Saturday, 31 December 2011

Typical

Have been feeling very strange today. Fearful. Uneasy. Like something's not right. Stayed at home all day. Spent most of it in bed. Didn't want to leave the bedroom. 

Is New years eve. I'm not going anywhere or doing anything. Don't feel like celebrating or socialising at all. Would rather just be at home alone. That way I don't have to pretend. To put on a fake mask and make it look like I'm enjoying myself, when inside are the memories and pain. All the bad shit seems to happen to me around Christmas and the new year.

Last year I'd been out of hospital only since Christmas eve. I have a vague memory of being tired and going to bed at about 9pm on new years eve. I never woke up. Went into a coma or something. My daughter found me the next evening after the hospital had rung her to check on me, as I'd missed a very important dialysis appt new years day. I was barely alive. Had developed pneumonia and my heart was very erratic and weak. She rang the ambulance and I went into the ICU. Was on a ventilator for 2 days, and one friend who came and saw me said they were discussing the option of pulling the plug. 

But as usual I survived. Typical. Eventually I woke up, but didn't know where I was or how I'd got there. It was the most horrible thing. All I wanted to do was go home. I was hallucinating from delirium, and had suffered some level of brain damage from lack of oxygen. Couldn't talk properly, and even standing up I was having trouble balancing. Fuck that was a bad time.

Daughter has gone out to a new years eve party down the road at her friends. It's the classic thing, the guys parents are away and don't know he's having this party. Now he's realised he's in over his head as there's about 30 people turning up, which was much more than he was planning. She's been around there today helping organise the house. They had to move the mega expensive leather lounge out of the way, cripes! She's used a whole bottle of Vodka making jelly shots (or "jello" for the Americans). I'd never heard of it before. The Vodka gets mixed up in jelly and poured into a shot glass, then sets in the fridge. She made 100 of them! Fuck they're all going to end up plastered.

Friday, 30 December 2011

A very nice walk

Went to the doctors today and had him certify my ID stuff for the gov bureaucracy that will be getting the application re my super funds. He couldn't believe how much stuffing around it's been so far; about 3 months to finally get to the point of filling out the application itself. He took my blood pressure which was a bit high at first but after another couple of times the reading was OK. Gave me another prescription for the extra blood pressure pills he put me on the other month. Had me get on the scales too as I told him I'd been loosing weight and was starting to get a bit worried about it. He said it was OK though as it's fine to be a bit underweight.

My appt was at 12, and it was such a nice day afterwards I decided to walk through Hide Park and get the bus home from the other side of it. Hide Park is in the city not far from my doctors. I've been there before obviously, but I was amazed this time at how green everything was. We've had way more rain than normal this December, and it's been the coldest December in decades. I've been here since 1985 and I can't remember it ever being this cold. Haven't had the air conditioner on in the bedroom once this month. Last night I even turned on the electric blanket, unheard of in December. 


I got really interested in the contrast between the city buildings and all this intense greenery. I've never seen the park look so alive. 


I like the one of Centrepoint a lot, sort of coming out from behind the trees. 


This was in the middle of the park, the trees growing over the top of the walkway completely. The breeze was lovely under there.

The war memorial was looking at it's best today too.


Usually December is stifling hot and many plants are struggling for life around the place. Today was a nice temp and full of life. A very nice walk.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Running to stand still

Having some extra time with not going to work. I watched the DVD ZOOTV Live from Sydney. I've not watched it for well over a year. This has particular importance for me as I was there at the actual concert, along with my late wife. She in fact was in a lot of pain as her morphine pump had failed (it was very new technology back then) and was having to rely on giving herself morphine injections in her buttocks for pain control. I remember she did so in the stands as they were playing. I got a bit freaked out as a security guard was standing right behind us as she drew the morphine up into the needle and injected her behind. I guess as it was all in medical vials it must have looked un-criminal. 

The One song on the right is from that exact concert. It expresses how my wife and I felt about people, and how we bought up our daughter. As a family we were always sympathetic to the plight of people around us, and aware that we were all part of one human race. 

I was quite taken watching Running to stand still last night. It's about drugs of course, but more broadly about addiction. But yeah, I can so relate to the drug thing, and how sometimes it was the only way to stop the pain. How that you take it, and then everything's OK for a while. You can't think about tomorrow, you just need the pain to stop now. The drugs in a sense played a part in not suiciding, as strange as that may sound. They stopped me hurting for a while and I could breath. 

That was just me. That was where I was, and how I dealt with it. Drugs were easily accessible and part of life. I used them to forget. 

He does it well in the video, after he blasts the drugs that's exactly how it is. Hold your arm for a sec to stop the blood, then feel the rush. Feel the pain melt away. And know that for a while you won't have to deal with it. It's often why people take drugs. I suppose it's better than suicide. You're not going anywhere though, life just stays in a holding pattern. Well worse if the drugs get out of control, which they often do.

Um, don't try this at home darlings!

 

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Jumping through hoops

Started filling out the dreaded form. It seems reasonably easy, but the ID thing has been a hassle. They gave only 3 examples on the form of who can certify photocopied documents as being true to the originals, to prove my identity. I was sure that my doctor could do it, but all the form said was there was a complete list on their website. No direct link to where it is on their website, just a link to the home page.

Of course it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Tried searching in their wonderful looking search box they have there, but either got some weirded out things that weren't related or nothing at all. Sheesh! In the end I gave up and just Googled. Even that took a while to find the right thing, but eventually I found it, with medical practitioners listed as a profession that can certify documents. So I rang and made an appt for Friday. Don't feel like traipsing over there in the next day or 2. 

