This aftie I went to the mall to buy my toiletries for the trip. I also bought a new jacket, it'll be a little chilly when I get to the US. On Thursday I'm getting my ARVs and my ARV prescription. Haircut and mani-pedi on Friday. I'll be gone for 3-4 weeks, depending on the daily progress of my client meetings.
I've already decided which clothes to bring. I'll pack light. Got tons of shopping to do in the US so I def need some space in my luggage.
This is the start of something bigger and brighter in my professional career. In the past, stumbled a few times, but I dusted myself off and picked myself up. Partida pa, pusit ako. No pun intended.
Two years ago when I found out that I was HIV positive, I thought that my life was over - mediocre job, poor health, zero friends, die alone. Yes, all those drama came to me but luckily, I was able to conquer my fear and insecurities. Living with HIV is hard, but I am still thankful because I am still alive.
People get drunk with their sorrows. I get wasted on my personal dreams. Libre mangarap pero walang mangyayari pag matutulog ka lang. Chase your dream, drop the drama and stop over-analyzing everything.
Look where I am now. Di ako nagyayabang pero sana I can help people with HIV be a little optimistic. Remember the time that you found out that you are positive? That will probably be one of the lowest point in your life, and you can never go lower. The only way is up and the only way to fly is to do something in your life rather that live in mediocrity and misery.
Consul: Hi, good morning, how are you?
Haven’t seen my friends for months. Everyone seems to be busy with whatever – work, lovelife, work, lovelife. One friend was too busy with his galaxy tab, probably tweeting every 5 minutes. But I was glad that they still made it to the mini-soiree that I organized. But I felt that me and my friends were already drifting apart. Sad noh? The friendship is still there, but not as close as before. But I was still happy that they made it to my party.
After the little soiree, I asked them if they want to join us clubbing somewhere in Makati but half of them were sick, while half of them needs to go home. Fine. But it was all good.
I met up with my other friends at the club. My best friend pulled me away from the crowd and had a small chit-chat with me.
Bes: Happy birthday bes!
Me: Hey, thanks for coming. Thought you won’t make it… again.
Bes: Fuck-off. But I need to go home soon. Happy birthday bes. You're 31 na!
Me: Yeah, need to gain a few more pounds though.
Bes: Huy, promise me ha. Be safe.
Bes: Yes. Be safe. A few friends of ours passed away already. I think it’s because of late HIV diagnosis. Remember “X” a couple of years ago, and “Y” last year. And just recently, “Z.”
Me: Yeah I know. Don’t worry bes. I’ll be safe. You don’t have to worry much about me. We still have a few more years. You know what, everything seems to get old na… like clubbing (trying to change the topic).
Bes: Oh yeah. Look at the crowd bes. OML (Oh My Lord). Kids.
Me: I know right.
I haven’t told my best friend about my status. He doesn’t need to know any time soon. All he needs to know is that I’m doing well, I’m healthy, I’m not a partee boy anymore, and my future is looking good. I got side tracked a few years back, but I'm back in my red ruby slippers walking the yellow brick road to Oz.
After a few more minutes, bes bid his goodbyes. We hugged and then left the club. After an hour or so, me and hubby left the club and went home.
The reason why I haven’t told my friends about my HIV status is because I am not ready yet. It will take a few more years I guess. HIV is a horrible disease. HIV is my new normal. My current state of mind is somewhat okay with my new normal and it took me some time before I fully accepted it. Michael Johnson has been the poster boy of HIV/AIDS but let me tell you this – Michael Johnson is a millionaire and he has full access to whatever he needs – private chefs, better meds, a nutritionist, stressless work. I am no Michael Johnson. I’m a working class hero. So yeah, living with HIV is a little difficult. What more if you’re a class E citizen? It is hard. But what keeps me sane these days is work and my relationships with people.
Anyhoo, another year older, another year wiser. Everything is looking good – career, relationships, health. But there is something missing, something that I just can’t put my finger on, something like butterflies in my stomach. Or maybe it’s just acid reflux.
