ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

HIVINE is written by HIV positive women but still with a sense of humour

Archive for July, 2009

Pricks and Stones

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What a terrible week – spent most of it at the hospital. First went for bloods, should have gone last week but ‘fainty fainty’ nurse on duty and didn’t fancy passing out again like time was wearing red shoes and thought was Dorothy out of Wizard of Oz. Added to which winner of Star Awards and staff Oscars the lovely Janet Lace was on well deserved holiday in Florida, basking in glory no doubt and HIV specialist off in Tenerife. Felt abandoned, orphaned – as though mum and dad had run off and left me, so wimped out, doesn’t take much.

Returned to GUM clinic as promised but woman before me also did Dorothy and wasn’t even ‘fainty fainty’ nurse doing bloods, it was nice blonde one. Next day dreaded colposcopy clinic – enough said. Went to bed that night commenting to Luis and son, thank God didn’t have to go to hospital next day, but was roused from peaceful slumbers at six thirty in morning by loud banging on bedroom door, Luis in underpants clutching stomach in agony and telling me to call urgencias directamente. Next thing has fallen over on floor and can’t get up. Look for phone, no charge, luckily find one downstairs under cushion on son’s chair that still has semblance of battery. Call 999 – woman on phone tells me won’t get anywhere by shouting at her – not shouting I scream, am in panic, meanwhile Luis calling her all names under sun and shouting as only Spanish can to get a bloody or some equivalent Spanish swearword move on. Woman tells me to roll him on side in case vomits and remove false teeth, but luckily doesn’t apply as is still minus front teeth, even though said was forbidden to come back to these shores again till got some. Anyway, find cannot move him in any direction or get him off floor.

Am not stuff of which nurses are made – too squeamish. Hope don’t do sudden Dorothy and pass out on him, then will be two on floor – roll over, roll over.

Ambulance arrives with screech of sirens and flashing lights; two incredible hulks in dashing green overalls run up stairs, one is Australian and quite handsome have to say. Try to translate what seems to be problem but have no idea what is, anyway have no breath. “Calm yirsilf  down,” advises handsome Australian, but at least doesn’t call me Sheila. Cannot calm down, flap around in nightie wringing hands like Lady Macbeth. Other hulk moves chairs tables computers from obstacle course of tiny sitting room so can get Luis downstairs. “Does he hiff  innny shoes?” asks Australian. Stick  son’s slippers on feet which are six sixes too big. Wish at this point Luis was wearing pyjamas, or pick hammers as pronounced in espanol. Handsome Australian enquires if am coming in ambulance to translate. “Am wearing nightie,” point out. “Tis not fashion parade,” is Aussies harsh response, at which point go off him somewhat.

Throw on some clothes and follow ambulance in car – no time for cup of tea or calming camel. At A&E Luis already rolling around on bed calling everyone conyos.

“Hallucinating,” I tell nurses, “Think means yo yos.” Make yo yoing motions with hands. Nurses give me puzzled looks. Ask doctor what thinks is wrong?

 “Could be appendicitis,” replies, pressing down on Luis’s stomach.

“Conyo,” Luis spits up at him.

“Has he moved bowels?” asks nurse. Can’t think for life of me how to say that in Spanish, instead point to own bottom. Doctor and nurses now think am raving mad. Am raving mad by this time thinking Luis about to pop clogs on me, but not wearing clogs remind myself, is wearing son’s oversized slippers.

Luis given morphine injection and plastic tube stuck in vein in case have to operate. Leave room at this point as feel Dorthothy coming on. Luis not happy – doesn’t want to be operado on.  Help him stagger to loo with what looks like gravy boat to get sample. Will never be able to look at Bisto in same light ever again. Wheel him off in wheelchair for X ray then to assessment ward.

Have to go back home as need to take meds and in rush didn’t think to bring them with me. Remembered Camels and lighter though.

“Caltheteenies y can than theee yos,” he shouts after me.

Oh no, not talking about yo yos again. Too many yo’s in Spanish language and too much lisping for my liking. Wonder if have time to nip into Asda to buy him some pick hammers and some new socks, were on roll back last time was there, five pairs for two pounds.

Underpants and concertinas, I make a mental note.  

When I get back Luis is chatting away in Hingleesh to nurses who are fascinated by fact lives in Ibiza, nurses off on holiday to San Antonio next week.

“What’s weather like?” they enquire.

“Very khot,” Luis or Louise as they pronounce it like the girl’s name tells them, “Too very Khot.” 

And can he khav some agua?

“Fraid not, which are the best clubs to go to?”