Fuck this shit better work after all this hassle. What's it been about 2 months or so? can't remember, think maybe longer, and I've only just now got to the point of filling out the application. How many more bloody hoops do they want me to jump through FFS? I mean it's my money. I'll be able to draw on it without a problem in only about 7 years anyway. Why the hell should I have to go through all of this when it's my money anyway? It's not like I'm wanting to get it out to have a spending spree. I have a life threatening illness and am unable to work the hours to service the debt anymore. A very simple thing, yet this is like some War and Peace bullshit. 

Dunno where I'd be without the $guru. He's been so good. Really knows his stuff. I'd not have had a hope in hell of negotiating with the banks, or knowing how to get the calls from India to stop. Likely I'd have just gone into the bank and told them all to get fucked. Wouldn't have accomplished anything, but would've made me feel a lot better. The guru has also put his name on the form I'm filling out now as the person to contact. So I won't even have to worry about hassling around with that. I could just imagine some bureaucrat in Canberra ringing me about some crazy detail on page 6 or some shit.

Wasn't too bad shopping yesterday. I was in and out quickly. Must have lucked out and got there at the right time. Will get a few more things today. Am trying to take things very easy, sort of do the holiday thing. Don't go back to work until Wed next week. Might try and do a bit more reading of that book, or watching some TV. It happened again yesterday for a bit, found myself sitting on the lounge with nothing on and just staring into space. Sort of like paralyzed in the head. Maybe The Form has fried my brain?    

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Superannuation Form

I've gotten in the mail The Form from the money guru, to apply to get some of my superannuation released to pay off my debts.

It's from the Dept of Human Services, whatever that is. Some gov bureaucracy. It is entitled "Early release of superannuation on Specified Compassionate Grounds - medical, dental or transport". What a mouth full. It's 9 pages long, and a total of 42 questions. Some of it the guru has crossed off as NA as I'm not applying for dental or transport costs. It still looks pretty bloody daunting though. 

On top of that I have to provide the usual proof of identity, which means getting certified copies made of my Australian citizenship document, and some other things to satisfy them that I am actually me. A hassle in itself. Going to have to look up online for the full list of who I can go to to certify the copies. I don't want to go anywhere near the antichrist police station. I think my doctor will be able to, not sure.  

On top of that I have to provide up to date amounts from the 3 debts as to how much they are presently. That should be easy, will just print out shit from online. Oh, the printer's out of ink, better go get some more. 

The guru is on leave until the 9th, and wants me to make an appt on the 10th to see him. It's closed right now so will have to wait till it's open. Think next week it will be. Oh shit, just noticed that clashes with the HIV head study and the 2 hour psychologist in the afternoon. Will see if I can make the guru a morning appt, if not will have to reschedule the other. 

The pub was open yesterday and so had some beers up there. The supermarket and the whole local mall was still shut yesterday, WTF? Understand Christmas day, but the day after as well? The whole fuckin mall, doors shut tight, a note on them, dark inside and dead as a doornail. And the bloody retailers are complaining about having a tough time of it lately! Going to be fuckin fun today going in there then isn't it. Every man and his dog will be there buying shit. All I need is a few things from the supermarket so hopefully won't be too bad. 

Today is another public holiday here. As Christmas day fell on Sunday then Monday is counted as a holiday. Boxing day as well was on Monday so Tues is also that holiday. They will be back at my work tomorrow, better ring them to make sure they got my doc cert for last Friday. I ended up emailing it directly to the payroll office as everyone else the message was returned saying they were on leave. 

Monday, 26 December 2011

Holding on to music

Christmas is over, thank fuck. Had a very quiet day at home on my own. Suppose could have gone out but really don't think it've been fair on other people. I just wasn't good company yesterday, better off simply being alone. No mood to celebrate anything. Looks like it's always going to be a day of sadness for me. 

Watched a bit of telly last night before bed. Couldn't sleep till late as the pubs were all closed and couldn't get a beer. Was incredible yesterday, absolutely everything was shut. Evidently you aren't allowed to have fun on Christmas day. I wasn't that fussed though as to be honest didn't even feel like socialising at the pub. On TV it wasn't too bad as they've got the extra digital channels now, not like the bad old days when every fuckin channel had Christmas crap on it. Watched a thing called Megastructures, which I thought was quite interesting, and a very funny thing from England called The Royles, a total piss take of Christmas get togethers. Laughed a lot during that one. First time I'd had the telly on in a week, was quite a novelty.

My mouth is feeling much better this morning. It's been very sore the last few days, and I ended up with mouth ulcers. Have been gargling with that special antiseptic mouthwash that I got from the chemist. Like I've said have gotten mouth ulcers all my life, think it has to do with stress or something. I'd guess the lead up to, and including, Christmas day has had something to do with it. Just so glad the day is over now.

Have dropped a bit more weight because last few days has hurt a lot to eat with the mouth the way it was. One day there all I had was some cake and even that hurt like hell. Even the blueberries were stinging the fuck out of it. Have dropped another 2 kilos. That makes a total of about 5 kilos (11 pounds) in the last 3-4 months. I had the Yellow Slime Disease as well during that time. I Don't feel bad for it, but I'd not want to keep losing it like that as I'm not heavy anyway. Only 65 kilos now (143 pounds).

Came across an excellent quote this morning. Woke up early at 6 and couldn't go back to sleep, so read some of the book on the bedside table. Hardly ever read, am trying to get back into it as they tell me I should re-develop my interests. Usually I just end up sitting there sort of paralyzed and staring into space. But anyway made the effort. Daughter bought the book for me a while back, all about U2, this chapter about Bono growing up. 

