Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Parliament Hill Ottawa. A Wordpress Production

Diabetes

Thursday – One Thing After Another

francisLocation: Syria, Subject: Isis Militants Those Killed: Gay men …

“You are Gay, and before we kill you, we will embrace you like a human.”

Then they stoned two men to death, in front of a crowd of people.

You think these words spoken by Pope Francis are timely ???

I still think we need a crack team of commandos to go in there and slaughter Isis militants.

Kill them as unmercifully as they killed so many people who should still be alive.

End of Rant …

Last night I cracked Connor Franta’s book, “A Work in Progress.” This afternoon I finished the read while sitting in my doctors office. (More on that later)

I read a lot of books. I have an entire library of books in my bedroom. An avid reader will probably know, words are everything. What words are used, how they are used, and what those words mean, in the context of the story. Every book is an opportunity to learn a little more about its author.

As I was reading, certain words and phrases jumped out at me.

Because he writes with very familiar phraseology, enough to notice if you are paying attention.

However, there is no mention of any kind of association, and he may just know the words, without the context I was ascribing to them. It may just be his writing style.

But if you ask me, it sounds all too familiar !!!

Our young author, in his twenties now, tells us his story. He shares with his readers just how important the digital age is to his life and by extension, the rest of us … “unless you are forty” you probably don’t know much.

He writes:

“The social generation has taken over. If you don’t tweet on the daily, receive dozens of likes on instagram photos, and know what the heck Tumblr is, then you best get to Googling because you’ve been left behind.

Or you are like forty …”

I found this was the only point in the story where I laughed out loud.

I am forty seven years old. I grew up in the 80’s. The only phone we had was connected to the wall in the kitchen, or if you were lucky, you had your own extension in your bedroom, and I did.

Social media was the local roller rink, or the shopping mall, (Dadeland or The Falls), or church youth groups, specifically. If you wanted to see your friends, you went to their house. And if they were good friends, you most likely spent numerous nights sleeping at friends houses, which I also did frequently.

Social media came late for me. My first computer was a gift from a friend in 2001, and that little box played the crucial role of connecting me to Canada. If it weren’t for that fact and a letter from the government, I would not be here today.

Anyways, social media. I am connected. This blog is nine years old. I have a You Tube account. There are actually videos, made by me, there. I Tumble. That’s where my photos come from. I joined Twitter a year ago to stay in contact with my friends, and that has grown into a social media platform for the blog as well. I have been on Facebook for almost nine years.

That is where I keep up with all my friends in one location.

With one click here, I can publish to all of my social media platforms, all at once.

Every gay boy has a coming out story. No two are the same. Connor is no different. But he was a blessed young man. Coming to know ones self is tough. Especially, when we think we are different. The process of coming to terms with sexual orientation can be long and arduous.

Connor figured that out for himself. On his time. In his own way. He chose who to tell, and when, and then he told his parents. They did not reject him, they turned around and told him they loved him and that that would never change.

How many gay kids get that kind of unequivocal support from parents.

I didn’t.

I knew, before I knew what it was. I listened and decided that coming out would be detrimental to my existence. I moved away to be gay, and my alcoholism followed.

The rest is history.

Oh to write our memoirs at twenty-something… He has his whole life ahead of him. A lifetime of experiences he has YET to have. People he has YET to meet. Places he has YET to go.

SO MANY YETS !!!

tumblr_ljxktkG7IG1qdizh9o1_500 lovepainandhopeI had things to do today, places to go, people to see. On any regular day, I just go with the flow and my days usually goes with little thought to the what, why or the how of it.

I left with plenty of time to make my three train transit and get to my doctors appointment early, because I am always early, in the hopes that I maybe get in the door early, and get out of there early for a change. (Thank God I had Connor to keep me company).

I arrived twenty minutes early for a three o’clock appointment.

There are usually a few people waiting. And usually two doctors seeing patients.

Not the case today. The crowd that was there were all seeing one man. My Doctor.

I read my book, and I finished it as well. And still I waited. When the secretary called me in it was four thirty. I am pretty patient when it comes to the doctor. So shortly before I got called, I calmly walked up to the counter and inquired how long I would be waiting.

While I waited my sponsor called. I was supposed to meet him at his house to pay for the retreat in May, today was the deadline for payment. So he called me and said that he needed to attend to one of his guys, and could we amend our plans. I managed a yes.

Not knowing when I would be back on the Metro to get home.

At four thirty I went in and started a conversation. About halfway through, doc got a call from someone who must be working at the new Glenn Site. They spent a shitload of money building that monstrosity.

Millions of dollars spent were funneled into corrupt people’s bank accounts.

They built the hospital without consideration for specific needs, for certain departments. So unclaimed space is at a premium. So I listened to half a conversation about what my doctor needs in the new hospital and why, then I heard the other speaking to the effect that, I don’t think we can provide for your needs as you need them, so you will have to take whatever you get.

Doc says … The lives of my patients are on the line here, the words “crash cart” were tossed into the conversation. So that is a thing he says …

The guy responds … Well, I cannot provide what you need.

Doc says … Then I will meet you and we will go to the site and figure this out.

Conversation continues for a bit but does not end with a positive resolution.

We then resumed our discussion, diabetes is being a pain in my ass, my numbers are too high, something needs to change. Then I tell my doc about the pill pushing for a problem I did not have, (and he checked my blood pressure and it was GOLD).

Diabetes doc prescribes a pill for my blood pressure. Tells me to fill it and apply for a home meter that would be free and get sent to me once I visited their site. That was four months ago.

I did not fill the script and I did not take the pills as directed.

So today my doc tells me that the pills he wanted me to take were not actually FOR my blood pressure, but FOR a problem called, Microalbumin.

