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

HIV Diet Issues

By The Numbers – Sept 18, 2013


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 …

In Need of Counsel …

I am in need of counsel. I am troubled and afraid. You know that I am HIV+ for almost 20 years now. And I’ve been seeing a specialist here in Montreal at the MUHC, McGill University Health Center. Which is in the process of firing hundreds of employees because of budget cuts. I don’t think this is here or there but it is part of my story.
My doc (Chris) has been my doc since 2003. And for the past few months he has been dire in his warnings. They say if you get a message once, and you don’t heed that message, that God speaks again, and you should take heed. A few months ago, I went to see my doc for my fall checkup, (I go every 4 months). He told me that I was going to die. And he left it at that. He did not give me counsel or explain. And left me to go home with this news.
That afternoon I went upstairs to see his brother, (George) who is my diabetes doctor and I told him what Chris has said to me. He rushed me up to cardio to get a cardiogram. Done. I took the results to both clinics and went home. We are of the understanding that if there is a problem, that they would call. No call came.
That test sat in my file for four months. No word. No call. so I guess no problem ???
On Wednesday I went for my spring check up and my blood work, and all my labs across the board. All my labs are above board. Not one thing out of place. The norm for me. Once again, my doctor came in looked me dead in the eye and said that I was going to die. He also said that there was an abnormality on the cardio test, which he failed to contact me when the test was done. That was clearly an error on his part.
No explanation. no words of comfort. Not One Word.
He said that he would call Cardio and get me booked in and call me on Wednesday afternoon. Because he is sure that it is imminent that I am going to drop dead without notice. But he did not say that to me. But I imply that is what he means. They did not book me. They did not call, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.
I’ve been sitting on this secret for almost a week, Because I cannot contact the clinic till tuesday because of the holiday tomorrow. And I haven’t told my husband what my doctor told me because I don’t want to scare him or upset him, until I know what the hell is going on.
How do you go about firing a doctor? Everybody I am talking to in my meetings say the same thing, that I need a new pair of eyes on my file. and that I need a second opinion because my doc has been on an emotional down for a while, he is moody and obsess about nothing.
I just can’t see how I have fucked up my life right now to hear that I am going to die and soon? All I have done this past year is tighten up the ship, eat right, take my pills and go on with my life.
I am stuck in between disbelief and incredulity. If I sink into the truth and accept the end is near, I will go crazy without someone to explain how this is coming to be because my doctor has failed to properly inform me as a patient.
So I’ve been working on the assumption that he is full of shit and that my numbers are good and nominal and that he is just fucking with me in the worst way. I am not ready to die or accept that he is telling me the truth without further discussion about my mortality or why he is so hung up on  me dying !
I don’t know what to do …
So that’s my story right now. I could use some help.

By the Numbers …

I stayed up way too late last night. But you just can’t miss a two hour episode of Deadliest Catch. My favorite program on television. Celebrity Ghost Stories is up there as well.

It was almost 4 am when I got into bed, and I had a 9:45 am wake up call so that grasshopper could take me to the clinic for my appointment. It was a quick and painless visit, however I am told that I must loose 1 kilo a month, for my next visit in September. Which means my fitness and running plan will have to start really soon. I have a lunch appointment with a friend tomorrow morning to discuss my plans.

The doctor is worried about my heart and my knees. He says I need to start out slow and take it easy. Advice noted …

Doc says I am gold on paper. Here are the numbers:

13 Oct 2011  VL 39 copies CD4% 45  CD4’s 1395

10 Jan 2012 VL 39 copies CD4% 43  CD4’s 1333

15 May 2012 VL 39 Copies CD4% 45 CD4’s 1350

It seems I am stuck at 39 copies on the viral load scale, I have been at 39 since July of 2010. My CD4’s have been above the 1300 mark since July of 2008. That is a good amount of time to be on the upswing. So the pills are doing what they are supposed to be doing.