It's very interesting as he talks about the effect music was having on him during very difficult times:
Much later, when I was about fifteen, I remember going into a bit of a tormented teenager phase. One of the things that really would still my soul was playing piano. I couldn't actually play it but I used to put my foot on the pedal and hit keys and I remember how the room would change shape, because the note would get this cloud of reverb around it, become cathedral-like. I remember those icy notes at the top of the keyboard really made me feel better. I think I have held on to music very tightly while my head was exploding.
U2 By U2

I can't play anything, but there's no doubt that music has had a huge effect on me. Particularly when times have been bad. I does change things. It has helped me get through. It can represent my feelings sometimes as nothing else can. It can take me to another place away from the abyss. It can move me at the deepest levels. 

And sometimes it's just fun to listen to. 
 

Blog wars






From the World Youth Day protest against the Pope we had here a while back. Oh look, girlie gays, but they're not getting bashed Cam. WTF? Oh yeah, that's right, they're accepted. 

 

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Survival

Here we are, Christmas day. *Yawns* At least things are different than last Christmas. I was just out of hospital then after my first near death episode. Fumbling about the house, tubes coming out of my chest, having trouble balancing and even remembering familiar objects in the house. I was a fuckin mess. Fluid intake was capped at about 1 litre a day, and I had to measure each coffee or glass of water I had. And I was doing dialysis 3 times a week at the hospital as my kidney's were majorly fucked. 

Today my kidney blood results are near normal again, and most of my brain has come back (I think!). Pretty much back to my old self I guess. Much to the surprise of the doctors at the hospital I might add. They've only told me recently after getting the really good blood results that they were really worried about me at  the start. I'd have to say I agree with my GP, that I appear to be like a cat with 9 lives. Just don't seem to be able to cark it.

I realised yesterday after a bit of a confrontation with someone, that after going through all of that (pretty much been to hell and back darlings), just how short my fuse is if someone starts judging me or moralising to me about what sort of person I am. I have absolutely no time or patience for such people. 

Who I am now is the result of years of struggle and pain. Be it good or bad, that's part of my character now. I won't listen to, much less take to heart, anyone who for whatever reason thinks they're better than me and are critical of me. These people likely wouldn't last even a few months dealing with what I've had to. At times it's been a struggle for my very survival, against suicide. If they don't like who I am, that's their problem. At least I'm still alive. 

It's a warm sunny day in Sydney. 26C (78F). Lovely sea breeze. 

 Looks bad up north, they're on cyclone alert up there. 

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Australian trial may point to future cure?

Was emailing earlier and remembered about an article I read recently. It's only early stages of course and much of it seems to be theoretical, but it was interesting to read and see what future drugs may hold for HIV+ people. It's in the Spring edition of Positive Living, page 4:


I'm not holding my breath though. Even if everything was as they're theorising,  a cure would still be a long way off. It would also involve a multi-pronged attack with some very powerful drugs too. It may work for most people, but likely there'd be some not suitable for such treatment. Yes, we have come a long way in HIV treatment, but it can be a very complicated disease to manage even today.

I will be having a very quiet Christmas day tomorrow. Daughter has gone down the coast to her uncle's place, who has organised for her and her brother (who has driven down from Queensland, about 1,500 km drive I'd say) to be there. He's not been down for years as he spent years in jail up there. Yes, he's a total fuckwit, and I'm glad I'm not going. But he is her brother and she does want to see him. She knows he's a fuckwit too, but it is good for them to do the family thing. Hope it doesn't end up in some big screaming match around the Christmas table.....

I've been a bit sick last few days. Dunno, might be something to do with stress, or having the shits with the week. Have had diarrhea on and off all week, and last 3 days my mouth has gotten sore. Seemingly for no reason, painful and red. Hurts a bit to talk. Doctor I saw yesterday didn't think I needed any antibiotics, probably best, as it would be better for my immune system to get the exercise so to speak.  


 

Friday, 23 December 2011

Medical centre stupidity

OK I think I'm over my Christmas bitching for the year. Last year at this time I was in hospital after the Great Kidney Collapse so I didn't go through the week before Christmas in the general community. I was released on Christmas eve in fact. Perhaps that's why this year I've noticed it more, almost a bit obsessed really.

Daughter made the mistake of going to the liquor shop next to the supermarket this morning, and came home with stories of lines out the door, and crowd rage as people pushed in and argued about whether there was one or two lines. 

I had to get a doctors certificate for work today and made the mistake of going to the medical centre down the road that was free, instead the other one near it that you have to pay $30. Last time I went there I only had to wait 20 minutes, but not this time. They first said that without an appointment I'd have to wait an hour and a half, then immediately corrected that to 2 hours. WTF? But I needed a cert so I agreed, and came home for a bit. Did the dishes and checked email, and went back after an hour in case they saw me earlier than 2 hours. I got there and waited, and waited, and waited.... 

An hour and a half later I was really getting the shits. After two hours (a total of 3 hours altogether) I complained profusely at the counter. I've never waited so long for a fuckin doctor in my life! The lady explained that there was only 2 doctors on, and one of them wasn't even seeing people without appts. The other one had appts every 15 minutes. So why the fuck was I told that I'd be seen when they weren't able to do it? They'd have been better telling me they were booked out for the day and I'd have gone somewhere else, instead of leaving me there waiting for 3 fuckin hours! I just couldn't believe the utter and complete stupidity. 

In the end 3 hours was enough. I told them to forget it and I was going somewhere else. Left and went to the other medical centre a short walk across the road, the one that was $30. I hadn't even finished putting my Medicare card back in my wallet and there was a doctor there calling me in. After the 3 hour wait at the other place, certainly a welcome relief. I'm never going back to that first one again.

So I got the certificate finally, bought it home, scanned it and emailed it to the dept head at work. I'm not there until the new year now and I wasn't going to make a special trip into work just for that. I had to make sure they got it though as without one there's some rule that if you have a Friday off next to a long weekend without a cert, then they don't pay you for the Friday, but also the other public holidays attached to that weekend as well. Assholes.