Something to do with blood and my kidneys.

What the actual fuck ???

Diabetes doc did not tell me any of this. Probably because he had interns in his office doing their homework on ME. He didn’t tell me what he should have told me, instead he gave some excuse.

I did not take the pills.

Meanwhile, the words diabetes doc didn’t say to me, appeared in my chart for my doc today to see and show me on his computer.

So my doc says to me, take the pills and don’t tell George that you talked to me.

I was not very happy.

On the flip side, my T-cell count stands at 1,358. That’s the highest it has been.

I left the office at five fifteen. I had forty five minutes to make my three train transit back into town. I had to stop at the pharmacy and drop scripts to be filled, go to the bank, get my cash I needed and then hit the grocery store all before six fifteen.

My sponsor was waiting outside my apartment when I got out of the grocery store.

In the end, it all got done. I hate having to race the clock.

I was home for forty five minutes, before I had to leave again for the Thursday meeting.

Every meeting is different. And I have learned a great deal from everyone who has spoken on Thursday night. Tonight was no different. What we are seeing and hearing is older folks, in their fifties, sixties and seventies, coming into the rooms much later in life. Older folks, with a few years under their belts. The later the entrance, the longer and painful the run up to insanity and their turning point.

Tonight I heard something different.

People don’t hit their bottoms, there are no bottoms, only an elevator, and it is up to us what floor we decide to get off on.

Our man tonight shared and his message was simple …

“You don’t have to suffer as long as I did in order to get here.”

In other news, I hit another fellowship along with some of my sponsees who also attend those meetings. I am all for trying to forget my slip and the drugs I did, and marijuana I smoked. I try to forget it because it was a horrible stage in my life.

It is a place I rarely go. I never talk about it. And I like it that way.

But that is the issue.

The longer I sit in that room, the more the nightmares and memories haunt me. I am ashamed of the person I became, I don’t know how I could have sunk so low as to go from a middle class white boy who was just an alcoholic, to a looser, white trash, trailer dwelling, drug abusing, pot smoking miscreant with no hope of a life or a way out of the pit of hell I dropped myself into, without having an escape plan ready, should I have needed it.

In the end, I had one friend who knew where I was, who supplied me with the one way ticket out of hell, and gave me a place to recuperate after my near death beating experience.

That man was my angel.

When I made that transit, I never touched drugs or marijuana again. I never went looking for them again, even when I got back to Miami. I still drank, because it was easy and I had the money to pay for it. But even that got old in the end.

And I got clean and sober 100%.

I needed to find someone to talk this out with, I need to dump this shit on someone who can help me navigate this stage of my recovery that I seem to be embroiled in. My sponsor did not use drugs, so I needed to find someone who did. And I found him.

My friend who celebrated twenty seven years sober tonight, is my guy.

I love him to death. He is one of the greatest men I know. Tomorrow we are getting together before the Friday night meeting to chat this out.

If you are going to get clean and sober, then you need to hit all the dark spots and bring that shit into the light of day, so you can deal with it and get over it.

Easier said than done.

But it is a start.

All in a days work they say.

More to come, stay tuned …


Thursday … The Story So Far

tumblr_lhm3taXmPm1qbk0jto1_500 thrashcoreCourtesy: Thrash core

It has been on the cold side. as of late. Tonight we are sitting at (-10c/-17c w.c.). Yes, it is cold and people were muttering tonight that an early spring would be nice. However, it isn’t as bad a last years winter cold.

Rewind back to Tuesday for a few moments. After my emotional melt down over the past week, I had dinner with my sponsor Tuesday before the meeting, and I shared with him everything that was going on in my head. His thirty years sober yields much wisdom from his perspective.

Blessedly, the nightmares stopped. Working ones steps actively, comes with the warning that over time, we get to review the past, or certain memories from the past, in greater detail, which usually coincides with brain overdrive.

I’ve never really sat down and talked about portions of my story, because I just haven’t. And I’ve been pondering other fanciful stories that are sitting on the front of my brain tonight.

Among other stories is this one …

I once had a job, at the Port of Miami, working for Royal Caribbean Cruise lines, during their Sovereign class release. Those were really good times. The job I had prior to this stint, was in a travel agency, where I was manager. I was a young and vibrant alcoholic. In the office we drank, openly, and shared it with clients.

Funny, almost all of those folks I worked with later got sober, including myself.

Working at a Cruise line was Top Drawer employment. Every ship that was put into service, brought with it the employee party on board with open bar, as much as you could drink so forth and so on. That was always a fiasco. Every good thing that happened to the company was shared with the employees, ten fold. It was not uncommon to get a champagne lunch frequently.

The bar I drank at sat halfway between the port and where I was living during this time. I would leave work and hit happy hour for starters. I would drink and then drive home, usually eyeballing the road. I would change my clothes and return to the bar for the night shift. I drank my weight in alcohol, and it was good to be “in” with the bartenders, and the bars use of “drink tickets.”

Every night the “drink tickets” would go out, but the colors changed every night. You bought a drink, you got a ticket. We all had “drink ticket” boxes in our cars, where we could go to get the tickets we had collected over the weeks, every night we went out to drink.

It was not pretty, I could have killed someone. This was not a joke.

I only lasted there for a couple of years. Then things got really out of hand. I was renting a room in a mansion owned by a good friend. A woman I loved and respected. When I was kicked out of my parents house again, because I was gay, she took me in. And I took advantage of her terribly.

By this time I was commuting to drink. I wasn’t happy with Miami drinking, So I would drive to Ft. Lauderdale to drink, and then drive all the way back to Miami on a full stomach. My ability to find the worst deadbeat friends and boyfriends was my specialty. I was a total failure.

