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Too Much Information

We are not meaningless …

Courtesy: Ofmiceandashley

We’ve come to the end of the first semester of Life Class. We’ve spent the better part of the last 5 weeks sharing the many lessons that have come up and the ones I have chosen to write about.

What do we do with all these life lessons? And how do we put them into action for ourselves? Can we become better people, can we rise to the occasion and really put it out there that We are not who we were, or what we have done, We are who we are right now, in the present moment. And we have the power to change our lives, we’ve always had that power, even if we have ignored it, it is there, waiting to be recognized.

I watch the live show afterwards and you see how people are putting into action all those lessons that Oprah painstakingly worked out for us in our own lives. And my mind is all over the place.

There is an occasion waiting to happen in  my life, and I don’t know whether to engage in the thoughts I am having or should I just let it go and forget about it.

This is where you all come in … I need your advice. I know at least 17 of you get these posts as I pump them out and another good number of you are reading via Facebook and other sites like LinkedIn and through the vehicle of Word Press itself.

We have all lived our lives. And we have all grown up in one way or another. In my life I had to make some decisions that had to be made to get me where I am today. I don’t have any regrets because in the end I am where I am because of the choices I made long ago.

Many of my choices did not sit well with certain people in my life. As a young gay man I made several decisions about family occasions that did not sit well with my brother and his now wife.

Several of my life decisions were made out of desperation to get out of an abusive relationship with my family that was not serving me well at all. My relationship with my family has been non existent for decades, this began when I came out, (Well I never came out to them personally) but I did when I was diagnosed with AIDS in 1994.

I’ve told you that the last time I saw my mother was for 20 minutes on New Years Day in 2001. And that was the year that saw my getting sober finally and pulling a geographic here to Canada, and that pissed my parents off to high heaven.

I attempted, over the first two years I was living here, to reconnect with my family. I invested time, talent, treasure and emotion into a relationship that I wanted with them, even though I had made certain decisions to serve my own needs and to get me the life I deserved and not the one I ended up in living in the states. Being forced to choose between paying rent/ buying food and/or buying medication and not having a life to speak of was detrimental to me survival wise.

You do what you have to do to survive, because in the end it is all about survival. You either choose to live, or you die trying.

My parents were not happy that I made the move out of the country because they felt that I was spitting on my parents lineage, however Canadian my mother is deep in her soul. She was in fact, still a Canadian, when both her children were born, and I used that fact to attain my citizenship. I Owned a Birthright. And I used it.

I made the conscious effort to maintain some semblance of a long distance relationship with them and I failed at it miserably. After two years of investment I gave up because my parents wouldn’t let go of the resentments.

So time wore on. When my boyfriend at the time and I were preparing to get married, this 20th of November in 2004, we sent a wedding invitation to them and invited them up for the wedding. And the reply we got was

“We Don’t Do Gay !!!”

Seeing that I made a huge scene before my brother’s wedding event many years ago, they carry with them the resentment of what I did to them as well. And things were terrible for me during those times. I was really sick and dying, in fact, and at the time, I expected something that did not go my way. And so I made a decision not to participate in their wedding. So that resentment is sitting out there still being fed by my parents and my brother and his wife.

I expected … I am sober almost ten years now.

I was sober then too. During my first sobriety. So that was my bad I guess.

A few years ago, my brother popped up on my Face Book profile page. He is friends with some people I am friends with to this day. And at that time, I attempted to reconnect with him, and that failed miserably. I sent him messages and he dutifully, by the book, turned a deaf ear.

And I had to let that go, however bitter the sting. It’s all sober lessons for me. I had to walk away from the hope and expectation. I’ve learned that I cannot have expectations where family is concerned because this is all my fault, that my parents did nothing wrong and that I deserve all that I get because I am queer and hiv positive.

I learned at their knees just what they think about people, and they have in fact over my lifetime showed me exactly who they are in the way they have treated me over the whole of my life.

And Maya Angelou said … When people show you who they are the first time, Believe them … I did not listen the first time. I let it get to this point, When I should have walked away… the first time … But here we are …

Well.

I’ve been sober now almost ten years. And I am almost 50 years old …

How long can you punish a child?

I’ve learned a lot of good lessons. The fact that I am still alive matters. The fact that I am here in this moment matters, and I am not meaningless.

These could be construed as Alanon issues. Because my parents are alcoholics and I am a child of an alcoholic. And I should know better than to expect things from people who refuse to engage me in my life.

Yet here we are, trying to live better lives and to become the men and women we are called to be because we matter and because our lives are not meaningless.

I’ve refused to let myself even ponder making an I’m Alive Statement of fact. I’ve refused to make an I am Sober now 10 years and I want statement. My sponsor would tell me that I should focus on my sobriety and not to go to places that are fruitless.

