Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Page 59 of 366

Papa is coming to see us... Monday, he said on his text message to my brother... 

I don't know... 

I didn't tell him of my condition... I suspect it was my brother who told him... he vehemently denies so, nonetheless, it hurt him that I didn't tell him myself and that I had no plans in telling him... My brother said he was so upset about it, even demanding why didn't the doctors told him... It was explained to him by the people at ARG that it was my prerogative, that I had instructed that it should be kept confidential... 


With this, he thinks, regardless of what he does or give... he would never be my father... never he would mend the wound... never could he make it up... 


True enough...

 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Oscars 2012


BEST PICTURE NOMINEES

The Artist
As the era of silent films draws to a close, two actors find their careers and their relationship influenced by the coming of talking pictures.  While popular screen star George Valentin resists the transition to sound, young Peppy Miller embodies a modern age that is leaving Valentin behind.

The Descendants
The complexities of life, death and family relations challenge a man faced with losing his wife.  When Elizabeth King is left comatose following an accident, her husband Matt finds himself thrust into the unfamiliar role of caregiver to their two daughters, while at the same time facing a difficult financial decision that may put him at odds with other family members.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
A young boy who may have Asperger’s syndrome must deal with the loss of his father on September 11.  When eleven-year-old Oskar discovers a key among his father’s possessions, he becomes convinced that finding the lock it opens will help him understand the tragedy of his father’s death.

The Help
In the racially charged climate of Jackson, Mississippi, in 1963, a young white Southerner convinces a group of African-American maids to relate their experiences working in white households.  The stories they share reflect the devastating social inequality governing every aspect of life in Jackson, and place the women at risk of reprisals from their employers.

Hugo
Hugo Cabret is a young Parisian orphan who lives hidden away in the vast Gare Montparnasse train station.  When he is not eluding the station’s watchful inspector, secretly keeping its many clocks running, or tinkering with a mechanical figure that belonged to his father, Hugo observes the lives of the people who work in the station…including an irascible toy shop owner named Georges Méliès.

Midnight In Paris
On a trip to Paris with his fiancée, a screenwriter is filled with nostalgia for the Paris of the 1920s, when artists and writers flocked to the City of Light in a celebrated period of creativity.  For Gil, the romance of that bygone era exerts a pull that places him increasingly at odds with his impatient, unimaginative future wife.

Moneyball
Following a devastating loss to the New York Yankees in the 2001 playoffs, Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane and his assistant, Peter Brand, devise a statistics-based formula for choosing potential players.  Uncertain of his chances of success and following a plan that flouts conventional baseball wisdom, Beane sets out to rebuild his team.

The Tree Of Life
A middle-aged man’s contemplation of the pattern and meaning of his life is interwoven with moments from his childhood in a small Texas town.  As Jack O’Brien and his two younger brothers grow up, they are shaped by both the nurturing love of their mother and their demanding father’s strict discipline and unyielding expectations.

War Horse
The horrors of war are seen through the eyes of a valiant horse whose young owner must relinquish him to the army at the start of World War I.  Separated from the farmer’s son who has raised and trained him, Joey enters the war as a cavalry horse and is soon plunged into the nightmarish heart of the conflict.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Page 54 of 366

I no longer have money... allowance from mom was delayed for some reason... and so I went to see Kate, my friend at my former work to see if she can lend me some money... There was no problem in that, she readily gave the money, no question ask... what she have problems with was that, she finds me still too thin... Well, I thought, as I was on my way home was that because when she met me and was working together, I was more than 130 lb, almost 140lb... and that actually most of the time I was just 110lb-120, something like that... and that my weight, when I got sick, dropped to 90lbs... so, as to my judgment, I'm okay... mainly because it is obvious that I have gained some weight back... and I thought I look okay... and that I feel okay... or t least, I try to convince myself... as the following morning... after taking a bath, I step on our weighing scale to confirm that I was okay... 110lb and above... my jaw dropped, I was only 100lb... she was right!!!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Page 53 of 366

watching...


I appreciate the testimony of the Secretary of Justice, Sec. Delima... Her narration of the events that transpired as the former president and the first gentle man try to leave the country was very interesting... But I think it was irrelevant as pointed out by the defense... the chief justice of the supreme court is just one vote... the TRO was voted by 8 magistrates... and that the Chief Justice can not issue the TRO alone... I say I  give this to the defense... no further question...

I also noted, that Sen. Revilla was so cute, when he questioned Sec. Delima and that Sen. Peter Cayetano have his hair dyed and that he was so fair skinned compared to his sister, Sen. Pia Cayetano... makes me wonder...