I was drinking away my rent money. I was either late, or I had none to pay out. Which ended up with me coming home in the middle of the night drunk, and finding the door locks changed and her son at the door, telling me that I could not come in until I had the money to pay for rent. Which landed me back in Ft, Lauderdale, commuting from there to work, I finally made the rent, and was asked to move.

What I did not know, at that time, was that the woman I lived with, and had worked with at the travel agency for so long, was getting sober. Much to my surprise. I was the alcoholic tornado running wild through her life. If you read the Big Book, there is a prominent story about me.

Years would go by, and when I finally got sober that first time, after a few years in, I had moved from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami. One afternoon I decided to hit a meeting, so I walk in the room and who is sitting IN the Room was my lady friend. Needless to say I had some serious amends to make to her.

There are little, read it in the Big Book stories, I can tell about my life.

Some of them are funny, but the moral of the story is this … Nobody asked or said Stop.

I’m not sure I would have been ready to turn it over and stop anyways.

We are listening to Joe and Charlie on Tuesday nights. If you never heard them before, they are an experience. It is hit and miss with our folks. Many did not make it past the first night. And they did not come back. This week we heard all about the Big Book.

Writers write books all the time. Every story has its method, its storyline, and its form. The Big Book has its method. You can drill down from the book, to the chapters, to the paragraphs, and even down to the sentences. The Book is a manual about how to get sober. Each chapter is written to tell a certain story, and share with you certain truth. Each chapter leads from Chapter One through the first 164 pages of the book.

  • Each chapter speaks to certain information, which leads into the following chapter.
  • Chapter One talks about the problem.
  • Which leads into Chapter Two, There is a Solution,
  • Which leads into Chapter Three, more about alcoholism.
  • Chapter Four, We Agnostics,
  • And into Chapter Five, How it Works,
  • Chapter Six, Into Action,
  • Chapter Seven Working with Others, and so on.

Within each chapter is written stories, with words written that string together.

  • You can read the Book
  • You can read a chapter
  • You can read a paragraph
  • And, you can read a sentence.

In other places, this coming from people who traveled far and wide, Certain meetings run on the Big Book, and all its derivations. These four choices are the stuff of meetings in many places.

It has taken me years to see this wisdom. I’ve read the book, several times. I’ve been to meetings over the years where all we did was read the book. But it was only when I saw the women reading the book together with their sponsees, week in and week out, that that was something I wanted to do as well.

I don’t read the book with my sponsor, but we are actively working our steps.

I learned what I needed to do to step up my game in sobriety. And I did that.

Tonight I heard my OLD read: Former – sponsor speak at the Thursday night meeting.

I heard the message. I’ve heard it before. He did not say anything new to me. His story is unique, and he was my sponsor for a long time, until the fire was lit for me. He talked about his story, and when it came to the words … I Worked my Steps, or I am working my steps, I did not hear that.

At twenty five years sober, he was trying to Live the steps. He has three sponsors. One, his higher power, a Second service sponsor, and a Third, who lives in East Asia.

There came a point in our relationship that I knew I had to do something different, and I did that.

It is all well and good to go to meetings, find a home group and give back. Read: Do Service.

That is all well and good, and can take you along for a while. Sobriety offers us a wealth of work and a wealth of experience, if we fire up and find someone to feed that fire, I did that.

I could not sit still any more, after hearing New Yorkers tell me how they do it and WHY?

Today, I work it like New York.

It begins with prayer. And runs into the Book. And into Meetings. And then working with others.

I read the book with my guys, every week. All three of them, at different times, get to read the book with me, and I get to see the book through their eyes and through their understanding, along with mine.

The one thing that the speaker said tonight was … “That if I lived to be 150 years old, I could not repay what A.A. has given me.” With that sentiment I agree. That goes the same for myself.

My sober journey is different than all my friends. Not many people can commit to hard core working it for all it is. A friend I know, who has been to all the meetings I have, and to round ups as well, got sober for a while, over the holidays he drank. He came back and I gave him my number and said, call me every day, because his sponsor was out of the country.

People balk at Call me every day …

I told my sponsor about that the other night. And he gave me direction with what to do now.

I did that tonight. I said hello, I shook his hand, and that was it. He did not want to have a conversation with me past hello. And that’s fine.

I reach out to folks, I give my number, but usually, if you don’t use that number within 48 hours of getting it, you won’t use it at all. On Tuesday night, I put my number in a Big Book for a newcomer, my phone has yet to ring.

Ah well… what can you do ???

This afternoon I had to make the trek to the other side of the city to see my doctor. A health issue arose a few days ago, and was causing me intense pain and discomfort, I called him on Tuesday, I got to see him today, Thursday. The pain has subsided. But the problem still exists.

I thought that the removal of my piercing was the issue, and the healing process that went awry? That was not the case. Diabetes is a little monster. It seems I am having issues with my body in relation to my diabetes. That was a surprise. How often do you get to show your dick to your doctor?

That was a first for me in all the years he has been my doctor.

He told me what to do and he prescribed medicine to treat the problem.

I only get away so far, before my body revolts and does something totally out of left field.

Diabetes will do that to you.

On the Great side, I lost 9 pounds. And I lost two inches on my waist. My doctor is pleased.

I was very pleased to see him up and around and able to walk.

The last time I saw him, he could not walk without a cane, or holding on to furniture. He got old very quickly when his body turned on him. He has since had hip replacement surgery, and he says now, he is made of plastic, and titanium. My good old bionic doctor that could…

It was a good day. All’s well that end’s well.

More to come, stay tuned …


By The Numbers – Sept 18, 2013

world-aids-day

It is a glorious day today. A little cool, a lot of sun. And a great morning to travel for my fall clinic visit.

