Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quattro Tuesday

Tree up and decorated
Last year, we didn't have a Christmas tree. After two years of me putting it up a giant tree mostly by myself, I just wasn't going to do that much work again. And besides, its no fun to put up a tree by yourself, especially since I see the ornaments as one rendition of our history together and I miss sharing that with him.

So, H and I were talking about putting up a tree this year and I had to work and work to get him to understand that 1) I would like a tree this year, 2) it can't be a large one, and 3) I'm not going to do all the work myself again. Nope.

So, last weekend we put up and decorated a 4.5' artificial tree. Just big enough to hold all our "special ornaments" and yet small enough to finish quickly to make it fun. It was nice to have him there, decorating, as we reminisced as each special ornament came out. How it should be….

Viral load up and despondent
H had been on a holiday from his anti-viral medications since about March of this year. 3 months ago, his HIV viral load was effectively 0 and his T-cell counts were good. Results from last week showed that his viral load is now up to 330,000 and his T-cell counts are dropping.

Time to go back onto the meds, I think, and he's not happy about it at all as these meds in particular make him feel sick much of the time. His virologist will let us know in the next few days the results of a test (phenotype) to see which meds may still work against H's virus. The big risk is that the virus will be resistant to the new meds that had been working for H the last year; if that is the case, there is no other treatment for him and he will most certainly get sick and likely not pull out of it. And if the meds do work, he can look forward to feeling sick most of the time.

Oddly, I feel a bit relieved and I also feel a bit frightened and sad for him.

Now, what's for dinner?
As the chef in our house for the past decade or more, I've got my favorite recipes and new ones that I try out. Over time, H has ruled out whole food groups: pasta, curry, pizza, stir-fry, Mexican, eggs, etc. Now, I'm struggling to figure out what to make him for dinner and, at the same time, my resentment grows for his increasing fussiness.

The unbearable weight of responsibility
So, my manager is leaving the company and I've been approached by several folks, including my "big" bosses, telling me that I should apply for my manager's job. I've led groups like this one before, so I know what's involved. And this is a great opportunity any way you choose to slice it.

But the first thought in my head was, "I just don't have the energy for this as long as H is around. How can I focus on work when the situation with H just sucks the life out of me?" Sigh. I am so tired of being tired and distracted.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Turkey snippets

Smokin' 'n' drinkin'
While I was in Europe last month, I decided to smoke and drink out on the town with my pals from work. I worried a bit about the drinking…if I had my first drink in 7+ months, would I be able to stop?...but all for naught. 'Twas a social thing only. During the day, no cravings; no cravings upon my return home. I could take or leave smoking on the road, but once I got home, I wanted to smoke more.

Down for a visit
Although I've only got one response from H's family to my status email, H will be heading South to visit many of them after Christmas. They are eager to see him and I'm glad that he wants to go. Also, gives me 2+ weeks of break, which I am grateful for.

All is calm
H is doing rather well physically right now. We'll know what his viral load is here in a few weeks. What's so odd is that he's stable right now and his spirits are good. In some ways, I don't know what to do with him when there isn't a health issue going. His dementia is still worsening tho'.

When I'm sick
Over the past several weeks, I've had two migraine headaches and also got a weird flu. H was good about this, as there was no way that I can keep up at home when I was that sick. He said, "Sheesh, even when you're sick, you don't get a break." I replied, "Yup, I know." And, to his credit, he asked me for nothing during my sick times.

Deteriorating in front of my eyes
One of H's sister lives in another state, not too far from his parents. Since this sister lives closest, she sees what is happening with his parents. Like most folks in their mid to late 70s, they have a myriad of health issues, but some dementia is beginning to creep in.

His sister said to me, "I can't believe it, I'm watching them deteriorate before my eyes…it's horrible (crying)." I told her that I understood as I'm watching H deteriorate as well. She asked me what she should do…I said, "love them and realize that you can only do so much to help them…you can't stop them aging. Most importantly, just be there for them."