Saturday, February 18, 2012

Page 49 of 366


In the early 1970s Freddie Mercury had a long-term relationship with Mary Austin, whom he had met through guitarist Brian May. He lived with Austin for several years in West Kensington. By the mid-1970s, however, the singer had begun an affair with a male American record executive at Elektra Records, which ultimately resulted in the end of his relationship with Austin. Mercury and Austin nevertheless remained close friends through the years, with Mercury often referring to her as his only true friend. In a 1985 interview, Mercury said of Austin, "All my lovers asked me why they couldn't replace Mary [Austin], but it's simply impossible. The only friend I've got is Mary and I don't want anybody else. To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage. We believe in each other, that's enough for me." He also wrote several songs about Austin, the most notable of which is "Love of My Life". In his will, Mercury left his London home to Austin, rather than his then partner Jim Hutton, saying "you would have been my wife and it would have been yours anyway". Mercury was also the godfather of Mary's oldest son, Richard.

During the early-to-mid-80s, he was romantically involved with Barbara Valentin, an Austrian actress, who is featured in the video for "It's a Hard Life". By 1985, he began another long-term relationship with a hairdresser named Jim Hutton. Hutton, who himself was tested HIV-positive in 1990, lived with Mercury for the last six years of his life, nursed him during his illness and was present at his bedside when he died. Hutton claimed that Mercury died wearing a wedding band that Hutton had given him. Hutton died from cancer on 1 January 2010.


Mercury was an acknowledged bisexual. While some critics claimed he hid his sexual orientation from the public, others claimed he was "openly gay". In December 1974, when asked directly "So how about being bent? " by the New Musical Express, Mercury replied "You're a crafty cow. Let's put it this way, there were times when I was young and green. It's a thing schoolboys go through. I've had my share of schoolboy pranks. I'm not going to elaborate further." Homosexuality was legalised in the United Kingdom in 1967, only seven years earlier. In the 1980s, he would often distance himself from his partner, Jim Hutton, during public events.

In 1992, John Marshall of Gay Times expressed the following opinion: "[Mercury] was a 'scene-queen', not afraid to publicly express his gayness but unwilling to analyse or justify his 'lifestyle' ... It was as if Freddie Mercury was saying to the world, "I am what I am. So what?" And that in itself for some was a statement." A writer for a gay online newspaper felt that audiences may have been overly naïve about the matter: "While in many respects he was overtly queer his whole career ("I am as gay as a daffodil, my dear" being one of his most famous quotes), his sexual orientation seemed to pass over the heads of scrutinising audiences and pundits (both gay and straight) for decades".
 
Although he cultivated a flamboyant stage personality, Mercury was a very shy and retiring man in person, particularly around people he did not know well. He also granted very few interviews. Mercury once said of himself: "When I'm performing I'm an extrovert, yet inside I'm a completely different man." While on stage, Mercury basked in the love from the audience, which was famously noted by Kurt Cobain, in his suicide note, when he wrote of how he both admired and envied Mercury for being able to do so.
 
Mercury hid his HIV status from the public for several years, and it has been suggested that he could have raised a great deal of money and awareness earlier by speaking truthfully about his situation and his fight against the disease.
According to his partner Jim Hutton, Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS shortly after Easter of 1987. Around that time, Mercury claimed in an interview to have tested negative for HIV. Despite the denials, the British press pursued the rampant rumours over the next few years, fuelled by Mercury's increasingly gaunt appearance, Queen's absence from touring, and reports from former lovers to various tabloid journals – by 1990 the rumours about Mercury's health were rife. Towards the end of his life, he was routinely stalked by photographers, while the daily tabloid newspaper The Sun featured a series of articles claiming that he was seriously ill; notably in an article from November 1990 which featured an image of a haggard looking Mercury on the front page accompanied by the headline "It's official – Freddie is seriously ill".

However, Mercury and his inner circle of colleagues and friends, whom he felt he could trust, continually denied the stories, even after one front page article published on 29 April 1991, which showed Mercury appearing very haggard in what was now a rare public appearance. Brian May confirmed in a 1993 interview that Mercury had informed the band of his illness much earlier. Filmed in May 1991, the music video for "These Are the Days of Our Lives" features a painfully thin Mercury, which are his final scenes in front of the camera.

After the conclusion of his work with Queen in June 1991, Mercury retired to his home in Kensington. His former partner, Mary Austin, had been a particular comfort in his final years, and in the last few weeks of his life made regular visits to his home to look after him. Near the end of his life, Mercury was starting to lose his sight, and his deterioration was so overpowering he couldn't get out of bed. Due to his worsening condition, Mercury decided to hasten his death by refusing to take his medication, and just continued taking pain killers.

On 22 November 1991, Mercury called Queen's manager Jim Beach over to his Kensington home, to discuss a public statement. The next day, 23 November, the following announcement was made to the international press on behalf of Mercury:
Following the enormous conjecture in the press over the last two weeks, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS. I felt it correct to keep this information private to date to protect the privacy of those around me. However, the time has come now for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth and I hope that everyone will join with me, my doctors, and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease. My privacy has always been very special to me and I am famous for my lack of interviews. Please understand this policy will continue.