I arrived early and a very gregarious nurse did my triage and (she chose to use a side room and not an exam room) which led to a conversation that went long, and another nurse came in and interrupted us and said there were other patients waiting…

My visit with the doctor was stunning. It seems this new G.O.M.B.S. diet is working.

(Greens, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, Seeds) See Joel Furhman

I’ve been on this diet for 5 months now. I’ve lost a few pounds, and there is promise that if I loose more weight, my diabetes medications will be pulled.

My numbers are WAY up.

My cardiac test at Hotel Dieu came back normal.

My blood tests for cardiac numbers was normal. (read: Lower that usual)

My sugar number was 4.5 – BUT my Triglycerides are up at 11. Strange that my sugars are so low and the triglycerides are up so high??? Doc doesn’t have an answer for this and aside from my dietary changes, they should come down.

My T-Cell numbers are as follows:

12 Aug 2013  VL 39 copies cd4% 43 (low) cd4ABS 1591 cd8% 42

16 Apr 2013  VL  39 copies cd4% 45 (mod) cd4ABS 1080 cd8% 42

03 Jan 2013   VL  39 copies cd4% 45 (mod) cd4ABS 1440 cd8% 39

All the numbers were spot on. Doc was happy. He said I had the highest t-cell count in the clinic. Must be the pills…

It was a good start to the day.

Now I am doing laundry … UGH !!

More to come, stay tuned …


Joel Fuhrman – Steps to Good Health

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I’ve not mentioned that I am on a new diet plan for the last 4 weeks. It is called the Joel Fuhrman Diet – Steps to good health with High Nutrition foods.

You can find the link here: Joel Fuhrman You Tube Video on You Tube.

The main goal is to rid yourself of needless junk food, soda and other foods that won’t help you loose the weight needed and to build up your body with Micro-Nutrients.

The plan calls for this acronym: G.O.M.B.S.

That would be: Greens, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds.

I’ve been off the soda for more than a month now, and people are beginning to comment about my loosing weight and that the change is visible. However at the hospital a couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at 185 pounds. But I feel weight coming off by the week.

Aside from these particular necessities, I eat a good dinner at night, a small lunch at lunch time, and foods that rank on the list in between.

I notice that my jeans are loose and I have cranked further rungs on my belt to keep them up, which means I may be stepping down a waist size soon – which would be nice.

My goal is to loose at least ten pounds before my next doctors appointments in September. I am hoping with the elimination of complex sugars, white sugars, white bread and the like I can hopefully reverse my diabetes in a good way.

I’ve been on top of all my medications and with the new tests the labs use today can give a three month span of data on a blood sample instead of a one day number when the blood draw is taken. In stead of relying on one number – they now have two. This also goes for my HIV medications as well.

I’ve dropped the soda, which my body has been on detox for the last month – I’ve added to my diet many micro nutrients, fresh fruit, berries, seeds and lots of greens, which would be salads during the day.

Eating several small meals during the day and NOT eating out of hunger works.

I don’t drink coffee at home, and only at meetings. I have some juices and non sweetened tea to drink during the day and milk to drink with my pills twice a day.

I’ve been listening to folks who have made these changes in their diets as of late and great things came to pass for them. A considerable weight loss for the fall would be a great joy to my doctor.

Take the time to go watch this 54 minute video. It may just change your life.

More to come, stay tuned…


I Don’t Think He Said what you THOUGHT He Said !!!

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It has been a day …

Early this morning I was awoken by a phone call from the hospital. The previous conversation that I had with the woman in the ombudsman office, did not stay between us. And it went further.

The medical coroner (read:Examiner) wanted to see me today. And as soon as possible. I arrived at the hospital by 2 pm for a special meeting. I waited for a bit until he arrived. And we sat down and he opened the foray with:

“I don’t think he said what you thought you heard him say !!!”

So much for the customer is always right!!!

He had talked to both my doctors. This is how he opened the conversation.

We talked and as we talked my voiced began to crack, and I began to loose my patience with him, as he lauded my doctors good manner and his humanity and all that shit … By the end I was screaming at him.

I was livid.

He said I must have perceived something incorrectly. I was besides myself. I was like you don’t get it. And I went into great detail what was going on in my mind. i was still wrong after all my talking.

We ended with me going to the clinic and making an appointment to see my doctor tomorrow morning. Because he is going on vacation for four weeks.

During our discussion, he let loose some information that came from his inquiries of me from both my doctors. One of those is that my diabetes is not being controlled very well, and that more medication may be added to the mix.

And that I have fivefold threats to possible heart disease. Little things here and there that might indicate that I am in big trouble. Not to mention my retarded family medical tree. Thank you dad for that …

According to my diabetes doctor, the last time I saw him in clinic, he doubled some of my meds and left it at that. Two weeks later I called the clinic and asked if he wanted to see me since he upped my medication. They opted to give me an appointment six months from that point, which is next fall.

No discussion of medication or levels or anything.

Tomorrow morning I am going to the diabetes clinic to see what he wants to do since I am not “responding to medication” like some would like and instead of waiting six months for new labs and by then things could be much worse, see if indeed he wants to change up my mixture.

Since this medical examiner is all up in my business and said several diagnosy statements, as if he could talk to me like he was MY doctor.

I screamed and yelled very loudly. I am sure the secretary got an earful of my anger and disappointment in the way these proceedings were heading.

I picked up my bag, I said Fine … I will make an appointment for tomorrow and I carried my ass to the clinic.

Meanwhile. I’ve been waiting for two weeks for someone to call me back about my upcoming appointment to cardio for the tests that mu doctor was so sure I needed because in his words last, I was going to DIE !

