Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Financial advisor to the rescue

Went to the appt with the financial adviser yesterday afternoon. A very bad time at 4pm as getting there by bus there was heaps of school kids cramming them all. 

He put my mind at ease considerably. He is going to contact my specialist doctor for me (like he did last time) and discuss the whole matter with him himself. He to is mystified as to what exactly they want in this specialists letter. The specialist wrote the first one at my request, but the $guru said it needed more put in it. He then contacted the doctor himself and arranged another letter to be written, which is the one that was sent in with the form.  I mean the letter sent does (to me) explain what they want explained in this further request. Fuck I know they're bureaucrats, but how blinkered can they be to plain English?

He also said that the bad bank (that has given me trouble right from the beginning on the first day I walked into my local branch in person, to tell them of my financial plight) was not co-operating with him. So he made an official complaint about my case and the bank involved to the Financial Services Ombudsman. They have now changed their tune. 

He also said not to worry about the hitch with the doctors letter; that these things happen. Also that it's likely the application will succeed if they're asking for more info. I'm feeling much less anxious now.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

A moment from the past worth remembering

There are so many bad memories from the past. Right back to being a kid and all. I was pleased to get a picture from the past that reminded me of a good time. That things weren't all bad. A moment in time captured forever:

 It was at an old works friends place about 15 years ago I suppose. An end of year get together with the people who worked at the company. I am looking a bit the worse for wear I think after a few beers. My daughter looks very happy. It was a moment worth remembering. Unlike many things that happened that were worth trying to forget.

Been to the GP today. He said that I'm going very well. That the red blotches left on my legs will go likely in a few months (I was hoping for quicker than that, but oh well). And that I was going well with the Endone as I'd used only 20 in 8 days, being about 2.5 a day. I explained that the worst is in the mornings, and at work as it was so busy last week (after building up without me there). He said for me to come off them a bit more, and gave me another prescription. Also another 2 boxes of the Lyrica sample packs; another 2 weeks supply on top of the week already left. That's 5 weeks in total he's given me. Found out today when he told me too, thjese pills are about $75 a box as they're not on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and not subsidised by the gov. 

Got up this morning and the cat has a new sleeping place. WTF?

Bedside table, on the other side of mine.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Trying to relax

Today I'm trying to have as relaxing a day as I can. Trying to consciously calm myself down. Have been feeling very anxious last few days about the $, and how the application for my Superannuation has stalled in the great bowels of gov regulation and bureaucracy. It's not an easy thing to fix. The doctor they want more info off I stopped seeing last month when my HIV treatment was transferred to my HIV GP. That shouldn't be a worry though I guess, I dunno. I'm wondering now it might be better to get something off the specialist that I'm still seeing, at the Renal Clinic. 

This has turned into a total War and Peace drama. It's starting to look like it'll be about 6 months from beginning to end with this whole process. Anyway I've made an appt with the $guru for tomorrow afternoon. I feel better now after doing that, knowing that I'll be seeing someone who knows exactly what the bureaucrats are talking about in their letter. 

Made an appt for my GP tomorrow as well. I'm still waking up in the morning in heaps of pain. This morning was like I felt dazed by the strength of it again. Had to do the pill-athon and lay back down for the pain to go. With work again on Wed I'm going to need more painkillers to get by the three days.  

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Getting over the stress

Very tired today. Did a full 7.5 hours yesterday at work. The other bloke turned up to empty the bins just in time as they were all full. He stayed for a couple of hours and there was nothing more to do so went home. Will get paid for 4 as that's the minimum for turning up on the weekend. He was pretty happy about it. Overtime like this doesn't come along every day, so I thought I might as well make the most of it. Made sure I had a coffee break when I felt I was getting tired and paced myself. Put the music in my ears and the day went quite fast. Dunno how much exactly it will be after tax as it will be taxed on the top part of my wage, but it's nearly $400 gross for the day.

Went and had a few beers at the pub after work as a friend of mine wanted to go and he needed a drinking partner. Of course it was very hard for me to sacrifice my time to such a cause! I felt uneasy at the pub after all the BS politics of recent months there, and this was the first time I'd set foot in the place for about a month I think. In fact one person was there talking at another table, he was the friend that I ended the friendship with the other week. He left soon after we got there though so that wasn't too bad. The last thing I felt like was a bloody big shit fight again. That's all it ended up those last few times that I'd been to that pub, was arguments. Couple of times I remember going home in tears. Not a pleasant outing at all. Better off not going. I can't afford to be coping stress like that. I still wonder too if the Shingles attack was caused by the stress from that entire episode. It's not every day you have to take someone to court who's threatened your life, and lose a couple of friends over it in the process. 

The Shingles is continuing to improve. People at work were interested to see how it was going, as I'd emailed a couple of the ghastly pictures to the dept head and he'd forwarded them to my supervisor, who showed some of the workers on her computer on the shop floor. I said it was heaps better when I showed them now, but they were aghast at it even now. WTF? Bloody wimps. I still think it's getting a lot better now, hopefully there'll be little left to show for it after it's all over. 