My boss told me to work on my US Visa. Will be travelling to the Americas (schushal, the Americas talaga) sometime November. Will be there for about a month. It's not my first time to go to the Americas (again, the Americas, schushal). Been to Arizona and San Diego a few years back for work as well. But this is the first time that I'll be travelling as a pozzie.
Been reading HIV forums about bringing ARV medication. My main concern is if I will check-in or just carry my ARV meds. According to my research, you should never check-in your ARVs. First, the flight will take me around 14hours, which means that I may have to skip my ARV. Second, my luggage might be lost. So yeah, I'll carry my medication.
As advised by people, one should carry an official certificate (not just a handwritten reseta ni Doc) from the clinic. And just bring the right amount of pills + extra just in case. So there.
I am kinda (kinda talaga?) excited for my trip. Iniisip ko na yung clothes that I have to bring. Shet. And I'm sure, and this never fails, my relatives will ask me to buy them Victoria Secret lotion from the US? Kaloka!!!! Tama na ang Johnson's and Johnson's! Saka, meron naman VS lotion sa Pinas.
Crossing my fingers that my Visa gets approved first. Hopefully this time, Multiple entry na. Shet. Multiply entry = Powerbottomesa. BWAHAHAHA! Ew, haven't tried multiple entry. And wala akong pangarap na i-multiple entry ako. Kaloka. Di ako baggage counter.
Susme. May isang hitad, 3 weeks ago ko na inemail, requesting her if she can check something something for me. After 3 days, she emailed me back, with a very very long run-on sentence, na ang gist lang naman ng sentence is that she'll check.
So I emailed her last week, asking for an update.
Then I emailed her again.
Then her team mate replied to my email, asking her to reply.
Susme... teh... I KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT THAT BUSY. Pareho lang tayo ng work.
In the workplace, dapat within 24 hours makareply ka na sa mga emails sa'yo. Worst case na yung 48 hours. If wala kang definite answer(s) dun sa mga tanong sa email sa'yo, you will reply na you will follow-up tapos may timeline ka. Eh teh, anong petsa na. Kailangan ko na ng sagot kasi kailangan ko na sya sa lunes.
Tapos ngayon ngayon lang, nag message ako sa office chat namin. Asking her for an update. Ang status nya, BUSY. Okay fine. Tapos after my message, biglang nag BE RIGHT BACK. Teh, halatang tinataguan mo ko. Letse ka. Sa office chat kasi, malalaman mo if inactive sa chat if slowly nag-change yung color from Red, to Red/Yellow, then Yellow. Eh si ate, from Red... to Yellow agad. Beyotch.
You are soooo..... haaaaaay. Leche ka!
A month ago, I had a consultation at RITM regarding my ARVs. I am on Efav, Lamivudine and Stavudine.
Efav - Weird dreams check. Hilo factor check. Init factor check. Another side effect of Efav is having boobies (daw). So far, wala pa akong moobs (man-boobs). Minsan daw, sa belly area yung taba. Wala din naman.
Lamivudine - Hmmm... wala akong alam na side-effect.
Stavudine - The doctor asked me why I switched to Stavudine. I told him that I switched to Stavudine because my hemoglobin count and RBC dropped to anemic level. So ano pa bang side effect ng stavudine.... Eto, nawawala ang pwet ko.
Ipapa-page ko sana sa SM yung pwet ko, kasi nawawala!
The doctor said, without regular exercise, my muscles will shrink. Especially sa pwet. Susmiyo, wala na nga akong pwet, mawawala pa lalo.
He said I can switch back to Zidovudine but I need to go on clinical trial again for 3 months. Afraid. I think my ARV combo is doing great since my Viral Load is undetectable na. So there's only one thing to do...
Well, 2 options pala... ang magpalagay ng pwet... Or go back to the gym.
My schedule now is less stressful. Done na with a project. My next project will be in September pa. May gym sa office. May gym malapit sa amin. I just need to convince myself to go back to the gym.