A little over 24 hours after issuing that statement, Mercury died on the evening of 24 November 1991 at the age of 45, at his home in Kensington. The official cause of death was bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS. The news of his death had reached newspaper and television crews by the early hours of 25 November.
On 27 November, Mercury's funeral service was conducted by a Zoroastrian priest. An intensely private man, Mercury's service was for 35 of his close friends and family, with Elton John and the remaining members of Queen among those in attendance. Mercury was cremated at Kensal Green Cemetery, West London, with the whereabouts of his ashes believed to be known only to Mary Austin.

In his will, Mercury left the vast majority of his wealth, including his home and recording royalties, to Mary Austin, and the remainder to his parents and sister. He further left £500,000 to his chef Joe Fanelli, £500,000 to his personal assistant Peter Freestone, £100,000 to his driver Terry Giddings, and £500,000 to Jim Hutton.[88] Mary Austin continues to live at Mercury's home, Garden Lodge, Kensington, with her family.[88] Hutton was involved in a 2000 biography of Mercury, Freddie Mercury, the Untold Story, and also gave an interview for The Times for what would have been Mercury's 60th birthday.




Friday, February 17, 2012

Page 48 of 366

Perhaps, I don't give my mom much credit for her strength... growing up, I have always been thought of as the strong one in the family, the one capable of hard decision, the one who will not flinch from pain and danger, the one who would know what to do in time of trouble... my mom often times would come to me if she was of a lost... but then, she was after all our mother, my brother and I, and she raised us alone... and that, it was through her that I had gotten my tenacity... through how she can accept facts of what we only have and what only we could do... It was through her examples that I learned that the world owe us nothing, it would continue to turn and move on... that crying may do good, but better to think of what to do next... 

It was through her that I learned not to dwell on our loses, and to laughed despite adversity... as though I was told time and again I am my father's son through and through with my inquisitive mind and temperament... It was her I always try to be...

If only...

I text messaged her to tell remind her that I love her... and that I am going to sleep already... she replied asking how are we... and that if my feet still hurts...

I replied it still does, not taking any medication as prescribed... but that I was okay...

She asked why am I not taking my medication and suggested I should see another doctor...

I keyed in my phone that we don't have money, my medication cost 100 pesos per day... better to be spent of food... than perhaps a folly... the meds are no guarantee it would get rid of the pain... I would want to explain about neuropathy but that would be lengthy, and that when I tried to send the message... I had not enough credits of my phone...

I was crying...





Thursday, February 16, 2012

Page 47 of 366

That is yours... and so many others... advocacy...

I am not one to say don't have sex or use protection or be monogamous... that would be hypocritical of me...

Not that I am claiming originality... but I would like to care for the already sick... they are brothers and sister too now...

He asked if I want to grab some coffee...

I answered, I was tired already, some other time maybe...

Is that a promised, he asked?

I was not able to answer... my eyes met his eyes...

Some other time... maybe tomorrow, he continued...

I smiled...

It was polite...

I would love to...

But I am afraid I am not able to... I hate being broke!!!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Page 46 of 366



Growing up, I am actually one of those people you would hate because no matter how much or what I eat, I don't gain weight... I always been skinny... and that people actually get awed seeing me eat, because I eat a lot, I actually love to eat... and that I shrugged at term diet which most people who don't know me, thought I was strict about... when, really people, we are in the Philippines, diet should be alien to us... Hello, third world!!!

The only reason I started and made working out a habit before was that I was getting old, diabetes and hypertension run in the family... diabetes, complication from it, had actually claimed three lives in my lifetime already... although, I have not actually encounter anything that may make me concern with diabetes personally... I had have episodes of hypertension, at one time, our company nurse actually tries insisting to rush me to the emergency room... 

Plus yes, I also still want to look good with or without clothing even in my thirty's... though, hey, I am not giving up rice...

I used to have a gym membership... but then I realized I rather work out on my undies, half naked, not minding how I looked like and waiting for someone to get done with an equipment... beside, going to the gym felt too much of hassle for me, specially that working out makes me sleepy after... plus, dancing beats the treadmill or the bicycle when it comes to cardio... it more fun... 

You may ask, I can join aerobics class or join the body combat class... but then, I have one stiff body, two left foot, and very ill coordinated... that would make so self conscious... in the privacy of my room and with music blaring in my earphone, I can be very uninhibited...

I used to work out everyday... I take a nap once I get home from work... then I eat in front of the tv... and thirty to an hour after I finish eating, there I was with a dumbbell... I start to work out... and hour or two later, I am on the shower, very drowsy... to which after, I give in...
I lost a lot of weight and muscle mass when I got sick... and though I have regained some of it already, I am still far off from my body before... and I didn't want to work out just yet, at least, not until I have gained more weight as I thought I have no problem trimming up, what I am having trouble is gaining... but then I have rethink things and decided to start working out while I am still skinny and just work my way up with culturing muscles rather than fats... Maybe, I would be better off with that...

