Archive for October, 2006

Moon dragons

Monday, October 16th, 2006

I haven’t written in a while.  And I am not making any promises about writing more in the future—not that anyone cares, but then, I’ve never written because anyone cares; I have only written because I care. 

And I haven’t cared in a while.

Now, maybe it is my intention to start caring.  And maybe I will persue that intention.  And, assuming I do persue that intention, then maybe I will overcome some of the formidable obstacles I will encounter in that persuit.  Perhaps finally I will arrive where I need to be.  That may not be the summit, and It may not seem to be even the destination of the trail, nor even a significant junction along the way.  But it may be exactly where I need to go. 

And I may stop writing any point along the way—hell, I may just up and die at any moment—without notice.  So let’s get started.

I stole the very inspirational documentary, What the Fuck do we Know?.  I know I stole it because there is at the beginning of the film a little video which depicts exactly what I did to get the film, and it calls it stealing.  I found it through a file-sharing program, and I downloaded it.  This may not be what just anyone can do, but I have an addiction to the internet (it is among the things I need to address), and with that comes a 3 Mbps DSL connection.  That’s 3,145,728 bits per second; the fastest dial-up modem connection is 57,344 bits per second.  The download didn’t take long, even if it was stealing.

But I was meant to have it. 

And then I rented it, because I wanted all the details, the extras, off the DVD.  I may even have to buy it and give it to somebody for Christmas.  Only I don’t think I know anybody who would understand it.  And that’s another of the things I need to address—I isolate far too much.  It’s not that I don’t know anybody; I actually know scores of people.  But I am not connected to anybody anymore.  That will kill me more surely than the drugs. 

The drugs.  I have been through this before.  I was on anti-HIV drugs for years up until 2000.  Then I made a disturbing discovery which caused me to stop them all, and I was fine for four years. 

HIV does not cause AIDS, AIDS drugs cause AIDS.  It is a position easy to ridicule in today’s culture and climate.  Even most of my kins-of-lifestyle would ridicule me—especially them. 

We talk about how some ailments were treated with arsenic in ages past, and with wry smile we quip, “The patient either recovered, or died.”  But it is insidious, this treatment of lethal disease processes with lethal substances, for invariably, no matter how sick the patient is, their physiology will be altered by the introduction of poisons and speed up to accomodate the deficits illicited by the poison.  They do get better. 

And so did I when I almost died two years ago.  Something was making me very sick.  My rate of seizures had increased, and I was getting sick almost daily.  The primary care doc started me on a modest dose of Bactrim (an antibiotic) to cover most eventualities and to prevent the dreaded opportunistic infection common in immune deficient people, pneumoncystis carinii pneumonia or PCP.  But I was reacting badly to the drug—indeed, I was reacting badly to almost every challenge my system encountered.  My primary care doc sent me to a specialist, and I told the new doctor (who subsequently saved my life) that the Bactrim was affecting me badly, but he said it didn’t matter, and what’s more he said, you have to triple the dose. 

I tried to triple the dose but my reaction to the drug predictably worsened.  I became psychotic, with a very high fever and delirium.  I thought there was a man from Florida in my computer (among other things) but before I became too irrational I got myself to the ER and became unconscious.  Then I was in the ICU for a week. 

Was it AIDS?  We thought so.  But then I would have believed it was dragons from the dark side of the moon if you told me so; near death terror has a way of making a mind extremely impressionable.  On the other hand they were loathe to entertain the possibility that it was their fault, that they had increased a drug to which I had exhibited an allergic reaction.  In any case, I had missed an appointment at the HIV clinic because I was in the ICU at the same hospital, but the clinic didn’t know.  When I alerted them to my predicament they had not only a diagnosis readily at hand, but a treatment, too. 

I was mostly delirious so, for all I know, the hospital residents may have been considering those moon-dragons as my diagnosis up to that point.  But when the HIV docs arrived, no competing hypothesis had a chance.  And I was in no position to argue.  All I knew was that I didn’t want to die. 

That’s significant.  Up to that point I had been praying to die.  I don’t think that some wise entity was trying to teach me a lesson when I got sick.  But we do get what we ask for; our intentions do change the world.  I had decided that I did not want to die, and that I would do anything to stay alive—even start taking the poison again.  And I did. 

This has not changed: I do not want to die, and I will do anything to stay alive.  What has changed is my opinion of the value of the lethal treatment.  You see it has never been proven that HIV causes AIDS.  That sounds so outlandish that it is almost impossible to believe.  But it is true.  Whatever is the cause of the disease that I do have, if I am going to treat it by fighting something as unrelated as HIV, I might just as well fight moon-dragons. 

I know that is glib but you will please forgive me.  With a sonorous throbbing of bad omens surrounding me, and the air filled with a threatening bass drum beat, a little lightness on my part may be just what the doctor ordered. 

I do not know what the alternative ‘moon-dragon’ treatment will be, but I know that it will include confronting my fears.  That has always been more than I was able to do.  So I know doing at least that much will be required, and a great deal more besides.  This will not be the easier way.