The holidays are coming up and I don’t know what to do about them. When family life is based on anger and resentment, the opportunity to change the past has gone. I can’t change the past, nor would I.

I am who I am and I am the man I wanted to become. I wanted to live a better life. I needed to make a call that served my needs. I could not remain where I was letting my failure of a life serve other people. And by that time, my life wasn’t serving anyone at all.

I have learned in my life that once my parents cop a resentment they turn off your life switch and you become persona non grata. I watched them do that to other family members when relations went south. And to this day those dark resentments still punish them.

At one point I nailed enough nails in my proverbial coffin to set myself up for the light switch to be turned off for myself.

It started many years ago, the transformation that I wanted to happen in my life. And I took no prisoners. I did not look back and I made it perfectly clear to all those involved why I had made those decisions. Even if it pissed people off in the long run.

Back in the old days of Life with AIDS, there was no time to waste. Time was of the essence. You either acted or you died. Or you waited to die. Once people walked out of your life, because you got sick, you walked away, even if those people were family. My family did not rally round me at any point. Not then and surely not now.

These decisions began well before my second attempt at sobriety. And I had to loose it all to get back on my feet once again, and nobody but my friends helped me get there. Family had nothing to do with my either success or failure.

So how do you heal the past? How do you make up for lost time? Is it as easy as picking up the phone and making a phone call or writing a letter or sending a Christmas gift? What if you put a wish out there and try not to connect an expectation to it.

Because an animal cannot change its stripes. And I know better than to expect anything from my family, yet I have this sick need to scratch this itch once again. I go through this once a year and it usually happens when I work my steps and arrive at another sober anniversary. This is the big one. Ten Years.

You’d think that I have learned a lot of life lessons having survived AIDS and my death sentence. You’d think that I matter to my friends and family. I do matter to my aunt, my mother’s sister, who is part of my family. And I know that if I asked her whether I should go down this path once again, she would tell me not to waste my time.

If they haven’t had the desire to come find me after ten years, then why think that If I put it out there would the act be returned in kindness???

If the Facebook ignore wasn’t salt on the wound, I am sure that it was discussed that little hit, that went no where. I will forever be punished for my sins until I am dead and in the ground. What’s a little bad blood.

How much does reconciliation cost ??? Is it worth my pride and my emotions???

I’ve gone without it and have gotten used to living without it. But sometimes I wonder if they ever think about me? I wonder what they think I have done with my life, that one day curiosity would get the better of them and they would make an effort to find out???

Well, that hasn’t happened to this day so you wonder, is my life really that meaningless? Can you shut someone out of your life, for the the rest of their lives? Yes, that is entirely plausible. We’ve learned over the past not to go knocking on old doors. Because you never know what is going to come back at you.

I did what I had to do when the time counted. I have no regrets.

I just wonder if my life is still meaningless to people who gave me life, even with the decisions I made and the life I have come to live, and the sobriety that I have worked so hard to keep. There is no pride here, just an honest question. I am fully aware at what could be waiting for me if I go barking up an old tree.

Disappointment.

I’ve prayed for this particular miracle in the past, and God saw fit not to grant it, so I stopped praying for it. Knowing better than to hope in greater humanity. I am a queer with AIDS who deserves no life nor dignity and my family made that perfectly clear long ago, why should I expect a change now?

Fuck me …

What do I do?

They say if you pray for courage, God gives you the opportunity to be courageous. I don’t know if I have it within me.


Change …

Courtesy: Flickr

Things are not looking up. People are starting to worry about their lives, their lively hoods, their safety. Fear is beginning to permeate life.

It is hard to watch the news right now. I’ve been following the disaster unfolding in Japan. What the people in Japan are going through, I would not wish on anyone.

On late night radio, we are starting to hear the first tones of concern and fear. A number of people – many people – are wondering what comes next. The name Lindsey Williams in being beckoned once again. People want to hear what he has to say now, and what to expect.

This is what people are beginning to fear. Fallout reaching the shores of the U.S. and further abroad. I listened last night to men talking about what’s coming and it is becoming clear that fear is in the air.

I think the not knowing and the “they don’t need to know the severity of things” discussion has begun. Will we get the truth from the governments involved in this disaster? Many questions and concerns are being raised.

The crazies are out saying all kinds of things. The word “Armageddon” has been raised by some. And from last nights discussion, it is not what if, but when. People are reading the signs, and the question is, who do you believe? What do you believe? And what are you going to do to insure the safety of your family and friends?

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

The weather is getting warmer. Hopefully the great thaw has begun. Maybe if we are lucky, the last vestiges of Winter are passing away. The snows are melting and soon, we will see grass in open spaces.

The sun shone today and it was a good day all around. I am on reading week so I have the week off. But my two profs have left us enough work to keep us busy all week in preparation for mid terms next week, and I have another oral presentation to present in two weeks time.