The sheet was still sitting on the desk. No answers, No appointment, hurry up and wait…

I started freaking out on the secretary and once again I raised my voice. Obviously I was not amused by the lack of response that I was told I would get quickly because of the severity of the call.

Obviously I am not dying enough to get immediate action.

Hence, my impending threat of imminent death was totally overblown.

And perhaps I did not hear what I think he said, and that he didn’t say what I thought he said, because my doctor is so virtuous.

FUCK ME !!!!

I cam  home for an hour. I departed close to 4 pm hoping that the church secretary would still be there so I could pay Thursday Night’s rent for June, but I was late. The office was closed.

I went downstairs it was almost 4:30 and I cranked out tables and chairs. Because I needed something to do with my anger, and to spend some time quietly reading in a space that I usually commune with God in.

My sponsor showed up around 5:30 and he sputtered and told me that they had changed up set up and that I set up the wrong way and that it wasn’t my job to set up and on and on …

Fuck me Twice …

We re-arranged the room a bit. I signed on to the group again. So I now have memberships at three groups that meet in that space. After spending so much time with Tuesday girls at the roundup I was reminded how much I missed them and that I needed to go back. And so did a friend, who used to come to Vendome Beginners instead.

The talk was Step Three …

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.

My sponsor could not bring himself to the roundup because of his past. And I am amidst a spiritual experience. And he could not be further from me. And I told this to one of the women tonight that since the roundup I feel like I am one up on my sponsor.

He doesn’t give me what I feel I need. I need more of something I know exists and things need to change. So I am hoping to get with a woman friend of mine in the coming day to talk to her.

Now I am home, my anger is abated.

Tomorrow I see my doc. Let Us Pray.

However I did get the option that if I want a new doctor, I can have one if that’s what I decide. I chose to wait and talk to my doc tomorrow before I make that decision.

More to come. stay tuned…


By The Numbers – Part 2 …

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It was a very late night last night. I stayed up way too late and munched on food at 4 a.m. before going to sleep. Which gave me 5 hours of sleep time before my 9:30 am this morning wake up to be at the diabetes clinic by 10.

Thankfully I did my labs well in advance of this appointment so I did not have to get there at 7 am !!! God forbid …

Last time, Dr. Chris was all up in arms over some of my labs. He was freaking out and circling this number and that number. He gave me part of the lab work to show Dr. George today. When I showed Dr. George the lab sheet he was like “meh… it’s ok !!!” Dr. Chris is more alarmist and Dr. George is more laid back.

Both men are worried since cardiac issues run in the family that I am well due to have a heart attack fairly soon. Dr. Chris was all up on that a couple of weeks ago. So when I saw Dr. George this morning I mentioned that to him and he sent me up to the cardiac wing for a cardiogram test.

The test was clean. Doc said everything looks good, So no worries there. I dropped off a copy at the HIV clinic on my way back to the diabetes clinic.

The down portion of the visit was that my sugars are high. I used to range between 4’s and 7’s … and now I range between 9’s and 11’s. I had a 20 spike last week. Doc upped my Glyburide to two pills 5mg each before my meals, along with Metformin and Januvia.

We will see over the next two weeks how or if my sugars will come down with the upping of Glyburide. If after two weeks there is no change, then we move onto plan B. Which is a new drug called Byetta. Exenatide injection.

The government doesn’t pay for this medication YET, so I have to see a special clinic for my test trial and if it works the doc will write a letter to the provincial health system for coverage later on.

I saw the pen, kinda looks like an Epi pen. It comes in 5 mg and 10 mg dosages and lasts for a month of injections. But like I said this is plan B.

That is that on this front. I had me some lunch and now I am gonna nap.

More to come, stay tuned…


By the Numbers Jan 23 2013 …

world-aids-day

It is another bitterly cold day in the neighborhood. We are sitting at (-23c/-36 wc) at this hour. Cold enough to freeze fingers and faces in a matter of minutes. So getting around and waiting for buses was a challenge.

Doc say that I am doing remarkably well on treatment plan. No changes were made to the regimen yet. So here are the numbers:

03 Jan 2013  Viral Load 39 copies  Cd4% 45 Cd 4 abs 1440
07 Aug 2012 Viral Load 39 copies Cd4% 44 Cd 4 abs 1276

15 May 2012 Viral Load 39 copies Cd4% 45 Cd4 abs 1350

10 Jan 2012 Viral Load 39 copies Cd4% 43 Cd4 abs 1333

What’s good are the cd4 percentages the higher they are the better the numbers. My Cd 4 abs are high again. Which is good.

The downside to treatment are my sugars. They are all out of whack and my daily tests have been spiking on the high side and the tests they ran last time speaks to this problem, so I need to get them back under control. My fixation with juices must end and I need to curtail my diet some more.

My next appointment isn’t until May, but I see my diabetes doctor the beginning of February.

Time for lunch and a nap.

More to come, stay tuned …


Blur …

Courtesy: Loveoncelost

Last night it rained. Cats, dogs, little fishes etc etc …

We watched the clouds come over the mountain from the North and West over the city. It was a microburst storm. Living on the 17th floor, when BIG weather hits the city, the windows buckle in their frames. We went from light of day to darkness of night in a matter of minutes. The rain fell in sheets, and lightening criss crossed the sky, it was all quite amazing.

And as quickly as it blew in, inside of 30 minutes the storm blew itself out.

It was much cooler last night which made it better to sleep. We hit the hay much earlier that usual last night, and around 5 am I woke up and I was in a downward spiral sugar down. That’s the first time I have hit a down in the middle of the night, so I got up and ate and drank almost a whole bottle of soda.