I hope I'm right...
No cardio just yet... my feet still hurt much due to neuropathy... but have done weights... and just this afternoon, I  have traded my MP3 player back to the television and watch the impeachment proceedings...

And... well, I am no lawyer, but the PS Bank officers were the prosecution's witness and telling the court that the bank documents that they, the prosecution, is presenting is falsified... so, I really don't get Sen. Drillon insisting on the original documents, which is actually of both peso and dollar account... to which, with the dollar account, have a TRO on and that they have decided not to discuss any dollar account, at least not yet...? Note, the origin of the document is also being questioned and be likely ill gotten... What does he mean test the credibility of the witness?!?  Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!









Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Page 45 of 366

Question: We're both positive. Do we need to use a condom?

This question is one of the most common and one of the most misunderstood. People feel that once you have HIV, what's the sense in protecting yourself any longer...after all what else could possibly happen? What more could a person get? Well the answer is plenty...unprotected sex between HIV positive people is very risky and can jeopardize the health of both partners. Here's how.

Answer: Sexual contact between two HIV infected people most certainly requires a condom. Different strains or types of HIV can be passed between two HIV infected people, making treatment of the infection even more difficult. This transfer of one HIV strain to another HIV infected person is called reinfection.

For instance, if person "A" has an HIV type that has been responsive to therapy and person "B" has an HIV type that hasn't, passing that type of HIV from "B" to "A" will make it harder to treat person "A", possibly making therapy ineffective in person "A" as well. Also keep in mind, condom use is also important in preventing the transmission of other sexually transmitted diseases.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Page 44 of 366


The history of HIV is filled with triumphs and failures; living and death. The HIV time line stretches before us, marking our past and reaching toward our future. But where will that future lead? What does the history of HIV show us? What have we learned throughout the history of HIV?

The HIV time line began early in 1981. In July of that year, the New York Times reported an outbreak of a rare form of cancer among gay men in New York and California. This "gay cancer" as it was called at the time was later identified as Kaposi's Sarcoma, a disease that later became the face of HIV/AIDS. About the same time, emergency rooms in New York City began to see a rash of seemingly healthy young men presenting with fevers, flu-like symptoms, and a rare pneumonia called Pneumocystis. This was the beginning of what has become the biggest health care concern in modern history. Twenty-five years later the disease still plagues society. How did we get to this point? Take a look back at 25 years of HIV/AIDS.

1959 While we talk about HIV/AIDS being 25 years old, in actuality it is believed that the syndrome has been around far longer. In 1959, a man residing in Africa died of a mysterious illness. Only decades later, after examining some blood samples taken from that man, was it confirmed that he actually died from complications related to an HIV infection.

1981 As stated above, 1981 saw the emergence of Kaposi's Sarcoma and Pneumocystis among gay men in New York and California. When the Centers for Disease Control reported the new outbreak they called it "GRID" (gay-related immune deficiency), stigmatizing the gay community as carriers of this deadly disease. However, cases started to be seen in heterosexuals, drug addicts, and people who received blood transfusions, proving the the syndrome knew no boundaries.

1983 Researchers at the Pasteur Institute in France isolate a retrovirus that they believe is related to the outbreak of HIV/AIDS. Thirty-three countries around the world have confirmed cases of the disease that was once limited to New York and California. Controversy arises a year later when the US government announces their scientist, Dr. Robert Gallo isolates a retrovirus HTLV-III, that he too claims is responsible for AIDS. Two years later it's confirmed that HTLV-III and the Pasteur retrovirus are indeed the same virus, yet Gallo is still credited with its discovery. An international committee of scientists rename the virus HIV.

1984 A Canadian flight attendant, nicknamed "patient zero" dies of AIDS. Because of his sexual connection to several of the first victims of HIV/AIDS, it is believed that he is responsible for introducing the virus into the general population.
  • 8000 confirmed cases in the US
  • 3700 confirmed deaths
1985 The controversy surrounding the HIV/AIDS virus continues when Robert Gallo's lab patents an HIV test kit that later is approved by the FDA. The Pasteur Institute sues and is later awarded rights to half of the royalties from the new test. At the same time, HIV/AIDS enters the public eye when Rock Hudson dies of AIDS and Ryan White is barred from his elementary school in Indiana.

