Friday, 29 April 2011


Have had this bloody head cold get worse. Yesterday it caused a terrible headache on one side of my head as my ear was blocked and it started aching. Took Panadol but it did fuck all, went to the pub with Simon and had a meal and a few beers but the fuckin headache didn't go. Bought some mouth spray at the supermarket as it was making my breath stink; tragic under the sexual circumstances! Prety much I guess my immune system not being able to keep up with mouth germs that build up overnight. I had this problem last time I wasn't on any HIV medication. My blood results were good re the HIV, but it seemed to be at the expense of everything else.

Started wondering if it may be some kind of allergy, so went to the Lightning Ridge pharmacy today to get some anti-histamine, and a nasal spray to help with the cloged up head. You can buy it over the counter in Sydney, but here I was given the third degree about what other medications I take, and was told I'd have to see the pharmacist. WTF? Strange. Thought it may be because of the doctor situation out here; you have to make an appt days in advance just to se a doctor. I'd say the pharmacy has stepped in to cover some of the questions people would ask a doctor. Anyway got the stuff in the end, will see how I go on that.

I'm only on anti-depressants and blood pressure pills now. Fuck knows how they'd have reacted if I'd have started telling them I was on HIV medication. Cripes. 

The health system out here is just not up to it for my needs. It seems that there's quite a few very unhealthy people out here. Wasn't expecting to see so many overweight people.

Simon and I have continued to get on extremely well. He will be visiting back in Sydney in about a month.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

In Lightning Ridge

I'm at the neighbourhood centre, they have an internet cafe here. Whew! I was really getting major net withdrawals. The computers are good, much better than my little notebook PC, and the connection is fast.

Had an uneventful trip out. The train was roomy and the bus comfortable. The driver was a bit strange though. Had this major problem with people taking bags on the bus. Said nothing more than handbags. There was no way I was going to put my little carry on bag underneath in the luggage, it had my PC, camera, pills, everything in it. Anyway it's about the size of a handbag, just of those shoulder bags that us city blokes use when getting around Sydney. So the gestapo driver was fine with it. No food on the bus either, but he did say you could take a bottle of water if you had diabetes. I nearly piped up that I had HIV and did that count? But I thought I'd likely end up being the only one traveling on the bus if I did! Hmmm, maybe that woudn't have been a bad idea.

The bus trip was a long one too. From about 2pm until about 7pm. I took this picture through the bus window as we were nearing Lightning Ridge as the sun was setting:

I know it's a bit cliche, but it seemed a very red sunset and typical of inland Australia. The land is very flat out here. Lightning Ridge was cut off for over a month during the recent floods up in Queensland. The water slowly came down and inundated the surrounding areas, all flat land. Simon was saying that from the air Lightning Ridge looked like an Island surrounded by water. That was back earlier this year when he was in Sydney looking after me. He had to wait a couple of weeks longer than he would have otherwise to get back as the roads were cut for weeks.

It's a very isolated place. It's been more about being with Simon though than being in the Ridge. We have been very close during the last few days. Have felt almost like one person when making love. I just can't imagine being without him at the moment. I'd be able to deal with time apart OK, as that's just how things are for us. But it would be terrible if he was for some reason no longer a part of my life. Sleeping with him and holding each other close, knowing that I'm with someone who really cares about me. You just don't come across that sort of thing every day.

It was a busy place over the Easter break here. Lots of people came into town for the Easter show. So it wasn't the usual sort of Ridge crowd out and about. A lot of farmers and their families. Was school holidays as well. But that laa ended with the finish of the Easter weekend and now the place is back to being quiet. It only has one supermarket too, and we made the mistake of going into it during the busiest time. Fuck it was worse than Sydney the day before Christmas! Chockers with people, all the bread was sold out by 1pm, WTF? Simon was annoyed as he reckoned they should know that over Easter there's always a big influx of people, and being the only supermarket in town they should've planned better for it.

The weather has been perfect. Hardly a cloud in the sky. Unlike Sydney with constant rain and cold. It was pouring rain when I left on the train from Sydney, but slowly got clearer the further inland I got. Been texting daughter in Sydney and she's had the heater on because it's cold and wet outside. Here I've been dressing in only t-shirt and shorts. They haven't had any real rain for a couple of months now out here. In fact I wasn't very impressed either with the farmland we went past on the train on the way here. The farms seemed quite dry, and the fields all had heaps of weeds in amongst dry grass. It doesn't seem that long ago they were all flooding with heavy rain.

I'm off now. Simon is looking after a local art gallery for his neighbour. Sort of paintings and unusual things that you wouldn't buy elsewhere. So I'm off to there for a couple of hours. Back to Sydney this Sat coming.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Lightning Ridge here I come

Have been massively tired last couple of days. Yesterday I got home and pretty much just went to bed. Something that was pointed out to me that I'd not considered, was that in having nightly nightmares my sleep may be getting affected. May have to talk to the doctor and get something to help me sleep better. It's almost like a thing of interest; what is tonight's nightmare going to be? They haven't been so bad last couple of days, but perhaps still enough to disturb sleep.

Leaving for Lightning Ridge in the morning. Still very nervous. Think as it's my first trip away from Sydney since getting so sick. Have to pack a few things, hard to do as it just doesn't seem to happen in my head to organise it. Train leaves a bit after 8am I think from Central Station. Will take a book to read, walkman for music, am taking the PC as well. Told Simon I'm leaving the toys at home; not up for any challenges at the moment.