I got set up done early tonight and spent the better part of an hour working on my mid term at the hall. The prof gave us a page of questions, terms and theories to look up in the text and from the slides from class. I got a good portion of the questions done today.

We had good numbers at both meetings. We talked about change. That’s about the only constant in life, change…

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

Things are changing, things beyond our control. People in Japan are facing what seem like insurmountable odds to find the dead and missing, to clean up the mess and try, once again, to rebuild their lives from such utter devastation.

The world weeps with them. And the world is paying attention to every update that passes over the airwaves. We hope for the best, and we hope that there is transparent information exchange.

People are afraid, there are no two ways about it. People are seeking answers to questions that, in my estimation, cannot be answered simply. Some believe that the signs are written on the wall. I don’t subscribe to this line of thinking.

We must have hope. The world is not coming to an end. Some say the rapture is coming soon, May 21st to be exact. But the bible tells us that we won’t know what the appointed day is, and when it is coming. But there are those who are set in a belief that Jesus is gonna come, and soon.

We shall see who is right.

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

It is going to come down to a choice, wait for it …

Who has the real truth? Who are the true believers? Are the end of days on their way? And if there is a God, do you believe he is warning us of dire things to come? The fundies have their panties in a wad and something is gonna have to give sooner or later.

Pay attention to the signs and omens. Change is afoot. It may not come like we want it, or how we need it. But I believe that if we are steadfast and hopeful we will prevail. I am in the life and living crowd.

All we have is today. We are powerless over tomorrow.

We pray for those souls who have died, we pray for those who are left. We pray for the world in this time of calamity. And we hope that things get better, and not worse. We don’t need another disaster.

We need a miracle. A few of them at that.

I’m not giving up just yet to sit here and wait for Jesus to come get me. I’ve lived this long, and I am sure as hell not ready to die either. And I know that many of you out there don’t want to die either.

So we will see what Jesus has up his sleeve in the coming weeks.


Type 1 Diabetes: What you Should Know

one touch ultra

Found on: Online Diabetes Systems

Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, usually assaults children, but can strike adults as well. What is the definition of this chronic disease? What exactly occurs to bring about type 1 diabetes? What age group is primarily involved? What are the symptoms and how is it diagnosed? These are the questions to be explored.

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Within the realm of diabetes, type 1 diabetes is diagnosed 10 to 15% of the time. Type 1 diabetes simply means that elevated sugar is apparent in the blood because insulin is no longer doing it’s required job.  Sugar, also called glucose, is a substance found in plants and animals necessary to sustain life as the energy producer.  Insulin is a hormone manufactured in the pancreas.  The job of insulin is to gather the sugar from the blood and distribute it to cells.  When the pancreas fails to produce insulin, sugar builds up in the blood and the onset of diabetes occurs.

Who Gets Type 1 Diabetes?

Unfortunately, type 1 diabetes affects approximately 1 out of every 400-500 children.  The odds of acquiring type 1 diabetes as an adult are much less.  Statistics reveal that unlike type 2 diabetes, more Caucasian children are affected than Hispanics or African American children.

How Does Type 1 Diabetes Happen?

No one knows for certain what causes type 1 diabetes to occur, but there is substantial evidence that there may be a genetic link to the disease.  As an autoimmune disease the belief is that environmental triggers put the wheels in motion that bring about type 1 diabetes.  Whether the beta cells in the pancreas are attacked and destroyed by a virus or allergens is not certain, but the outcome is the same.  Once the beta cells are no longer able to produce insulin, glucose levels rise and type 1 diabetes happens.

What Are the Symptoms of  Type 1 Diabetes?

It may be more difficult to tell in small children if they have the symptoms, but some of the following will be experienced:

  1. Frequent urination
  2. Overwhelming thirst
  3. A feeling of hunger
  4. Feeling very tired
  5. Loss of weight without trying
  6. Extremely slow healing sores
  7. Dry, itchy skin
  8. Blurred vision
  9. Fruity smelling breath
  10. A feeling of “pins” and “needles” in feet
  11. Continual problems with bladder or vaginal infections
  12. Lose of consciousness
  13. Sugar in urine

If any of these symptoms are experienced see a doctor immediately.  Type 1 diabetes is a manageable disease, however undiagnosed it can be fatal.

How Is Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosed?

The normal range of glucose in the blood is 70 – 120.  This level rises after eating but returns to within a normal range 1 – 2 hours later.  A fasting blood glucose test is the diagnostic tool most often used by physicians if Type 1 diabetes is suspected.  Testing for ketone bodies or glucose in the urine is another test in the diagnostic arsenal that may be used.

Are There Risks or Complications with Type 1 Diabetes?

