Thursday, October 28, 2010

AIDS, what is it?

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).  This condition progressively reduces the effectiveness of the immune system and leaves individuals susceptible to opportunistic infections and tumors.  HIV is transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid containing HIV, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid, and breast milk.  This transmission can involve anal, vaginal or oral sex, blood transfusion, contaminated hypodermic needles, exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or other exposure to one of the above bodily fluids.

AIDS is now a pandemic.  In 2007, it was estimated that 33.2 million people lived with the disease worldwide, and that AIDS killed an estimated 2.1 million people, including 330,000 children.  Over three-quarters of these deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa.

AIDS was first recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1981 and its cause, HIV, identified in the early 1980s.

Although treatments for AIDS and HIV can slow the course of the disease, there is no known cure or vaccine.  Antiretroviral treatment reduces both the mortality and the morbidity of HIV infection, but these drugs are expensive and routine access to antiretroviral medication is not available in all countries.  Due to the difficulty in treating HIV infection, preventing infection is a key aim in controlling the AIDS pandemic, with health organizations promoting safe sex and needle-exchange programmes in attempts to slow the spread of the virus.

The symptoms of AIDS are primarily the result of conditions that do not normally develop in individuals with healthy immune systems. Most of these conditions are infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites that are normally controlled by the elements of the immune system that HIV damages.

Opportunistic infections are common in people with AIDS.  These infections affect nearly every organ system.  People with AIDS also have an increased risk of developing various cancers such as Kaposi's sarcoma, cervical cancer and cancers of the immune system known as lymphomas.  Additionally, people with AIDS often have systemic symptoms of infection like fevers, sweats (particularly at night), swollen glands, chills, weakness, and weight loss.  The specific opportunistic infections that AIDS patients develop depend in part on the prevalence of these infections in the geographic area in which the patient lives.

AIDS is the ultimate clinical consequence of infection with HIV.  HIV is a retrovirus that primarily infects vital organs of the human immune system such as CD4+ T cells (a subset of T cells), macrophages and dendritic cells.  It directly and indirectly destroys CD4+ T cells.

Once HIV has killed so many CD4+ T cells that there are fewer than 200 of these cells per microliter (┬ÁL) of blood, cellular immunity is lost.  Acute HIV infection progresses over time to clinical latent HIV infection and then to early symptomatic HIV infection and later to AIDS, which is identified either on the basis of the amount of CD4+ T cells remaining in the blood, and/or the presence of certain infections, as noted above.

In the absence of antiretroviral therapy, the median time of progression from HIV infection to AIDS is nine to ten years, and the median survival time after developing AIDS is only 9.2 months.  However, the rate of clinical disease progression varies widely between individuals, from two weeks up to 20 years.

Many factors affect the rate of progression.  These include factors that influence the body's ability to defend against HIV such as the infected person's general immune function.  Older people have weaker immune systems, and therefore have a greater risk of rapid disease progression than younger people.

A number of misconceptions have arisen surrounding HIV/AIDS.  Three of the most common are that AIDS can spread through casual contact, that sexual intercourse with a virgin will cure AIDS, and that HIV can infect only homosexual men and drug users.   Other misconceptions are that any act of anal intercourse between gay men can lead to AIDS infection, and that open discussion of homosexuality and HIV in schools will lead to increased rates of homosexuality and AIDS.

Current treatment for HIV infection consists of highly active antiretroviral therapy, or HAART.  This has been highly beneficial to many HIV-infected individuals since its introduction in 1996 when the protease inhibitor-based HAART initially became available.  Current optimal HAART options consist of combinations (or "cocktails") consisting of at least three drugs belonging to at least two types, or "classes," of antiretroviral agents.

Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS pandemic claimed an estimated 2.1 million (range 1.9–2.4 million) lives in 2007 of which an estimated 330,000 were children under 15 years.   Globally, an estimated 33.2 million people lived with HIV in 2007, including 2.5 million children. An estimated 2.5 million (range 1.8–4.1 million) people were newly infected in 2007, including 420,000 children.

All of this information is taken from the Wikipedia website.

AIDS, it isn't going away!