I was supposed to have lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in a long time, but as I got in the elevator to leave the building my phone decided to up and die on me…

I walked to the restaurant and got a table, the server brought me a soda and I sat and waited for a while. I don’t know how long I waited because I usually use my phone as a watch, and because said phone was dead, I did not know what time it was.

In the end – my friend did not show, or I left before he got there. I set off for the Metro and headed to the mall to get my phone fixed. They took all the sim cards and memory cards out and we went around and around with a Motorola phone, they give you a loaner while your phone gets fixed.

They popped the cards in one phone – it would not read my SD card.

They popped the cards in a second phone – it would not read my SD card.

They tried a third phone and still it didn’t work.

They told me to bring it home and stick the phone on the USB cord into the computer and it would recognize the SD card. Well, I walked home from the mall, hubby got involved and in the end, we could not make the phone work either. We spent a good hour trying to find fixes online to no avail.

I walked back to the mall and said “give me a phone that works!”

I waited almost an hour while they tech who was helping me tried several other phones before deciding on a Motorola Blur. Its not an HTC Hero, but a smaller phone that is not as familiar in my hand than my own phone. They put the cards into the phone and it responded with (THERE is NO DATA on the SD Card).

FUCK ME !!!

Trying to make the card fit and work, somehow all the music, 8 GB worth of music, was deleted. So I brought the Motorolla home and started fiddling around with it.

I learned that the Blur won’t play WMA files. Only MP3 formats. Over half my music was in WMA format, so I could not put all that music on my phone. I did get a good amount of other music on the phone which was good.

Secondly, all my contacts from my old phone are stuck on the old one, they could not transfer the data because they could not get my phone to work. I reset all that info, downloaded all my apps that I usually use and reset my phone. It works. It did not cost me anything so that is a good thing.

It’s a bit humid and warm today.

I may hit St. Matthias tonight, I haven’t decided yet.

More to come, stay tuned…


Thunder Snow …

I was up with the little birdies this morning to make my appointment at the clinic. As I was getting ready to leave it started snowing. When I got out of the building, it was REALLY snowing … By the time I got to St. Matthieu it was like a BLIZZARD with blowing snow and it was coming down in buckets. And at one point I heard thunder over head … Thunder Snow …

Now you think that if this continues for a long time, there is going to be a lot of snow on the ground. By the time I got to the bus, I was covered in snow it was falling like pea sized pellets.

The bus was packed. We got up the hill, I don’t know how that bus got up the hill but it did. It was still snowing when I entered the building. Thankfully all the elevators were working today.

The clinic was packed, all the chairs were taken, I was looking through the windows while I was waiting to see the doc. They say if you don’t like the weather in Montreal, wait 30 minutes and it will change.

The skies opened up and the clouds blew away and the sun was shining. The snow had come and gone.

I got in and out in less than an hour. Doc says I am doing well, he upped my glyburide and sent me off with an appointment in six months.

I didn’t get to see my favorite nurse today. I did not see her in the office while I was there.

The downhill bus was approaching the stop when I rounded the stairs out of the building, and I made it, just barely. I stopped by pharmaprix to fill my scripts and came home.

Now it is nap time, since I have a few hours until class tonight.

 


Diabetes … Things change …


Courtesy: ToonMonk

Pardon me for a few moments while I compose my thoughts in a manner that is presentable for general audiences. I am beginning to get terribly frustrated with my body.

There are certain things I must do every day. Like stay away from sugar, take my pills and eat a good diet of food rich in all those things my clinician drills into my head every time I go to see her. God love her, she is an angel really.

My numbers have been nominal with the occasional post dinner sugar spike, but with the amount of medication I am taking, Januvia, Metformin and Glyburide it all seems to be evening out.

So here it is in black and white.

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a consistent inability to have an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. The condition includes the total inability to have an erection and the inability to sustain an erection.

Estimates of the prevalence of erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes vary widely, ranging from 20 to 75 percent. Men who have diabetes are two to three times more likely to have erectile dysfunction than men who do not have diabetes. Among men with erectile dysfunction, those with diabetes may experience the problem as much as 10 to 15 years earlier than men without diabetes. Research suggests that erectile dysfunction may be an early marker of diabetes, particularly in men ages 45 and younger.

In addition to diabetes, other major causes of erectile dysfunction include high blood pressure, kidney disease, alcohol abuse, and blood vessel disease. Erectile dysfunction may also occur because of the side effects of medications, psychological factors, smoking, and hormonal deficiencies.

Men who experience erectile dysfunction should consider talking with a health care provider. The health care provider may ask about the patient’s medical history, the type and frequency of sexual problems, medications, smoking and drinking habits, and other health conditions. A physical exam and laboratory tests may help pinpoint causes of sexual problems. The health care provider will check blood glucose control and hormone levels and may ask the patient to do a test at home that checks for erections that occur during sleep. The health care provider may also ask whether the patient is depressed or has recently experienced upsetting changes in his life.

*** *** *** ***

Some nights – I operate like a machine. Then the fire goes out in the belly and there is no more juice for the mixer. It has been happening more often as of late and it is really starting to bother me. My personal few minutes at night has turned into a torturous attempt at normalcy that has continually failed to reach orgasm… FML !!!

I don’t know if there is a direct correlation between blood sugar levels or hormonal issues. I spoke to my doc about my hormone levels on my last visit and he told me that I would have to be tested over a number of months because you can’t get a valid total on levels on one shot. You have to monitor the levels over time to see if there is a pattern. I may bring up this discussion again in March on my next appointment and also talk to my diabetes doc about it as well.

I would like to know if any of my readers are diabetic and if you are experiencing these problems yourself, either men or women because these issues strike us both.