1987 - A Treatment Arrives After 6 years of watching people die, a new treatment emerges that is hailed as the first huge step in beating HIV/AIDS. The drug Retrovir (AZT, Zidovudine) is FDA approved and begins to be used in high doses to treat people infected with HIV. And not a minute too soon. Politically, HIV/AIDS is a topic that most avoid. But in response to public pressure, President Ronald Reagan finally acknowledges the HIV/AIDS problem and for the first time uses the term "AIDS" in a public speech.
  • 100,000 to 150,000 cases of HIV and AIDS
1990 After years of fighting to stay in school, and raging an even harder battle against the ravages of HIV/AIDS, Ryan White dies at the age of 19. That year, The Ryan White Care Act is enacted by Congress to provide government sponsored funds for the care of HIV/AIDS infected people.
  • people living with HIV/AIDS rises to 1 million
1992 - Combination Therapy Arrives The FDA approves the first drug to be used in combination with AZT. The addition of the drug Hivid marks the beginning of HIV/AIDS combination therapies. But a more disturbing development centers around HIV tainted blood. Three French senior health officials knowingly sell HIV tainted blood, resulting in the infection of hundreds of transfusion recipients, most of whom have hemophilia.

1993 People who are infected and scientists alike are confused and concerned when a British study, the Concorde Trials, offers proof that AZT monotherapy does nothing to delay progression to AIDS in asymptomatic patients. As a result, the AZT debate emerges, with one side proclaiming AZT saves lives and the other denouncing AZT as useless; the "rethinker" movement is born.

1996 - Protease Inhibitors Arrive Treatment options take another step forward with the introduction of power HIV-fighting drugs called Protease Inhibitors. The use of these drugs in combination with existing HIV/AIDS drugs proves effective in controlling HIV. These new "triple-therapies" give patients and scientists new hope in eliminating HIV/AIDS. But that hope is dashed when a year later, scientists find HIV/AIDS "hides" in reservoirs in the body, making total elimination of the virus virtually impossible.

1997 In late 1996 data from AIDS Clinical Trials Group study 076 (ACTG 076) made it clear that Retrovir (AZT) used during pregnancy and at the time of delivery drastically reduces transmission of HIV from mother to child. Those findings led to protocols that now drastically reduce transmission from mother to child from 1 in 4 to less than 3%.

1998 More than 15 years after the prediction there would be of an AIDS vaccine within 2 years, the first human trials in the United States of an HIV/AIDS vaccine begins. In a desperate attempt to get affordable HIV/AIDS drugs to the hardest hit areas of Africa, European drug companies ignore US patent laws and begin making generic versions of HIV/AIDS medications. In response, US drug companies file lawsuits to stop such practices. And sadly, 17 years after HIV/AIDS entered our culture, an African AIDS activist is beaten to death by neighbors after publicly admitting she was HIV infected.

2000 The AIDS "rethinker" movement gets international attention and support when South African president Thabo Mbeki questions the use and effectiveness of HIV medications as well as offering doubt that HIV causes AIDS. In response, the international scientific community issues the Durban Declaration, offering proof that HIV and AIDS are indeed connected.

2001 As scientists grow concerned over medication toxicity and effectiveness, US pharmaceutical companies drop their patent lawsuits, paving the way for European drug companies to manufacture and distribute cheaper HIV medications to the hardest hit areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. Cautious optimism emerges with the release of the first entry inhibitor, Fuzeon. Since 1981, 21 million people worldwide have died of AIDS, including 17 million from Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • 31 million people are now living with HIV worldwide, the majority of whom are from African nations
2004 As the emphasis on simpler therapies continues, regimen pill burdens are greatly improved with the release of two new combination drugs, Truvada and Epzicom as well as two new protease inhibitors, Reyataz and Lexiva. In December, the first generic formulation of an HIV medication is approved by the FDA, instilling hope that HIV medication prices may soon come down.

2005 HIV statistics have become sobering to say the least.
  • 4.9 million people were newly infected in 2005
  • 40.3 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS.
And as the numbers continue to climb, work on an HIV vaccine has for the most part failed. Once thought to be "just around the corner" it has become obvious in 2005 that an HIV vaccine is still years away. Medication advances continue but long term side effects of HIV medication use are becoming more evident. So much so that experts now agree that for many patients, waiting to start HIV medications is the best course of action. Finally, 2005 saw a rise in HIV rates on college campuses and risky behavior among those people already infected is still a problem. Positive prevention messages are becoming a priority as syphilis and other STD rates of infection continue to rise sharply.

2006 Experts conclude that HIV has it origins in the jungles of Africa among wild chimps. Experts go on to report that evidence suggests that the simian form of HIV (SIV) entered the human species and became HIV by way of monkey bites or ingesting monkey meat and brains. While the origins of HIV are more clear, the means to pay for HIV care and medications has become more complicated. A revamping of the Medicare / Medicaid systems has made getting medications difficult for many. India surpasses South Africa as the world's largest HIV population and in the US infection rates of HIV are steady while STDs are on the rise.

2007 The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that since the US HIV epidemic began, over 565,000 people have died of AIDS.