I have hit the 1400 mark on 3 occasions since February of 2010. Those dates were: Feb 17, 2010, Jul 06, 2010, and Oct 4, 2010. So 2010 was my best year, by the numbers.

That’s today’s big event news.

More to come, stay tuned …

The Numbers are in …

Today was medical check up day. Which meant a 9 a.m. call first thing this morning. I had a lunch date so I had to get to the clinic as early as possible to get in and out before lunch.

I arrived around 10 and got in and out by 11.

Here are the numbers …

1 March 2011   CD4 1232  CD4% 44

19 July 2011    CD4 1364  CD4% 44

13 Oct  2011     CD4 1395  CD4% 45 

All my bodily function tests were normal, but once again my triglycerides are a bit high and that sent a red flag up by my doc. He is concerned. Which means a tweak to my daily diet, so no more bread, rice or large potatoes.

I’m not sure what else to do. I need to loose 10 pounds which would be great. The less weight the lower the numbers will fall. I need to get back to the gym at some point. When we can afford the money to pay for a membership.

I had lunch with a good friend. Good food, Good conversation.

It was a good day.

There are 53 shopping days until Christmas.

And 37 days till my sober anniversary.

My Life Class Post will come later tonight. Stay tuned …


Pondering the Future …

Courtesy: Hawtblogfeed, Teq

I’m still alive. Thank God for small miracles. People tend to forget.

Today was my visit with the doctor. I got up, showered and got out with plenty of time to make my appointment early. My bus pass would not work on the bus. God damned opus passes. They are more trouble than they are worth. The bus driver let me ride anyways.

I get to the clinic 20 minutes early for an 11:20 appointment. I got through triage with Phillipe quickly. And then I waited. I waited for an hour. Thank God I brought a book with me to read.

I am still alive…

Here are the numbers:

The new viral load tests can detect copies less than 40 now.

Viral Load: 39 copies
CD4%        : 43% – The highest this number has ever been, ever.
CD4 Abs.  : 1419 (06 Jul 2010)
1462 (17 Feb 2010)
1312 (29 Sep 2009)
1638 (30 Jun 2009)

My triglycerides are the lowest they have ever been: 5.7
HDL: 0.9
Glucose 6.3
CH/HDL 3.7

My weight has leveled out at: 84 kg. Doc says I need to loose some weight. This freaking diabetes diet has done nothing for my girlish figure.

More to come, stay tuned…

He said what ???

It was an early day today. I had to be at the clinic at 9:20 in the morning, I got there at 10 past nine. They put me in an exam room and I sat and I waited. I waited more than an hour. Then they moved me to another exam room, and I waited some more. It’s not enough that they reschedule people for the god awful morning, then the doctor comes to work late and I could have slept in later instead of getting up at 8:30 in the morning.

So I got a clean bill of health. The numbers are all fantastic.

Viral Load: 49 copies… undetectable.
CD4% …43%
CD4 1462

So the trend is as follows:

19 May 09: cd4 1312
30 Jun 09: cd4 1612
29 Sep 09: cd4 1312
17 Feb 10: cd4 1462

All the other numbers like cholesterol and such are good. I hit all mu numbers that I needed to all except my weight. I got the “YOU”RE FAT” lecture again today. I rolled my eyes and said yeah, yeah, yeah. What should I do, stop fucking eating? I was more diplomatic than that.

That was all he said. And I came home and went back to bed until this afternoon, when I went to class.

That is all…

Recordbreaking News !!!


I own the record at the clinic for the highest cd4 count to date. My numbers from the last four lab works:

  • 03 July 08 – 1326
  • 29 Oct 08 – 1365
  • 19 May 09 – 1312
  • 30 Jun 09 – 1638

My CD4 % is 42
My CD3 % is 84  – CD3 ABS 3276
My CD8 % is 41  – CD8 ABS 1599

My cholesterol is down and my triglycerides are down as well. It seems that the Crestor is doing the job, and to add to this I lost 10 pounds in the last two months. YAY !!! My glucose is in Nominal range and everything seems to be ok. My doc was very pleased at my progress.

