Broken Tooter

It was a normal solo tour of Hong Kong. Strolling around Tsim Tsa Tsui, watching the Hong Kong skyline, window shopping in Mongkok and grabbing some of the best Chinese food. What makes it memorable was the kinky sideline activities I had.

I have a great friend who lives and works in Hong Kong, we met when he and his boyfriend visited the Philippines. Remember this post? I promised them to pay a visit when I’m in Hong Kong. But unfortunately, they broke up. I’m in constant contact with this guy and I let him know I’m around. We met and he showed me around and had lunch together. It was a good time, catching up with a good old friend. Having ice cream by the promenade and walking by the business district.

On the second day, I wanted to try its famous nightlife, of course, as an introvert, I can’t really rely on myself and what I did was to open Grindr and possibly meet someone to be with, suggest which bars and clubs to go to show me around Lan Kwai Fong. It didn’t take too long to find a good companion. We met after office hours, had a little chit chat and got some dumpling dinner. He was cool and there were no awkwardness. After dinner, we went to Lan Kwai Fong and scouted some gay bars, we went to this place which was quite laid back, good music and ambiance. He asked me if he can invite his friend, “it’s ok, go ahead” I uttered. Minutes later, we met his friend and god, he sure looks good. Dressed neatly, eye glasses on, sleek hair and the way he smell was pretty inviting. After a couple of hours, we transferred to a more edgy club with loud music, a dance floor and definitely more guys. Minutes later, friend 1 needs to go home due to the fact that it was a mid week. Me and the cute friend were left behind, had a little talk and what not. Knowing how good looking he was, several other guys tried to butt in wanting to have a talk. It got a little awkward to a point that I’m no longer enjoying the time. Cute guy then decided to bail out, I don’t know why but he may have met a hookup or what. So I was left there alone, not knowing what to do. Hours later, I felt pity and decided to left. What happened was no big deal, it happens and I just don’t know what to do after it.

My last day proved to be a memorable one. Someone messaged me from Grindr and asking for us to meet. I said why not, it’s my free time and I can go anywhere. I can just go somewhere after meeting this guy. He asked me to go to his place, he was just ok but hey, his body was crazy as hell. I can’t describe how good his physique is. I know for myself that this will be going to be a hookup or something so I mentally prepared myself what to do. It was indeed a hookup but with a little twist, a CF hookup. For all you know, CF is ChemFun, that’s what I know. Correct me if am mistaken. Basically, there are drugs involved while you’re having fun. I thought it was just poppers, but hell no. He came up with this tooter apparatus and started to inhale fumes from it. I’m not sure what chemical is in it but for sure it was ice. I blatantly declined when he tried to offer me. He was already getting agitated which I know is an effect of that drug and it made me nervous like crazy. He was still intact and knows what’s happening, just that I don’t know what he might do. Knowing I’m in his lair, I just obliged and went with the flow. He even inhaled out the fumes and blew it to my mouth. Like 2 fishes brooding each other. I immediately felt the high. He offered again, but I abruptly decline. Once is enough. As we do our thing, his tooter fell and broken into pieces. I thought he had another spare but luckily, it’s the only one. A big sigh of relief. I packed up as soon as I can and left. Bye. Blocked. 

It was a thrilling experience I must say. I didn’t expect it to happen. The high feeling was still lingering when I got back to the hotel. I don’t felt molested or what but I was rather caught off guard. Still no regrets. It was an experience. Before catching my flight, I decided to shrug what happened that day, went to a coffee shop, guy watching, as if nothing has happened. Thank god that tooter broke down but I still recall how beautiful his body was.

The Least Thing You Can Do

It has been 7 years since I was last diagnosed. Roughly. I don’t recall the exact date but it was definitely between February and March. The feeling of going back and forth to Makati Medical Center and until the diagnosis was given is such a remarkable experience. My overall physical health has greatly improved, though there were some instances that I needed to be in the hospital for some check up and medication. Went twice due to amoebiasis and another due to a minor fracture. It wasn’t good but then I realized one thing, to those people who are PLHIV and keeping it to themselves, the least thing you need to be is being hospitalized. You will be in a situation where you’re forcefully to disclose your status either to a family member or a friend. When you are rushed to the hospital and your stock of ARVs are left home, you’re done. You can’t just ask your mom to get it for you without her asking what it is for or ask the doctor if they have in their stock list. Girl, you are doomed.