2009 Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announce they have decoded the structure of an entire HIV genome. How this will affect the future of HIV treatment, prevention, and education is not entirely known. What we do know is that the more we know about HIV, the better we can fight its affects on public health in the US and around the world.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Page 43 of 366

R.I.P




They told me it was Tuberculosis... after a week in the hospital, after my xray came out clear and tb skin test was negative, finally, through the sputum test, they told me it was tuberculosis... and then on, I never smoked again... that instant... no craving... my body and mind just rejected smoking... that was June and since then had have not a single cigarette, nor a puff... until last Monday night, the night before I have to go to RITM and see what happens next with my TB treatment...

I won't even try to justify it... What I need to do is fix my life and get back to the arena... and know that picking up smoking again is not fixing my life...




Saturday, February 11, 2012

Page 42 of 366


 
I am one of those people who don't normally check receipts... but when I bought my prescription for my neuropathic pain from Mercury Drug, I checked and noticed there was a 12% VAT (value added tax) that was charged... surprised, maybe I should have not... but then it made me feel that it was not right... to tax and pass the tax burden to the sick... my bill for 3 tablets of VIT B complex and 3 capsules of gabapentin should just have been 168.08 pesos but because of the VAT, I was charged 188.25 pesos... 20.17 pesos up... to some 20 pesos is just a trifle, but that could have been my jeepney fair going home... to some, half a kilo of rice...

And this is just the visible VAT... there are alot of taxes charged to medicine that we don't know of even before they reach the shelves of drug stores that affect the prices... 

Unsettling, don't you think... our government... not only the Philippines... doesn't care if you are dying and need that drug... as long as they get revenue...!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Page 41 of 366


Well, you provide me with something to blog about... and my readers, if I have any other than you... lol... may have the same concern as you... I am no medical practitioner or whatsoever... my knowledge about the disease is as limited and that I have not have, rather not been diagnose that long, to know a lot... like you... also intend to just read more and get to know more about the disease so to be able to live with it and not be dying from it... which brings me... about your doctor... it is not about reading much... the advise should have been, go ahead and read but don't always believe what you read... you must also verify the information that you get from reading... and assess this information... note, I am not claiming any expertise... this blog is no medical journal... this is a personal blog where in the blogger is living with HIV in a particular giving time and place... If any clarification and correction may arise, I am very open to them...


Yes, indeed... Shingles are more prevalent to older people... but  still cases of shingles with the younger demographic... I was actually made aware of it by 3 PLHIV, younger than me, being diagnose with it... 


Now, I don't know about RITM being creme de la creme... what I know is that San Lazaro is the center of HIV care and treatment in the country... you should know that all HIV test that tested positive in any hub or testing center needed to be sent to San Lazaro Hospital to be confirmed, without San Lazaro's confirmation, RITM's ARG won't have you... and to what I know, NGOs won't either... PGH also provides as excellent service as the other 2 hubs... 


I did confirm from ARG that RITM does cost more than SLH and PGH... 


I have always advised that in choosing a hub, the main consideration is location... you want to be near your hub as if anything comes up, you can go be checked immediately... but then some opts for their hub to be a distance away from there area, afraid that their condition be exposed...


I have not heard about an iron fortified rice, no one have recommended it to me whatsoever... and I don't watch TV, pardon me... but by all means... if you think it would help why not... I have been hearing one should eat that and that... heard about supposedly the wonders of malungay too from my mom... mom wants me to take honey even... what I think is just eat... eat well... eat a balance diet... make sure what you eat is clean, well cooked... and enjoy it... if you can't stand eating malungay anymore, don't, regardless how nutritious it is or how much wonders it can do, you can get the same nutrients it offer from other food...



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Page 40 of 366

I got this from REDLIGHTSPECIAL.COM.PH

"A lot of questions, fears and doubts pop up whenever one has engaged in a high-risk sexual activity. The best way to deal with these questions and doubts is to find out if you had contracted any disease or infection, Through a test, you can find out your sexual health status and take the necessary steps to further take care of yourself. 
Understandably, one of the major concerns in taking the test is regarding the confidentiality of the test, procedure and results. Remember that all information is kept strictly confidential and that it is your right to demand for confidentiality regardless of the results. Use your right wisely. 
Another right that you have is the right to seek for PROPER AND QUALIFIED COUNSELING before and after the test itself. Through counseling you can receive answers to nagging questions and even allay some fears. 
By seeking a counselor, you are better prepared physically and emotionally in taking the test as well as facing the results. They can help you understand HIV and AIDS as well as provide you with the necessary information to help prevent and protect yourself and others from infection.  
Such a life-changing test and its results must not be taken lightly, take the time to talk to a counselor and exhaust all your queries, fears and insecurities before agreeing to take the test. This way, you fully understand and are prepared for the test, its results and the changes in your life that it may bring. Remember that while the test provides the answers regarding your health, only a proper counseling session can help you with the other questions about life and HIV. 
The following centers and sites provide the necessary testing in strict confidence of any and all information."

