Daily-ish Rant

15 December 2013

Wow

I haven’t written on here in quite a long time and I honestly believe that’s a bad thing…My life, just like everyone’s has been through quite the ups and downs; especially in the last few months….It has taken all the strength I have to push through and tell myself that everything is going to work out alright in the end….some days that is easier to believe than others…I will keep this post short, I just wanted to get the feel of writing again….I really enjoy writing….I think I would like to try writing for a living, but we shall see how that goes….I know no one really reads these posts since I don’t have any followers but maybe one day soon someone will see them now that I have my inspiration back

Have a beautiful day

Namaste

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Daily-ish Rant

Happy Birthday 06/10/2013

The loss of a loved one is no easy pain to deal with, especially if you have lost a parent. Today would have been my father’s 50th birthday. The last 15 years of my life have been filled with happiness, pain, struggle, fun and questions that will forever remain unanswered. As I sit here today writing this, I think about how different my life would be today if you were here. These are silly thoughts based off illusion and fond memories. The evolution of my life thus far could soley be based off your birthday. For five years after you passed your birthday was just another simple day. Nothing more than, “what’s todays date?” or “its june already?”. But on that sixth year I aquaired new knowledge that would forever change my life. At 11 years old, June 10th became your birthday to me and all thoughts and emotions associated with you would consume my time and drive me insane with anger, resentment, frustration, confusion and a feeling of want and justification. I was angry with myself for naively wishing for you to return and fix the shattered mess of our family. The circumstance of your death caused an inexhaustible amount of animostiy between two families brought together by love and marriage. The end result, a cataclysmic relationship built out of ignorance, lack of understanding and compassion, and abhorrence. I could sit here all day and type out how I feel the quandary should have been handled, but that doesn’t change the reality of the situation. There I was, 11 years old, knowingly HIV positive, afraid, lost, and thrown into a turmoil that I whole heartedly would’ve done anything to avoid. To the best of my ability, that is exactly what I did. I put on my happy face and pushed away all confrontation and pain regarding your life and your death. From my experience, you cannot run away and hide from your troubles. Sooner or later they will come around to daunt and berate you. It is best to acknowledge and become aware of your feelings and to address them. Advice I still very seldomly follow. My plan was to coast through life avoiding the realization that I am HIV positive and that alone shredded a ‘normal’ family to pieces. I resented every aspect of you for a very long time and refused to admit it. Avoidance seemed the easiest route to take and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still follow that option. I have always been told that if you were here you would be enraged with the situation that has unfolded since your death. This has never seemed valid to me because I don’t really know who you were and while there is a multitude of people who could explain this to me, I never really experienced your being. Because of this I have always viewed you as a static character in a book; never changing and solely encompassed with faded memories glazed over by the warming joy of my childhood. This idea of you has always caused me conflict because I am unsure how I should view you. All of these feelings I have had bottled inside for so long with only myself to validate them. I know now that the validity of my feelings are for myself alone and I should not let them be affected by anyone’s elses thoughts or opinions. My opinion and view of you needs to be my own free from other influences, outside opinions and perspectives. I believe that is where my confusion and frustration lies, because I choose to ignore what I feel to be true and listen to other’s thoughts and opinions over my own. Today I have decided that I am going to be the best person I can be for myself. For too long I have focused my thoughts and emotions on the negative aspects of my life and that has drained me enough. The variation of emotions surrounding your death have caused an uproar of altercation within our family and I have been thrown in the middle much to my dismay, but I now understand that I only have control over myself. I cannot control how grandma and grandpa feel towards my mom and her side of the family and I cannot change it regardless of my opinion and vise versa. What I can do is change my outlook on your birthday. It has been 50 years since you were born and 15 years since you passed away and there is one aspect of your personality that everyone seems to agree on. You always lived life to the fullest. My mom believes that I obtained this characteristic from you and I believe it is a wonderful view to have. With all that being said, I have decided to change my outlook on your birthday. Death is a natural inevitable occurrence that everyone faces. Many people are afraid of death and it is surrounded with morose and negative thoughts. The past 15 years without you here has been mournful to say the least, but with those feelings has come growth and understanding in not only myself but my family and friends around me. While I wish you were here to experience the wonders and beauty of life with me I know that you would not want me to shy away from experience or opportunity and you would certainly not want me to be grieving my life away. It has taken me the majority of my life to realize that I forgive you and I don’t blame you anymore for what happened because I do believe that everything happens for a reason. In conclusion and in honor of your 50th birthday I am going to celebrate your life. Life is short and instead of focusing on the negative and the worries we should all strive to focus on the positive and live every day to the fullest and always celebrate life. Anchovy pizza and cheesecake here I come!! I love you dad and I know you are watching over me and my mom and enjoying your birthday.

