40 years ago the first cases of AIDS were detected in the US. 4 men diagnosed with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (also referred to as PCP) in Los Angeles. It started as an unusual and rare form of pneumonia and soon became one of the leading symptoms of HIV infection. I know all too well the seriousness of this illness. My past partner was one of millions of people living with AIDS. He has since passed, becoming one of 700.000 people to die with the disease.
HIV is a strange infection, it changes and mutates from infection to infection. No 2 people experience it the same. Although the medications have gotten better and people are living longer with it. More people get and stay undetectable (the amount of virus being so low it can’t be detected in a blood test) It’s still there. People are still getting infected. UNDETECTABLE DOES NOT EQUAL CURED! Though there are medications now that can keep you undetectable and keep you from spreading the virus. It can come back at any time. Now there are even medications a negative person can take to keep them from getting infected if they have unsafe sex with a positive person. Medications were a constant battle for us. New and improved meds came out all the time. They would work for a while, he even got undetectable once, it didn’t last long.
We’ve finally made it to December! The final stretch in what has been a very long year. I hope you all came out of it relatively unscathed.
For many of us, this has been a year of learning. About ourselves and others. We’ve seen some good and some bad. Some have lost loved ones. Some have lost friends. Either because of Covid or by other means. One thing I have learned, not just this year but in years and months leading up to 2020, is to watch what people say and things people post. These things speak volumes. The way someone speaks to you shows more about them than it does you. It took a while but after one confrontation early this year I decided I needed to take a step back, so I could see things more clearly. I still wasn’t ready to let go though. Even after my integrity and character were attacked. I’m a slow bloomer I suppose. So…After the 3rd, and final, confrontation, I took the final step back and closed the doors.
So, going into the new year, if I’ve learned anything, It’s to be kind. Speak kindly to people. Just because someone isn’t as intelligent as you, doesn’t converse the way you think they should, doesn’t make them any less of a person and undeserving of kind words.
What a week this has been. My last post was about the end of life and that time has come. My dad left us at 4am this morning. My mom woke me up and my first thought was “thank you Jesus” because now he is at rest. He has his perfect heavenly body. Completely healed and the best of all…He is with Jesus, whom he loved so much.
Our church family has been with us every step of the way and I couldn’t ask for better people in my life. So now mom and I carry on together. We’re sad because he isn’t with us anymore but rejoicing because he is in the arms of Jesus, where he’s wanted to be for so long.
So…Here’s to ya dad. Love you and we will miss you but we’ll see you again one day.
And above all…thank you for being the dad you didn’t have to be…
I don’t know who dying is harder on, the one who is at the end of their life or the ones watching it happen. Waiting for the last breath to be taken.
It’s crazy how quickly life can take a turn. We’ve been watching my dad’s decline for several months now but it seems that all of a sudden things are coming to an end. This where we’re at this week. My dad has been coded as actively dying. Hospice is coming every day now. We are keeping him comfortable. He is pretty much comatose now. We are just waiting.
Life is fragile. Take nothing for granted. Hold your loved ones close. This is our new normal.
The first thing I do when I get to work, after I sign the health screening and clock in, I plug my iPod into my speaker and jam as I do my morning chores. It’s sort of a mental prep for the day to come.
As I was setting up my til and doing some paperwork I saw a courtesy clerk walk by my building then walk back to the main store, I didn’t think anything of it. I figured she was gathering the early morning carts. A few minutes later I saw the same girl pushing a heavy cart full of ice. 10lb bags of ice, there were probably 20 bags. I was going to go outside and tell her to let the guys do that heavy work but just as I though that the song “I am Woman” by the late Helen Reddy started playing and I thought…This girl is strong and as capable as any of the guys. Then I thought…How would I feel if I was told…Let a guy do that.
”You can bend but never break me ‘Cause it only serves to make me More determined to achieve my final goal And I come back even stronger Not a novice any longer ‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul”
Recently I was told that I think my life is worse than others. I don’t, but there are things going on in my life that are exceptionally difficult. Daily dealing with a person who is dying is hard, especially when it’s a parent. Death is a part of life and, I’d hope, every adult knows this. When my father died, it was instant. A massive heart attack and he was gone. This is much different. dementia and Parkinson’s is a hellish thing that no one should have to go through. I’m not sure what is worse…living with these afflictions or watching them play out daily. Some days you just wish it would end and one day it will. Then what?
Mom and I have had some good talks and the other day I said that, in the end, there will so many emotions. Relief that it’s over, guilt for feeing the relief, sorrow….you get my point.
So much is up in the air. The only thing that is sure is that God is in control and everything happens in his time.
There are people who believe that friendship equals obligation. “If you’re my friend you are obligated to…” The problem with this kind of thinking is that it makes friendship conditional. That’s not friendship, That’s a business contract.
Today was a pretty hot day so I waited a little longer to go my walk. I also did a shorter route today because I did an epic uphill workout yesterday and I’m still kinda feeling it lol My watch also decided to tell me I failed at my workout, telling me I burned more calories yesterday *insert eye roll*
Back in July I had my yearly exam and labs done. The results weren’t that great. I My cholesterol was high but not that high, got meds for that. The one thing that scared me was my A1C level. Not high enough to cause me to be diabetic and be put on meds for it but it got my attention. So I embarked on a new adventure. Walking and exercise. Unfortunately the weather here in Arizona heated up and I wasn’t able to do much walking through the rest of July and August. Now though, the temps are coming down and I have started my routine again.
If you are in some kind of workout routine, such as walking or treadmill, I highly recommend Lady Gaga’s Chromatica. Not only is it an awesome album it is nice and upbeat.