Well, I think that is one problem right now... the lack or poor quality pre and post counselling, that those who tested positive either are left in the dark what to do next, suffer from depression, and worst get suicidal tendencies... I think this is also something we should look at with our fight against HIV/AIDS...

Anyway, along with this message is the list of testing center all over the country... you can check the website, again, http://redlightspecial.com.ph, click on hotspot...


Anyhow, still on my trip at RITM... so I was cleared of TB, and therefore no more TB meds, which according to my reading, along with Cotrimoxazole, also have neuropathy as a side effect... I was not suppose to bother ARG anymore, but because of that, I thought I should also eliminate cotri on the meds I take and replace with another prophylaxis... that was what took me so long at RITM... I got out around 5pm already... but it was worth the wait as finally... someone took my neuropathy problem very seriously...

The attending doctor, actually have my shoes and socks off, held my feet, I felt embarrass that she had to do so and examined my feet, performing a series of test... 

She said so far no weakness, which is good and therefore we may still do something about it... she said we would be on therapy, prescribing Vit. B complex at 1000mg and gabapentin at 50mg, but
specifying a brand, LYRICA? She said if it does not improve condition after 3 days, we would have to up the dosage of gabapentin... it was encouraging...

And still about the new enrollee at ARG... he was prescribed a couple of drugs... and that I noted 3 of them, there were 4, because his mom showed it to me... he was prescribed Cotrimoxazole... I informed them that it is free at the pharmacy and it was confirmed by Let... but I also noted Fluconazole, which an antifungal med, and cost around 750 pesos a piece... and Azithromax which would cost about 150 pesos...

I know... you are looking at, with just the two drugs, around 1000 pesos a day... not to mention the more than 5000 pesos for your baseline test requirements...

I am unsettled by this... and that I feel I need to do something about it... I don't know what... but I am trying to think...




Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Page 39 of 366

What happened was ARG ordered a sputum test last December... it was 3 sputum samples taken on three consecutive days, preferably early morning--pagkagising... eh I am from Pasig, it would be so inconvenient in my part na pumunta ng RITM everyday, di ba? So I asked kung pwede sa labas gawin, umokay naman yung doctor... so yun, pinagawa ko yung sputum test sa Polyclinic just outside our subdivision, pagkagising sa umaga, collect ng sputum and lalakad lang palabas ng sub... The test showed that I am still positive for TB... So, ARG referred me to DOTS...


DOTS was worried that it was already Multi Drug Resistant TB... They order a sputum test and culture... I did understand that it required two separate sputum specimen for me... that was the reason they had me buy two sample containers then... but when I went to the lab to submit my sputum specimen for the test... the lady said the specimen I submitted is enough for both the sputum test and culture... The Sputum test came back negative of TB... the culture was to take 3 weeks... 


And indeed, the test and cultured required separate specimen and therefore no culture result...


Okay, mistake done... and what we only have is the sputum test that came back negative... It was negative... and therefore, they concluded, I no longer have TB and so, no more TB meds...


Hmmmmmmm...?



Jeep to Rosario, then sa Rosario, jeep to Robinson Gallaria, akyat ng footbridge to go the otherside of EDSA, pasouth bound... and there at the footbridge you have the full view of the Shrine... 

I was wearing my new shirt from Bench... yung see thru yung likod... napa-wow kaya si nurse cute sa DOTS... di niya kasi napansin agad... sexy sabi niya... kilig naman ako... hahahahahahahaha... and then yung yellow thing on my shoulder dyan sa pic, that is my bag... sabi nung isa sa ARG... ang bonga ko daw... agaw pansin... and then when I showed him nga na see thru nga yung back ko, tumambling na siya... hahahahahahahahaha...


May newbie... actually, bagong nagpapaenroll... he is 21, and he really looks sick, with his blemished skin and bad case of cough... shoot me, but I actually wanted to distance myself from him... well, I am still very susceptible to infection...  he is with his mom... yung mom yung kausap ko...


I was actually talking to Let, I don't think I should address her ate as I think I am older than her o kung di man, magkalapit lang edad namin... kasi may concern ako dun sa PhilHealth ko, maactivate kasi ulit lang siya after March pa... eh mauubos ang ARV ko before matapos ang March... so paano yun... sabi naman niya walang problem dun... kung refill lang ng ARV, I would need to the Philhealth for my lab test katulad ng CD4... at least yun yung naintindihan ko... no problem with ARV... kahit walang kang PhilHealth, okay lang, you can get ARV... problema yung laboratory... CD4 cost 3000 plus sa RITM... and yes, yung baseline test mo, sagot mo yun...


And also Let confirmed na mas mahal nga sa RITM as compared sa PGH at SLH... and that libre pa ang CD4 sa SLH, yun nga lang pila siya... one added, depressing daw yung atmosphere sa SLH and even sa PGH... I don't know about that...
Matagal na niya yatang alam... and he kept it to himself... napansin na lang daw nila na palaging siya matamlay and yun na nga di na daw siya nagsasalita... he got really depressed... di daw talaga siya nagsasalita... tipong nagmamakaawa na daw sila sa kanya para magsalita... pero wala talaga... he was actually diagnosed clinically depress... 