In-between waiting for doctor to turn up, in order to pass time, decide to improve Spanish by learning medical terms and words for basic bodily functions.

“Khow,” I ask him, “You say going for pee in castellano?” that’s the King’s Spanish.

“Meow me,” Luis croaks through parched lips. Must be hallucinating again – thinks he is cat now.

“I do beg your pardon?” I respond using Queen’s Hinglish.

“Mear me,” Luis growls. (Since found out that is Spanish verb to pee.)

“No they’re not, no one is going to murder anyone,” I patiently reassure him. “Hinglish doctors very good,” although we haven’t actually seen a Hinglish one yet.

Try to give Luis Hinglish lesson in return in case has to stay in khospital.

 “In Queen’s Hinglish,” I explain, “we say going to lavatory. Ninos say need to make pee pee or I going to little boy’s room. If mooohair (woman) say am going to powder nose, although in Ibiza more likely to mean going to put powder up nose. Hombre, he sometime say, am going for Jimmy Riddle or to point Percy at porcelain.”

“Point perthy at porthelain,” he slowly repeats. Think might get into trouble saying that, especially in Blackburn, so quickly rack brains for another. “This one much better exhemplo,” tell him, “Am going to make room for more cerveza.”

He likes that one and in return tells me equivalent expression in Spanish about taking the yellow out of the canary. Think morphine is taking affect.

Leave him to chuckle away to self whilst read magazine. Article about Bebo, social networking website was not aware of. Not another one – can hardly cope with one’s I’ve got, especially Twitter.  Article all about new teen slang. Discover ‘pee’ means money and ‘piff’ means good. Thought piff was stuff that went round oranges or Spanish person pronouncing piss. As if life wasn’t confusing enough.

Turns out to be Kidney stones. Apparently kidney stones run in Luis’s family. Has rich cousin who because lived too well acquired huge stones, although not diamonds in this particular case, which still keeps in jar.

 “By door with face like Eleanor Rigby?” I joke, but joke falls on kidney stony ground.

Son has dropped me back at khospital because needed car, so tell him to pick me up at Triage department. Make him repeat several times so doesn’t forget, but still does. When comes back for me gets lost and asks for widgery department. Not sure how he made connection – sounds like something to do with budgies. Maybe like me has been spending too much time messing around on face book and Twitter. Luis looking and walking more like penguin than budgie- is ecstatic when doctor says can come home for night, but must return next day for ultrasound and more x rays. Has apparently passed stone which accounted for extreme pain and the fact that now walks like a Penguin.

Go back next day to widgery department. Luis dons fetching blue gown and sits waiting for nurse sporting new concertinas looking like cross between ageing Ray Davis from Kinks and Al Pacino. Always fancied Al Pacino and Ray Davies and Luis for that matter – even without teeth.

“Did it hurt?” I ask when reappears.

“Put khell on me,” he shakes head dramatically.

Thought was complaining again, but meant rubbed him with gel for ultrasound.

Results revealed no more stones, at least no big ones, so can come home.

Wearing Burberry raincoat and relieved expression, lights stinky Habanos as soon as gets out of door. Now looks like scruffy detective Colombo.

Anyway, hopefully that’s an end to it all. Was terrible experience and am sick to back teeth of hospitals and discussing bodily functions, either in Spanish or Hinglish. Just think, if you persevere and keep reading my blogs you will be able to speakee spangleesh likee me.  Khav to say was very proud of Hinglish Khospital and much aligned NHS, so muchas gracias a todos, especially the lovely nurses and doctors and not forgetting the incredible hulk of course, the handsome paramedic from down under.

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Gone Too Soon

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In all the hype and media coverage surrounding his untimely death, let’s not forget Michael Jackson’s beautiful and extremely moving tribute song, ‘Gone too soon’ to Ryan White who died of AIDS. To hear the song and see the video click on AIDS – Michael Jackson on the blog roll.

Ryan White was an American teenager who became a poster child for HIV/AIDS in the USA after being expelled from school because of his infection. A lengthy battle with the school system ensued and the media coverage of the struggle made White into a national celebrity and spokesman for AIDS research and public education. It is inconceivable that many years on the same stigma still exists in British schools but unfortunately it does. If you don’t believe it follow this link – HIV Stigma in schools, on the blogroll and watch a video and read an article written for the Guardian.

Michael Jackson was an AIDS activist who donated his own money and made public appearances such as the one in Exeter Devon to raise money for HIV/AIDS.

Gone too soon – both of them, but sadly stigma lives on. Let’s fight it together.

HIV Tosser!