It's been getting very itchy and I've scratched it a bit now and then. I'm still getting a lot of pain too. The worst is in the mornings, I have to have an Endone pill, the other Lyrica tablets that stop nerve pain, and a couple of Panadol. Sometimes even then it doesn't do the trick. I guess I may have to see the doctor again about managing the pain. Trying not to, but it does appear to be lingering.  

Simon is back from New Zealand on Wednesday. I'm so looking forward to it. Have really missed him these last few days. 

Friday, 24 February 2012

Doing my head in

Got the letter from the super people. 

Last couple of days the mood just hasn't left me at all. Am overwhelmed by all of this. Am going to ring to make an appt with the financial adviser. At least this time I have 90 days and not 30. 

The problem is I have two banks breathing down my neck about when I'm going to do something about this. It's now been 4 months or so I think since I started the whole process with the getting ready of the forms to draw on my superannuation earlier than 7 years from now. I've already extended in one bank the financial hardship thing by a month, thinking it'd be sorted out by then. Looks like it wont and I'll have to ring them to extend it again.

I'm finding this all very upsetting. If this doesn't work then it's bankruptcy. This is the stage before that. I'll be discussing all this with the $guru. It's doing my head in.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


I survived work today. Took only one strong painkiller through it, so not a bad effort I thought. 

Unfortunately I got a phone call from the place where they're processing my application for early release of my Superannuation money. It turns out they need more information. They need more detail off the HIV specialist at the hospital.

OMG! I just can't believe it. Three months of time and effort gone into that application, and now they tell me I need to go back to this particular doctor and get him to write more shit about me. Oh FFS! 

I don't even know what they want anymore. I told the bloke to send a letter to my financial guru (adviser) as well as to me, and I can discuss it with him. I emailed him this afternoon telling him that there was a letter coming, and what was said in the phone call. Am just at my wits end with this. 

Being on the tail end of Shingles doesn't help either. Tonight I'm feeling defeated and upset. 

Think I'll go up the road and buy a nice big steak for dinner, some fresh baby potatoes. Reckon that will help my mood.

Simon emailed and his daughter is doing much better than he thought. Said he might even be back earlier. Have missed him being there the last couple of nights. 

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Ongoing pain management

Went to my doctor yesterday and explained the situation. The rash from the Shingles is considerably better now, but I'm still getting a lot of pain from the nerves that were involved in it. Being as it was the sciatic nerve (the biggest nerve in the body) it's understandable that it's going to take a bit longer for the pain to settle down after the rash is finished. Doctor said the nerves get inflamed. Oh fuckin joy! 

If I leave it to long in between painkillers the pain can get very strong; intensely bad in my lower back and deep inside the pelvic area, radiating down my left leg, and sometimes up the left side of my back right up to my shoulder. When it's bad like that it hurts even to turn over in bed as touching it causes severe pain. The other night I took nothing through the night and woke up hurting enormously.The area of the rash too seems itchy at time, but the slightest scratching of it to relieve the itch brings strong pain instead of relief.

Told much of this to my doctor, and that I was starting work again Wednesday. Had only two tablets of Endone left so he gave me another prescription for that, plus the other tablets he gave me last time from the sample packs; another weeks supply of "Lyrica". I am taking just Panadol as much as I can instead of the Endone, but when the pain is really bad I've got no choice but to take Endone. The other morning I woke up and sat on the bed, sort of in a daze at how much I was hurting. Like "Wow, this is really bad man".  

So I get to go to work with Endone. That should be interesting. Suppose I better let them know at work. Maybe they won't demand so much of me then! It's actually the Lyrica tablets that seem to be making me space out though. They're only 2 a day, and have help heaps with the pain, but I find myself just sort of wandering through the day a bit vacant. I suppose that will help a lot with the boredom I have to deal with there. It's on top of 300mg of Efexor in the morning too, I wonder if they're having a bit of a party together. Add 5mg of Endone to that and I've got a great little threesome happening.

Went and saw the psychologist after the doctors. Had a lot to discuss as it's been 5 weeks since I saw him last. Overall he was pleased with how I was going, particularly how I decided that being HIV+ didn't mean I should be treated badly by people, or that it should be used as a put down.

Monday, 20 February 2012

The other side of suicide...the pain of those left behind...

I remember last year after I was out of hospital, talking to a long time family friend about what had happened to my daughter when I was in hospital. I had nearly died the second time in just two weeks. They'd found me on the bed at home, nearly dead, after I'd missed an important dialysis appt on a Sunday. They'd called my daughter (as she was who I put down as my next of kin) to go check on me. She was worried about what she might find and so got our neighbour to go in with her.

My neighbour, experienced in looking after aged people in nursing homes for years, initially thought I was dead. After turning me and looking more closely he saw I was breathing shallowly and my heart was beating, but I couldn't be revived. They had to ring an ambulance, sirens wailing and all, like the sound of death. I was carted off and went into intensive care, being kept alive by a ventilator. During this time nobody knew if I was going to wake up, and one of my friends when visiting overheard the doctors discussing what my wishes might be about pulling the plug. 

