ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

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

Lost and Found

Think I’ve seriously lost the plot, I keep forgetting vital appointments and losing things. What’s wrong with me – is it old age creeping in or is the dreaded lurgy HIV taking its dastardly hold on my brain? I keep doing the daftest things. At times I’m even getting my words mixed up. For example, in a restaurant the other night the words sticky toffee pudding got tangled up on my tongue and I asked the young Italian waiter for a stiffy. Is this normal behaviour for a sixty one year old woman who is HIV positive? I don’t think so. The young Italian waiter didn’t show the slightest sign of being amused, or even any interest, so no chance of a stiffy there. Maybe I should eat less stiffy toffee pudding and start eating the kinds of food which improve brain function. My HIV specialist did say (rather worryingly) that my dizzy head might be being caused by oxygen not reaching my brain. As ever, good ol’ Google provided the necessary answers.                                                             “Have you ever bumped into someone you know well but can’t recall their name? Frequently forget where you put your keys? We all experience those absentminded moments, but another culprit could be the lack of key nutrients tied to memory.”                                                                                                                                       There, you see I was on the right track, although as yet there was no link to HIV.                                            “These  foods can help you fill the gaps and may improve your memory, if you can remember to eat them! You might notice that the foods on this list are red or purple in colour. That’s because the phytochemical that colours them, anthocyanin, is the same phytochemical that’s good for your brain. Red, purple, and black grapes all contain quercetin, so does Red wine, but overindulging in the vlatter may negate the benefits, so keeping consumption to one glass per day may be wise.”                                                                                                  Hello Google! I don’t think so!                                                                                                                                                                                                    “Red onions and Red apples also contain high levels of quercetin, an antioxidant that has been shown in recent studies to protect against Alzheimer’s disease.”

Mmmm not sure about that – don’t want to get any querer than I already am.

“Blueberries have been proved in numerous studies to do wonderful things for the memory and for the brain in general. Old rats that were fed blueberries scored the same as young rats on memory tests.”

So that’s why Luis and I have been feeling compelled of late to ferret for bilberries, the Lancashire equivalent of the blueberry, which grow in profusion at this time of year in our local beauty spot Tockholes. But even after eating a huge portion of homemade bilberry pie I still managed to lose my mobile phone, then whilst searching for it I left the keys invitingly in the car ignition all night. Surprisingly, considering the area in which I live, no one nicked it. Mind you, I suppose its hardly worth nicking. It’s on its last legs if you can say that about a car and is making impatient erratic jumping movements like a horse about to bolt, especially whilst waiting for the traffic lights to change. My neighbour shook his head when he heard me starting it up and told me that it wasn’t firing on all cylinders. A bit like me then.

Well, I might be HIV positive, losing my mind and possibly my means of transport, but at least I haven’t lost my sense of humour – or my dog, I couldn’t cope with that. Lady Doodle and her daily offering of unconditional love is the one thing that keeps me sane. Come to think of it I’ve lost many things because of HIV. 

List of things I’ve lost –                                                                                                                                                            My bottom                                                                                                                                                                                       The ability to do a twirl whilst doing the salsa

List of things I’ve found –

Many new positive friends

A strength I never thought I had

The ability to accept others for what they are and not what they have.

All things considering, the things I’ve found are more important than the things I’ve lost, so if you are newly diagnosed take heart.

Back to Google – “Research shows that having meaningful relationships and a strong support system are vital not only to emotional health, but brain health. In one recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers found that people with the most active social lives had the slowest rate of memory decline. If a human isn’t handy, don’t overlook the value of a pet, especially the highly-social dog.”

Ah, Lady Doodle, where would I be without her, she makes me laugh every day and the best medicine of all is laughter of course.

“Laughter is good for your brain. Unlike emotional responses, which are limited to specific areas of the brain, laughter involves multiple regions across the whole brain. Looking for ways to bring more laughter in your life? Start with these basics:

Laugh at yourself.

Share your embarrassing moments.

(you sure that’s wise Google?)

When you hear laughter, move toward it.

When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s so funny?”

(be careful where you do this, they may be laughing at you – in which case move away quick sharp!)

Spend time with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily–both at themselves and at life’s absurdities and who routinely find the humour in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are highly contagious.

(and so is HIV so always practice safe humour by wearing a condom)

Frame photos of you and your family or friends having fun


(or alternatively make a video of them and put it up on you tube as I have done with Lady Doodle and Luis eating a sausage.)

Someone sent me this topical joke –

Did you know that senior citizens are the leading carriers of AIDS









Not sure whether I am finding that funny – it’s a bit too close to the bone. I’ll stick to watching funny you tube clips of dogs dancing or eating in restaurants – or uploading clips like this one of Lady Doodle/Luis eating a sausage. To see them visit my other hivine site at


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