I HATE when my body defies me and says … Not tonight buddy … It just ain’t happening…

So Speak to me … leave a comment down below, I would like to hear from you.

More to come, stay tuned …


H1N1 Vaccine: I got mine. Get yours.

flu_vaccine

Lifted from: CheckUp – Jason’s Blog…

UPDATE: Montreal.

The H1N1 website was updated I guess over the last 48 hours and they upped the classification of persons who should get the vaccine, as the numbers at the clinics were low over the weekend here in Montreal.Since I am immunocompromised (HIV +) and I am also diabetic, I was pushed further up the line today on the website.

So I got ready and walked up to Alexis Nihon Plaza and got in line. I did not wait more than ten minutes at most to get all the way through to vaccination. They have a triage area outside screening people, and I did see them turn elderly people away – a woman who was in her sixties and was diabetic was turned away. They are pretty strict when it comes to the most important.

After getting through triage, they checked me into the system with my medicare card and I had to fill out a short form – they had people there to assist you if you needed it, and then they signed off on our forms, then it was to the vaccine stop. I got the vaccine with the adjuvant included.

There was an area outside the vaccine stop where nurses were monitoring people for side effects, so you aren’t alone during the process. They were very efficient and the line moved rather quickly. By the time I got out of the clinic there was a huge line – the lunch hour crowd I guess…

Get Yourself Vaccinated !!!

There’s no question about it; H1N1 is sweeping through Quebec, and has been for a few weeks now. You’ve probably already heard that Quebec government has released the vaccine, and is dispensing it across the province. I would strongly encourage you to consider getting yourself vaccinated.

Most of my readers are young, and mostly healthy. As such, the need to protect yourself from flu is not pressing. If you contracted H1N1 today, it would likely only mean missing a few days of school or work. So why get vaccinated? Because the flu pandemic is spread by droplet contact from person-to-person. Vaccinate yourself so that you’re not just another person in the long line of transmission. Because that line ends with people who are more susceptible, and who are going to die from it. Vaccinate yourself on behalf of Quebec’s elderly, the immunosuppressed patient who uses the pay-phone after you, the pregnant woman next to you on the bus, and the cancer patient. Getting the H1N1 vaccine is the socially responsible thing to do.

Find an Quebec vaccination clinic near you at THIS WEBSITE Vaccination schedules will vary by region, and in most regions where there are limited supplies of the vaccine, you will be prioritized according to your risk.

First to be vaccinated are those in danger themselves, and second those who have susceptible close contacts (e.g. health care workers). If neither of those are you, be prepared to wait a bit for your vaccine. Keep checking back, however, because eventually there should be enough for everyone.

There have been rumours and anxiety going around about the safety of the vaccine. As always, be discerning about where you get your information. Those organizations most-equipped to assess the quality of the H1N1 vaccine have pronounced it safe, and effective. In general, vaccines are the safest medications around.

That being said, the vaccine is likely to give you a sore muscle at the injection site, and perhaps a headache, fever, and flu-like symptoms for a day or two. This is not the flu, but rather your body’s immune system responding. Take Tylenol for your symptoms, and you shouldn’t be held back. Ultimately, a day or two of headache, and a sore shoulder are far better than having the flu itself, which can last more than a week!

Do it for your grandparents, for your nieces and nephews, and for the many Quebecers depending on you to do your part. Get your flu vaccine.

Thanks Jason …


Quebec Region H1N1 Vaccine Schedule Updated 4 Nov

H1N1 copy

Montréal

Important Message

If you are a healthcare worker (including private clinic staff, pharmacists, ambulance drivers, and first respondents), your employer, your institution, or your health and social services center (CSSS) will provide all the information you require concerning your vaccination.

If you are a group 1 individual at risk of developing complications, it is recommended that you be vaccinated. For more information on your closest vaccination center, click on the CSSS territory corresponding to your place of residence in the list or on the map below.

As soon as the vaccination of group 1 individuals at risk is complete, the remainder of the population will have the opportunity to be vaccinated, according to the dates, places, and schedules of the centers set up in each region.

EVERYONE WILL GET THEIR TURN

As of November 5

  • Children 6 months to 5 years of age
  • Parents, brothers and sisters of infants less than 6 months of age
  • Women more than 20 weeks pregnant (vaccine with adjuvant)
  • Pregnant women with a chronic medical condition (vaccine with adjuvant)

As of November 9

  • Women who are less than 20 weeks pregnant

As of November 16

  • Individuals less than 18 years of age suffering from a chronic medical condition (people with diabetes, asthma, bronchitis, heart failure, etc.)

As of November 23

  • Individuals between 18 and 65 years of age suffering from a chronic medical condition (people with diabetes, asthma, bronchitis, heart failure, etc.)

As of December 7

  • Youth 5 to 18 years of age
  • Adults 19 to 65 years of age
  • Individuals above 65 years of age

Vaccination Centers for CSSS de la Montagne

PLACE ALEXIS-NIHON

1500, Avenue Atwater
Montréal (V)
H3Z1X5

Information importante :

Métro Atwater
Niveau métro atwater

Centre ouvert à partir du 5 novembre 2009

Vaccination dans le respect des clientèles prioritaires tel qu’indiqué à la page précédente
(suivre le lien ci-dessous <<Retour vers la liste des CSSS)

Please respect the priority of clients according to the preceding page. Updated above.

Schedule :

Lundi : de 08:00 à 20:00
Mardi : de 08:00 à 20:00
Mercredi : de 08:00 à 20:00
Jeudi : de 08:00 à 20:00
Vendredi : de 08:00 à 20:00
Samedi : de 08:00 à 20:00


Vaccination … Addition 11/3

H1N1 copy

I am on schedule to get my H1N1 vaccine on Saturday when they open the clinic at Alexis Nihon Plaza, just up the street from home. If you live in Quebec you can click (THIS LINK HERE) to get an updated location map for vaccinations with dates, times and rules.

