Tuesday, 29 June 2010

End of Compo

Finished the compensation claim at work today at the doctors. Leg is better, still sore on the odd occasion but nothing drastic. Is good to get at least one thing behind me. That was a real nightmare, terrible pain involved. Lucky to avoid an operation, would have been much worse and hugely more intensive rehab. 

The other depts had a meeting today at work, they offering redundancy to 21 people. Mailing is changing and the physical volumes are starting to drop as more and more people get their mail through the net. Costs a company nearly $1 to send out a bill via Australia Post once all the costs of printing and mailing are added up. The internet is just dirt cheap, maybe 5cents if even that. Convenient too, even myself am going more and more for that. Nothing from the bank comes here anymore unless it's a card or something. So the mailing machines at work are somewhat lacking the work now. 

I'd have jumped at redundancy; after over 11 years there I'd walk out with at least half a years wages all untaxed. Unfortunately our dept, along with a couple of others, haven't been offered it! Didn't even get invited to the meeting! Sheesh!

Today was my 7th work day in a row without having a sickie. *faints*

Monday, 28 June 2010

Latest blood test visit to doc

Went OK at the doctors today for the next blood test. Really put my mind at ease.

Told him about the shit 3 months I'd had, especially about the flu that nearly put me in hospital. Going by the last reading 3 months before the viral load was rather up. If that trend continued then he recommended I start meds sooner than later. The thing being that it should be about managing the disease instead of trying to save you from a crisis; a crisis in fact that need not develop.

My reply to that was that I'd already been saved once and didn't want to have to be saved again! Yeah man, lets avoid a fucking crisis, I don't need another bloody one! :-) Of course there will be mind issues to deal with. I can sort that out with my psychologist. But to know the HIV will be managed and not panicked about is hugely reassuring.

So I plodded off to the blood taking room when called by the blood taking nurse. It's always a laugh in there at the centre. They're right in the thick of it all, seen everything, and gay/lesbian nurses. Asked where was the best, I pointed to a vein on my arm that was the best but few had succeeded at. 

She however seemed quite happy about it. I joked that I was just looking at my "1 mil" vein as it hadn't been used for about 4/5 months now (the one I use when injecting). Both of us laughed. She said to keep it for myself. I don't have any problems stopping that sort of thing, have always had the power over it. Unlike beer ......

I go back in 2 weeks for the results. Ready before that but that's when I'm able to get there again. I do so appreciate the non judgment and genuine care at that place. They treat me like a human being who deserves treatment, not someone who doesn't because of lifestyle or sexuality.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

All this on top of HIV

Feeling a bit better today. Stayed in bed again until midday, slept on and off through the morning. The cat knows it seems that I don't get up for zonks if the alarm doesn't go off. 

It's a very relaxing scene. Me sleeping in whilst the cat snores gloriously on the end of the bed. Cold morning. Warm in/on bed. Occasionally she gets up and sees WTF I'm doing, sits there watching me. If I'm awake she comes over and lies down for a tummy scratch. She's been very contented lately, have not the faintest idea why.

Went to pub for a few quiet ones. Mate turned up, a few more. Nothing dramatic, just a chat. A good way to spend 3 hours on Sunday afternoon.

Busy week this one. 3 Months bloods taken tomorrow for HIV and the statutory STD tests. I am only concerned about the HIV tests.

Tues doctor to finalise the compensation thing with my knee. It's pretty much better, been 6 months, enough is enough. And I don't want to go to the work gym anymore; just not a gym person FFS! It seems so very strange to spend time building up muscles that will only be used in the future on the gym machine that did it, and if you stop that gym machine those muscles fade away. How bizarre and stupid I reckon.

Nexus tomorrow too. Really want to try and get to that one. 7pm-9pm. Late night for me but the payoff is very good. Sitting in a room full of people also positive is something that few get a chance to do in my situation. Many find themselves very very isolated.

Also have to see solicitor this week to discuss the court on the 7th. It's just making an appt for a hearing in a few months, but I also have to give him some money.

Oh yeah, and I gotta go to work full time turning up every single day at 7:30am, for 5 fuckin days. All this on top of HIV exhaustion. Fuck.


