... I don't feel well....
Bits of news and experiences, some silly, some exasperating, exhausting. Some vaguely foreboding.
I've mentioned my own error from late spring and summer, in taking charcoal capsules for stomach problems – which led to medications not being absorbed –
which is now turning into a chain of events that has been getting longer and heavier, for three, four, five weeks now.
I did actually manage to develop resistance to my existing medications – and to the entire class of HIV medications that they belong to.
Which is really unfortunate, as those were all in the More-Effective-And-Less-Toxic bin.
My doctor was... not best pleased. Frankly he was openly angry with me, and worried; I, of course, can hardly be outdone when it comes to self-righteous anger, so I made it clear to him that I knew this was my fault, but it could hardly be reversed now.
He softened a bit... not much of course, that's not something he does.
We are quite a pair...
So, back to Ritonavir – only 100 mg a day, tied to two newer medications, each just once a day.
Ritonavir is of course hard on the digestion, depressive – in fact kind of miserable, even in small doses. I was ecstatic when I was taken off it in 2012...
Well, here we are again.
And in the intervening years my digestion has become more fragile – I suspect, myself, it may be linked to liver damage from HCV (now around 30%, though that percentage isn't rising quickly – it's a good thing I've never done much drinking, and can't stand British stout).
Which means IBS has been happening with increasing frequency, dully, painfully.
And now Ritonavir is evidently enough of an irritant to cause regular IBS, for three weeks now.
I keep trying to wean myself from Mebeverine, but my body repeatedly shows me that I can't manage without it.
Of course Mebeverine is pretty miserable all on its own... Cure worse than disease? Not quite, I guess. A close race, though.
Is this all a bit more disorienting because – although these health concerns are hardly new to me – my own psychoanalysis has been so disorienting, so fissured, for three months now?
At points I have wondered: how could I be just now experiencing such a shattered, deep part of myself, after all the analysis I've already had? Am I simply not good enough at this, have I not worked hard enough?
Should I be actually working with other people's problems when I am like this?...
But I have been repeatedly reassured: the wounded healer is not at all uncommon.
Sometimes it actually improves our ability to do this work...
And there have been points in these three months of startling insight. Many of them, in fact: as things get darker they are also hugely illuminated.
How could I have lived so long without seeing my own internal mechanisms...
Not so much hope, but: astounding, vertiginous clarities.
A letter from the hospital, two weeks ago: I am to get another MRI, because of... some biochemical indicator I don't understand.
I am blithe about it on Facebook. A., who is a hepatologist, asks for details. I give them to him...
A long personal message from A., beginning: 'Not to be sitting in the room with you as you read this makes me unhappy.'
I am properly warned, and read the long, complex technical message with a sinking clarity.
This MRI is to check for liver cancer, which is suggested by the change in my body chemistry.
I know I shouldn't be shocked – liver cancer was always among the probabilities with HCV – and I thank A. calmly... and go to bed.
Sleep isn't easy.
For a day or two, I am... rocked off my foundations.
We don't really know anything yet, of course. These are but shadows...
And this has always possible. Since 2001, in fact.
which is seven months later than our most recent plans –
has my blunder lost me this time, when I needed it most?
That is too dramatic. It is still possible to get a cure for HCV, it is still possible to treat liver cancer. Or a transplant?... it is still possible.
At night, because sleep is erratic, I read fragments of novels on my iPad, as the moon rises.
It doesn't interest me much to finish any of them... but paragraphs, sentences, ideas, fly through the night and evaporate.
During the day I lay on the couch, wondering how I'll finish the two presentations that need to be given next week, in two different countries
Ah, and, before those two, a speech for World AIDS Day – what am I to talk about? Charlie Sheen?
Not very interested in him. I'd rather talk about other people, frankly.
Not about me, though.
I remember Steve's funeral, when we drove far out of town for the ceremony – it was the last time I saw David, one of the other members of the HIV patient group who had done much of the work for ten years. David was anxious, even slightly frightened – not usual for him – he said he hadn't been well, that his treatments were not being successful... I was a bit shocked.
David was always calm, at least up until that day.
His funeral was – how many months later?...
When my analysands arrive, I put myself together and pay attention – frankly it is often the most energetic, positive part of the week.
I am mostly doing all right with them, I think. Small glitches, impatience, they forgive me.
Other messages and decisions from the Jung-Institut are too hard to figure out right now. I let it all slide...
Skypeing with M., who is filled with life these days: a prospective new boyfriend. He pushes me, gently, to go online and try to generate new romantic possibilities for myself! – but it is dark outside, it seems not to be the time...
With other friends, I am distant, too abrupt.
Then, I apologise – usually.
I ignore too many emails...
Yes, I know: Paris, politics, downed planes. The rising tide of online voices panicking, lecturing each other.
Not interested. On the couch.
November, the scorpion.
Rain and clouds.
Tonight, clear, and such a moon!
I've been here before – or nearly anyway.
None of this is awful, none of this is a shock...
I don't feel well...