Hi folks, It seems ages since I've logged onto the Tribe. I'm not sure who of my old friends are still here but I wanted to do a quick (well, quick for me) catch-up. After nearly two years on a waiting list, I was accepted as a patient at the Dental School of Georgia. After much initial red tape and paperwork, I was assigned to a student who will be my dentist thruout the entire process. Last year, I had several molars shear off at gum level with no warning what-so-ever. It was around my 2 year mark after beginning hiv meds and a bone density scan confirmed my concern: I had developed a bit of "bone thinning" most likely attributed to one or more of my meds. My doctors best advice besides more exercise was to begin a regimen of vitamin D and Calcium. Whereas I was nearly fanatical in my alternative/supplemental approach to health for the 22 years before begining meds, I admit that after starting hiv therapy I became very complacent about my health, doing what I suspect so many of us do, relying entirely on our hiv drug regimen to do the enire job of supporting our health. In any case, it was a bit of a wake-up call. I've been traveling from Atlanta to Agusta since December of 2010 an average of twice a month. The progress is slow partly due to the fact that it's a Medical School and the students and the entire process is rigerously checked and double-checked by the Physician Teachers. "My" student is a senior and a wonderful individual! I am his very first hiv positive patient and the school really put him through his paces with me! I think he was the slightest bit nervous the first time he worked on me but that quicly passed. He is SO concerned that he's going to hurt me that I finally told him that " your're gonna have to get past that! "<G>….After graduation he plans on taking two more years of Med school and is going to specialize in Pediatric Dentistry. His sweet nature plus the fact that he's about 5 feet tall will make him a perfect fit for children!

In the meantime my other half and I are making the 600 mile round-trip to Agusta about twice a month which is another reason it's taking so long. I have limited my appointments to 1PM which means that we have to roll out ot Atlanta no later than 10am….Adam didn't want me making the trip by mysef due to my eyesight and I wasn't about to ask him to give up more than two days off a month accompaning me. The trip and the city are about as boring as watching paint peel ( sorry Agusta!) but I spurged and bought Adam a Kindle book for his birthday so at least he has some down-time and can read for the FIVE hours that I'm in the dentist chair! The time actually passes surprisingly quick for me. My Dentist has not hurt me in the least , but I have to say that the most tortureous part of the whole experience is that I can't talk with the mans hands in my mouth!! Those who know me understand! The estimated time of completion barring any unforseen delays is somtime in August as they have to rebuld several molars and only then do caps for them! UGG. I have to say, it's given me a huge insight to dental health and a new-found respect for dentists. They absolutly earn the title of Medical Doctor when they complete the course…Four years of general college…followed by four years of Med school and then any additioal years for specialties. These people are LIGHT YEARS from the Medieval hack that used to torture me growing up! ( he used to tell me to "shut up that didn't hurt!"

In the meantime, I've gravitated to Facebook since December of last year and find that format a lot to my liking…mainly because I don't have to watch my language and be tippy-towing the politically correct line nearly so much!

My mother is still alive and I am planning another trip down to Florida to see her. Most likely I won't wait till her birthday in August for severl reasons. First, her mind is fading quickly. Second, when I tried to coordinate a Birthday event with my siblngs last year they couldn't be bothered to help me out until I made arrangements to stay with a childhood friend upon which time they fell over themselves in a big show of literlly last minute birthday plans. This visit, i'm going in stealth mode and they won't even know I'm down there untill I call them from the assisted place where my mother lives! I don't need the headachaes of trying to accomodate that bunch of dysfunctional jackasses. LOL. It will be good to see my mom even though I call her every day.She can't converse much beyond a few words but still knows me and responds that she loves me too. Oh as a footnote , my sister in law who if you recall is drama stirring piece of work tolld me recently that " Your mother doens't talk anymore when we go to see her." I knew she was bating me and said " Oh really? She talks to me all the time when I call…Maybe she just doesn't have anything to say to you Marilyn." Her sputtering indignant reaction was priceless to say the least. (*blink* *blink* innocent smile on my part ). Alright< I said that this was going to be short for me and this is where I wind it up> I miss my friends from the tribe but I'm attempting to build a life outside the confines of my house and the computer…Old habits as they say, die hard and I'm the first to admit to having an addictive nature. Speaking of which, It's been since last August that I kicked the Ritalin habit and although I'd be lying if I said there were't times that I get that old urge, I won't go back to it….I don't know if my sleep patterns were ever normal or if they wlll ever be again but now I know firsthand the insideous reality of perscription drug addiction and I will never go back! An added perk is that my skin has cleared up and that I've gained weight . My face is also fuller which I've been told has taken a few years off of it ( WHOOT!)…at my age we'll take what few perks there are! LOL I hope this finds eveyone well both physically , mentally ….The spiritual I'm still trying to get a handle on! If anyone wants to get in touch, send me a private message and I'll be happy to give you my Facebook name . I pop on there for a few minutes nearly every day and I have loacated SO many old friends that I thought had passed away! Best Wishes for a wonderful summer and Bear Hugs Y'all !

Loki (aka david)

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