Please respect the right for those who need it most to get it first. If you do not fall into a high risk group – then wait your turn. We will all get the vaccine sooner or later.

Respect the rules…

I have been advised by my doctor just now that I must bring my medication with me to prove I am immunocompromised and my health card. FYI !!!


Wednesday Wrap Up …

pmd3567z

I’ve navigated another week of studies. Quite successfully I might add. I attended a meeting at the Multifaith Chaplaincy this afternoon and we have a plan of action set up for the university. I have a list of things to do for next week.

I went to visit one of my esteemed colleagues afterwards and we talked about life and school. Donald is studying at the Anglican College in pursuit of holy orders and is very happy with his choice to do so. We welcomed him into the Anglican Church on Holy Saturday this past spring.

I told him that maybe I have found a venue to put my Pastoral Ministry Certificate into action. And he told me that maybe “Holy Mother Church was calling me back …” I just laughed. We’ll see if that is true.

The end of the month is coming and we will be getting financial aide on Friday. That means bills and pills will be bought as well. I bid on an item on Ebay this past week, and wouldn’t you know it, I bid high enough that my bid went uncontested and I won it. And on Friday I will get to pay for my item and it will totally be mine.

Let’s try this again … I got booted off just now and it didn’t save half of the post I had written here so let’s pop the memory back in…

H1N1 — We checked the website for the island of Montreal and found out that we can get our vaccines on Monday since I am immunocompromised and I am also a diabetic, so I get to pass go, collect $200, and go to the head of the line, and so does my hubby.We’ll be traveling down to Verdun to get our vaccines, hopefully it won’t be a mad house like we have seen on tv the past few days.

Let Us Pray !!!

If you are in Montreal and need info you can CLICK HERE and find it.

So that’s that for now.

More to come Stay tuned …


Tuesday Debrief …

buid63 copy

Last night I had a monster of a headache. Not sure if it was hunger driven or illness driven, but it was pain nonetheless. So I was in bed very early – I got up to get some food around 11 and went back to bed. I had an early call this morning.

I don’t do mornings – usually… But today I had to be at the diabetes clinic by 9:00 a.m. to get into the patient queue. There are always at least 20 people waiting at any given hour of the morning. I got in line and they took me quite quickly – a very smart looking and cute looking intern did my triage. He went over my numbers and took some notes of things that I had observed over the last few months and he also looked at my test numbers. They have been steadily coming down.

It seems doctor George used me as a guinea pig with the medications that I am on now. Because at one point the young intern went to get him and he told me so much. He said that most doctors wouldn’t have done what he did to me – medications wise, but it seems that I respond very well to medications.

They decided to cut my Diabeta in half for my lunch and dinner pill taking. From 5 mg to 2.5 per meal, along with the Metformin and the Januvia. It seems that the Januvia is doing the bulk of the sugar work, as in, bringing the numbers down. I have these wonky moments here and there and they were noted in my file. Doctor George was very pleased with my numbers, he was actually bouncing on his toes, apparently pleased with what he did with me.

So they tweaked my meds a little bit and gave me a 6 month return appointment. That was a good morning.

***********

I came home and went back to bed. And I had the most interesting dream. It seems that in this dream I had been adopted into a family of religious people, it was a very “Seminary” dream. That’s the best way to describe it, because that is the feeling that I took away from it. There was a huge house. A mom and dad, and three siblings. There was a big party and lots of spiritual things going on in the dream. It was very spiritual – they say that you should observe the dream and if you can – are awake – during your dream, take as much information away from it that you can, visually, emotionally, descriptively and physically. There was cake, and celebration. There was prayer and communication. I haven’t had a dream like this in like, forever… then it ended abruptly and I woke up.

***********

And now for the best news of the night… Remember that I had that exam in my Gnosticism class last week, and I was angry about the fact that I studied like a madman and most of what I studied was NOT on the exam. And I posted the questions I answered earlier, let me go find them… Here they are:

  1. Who was Simon Magus and why was he important to Gnostics?
  2. Why is it so difficult to define “Gnosticism?”
  3. Who is Sophia and what role does she play in Sethian Gnosticism?
  4. Describe the socioeconomic, religious and political atmosphere in early Alexandria that led to Gnosticism in Jewish diaspora Jews? (I nailed this question)

When class started tonight the prof told us that nobody failed the exam and he was quite pleased we all did so well. I just shook my head. I wasn’t sure what i was expecting in him saying “he was pleased we did well!” We had our lecture on the Gospel of Philip and a discussion about Jesus and Mary Magdalene which was entertaining and informative. At the end of class he handed out the exams and I was afraid to look at mine. I got a ( B- ) … Holy Fuck !!!

I pulled a ( B – ) out of my ass …

I thought about this on the way home tonight. Thinking about what everyone had said to me after the fact when I was fretting about my work… I knew the material. I studied it all. I took it all in and when I sat the exam, I wrote everything that came to mind on every question. And it wasn’t about how much I wrote on each question, but WHAT I did write on each question that mattered. Because on a few of the questions, I only wrote half a page, not a whole page, and in those cases, that was enough. I had hit the nail on the head.

So that makes the following: I got a ( B ) on my bibliography and I got a ( B- ) on the exam. Which puts me in good standing as a graduate student. I have a book review due in a couple of weeks and I really need to finish this 245 page text on What is Gnosticism by Karen L. King. It’s a nightmare … But doable…

Well, now I really need to eat. Then to bed …

That was my good day…

More to come, stay tuned …