This wasn't a suicide attempt, but I found out later from the above friend how my daughter was feeling during those 2 days. She'd spent a long conversation with her on the phone. My daughter was a mess, petrified that I was so close to death. Almost hysterical. Scared shitless at the prospect that her father might soon be gone. The pain felt then only the prerequisite at what would follow. I can't imagine what sort of state she'd be in now had I not woken up.

Two years before, my best friend killed herself. She was in America, a citizen who'd grown up there and spent her life there. She'd spent the last year or so looking after her husband as he died, in their rented flat. In the end he was in the lounge room permanently in bed. He died there in her arms. I was with her every day through this, as best I could online. I was in Australia, she Florida. I supported her through her husbands death, as she supported me through my wife's. We became so very close.

After he died there was fuck all support for her over there on her own. She had to move out of the rented flat 3 weeks after her husband died in her arms there. Long story short, things got worse and she ended up in a caravan/trailer park, and in the end ran out of money. There was no unemployment benefit as here, no rent assistance as here, no free psychologist as here, no free grief counseling, no organisations set up to help her. No nothing. In the end she was facing homelessness on a Monday. She chose death rather than that. 

I lost her that weekend. I stayed with her till the end as best I could from here. I talked on the phone with her for about 2 hours my Sat time here. We both cried. I knew she was going to do it, I knew why and could understand why. She gave me the name of the caravan park office to ring if I'd not heard from her in a couple of days. I rang her my Sunday afternoon (Sat night Florida). We only spoke for a minute or two. She said "It's going to be soon", and we both said goodbye to each other.

I went to a friends that night, the drug dealer who was fucking me a bit at the time. We'd sort of come to like each other a bit more than just fuck buddies; like he really sort of cared about me. Anyway I explained to him about her, and that I didn't want to be alone that night. We had a great night of sex and drugs, and after things settled down I went online on his PC. I checked my email at 6am. I found her last two emails sent to me. They were very personal letters about the time we'd known each other. She thanked me for that last phone call Sunday, saying it was "the best way to end us". I looked at D___ and said "She's done it..." He looked in disbelief.

I rang the caravan park about a day later. The police were called. I rang a bit later and asked what the story was. The caravan park owner said that there had been "a body taken out". I was actually relieved, almost envious that her pain was no more. I hurt a lot today about it, but after knowing what she went through I can understand why she did it. 

I'm sort of in the middle, not afraid of death. Would have to say though it's what I'd do to the people I left behind that stopped me in that year of 2009. It would be selfish of me to put that pain above hers, but I still miss her a lot. We both understood each other perfectly. It's the worst in Jan, she'd died on the 26th.

This video here is getting lots of attention here in just two days 700,000 views.


Sunday, 19 February 2012

True friends

Feeling a bit strange today. Maybe a bit lost. Simon's in New Zealand now. He left here about 8am or so this morning, flew out from the airport about 9 I think. We hugged saying goodbye. About a 3 hour flight to Christchurch so he'd be well there now. Hope it goes well with his daughter, he was worried about her the last few days. 

It will be good for him to see her, and her him. She's been quite affected by the sort of metal collapse she's had. Said she couldn't go somewhere the other day as she just froze when trying to get in the car. I can understand that sort of thing as I've been through it myself. There've been many times I've not been able to get to work simply because I was scared to leave the house. It felt safe at home, like nothing more could happen whilst I was within the walls. Some days I didn't even pull the curtains back, just sat inside at home all day completely cut off from the outside world. 

It takes time to get over things like that, the fear and all. Likely Simon has learned from his experience with me that it's something that she has to do at her own pace. I imagine too that there'd be a lot of people from Christchurch suffering mental health issues after the big earthquake last year. 

Had a couple of friends over last night, that I knew from the pub. As I'm not going there as I have the shits with the clientele severely, and the bar staff, Simon suggested we have these two people over. Those two have shown themselves to be true friends, through the whole crisis with the violent nut recently who sent me the death threat. Ones that stuck by me and supported me, instead of being critical of me and making excuses for the nut. 

That experience turned out to be a very stressful period. Not so much about putting the nut in his place through the courts, but about being rejected and put down over it by people who claimed to be my friends. It is good to go through an experience I think where such false friends can be weeded out (I mean fuck, you don't want that falseness in your life do you) but it still hurts when you do have to face the truth about them. I'm glad I was the one who ended the friendship; if they had of done it I reckon it've made the experience harder to deal with. 

All in all though things are looking much better now. It's good to know I have real true friends who will be there for me (and I them) when the chips are down. The process finding them has been a bit hard, but worth it in the end. I so appreciated their support. We had a very friendly night of laughter and beer (oh, and some wine which I didn't have as I hate the stuff). Simon is a chef but just did a simple meal, went over well. The conversation flowed and we all felt at home. I'm a Taurus and so it's all about comfort and feeling welcome at my place.  

Saturday, 18 February 2012

"Sexy Beach Party in my Sparkly Speedo"

This was really funny. Beach in Melbourne in Jan. Getting a lot of attention on You Tube.


Being together.

