No one reads my blog, I know that for a fact (that is not to say that a few people haven't stumbled across it occasionally, but I have no readership that I am aware of). But today I got an email asking why I don't write anymore. So I said why not, what the hell. What better thing do I have to do past midnight on a Friday (P. is in America), after I have finished consuming all the food that doesn't demand cooking, and surfing the 10 websites that I always do, and jogging tiredly through town, and hearing from my brother that he and his wife are going to try living apart for a while (after a looong time together), and checking my emails compulsively, not finiding anything from P (who left Wed.) but an email from my boss with attachments for me to look at, timelines and the like, that just capture the glam of Friday night.
But mostly, I didn't write because I was first away, no biggie, just a 3 day thing and then back and having to do my shit in front of my collegues (but only those I kinda like and know showed up), and then a weekend with lots of social stuff accompanied by way, way too much food (why is it that people have to busy their mouths nonstop). The trip, I was nervous about because I had to stay alone in a hotel and that was actually my first time travelling (if you can call it that0 alone since diagnosis, which shows that bouncing back is a longer process than I would have liked to beleive. But it worked out fine. P called me daily, although I didn't expect that. I eventually met some really cool people (although, no email exchanges, and kept to myself). And the Dalai Lama's book Art of Happiness kept me company when footsteps reverberated into the small hours through the cheapskate structure of the squat-cum-"youth" hotel. But I didn''t read much. My malaise of not being able to focus, at least not on things that are meaningful, continues, and I am starting to wonder (after reading online, obviously), how much of that is Sustiva-related. Anyhoo, while I was away and came back it got awfully cold, and I caught a bug (joke huh) that stayed with me for an entire week. Actually, I was fine until I went to the hospital last Monday, where I had a meeting with the psycholgist I was finally assigned to. A respectable looking middle aged man who could easily be type cast as a Republican senator, he was not what I expected (I expected someone young), and he didn't say the things I wanted to hear, I guess. Immediately after leaving his office I became ill, and after P left I became increasingly depressed, bullimic, and wierd. At this stage, the Ynet Love & Pain forum helped a lot, and since I wrote in English there about the goings-on on at the psych appointment, I copy paste:
"I was sick for a few days and missed a lot of work, a lot of catching up to do, My boyfriend flew to the US this morning, he will be back next week I am alone in his place with the big TV, watching junk and eating much more junk I had a meeting with a psychologist from my hospital. A middle aged man specializing in chronic diseases. It was the first time I met him. Here is a quote from what he said, after which I became ill: "Your dancing days are over. You are in denial. You pretend that nothing is wrong with you, but you can't convince any country to change its laws for you (reference to many countries that do not give visa or staying permits to HIV+) and you can't convince you nice, happy, boy (reference to my boyfriend) that he needs to make the descision to stay with you. HIV is about reducing risks and all you do is increase the risk and stress in your life by continuing to live as though all your possibilities are open, and you are a teenager, and your time is endless. You need security, and your life has none" I looked at this man and I thought: f*** you, you probabaly have a wife at home that cooks and cleans for you, and you have not been alone since the age of 18 But it didn't help... for the first time in a really long time I feel really, really depressed. I have been thinking how long do I even have to live? Maybe 8, 10, 15 years at most, unless science hits a bigger breakthrough. And how will the quality of my life be? No one can tell me that. So far I have always beat the odds, because I am a very un-typical HIV patient, but who knows when my luck will run out? And who knows when my boyfriend will get tired of me. I feel that I am getting much too dependent on him, which was the reason I wanted to meet a psychologist in the first place, but that doesn't help".
So yeah, I was down, really down. I sort of punished myself (that is often my tendency) for everything in my life that is out of my control, that I don't like. I got amazing responses though. Too bad they're in Hebrew, so I can't put them here. I do feel, incidentaly, that my posting on "regular" forums (whatever that means) is a political statement. But that's not the reason I do it: the real reason is that the HIV forum sucks, and also that there are very few people like me, a handful really. I mean, there is no one just like me, that's obvious, but I am talking about the general characteristics of a certain sex, age, and sexual orientation with HIV in Israel. Very few (though too many, right). I dunno really, I post where I get responses and where I built a community of sorts (the folks at aidsmeds.com are also very welcoming). The HIV forum consists almost exclusively of people asking questions that range from "can I get HIV from a waiter's hand that touched the glass I put to my lips" to "I came in someone's mouth 5 seconds after another guy finished, it was dark and I didn't see well but later I saw that he had very skinny arms and legs and breasts, a sickly site... are those symptomatic of AIDS? can I get HIV this way?". Along this continuum of the idiotic-to-bizarre I don't find myself, it brings me no consolation.
So yeah, I am back at my place now that P. is away, although I have the key to his and he has the big TV, DVD, nice bed, and no horrible things crawling out of the gutter (I still shudder at the memory, pray and hope it was a one-off). My place in contrast, which is potentially much better, is much less clean and tidy nowadays, mostly because I have been using it as a place to quickly shower and change, grab something and run back out. But now I am back at my place, using the square meter in front of my laptop, while the expanse of my apartment lies vacant and strange, waiting to be cleaned, waiting to become a home. I know that this place is a place for two, it is really too big for one. I know that I should do something with it. But I also know it doesn't really matter right now, I have bigger fish to fry, puzzles to solve, monsters to roll around in a deathly combat with.
So, I will try to keep writing, and the few people that do read this, if you like what you read, please push my blog on whatever channel (though not on Israeli ones please). I don't expect a lot of people to read, after all, even my favorite blog, Elocin's wanderlust (http://www.tremblingstar.com/wanderlust/entries/index.cfm) has had only about 2000 profile hits in 5 or so years that it exists. Wish I could post photos like she does too, but that'd be a fat chance. Maybe in another life.
Finally, today I wrote a talkback on the Ynet website, which I hardly ever do. It was on an article about chemotherpay being researched as a potential cure for HIV (count me out of any clinical trials for this one). The very first talkback comment was from some b**** bitching about AIDS being preventable, therefore funds should be given to cancer research. Fuck you. However, I didn't write that, but I wrote:
"Hello. I am HIV+. I had unsafe sex in the past but not many times and a long time ago, so I was very surprised to find out earlier this year that I had AIDS. It took a while but I discovered that the reason I have HIV is a unhygenic medical procedure in Israel 10 years ago at a private hospital. Of course, I will never be able to prove this. And it doesn't matter anyway. It only matters to me. Do not judge anyone until you are in their shoes. AIDS left 18 million orphans in Africa alone, 45 million people in the world live with HIV today. AIDS spreads mostly through sex but also in other ways. You never know what life will bring you, and I hope that you will never be sick with anything, but that if you ever are, no one will blame you for that". I wrote in English, wo who knows if anyone but the moderators will ever bother to read it (there is no virtual keyboard for talkbacks). Oh well, whatever.
You may wonder how I became certain that it was the abortion that infected me (notice the lack of use of that offensive term). Well, after the psychologist stuck that mirror in front of my face and forced me to attend to my situation, I happened to check visa requirements for many countries. The US, to which I thought of accompanying P., actually puts of ban on any type of HIV+ visit, even as a tourist (not unlike China). The only guy whose status I don't know that I slept with without protection is living in the US for years, in fact, he broke my heart, got me pregnant, and moved there. That made it clear for me that in the preceding abortion I was infected. I already wrote here about how unhygenic and quick and crowded it was in that clinic. I don't expect that I will ever be able to do anything with this information.