Got sent a lovely Santa thing, thought it was very nice (thanks boys):


 Santa sent me an email stating he's tired of delivering toys. That he's too old to be flying all night across the globe and that starting this Christmas, he's sending his son, Santa Jr...
  
 
HO HO HO . . . .
 
Merry Christmas my dear friends! Behave so that Santa Jr. goes down your.... chimney  :)

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Merry fuckin Christmas....

I took the tree down last night. I think I did very well this year to even make an effort with it, even though the thing was a total piss take of the whole modern Christmas thing. It was giving me the shits looking at it, and starting to connect to very bad memories. 

I mean maybe Christmas 100 years ago was some kind of meaningful thing for us adults around 50 years old. But today for me it's just a long load of Capitalist bullshit. I don't think I will do the tree thing ever again. At least I tried. It's just not me anymore. I can't handle the hypocrisy of it all, or the notion that because Western countries want "peace on earth" for one day out of the year, then that is what's going to happen. There will  never be peace on earth as long as religion is involved. Never.

And nor will there be "peace on earth" when Capitalism plays any kind of part in Christmas. All that means is people competing against each other for Christmas supremacy. It has nothing to do at all with any of the traditional Christmas ideals. It's about competition, not goodwill to others. Although I don't believe in god or Christ, I do consider those traditional thoughts meaningful. A holiday worth taking, no matter what religion you consider as part of your life. 

We lost any kind of traditional meaning of Christmas when Capitalism took it over. Now it has no meaning at all.

Merry fuckin Christmas darlings. This is what we've become:

 

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas pain

Well here we are the last week before Christmas. As I said I don't feel as affected as in previous years to the pain and drama of previous Christmas's, but this week it seems more apparent than until now. Something about the atmosphere around the place, or maybe it's the way everyone expects that you be happy during this time. 

Someone said to me yesterday that "Christmas is what you make it", the inference being that it was wrong of me to be so annoyed with the day. Like Christmas wasn't the problem, it was me and the way I handled it. I'm certainly willing to accept that to a certain degree, but I'd also say that the way I feel about Christmas isn't because of anything planned or thought out on my part. It's been simply what's happened to me in the past to do with Christmas, and not because of me just being a misery about it all. 

I guess if I start getting too depressed I could go to the shopping mall for comic relief. There I can watch the lead up to Christmas in all it's glory; including middle aged women nearly clobbering each other over the last shopping trolley available at the supermarket. Or bored shitless men being dragged around by women to be the shopping trolley pusher to the car, after they fill it to the brim with crap. Or I could even venture into the supermarket and watch close up the scenes of complete pandemonium on the day before Christmas. Ah, heart warming it will be..... Peace on earth, good will to man, and all that crap.

Even if you're right into the whole Christmas thing as these shopping maniacs are, it must be an incredibly stressful time. All that cooking, shopping, organising, and the expectation that the day will go marvelously because of all the effort made. Then they end up with a bunch of family members who haven't seen each other all year, getting blind drunk and stuffed full of food around the Christmas table, with the inevitable arguments that follow. 

I'll just be glad when this week is over, along with the dreaded day. All it reminds me of is pain. 

Monday, 19 December 2011

Long ago in New Zealand

It's been a while since I've looked at any photos. I still don't want to look through the big box of family photos on the shelf in the lounge room. The ones of my daughter growing up and with my wife. There's so much pain involved I dunno if I've ever want to go back and look at those ones. I walked into my daughters room the other day to close the window she'd left open, and even after all this time I still felt pain. Not intense pain, but an indication of what I might feel if I went deeper. She's got the odd picture on the wall from the box in the lounge room. It's part of Post Traumatic Stress to avoid things that will induce pain like that.

I did however get a bit involved in very early photos from New Zealand. As I recently got into contact with a sister over there via email, she was interested in any early pics I had that included our mother. So I scanned the odd one or two that I thought she might like and emailed them to her. She was very appreciative as she'd lost most of any early pics of mum. Long story. Of course they're way back in yesteryear. This one was Dad and Mum on their wedding, at the local community hall I think it was, in rural New Zealand. Obviously before I was born:



Amazingly I was able to lighten up the picture, sharpen it, etc on the computer to bring out a lot of the half tones that weren't even visible in the pre-scanned original. It was both of theirs second marriage, Dad's first wife had died giving birth to my older brother, and mum had been divorced. I think they were very much in love, but the family situation became very complicated when I and my younger brother were born. Mum also bought her daughter from her previous marriage to add to the mix (she's the one I'm emailing now in New Zealand). That pic would have been around 1960 I suppose. 

This one is me. Yes, it's the first pic of me that I've posted on the blog. Of course I'm completely unrecognisable from that now. It's in the back yard of the house on the farm, the paddock is behind the fence. We used to have cows and sheep. It looks like I had a toy lawn mower in my hands:



It looks lovely doesn't it. I guess it could have been worse, but my first memory of dad was very near where that pic was taken. I'd done something wrong, can't remember what, and dad was coming after me. I was absolutely terrified of him and was screaming and running away. Went and hid under the water tank. In hindsight he knew I was there but I think he was surprised at how scared of him I was, I mean I was really screaming, and so he left me alone there. I stayed a while there before coming out.

This one is much later, at one of dad's brother's places who was also a farmer. They had a huge backyard with trees and plants everywhere. Lived near the mountain, much closer than we did. The far left is mum, and second from right is dad. Grandad far right. 



I cringed when I scanned that one. I do miss mum sometimes (both dad and mum are long dead now) but the sight of dad made the hairs stand up on my neck. He never understood me at all. It was hard growing up in New Zealand, well for me anyway. As a boy I was expected to be tough and unemotional. I was in fact the complete opposite, very sensitive and very emotional at times. It seemed like such a narrow minded, even closed minded, community. I certainly felt far from belonging there.  