We were so close yesterday.... together in motion and energy. He was touching me like electricity. Our energies were mixing together and doing a dance of joy and freedom. These times are so special. It seems as if we create a whole new energy together; something happens and we both feel it. 

I feel every movement. He's touching areas that only he can. He holds me so tight, and I move in response. The emotions, the feelings, the love is so very deep, almost primordial. Our noises, my groans, aren't words but sounds coming from deep within. Expressions of what's happening. He touches my soul and I cry. He's deep within me in every way. 

I feel so much a part of him. So together with him. So safe and secure. So loved. We hold each other in the night afterwards, still feeling the electricity as we touch. 

It's very beautiful. 

Friday, 17 February 2012

Ongoing pain after Shingles?

Didn't take anything during last night for pain. Woke up at about 2am and felt a bit sore, but thought I'd just leave it and see how I went. Woke up this morning and OMG, couldn't believe how much I was hurting. Sciatic nerve really painful, and my leg and left side hurting to even touch. Got up to see how I felt walking around. A little better, but fuck I'd not like to go through the day like that. Took one of the new pills, one 5mg Endone, and 2 Panadol tablets. Lay back down in bed and relaxed whilst the pain settled. 

Made an appt with my GP for Monday morning to discuss the ongoing pain. The rash is clearing up really well now I reckon, but the pain levels are excruciating if I've got nothing to take for it. And I want to go back to work this coming Wednesday and if the pain is still near such levels I'm going to need ongoing pain management. 

I only was given a prescription for one box of Endone the other day, only 20, 5mg tablets. Have been trying to not take so many, and have succeeded in that to some extent, but times like this morning I just need to have one. I've not had any history at all of abusing prescription medication. I'll see what the doctor says Monday. 

Simon has had his air ticket to New Zealand organised by his daughter over there. He has to check his email to print out the ticket. Think he said they're wanting him to go Sunday, will know when he prints it out. She's stuffed him around a bit, left him hanging and she's not rung when she said or done what she said. I gave my opinion that if she's had some kind of a collapse like I did, she'd not be able to organise a fuck in a brothel. I'm just hopeless at organising a thing after my episode. 

He agreed last night when we talked about her, I said it's lucky you had a mentally disturbed person like me to be around! Know you'll have experience in that! He laughed and said that yes, after dealing with me he could deal with anyone!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Work fucks my pay up, and Simon soon to leave

Work fucked up my pay this week. Really pissed off about it. WTF is going on in that fuckin pay office? I go to the bank site to pay the rent as usual, and see on the screen I've only been paid $200. "Oh fuck" I thought, "I'm fucked".  

I know I only work 3 days a week, but I should have gotten my usual $535 (after tax). $200 isn't even enough to pay the rent of $360, and to top it off my daughter couldn't pay any rent last week as she doesn't get paid holidays in the job she's doing (just being a nanny for a couple with 2 children). I done everything right with work, emailed a scan of the doctors certificate from Emergency stating I had to have 2 weeks off to my dept head. I only had 1 days worth of sick leave built up, so I asked them to use my long service leave that's there which is at nearly exactly 6 days; enough to cover the two weeks. I also have about 8 days of annual leave built up too if the long service leave was a problem.

So what happens? I get paid the one day of sick leave. That's it. $200. Fuckin hell man. The pay office should have asked either my supervisor or  dept head what they wanted to do, instead of just not paying me at all for 2 days FFS! Sent a rather pissed off email to the human resources lady. Dunno what she's going to do, but anyway my daughter is paying $200 this week (she's behind in her rent) so I can make the rent, and if they can't fix it until next payday then I'll just have to live off the credit card for the week. 

Simon's passport has arrived in the mail from Lightning Ridge. He has to find out when his daughter wants him over there in New Zealand before he organises the flights. So I guess he will be flying out early next week sometime. He's very stressed out about it. I mean it's fine to go over there when it's all planned ahead, but it's a big thing I reckon to have to go there unexpectedly. It is another country after all. Plus he's only got the clothes he came here with for a 2 week stay, all light summer stuff. Think he'll be OK though as it's summer there too and it does get quite warm in and around Christchurch. He'll be staying with them in the country about an hours drive out of Christchurch.

It's been really good having him here this time. We've both been able to keep our own space sort of thing. Think we're getting on the best we ever have. 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

On the mend, finally

We finally had sex again yesterday evening. We were both sort of stunned at the way it happened, so suddenly and so intense. The new pills the doctor gave work well with the nerve pain (caused by Shingles) and I was fine. Like an explosion of need. Before we knew it, it was about 3 hours later, and we both realised we were hungry and should have a meal. 

Got up and I did a bit in the kitchen. I feel a bit out of place in there as Simon is a chef and it feels like anything I do may be wrong. I just sort of chuck things together and hope for the best. He knows exactly how to mix things properly and have them turn out marvelously.

It was so good to not be hurting. It was really starting to get me down the constant pain. Sometimes it has been so bad that I've had trouble getting up out of a chair and moving around. Hard to describe. It's the sciatic nerve of course, but as it's so inflamed it seems to have affected other nerves around it too. Not only down the back of my ass and down my leg where the rash is, but on the other side of my lower back, and right up the left side of my back all the way to my shoulders. Gripping pain, debilitating. 