Saturday, 26 June 2010

What a week!

Saturday. Didn't get up till midday. Slept a lot. feeling quite crappy. Headache, sore throat, aching, tired and lethargic. Oh happy days. At least it's the weekend. 

Fuck what a week that was. Big crisis meeting regarding the HIV. Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration; it was more about absenteeism and WTF was the problem more than simply just the HIV itself. Most of the time off was due to depression/suicidal-ness, injuries and the like. I did make the point though that there would be times in the future that I would have to have days off directly caused by the HIV virus. 

I get the runs a lot, not just normal runs, but the sort that has me in so much pain as to try to stop hyperventilating from it. I have allergies now that I never had before. Other month my eye blew up like something out of Frankenstein simply from rubbing it in a dusty room the night before (it went down quickly with antihistamines). It even seems I'm allergic to cold weather FFS; a cold wind will make exposed skin incredibly itchy for a time and red. This because my immune system is now hyperactive and goes bananas at everything. And I've learned of late that a simple cold or mild flu really needs to be looked after aggressively or I run the risk of going to hospital with it. 

Then there's the thing that now 2 more people at work know of my condition; my production manager and the big head honcho factory manager. They both seem very willing to help in any way, and sexuality wasn't discussed at all in the meeting (as it shouldn't have been), but now I find myself when they look at me wondering what's going through their mind.  Having HIV still carries a huge social stigma for much of society (excluding the gay community). They're not allowed to be judgmental or in any way hint at being against equal opportunity for all, especially in the big company we're in. But it does bother me at times what they must really think.

Anyway just trying to look after myself a bit more lately. That flu before was quite scary in the end. S had a steamer thing at his place, and lectured me about having the correct nutrient intake for someone in my condition! :) Got a cheap one on sale back here in Sydney. Sold on the idea. A fantastic cooking thingo. Just buy fresh veges (very cheap too), chop them up and chuck them in, go away for half an hour and it's done. My insides feel much better for it and I haven't had the runs since buying it. Can do rice as well, steamed fish I suppose but haven't figured that out yet.
Thanks S.

Friday, 25 June 2010

A week without a sickie!

Gone for a whole week without a sickie. Asked a couple of people jokingly about a prize? ha ha.

Sick a bit. Sore throat, mouth ulcers again, feel like I have the fucking flu. Suggests to me that maybe a spike in the viral load. 

3 Month blood taken Monday for all the tests. 

Feeling alone. And scared.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

The mind of the nation......

This isn't a political blog. But it was all that was on the mind of me and the entire nation today. Was listening to the radio at work when I could hear it. The talk of the pub after work. Oz has a new Prime Minister, our first PM who is a woman. The Labor Party voted a new leader after bad polls of Rudd. 

Whatever political persuasion, you have to give her credit. Good on you Julia Gillard, the first female Prime Minister of Australia. You've done well. Go girl! Good on you darling.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

THE MEETING; hiv crisis meeting at work. 54 days off in the last year!

Glad to get it over with. I was worried about what may come of it. However it went very well. 

Obviously there was the recognition that the last 18 months were horrifyingly more intense than the last 11 years I've worked there. The meeting was about where we go from here, bla bla bla. A line was drawn, and after this 18 months of complete crisis shit in which I was lucky to survive not topping myself, after having 54 days off work in the last 12 months (not holidays, sick, most unpaid) work has given me a second chance. 

Most other places would have fired me a year ago. However I work for a good place. People care about me there. Genuinely. Yes the union is on-sight and representing workers, but it's more than that.

I often wonder how the fuck this can actually be my bloody life? I was told today that it's just so bizarre and extreme that they were having trouble believing it (luckily I gave attachments to the weekend email that did provide said proof!). Then they said it was too strange to be a lie or exaggeration so it must all be in fact real.

There's a new trust now, which wasn't there before. It is getting much much easier to disclose my status, but they recognise that that is fraught with danger. My status will remain behind the barrier of morality. It's no-ones business except who I chose to tell.

In all it was a good day.

I did however break down after getting home for a few minutes. It was good yes, but so very intense. 

Perhaps they were tears of relief?