Sounds stupid but I'm going to miss the cat. She's gotten very close again last couple of months. Sleeping on the bed with me at night, getting up with me when I go to work. I hope she doesn't fret at all when I'm away. Got another friend who's up in the Northern Territory, he's coming to Sydney for a few days when I'm away so I'm letting him use my place to stay. Wonder what the cat will think with him sleeping there? Probably won't care and just jump up and sleep in it's usual place. Better warn friend about the cat.

Have given instructions to daughter when I'm away. She's already said she's going to have "a few friends over", which to me sounds like code word for "wild party". Probably a good thing my other mate is staying in my room for a few days, although he's just as likely to join in the fuckin party! Told her no smoking dope in the lounge room, her room only (it already stinks in there so it doesn't really matter). There's good mobile phone reception up there in Lightning Ridge so I can stay in contact.

So nobody panic, I'm not headed off in an ambulance to ICU again! Just going back in time to before the internet. Probably keep a record of some sort of my experiences up there for the week. The library will be open so I may get a chance to get online briefly. How people can live with no internet like that is beyond me.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The needle dream

I certainly wasn't expecting that to be the nightmare of the night. Haven't had the-needle-dream for ages. Gave me quite a laugh though with a couple of blokes at work afterwards.

The-needle-dream, for those who may not know, is very specific. Those who get this dream are confined to people who are, or have used, needles to take drugs. Being as there has been a free needle exchange here (since about the '80's I think in response to AIDS) there are rather a lot of us in Australia who chose to use a needle when taking drugs, as the needles are free and you don't have to share. 

Myself I used needles long ago when I was in my 20's. Speed was back then my drug of choice. I stopped for nearly 20 years, and only started again casually in the last 3 years. I've never had a problem with putting the needle down and not wanting any more. Recent times involved ice, some kind of more sophisticated thing evidently than speed. The sessions never got more than once or twice a month, and again I never had a problem stopping. Presently I've not had anything for about 6 months I think, doubt I will either given the kidney thing. Scared to take anything more than a fuckin Panadol these days.

Certainly many might consider using a needle as the lowest form on life on the planet. Yet I've known people who've gotten themselves in more trouble with ice from smoking it, as it's readily available like that. Just pull out the pipe and off you go. Mixing up for a hit requires a bit of organisation and a private setting. And I've met many people, who the general community would never suspect in a million years of needle use. Responsible people in well paid responsible jobs. Not scumbags on a street corner. It's simply a different way to take the drug. The free needle exchange has undoubtedly saved many from disease over the decades here. Sometimes people go through bad times, and they're going to use a needle no matter what. Better it's a clean one.

So anyway, the needle dream. It's where you have this nightmare. Your mixing up, the expectation of having a hit is all there in the dream. But something always goes wrong! Last night I mixed up half, tapped the needle and ready to go, and the dream somehow had everything dissolve away into nothing in the needle. WTF? Was utterly horrified in the dream. Decided to mix up the other half and try again. Then guess what, the cops busted me! FUCK! All that expectation, ready to go, and it all went so wrong. Didn't get to have any of it!

Laughed when I woke up. Good grief. Went to work and told one of the blokes there, "I had the needle dream last night". We had this hilarious conversation about it, "Oh yeah the needle dream! And you never ever get to have it!", "Yeah, I got busted by the cops! the ultimate needle dream nightmare!"

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Bad dreams continue

Got home from work today and the cat started meowing like a maniac. It seemed a bit pissed off I'd been away all day. Realised I'd actually worked all the 5 days (apart from the 2 hours I left early on Friday for the dentist) and will get nearly a full weeks pay! Hooray! I had to pick up the cat and all, it likes to be held like a baby and scratched on it's stomach while I sit in the lounge chair. Weird. It purred profusely whilst I placated it like that, and then put it on the floor. I looks happy now. The meowing was fuckin annoying man.

Continued with the bad dreams last night. They're every night now. I wake up in the morning, or earlier, and have these horrible emotions happening as part of the dreams. Takes me a while to shake it off, so to speak. As I've been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, am wondering if it may be to do with that. Thinking this is a big possibility. One of the things going on is the 5 year anniversary of my wife's death, early next month. Just after Mothers Day. Considering if perhaps that is feeding into the whole dreaming thing somehow. Haven't had constant bad dreams like this night after night for some time. I don't think it's the anti-depressants as I went back on my normal dose nearly 2 months ago now I think, 6 weeks at least. And have been on that dose for at least 12 months before that and the GKC. No constant bad dreams like this. Will see how I go tonight.

Busy today at work. Although lasting longer still get tired. Just don't want to go without a beer after work. Makes me feel better and relaxed getting home. Not a big drink just a relaxing one. If that's wrong then maybe someone upstairs can shoot me. ... *waits* ... *doesn't care anyway* ....

Monday, 18 April 2011

Collateral damage

It's been going on for years. The battles, the trench warfare.

The memories are there, good memories. Ones where my daughter is growing up, my wife is healthy. We all have a huge love for each other. We're happy. Those times were one of the very few times when I was happy in life. In fact the most happy I'd been.