When I was on a leg boot for 2 months, I couldn’t go out and organize my PHILHEALTH insurance, which is needed to claim your sets of ARVs, and what more to personally get my ARV refill in RITM. My tablets were about to run out and I had no choice but to think of how can I go about it. Luckily, I have a close poz friend who goes to RITM, I humbly ask if when he’s going and if he can claim the medicine on my behalf. Surprisingly, he agreed and even offered to bring it to my house. I asked the ARG staff if I can follow up my papers after being off cast and yes, they allowed me to.

Cutting the story short, the lesson here is to take care of yourself, lessen the chance of being hospitalized and if the time comes, you need to have at least a confidant where you can share your challenges with. For those who have disclosed their statuses to their families or good friends, good for you, you have one less thing to think of.

To my good friend, thanks for carrying my medicines. I owe you something. Like Starbucks, pizza or something?

Goals for 2017

It’s been a while since my last blog post. I’m not really running out of ideas but rather having inconsistencies when it come to creating one, and this 2017, one of my goals is to at least post once a month. Along with this, I have primary goals for this year. One is to acquire a skills certification, I’m still deciding yet what certification course to take. I’m already eyeing some IT certification classes like ITIL or Project Management. There’s also a possibility to take Quality Assurance, anything related to ISO practices and even passing a Civil Service examination. Honestly, at this point in time, I’m still in the middle of a quarter-life crisis and pretty malleable where to go. But for now, my aim is to improve and widen my skill set to help me achieve my long term goals.

Travel more and further is another goal for this year. I’m starting to scrap the non-essential things to spend like weekly hanging out, dinner, movie, Starbucks and what not. I also started to save using a piggy bank to effectively save for a year end travel. If not plausible, by 2018. I’m also trying to complete all ASEAN countries, only 3 more to go – Myanmar, Laos and Brunei. Not a priority but an achievement if I can make it. Maybe I can also share some of my travel experiences here? (I know there’s a lot to say lol).

maxresdefault

Fourth is of course maintaining my well being. The golden rule of PLHIV is to take care of themselves and the least thing I can do is take my medications religiously. MY target is to aim for 100% adherence and maintain my undetectable viral load status. Practice safe sex is still a priority. It doesn’t mean I can go wild and rowdy with this undetectable status. So please, take care of yours too. We don’t want to go the hospital asking the doctor to remove a growing cauliflower in your butthole or be tested positive in Herpes or Chlamydia and die. Improving my aesthetic part is also in progress.

meangirls

Fifth, improve and boost my mental health. Not that I’m crazy or Schizophrenic, but rather to alleviate the depression I’m going through. Lessening the burdens one at a time. I know it may take a while but I have been in constant effort of doing so. In line with this, seeking improvements in my self esteem. Reducing the need to be social anxious. Try getting new sets of friends,but of course, by choosing them wisely. I’m not getting any younger.

anxietyimagebymari_z

Lastly, maybe stay committed to achieve these. No one can really help but myself. I know it will be hard but I’d rather try. I have given up and I think another chance has been bestowed. SO why not.

How about you, do you have goals for this year? Write it down and let me know, maybe we can share some ways on how to achieve it.

Drifting Through The Wind

Quite honestly, if someone ask how am I doing?

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through winds, wanting to start again?

Not sure if am still on my quarter-life crisis. But literally lost. Like I don’t know what to do and I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Not happy with work and planning to resign soon. Not getting any younger and it suck to find a new niche and restart my professional being. Workmates are really fucking shit and it is getting worse day after day. With travel, the excitement is declining, staying most of the time in my room and not going out. Getting anxious in meeting new people and setting like a hermit crab hiding from civilization. Nothing good is happening, aside from the favorable viral test results, which of course I am thankful for.

They kept saying to think positvely. Well, not everyone can easily do that. Especially to a person who lost the desire to feel anything. I guess this is really depression kicking in.
I heard that you can set your passion as a guide if you were lost of some shit, having to quit photography, I have now the urge the come back and somewhat pursue it on a low level. Trying to restart again. Baby step reboot as I call it. I’m even thinking of relocating.