Drinking too much

Been getting a bit too inebriated in the evenings after work. I guess feeling pissed off with things generally doesn't help. Not good though as I need to make the supreme effort to get to work at the moment, and 6am comes very early. Gone through a bit of money too last few days.
Think also I may be coming down with something, sore throat, sweating a lot in bed. Certainly hope it's not like the other week where I nearly ended up in hospital. Am taking the Vit C regularly and eating better.

Gone well at work. Sent an email to new production manager other day. He talked to me yesterday, said there was enough material there for about 5 soap operas! At least he understands now anyway. Still going to have the meeting though with the factory manager.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Beer O'clock

Sunday afternoon. Huge headache this morning. Groggy from painkillers. Was just about a migraine. Stayed in bed until 1pm. It's still hurting a bit. And I feel nauseous. Oh joy...

Full of doubts last night. At times wonder how the hell I bloody cope with all the crap going on. Not looking forward to this week at work and that fuckin meeting with the factory manager and my dept manager. What a fuckin joke. OK, I have HIV, does that require some kind of crisis meeting FFS? 
Almost feel like telling them to stick their fuckin job. Of course there's the small matter of paying rent and eating that complicates things there. Rent is going up $20 a week next month too. Hope we get a decent wage rise again next Jan from the union negotiations with management there at the site.

Ack, I'm going up the bloody pub for a beer. Fuck this shit.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

New Production Manager, new disclosure

What a hassle.

As my last Production Manager of the dept has left (after 5 years in the job) I now have a new one. He has proceeded to go through my attendance record over the last year or so, which needless to say on paper looks a total disaster. And although he's been working there for a year or so (part of the other company we've been integrating with) it seems he knows fuck all about my history. So here I am again, having to go through the whole crap of the last 18 months.

I started yesterday. Mentioned that I'd like a quick chat. He came over and said he was going to talk to me anyway to ask WTF was going on. 

It's always a nervous moment. You know what your about to say, but you just never know how they're going to react. I've found the best way is to just come out with it, no beating around the bush (my how unlike me, he he). 

"Um, Peter [previous manager] knew I told him a while ago, and as your the new manager here now I thought it best to tell you too....." A pause as I peruse his expression......  "I'm HIV positive" I said.

His face goes into an expression of almost shock, and I think his heart just skipped a beat. But oh well it's over now, he knows. 

"Well, I knew you had some issues, but I didn't know that!" he replies after catching his breath. 

We go on to discuss the implications in a job like mine, and he wants to have a meeting with the big factory manager, the 3 of us sometime next week. Fuck, now I have to sit there and go through the whole shit of the last year with both of them. Fuck.... I don't mind it's just that to do so can be quite upsetting. I give him permission to tell the other head guy of my status before the meeting.

So I guess it's another disclosure success story. In some ways having such dynamite information can be a real get out of jail card. I mean, there I was in a position of having to explain myself over a disastrous attendance record, and end up him offering to help me in any way possible! And I haven't even begun to explain all the shit from last year that lead me to almost top myself. The HIV was just the icing on the shit cake! I'll have them both just about in tears by the end of the meeting :)
And I don't even need to exaggerate, or "lay it on thick"! Fuck, it's already thick enough.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Lightning Ridge

Had to have today off work, just exhausted. Went yesterday but didn't get home till nearly 10pm night before, then up again at 6am for work. Just couldn't get up this morning. Slept on and off till nearly midday.

Been going through some of the pics. Digital cameras are so great as you can just take as many pics as you like then chose the best ones. It's so different out there. S lives on a place out in the bush where they mine opals. He doesn't it's just as good place to live he reckons. Not connected to anything from town; no town water, electricity, gas, anything. Electricity is via solar panels and a generator when needed, gas stove via gas bottles, water from 3 rainwater tanks. 

Needless to say a huge difference from eastern Sydney. He was having problems with his solar panels too so for much of the time we were without even electricity except when turning on the generator. At night the place was pitch black, and he had a wind up torch that didn't need batteries, which I used to find the toilet at night instead of breaking my neck in the dark! Cold nights but very pleasant days. A pot belly stove in the lounge room at night which was great to get going burning very hot, warming the whole place.

