Ubermensch: In A Glimpse

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Year That Was

Last night was my first anniversary as a poz. I had a strong urge to go (back) to Malate where I first found out about IT. But unlike last year, I didn't have my friends with me. I opted to go on my own, and just look back.

I looked back at the whole year that was, and noted a few HIV related things and events which have caused me heartbreaks, anxious moments, as well those that taught me some important life lessons. Lemme run down my list:

1. I found out through a random test conducted in Malate that I was indeterminate, while my (then)BF was positive on Nov. 28. I managed to stay calm the night and partied with the rest of my friends, but had my hardest cry when we got home. My cry was more for my (then)BF, than it was for me. I assured him  that WE will go though it together. A year later, I am no longer with him. We broke up in August, but I kept the promise that I'll go through IT with him. We don't see each other often, but we still get to check each other once in a while.

2. I received an offer for a teaching position at the Royal Academy in Saudi in February, but had to decline the offer. I know I simply can't accept the offer due to my status. I applied in September for a teaching position knowing I was (still) negative (since I just tested negative in July), and had to go through a rigid selection process, only to end up not able to accept an offer. This caused me a major heartbreak. I'd love to be back in the academe (and be compensated accordingly), but I guess I have to put my passion parked at the moment.

3. I broke up with my (then)BF in April, and met J (again, after not seeing him for more than half a year). J has then become my source of strength and inspiration. No, we are not romantic, but he has always been there to give me constant reminders of the things.

4. I developed my first HIV-related infection (or at least I think) in May. My chickenpox virus have been reactivated and developed into Herpes Zoster or shingles. I had to experience pain I never knew before. I still see the marks left by my shingles now, though they're no longer as visible as before, and still feel the pain in my nerves at times, but I learned to overcome and manage pain.

5. I had another nudge of my HV reality in a form of another infection in July. I had a small wound in my pointer finger which grew to a very big infection, that it raptured (for a lack of better word) half of my finger. It took me more than a month and countless antibiotics to get my wound dry up and finally heal. I felt HIV knockin in as my body cease to repair itself anymore.

6. I finally decided to take on a new job, and undergo pre-employment medical examination in September. I was initially tagged 'Unfit to Work' and had to retake some tests, blood tests in particular. Anxiety attacked as I got too worried I may not pass the med exam and not get the job, and at worst, may be forced to disclosure. 

7. I came into terms with myself and finally decided to start on ARV in November. I am just finalizing my baseline test (I have yet to take my Hepa and Syphilis profile) and I can start. I am ready.

I know its still gonna be a long way, and it may prove harder. As if life is not hard enough without having to face living with something as serious a HIV positive diagnosis. I have allowed my self to feel so low and beat down.  I guess its normal and it is better than face the bigger challenge of dealing with my feelings of self-betrayal.

I choose to share these words of hope and empowerment with you for yourself or someone who may know someone going through what may be the hardest thing they have gone through, life has not ended ; it has just begun.

Friday, November 19, 2010

IT Is (still) There. (Almost) A Year with HIV

Its been almost a year now since I found out about my sero status. Its also been almost a year now that I feel like I’ve got one foot in HIV and one foot out. Its like I’m doing the hokey pokey, and my body can’t decide which it wants to be.

I have been living in reality of being an HIV positive daily for almost a year now. I have gotten my random test result in November last year, and that has taken my life a 180 degree, not really a whole 360 turn. Not that I don’t go hours or days without HIV on my mind. That will be an exaggeration. But in most days I will have an HIV thought brush my reality, just a little nudge to remind me that IT is still there.

There were, and there still are times I am overcomed by 'habit' of the normal life. I mean, c'mon, afterall, I have lived a life free from HIV for 27 years and have gone accustomed to the 'normal' ways. Thats all I knew, until all of a sudden, 'normal' has to be redefined. For good measure, about every once in a while, I need a little shaking up just to remind myself I am never fully ever going to be free of HIV.

