The Saga Continues…
Continual Survivor Part II
By Nevin Jefferson
When you’re HIV+ your body goes through a lot of changes within with your going through them without. Of course you go through an emotional trauma while you’re having the greatest times ever from these life-altering experiences. The trick is not to freak out about it then deal with it accordingly. Me? I turn it over to God in prayer then let him take me through it from there. Works miracles for me! You also suffer from the side effects from the medications that you’re taking which makes you wonder why you‘re taking this toxic crap. There are those who have success with alternate regimes that include herbal medications, teas, acupuncture, meditation, and prayer. God love em’! Others like me don’t stand a chance in hell and have to go the conventional and traditional route. So what horrid changes does one go through you ask? For beginners there’s Lipodystrophy, which is the redistribution of body fat. The flab doesn’t go away with diet and exercise nor do diet pills do the trick here gang. Me? I had a fat sunken, face with a buffalo hump, tits for days, fat pocket in my groin area and the good and knocked up look. I also had pinched nerves, a shot lower back from all of the weight, swollen feet to keep it company. Smack dab in the middle, there’s Neuropathy (muscle deterioration) which makes one lose the use of the hands, arms, and legs. Me? I had them all including the aggravating stabbing pains (like a needle) in my feet and legs. When I was bowling my legs went out from under me with my going face down in the alley. I played it off as a joke then lay there asking God to take me right then and there! I dropped things a lot with people thinking that I was clumsy and should stay out of China shops. I lost the use of my right arm with my learning how to write with my left hand. For enders, there’s diarrhea which I’ll leave to your imagination since it needs no explanation. Once you get over from these intruders of peace and a happy place in one’s life, you get to go through a brand new one. Me? After getting everything down to a science, I became resistant to all medication with the virus going into mutation. Yes, I’m a walking Sci-Fi movie! Not to worry, I prayed with the answer to my prayers being Drug Studies at the Aids Clinic Trial Unit. To be a survivor you have to do what ever it takes and then some. Does it ever end? Nope! It keeps getting better with you becoming stronger behind it. Me? I’m now resistant to Fuzeon, the wonder drug that had my viral load testing “undetectable” with high CD4 counts to keep it company. So, it’s back to the drawing board as I go through various studies until I get into the right one with the right drugs. Am I stronger after going through all of this? Yes, Sir-Re Bop! My motto in life is “Come on with it, Bring it on!” Beware of the “Old Queen Tales” that are lurking for an ear to bend with dumb thoughts that are too stupid to be true. Which is why most people believe them to be gospel. Pity! There are those who think that exposure to the HIV virus is a gift. Yes, it’s the gift that keeps on giving unless you’re using condoms. The same lot also believes that once you’re infected with the HIV virus, you can apply for Disability and earn money “work free” while living the life of leisure. Total “Duh” to this one that’s an enticement for the lazy and for those who want it all without doing anything to earn it. When you’re on Disability, it’s termed as a “fixed” income which is dumb in itself. If it’s a “fixed” income why are those receiving these benefits always broke? It takes five years for your claim to be processed with it becoming longer than that after they deny your benefits with the chance to appeal their decision. This takes another six months while they lose all of your paperwork and other agonizing tactics to make you wish that you never signed up to begin with. True, you can get a Lawyer to help you. A friend of mine who’s sicker than a dog and would work if he could just went through this hell for over five years. When he finally went to court, the Judge told him that if he wanted to sue for the back payments in benefits it would take another six months. If he didn’t, he could get his benefits immediately. My friend went for option number two because he figured had he and won. The money would have went to his attorney with him not getting a bad penny. So, did he get his first check on the day that it was due? Nope! He got a letter in the mail telling him that he owed Social Security $11,000 smacker-roos when he was receiving benefits years ago before going back to work and deactivating his benefits. Two weeks later, he finally got his check minus the giant deductions for Medicare. He did get Food Stamps out of the deal….all $10.00 dollars worth. While waiting for your Social Benefits to start you’re booted to the DSHS office by Social Security. One gets to go through the pains of child birth without the shot not to mention the biggest mind screw ever. You’ll receive a whopping $239.00 bucks with their wanting to know how you plan on living on this amount? One used to get $17 6.00 bucks on an EBT card. This amount has been slashed with one being given a list of food banks to go so they can get food to last for the month. Now a days, HIV/AIDS isn’t considered to be a high priority since people are living longer thanks to the drugs on the market. You have to have something to add on to a terminal illness that’s now considered to be temporary. So, if you’re not depressed, Bi-Polar, have Cancer, or anything else, call it a night! You read it here first and will read about it further in a Saga Exclusive. There are those of the Poz persuasion who believe that if you meet another Poz person who shares the same strain of virus that they do. There’s no need for a condom because since you’re the same strain it’s a positive match for sex without condoms. Triple Duh for this one, gang! There are different classes of the virus that can make one’s viral load rocket sky high with the CD4 count plunging lower than the cleavage on an obese woman in a too small top. There are those of the negative persuasion who are under the belief that all Poz people should join a club for other Poz people or hang out with other Poz people. This way they don’t have to worry about picking up in bars or other haunts where those in heat go. They also believe that you can tell a Poz person just by looking at them. Get a grip Gertrude! Rejection, alienation, and cruelty are the reasons that some Poz people don’t tell their HIV status. If they’re not asked, they don’t tell. Safe and Safer Sex does work with countless people to verify this fact. For me, this is where my advocacy and educating those of the dimwitted get their facts straight. There are those who are completely blown away by my openness about my POZ status. To me there’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. It’s a part of who I am and I’m dealing with it with the best of my abilities. There are those who ask me if I’m afraid of being alienated, exiled, and totally removed by both the straight and gay community? I was all of the above before testing positive. Then there are those who warn me that I’ll never get a date or meet that certain someone by not being secret about my POZ status. This was a hell-defying feat from day one in my life when it came to men. I now offer more of a challenge for the men who love to be challenged. I’m not going to risk someone’s health and well-being just because I’m afraid of rejection and being truthful about who and what I am. If he loves me, it won’t manner. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. There are those who say that it’s nobody’s business but God’s and mine. Secrets are like clues, they’re always found out. Let’s face it, there are no secrets in life. When one hides in the truth, they’re usually found hiding in a lie. It’s all about having and maintaining a positive attitude. We all have problems, some seen, some unseen. There are those who have problems worst than ours. Me? I tell my problems to my Therapist. This helps keeps me balanced both physically and mentally. By keeping things in a positive perspective the events and experiences evolving in your life aren’t that severe nor is it not being earth shattering or mind boggling. You learn how to deal with it without it becoming a problem then move on. I did! Works Wonders for me!
© Nevin Jefferson, All Rights Reserved