Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Some Things Never Change

The past two weeks have been hard for me. Having left the house and had to live a single life (again), I have no one to nurse me but myself. Only if a partner is as easy to get as an instant coffee or an instant noodle from the nearest corner store, then I would have gotten one. Then again, on a second thought, I never really like things 'instant' so I would rather nurse myself.

I always get sick-- that's given. Either I am really sick, or I condition myself to be sick. However, this time, I can tell-- I was more than psychosomatic. With the painful blisters, I know it was for real.

I had to brave the creepy hallways of the hospital to have my check-up-- alone. My friend, K, has been very busy and could not skip work to drag me to the clinic so I had to do it myself. With pain getting worst than I can endure, I went to the hospital and had my check up. They prescribe to me some, well more than some I would say, medicine, which I have to take on schedule as the virus had to be treated aggressively since they have gone so potent due to my late check up and late medication.

It was tough, I mean taking the meds. I haven't had to take medicines regularly on time before so I missed my sched at times. The meds are also just soooo strong that I sometimes just sleep the whole day, and wake just to take another set of meds. that has been the first week.

The second week, I had to go back to the doctor for a follow up check. I was more relaxed this time.

Anyway, I have gotten some comforting message from my Sister, who was sending me message after message on my mobile to check on me and make sure I am doing fine. My sister is the only one in the family who knows about my HIV status. She has always been close to me, but we've lost touch since she got married. But this time, I really felt like I had the same Sister who I always knew. I am still my Sister's favorite brother.

Mom also found out about me having shingles. As I was running out of resources, and that my client hasn't paid me for the writing job I did, I was forced to get in touch with Bro and ask for some help. Bro just couldn't keep a secret and told Mom that I was on medication.

I never planned to have Mom know about my shingles, but it happened. She was so quick to offer some help, though. She even insisted on visiting just to see me. However, as much as I would like to have mom look after me, I don't wanna have her worry more than I worry about myself. It kills me knowing Mom is worrying so I'd rather have her not know whenever I am sick.

My niece also called just to check if I am OK.

I am feeling better now. Though I still feel some pain at times, I am trying to manage. The blisters have dried up and are now just scabbing, however the pain might have to remain for the next 3-6 months. Some nerves have been damaged by the viral infection and have to repair.

For the meantime, I am planning to go and visit mom on weekend. I haven't seen them for a while. I know she'll be very happy to see his Baby Boy healthy again. My niece would be more than glad to have his Tito go home and bring her a box of doughnuts.

At this point, that's the only way I can show them my appreciation. I have never been so showy about it. But I know, there are just some things that never change.

Moms will always be moms.

Sons will always be sons.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shingles Stingles

This post has caused me so much ambivalence.

I know this is not a good way to present myself in public. I am telling you, it is not nice. Even I think they're gross. At the same time, though I may still be screaming in protest about this ugly-looking, blister-filled lower midsection, I figured its not everyday that I get this, so might as well take photograps of it and post.

My lower right midsection 4 days after  I first felt the burning sensation. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Monster Zoster

I have a very low tolerance for (physical) pain.

I whimper on a splash of hot oil in my skin. I cry on a needle prick on my finger. I howl on cuts and burns I get. However, I guess I never knew pain until yesterday.

I writhed in excruciating pain from my lower right anterior radiating down my back and so I decided to brave the terrifying panorama of the hospital hallway, and had my check up. I never liked hospitals. It always creeps me out, but this time, I guess I don’t have a choice. I was in terrible pain-- pain I had never experienced before.

As I was waiting for the doctor, my discomfort was worsening. I was seated in a chair waiting for my turn, all sweaty and dizzy, coupled with the itchy and stingy feeling my blisters are causing me. Finally, the door opened so I limped from my chair to the doctor’s room.

Seeing the doctor was somehow a relief. I was hopeful that she could instantly take the pain off just like magic. I know its not going to happen, but I was very hopeful she could help.