The most serious risks and diabetes complications occur in undiagnosed and untreated type 1 diabetes, but there are problems that can happen over time.

  1. Retinopathy or loss of eyesight is a rare event in children before the age of puberty.  However it does happen to adults who have had the disease for 15 or more years.  Although not serious, it is a concern.
  2. Kidney problems become a problem for 35% – 45% of people living with Type 1 diabetes.  Kidney failure or heart disease may become a serious condition.
  3. Poor blood circulation due to hardening of the arteries may occur after a prolonged amount of time living with the type 1 diabetes.  This complication creates problems with sores healing properly and increased chances of injury.  Nerve damage may also lead to digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Although the information looks grim, the reality is that type 1 diabetes is manageable.  People go on to live long, exciting lives filled with love, happy times, adventure, satisfaction and contentment.


Anonymity …

I had an unusual experience this morning and it has been bothering me all night long. I went to the hospital clinic and dropped my labs and took a seat in the exam room assigned to me. The nurse came in and took my vitals and to start my triage as usual.

She left the room and there was a knock on the door and a 4th year intern young lady walked in an introduced herself. With her was a woman. A woman I knew. From the Rooms. The first words out of my mouth were, and I didn’t think about it at that moment, I said to her “I Know You!” The intern looked at me quizzically and I said “yeah I know her from the rooms.” I had blown her anonymity. They did my workup and asked me some questions about my diet and my fasting routine. Then they left.

I was waiting for my doctor to come in and the Woman came back in and said to me “nobody knows that I am in the rooms. Let’s keep this between us!” The longer I sat there the more uneasy I felt. Because she returned again and started asking questions about the pills I was taking in my regimen and she was accusing me of not understanding what fasting meant. I was like What that Fuck!!!  She was wearing a lab coat and all, but what did I know – that she was a medical doctor or something of that sort.

I felt like my privacy had been breached. My anonymity was also broken when she acknowledged me from the rooms. Now I don’t usually have problems with doctors and interns looking at my file. BUT I was terribly bothered that someone who comes to my meeting has now had intimate access to my medical files.

And that is not sitting well with me right now.

It is almost accusatory the way I am feeling. I don’t want another “Drunk” having access to the particulars of my life because she is in the rooms. I’ve known this woman for some time. And I’ve heard her talk and share. I just don’t know how I feel, well I do know how I feel about today…

I don’t want this woman having access to my file or my doctor… simple as that. I don’t know in what capacity she was working today with a 4th year intern – but she did ask me some pointed questions about some of my pills in that kind of AA “Why are you taking these specific pills???” way…

There has always been proponents who think that pills are a threat to sobriety. I’ve had the pill argument with more than one AA member in my many years. I just don’t feel right knowing that another member now knows the particulars of my life that were once private. I don’t like it at all…

Am I being ignorant and stupid or petty???

I’ve never faced this kind of dilemma in my sobriety before. Actually knowing someone directly who has had access to my medical life, who is a member of the rooms. It’s just as bad that I pointed the finger first and called her out. I feel like my medical life has been invaded by her. I don’t trust anonymity when my worlds come this close together. Now I am going to have to take this to bed with me, UGH !!!

What do I do now???

I know let it go… I don’t know what I’d say to her when she comes to my meeting the next time. You know, I don’t think you’d like certain people peeking in on parts of your life that are sacred and private, but I am an alcoholic and I think like one – AND SO DOES SHE !!! I know there are other alcoholics that work at the General, but they do not work in the Clinic nor do they have access to that kind of information. My information!!!

I am really feeling this little intrusion in a big way right now…


Bloodletting …

ist2_387439_blood_splat.jpg

I guess I need to rewrite this post and try to explain the “bottom line.” I ate very lightly over the past few days. Monday night after a weekend of little substance I had a steak and potato dinner. Which is all well and good.

Today, when I went for coffee with my “peeps” I had a couple cups of coffee as usual.

Anyways, I went to the restroom to relieve my bladder and I “moved” but this afternoon’s movement was accompanied by “Blood” a lot of Blood!! More blood from a location that isn’t usually an issue for me. I freaked out. I invited Ms. Nikki into the bathroom with me because she works at the General so she knows about these kinds of things.

The bleeding stopped. We went on to the meeting. There was no more bloody paper after that one occurrence. What was it? I don’t know. I haven’t had another “movement” since this afternoon. And no more blood – in any case.

Tomorrow I am going to go to the clinic and drop some labs – as it is time, and while I am there I am going to see the doctor and let him tinker under the hood and tell me if I need to be worried or not. I’ve never had gastro-intestinal problems before so this might be just a cranky hemorrhoid and not something much worse.

I did have the maxi pad conversation with Ms. Nikki, as she took a handful of paper products from the restaurant to make sure if I had bled again, I’d be prepared. I’ve never had Men-strual issues before.