I looked at myself in front of the mirror. I like what I see. It's been almost 2-years since I was diagnosed. I am healthier, mukha lang stress and haggardous versoza after work, pero healthy still. I look good in my slim denims and skinny jeans. Yes, walang kokontra, I have a pair of skinny jeans from Topman, and yes, I look good wearing them.
The man in the mirror is here to stay and live longer than anyone can imagine.
So, I grew as a person after learning what I needed to learn from them. Although I thought they were in my life because of a deep-seated need to connect with someone - anyone - that will lavish some attention on me to prove my worthiness in the world, it wasn’t the reason.
Without them, I wouldn't know the person who I was, am and was going to be. Thankfully, I am so much better having them in my life... even if I’m lucky to have them out of my life because some of them were assholes.
"I feel like I can touch the sky..."
I had my CD4 count yesterday and the results are in: from 169 I am now at 218. Not bad. Up by 49 points. From 13 to 85 (72 points), to 169 (84 points), now to 218 (49 points). A lot (of stress) happened and I know why I was only up by 49 points.
1. Work-related stress - Getting my promotion meant a lot of extra hours in the office. Unlike some regular employee, I work an average of 50-60 hours/week. The extra stress at work paid off but I am sure that my CD4 suffered a bit. Apart from the extended hours at the office, I had 2 months of travelling back and forth from Manila to Cebu. Come August, I will have to travel back to Cebu again for another project. Good for my career, additional cash but probably bad for my CD4. I don't have a choice though, they need my expertise. I just have to manage my time more I guess.
2. No exercise - I used to go the gym last year and attend yoga classes. But because of work, I'm dead tired after my shift and had no time to even stretch. I will go back to the gym this week. Exercise does help improve one's health. Plus... thanks to Stavudine.... fat deposits are on my belly. I vow to go to the gym at least 1x/week. If I can't, I will do 50 push-ups and 50 crunches everyday.
3. Sick puppy - I got sick 3x since December. The usual colds + fever combo. I hate getting sick. Plan is to get back in shape, take my vitamins, get my flu shot next week, and... bring an umbrella. I don't want to get sick.
4. Supplements - I'm checking the internet for some knows supplements and anti-oxidants that helps improve CD4. None of those banaba tea's or VCO. I was on a health regimen last year but stopped taking them. Will have to do another round of research before I take new supplements.
Getting 49 CD4 points is great. Positive is better than negative (no pun intended). From 13 last December 2009 to 218 this June 2011. Now comes the challenge of getting my CD4 higher (and maintaining an undetectable viral load).
Posted in CD4
In the first place, bakit ka nakipag-sex kung ayaw mo naman pala ng itsura?
Tapos, mandidiri ka kasi akala mo 1 on 1 kayo, tapos, orgy pala. Pero nakipag-orgy ka pa din. Kasi ano? Nandun ka na kasi? Di ka makatanggi?
Then sasabihin mo baka nahawa ka sa kanila kasi you think na maybe one of them is a poz? Hello… kasalanan mo din if ever diba? And who knows, baka ikaw ang nakahawa sa isa sa kanila dun? If you do bareback, you are at risk of infecting OR getting infected. Wala ng sisihan di ba?
In sex, you always have an option. You can say NO. You can say STOP. Hello, nakipag-sex ako tapos lalaitin ko? Ganda mo teh! IKAW NA!
If di mo kaya mag-NO, wag ka manisi ng tao, wag ka manlait.
Nangati ka, nandun ka, di ka tumanggi, hayok ka.
You had your chance, you blew it
Out of sight, out of mind
Shut your mouth, I just can't take it
Again and again and again and again
HIV viral load tests are reported as the number of HIV copies in a milliliter (copies/mL) of blood. If the viral load measurement is high, it indicates that HIV is reproducing and that the disease will likely progress faster than if the viral load is low. During treatment and monitoring, a high viral load can be anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 copies/mL. Initial, untreated, and uncontrolled HIV viral loads can range as high as one million or more copies/mL. A low viral load is usually between 40 to 500 copies/mL, depending on the type of test used. This result indicates that HIV is not actively reproducing and that the risk of disease progression is low.