Today the rash is looking much better. Most of the scabs have come off, revealing read patches underneath. I guess that will heal up soon. I may put all these pictures in a separate page, call it "When I got Shingles" or something. Like a documentation of what happened over a couple of weeks.

What I'm worried about now is if there's going to be any remaining pain after the rash is all better. I've read that the Shingles can damage the nerves that they go through to get to the skin. Will talk about it with my doctor if I need to.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Latest blood results, GP visit, AVO court papers

Went to my GP today and he saw the Shingles for the first time (he's been on leave). Explained to him my dramas with it all, and how it was so bloody painful being as it's gone through the sciatic nerve. He was surprised at how bad it was, described it as "full on", and that the nerves were inflamed. 

I asked for something stronger as what I had been taking seemed to be doing fuck all. He assured me that the Endone was very strong, I said "Well it's doing nothing". As the nerves are inflamed he decided to replace the Endep (once at night) with "Lyrica". Never heard of it, but sounds good:
How LYRICA is believed to work

The shingles virus travels to your skin by following your nerves. Along the way, the virus damages these nerves. These damaged nerves are what cause pain after shingles. LYRICA is believed to work on damaged or overactive nerves that are thought to cause nerve pain. Although the exact mechanism of action is unknown, animal studies suggest that LYRICA reduces "extra" electrical signals sent out by these damaged nerves. The implication of these studies in humans is not known.
It's twice a day. He went and got a couple of sample boxes, each with 14 pills in them - two weeks supply. So I didn't have to pay for a prescription, really appreciated that. Just had to pay for another Endone script is all. 

Also remembered to ask about my CD4 count. I never bothered to follow up after the last blood test that was done at Infectious Diseases at the hospital. They've since handed me over to him as he's a GP qualified to treat HIV as well. That blood was taken early last month, and came back as:
CD4 - 760
Viral load - 4,600
Impressive I thought. He said to take another blood test in about a month from now as the Shingles episode may give a wrong reading as the to overall state. I said I'm happy to stay off meds for as long as I can if I'm getting results like that.

Tonight is the Roger Waters concert, but as I'm so fucked I just don't feel I'm up to going. It's half way across the city on public transport to get there, plus a fair walk from the train station. Getting home is a hassle and I'd likely not be home until midnight. All the worries about taking painkillers at the right time, nerves hurting like hell. I dunno, just can't do it right now. A shame to miss it, but at least I only got a cheap ticket of $100, and over 6 months ago so it's not like I'm spending today's money on it. Last night I was hurting all over just sitting watching telly and ended up going to bed just to lie down at about 7:30. I may change my mind, will see how I feel later.

Got the court papers in the mail yesterday; the ones where I took the fuckwit to court. The Apprehended Violence Order against him is pretty broad. Good fuckin job. I feel so good about standing up to him. Fancy trying to use my HIV as a put down in a death threat FFS! Enough was enough. He's actually done me a big favour, as his message was the catalyst to me realising that having HIV doesn't mean you should be treated badly, by anyone

Monday, 13 February 2012

Urgent trip to New Zealand

Simon has to go on an unexpected trip to New Zealand. His daughter in Christchurch is doing rather badly after the big earthquake they had there early last year, and her fiance has to go away for a couple of weeks. They want Simon to just be there with her for that time. So he's stressed out at the moment, having to organise a return plan ticket, and getting his passport here from Lightning Ridge which is cut off from the floods. The guy he's got there looking after the place mailed it today and said it would be here in about 3 days. Australia Post must be flying mail in and out at the little airport there. 

Sounds to me like Post Traumatic Stress from the earthquake. His daughter is a school teacher, and when the earthquake struck she rushed them all out into the footy field there. But then the ground started opening up and water coming out with that liquefaction thing that happens. All the kids were screaming. Sounds pretty bad. 

I said to just go there and be with her. That's all it sounds like she wants right now. Mental illness isn't something that's going to go in a month or two, me being a prime example. In a way it's a good thing Simon has been around me , me so fucked up in the head. At least he's had some experience of such things and now's in a better position to perhaps understand his daughter's plight. I imagine there'd be a lot of New Zealander's dealing with Post Traumatic Stress after the earthquake, particularly with the amount of strong aftershocks they've had over the last year there.

My Shingles are improving a lot, all scabbed over now. Still hugely painful. Be seeing my doctor tomorrow.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Simon stranded in Sydney

Well it's official. Lightning Ridge will soon be cut off for at least two weeks. Simon is now stranded in Sydney! Hooray! Oh that's a bit heartless isn't it.... But he has somebody there looking after his place living in it, and his little dog. He rang Countrylink this morning and had to cancel his booking back and will rebook when the roads aren't flooded. He's a bit lost today, but did have a good night last night at the club.

Some towns in south west QLD have already been flooded.