Since my infection early in 1996 with HIV, I've been on several different drug cocktails as prescribed by various doctors, none of which have actually assisted me in establishing better health.  It seems that I am one of those persons that the HIV drugs don't like, as each time I've tried them I've had bad reactions.  The last attempt caused the decision to no longer even try to take any further HIV drugs.  With this decision comes some consequences, which I am painfully aware.  Sometimes I wonder if my decision isn't more about me not really desiring to linger any further in this physical realm than it is about the side affects of the drugs.  There are many times I believe this to be so, for when I make the decision to enjoy this life, my health improves, but when I'm not enjoying it and loose sight of those things that give me happiness, then my health rapidly declines.

Such is the case lately.  Knowing that I should have departed back in 2003, the Universe kept me here for some reason, was it so I could establish a good relationship with my father, to help some clients realize their dreams, or did I still have something to learn.  Whatever the reason, I have remained for the last 7 years.  As my health declines now, I seek no medical care, only that of making the pains bearable.  Since having Neurosyphilis, being hospitalized for a month, being nearly completely blind for 6 months, and then believing I was to die within the coming year, I've had many thoughts about my life.  Now my eye sight stays blurry, there is a constant ringing in my ears, there is pain in just getting around, and the ever increasing night fevers along with the worsening sinus infection I'm sure will lead to my desire being realized.

I'm not writing this to cause anyone who might read this alarm, but because, and especially so if you've kept up with my other blogs, I have to write about my experiences.  These blogs of mine will be the only things I leave behind.  I have nothing now, barely a few clothes, a laptop, and my backpack.  Someone said recently, "he's doing the Buddhist thing," when commenting about my sleeping arrangements of just a blanket and some pillows on the floor.  There is a strange peace about not having a lot of things around me now, although I have written letters to my sister and father about trying to obtain everything I left in Louisiana, but today I've decided not to send those letters.  I won't be needing anything.

My last blood work in July, which I purposefully haven't read, and accidentally discovered in some papers that are now part of my Case Management referral papers (all the various forms I need to obtain services from the various AIDS Service Organizations here in Dallas.).  When I read them this morning, I understood why my doctor in Austin was so insistent upon me taking the drugs again.  With numbers like mine are or were back then, then I'm sure they have only worsened, which explains how I've been feeling lately.

There have been many dreams of things I would have liked to have accomplished but those boats never set sail.  My life has been the life of one who has already lived more lifetimes within this one experience than most do.  From designing sets for Bob Hope, to establishing friendships with congressmen, to being a Southern Baptist Preacher, and even more things too numerous to mention now (but you can read about my adventures in my other Blog, lol, just be prepared to spend a year reading it all.)  I've known great passion, I've known great people, I've known heart ache, the one thing I haven't known much of is the thing everyone talks about, LOVE.  I remember the one man I've loved and how deeply I did love then, I remember the two women I loved and how special they both are to me, even now.  Thanks Martha Meda Taylor for being such a great representation of Christ upon the earth, Thanks Ellen Rose Synder for teaching me how to enjoy just being myself, especially how to swing (I really did enjoy our dates of finding swing sets around town and swinging on them for hours.).  Some say I'm gay, but when I look back, I see the people I have loved, some men, some women.  So maybe it's time we put aside the silly notions of homosexual, heterosexual, or anysexual and just allow everyone the freedom to love whoever they happen to fall in love with.

Now I have to increase the font sizes just to read the webpages, use reading glasses to read my phone, and struggle to remain calm when I'm furiating inside (no matter how hard I try at times, it just explodes, but then recently I found out that one of the side affects of the Neurosyphilis damage can cause severe emotional issues, something I didn't realize nor have sought assistance with, but I'm sure all of my friends and family would say that I do need mental health assistance.  Tonight, I'm just tired, worn out, feeling that I have nothing left for this world, that my craziness has burned too many bridges.  Tonight I'm ready, so I just hope the new doctor here in Dallas will understand his role in all of this and not push for me taking the HIV drugs, but to allow me the drugs I desire to have a dignified end of life, and hopefully, not in a hospital.