This is a wonderful way to mark my 15th anniversary living with HIV.

Medical Update 8-06-08

It has been a day today. And I did not get upset, although I did have a minor anxiety attack when I checked my mail this morning and found out that the government had screwed up my financial aide for the fall semester, they had taken away over $4,000.00 in bursary money, which I had to get back. I had a doctors appointment, but before I could get to that I had to take care of the money.

The university figured out why the govt screwed up my file and supposedly, they fixed it and I should have a new calculation tomorrow. Let Us Pray !!! Never trust the government for anything…

So I got to the doctors a half an hour late and I got in and got out in less than 45 minutes this time. My doctor is concerned about my lipids, and my triglycerides, they are way too high. So I bought some salmon oil at the pharmacy, and I am told this natural supplement should help, along with more diet and exercise. I need to loose about 10 pounds. which would be really nice, but i can’t seem to get rid of my protease paunch.

Here are the numbers: They are higher than they’ve ever been before.

Viral Load: 49 copies pm/ml
Cd4%:  39
Cd4 Abs: 1326
Ratio: 0.91
Cd3%: 83
Cd3 Abs: 2822
Cd8%: 43
Cd8 Abs: 1462

Give Big or Go Home…


I think I used a box of tissues tonight. Of all the stories from this week would have to be Rachael Hollingsworth’s work with HIV + women, giving them a Spa Day and a Dinner party out afterwards. Well done…

International Carnival of Pozitivities…

Red Ribbon

Once again, this month I have been published at the I.C.P. which is being hosted over on CreamPuff Revolution. Go read what has been published this month.

Labels … Let us Reflect on them …


Krystalnacht – The Night of the Broken Glass…
The Beginning of The Holocaust



Work Makes You Free …


A Survivor from Buchenwald


Yad Vashem – Jerusalem Holocaust Memorial



Auschwitz – Concentration Camp


Red Ribbon

The Red Ribbon – Synonymous for AIDS

Pride Flag

The Pride Flag – Proud Symbol for all things Gay


The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt – For all those who died from AIDS
My friends,My family, My brothers and sisters…


The JEW – The Star of David used during the Holocaust …

You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes and a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter

Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At Home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,

Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.

Primo Levi

Survival in Auschwitz



The Homosexual – Also Used during the Holocaust …


A Young Man – Hungarian Jewish Boy –
From Fateless, the Motion Picture


The Label Chart Used By the Nazi Party within
the Death Camps and Concentration Camps to
Identify people…
Location, Ethnicity, Area, Orientation, Religious Affiliation


There weren’t only Jews in the Camps…


The ACT UP slogan for Gay and AIDS circa 1980


What Would Jesus Do???


This is my Label – I earned every hour of it, with Pride…


We Should Be Proud, but we should remember what labels have done to millions world wide over the Decades. I think it is time to move past them, to stop labeling and Outing people. I think we need to learn to live together PEACEFULLY in order to stop the killing of ALL people around the world…


Radcliffe nervous about baring all on Broadway


By Michelle Nichols 


NEW YORK (Reuters) – British actor Daniel Radcliffe hopes to debut on Broadway next year in a reprise of his London role in “Equus,” a performance where he shed not only his clothes but the mantle of Harry Potter.

Radcliffe won rave reviews for his performance as a tortured teenager during an 8-week run of Peter Shaffer’s grueling psychological thriller in London earlier this year, but said the prospect of acting in New York was “terrifying.”

“It will be amazing, but I will be terrified because I was talking to Richard Griffiths about playing New York and he said the most stupid thing you can do is underestimate New York audiences,” said Radcliffe, 18, in an interview with Reuters.

Griffiths, who appeared with Radcliffe in “Equus” in London and played the role of Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter movies, won a Tony Award in New York in 2006 for his role in “The History Boys.”