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If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been all this time, I’ve been off with all the tossers in Ibiza, toss as you probably know by now being Spanish for cough. But this time I did things in reverse. I went out there with a terrible toss and came back without one – well almost. The stack of duty free camels didn’t exactly help.

Living with HIV for the last seven years I had come to the sorry conclusion that travelling, especially to Ibiza, was no longer an option for me as I always seemed to come down with some mysterious ailment whilst I was there. Tanit the island goddess who was supposed to watch over and protect women did not seem to be watching over me I’d decided. But in retrospect I now realise that if I hadn’t of gone to Ibiza that time and been diagnosed HIV positive by the gorgeous homeopathic doctor Luis (not my Luis I hasten to say) who if he is reading this by any chance, thanks once again for saving my life, I wouldn’t be sitting here now writing this blog. So in fact Tanit was watching over me after all and is obviously continuing to do so.

I did have a lovely time in Ibiza I must admit and unfortunately it has awakened the old hippy and erstwhile traveller in me that HIV and Blackburn has suppressed. Or so I thought.  I used to say when asked that I wouldn’t swap Blackburn now for Ibiza. Who was I trying to kid? It was wonderful; no pollution, dining al la fresco under the stars, meeting up with all my old friends who are, like me, all older and greyer but still refusing to wear beige and looking good for their age. I was a bit worried that they would notice a difference in me, the ravages HIV has caused to my body by way of lippo etc. and also if my being HIV positive would make a difference in how they treated me. But being children of the sixties to be honest no one gave a toss if I was HIV positive or not, so that was a welcome relief to be totally free of stigma for once. But the sad fact is that yes, if we are lucky and really work at it we can still can manage to look good, despite HIV, but what good is that if no one wants us? HIV deprives us positive people of love and of being loved and that’s the cruellest blow of all and the hardest thing to deal with.

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Living on a small island you can almost forget the big wide world and even HIV for a while. You ask yourself and each other searching questions, especially after a few glasses of wine, such as do fishes sleep and if so where? On the river bed of course! And if they don’t sleep how long their endless days must seem, especially of they live in a goldfish bowl or a fish tank, which Spanish fish don’t of course as they have the huge bowl of the Mediterranean to float around in. A lot of people don’t sleep in Ibiza, but that is more a result of the chemicals they have imbibed. I didn’t do any of that, but I did down a few mojitos watching the magnificent sunsets sitting on a sofa on the beach! Sleep is an important issue as you get older and the thought of bed or a sofa is something to look forward to, as is taking siesta, a little nod or forty winks, where just before you drop off you may tax your brain with the puzzle, why is it forty winks and not fifty? And then again, especially if you are in Ibiza, maybe you won’t.

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My girlfriends were quite impressed with my ‘lippo’ bosoms I have to say and all had a go at trying on my latest ‘per una’ bra to see if it would do the same for them. I’d treated my bosoms if you remember to a new bra for not letting me down when I had the dreaded mammogram. Talking of bosoms, Jordan, or Katie Price as she is now known, was also in Ibiza at the same time as me. One of my friends bumped into her surrounded by paparazzi in the paper shop, probably looking to see if she had made the front page of ‘The Star.’ With my new ‘lippo’ bosoms perhaps the paparazzi might have mistakenly taken me for her – although do I hope not. Apart from the bosoms, which even with lippo are no where in line with hers, that’s definitely where the similarity ends. Anyway, I would never have two timed Peter Andre!

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It was nice to reminisce about the old Hippy days and flower power – did you know that the Spanish eat carnations, but sprinkled with salt?  Even in Spain my Spanish was not up to scratch (that does not translate well) and neither did when I tried to tell Luis that my nose was andando (running) due to all that tossing and making my eyes correr (post)

“You nose do not run and you do not put your kheyes in a honvelope,” he correctly pointed out, “And tampoco do words in Spaneesh or heenglish make scratchy.”  

Scratchy and Scratchy perhaps – the renowned art dealers?

“Well, tossing means the caber in English,” I dutifully responded.

Nevertheless he kept making bromas (jokes) about me taking my nose for a jog or putting my eyes in the post. Not that I did any jogging whilst I was there or send any postcards or even any tossing in the end. I came back from Ibiza a new woman feeling rejuvenated. More so it has reawakened the painter in me and I feel as though the time has now come to put onto canvas all the crap the last seven years has thrown at me. I can’t wait to see what will appear vision wise once I start. I have found that HIV and my advancing years have given me a new facility to enjoy life that maybe non positive people and especially younger people sometimes take for granted. And yes, it was nice to escape, but I am now back on the case so watch this space and I will endeavour to keep you updated with the life of an aging tosser with HIV.

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