Lurking Disaster


Dear Billy

Nothing could have prepared us for the bombshell that was soon to hit.

Business was doing OK but was still very brittle, you and I were much the same; two fiercely independent people locked together in a personal and business endeavor. There were bound to be arguments and the stress of our finances did not help, but somehow, we weathered the storms and life was pretty good.

The accidents, lapses of balance and memory became more obvious during the latter part of 2007. There were times you could barely hide your frustration and there were lots of bandaids used to cover the scratches and abrasions.

“What is wrong with you” was a constant refrain, there were days when it was a hell of an effort to simply get out of bed.

I had no peripheral vision and in many cases, I simply did not see a car coming, a tree looming or a fellow pedestrian when I turned a corner.

You had never been a fan of my driving, but now; to avoid arguments; it was easier to let you drive when we were together.

We had a business to run and weekends were a flurry of Open Houses and Auctions leaving me totally drained by the end of the day.

I had never been tired, but now lethargy was my constant companion.

Kayla’s comment at her birthday simply reinforced your demands that I go and get a few things checked.

I started with a visit to the Optometrist and then was bundled off to the Ophthalmologist for further checks.

There did not appear to be anything wrong with my eyes.

You Insisted I talk to JB, I was seeing him every three months anyway, for my regular HIV blood tests but my Viral load had rarely moved above 2,000 over the past four years, and my T cells would have been the envy of any non-HIV positive person.

The conventional wisdom was that unless your Viral load spiked at 50,000 or more it was safe not to be on treatment. I was miles away from that and I had no desire to go back to the poisons.

We had absolutely no reason to believe that HIV could have been the cause of my “carelessness” I had been the model HIV patient; I had never missed my pills when I was on them and I never missed the blood tests.

John B had taken over from Dr John E earlier this year, after John E left to take up a HIV research position in Scotland.

I could not have been in better hands, JB and I were becoming friends as well as Doctor/Patient. We shared the same disdain for the neo cons of the Liberal Party and we delighted when Kevin Rudd won the election (ah well, you can’t get everything right)

I did talk to John early in December, he made me walk across the room and did a few eye tests to check my responses.

“You have to see this man” he was dialling as he spoke.

“Who is he?”

“He is a Neurologist and you need to see him ASAP”

“That’s a lot of overkill, John I am just getting old”

It was near Christmas and we now had an appointment to see the Professor in January.

I wasn’t too worried, you and I headed to Canberra for Christmas with Sas and Douglas, the girls and Jassie’s kids. We then headed to Melbourne for a week with Di and to catch up with old friends

Darling, if we had known what was about to happen, we would not have been so complacent, ignorance can be bliss at times.

Love Ya




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