While promoting his latest movie, “December Boys,” in New York, Radcliffe — best known for bringing to life author J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard Harry Potter — said “Equus” could open late next year in New York.

“I would be very nervous because I think that (the audiences are) even more discerning than in London,” he said. “But I know we have a good show, it was a good show when we did it in London and hopefully if we do it again it will still be that good. It has to be better.”

Media hype over Radcliffe’s nude scene in the play sparked more than $4 million in advance ticket sales in London.

“Equus” was first produced in London in 1973 to critical acclaim and won a Tony Award for best play in 1975 during a long run on Broadway. It was adapted by Shaffer for a 1977 film starring Richard Burton and Peter Firth, which received three Oscar nominations in 1978.

“December Boys,” Radcliffe’s first major role outside the Harry Potter films, opens in the United States, Britain and Australia this month. The movie tells the tale of four orphans growing up at a Catholic convent in outback Australia.

Radcliffe said he will begin working on “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” — the sixth movie in the seven part series — this month and that the project would likely take a minimum of eight or nine months.

The Totem


Tonight I am proud to present the last of the three very special writers who were commissioned to write for me during my birthday week. This is from Cooper – from Coopers Corridor out in B.C. He is a truly gifted writer and a father of two young boys. Without further ado, I give you Cooper and his writing on the Totem.


I stand in the great hall of the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, head bent back, gazing up forty feet to where precise images have been carved into cedar totem poles by craftsmen whose art has been almost entirely erased by time. Near the bottom of a nearby pole, a smooth-shouldered wolf rests in the shadow of a killer whale. The eye of the whale is a shadowed well.

This wood, these bones, trace the nature and purpose of a vast awareness, a living spirit in the grain, each knot and every growth-ring a secret hieroglyph worked carefully into many layers of meaning. The echo of leaves is here, the resonance of damp fields half submerged in twilight, of dark soil and tales of night. And long, interwoven strands of time knitted together by wood and human hands.

The wood has been coaxed into shape … whittled, chiseled, sculpted with broad, incising strokes … by tools of utmost antiquity, by weapons, by stones, by countless forms oiled by brown muscled skin.

The focus of the collections is northwestern …hundreds of examples … an eagle with a five-foot, intricately carved beak, a tenebrous skull shape, moons and ravens and wild spirits of the forest. There are objects of great power here. The spirit of creative work calls to whomever will listen, and as I gaze at these ethereal faces staring back from a lost age, their muted colors hiding a secret flame, once again I hear that whisper spiraling out from the primordial source of things.

This is my spiritual heritage.

The instant I reach my hand to the wood and sense a silent energy thrumming inside, I become aware of being pulled into an elemental state. The stillness of that source lies behind the dream of an ancient, verdant grove that sometimes wakes me in the night.

Dark sky, cold rain, and a ground made bright by the sinuous shapes of wood sawn fresh from the tree … ivory of birch, faded porcelain of maple, linen of alder. There is some cypress, too, its scent of lemons reaching to sting me with exhilaration. A black, rough walnut rests alongside the opened bole of a Douglas fir, its orange grain glowing from a sunrise heart. I reach down to touch the alder, and in the moment of reaching, of touching the silent wood with its living core of mystery, I become acutely aware of the life-blood of my ancestors within me.

I acknowledge that the wood’s redemption … its escape from dissolution … is also my own. We are bound now, fragments of becoming. We share the journey of the totem. The faces of the figures are hidden in my own hands and heart. The totem is a spiritual heraldry. It describes, through a vast shorthand, the indications of the unfathomable. It is a finger pointing to the beginning, a wind blowing from a pristine field of possibility. It relates the tale of meteoric iron birthed as companion to the sun. Totems are reminders to remember, and to act.

I step into the landscape of my own totem. I see my Nana, the falcon, her brow etched like the grain of rough cedar, weathered by pain, made bright with love. I hear the voice of my mother, the wolf … first a clear call, then a tremor, and finally a sorrowing wail. I feel the hands of my unknown father, the ghostly raven that I sometimes watch, looking for myself.