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Laughter

This was in the news here. Someone starts laughing on a train, and soon the whole carriage is laughing, at nothing. It's funny to watch. I can't stop laughing when I look at it.

 

They say laughter is the best medicine. It certainly can't hurt. If you can watch that whole thing without laughing at all then you're better than me!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Head case

Another busy 3 days at work. They had the casual bloke in both Wed and Thurs night to do another shift on the guillotine. Only a week to go before I'm off on holidays for a week over Christmas and the new year, and they want everything done by then. Needless to say it's starting to look like it's not going to all get done. On top of that the dept head appears to have not the slightest notion of how much there is, even suggesting that the casual bloke not come in on Tues as he thought there wasn't enough for him to do. WTF? I honestly think he lives in some kind of parallel universe sometimes. Apparently he's being pressured from above about labour costs. That's all well and good, but you can't cut back on that machine. In fact I've been saying for ages now that you need two shifts on it permanently.

Am looking forward to the week off. It's only one week and I'm not going anywhere, but I oh so much need a break from work. It's not about the physicality of it so much, but more the politics in the place and bad management. It absolutely shits me having to do more because management constantly organise themselves into a corner. Most of the week off is public holidays, with only 3 days out of my annual leave. 

Got a phone call yesterday from those people doing the study about how HIV affects your head. When I read all the info about it originally there was a bit about some people being randomly selected for further study. So I've ended up being one of them. They've made an appointment to see their psychologist in Jan when she's back from holidays, a two hour thing. Dunno what she's going to want to know. Fuck it'd take more than 2 hours if she started going into anything in depth with my head. I'm thinking I'll give her the contact details of my regular psychologist I see as she'd probably want to know more. I'm a very complicated head case. There are of course privacy issues involved with that as what I talk about with him is confidential, but I see nothing wrong if she wants to discuss my state of mind with him on a professional level. If it's going to help people in the wider HIV+ community in the long term, that would be a good thing.

Ended up not going to Planet Positive. Was just too tired from work. All I felt like last night was a few beers and a good nights sleep. Would have liked to have gone, but just didn't have it in me to get there.  

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

First Christmas tree in 5 years

I've not had a Christmas tree for 5 years. This year however I thought it might be apt, given how the pain monster appears to be giving me a break with the memories associated with it. 

So, in honour of me looking like I'm turning the Christmas corner, I have got myself a tree. It is a rather unusual tree though, not at all in the traditional Christmas sense, but more so according to the piss take I consider Christmas deserves.

I went and got an incredibly tacky angel to stick on top of it, and a length of tinsel (gotta have the tinsel). Before that I had remembered the traffic cone that I apparently bought home one night, in a just slightly inebriated state. I discovered it in the middle of the lounge room the next morning. Dunno why exactly I bought it home. It did have a wide reflective band around it which looked nice when headlights shine on it I guess, and the top looked, um, well I won't go into that...... I saw some cone shaped Christmas trees in the Hot Dollar shop, one of them had little lights shining and was about $60 FFS. And it was nowhere near as big as my orange traffic cone.

 Here is the result:



The incredibly tacky angel on top cost $8 at the Hot Dollar shop. There was another on about twice as tacky, just horrifying darlings, the deluxe angel. But that was $12 and I wasn't going to spend that much. The tinsel cost $2. All in all I thought quite a bargain.

I thought about getting some fake snow they sold there (yes, fake snow, just add water or some shit) but snow is just sooooo northern hemisphere. Maybe if they sold fake sand to put around it. But of course they don't. Evidently sand isn't part of Christmas. In keeping with the Australian Christmas, I thought of getting a bit of sand from the beach and putting it around the bottom. Would've looked quite nice, but I decided against it as the cat would've thought it was another indoor toilet to piss in.

So there it is, my first tree in 5 years. How momentous. XXX 

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Planet Positive

Saw the psychologist yesterday. The main thing I got out of it this time is how little I'm feeling the Christmas nightmare this year. Past years have been very bad, especially in the lead up to it. There's a lot of anniversaries of some terrible things that have happened around that time, and including Christmas day itself. Aren't feeling over the moon or anything, and still not into the whole Christmas thing, but not incredibly depressed about it either. Perhaps I've finally started turning the corner.

He also mentioned that the last Planet Positive for the year was this Friday. I thought I'd missed it as I was at the Midnight Shift last Friday night and the bouncer told me it was the week before. But he'd gotten it wrong and it's actually this week. Think I may go to this one, as have only been to one this year. 


 At least an opportunity to get out. 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

An OH&S WTF?

At work, above the toilet in the blokes piss house, is this sign:



Apparently Occupational Health and Safety, now involves the creation and distribution of such signs (by female OH&S officers) in male toilets. Maybe I'm just being a bit pedantic about it, and it is disgusting if you go for a piss and some pig before you has left yellow piss all over the toilet seat (FFS all you have to do is lift the lid). And then you have to find one without piss on it, which is do-able as they're cleaned regularly. 

But to put a sign up like that is really an intrusion. I mean WTF? It's an insult to have instructions above the toilet on how to control your dick. I received toilet training many years ago as a toddler. Since then I have been able to control the direction of my piss quite adequately thank you, without the need for further instructions to do so. To have said instructions is treating me like a toddler that I'm not.

What's next, stop signs at the top of ladders? 

Just doing a bit of washing today, still need to grocery shop as just haven't seemed to be able to get there. Had the green recycle shopping bag yesterday and had a few drinks at the pub beforehand. Got all the prescriptions (happy pills and blood pressure) and my estimate was right at $72 for the 3 prescriptions. Ended up forgetting the bag and leaving it at the pub with the prescriptions in it. Rang them later at about 2am after waking up and discovering I'd not bought it home, they were open until 3:30am so walked up and got it. Didn't want to wait till the morning as the happy pills I'd not be able to replace without a huge hassle. The dose is so high the doctor has to ring and get special permission from Medicare to prescribe that amount. It's not a problem, but fuck knows what dramas there'd be if I lost a whole months supply.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Simon off to Brisbane

Did the three days at work this week with little drama. I was surprised that the casual only worked one afternoon shift on Wed as there's still so much to get through. Oh well I just did my job and didn't stress about it. You can only do what you can do.