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Uncategorized

A Time for Heroes

This weekend for my fourth year in a row I attended the A Time for Heroes celebrity picnic hosted by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. The event is filled with fun activities, delicious food, and positive energy. It is a time for friends, family and strangers to come together for an important cause, to eliminate pediatric AIDS. This year someone very dear to my heart launched his own foundation for people to unite together and advocate about something that individual cares about. He and his crew hand stenciled over 500 skateboards to be decorated by the many people attending the event. It was a huge success and I couldn’t be more proud of him. It is during times like these that we must remember that unity, not separation, is going to make a difference. We all have common goals, particularly to see the end of HIV/AIDS, and its important to keep in mind that it doesn’t matter who raises more money or who gets what celebrity to attend their event, but rather, we all live here together and we need to open our hearts and minds, stand together, bring awareness and change the world. Because we all know that actions save lives.

P.S. I do apologize for my extensive run on sentences, I am working on that. Have a beautiful day =)

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Daily-ish Rant

05/23/13

Haha what did I tell you, I already broke my daily rant section and have now re-named it “Daily-ish Rant”. I crack myself up sometimes. Today I have a short little quip about self esteem. It is a huge topic across the country because there is so much pressure to be ‘perfect’. What the heck does that even mean?? I’ve been beating myself up for a while over how I look and here is what I have discovered: As long as you are happy, you feel good, and are healthy, then who cares how you dress or what you look like every day? Now, I understand completely that it’s harder than it seems. Believe me, I know. I am incredibly hard on myself, all the time, my friends and family tell me this consistently. But I am going to practice what I preach, we all just need to stay positive and do what makes us feel good and our confidence and self esteem will go up in no time. That being said, I hope everyone has a beautiful day. =)

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Daily-ish Rant

05/21/2013

Well, this is going to be my first ‘daily rant’. I really don’t feel like I will post a rant everyday, but we shall see how that goes. This morning I had a doctors appointment approximately 40 minutes from my house at 8:30 in the morning. Overall, not a big deal for me, I am used to it. So, in order to avoid traffic, I left at 6:30am and headed downtown. I got to the hospital and waited patiently in the waiting room to be called. When I went to the receptionist she said there would be a $10 copay but took a second glance at my information and informed me that she could not check me in because my medical card was expired. I am fairly new to the area and am certainly new to this hospital system and was unaware that my card could expire. I already do not enjoy hospitals for a multitude of reasons, but for some reason this particular hospital makes me feel like an absolute wreck. The woman was very kind and informed me of how I could renew my card and told me where to go and said I would still be able to keep my appointment. I immediately left to take care of the situation and broke down crying. I was unable to get a new medical card because I did not have the necessary documents and I now have to reschedule my appointment. Being 19, I have been battling a great deal with my identity and being HIV positive. I usually keep all my emotions and thoughts bottled up so its a wonder that I decided to put up a daily rant page. Now, I understand that the situation this morning was no big deal in the grand scheme of things, it was not the end of the world, I just had a severe build up of emotions from a multitude of situations. My ultimate decision was to take a “Janice Day” and here I am, being productive. I guess the best lesson I have learned from my experience this morning is that sometimes life can be overwhelming but you should only take situations one step at a time as they come to you and identify that no matter how horrible you may feel at that moment there is always a calm after the storm (mine involves warm sunshine to put a smile on my face). Have a beautiful day! =)

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Medication

Why is taking antiretrovirals important?

I think the best way to begin this is to answer the question, “What is an antiretroviral?”. “An antiretroviral is a substance or drug that stops or suppresses the the activity of retroviruses such as HIV.” (http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/antiretroviral). The best way I can explain what exactly this means is what my doctors told me when I first learned of my status. Think of your HIV cells as ┬ábears (I know this sounds loopy, but just go with me here). Before you start taking medicine the ‘bears’ are angry and are trying to attack your CD4 cells (fighter T-cells). When they fight your CD4 cells they overtake the cell and create more HIV cells (bears). When you introduce an antiretroviral drug (AZT, Atripla, Stribild, etc.) the medicines in the drug fight against the ‘bears’ and force them into a state of hibernation. By doing this, it allows your body to reproduce more CD4 cells to keep your immune system at a stable level. The antiretrovirals then make sure that the ‘bears’ stay in a state of hibernation. Now even though the ‘bears’ are in a state of hibernation, they are still tricky and intelligent and will find any loophole they can to produce more. This is why it is important to keep up with your medication and try your best not to miss doses. When you miss doses of your antiretrovirals it causes a sort of pattern in your body that the ‘bears’ recognize and can adapt to. This ability to adapt to the antiretrovirals causes them to no longer be effective in making the ‘bears’ hibernate. I hope this post was helpful! Please feel free to comment or contact me with any questions. Have a beautiful day! =)

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Uncategorized

What is HIV?

HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a retrovirus. A retrovirus carries its genetics in the form of RNA (Ribonucleic Acid). It converts its RNA into DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) using reverse transcriptase in order to force the host cell into making more copies of the virus. HIV is different from other viruses because it attacks your fighter T-cells or CD4 cells and replaces them with new HIV cells. Over time HIV cells have wiped out so many of your CD4 cells that your body is no longer able to fight off infections and diseases. When your body is no longer able to fight you are considered to have AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

For more information, please visit:

http://aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/what-is-hiv-aids/

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