I am the eagle ….the one who carries and sustains, whose touch is redolent with solace.

My oldest son, to whom I gave the second name Cedar … the swift little deer … blueberry stains on his chin, shouting with joy as he runs through green fields. And my baby boy Rowan, the seal, cradled by wonder, darting into the light with luminous eyes.

I wonder what indelible traces I will leave … and they … what teeth marks from carved mouths? I reach toward a horizon of prophecy, to mentors and unknown guides, the gods and goddesses of an unbroken cord of lineage secured at the source by invisible hands.

This is where I begin.

Totem Poles – The Story of a Nation carved in Cedar (website)


We Have Failed to Remember …


Writing along the lines starting at my last post, “Custodians of a Living Earth,” we take a more serious look at the past for guidance for the future. With all the wars in the world and all the conflict in many areas of the world like the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Iraq and Afghanistan:

“We have Failed to Remember and We have Failed in Never letting this Happen Again.” 

I have updated my header with images from that period of time. I happen to have spent an entire semester last Fall 2006 studying the Holocaust. We watched film after film, looking at raw data and Nazi history. I read “Night” by Elie Wiesel and “Survival in Auschwitz” by Primo Levi and I visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum here in Montreal and these numbers come from research notes from our class. My goal here is to remind you that we may not call it Holocaust today, Some use the term “Genocide” and millions of people are dying all over the world by war, conflict, division, famine, disasters and so forth and so on…

It Falls to Us to make a Difference, I Wonder if We are Able???
And do We care to even Try? We Must DO there is no Try !!!



The largest Nazi extermination camp.

  • Location: Oswiecim, Poland
  • Established: May 26th1940
  • Liberation: January 27th, 1945, by the Soviet Army.
  • Estimated number of victims: 2,1 to 2,5 million (This estimated number of death is considered by historians as a strict minimum. The real number of death is unknown but probably much higher, maybe 4 millions)

From march 1942 until early 1943, it is estimated that about 600,000 Jews were murdered in Belzec extermination camp.

helmno, also known as Kulmhof, was a small town roughly 50 miles from the city of Lodz, Poland. It was here that the first mass killings of Jews by gas took place as part of the ‘Final Solution’.

The killing operations began in Majdanek in April 1942 and ended in July 1944. Majdanek also provided slave labor for munitions works and Steyr-Daimler- Puch weapons factory. The estimated number of deaths is 360,000, including Jews, Soviet POWs and Poles.

Sobibor was the second extermination camp to come into operation in the Aktion Reinhard program. Estimated number of deaths: 250,000, the majority being Jews.

Opening for “business” on July 23, 1942, with the beginning of the evacuation of the Warsaw ghetto, some 245,000 Warsaw Jews and 112,000 Jews from other places in the Warsaw district were murdered in Treblinka by September 21. 337,000 Jews from the Radom district, 35,000 from the Lublin district and 107,000 from the Bialystok district also met their death in Treblinka with 738,000 Jews who had been residents of the General Gouvernement. From outside Poland many thousands of Jews were transported to and killed in Treblinka: 7.000 from Slovakia, 8,000 from Theresienstadt concentration camp, 4,000 Jews from Greece, and 7,000 Jews from the Macedonia portion of Bulgaria. In addition to the Jews, some 2,000 gypsies were killed in Treblinka.


Coming soon… 7 – 31 – 2007


We have invited several well known and brilliant writers to come and write selections for my Birthday Celebration next week. The brilliant Cooper from BC on the Peoples of the West Coast, And Novelists – (The Misanthropic Anarchist) Ben Leto from London England and our very own Haiku author of Montreal, the most amazing Angela Leuck.

You can visit Ben: The Boy who Could but Didn’t
You can visit Cooper : Cooper’s Corridor

It will be a most beautiful day of writing, poetry, prose and story. I hope you all will join us on Tuesday July 31st…