Then nagkaTB siya... dun na siya naghinala... na something is really wrong with her son... so she was actually the one who ordered the HIV test... and yun, he tested positive nga... and that explained everything...


She tries to understand... but I guess she knows that all she needs to understand is that he is her son, regardless... and so there she was... you just have to give it to all mothers...


I told her na everything will be okay... looking around, with the other PLHIV looking normal, not all sickly, she was even having a hard time believing those other guys too are infected, she was hopeful... I did warn her that the first 3 months of ARV would be crucial... baka magkaside effects kasi... pero inassure ko siya, feeling for her, that after, everything would be okay after...
And then yun I realized, the good things that happened to me after I was diagnosed with HIV... kwento ko sa kanya, before ni Christmas o birthday di kami nagtatawagan ni mama... buwan lumilipas na di kami naguusap... now, we text each other almost every day... 


She smiled... agreeing, sabi niya she have become his mother again and him, his baby... 


Sabi ko pa, magiging health conscious na rin siya, wag kayo magulat kung sakaling magenrol siya sa gym...


and yun... pag nalampasan niya 'to, her son will have a new perspective in life, appreciate it more and the people around him...


She smiled... she was happy...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Page 38 of 366


Good to know you are doing excellent... and yes, one of the most common side effect of ARVs is anemia... so load up with the green leafy vegetable--sarap naman ang kangkong o talbos ng kamote kahit saan eh... hehehehehehehehe... I rather that than well eating innards... 

I also suffered from anemia, sinalinan din ako ng dugo, two bags pa nga... and I found out, di pala ganun kadali yun... di ba sa movies... parang ang dali-dali lang, kung ano blood type mo, tapos problem, tipong kahit Type AB ek-ek ka pa... I was type O... pero nakailang balik sa blood bank na nasa Manila pa (we were at RITM, Alabang)para makahanap ng type O na compatible sa akin... Oo, naisip ko nga, di kaya yung may dugo na type O na nag test na compatible sa dugo ko eh ang soulmate ko???

And yes again, Pneumonia is another OI we need to watch out for as it is one of the killers of PLHIVs... so right on, get yourself vaccinated...
 
I am bothered by this...

I want to do something about it... 

I need to do something about it...




Monday, February 6, 2012

Page 37 of 366




The problem kasi is that I hadn't have it... pa...? Hopefully, I won't... So wala akong first hand experience and don't really know about it... but then, being immuno-challenge, making me susceptible to it... and have been hearing about it at twitter and faceook... I decided to learn more of it...

Shingles 

sa tagalog Kulebra or Ahas... Herpes Zoster...

As to my reading, it is the same virus that cause chicken pox... bulotong tubig... Apparently, kahit tipong ni di mo na maalala kung kailan ka nagka-chicken pox... yung virus nasa katawan mo pa rin... inactive... and that it actually live in the nerve tissue... di daw masyadong clear kung bakit naactivate yung virus, but it is suspected kung nasusupress ang immune system... thus, here we are...

So pag naactivate yung virus ulit, ito yung Shingles...

Pagsakit ng ulo, then fever, and well general feeling na magkakasakit ka... yan early symptoms, tapos burning sensation, hypersensitivity, itching or "pins and needle" dun sa affected part ng skin... then yun, magbliblister na siya... and even after magheal yung blister, may lingering pain pa rin...

It's painful... unsightly... at mahal ang gamot... Acyclovir is commonly prescribed... it's an antivirus... and that you have to take it more than 5 times a day... plus topical cream... and they add in the Vit. B complex to take care of your nerves...


 

I should be at RITM today... problem is, aside from I am immuno challenge, I am too, financially challenge... didn't have money yet--mom, have send money na, but it was late already, and thought it is a Monday (usually, madami tao), so I decided that I'll just go tomorrow morning...

I need to be at DOTS... where there was a cute guy the last time, hope he is still there... Kasi nga, nagtest ulit ako ng positive for TB... and so may concern na baka multi drug resistant na siya because relapse nga siya... they ordered sputum culture, which will take two month, if I understood it right... and for the meantime, I was given TB meds for 1 month extension... after that, balik daw ako sa kanila... yun nga yung today sana... 

Siguro order sila ng Xray at Sputum test ulit... and... ewan, baka pabalikin ulit ako in a few days... kung lalabas na despite the TB meds for a month, eh may TB pa rin ako... Multi Drug Resistant na nga... ibig sabihin, immune na yung TB ko sa gamot... and I really don't exactly know ang next course of action... but what I am sure is that I am one or two step closer to my grave... or my urn... I intend to be cremated...

Pray for me guys... 




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