We got on very well. His turn to come here next in a couple of months I guess. Neither of us are expecting anything monogamous or such like, but it is rather a dilemma of where the fuck we should go from here. Would be great to live together permanently but I wouldn't expect him to give up his life out there and live with me here in Sydney. I as well have a life here in Sydney, although I guess it might be an idea to start thinking about what I might do if or when my job becomes too much for me. Moving out there with him in such a case would certainly seem attractive (although I'd have to get the bloody internet on, fuck I missed that!). 

The odd pic here, I might put some permanently on a separate page later. But for now: *BTW click to enlarge*

Lightning Ridge is 3 hours drive from Moree airport. Most of the way is through country like this. The land is farmed but there's huge amounts of it just left wild and used for grazing when needed. Native wildlife lives there, and you often see kangaroos and emus. These two shots are just from the side of the road.

 A couple of general shots of town:
Due to the water supply being from tanks, the garden consisted of cactus, quite interesting.

Outside his house:
The road to town:
The famous bore baths. They're very hot from water 1 kilometre down. Much used by all:
From the back yard, used the zoom on the camera, this is an opal mining operation. There's the runway for a small airport in the foreground but which is only used by the Flying Doctors and emergency services (in the rains the whole place can be cut off):

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

A trip too short.

Have arrived back. It has been an interesting and worthwhile experience, and I will be back up there at some point. It's a different world out there. More tomorrow.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

A nightmare....

I had nightmares last night. Horrible bits and pieces of everything. Took a good quarter hour for me to get back to reality after waking. Can't describe even how real they were. 

Anyway I'm off till next week. Back Wednesday Sydney time. Am going to where the sun  shines brightly and the dirt is red. Where there's bugger all internet and evidently people don't care (*faints*). 

I will be offline until then; a very very strange experience for me. Have grown used to this space here now. Venting. Laughing. Stirring. However I will be unconnected. It will only be days, but may seem intense days. 

I set this blog up for me to sort my head out. Now I will miss addressing those who I know are there. And all those I guess who I don't.

So this is Peter, signing off for now. 

Back next week all.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010



Huge work day. Looks like I chose the right time to go away. Glad I wont get back until Wed next week.

Fuck. this is BS. 
Had enough of the exertion and all. Even in simple age am getting too old for it. Yes I have the wonderful advantage that I can run things in a crisis and accomplish the tasks. I'm a tradesman of 30 years. But also am 18 months off 50, with HIV.

Too tired darlings.


Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Counting down

No pain killers today! None, zero, zip! Not even one in the morning! Not even an anti-inflammatory! Fuck! I honestly can't remember the last day without them in recent times!

A different work day. I was on the folding machine for some urgent late thing. 300,000. About 50,000 a shift. They have a casual coming in tomorrow to keep it going. Of course the question is really if laser can actually produce 100,000 a day to keep both shifts going. Seriously doubt it.

And now I have a bloody dilemma! WTF do I pack for 5 days away? Undies is a start, but what then? A parachute for the plane with propellers? It'd probably weigh too much as I can only take 7 kilos on on board stuff. What?  

I will have to weigh the PC notebook, although am sure it would be light enough.

Really looking forward to it now........ Haven't seen him for ages.

*smooch* S if your reading...... Ugh, it's been way too long darling.....

Monday, 7 June 2010


Monthly time after work this afternoon. Feels more like "tonight" when I see him though as it's dark by 5:30 and finish the hour at 6pm. 

Discussed a lot tonight. Much about the police and what they did, how I'm getting a delayed affect from it nearly 3 months later, and how the fuck I move forward from here. It's not just a bump in the road as previously hoped, it's turned into another crisis to somehow get through. The last thing I wanted; oh for some peace and serenity!

The memory loss indicates severe emotional trauma. The senior constable cop statement gives much explanation, even in the original fact sheet. It appears as I was in the back of the paddywagon, the cops proceeded to ask me about my family situation. Being as what sent me over the edge last year was my daughter getting me charged and locked up in their cop shop behind bars for hours in the very early hours of the morning, it's no wonder I freaked.