Change in viral load is also a very important measurement. A rising count indicates either that the infection is getting worse or that you have developed resistance to the drugs that are being used for therapy, while a falling count indicates improvement and suppression of the HIV infection.
But since you been gone
I can breathe for the first time
I'm so movin' on, yeah, yeah
Thanks to you, now I get, I get what I want
Posted in hiv
Posted in happy weekend
A few weeks ago, one of the managers at worked saw me at Starbucks and said, "Hey, congrats!" I gave her a confused look and asked her why? She said that I need to talk to my supervisor.
Posted in work
I know their hearts are in the right place, but sometimes I wonder where the hell their brains are.
PhilHealth will be providing assisstance through the OHAT program which inludes an annual financial assistance of Php 30,000. Not sure if this is the latest but i got this info months ago. A month's worth of ARV (generic brands from India) will cost around Php 3,500 (1st line).
I can actually shoulder the expenses. But how about for those who cannot?
Are the existing NGOs working on getting funding from foreign institutions?
I wanna help. But how?
Blog has been neglected. Lots of stories to tell though. Will think of something to post. I knoe, this is a lazy update. But i think it's better to post something lazy versus posting something apathetic or emotionally draining or post something self righteous about oneself. Right?
So there. I'm still alive. Just busy.
Naka borlogs naman akech ng 3hrs then wit na. Nag fly na din ang thoughts ko. Kung anu ano iniisip. Nothing important mostly kagaguhan lang. Inisip ko yung mga past few years na i played the role of a sultry sex vixen. Ching!
I was a big tease in my kabataan. Yung tipong come and get me ang eksena pero afraid din ako pag andyan na and the guy is asking ti jer jer na. I just like to tease and flirt. And okay fine, play a little tongue twister action mala peter piper picked a puck of fucking pepe fuck my pepe. Lol. Anubaaaaaa pa-harmless effect lang ako sa club. And ever since never ako nagpapa-take home after gimmick. Kaloka naman dba, who wants to have sex after all the sweat? Tapos pagoda ever. Mas masarap matulog after ng gimmick.
Anyway, i want to borlogs pero syempre andito ako sa work and madami bantay. Si ina magenta nasa office. Kasama ko naman sa training room si granny goose. Baka gora akech dun sa isang room to get a powernap. If only i can sleep with my eyea open. Bongga yun!
Haaay i miss Doraemon. I'll see him later for breakfast. Actually daan lang ako sa office nya. Hihihi. We need to discuss something. Abangan!
Pusit ka na nga chaka ka pa? Ewness!
I admit nung una akong pumasok sa industriya ng kapusitan, bagsak ang beauty ko. Dry skin, underweight, may rashes and scaly scalp. I look at mirror mirror on the wall and i look average. Nang magstart ako mag gamot nag improve na ako. Di na ko underweight, okay na ang skin ko, amoy mayaman na. Haha.
Ngayon di na ako nakakapag-gym at yoga. I may not look yummy pero para kay Doraemon, masarap ako! Haha. And since malapit na ang summer, ohemgee need na magpasexy muli.
Madali lang naman ibalik ang balingkinitan kong katawan. Paliitin ng konti ang tyan at magka biceps muli. I wanna make girls giggle and boys gigil! Ching!
The 60day challenge is on! For the win! Apir!
Posted in work
The video below made me a little teary eyed. Bongga kasi. Ganda ng shots. Maganda si Rox. Gwapo naman din si Elton. And I love love weddings.
In my mind, I already planned for my own wedding. The grooms' song. The outfit. The theme. The location. I'm just waiting for him to give me the ring and I'll say, without a doubt, I DO!
Yes... I found him. He found me.
I found Love in the Time of HIV/AIDS.