Got paid double time for the last Sat working. It's because we're still in the 2000 award (we made that a condition in our last agreement the union signed with the company to remain in that award). So Sat is on the weekend, and hence is double time all day. A welcome help for me. Have run out of all my prescriptions, is going to cost about $70 to get them all filled.

The Christmas maniacs have started coming out of the woodwork again. I usually don't get annoyed with them this early, but for some reason this year I am. It's probably just me being over sensitive about it all, but FFS some of these people need a good dose of goodwill to man. And you can almost feel the hype in the air to spend up big for the day. People competing with each other to have the best Christmas, spend the most money, eat the most food. There's nothing at all about good will to fellow man.

The latest event with me was when I was getting on a bus on the way home from work yesterday. There were a lot of people slowly getting on and politely moving through as they put their tickets in the machine. Then this guy behind me, seemingly having some sort of a crisis, demanded that those currently putting their tickets in and moving into the bus make room for him right then and there to get his old person grocery cart thing onto the bus. I couldn't go any faster, and the next thing I knew he'd chucked it onto the bus and banging the back of my legs with it. I turned around and what do you know, it's a guy in a Santa Clause hat. How bloody typical. I told him "Merry fuckin Christmas" and finally got on the bus. 

Simon left for Brisbane a couple of days ago. He was going the night before but it was terrible weather, pouring rain and low visibility. So I asked him to leave the next day as I was worried about him driving in the dark on country roads in weather like that. He agreed thankfully, thought it was quite sweet of me. He stayed the night and the next day, leaving at about 8pm. For some reason he likes driving at night getting out of Sydney, less traffic I guess. 

Felt teary after he left. We'd been starting to get on again like we used to. Didn't have sex for the whole visit this time. It was more about reconnecting I think. Like I said, I haven't been in the mood for sex anyway. 


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

No whooping cough

Back at work today, and the sick bloke was back. They've also got the Mon-Tues casual in tonight to do another shift on the guillotine as there's so much work. Thank fuck for that.

Asked the sick bloke WTF? Whooping cough? Apparently once they tested for it it wasn't, but was a very bad virus. He had the same antibiotics as they give for people with whooping cough though, and he had all the symptoms. The doctor even gave him a mask to wear so as not infect others when he first saw him. And no he hasn't been immunised.

So I told him he was like Typhoid Mary. Suppose a bit rich coming from me with HIV, but at least I can't give someone it by coughing. He seems completely better which is good. Fuck, I don't want to get that virus, whatever it was. He reckons he got it from the air conditioning at work, but I don't agree with that. We'd all have it if that was the case.

Simon stopping by for a little later on, on his way out of Sydney. It's been an interesting visit. We get on well but I can really notice the areas of difference now. He doesn't understand that HIV will make me tired. Or why I may get down for apparently no reason. I think I do still love him, but because of these differences the barriers have gone up. I trusted him with my feelings and eventually they were hurt. I haven't felt like sex lately anyway, but interestingly not even with Simon either. Before we always had sex.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Uninspired

Still feeling exhausted. I'm a bit surprised at how tired I am. Is taking longer than I thought to get over those 4 days. I was supposed to go and see the psychologist today, but fell back to sleep and didn't wake up until nearly 10, still feeling tired. So I've emailed him, apologised as couldn't make it today. 

Had a good outing with Simon yesterday. We got the bus from my place into Oxford St. He'd had probably a bit much to be driving to his friends so he stayed at mine overnight. The alcohol limit here is only .05, and it doesn't take much at all to be over. I told him I wasn't feeling very inspiring and didn't feel like sex. He was fine with that, and it was good to have someone there in bed for the night. Left early this morning as he had to go look after his friends dog. Maybe will stop by tomorrow for a bit, is leaving Sydney Wed. 

Dunno where we're going from here. It all seems so complicated now. 

Did washing this morning, and the dishes which have piled up the last two or three days. Been too busy to do them. Have to do shopping, run out of things. It's easy to see how looking after myself takes a back seat when work gets like it's been. I need to make a proper decent meal for example.  

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Exhausting

I don't think I'm cut out to work 4 days anymore. Really took it out of me that extra work day. The work was relatively easy, although a bit fiddly. But there was so much of it. Took nearly 6 hours to get through it all. And because it was different sort of work I was getting sore muscles in different parts of my back that don't usually hurt. I stopped now and then and stretched a bit which helped. By the end of the job things were very sore. 

Dunno if the bloke at work (who's had most of last week off) is back on Monday. Think they should get a casual in if he's not. The work load is just too much for me to do everything. On Friday there was a huge panic as suddenly they wanted about 2 days worth of work done on the Sat that I worked. Needless to say I didn't get it all done. Six hours was enough for me. What's left will I reckon take most of Monday to do.

Going out with Simon this afternoon. I don't feel like a big outing at all. Still feel really tired. But I will go as I think it'd be fun. Will explain to him how tired I'm feeling so he knows. Just want to have a meal later at home and go back to bed. Don't even feel like sex. *faints* Feels like I'm drained from the four days of particularly demanding work. Perhaps though it wasn't the fact that it was four days instead of three, but more that it was so full on during that time.

Read today that the Labor party has changed it's policy on gay marriage. It's still a way to go as to getting it into law, but certainly a major step forward for gay equality.


Friday, 2 December 2011

Gay marriage?