So there I was it seemed, facing being locked in the same cells for simply swearing. No wonder I held on for dear life to the bus pole to avoid that; not that I remember but is what's in the statements. I'd have had some kind of brain snap, some sort of trauma, and try to do anything I could to avoid those fuckin cells again.

Holding onto the bus pole BTW is why they charged me with "resisting arrest". The fuckin cunts.

It's leaving week. On Friday I'm off.

Smalltown Boy

Got sent this link, interesting...

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Police Brief arrives

I finally got the Brief; where the cops give all the evidence they have to use to my solicitor and I. Have been waiting a while for this, as I wanted to see the CCTV footage that they claimed to have of it all. 

There is none. It wasn't working on the bus at the time. This in conflict with the "Fact Sheet" that stated it existed. 

Nowhere was it mentioned either in any statements or paperwork, the person who asked them to "take it easy".

There are also no independent witnesses. All they have are the two transit officers involved and the two police.

They claim that I held onto a poll and when they prized me loose I and them fell out the back door of the bus, with me landing conveniently on my front (hence the broken ribs?). I don't remember any of that , or the claim that I was "flailing" my arms and legs around on the ground. Whatever, there's still nothing that indicates their response to being sworn at wasn't over the top. In fact their own statements indicate I refused to say anything more at times until prodded by them.

The fact remains that I received two broken ribs for swearing at the cops. It's had also an effect on my head trying to get past yet another fuckin drama, and my physical health has deteriorated the last 3 months; likely the bashing contributing to that. The injuries may have been relatively easy to get over for someone without HIV, but with me no so. Given as my immune system is at capacity fighting the virus, getting over a beating like that is an arduous process. 

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Technorati blog claim


(if anyone's interested)

Staggers over the finish line again

Whew, made it to the weekend again. What's more it seems I actually have about half a day of sick pay built up for the Thursday off. How the hell that happened I dunno! Only a 4 day week coming as I'm off on that scary little plane early Friday morning.

The guy at the work gym who's taken an interest in my health of late from the work knee injury, convinced me last week to continue with the gym for "general health". Managed to convince my GP to give me another month of compo so as I could do it in work hours. All good but I missed the Wed one as I was so fuckin tired. Emailed him Thurs when I was off sick, and the Fri one he said to give it a miss after being that sick. Seemed quite concerned about it. Think I may bring the diarrhea thing up with my doc, there must be some medical thing that can be done to help it. Like I said, the pain was incredible. 

Quiet weekend planned. Don't actually plan anything weekends, haven't done for a while now. Lately have been feeling almost shell shocked from the week at work. Lie there in bed Sat morning trying to get that last bit of sleep before getting up. 

Has been better this week at work though, finally got used to these new work boots I bought ages ago and can now wear them all day there. Seems to really help, very little pain at all. The OH&S lady said to see my doc and get him to request new boots for the job so the insurance company can pay for them. Sounds like a good idea to me! 

Trying to suck every cent out the bastards (insurance co) now after the way they fucked me around in Jan. Instead of me going straight and getting the proper treatment and tests, the insurance co dragged it ass to OK an MRI, and by the time I saw the specialist it was a full month before I knew what was wrong. Turned out I'd been walking around and working on a knee with a fuckin hairline fracture in it; a stress thing from lifting! I was so bloody pissed off. Immediately took time off out of my own holidays, couldn't believe the idiots.

Still trying to get my head around being away from home for 5 days next weekend. As I've said I've come to feel really secure here, it's been a place of real sanctuary from life when it all got too much. That's something that S does anyway though; he makes me feel safe and secure when he's around, along with everything else (he he). 

Thursday, 3 June 2010

....... "we're both dieing"......

(hi mate)

This was said to me by a friend of mine the other day as a part of a sentence. It's strange how death makes people on the same wavelength. It is the great leveler, we will all one day die. I guess it's how we all chose to deal with our own deaths that characterises our living. 

And it did get me thinking. I suppose I am dieing. Yes, the disease is treatable now, but likely it will be my ultimate demise. There is no cure, only treatments. And even today sometimes those treatments aren't quite as effective as we all might be lead to believe. 