Currently, I’m in the same exact spot last year when I felt the same thing. Found this (a hot sauce container just nailed it)

Maybe it’s nevet too late to begin again. Perhaps the question is how. There’s always the feeling of regret. But it won’t do anything now. Keep moving forward and keep finding what will make me (us, you) happy.

Undetectable

I was recently talking about my annual testing which includes viral load. Results were expected around 2nd week of September and to my surprise, it came out around 2.5 weeks after. I haven’t done viral load testing for a couple of years due to its tedious process, last number I know was around 300k units. Now, it’s in my favor – UNDETECTABLE. Last viral load test I did was 2014, not really sure how results went but what matters most is today.

I admit I have been skipping few doses of meds and thankfully, it worked. The only unfavorable part is my cholesterol and LDL levels, pretty easy to rectify but still, I need to change my diet and lifestyle. I haven’t had my cd4, I’ll figure that out later.

That Social Anxiety

That feeling when you enter a bar full of people, cigarette smoke sinking in after opening the main door and everyone is like looking at you? A spark of knowledge comes that these are bar regulars. Staring at you from head to toe thinking what’s in their mind? Paranoid being they are judging you in a way. That’s what social anxiety is. Well, it’s not really encapsulated in bars or what not, it can be in your workplace, school or generally in public. The fear of seeing others judging you and it creates your own ghost of negative thoughts slowly eating your mind and heart until you give up and scraming like a meerkat.

I have to admit, I am a socially anxious person. Add to that being an extreme introvert. Looking how it started, am not really sure where, when or why. Perhaps the inferiority complex surfaces multiplied by insecurities and expounded by being HIV positive makes it all up. And it’s all shit and I’m getting fucked up.

image

I remember this instance were some of my friends invited me to a sports fest. Knowing there will be new faces, I got anxious how they will see me as I am. The anxiety stemmed, as much as I’d want to join, I didn’t show up.

And if ever I do come, it’s a nerve wracking experience. Entering O bar and seeing those regulars look at you upon checking the door. I’ve been there for sometime and still I cannot hold the anxiety. I wanted to expose myself but of course being apprehensive of over doing it. I don’t wanna be tagged as a regular. Being labelled.

image

I keep my friends at a minimum. Placing shit loads at bay. I only have a handful of peers. Most of them have their own lives to take leaving me independent. I’m kinda used to solitary weekends. Not really a big deal. But of course I wish there’s these guys who then just show up in my porch and have a night out.

For introverts, socializing is a process. A tedious one. It’s not an overnight thing.

Anniversary Feels

There are 3 instances where you’re being reminded of your HIV status.

1. When you take your scheduled medicines and ARVs
2. When you are to date someone
3. When you take your scheduled tests, CD4/VL etc

My anniversary test is every July. Going to my treatment hub is somewhat an anxious experience knowing how gruesome the day will be. The previous years, one must allot the whole day for this activity. From going there, blood extraction, medicine refill, consultation and waiting game, it usually takes 8-9 hours. Now, RITM-ARG has somewhat streamlined some of their processes and shorten it by 5-6 hours.

This cat kept me entertained

image

Upon arrival, it was 6am. I’m already the 20th queue. It will be then filtered and sorted to who will be doing their anniv tests, consultation or what not. I got narrowed down to 9th queue. Had my blood extracted, took early lunch and did the waiting game. The new process has improved a lot but there are still loopholes to address to such as turn around time and organizing points of movement. E.g: all activities should be done in one point, blood extraction/ppd/Philhealth verification/booklet. If not in one place, it should be close on proximity. You can’t really go from one place to the other end of the hospital complex. You’re already in the blood extraction room, then why go to the pharmacy just to get a syringe and return back to fall in line again. PPD syringes or any other needed equipment should be in one place. But overall, still they improved.

The day started at

image

And ended at, that’s 8 hours. 😴😪

image

This year’s experience was ok. Waiting for too long isn’t really my cup of tea. It makesme irritated and agitated. Viral load results are now sent via email, so I can’t wait to receive mine. It’s my 2nd viral load test of my 6th year stint. Not really expecting good results but rather wishing some favorable numbers.