I'm working tomorrow (Sat). A lot to do, and it will be the first time I've worked more than 3 days in a week since August. Has been busy as the other bloke is still off sick. I've had to spend a couple of hours a day doing his stuff on top of all mine. People reckon it sounds a bit strange him having whooping cough as the vaccination against it has been around for years. In fact I think I would have been vaccinated years ago too. Unless it's because he's about 15 years older than me he may not have. It's possible it was only a very bad throat infection. Wouldn't surprise me after me dealing with weeks and weeks of the Yellow Slime Disease. 

Feeling tired and haven't been eating properly the last few days. That seems to happen to me when work gets really demanding like it has been. Don't think working even only 4 days every week would work too well for me. 

One thing that has been noticeable is how quickly I've been able to get through the other blokes stuff. Was talking with the dept head today and pointed out that I'd finished all what would have been given to him in a bit over an hour and a half. WTF? Am I supposed to carry this guy who spends all day fucking around with the same amount of shit? I've had this conversation before with him, and nothing ever seems to happen.

Excited to hear what's happening at the Labor Party conference. It appears Australia is about to take the step federally to legalise gay marriage. I have no desire to myself, but of course see no reason why others who want to be married can't, simply because of their sexuality. 

Julia Gillard has ordered the Right faction to stop squabbling and let delegates vote as they wish on proposed changes to Labor's policy platform concerning gay marriage.
 Ms Gillard's intervention ensures that Labor's platform will be changed to endorse gay marriage.
It also absolves her from claims that a changed platform would amount to her authority being diminished.
However Ms Gillard has also insisted MPs be given a conscience vote in when the matter comes before the Parliament.
Ms Gillard sounded out factional bosses this afternoon at the ALP national conference in Sydney.
She has called on the party to change its policy from opposing gay marriage to embracing a conscience vote.
The Left wants to go further and push for a policy of outright support.
There are enough defectors from the Right to ensure a close result and sources have told smh.com.au that Ms Gillard's position will be upheld by 10 votes or fewer.
However, the Right has split and the ultra-conservative part of the faction allied to the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association has lost the battle to stop changes to the party platform that will give same-sex marriage the same status as heterosexual marriage.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Horrifying hangover

I've had the most tragic hangover all day. Ugh, I didn't realise I'd drunk so much. It was only beer but lost count. 

Battled through work sort of. The other bloke who does what I do but on a smaller machine is sick so I'm having to do all his shit too. He's got, of all things, whooping cough. WTF? So he's off at least until beginning of next week. I hope he makes damn sure he's properly better before coming back to work. That'd be the last thing I need. The doctor at the renal clinic the other day mentioned that it was going around in the community, although it wasn't very common. I wonder where the fuck he got it from?

They told me today at work that I can have the 3 days off between Christmas and new years. Ever since I've been there I've always had that middle bit off. This year though as the other bloke has already arranged to be off then it looked like I was going to have to work. But as it's only 3 days they said yes. Pleased as I'm really wanting a break from the place. And have had my holidays build up after having hardly any days off on the 3 day week, am up to 11 days of annual leave already, and have 5 days long service. Interestingly with the 11 days, as I'm on a 3 day week, that would be nearly a month off. 

Looks like I'll have to work Sat. Dunno for how long. Just this one particular job has to be done and ready for processing Sunday. Can't remember if I get double time on Sat after only working 22.5 hours, not sure. Will find out when I get paid I suppose.

The meet up with Simon went really well. I was busy afterwards as had to do shopping and work the next day, and he was cooking dinner for his friend who's broken her ankle and was going to buy stuff from the butchers for it. We just had a quiet drink at the pub and a chat. Conversation has always flowed freely with us and it was good to talk and see him again. I explained again how I wasn't angry, and he said he thought it was an excellent way to describe us at the moment as being on very different pages. He wanted to have another get together on Sunday and I agreed. He's only here for a week before going back to Lightning Ridge. 

Had a terrible dream a couple of nights ago. Worse than a nightmare, I'd call it a night terror. I've only had one such thing ever before in my life (when I had some K) and thankfully it wasn't as bad as that. But it was still horrible. It's like you can't come out of it when it's happening. I was lying in bed and could hear this massive crunching of plants just outside my window from footsteps, and the breathing and grunting of some kind of terrifying and huge monster. I was petrified that it might see me through a gap in the curtains, and tried to lay completely still. My breathing started getting short and fast and I was worried about a panic attack. It's hard to describe the fear I felt apart from calling it terror. And I couldn't wake up. Eventually I did and sat up in bed, still breathing fast. Fuck it was bad. When I realised it was only a dream I was sooooo relieved. Perhaps it was the pain monster?

 

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Nervous

Had another huge sleep session last night. Think I sometimes get myself into a bit of a state, overtired and aggravated. Like my brain can't stop crapping on to itself. Yesterday afternoon I was exhausted. Made a very simple meat pie as was hungry but not wanting to make anything major (just wrapped some thawed out pastry around a piece of rump steak and cooked it for a bit. Came out wonderfully, I was surprised). Went and lay down after that as I always feel tired after a big meal, and didn't get up till about 8 this morning. Didn't sleep all that time but was still drifting in and out in the morning. Think a lot of it was nervous energy, like I said my brain not settling down.

Went and got my head read yesterday for the head study I agreed to take part in. They said I could come back for the results in a month if I wanted. I told them I would be interested particularly after the brain injury I got in Jan, to see where my head is actually at right now. They're going to ring me in about a month for that. Other than that I go back in 6 months. It was sort of interesting doing it. Involved tests to memory on a computer, and also the DASS test (depression, anxiety and tension/stress test) that you fill out as a self assessment. There was also other forms to do with how I generally cope with day to day living. 