Roma (where the blue tag is) and St George have been in the news a lot. Here's a couple of aerial shots south of Roma:

All that water now is coming down across the New South Wales/Queensland border, and will cut off both Lightning Ridge and Walgett to the south. Simon's place won't get flooded as it's built on the ridge, but it'll be cut off for a while.
They've put a thing in the The Ridge News up there:
As a result of this floodwater, Lightning Ridge may be isolated for an extended period however at this stage the isolation period is unknown.

The Lightning Ridge SES wishes to reassure the community that it will facilitate the supply of essential goods and services to Lightning Ridge during the period of isolation.

The SES is available to assist residents of the Lightning Ridge area with requests for assistance and for urgent evacuations by calling 132 500.

The SES does not have the resources available to transport people for personal or business purposes.

These floodwaters will have a significant impact on the shire’s road network as they make their way downstream into the Walgett Shire.

Heavy rainfall in the area has also resulted in the closure of all unsealed roads within the shire.
I think finally the Shingles is getting better. Some of the redness is gone out of it, and the blisters are well into scabbing over. It still looks ghastly though darlings, and I can't wait for it to be better. The pain is still intense, but manageable. As I'm seeing my GP Tuesday I'll wait to talk with him about the whole thing.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Old Oxford St

I came across this online. An old picture of Sydney (1880's). It's taken from exactly the same place that that I took the picture that at the top of this blog.


Space for Simon when I'm sick

Slept well again last night. Woke up in the morning sore, but not as bad as yesterday. Dunno what the story was then, other than the back and leg pain got very bad for a while. Still very sore though, it hurts to even touch my lower back and upper legs. I want to have sex with Simon but it would just be too painful that sort of physical contact. 

I can tell he's frustrated with it too. We were talking about it this morning and I suggested he go to Kens. Told him I felt like sex too but am just too sore. He agreed and he's off there tonight. I feel so much better now that he doesn't need to rely on me all the time. At the moment I'm fucked. It's towel free night there on Fridays (everyone is naked) so he should have a good time. 

Ken's is one of the oldest sex on premises clubs in Sydney. Very big inside. Large indoor swimming pool, big spa pool, large wet sauna, porn room and all. It's the closest one to where I live, just a short bus ride. Otherwise you have to go all the way into Oxford st and if you stay there late there's not a lot of buses home and cabs are expensive. Ken's though is a bit on the tame side for me, but it's OK if you're not looking for anything too full on. 

Some people reading this may be a bit shocked, but that's always how our relationship has been. Both of us are way too jaded to fall for the big head over heels falling in love thing. Meh, been there done that. We're both happy to have our own lives and our own space. Neither of us want to be smothered and restricted by monogamy. When we do have sex it's never boring, always exciting and new. It works for us.

What's the alternative? He sits around home bored shitless getting more and more frustrated with me and my illness? I couldn't handle that at all, let alone him. I don't want to be the only one responsible for his sexual fulfillment. I don't want to have that put on me. Any more than I'd want to put that on him. 

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Pain aplenty

Slept OK last night, but noticed the pain was slowly increasing. Took an Endone pill when going to bed, and 6 hours later, at 3am, had to take another (the last one for the 24 hour period). Woke up and everything was hurting. And the pain had come back severely at the top of my legs/lower back. Was sort of joined with more pain going down both legs. That was what originally made me think I'd done something to my back and it was affecting my sciatic nerve. 

Had been trying to find out about it online. This gave a pretty good description of what's happened:
Shingles (herpes zoster) is an acute infection of the nerves that supply sensation to the skin, generally at one or several spinal levels and on one side of the body (right or left). Patients with shingles usually have had chickenpox earlier in life. The herpes virus that causes chickenpox is believed to exist in a dormant state within the spinal nerve roots long after the chickenpox resolves. In people with shingles, this virus reactivates to cause infection along the sensory nerve, leading to nerve pain and usually an outbreak of shingles (tiny blisters on the same side of the body and at the same nerve level). The back pain in patients with shingles of the lumbar area can precede the skin rash by days. Successive crops of tiny blisters can appear for several days and clear with crusty inflammation in one to two weeks.
Fuck no wonder I'm in pain. The bloody Shingle virus has attacked my sciatic nerve FFS! And although the Shingle blisters themselves are only on the left side, the pain is on both sides at the base of my spine, including in the front. Hurts like hell to touch even where there's no rash at all. And it's down both legs, although perhaps more on the left than right. It's pretty full on, basically the whole bottom part of my body hurts to varying degrees, even round my lower stomach. Daughter took these pics this morning. She's a bit freaked out by it, but as I've researched it a lot online it's easy to calm her down as I know what's happening.

The whole lot now is starting to scab, which is good. I do wish though there was a corresponding reduction in pain levels, I guess that's still to come. Have made a appt with my HIV GP Tuesday. He's back on Monday but when I rang yesterday he was nearly booked out for the day already, only appts left were late afternoon. Ended up getting one Tues appt a bit after 11am.

Simon has gone to the movies with the friend who he was looking after her dog a while back. Told him last night that I was feeling a bit upset about it all, especially that it happened just perfect timing for his visit. Feel a bit better that at least he's getting out. Trying not to feel guilty as it's not my fault, but I do feel sad. 