Yet today they're stained with pain. Wife dying of chronic illness after many years. Daughter dragging me into court after she died, and me booting her out of home over it. A friend killing herself in the midst of that. Trying to keep going only to be hit again and again. 

Today even the best memories hurt. In fact they probably hurt the most, because they remind me of how good things were. How happy we were. I still can't look at the box of photos on the lounge room shelf. It's just too painful to do so. Sometimes I remember how it was during that brief period. It reduces me to tears.

Now is truly the "Shadow of the day".

Sunday, 17 April 2011


Been having incredibly vivid dreams of late. All in full colour, and much of them I remember in some detail. Since am not on any HIV meds it can't be that. Maybe the Efexor? 300mg a day is a lot. Dunno. Last night, without going into it all, involved my father as the focal point. The main gist of it was him saying I was "hopeless". I have no idea what that's supposed to mean, if anything. Dad's been dead and buried in New Zealand for over 10 years. The upbringing left something to be desired, it was a very dysfunctional family. My older brothers and sisters were all from another relationship, and they very much resented me. They considered that I was spoilt and they had to do all the work on the farm. Dad was from another era, much older than me. Anything that didn't involve the predictable growing up, marrying, having kids, and spending your whole life in the local area, was to him "hopeless". 

Couldn't stay awake last night and retired to the bedroom at 7pm. Fell asleep straight away, and slept pretty much until 7am. The rain has stopped but still very overcast. Not a cold night because of the cloud cover. Cat slept on the rug on the floor most of the night, before deciding the bed was warmer. I think she's a bit on the dumb side. 

Cold seems slightly better this morning, perhaps I'm coming to the end of it.

A week till I go out to see Simon in the country. Leave next Sat. Still feeling apprehensive, but it's only a week out there, what could go wrong in a week? Will take my PC, but he has no internet. May write a daily thing like I did in the hospital and post it when I get back. There's the library out there too that he goes to to read his emails. He even has a Facebook account, very advanced for him, complete with bazillions of mysterious friends that he hasn't the faintest idea who they are. He uses it to keep in touch with a few people he knows. My Facebook account is largely abandoned, it's there if someone wants to contact me (I don't know who) and I get the email thing saying I have a message. But the whole Facebook thing seems way too complicated and very hard to navigate around, so I just can't be bothered with it. Email is fine for me.

Going by train will be interesting. Will take the camera in case there's anything interesting to take a picture of. The way the train goes (and the bus after that) I've never been that way before, and most of the towns on the way I've not seen.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

"On The Buses"

Wow, what an incredibly shitty week this was. Have been sick all through it, am still sick with this fuckin cold. Daughter finally appears to be on the tail end of it so I can't be far behind. It got worse when I went back to work after having 2 days off with it. What a pointless 2 days, accomplished nothing, except me losing about $300 in after tax earnings. Short on money now. Bought some Panadol for it; Panadol now looks like it's the new magic elixir for me as it's harmless on the body. It does fuck all, but at least it's something. Have been feeling a touch better in the mornings after having been taking it. Was starting to get worried about it, just seemed to be getting worse and worse.  Being as my daughter has had it for at least two weeks though I guess I'm just going through what she is. It is a worry with HIV as every time you get something you start wondering how bad it's going to be, and whether you should go to the doctors (over a head cold?) or just soldier on. If you don't go to the docs, might you end up in hospital if you leave things too late?

Went to the dentist yesterday after work for part two of the root canal. There's one more visit after this I think. This one involved drilling out the temp filling and putting stuff in the empty space that used to hold the root nerves, after cleaning it all out. Then putting another temp filling in it to get to the next visit. It will be the week after I get back from Lightning Ridge. Have no more pain there. Is amazing the amount of nerves in your head that are connected to one bloody tooth, and how much pain can be caused by it. 

Autumn is fully here. Is howling winds and pouring rain today in Sydney. Not terribly cold but certainly not summer. Suppose will watch some telly later, need a quiet weekend after last week being sick. There may be something on, who knows. I got all the crap for it, set up with everything, but most of the time I never turn the thing on because I can't be bothered watching the crap on it. HD box thing with an orgasmic hard on drive, that records digital telly. I can never get my shit together to be bothered recording much though. 81cm (32inch) LCD flat screen, all I need really and big enough. Surround sound system. Great, lets go you think, and you turn on all this shit only to find 15 channels of crap. Ugh, what a waste of technology. 

I mean channel Ten has now got 3 digital channels, and it chose to make a HD sports channel. Which is great if you want to watch sports all day, but I don't. And whenever I look at it it always seems to have American basketball on it, which is great if you're an American interested in American basketball, but I'm not. And it just goes on endlessly, on and on and on, with this droning American commentator. Get a headache listening to it. FFS this is Australia not America, can't they put some rugby league or union on? WTF is the interest in endless American basketball? Is it cheap to buy maybe?

Was watching an old show from the '70's last night, "On The Buses". I wasn't allowed to watch it in NZ as I was very young at the time and us kids weren't allowed. So I haven't seen any of them. Some of it's quite funny:

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Challenge overload

I do like to be challenged in life, and how boring would life be without a challenge? Such thinking has seen me through a lot. Of recent times I've managed to recover from all that is involved in acute kidney failure. 

However enough is enough. Although getting back to work after the GKC is something to be celebrated, I instead feel like crying.

