visited Glenn and a had a few vodkas and am ready for a bite. I spent all day looking at phone numbers to call for apartments, and I did, only to get one response ! But at least one is good. One day at time!
I know one will call, but it’s all in time! I have to be patient! I have to realize that one who waits will be rewarded!
It’s tough because the neighborhood is so bad, but i didn’t know, but I know now and I will continue to look. And i want out.
Back to the pizza, I have chosen
the right one, not greasy! And delicious ! It’s called zpizza in Larchmont Village Los Angeles……again very healthy !