Its been a very challenging week. My friend of 20 yrs is nearing the end of his struggle with AIDS. For the first time in a long time I lost it. I came home from his house this past Wednesday evening and I fell apart. Thankfully my roommates who are also my good friends were there to hold and support me. He doesn’t respond to me anymore and in the many hours I am there speaks only a few words, many of which are inaudible and incoherent. He has fallen several times, Shit and pissed himself when he fell in the shower and his ankles are very swollen with his toes turning black red and blue. Yes he is surely dying. I didn’t think I would go back to see it again but on Friday evening I went back. I am not sure if I did it for him, his sister or for myself. I HAD to let him know that I love him at least one more and maybe last time..I told him..I had to get on the floor to look AT him since he cant seem to focus his gaze anymore and cant move his head…I told him, you know I love you right? He nodded barely and I grabbed his ice cold skeletal hand. I told him again..”you know that I love you and that our 20 year friendship is the best”. He then actually said “of course”. There was no smile, no affect, no emotion..just a vacant look but he understood..I needed that for me..His sister then showed me the Hospice papers sitting on the dining room table. I sat and read them as my friend who was with me left the house to go have a smoke.
I opened his chart..I see the orange card that says in HUGE BOLD letters… DNR … Do not resuscitate. I froze. I had forgotten how that felt to read those words knowing that this would happen soon. I read the chart.. respiration 17 blood pressure 95/55, weight 105 lbs at 5’11”. MY God its bad I thought to myself.. I went through the chart and you can see the steady decline from a normal blood pressure and a 28 respiration and 115 lbs down to the latest numbers in a week. The finality of his life weighed on me because I knew the numbers weren’t good and that when he stopped breathing there was no hope of reviving him. It could be hours or days; a week maybe? Well hes fooled the doctors all this time..maybe hes gonna fool them again I kept thinking to myself. Ive asked my friends; not this time they tell me, not this time. Hes not gonna bounce back and recover from this..hes not gonna get 6 months or 6 weeks..maybe not even 6 days..
Facing this is not easy. I am done with HIV… at this point in my life I have nothing left to give because I have seen too much and I am tired. I have thrown people out of my life who cant deal with me talking about it..of course NOT a GOD DAMN one of them have seen it and the day WILL come when they cant turn from it. Why? Some of those who yelled at me HAVE IT themselves and the others will have to watch it AS I HAVE. The excuses I have heard are no better than shoving your head in the sand like an ostrich so if I don’t see it or hear it, it doesn’t exist, I don’t have to deal with it..FOR NOW. How I feel honestly..FUCK ALL OF THEM. You can BET when that phone call comes, and it will , I wont be answering it. So many turned away from me..imagine; NOW in 2010 ? They have and they can stay AWAY from me. I CHOOSE not to have them near me now. By the same token some have run TO me in ways I never expected and the phone calls I have gotten from men on the net and on FaceBook who I never thought would even think bout it have been a wonderful support. It has made me know that despite what I have dealt with in so called friends I have given money, love and support to, there are those out there who DO give a damn. I think of one of the Beatitudes to end this post. Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.