No, am not consumed. I am not consumed by the fact that I am HIV positive, and that I can only do either this-or-that now. There are times I just to surrender to what my body allows me to do, say stay all day (in bed) due to dizziness from the antibiotics I had take to fight a (minor) infection (from a wound) that my body is having a hard time to fight. I may have been limited by my pathological status, but that is all. Other than those instances, I go by as 'normal'. After all, everyone goes through some moments of 'having to be in bed', HIV positive or otherwise.

And things get better everyday. It is easier to live and I have slowly learned to go by the ropes. I have finally decided I'll start with my ARV in the next few weeks. With my CD4 at 260 (since June), and the countless justifications and the countless attempt to outsmart myself, I have finally came into terms with myself and resolve to start with the regimen. I just need to complete the baseline tests and I am set.

For sure, for the next few days or weeks upon taking the ARVs, will take another strong nudge to remind me ITS there. And as usual, I won't deny it. I take it with open arms. Its part of me.

One thing remains, though. Despite all these, Life goes on!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Revisiting the Ubermensch

Its been a while since I decided to put my writing at bay. Aside from having not much time to get my thoughts in coherence, I think I simply lack the interest. And so what other ways to go back in track? I decided to re-examine where I started, the Ubermensch.

I planned to blog about the films I watched, the weekend sessions with J, some random thoughts that pop out when am on my way to work, planned to post an entry about "a person without a backbone" or “lack of foresight” and many other random thoughts, but yeah, planned, and they remained that way. Well, just didn’t have any mood for blogging. Today I got a bit better organized, and cannot wait to tap my keyboard again!

Lets start with some 'catch-up' before we do some intellectual masturbation.

I finally (re)visited my doctor at PGH last week, and advised her that I have made up my mind and I will start with my ARV. Its been a while since I was diagnosed HIV positive (November 2010) and found out that my cd4 count is not very good. As of June 2010, I stand at 260. However, despite the recognition that it wasn't in a very good standing, I chose to outsmart, well more of justify not starting ARV. Afterall, I STILL feel 'normal'. Was I at the 'denial' stage? I know I am not. There is a recognition of the state of affair. I have long accepted that I am HIV positive, and that sooner or later, i would have to go through the 'usual' regimen an HIV. But at the same time, I didn't wan't to commit to something unless I am ready, in all aspect. I just believed that it is the more proper definition of acceptance-- that is accepting the state of affairs, but at the same time, accepting one's limitations. It is not simply embracing something because "you have to". Sometimes, doing things just because you 'have to' can be fucked up.

And so, I went to PGH last week with J to see my doctor and discuss to her how I would like to proceed. I will be completing the baseline test, and is looking at starting with the treatment by end of November, my first anniversary as an HIV positive. With that, I am settled.

Moving on, the past few weeks have been pretty stable. It has mostly been home-work for me on weekdays, and either a "Me-Time" or "We-Time" during weekends. I couldn't complain. Things are more or less in their proper places. Although I know things could be a lot better, and that I can be more than what I am now, I chose to embrace things, take them with open arms though at times I think they are pretty fucked up.

I think that is what happen when you keep pushing yourself. After a while, you just want to settle. Not that I've gone intellectually lazy, nor suddenly lost the rigor. Just that at this point in time, I felt like I've had my fair share of things, both success and failure, and I can afford to feel that things are fucked up at times. I think I have pushed myself VERY early on in my life. I have pushed myself to be an achiever, to be above most people my age and my generation, and have been successful in it. I have gotten most of what I wanted early in my life. But unlike what they say that there is no other way but to go up, I chose to be stationary this time, to take a moment and appreciate what I have, appreciate things though at times they may be fucked up.

I know I have always glorified the Ubermensch. I have always believed that the ubermensch would do what most people only dream of doing. He would test himself and his vision against the strength of the world. Ultimately, the Ubermensch would be a law unto himself. He would decree his morality and enforce it on himself.

But at the same time, I believe that the Ubermench himself takes some moments to be at peace with one's self. After reading Nietzsche for years, I've concluded the Ubermensch is that feeling you have when you turn on the television, turn on the radio, go in public and especially when you read youtube comments. You know that feeling of “What the fuck is this shit?”

The Ubermensch is that which also recognizes “What the fuck is this shit?” and would take some moment thinking what the fuck is this shit.

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