Supposed to be seeing Simon later today. Still have not the faintest idea how I'm going to feel. Can't have a big session at the pub anyway (I'm sure we'd get on marvelously if we did) as I've got to go to work tomorrow, and have to go shopping for lunch stuff. Probably best to have just a quiet low key meet up anyway after what's happened.  

Sunday, 27 November 2011

When will the pain end?

If there is a god, god has failed me.

Apparently I'm not supposed to be given more than I can endure. Well that's what they reckon. Dunno what happened with me then. I coped way more than I could possibly endure.

To the point that I nearly topped myself. If it wasn't for the help in the secular system here I wouldn't have survived.

The pain from the past still lingers. I wonder today, when will it end? Will it ever end? Is life for me now simply dealing with that pain? Or will it dissipate one day, and allow me to find some happiness?

I'm not holding my breath.  

Home

A bright sunny day in Sydney today. The air has a freshness to it after days of heavy rain. Doing washing, is three loads in the machine, as haven't been able to put anything on the line outside to dry. I usually just hang the clothes on hangers inside near the bedroom window as I can't be bothered trying to predict the weather, but it's a bit hard doing that with bed sheets. Changed them the other day but been raining since. Sat is when I do the washing, but it was raining so heavily yesterday it was blowing in under the shelter out the back that connects to the washroom. Even the cat took one look out there and decided against it. She lies under the shelter and observes the goings on outside.

Daughter has been sick with some flu thing. The way she was carrying on about it I thought she'd need antibiotics for sure, but after she saw the doctor they didn't give her any. Apparently her throat wasn't red like mine was. So it was more for the aching muscles that she took stuff. She went to a different medical centre than I did the other day, this one in the local shopping mall. It bulk bills (is free) too, and she knows the doctors there. I didn't think there were many places left that bulk billed everyone.

Having a quiet day at home. Supposed to be getting out and about, or something like that. Just don't feel like it.  

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Memory and concentration study

When I went and saw my GP the other day (re the letter) he asked if I wanted to take part in a new study they were getting ready to do at the medical centre there. I'm always willing to give something back after all the help I've gotten, so happily agreed to do it. He gave me the info forms to look at with the consent form to sign on the back. I was texted a couple of days later by one of the people upstairs as to whether I was wanting to participate, and as I was she made an appt for me on Mon to go in. I see a doctor downstairs at the centre first who is in charge of trials, and then go upstairs after that. 

The study is to 
"Help to better understand how common some memory and concentration difficulties are in persons who are HIV positive and to develop better ways of testing for these problems in the community."
Monday will be a "baseline visit" to see where I'm at currently in the head. I guess that involves looking at my medical history as well, particularly the brain injury at the beginning of this year. This visit is about an hour. I will have another one in 6 months. Also some people chosen at random will do further testing of about 2 hours.

It's all free of course. I'd be interested anyway to find out sort of where my head is at the moment. I still notice at times I can't do things like I used to. Complex tasks involving my brain are just overwhelming, and I have to break things down into little bits at a time. I can't figure out money at all, I get really confused with change for example. But in the grand scheme of things I may not directly benefit from the study myself, but the information gained would have a longer term benefit to the wider HIV community. Namely, greater knowledge about how HIV affects the brain.

The study will go for 2 years, so I imagine by that time they'd be able to test quite a few people. The results will be published in scientific journals and other forums. I will be able to receive the results as well if I want.

Simon has been in touch via email. I think that's a good way to communicate at the moment as it gives plenty of time to think and reply. We're going to see each other on Tuesday as he's in Sydney at the moment helping out his friend who's broken her ankle. Just a pub thing, a couple of afternoon beers. Not sure how I'm going to feel seeing him again. I've told him in the emails that although I wasn't angry at all, I was hurt by what he said. And it's all very well to say sorry now but obviously he meant it when he said it. But again it's nobody's fault, we're just on very different pages. And we did have very good times together.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Love Story

It's the latest add from GetUp here. Only a minute and a half. Must say I shed a tear at the end. Encourage all to watch it. 

I won't spoil it by hinting at the ending.



Thursday, 24 November 2011

Enough?

Enough?

I don't get it. Lots and lots of this that and the other. All this that and the other. With all my life, I don't get how shit can be put me, Just don't get it. I'm just having a laugh, and trying to find a laugh in this fucked up life. People don't understand this. I don't care. 

I'd have loved to stay the pub a bit longer, but I have to work in the morning. I didn't get hugely pissed, but happily pissed according to those at the pub who where there. It means nothing.

Night. Will say something darlings when I'm a bit sober. Take care all xxx 

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Some pics when out

Had three appts yesterday.

First was the Renal clinic about the kidneys. The test they did most recently showed another decrease in the creatinine levels, which are only slightly elevated now from what they would be if they were normal. A very good result, particularly as to how close I was to dying in Jan. I don't have to go back now for 6 months, and have to get some blood taken a bit before that appt so they will have the results when I see them. 

Next was the psychologist. We discussed the way I was feeling about going out and doing things, and that I didn't quite seem able to actually get out the front door. Perhaps a bit less attention to the inner dialogue that goes on in my head before going out was suggested. Even though, for example, I may be thinking a trip to the beach might be incredibly tedious and boring, it in fact may not be when I actually get there. There are issues like anxiety/fear about leaving the house, or getting out of anyplace where I'm feeling completely comfortable. That's to be expected after such traumas as have been.

Had about 2 hours before my next appt with my GP. I had to see him again about getting a new letter done for this never ending saga of this Superannuation of mine. Didn't really want to go all the way home and back again on the bus, so just sat in the pub and had a beer or two in the meantime. Took some pictures about Taylor Square and Oxford St. Nothing spectacular, and it was a bit overcast. Just sort of average daily life type pics.





Throat has cleared up a lot. Will see how it goes at work tomorrow in the air conditioning. No appts today at all. Just got to do some shopping for the work lunches and some bits and pieces.