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


Have been trying not to get down about this, but I'm starting to get frustrated and grumpy about it all. Has happened at the worst possible time (how fuckin typical of me) with Simon here. All we had was one sex session after he arrived, then I got bloody sick. Fuck it pisses me right off.

It's really sore the rash now as the Shingles goes through it's phases. Looks like a very bad case in light of what I've seen online. I'll post a latest photo tomorrow, suppose I might as well document the shit. Hurts like hell just to touch. That along with all the fuckin aching muscles. Why, of all times, did this have to fuckin happen now FFS?

I was really looking forward to a period of genuine intimacy with Simon this visit. As he was. And can tell he's annoyed with the situation. I keep apologising for being such a stick in the mud. I know he has trouble understanding, he even mentioned the both of us going to Ken's the other night as he thought the spa pool might help. WTF? They wouldn't let me in looking like this, and any blokes there would run a fuckin mile at the sight of it. 

Today he was wanting to do something, go somewhere, get out of the house sort of thing. The last thing I feel like doing is go gallivanting around. Tired from the pills and the pain. Just want to be home and relax. 

When I went to the hospital other day and was diagnosed correctly, he'd that day commented that he couldn't believe how many illness's I get. Sort of be more positive in the head and things like that. Then I come home from Emergency with fuckin morphine tablets! Like, "Do you believe me now?".

But it's upsetting. I wanted his stay this time to be good, and it's all turned to shit.

Anyway, he was to be going back early next week. He's stranded here for at least another week though as Lightning Ridge has been cut off from flooding. I hope I improve in that time to at least have some sort of intimacy with him.  

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The Shingles progresses

Saw this online. Is this a church I can believe in?

Had a much better night last night, slept most of it. Didn't use as many Endone tablets yesterday and so could take one middle of the night when the pain has been getting bad. Simon however said I was dreaming intensely and being very animated with it. Making fists and swearing at somebody. Very unlike me, all 68 kilos. Can't remember any of the dreams either, you'd think I would  being so full on like that. He said I was yelling too, not just mumbled words. And that it went on for a while. He didn't get a lot of sleep last night, whereas I did. I woke up feeling very rested for a change.

The revolting rash appears to be doing everything that they said it would. The blisters are starting to scab over, starting from where the first ones appeared. Showed my daughter today and she sort of freaked a bit. Yes, it may be running it's course, but when sores get scabbed over they always look worse in my opinion, even though it means getting better. The colour is darker and more pronounced. Anyway, this the latest from today:

I've been trying to eat well and rest. Simon is very good with food being a chef and always makes something nutritional and appealing. He's been buying food daily and making stuff. Nothing spectacular but very nice all the same. And I've been eating blueberries like mad. Luckily they're well in season here and the fresh ones are cheap. All the vegetables and fruit is cheap at the moment, after all the unusual rain over the last months the farmers are getting a bumper crop. Tastes better than other dry years too, bought some carrots the other day and just delicious, lovely and sweet.

Texted my supervisor today to make sure they'd gotten my email I sent to the dept head, with the hospital cert for 2 weeks off and the ghastly picture of my leg. Turns out the supervisors brother had Shingles a few years back and she knows all about it. Asked me how I was. That makes it a lot easier with time off at work when there's someone in charge who understands.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Stress and Shingles

Had a bad night last night. The Endone didn't seem enough. Surprising as it's morphine based, and I've never had it before. It's not like I'd be used to it. Tossed and turned all night, waking up constantly. My lower back was aching badly, along with both legs. And the rash on my left leg was stinging the worst it has yet just at the slightest touch. Even just turning over in bed I had to go slowly and carefully. 

Had to go to the doctor today to get another prescription for Endone as the hospital only gave me enough for one week. They did say that I'd have to go to the GP during the week as one weeks supply wouldn't be enough. They can only prescribe a certain amount at the hospital when you're leaving it, and the rest you have to see a GP. My GP is still on leave until next week, so I went to the same one I saw last week, who diagnosed it then as an allergic reaction. 

He read the letter that Emergency wrote for him to read. Gave me the Endone, but thought the hospital had made a wrong decision. I thought that was a bit strange. I wasn't going to argue with him though, just told him I was supposed to get another 20 tablets as written in the letter. There were 2 doctors in Emergency that both diagnosed Shingles, as well as a nurse in there that took my blood pressure, as well as the triage nurse who saw me first. I also researched it online and it looked exactly like the images there.

I found out online that you can only get it after having chicken pox, with the chicken pox virus laying dormant in your body after getting better from it.
  When a person catches chicken pox, this virus just lies inactive and undeveloped in your skin cells, for years, even decades. Once your immune system is at its weakest, because of age, another disease and even stress that gets out of control, your immune system cannot hold back this dormant virus, and it becomes active again, causing infection, rashes and an itchy, burning sensation on the area of the skin where the virus laid dormant for years.
I'm wondering just how much of a roll the recent stress of having to go to court and all, has had in this Shingles thing. It's not like my immune system is fucked with my CD4 count so high. It just makes me even more angry at those so called friends who didn't consider my condition at all, and defended the guy who sent the death threat. I mean FFS, HIV+, Post Traumatic Stress, barely avoiding suicide, and years of lurching from one crisis to the next. These people knew all this and didn't give a fuck. 