There are too many other challenges on top of this. And it gets to the point where I'm so sick of the challenges that every little thing on top of enough becomes too much. Like going to work every day with a head full of snot; that wouldn't be a crisis otherwise but on top of all the other shit it's just too much to do. 

Or dealing with many of the other normal things of life that otherwise would be just that, normal crap and no worries. Now I have trouble with worries of everyday life that for other people wouldn't be any problem.

Paying bills, dealing with debt, traveling, working, friendships, they all become too much to cope with. All too hard, and having to be put aside for a while. It seems I have quite a lot of problems, because of my mental state, in simply living life.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Roll out the barrel

Got to work today. Didn't feel any better at all, but thought I had to go to work. Two days without pay is way enough. Feeling hugely unlike going when I got up. Couldn't hear hardly anything out of my left ear, and liked to have kept on sleeping. 

Got a doctors certificate yesterday for the two days off, even though not getting paid for it they do like that in the office. The dept head had the predictable worry today about the 3 Mondays in a row, meh, whatever. I just don't care. Reminded him this whole work thing was sort of an experiment and I may decide in the end it's too much. 

Did have a bit of a funny conversation at work today. Mate there is having a big hard time over personal issues, he asked me this morning how I was, I answered that I was "wonderful" and life was "a barrel of laughs". He caught the sarcasm. Later I saw him and said "Roll out the barrel", he thought that very funny and replied "we'll have a barrel of fun". Got to keed a sense of humour about these things.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

One of those days

Stayed home again today. This head cold is really starting to get to me, and I was feeling a bit low also. Suppose I'll try dragging myself out of bed tomorrow, have to earn some money. Two days with no pay is going to be a big chunk out of this weeks pay. Although daughter gives me her rent money this week so I shall survive. 

Appreciate the cooler weather now that it's Autumn, but it does make it hard to get out of bed. Head full of crap from a cold, one ear can't hear much out of it, cat lying on the bed all contented and warm. A scene of domestic bliss. 

Been feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything last couple of days. Think that's where the feelings of depression are coming from this time. It's not easy living like this. Although I was relatively unfazed by the HIV diagnosis, there are days when it does weigh me down. Times when even a simple cold turns into 2 days off work. You try not thinking too much about it, but the fact is it affects just about every part of your life. It's there all the time, reminding you of it's existence in your life. There's no escaping it.

Sometimes it just feels like there's too many problems to solve, too much to deal with, too many doctors to see. 

I guess the thing to do is to try and look at things one at a time. It's when I think of everything at once I feel that it's all too much. 

Have been thinking about the debt thing a bit more since yesterday, and leaning more and more to pulling money out of my Superannuation to pay it off. At least the amount that's at 15%. I may contact them soon to discuss my options.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Debt dilemmas

Didn't go to work again today, the third Monday in a row. I do have a good excuse being that I'm still recovering from near death though. Have had this fuckin head cold for over a week now, could feel all the crap inside my ears again this morning when I woke up. Succumbed to the evil alcohol again yesterday afternoon as well, oh well, what can I say? Starting to think I've got a bit of a problem here. Just another one to add to my problem collection. Having a few too many beers on occasion though would be way down the list of problem severity. I guess I'll get to addressing it eventually, perhaps after I've stopped thinking about suicide for a while.

Rang Centrelink about the $600 I owe them, turns out with a different payment method I could put it on my interest-free-until-Jan crazy card. So I did. Well done I thought. Have effectively paid $600 off on another card charging interest when they overpaid me, and transferred the money to the interest free card, therefore saving on interest payments. Fuck I'm smart. Got to be when you have fuck all money to play with.

This debt is really starting to worry me. I try not to worry about it as there's much bigger problems going on. I've never been that into money that it's bothered me that much, for me it's all about life, not the mighty dollar. But I've never been in this much debt before. It all happened too out of my control, it was lucky that I had the credit cards to fall back on or I'd have been really fucked. Would've had to get some kind of loan from the bank. But now I'm in debt up to my eyeballs, have no idea how long it's going to take to pay it all off. At least currently I don't seem to be going any further into debt. It does look like I'm at least making some headway into it. It's like a drop in the bucket though.

Have been thinking of pleading financial hardship to my Superannuation fund, and getting a few thousand off them to pay it. Don't want to do that if I can help it, but I may have to in the end. Especially if I get sick again and not working. I have little doubt they'd give it to me, but it would be quite a sacrifice for the fund. Last 6 months it got 7% interest, would be a shame to have to pull money out of that.


Sunday, 10 April 2011

Recovering after the week

Been so tired this weekend. Went to bed last night at 7pm, just couldn't keep my eyes open. Had snacked earlier in the day so wasn't particularly hungry, but felt even too tired to eat. Didn't go straight to sleep, just sort of lay there with the cat for a while. Simon rang after a bit and said hello, but I was drowsy and couldn't talk much. Went to sleep a bit after 8, and got up about 12 hours later after 8am. This last week must have really taken it out of me. Feel better now though, must have needed all that sleep. It was very hard by the end of last week to get up in the morning feeling that tired, will see how this week goes. 

