I got a voicemail from the nurse. I’m undetectable!! I feel awesome!
It’s been almost 3 or 4 weeks now that I’ve been on the meds. I had to start taking something for a rash I developed, it was really crazy. I could only take them for two days because I would wake up almost like I was on super cold medicine and my head floating above my body until about 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
Pride was fun. I spent pretty much four days with Dave. We went to clubs and even spent Saturday and Sunday out walking around in the sun. Sunday was awesome, lots of drinking lots of dancing and lots of helping Dave work up the courage to find guys to talk to. Jake showed up, but I only saw him for about 10 to 15 minutes. I saw Carlos, and it was funny because Dave seemed to get a little jealous or upset something when I was dancing with him. All in all, I think the fact that I’m able to hang out with Dave and try to be more of a gay mentor for him makes it easier for him to hang out with me something. For example, he texts me a lot more now and wants to hang out. we even went and hiked quandary peak on Saturday. It was really really hard, but something great to do with a friend.
Jake, on the other hand, has been a little weird. We actually had sex, and for some weird reason I thought it meant something. When I went and hung out with him the other day to watch Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, he was just texting people on this phone the whole time and I went home and just thought, wow how lame.
I finally found an apartment to move into, even though it’s going to cost me more than double what I pay now. It will be nice not to be living with my roommate and I have air conditioning!
Work has sucked ever since Jim took over Emily’s position. He’s messed up my schedule so many times that I know I’ve lost quite a bit of money. I’m almost thinking about looking for another job at a different school.
I finally started meds last night. I didn’t have the crazy dreams, but as soon as I closed my eyes it was like I was hallucinating in my brain! It sounds weird, but that’s the bet way to describe it. This morning, I woke up really groggy, and it hasn’t gone away. I’ve heard that this feeling stays for months. It feels like I’m on cold medicine!
I finally went to the clinic yesterday to see the doctor. Actually she was a RN and pretty nice. I was nervous and slightly embarrassed to be there, which is dumb, but I’m still getting used to it all. The phlebotomist convinced me to take part in a study of people with HIV who aren’t on medication yet. So in addition to the large amount of blood they needed to run initial tests, they took a bunch more as well.
I hate getting my blood drawn, but I’ve usually been okay, though this time it was different. I could feel the needle in my vein, and sometimes it would vibrate, and the phlebotomist kept asking about my dog and all I wanted to do was concentrate on my breathing and try not to think about what was happening. All of a sudden my head started feeling light, and my legs and arms went numb. Then the numbness moved up my stomach until finally it got to my head. That’s when my head plopped forward and I passed out in the chair!
They moved me to a recliner. My skin was paper white and I was sweating through my shirt. I couldn’t move my fingers to pick up the apple slices they set next to me. I finally recovered well enough for them to finish getting the blood from the other arm. Maybe they can give me some anti anxiety medicine for next time!
Only my dog will sleep next to me now.
I’ve still been hanging out with the guy I had been dating and sleeping with, even after I tested positive. I told him, and he tested negative, and he has been very supportive. But we no longer sleep together. For clarification, we pretty much never had sex, but we were amazing cuddlers. Now when we hang out, afterwards, I just go home. I don’t have any desire to have sex with anyone right now, but I could definitely go for some human contact from someone who didn’t care that I was positive. It’s weird; I’m probably not going to die of AIDS, but it’s the total gay guy deal breaker nonetheless.
Still waiting to wake up from this unbelievable nightmare.
Before I tested positive I had been irresponsibly sleeping with my ex once in a while. He tested negative last week! Such a relief. Finally some good news!
Yesterday I went to a sort of get together of other young HIV positive guys in Denver. It was nice seeing other people , but strange too. I don’t think I’ve ever been around so many people who had HIV before. The nice thing about it was that most of them seemed really attractive and normal. I guess I still have this idea in my head that people with HIV and AIDS somehow got it because they were being woefully irresponsible. But all I have to do is look at myself to realize that’s not true. Sure, I could have been more careful, but I chose to date people and trust people and take a chance that most gay guys do. I chose partners I trusted and talked about testing and status and I still got it. I have never been a drug user or a guy who leaves his front door unlocked for guys to do ‘anon cum dumps’ or things like that. It was nice seeing guys that I could totally consider dating. I know this comes from the fact that right now I consider myself to be pretty much undatable. But if I can look at someone who is positive and think that he is totally a hottie and a catch… maybe someone might think the same about me.
The only issue was my unbearable shyness. I’ve never been a very good gay. I don’t watch tv or listen to the radio and I’m not really interested in pop culture. I’m an egg head bookworm documentary sci-fi horror movie lover who loves to shoot guns hike and fish and camp and talk about international affairs. So basically when I’m in these new situations I just clam up and feel self conscious. Hopefully by the next meet up, I’ll have figured out how to open my mouth and actually say something.
I still make too much money to afford to see the doctor. That means two more weeks of working half days with half paychecks. Although I guess it is nice that I’m catching up on my reading and Netflix queue.
I’m an English teacher. I make about $30,000 a year assuming my hours don’t get cut here or there too much. I get paid hourly. I have a Master’s degree. We aren’t given insurance.
My city has a program to help people with HIV pay for their medication and doctor visits, both of which are actually very expensive. The cutoff for medication help is $44,000, so I’m covered there. The cutoff for doctors visits and tests is about $25,000, so I’m not good there.
To solve this, my counselor suggested that before I meet with the hospital’s financial assistance person, I should decrease my hours for a few weeks, so that my pay statements show that I make under the cutoff for assistance. It’s going to equal about $1,500 of lost hours to get on the public assistance. It’s a lot cheaper than paying out of pocket, but for me, that’s a lot of money… about 2/3 of a month’s income gone.
I don’t think that this is ever going to become ‘normal’ for me, but I can’t wait to get some normality back to my life. At least I’m starting to sleep a little better.
Someone I was seeing for a few months that I haven’t seen for almost a year is flying back into town in a few weeks. He wants to get back together while he’s here. I haven’t told him about my new status. It sucks because we had such an amazing sex life and this continual joviality about one day getting married and living happily ever after. It’s just a reminder of how everything is different now. Even if he did accept me, why would he want to sleep with me the way I am now? I feel like such a fake talking about how he’d be the perfect man in my life if only things were different and we didn’t live so far away. I just still can’t believe that any of this is real…