I think losing those friends (even though it was me who broke the friendship) was way more stressful than taking a violent fuckwit to court. It hurt a lot. People who I thought cared about me didn't at all. They only cared about themselves. Yes it's been the best decision I've made for a while getting rid of them, and I don't regret it in the slightest. But it still hurt.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

I've got Shingles

Despite all the anti-allergy shit the doctor gave me for the rash, it was getting worse and worse. Woke up yesterday and there was all little fluid things on it, ack, looked disgusting. And it was spreading. By the evening my back was severely aching all over, especially in my lower back with pain going right down my legs. The Panadol was doing nothing and I was eating them like lollies. It hurt to even move, with the rash stinging like hell and the pain in my back. I told Simon I was going to Emergency to see what they said.

Got there and was put in quickly as the triage nurse didn't want me sitting out in the waiting room in case it was contagious. Long story short they disagreed with the GP I saw the day before and said it was "Shingles". Never heard of it. It starts on your leg and lower back and spreads a bit from there. Can go under your arms too. They just let it run it's course and you stay home to get better, about 2 weeks. Is contagious because of the blisters that break easily. Simon looked up a bit about it last night on the net, evidently you can only get it if you've had chicken pox. I'll look up more about it in due course.

Apparently it's very painful. No wonder I've been in fuckin pain! Have been sounding like a broken record to Simon, even giving myself the shits. But it has been just so painful. He's been bewildered as well as to WTF is going on. I was starting to think I'd done something really major to my back. But anyway at least I know what it is now for sure, and am being treated appropriately.

They've given me Endone and Endep for the pain. Never had them before, very strong compared to Panadol. It's still taken overnight though for the pain to settle down. They said it was important to get on top of the pain now otherwise it can linger on after getting better. They gave me a doctors cert for 2 weeks at work, oh they're going to love that. Sent work an email with a scan of the cert and a picture I took of it this morning. Looks revolting.

Simon is going on like "I can't believe how many illnesses you get", and I'm saying "It's not my fault you know". Eventually he got the picture.

The picture above is the worst part, just on one leg. Weird. And a bit on my lower back. But it certainly freaked me out when I didn't know what it was.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Terrible allergic reaction

Today I'm sore. Got a bad allergic reaction on one of my legs, saw a doctor on the way home from work yesterday. I've not been to that medical centre before but thought I'd give it a go as it was right where I change buses. A bulk billing place (free) and the one that my daughter has told me about at the mall. I was quite happy with the place, and only had to wait 20 minutes or so, so I think will go back there again.

The doctor seemed a bit aghast at how bad the rash was. It came up really aggressively only over about 2 days. Got much worse yesterday at work. As it's only on one leg, and a bit on my lower back, he reckons I must have come into contact with something that I'm badly allergic too. This I took yesterday after seeing the doctor:

It's gotten a bit worse overnight, but the cream and antihistamine tablets appear to be helping. Today it's sore and hurts moving around. I guess it's because I've got an hyperactive immune system because of the HIV, that chucks a fit at just about anything. Doctor says a week to ten days, but the amount of area I have to cover with the cream it looks like I'll run out and have to go back and get another prescription.

Tried to think what on earth I came into contact with that did this. The only explanation is lube. After sex and cleaning up, Simon has had lube on his dick (during the general course of things) and we've gone to sleep against each other with his dick and my leg moving against each other through the night. There's nothing else I could have come into contact with. Good grief! I've used that particular lube for ages, now all of a sudden I've developed a massive allergy to it. Fucks sake man! Allergic to lube! Just dreadful darlings!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Court victory

Spent ages in court yesterday. Finally after about 3 hours or so our case came up. It was a bit weird being in the same courtroom as this guy, but Simon was there for most of the time and he was sitting on the other side. He was called to the microphone and proceeded to be belligerent to the magistrate. Mentioned some things to try and defend himself as he had decided not to get representation, asking for example "Where was the violence?". WTF? Anyway as he accepted the Apprehended Violence Order being put on him the question was inappropriate.

The magistrate then had to read out what was involved in the order, at on point saying that it was not a criminal conviction, but a breach of it would be a criminal matter and taken very seriously, with a maximum penalty of 2 years in jail. At which point he started laughing, totally pissing off the magistrate who said something like "Look, if you're not going to take this seriously....." She then went on to explain that he wouldn't be able to get any kind of job in security for 10 years after having this AVO placed on him. 

So that was it, he left the courtroom, and I waited about 10 minutes before leaving myself. I hope I never see this idiot again. Have found out also he's in much more trouble with other people and my episode with him will become just part of a much bigger picture. 

It doesn't really feel like a victory. More like why the fuck did I have to deal with this nut. Although the whole thing was a catalyst to living more assertively.