Daughter and I still have the head cold. It's one of those ones that just hangs around for ages. She's still sneezing after a week, still blowing her nose a lot. Part of it may be allergies as she gets allergies with a change of weather, but you can't tell her that. Myself am waking up in the morning with the usual crap in my head and all. Went behind my ears for a couple of days last week and I was nearly deaf in one ear. I put the earplugs in at work and blasted music into it, thinking maybe the sound waves might rattle it free, but to no avail! I still enjoyed the music though, think it was loud enough to hear it in the clogged up ear too.

Today have to do a bit of shopping up the road, got behind with groceries last week just wanted to get home and go to bed after work. I only shop one bag at a time too as it's too hard to get it all back otherwise. Don't have a car, but there's millions of buses so I just get on one of them for the few stops up the road. The local shopping centre is good, has most things there that you need. One bag at a time, I end up going every day or two to get bits and pieces. 

May stop in and have an afternoon couple of beers at the pub there. Seems to work out well that time as I don't end up in the dreaded piss up. Have a chicken concoction happening in the slow cooker on the kitchen bench. Starting to smell edible now.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Work pics

Finally I'm rid of Centrelink! Checked email today and read an online letter from them, telling me my Sickness Allowance had been canceled, Hooray! But it wasn't because I was earning a lot, or because I told them I didn't want their money anymore. It was because I didn't give them another medical certificate half way through last month. So no more hassling around with Centrelink. Fuck feels like a great weight lifted from my shoulders.

Took the camera into work yesterday, this is some of what I do. The guillotine is where I mostly am as it's a full time job in itself. Some of it in the press room, after being printed it looks like this:

Then I take it to be cut. Usually cuts 4 out of a printed sheet to A4 size. Cuts in lots of 1,000 sheets at a time, and stacked on a pallet ready to be packed and put into stores:

Some of the work from last week. The packing guy had to go on holidays at short notice (family emergency) and they didn't have time to organise another packer straight away. So I ended up just putting the pallets back into the print room in the mean time. There'd be about 750,000 stacked on that group of pallets altogether. One job alone there is for 400,000:

Normally I'd do about 6 pallets a day. All together about 3 tonnes of lifting on average. 

Have noticed this week it's been hard work. By the end of the day am absolutely fucked. Come home and been going to bed early, this week was made worse by the head cold (I still have it) and that tooth abscess. Still can't believe I went to work with an abscess, fuck the pain was so bad. Must keep the capitalist system going! Was so hard getting up in the morning, probably the hardest part of the day. Next week can only be better I guess.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Dental emergency

Oh FFS! Why the bloody hell does everything medical thing have to be some crisis for me? Anyway.....

Sleeping well, woke up middle of the night and OMG the fuckin pain. Was awake for 2 hours tossing and turning. Why the tooth went from pretty much OK to intense unbearable pain between the time I went to sleep and the early hours of the morning is a mystery. This is the tooth the dentist had put a full on proper filling in it after drilling out the old one, and giving the thing a chance to settle down. There had been a big chunk of tooth chipped off a while ago. And it had settled down, bugger all pain, the next step being to put a cap on it. The cap appt was tomorrow after work. However I didn't quite make it there, that appt overshadowed by today and canceled. 

In the night and the morning when I woke up after somehow falling back to sleep after the 2 hours of BS pain, I was on the verge of not going to work. Fuck it was really fuckin hurting. But hey it was only my head, not like I was physically impaired otherwise. And I'd had Monday off sick. So I went to work, got up, had coffee, fed the cat, and went to work.

Got there after the bus and all, and saw a notice on the wall next to the workers entrance about a union meeting in the cafeteria at 7am. WTF? I only get the early bus to get coffee before work, starting at 7:30. Today the bus was a bit late. By the time I'd gotten into the cafeteria it was 10 past 7. Bleary eyed I went to the cappuccino machine and blathered to the guy behind the counter that I wasn't even awake and WTF were they having a union meeting so early? By that time it was 7:15. I had well missed the vote. 

The vote was asking about what to do next; we are in negotiations for the next Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA). Another 3 year one. We are unanimous to go on strike if the management doesn't give us an agreement worth signing. We have given them a big nudge by threatening a strike, and they have offered in response something more reasonable. But still unacceptable to us. They have offered a 3% wage rise over each of the next 3 years, but the inflation rate here is currently 3.8%. So we have to have that or we're in effect getting a wage cut in real terms. We're asking for 4.5%. Also because the old EBA ran out in Jan, we should have had our wage rise since then. We are asking for full back pay of the wage rise to Jan. The company was offering nothing of that, but with the threat of strike action has offered us 6 weeks back pay. Only 6 weeks is unacceptable. It must be full back pay. We (through the union) started negotiations well before Jan and it has been management fucking us around.

I listened to all this in agreement (got the balance off a workmate afterwards). Took a sip of my coffee. OMG the pain in my tooth! Whole side of my head was hurting! It felt like a terrible inner ear infection. Started sweating even though it was cool in the cafeteria. Decided then to ring the dentist in a bit from work. Fuck it was such intense pain. Recalled decades before when I was much younger and getting full on migraines. This pain was well up to that level. And I hadn't taken any painkillers at all. 

Rang on the mobile at 8am and got a 3pm appt. It's a private dentist that I've been going to since I got the thing through Medicare for the free dental. He was a bit reluctant to bulk bill at first (so I pay nothing) as the rates are so much less than what he normally charges. But he was happy to bulk bill me after I told him if he didn't I'd go elsewhere. The PLC (Positive Living Centre) had already given me the names ad addresses of local dentists who bulk billed. 