But my point is here, that death is part of life. We will all die. In fact we're supposed to all be dieing after about 30 years old which is the prime of our lives. All downhill from there. 

It's those who face death, those who understand it in this life, who have a more fulfilling life experience because of that; we aren't afraid to live.

Invisible sickness

It's raining and cold outside. I'm home today, sick with severe stomach pains and diarrhea, vomited badly this morning. Has settled down a bit now but feeling quite shaky and weak. The stomach pains are horrible, have to control my breathing so as not to hyper-ventilate from the pain. No idea what gave it to me, if anything. I get diarrhea a lot now.

Don't want to go anywhere, but feel I should get out of the house if only to do a bit of shopping; is pay day today. Or maybe just go back to bed. Ugh... *nausea* ugh.... 

Yes, another day off work. Without pay. Can't be helped. I know it's said a lot nowadays that having HIV is nothing like it was, that the treatments are great (if you're on them) and people live life OK. Doctors and medical professionals tell you this, and a lot of that is true. But oh god they never say you have to deal with regular stomach pains from diarrhea the likes of which you've rarely had ever before in your life. Or the fatigue, and that a night or two not sleeping properly leaves you almost at the point of exhaustion. 

Of course no one can tell by looking at you what's going on inside. People just think you're normal, everything is fine, you're handling HIV no worries (if they even know). The supervisor at work seems especially like this, even though she knows my status. She's a workaholic, would probably come in in a wheelchair if she bloody had to. That's her prerogative, but I'm not like that at all. 

I do hope the flu episode has at least given her food for thought re my condition. HIV isn't just something that sits in the background until one day when it gets worse and you have to start pills. It's something I live with every day, battle with every day; if only the fatigue and nothing else. There will be times when I have to have days off work because of it. 


Tuesday, 1 June 2010

The most precious thing I have

One of the gay guys at work who said hello and all as I was passing by his machine/dept. We talked briefly, he seemed concerned at my well being. A few light comments and laughs later, I mentioned the thing about how so many have told me of late about the "exciting" life I lead. I put forward the thing that I'd had enough of exciting and just wanted boring. His reply has stuck in my head all day; that you really do want exciting.

He said you should live life openly, and experience it's offers. You just don't know when you life will end. He was so very very right. I said that my sister had told me that I'd "left no stone unturned".... and his reply was "Why shouldn't you?"

Yes, I know I'm in that path of thinking. Somewhere in the muddle of my earlier posts I believe I've said something quite similar. But it was a lovely reminder today. Yes; I do want to live, I do want life, I do want all the experiences life has to offer. Love is everywhere, for those that are able to see it.

I don't want hatred.

The other moment was talking to a mate at the pub his father dying and he the primary carer. He in a similar position as me with my late wife. I went through it all, was able to give specific advice re social security and all. Told him ring, text, email, meet me here, whatever, that I understood and was making myself available to him for advice and such. I do very much feel for him in his situation; his father near death and him dealing with it all as well as working full time, just like I did.

In short, it made me feel worth something. I was able to help in a very specific way. It reminded me that I do actually have worth. He was listening intently to my personal experiences and taking it all in. It seems that the depths of tragedy have enriched abilities within me to help those in similar situations.

For now I'm just glad not to feel worthless. For someone like me, that's a very very big hurdle to get over.

Yes, I have HIV, I have decided to connect with my same sex attractions, I have nearly been fired from work if not for the management there that understood at least a bit of my life. I drink to get by, not a lot, but I still rely on it. On occasion I blast drugs when the opportunity presents itself. Have pretty much taken them all.

But I do care about my fellow man. Empathy is something I strive for and very precious to me. I don't condemn, I just want to help. Not really in the position to (given my fucked up state) but when the opportunity presents itself to me I find myself being able to do no other. To me that is a very very precious thing that I'd never want to lose.

And I suppose I can quote it without even looking it up:
It's one love
We get to share it
It leaves you baby
If you don't care for it

Through all the fuckin shit, through all the fuckin crisis, dramas, fuckin hell on earth. I can still love. The ability still survives. I don't care about anything else; to love and not hate is today the most precious thing I have.