I showed the doctor my blisters. I told her that I felt some burning sensation in my front lower midsection four days ago, but just shrugged it off, thinking that it was just heat burn. The rashes grew into small blister the next day, but I thought they were just regular rashes. On the third day, I saw them grew into very large and painful blisters. I decided to call a doctor friend to tell him about the blisters and ask if I can schedule a checkup.

My doctor carefully examined the blisters. After checking, she confirmed that I was suffering from a viral infection called Herpes Zoster, commonly known as “shingles”. Herpes zoster occurs only in people who have had chickenpox. The disease results from the virus reactivation, and usually infects the weak, elderly or diabetics, people with low immune system.

She prescribed to me some medicines to suppress the viral infection and to minimize the stabbing pain.

Soon as I got home, I took the meds right away and fell asleep. I didn’t feel as much pain as I did when I was awake, but at times, I wake up and still feel a stingy feeling, as if someone is pulling the nerves on my chest.

I learned that rashes from shingles appear on only one spot, which in my case I had mistaken for burns, accompanied by stabbing pain for the first 3-5 weeks. Although the medicines are somewhat of help reducing pain (with some strong side effects such as blurred vision, drowsiness, sleepiness, and headache among others), I guess I must learn to live with my pain until it lasts.

And by the way, I could have photographed my lower midsection, but it is screaming in protest, not a way to present myself in public's eye with an ugly-looking scar-filled chest. =P

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Serendipity, But Not Quite

I saw an old friend, JR in a bar in Malate one night. I haven't seem him for a while since I have been out of town most of the time recently and have not been visited Malate as often as before. Anyway, we spent some good time talking and laughing, and he finally asked me to go to his birthday party. I suddenly remembered that JR knows a guy I know, one of the 2 guys I dated when I first broke up with my (ex)boyfriend in August. I asked JR if he could invite that friend, too, and he said he will try. He didn't give me the assurance, though.

Yesterday was the birthday party.

Although I have some hesitations about attending the party as (ex)boyfriend might be there too, I decided to go anyway. Afterall, some friends will be there and it would be nice to see them after a long time. I have to admit though that the reason I would be going is that I am hoping to see that guy I asked JR to invite. Lets just call him J.

 I was very excited to see J. I was hoping he will be at the party. Finally, I arrived a little later, and slowly I opened the door, and voila, I saw J first. My lips were filled with smiles, though I tried not to be too obvious. It felt good to see him again, but then again, I'd have to do the basic courtesy. I greeted the birthday boy, and then went to the rest of the friends, and finally went to J last.

I first met J in August last year. After I first broke up with my boyfriend, I decided to look for someone to occupy the other room in my 2-bedroom condo unit.  He went to see the place, and we started seeing each other since then.

I hang out with J most of the time that evening, simply just catching up while flirting on the side. However, as much as I would like to just hang out with him the whole time, I also had to catch up with other friends, and at the same time, I found out that J had his boyfriend with him that night. Pooffff!

I didn't know he had a boyfriend. I din't know much about what had happened to him since we lost touch in late October when he went back with his then boyfriend, while I patch things up with my (now) (ex)boyfriend. He introduced me to his boyfriend and his boyfriend remarked "so you are #%^& as he shook my hand.  Apparently, his boyfriend have explored his phone before and have read my name (or probably my messages) somewhere.

Anyway, I thought getting a little bit closer to him would not cost me trouble with his boyfriend, and so we just went on talking, drinking, and dancing, and some more flirting.

So how do I go about this now?

I have to admit that I still am very fascinated with J, and given a chance, would like to have him as a partner. I always found J a very good, though not necessarily 'perfect' material for a partner. He is a very fine man-- very reserved and refined with his manners, and I feel like he has a good heart. I have high respects for the man.

Despite knowing that he is now in a relationship, I would still like to stick around and spend more time with him. I promised myself, though, that I would only go as far and would make sure not to cause him troubles with his relationship.

Lets see where will this episode go. Who knows? There might have serendipity.

Links to Ubermensch