But anyway, so he knows me and we're very friendly, and fit me in. Told work I had to leave early. The immediate supervisor I could tell didn't believe me, like I was milking my sickness too much. That really pissed me off. After all the willpower and shit I went through to get myself back to work, and she's having a silent "I don't believe you" thing over the dentist. I told the dentist about it and the nurse there gave me a full on letter for work saying I had to go to an emergency dental appt. Fuck them.

So they took the x-ray and it showed  a full on abscess. The nerves infected, and under the roots puss. He drilled out the nerves, put antibiotic crap in, and put a temporary filling in; the first stage of a root canal. I go back next Friday for stage 2. 

This seems all trivial to me. Meh... whatever.... Even the pain seemed trivial. I was sort of proud of myself after it all though. I actually went to work, without any painkillers, and worked most of the day (until my appt was due) with an abscess. But really, meh..... WTF is this compared to my recent dances with death?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Feeling better today

Had a really nice bath last night that helped a lot with hurting muscles. As it's a really old house the bath is also really old, and one of those deep ones that you don't see around much these days. When I'm sitting in it and it's full the water is up to my nipples. You can lie back and be fully immersed, just your head at the end out. Have started turning on the electric blanket on the bed too, just one side on low, very nice last night with the fluffy winter sheets. Was still feeling the head cold this morning but did feel a bit better, and survived the work day OK. It was only a head cold I know, but with HIV you have the immune system with it's ass hanging out dealing with the HIV without medication, as I am. There has very likely been a bit of a spike in the HIV viral load too, simply because the immune system has to deal with both the HIV and the head cold at once. 

It was for this reason I'd have preferred to go on medication even when healthy, but as my kidneys have had such a hard time of late the best option for me presently is to let my system deal with the HIV as it's doing now, keeping it well in check. My kidneys can then have a rest from the meds as long as this situation lasts. 

Have been thinking about my daughter a lot the last few days. She's been the one making the effort to rebuild our relationship after all the BS that happened. The reason why she hurt me so much was because she's my own daughter. Now, despite all that's happened, I do have to recognise her efforts at reconciliation. It's been very unfortunate for her also what she's been through at only 20 years old. At one point in recent times, even though she was my daughter, I honestly never wanted to see her again. Right now I think things have changed. There's a bond between a biological father and daughter that stays there always. 

Got to go and do dinner darlings. Haven't checked any email for about 3 days, apologies to anyone who's sent anything. I will get to them but it does look like it might be the weekend before I do. Appreciate the visitors of this blog, I write it like no one's reading it, but lately have been more aware that people actually are reading it. I do hope that in some way it may help to un-demonise HIV+ people, and raise a bit of awareness about the fact that an HIV+ gay is simply a human being like everyone else.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

I feel like shit

I have it appears the same cold as my daughter, the same cold that the kids have at the child care centre where she works. She has been sick with it all last weekend, worse for her as she seems to have some allergic thing along with it and sneezing constantly. Now I have the sneezes a bit, headache, body ache, and work ache. Ended work today (it was busy) and just felt so bad. Hurting all over. Had 4 beers on the way home from work. They at least have helped my muscles to relax. Feel half human again. Will try to run a hot bath shortly that would be great.

Talked with the psychologist re daughter yesterday during my appt. His take on it was that the period dilemmas may be a reflection of something bigger, given what she also has been through in recent years. I agree, have said for years she's needed to go to counseling and actually deal with the issues bothering her rather than ignoring them. He's going to consult his colleges and see if they know a counselor or psychologist she'd be able to see. Whether she will or not is another story and entirely up to her, but at least the opportunity will be there. He agrees with me also that I'm just not able to deal with her issues. I'm not a counselor or psychologist, and I'm barely able to deal with mine.

So it looks like we're both fuckin fucked. Blind leading the blind. Oh fuckin joy. 

My recent feelings of depression are simply normal and expected, how did I know that was what he was going to say? But it does make sense. Almost like some kind of delayed reaction. I was too involved in the whole thing concentrating on getting better, and my mind was only half working, so I wasn't able to process what was happening fully. Now when things sort of are back to normal, is when the reality of what happened really sets in. Now that my head's working and can take hold of it all. 

But I haven't been thinking about suicide, so things are looking up.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Monthly dramas

Monday, didn't go to work again like last Monday. WTF is it about Mondays? I wasn't feeling too bad, but got diarrhea in the middle of the night, bad pains in the stomach. Just thought fuck it, not going. Had some afternoon beers at the local pub yesterday (yes I succumbed to the demon alcohol again) but not a lot. That may have had something to do with it. Or I might have eaten something with a lot of potassium, which in the past gave me diarrhea as the body tries to get rid of the excess. That was when my kidneys were shitting themselves though, not like now much better. I dunno. Maybe I'm just getting old! Last few years I've stayed away from rich food before bed, or I end up awake all night with indigestion. 

Not going to get out the cat-o-nine tails and whip myself over going to the pub. Didn't have a lot there, was relatively quiet, not some big piss up. That's pretty much my goals. Banning myself from it was a way to not be there when people I know are there and it just carries on and on. Suppose there's nothing much to be gained by being overly rigged about not going. All that will do is make me feel guilty if I do, fuck that! Got enough problems without dealing with self imposed guilt as well! 

The dramatics with my daughter appear to be coming to an end for the month. Last night she cleaned her room, did all the dishes she'd been collecting in there (which was really starting to piss me off, but I didn't want to start an argument with a psycho over it) and went to work as normal this morning. I'm sure the dramas she's having at work are to do with her becoming a psycho once a month. Fuck I can't handle it at home and I've known her all her life, fuck knows how they deal with her at her work. Myself I just don't talk much with her and leave her alone, don't respond to her comments and the like. There's just no point, all it will do is both of us arguing and making the atmosphere even more tense. She's only going to twist everything I say around to how she interprets it. And then when the time of the month is all over, she becomes a completely different person, as nice and pleasant as can be. Talkative, happy, congenial, helpful. Talk about Jeckle and Hide.  

I do wonder what to do about her sometimes. Really there's not much, am trying to deal with my own shit. There must be some sort of medication that can help with her moods around the dreaded time of the month, I dunno. I don't have the energy or time to find out. She wouldn't listen to me anyway. I dunno why women always go on the defensive when you tell them their periods are making them horrible to live with. It's like you've just uttered some sort of blasphemy. Of course it's not their periods they will assert, it's you. WTF? So evidently once a month I become this bad person who goes out of his way to piss off any females living in the house. Yeah right. 

She got a huge shock when I nearly died. Suppose it's not the best thing seeing your father in ICU being kept alive with a breathing machine. She is I suspect just looking for some security. She doesn't have a lot of contact with the extended family. Most of mine are in New Zealand (thank fuck) and on my late wife's side the whole family seems to have self destructed years ago and are scattered all over the country, all with stories of hate for the rest of them. She has an older brother in Brisbane (from another relationship re her mother) who spent about 10 years off and on in jail up there. Has been out for a while but recently bashed his defacto up severely and has been charged over it. She was pretty upset about that. 

But then that's the thing, she has her own issues and there's fuck all I can do for her if she won't help herself. I may ask the psychologist this afternoon if he knows anyone she could go and see for counseling. That's if she'd agree to do it. I could just let her know about them and leave it up to her. WTF else could I do?

Paid off a credit card this week. The one with the highest interest rate of 20%. Phew. My next mission is the 15% one, but that will be a bit harder owing to all the money owing on it. Think about $5,000.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Anxious about getting out of Sydney

Daylight saving ended last night, so a full extra hours sleep! Hooray! Unfortunately the cat came in at 5:30am, jumped on the bed, and sat right next to my head purring incredibly loudly and looking at me expectantly. I dunno WTF it wanted, didn't seem hungry. So I just patted it and thankfully it went to sleep end of the bed. Went back to sleep myself but woke up early with the extra hour. So I've been doing a bit of housework, I'm certainly not a housework person though. Washed the bed sheets, letting it air in the bedroom and will put the winter sheets on later. Yes it's all happening here, excitement fuckin plus....

Getting pretty cold in the mornings now, lovely. Have electric blankets for the bed in the middle of winter, and a little heater next to the bed to keep the chill off the room over night. The house is at least 100 years old, with high ceilings, and bloody cold in the winter. Bought a couple of new tops for going to work early, think that's why I started getting a cold other day as I was leaving home at 6:30am with just a t-shirt and jeans. It didn't seem too cold but I guess so. 

Only about 3 weeks until the big trip to Lightning Ridge. Simon is fully peaking about me coming. I don't think I myself am fully peaking, just anxious about going so far from home. Looking forward to seeing him and all. It's such a long way though. I should be OK as I haven't been sick lately, seem very recovered from the GKC. If anything serious did happen though there's fuck all medical facilities out there. Reckon I'd have died had my kidneys stopped out there. If anything really serious happened they'd use the Flying Doctors service I suppose. But again, should be OK. Just me being anxious about nothing.

I found Lightning Ridge on Google Earth:

Amazing that Google Earth thing. If you click for the larger map you can zoom right in. Getting there from Sydney involves getting a train to Dubbo (to the left and inland from Sydney) and then a bus from Dubbo to Lightning Ridge (where the pointer is) because there's no trains there.

Watched some movies yesterday, the first time in months I've actually rented a couple of DVD's. All the movies these days just seem so pointless, bang bang you're dead shit. I got that Skyline one though, as I wanted to see the special effects. Thank fuck it had special effects, because the movie itself was abysmal. The actors just cliche robots going through their cliche lines. The other one was the final in the Saw series: "Saw, the final chapter". I used to be a big horror movie fanatic but lost interest over the years. Call me sicko, but I just loved that whole Saw thing. People think I'm nuts (I think that's obvious by now). When the arms and legs are getting chopped off and blood everywhere, I'm the one in the back of the movie theatre laughing.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Finally off the steroids

A bit tense around the house presently. Daughter is a bit sick, sneezing her head off, coughing, looks sick too. I told her she looked terrible. It's because she works in child care looking after pre-school kids, who all get sick all the time. Any kind of running nose, cold, flu, when one gets sick they all do. And the Centre staff. She still has her periods on top of that. Fuck I'm doomed! Went out last night just to get away from the atmosphere here (yes any excuse). Went to a club that Simon recommended, it was much better than last week, but still not a lot of guys there. I was thinking of going somewhere else but was so tired from work getting up at 5:30am, and was finding it all a bit boring. I just don't have the patience Simon has when it comes to that sort of thing. He can stay there for 5 hours quite happily. Not me.

Filled up the weekly pill box this morning. I've now fully come off the steroid drugs they put me on in the hospital. So the only thing left now that I take are some blood pressure pills, the happy pills, and that's pretty much it. I do take vitamin C tablets, 1000mg in the morning, big ones they are, but I'm not sure if that counts as a drug. My liver and kidneys must be jumping for joy! It's a wonder I don't have some toxic allergic shock due to lack of pills! When I was on HIV meds before the GKC, think I was up to about 10 pills in the morning. Now it's only 4, including the vitamin C one. 

I've been successful so far in the self imposed ban on the local pub. I've had a couple of beers on the way home from work at another pub down the road, but that's been just quietly on my own and hasn't turned into some great full on piss up. Just nice and relaxing after working all day. I think maybe it's good to give my liver and kidneys something to do anyway. Don't want them going to sleep out of boredom or laziness.

Friday, 1 April 2011

First week of full pay in 3 months

Well what a fuckin week it's been. One of depression, and lots of other fucked up shit. There was one very big positive though; the landmark first full pay in 3 months! The last week of full pay was in early Jan when they used the last bit of my long service leave when I was in hospital. Since then it's been half pay that the company kindly did till the end of Jan, and then the Centrelink mega buck $300wk BS. And various credit cards to keep food coming into the place and the rent paid. And the utilities. And the second hand washing machine I had to get after the other one carked it....

Had an argument with daughter last night about the phone bill and all. After telling me she didn't want to pay anything for even the phone line rental, she comes and asks me to use the computer after I was finished. WTF? I hate that it had to get to that point before she actually got it. I flatly refused. Said to go and use the library one or one at a net cafe where you have to pay $2 or $3 an hour, or something mindblowingly cheap. In shock and tears she coughed up the $20 that she'd been paying until now anyway as her contribution to the landline phone rental. There's nothing she pays for the $55 a month ISP bill on top of that; that's all I was wanting, just that pissy little $20 for the line rental. It doesn't even include any phone calls made on that line, just $20 for the $40 a month line. 

I fuckin hate it that it had to get to the point of me refusing her the internet before she finally got the fuckin picture. I mean FFS it's not rocket science. Now in April the 3 monthly bills are due, including the electricity and gas. Which she has already agreed to pay her share, but which I've already said will be less than my payment as she earns less and is my daughter, bla bla, but I do expect the money without dramas. Wish me fuckin luck on that one people. She may be like this time then: having her periods. I'm sorry for any women reading this but it's just the way it is. When she has her periods she goes utterly psycho. Forget reason. Forget anything, it's just all about fuckin her and her inability to handle her periods, despite medicine being available for her to do so. I mean I get happy pills because I can't handle life, but she won't get pills to handle her periods. I have no fuckin sympathy.

Had a bit of a chat with Simon the other night about my little excursion to the boredom Kens last Friday. He was very sympathetic, agreed with me that those that go there seem to be boring as hell. Perhaps something to do with the eastern suburbs here and many seem to go there simply looking for Mr Right, instead of simply a fuck. I mean good grief WTF would you purposefully go to a sex club looking for a life partner for? And then not bother to do a fuckin thing when your there? Yes it's true Simon and I met in a sex club, in a cubicle in fact, and the sex was so fantastic we wanted to meet again. But a life partner? We fuck and connect, we get on, whatever. Some gays appear to be incredibly naive.

But anyway he said that in Brisbane the sex clubs they all just want to fuck. No strings, no lemons in the mouths walking around like stuffed chooks. Just sex. Sounds pretty typical of a place where lots hide in the closet and the gay world is some dastardly thing very little spoken about up there. The great bastion of manliness up there, full of frustrated gays pretending in society. Sounds fuckin wonderful, only problem is Brisbane is 1,000 k's from Sydney. 

Simon is ringing me every night, costs him nothing as he gets 20 free minutes between 8-9pm on his mobile phone plane. I dunno WTF to do about him. I love him, but we have such different lives. He wants me to go up there to live with him, I'd like to in another world, but I've lived here in Sydney since 1985 and have a job that pays. It's close to the whole gay community and all (sex clubs included). He lives in the middle of fuckin nowhere, and is talking about me going to Tech to find employment up there. I'm just too fuckin old to learn new tricks. My job now the reason it was relatively easy to get back into it is because I'm so good at it. I mean really good. And it pays well. I just can't see me uprooting myself to completely start from scratch up there.

The other option is that he comes and lives with me in Sydney. But that means he may sell his place in the middle of nowhere to do that. That would be bloody tragic! I love that place he has. It's independent from everything!. He pays fuck all for council rates ($300 or so for an entire year) and doesn't have to listen to anyone or follow anyone's rules where he is. I'm torn now when I appear to be healthy, between quitting everything and going to live with him in that. Imagine how I'd feel if I wasn't able to work anymore? I don't want him to sell it. I love it there.

But anyway it's the end of the week. Although I didn't work Monday, I did all the other days. Got paid for Monday, weird; I'm now up to -9 hours sick pay. They have never done that before, let me go into negative sick pay and still paid me fully. Hence the full weeks pay. I've seen better weeks, but have also seen much worse.