There might be more thoughts at some point, but for now I just wanted to get all of these thoughts out of my head so I can sleep.  Tonight I'm ending everything I've counted on from the past for an income, letting most of the old go the way it has shown me, as I prepare myself through meditation, music, and walks with Gracie, my protector (I even told her tonight she didn't have to keep watch over me, it was all OK and the way it is supposed to be), but she is still laying at my feet.  At this moment my eyes struggle to even see the light and dark on the page, so I'm going to close with this simple, heart felt, Thank You to everyone that has ever been in my life.  Your kindness, love, graciousness, friendships, and so much more have meant a lot to me, even though I may have lost contact with you.

Good night for now.

AN UPDATE:  December 19, 2010
After an in-depth discussion with my doctor, I've decided to begin taking a new HIV medication called Atripla.  Although this medication contains one of the drugs I had problems with in the past, I decided it was my best option.  I don't always remember to take drugs every four, five, or six hours.  This pill is being added to my nightly pill intake, so all I have to do is remember to take my pills every night before bedtime.  I've been on Atripla now for almost a month with no side affects.  The pill is easy to swallow, I remember to take it once a day, and I hope is doing its work on fighting the HIV infection.  I have decided that I have a lot of things yet to accomplish in life, so I'm sticking around.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Relativity, Newtonian Physics, and Thoughts

Tonight, I re-read some of the posts from my other Blog.  This was one of them that caught my attention tonight, so here it is as a new post to this Blog.


Relativity, Newtonian Physics, and Thoughts

All of the quotes within this section are from the book Permanent Healing by Daniel R. Condron. One of the books I have been reading lately. You can find out more about this book in the Book List section of my Blog.

“Relativity theory says that mass is another form of energy. Therefore, when we apply enough energy in the direction of causing growthful improvement and enlightenment in our life, the result will be that we will overcome the inertia of our old limited way of being. Mass (and therefore our lives) is not static but rather is one of motion and change. To create fulfillment in life, we quicken this change and motion in the direction of our inner desires and ideals for Self fulfillment. The discovery that mass is a form of energy aids us in understanding that the nature of the physical is change. We can change with it and even cause greater change. We can build control and fulfillment in life, or we can resist change, be out of control, and be filled with sadness and despair.”

Energy is always changing, moving, and connected on an atomic and subatomic level. We are energy. Our thoughts are energy. We are always in motion, changing, growing. As I have traveled in this perceived time I have seen many sad people, people who have trapped themselves in their thoughts, people who are creating such despair and sadness all around them (not just in their lives, but in the lives of those they come in contact with.), and people who are creating beautiful dreams around themselves that affect the physical in their lives, in nature, and in the lives of others they come into contact with.

We are changing, so I suppose the thought for now is are we building control and fulfillment or resisting?

“the universe is alive in motion, and that what you do through energy interaction affects the rest of the universe. Your thoughts have energy and therefore affect and influence the energy of the rest of the universe.”

I have written about this concept in many sections, but it seems to be coming up again so I will write about it again. Thoughts create words, words create actions, actions create intent, and intents are brought about through the universe. Thus, what we think we become or create. We are not only creating (dreaming) our own lives but also the lives of those around us, and the universe. Nothing we do is just about ourselves, it is affecting everything around us and even farther, affecting the whole universe.

“It is by your thought of today that you create tomorrow.”

I have been learning this valuable lesson and I believe it resonates well with the work I have been doing. What I think today is created as a perceived reality tomorrow. I am learning to control my thoughts so I can create the kind of life I desire for myself, and the kind of life I would like to see for all of us – a life full of beauty, peace, happiness, and love. What thoughts are you thinking today that will be created tomorrow in our physical realm?

“Our physical experience is one of entrapment. We are entrapped or engrossed in a physical body. … the attractive forces of the senses keeps us engrossed for we, being dependent on our senses for experiencing and learning in that environment, begin to believe that the total reality is what we experience with the senses. Thus, we forget that we are a soul or spirit or subconscious mind only inhabiting the body for a lifetime. As we pursue concentration, meditation, and dream interpretation, we begin to experience these higher levels of reality.”

I have always known that I was more than this physical body because as early as I can remember I would go walking through the woods at the family farm in Louisiana looking up into the trees and sky and asking to please let me go ‘home’. I have never felt connected to this physical realm and my thoughts have always been in the spiritual realm. Early in life I resisted the physical and now later in life I am having to learn balance of the physical so that I can find the peace I desire. Balance of the senses and experiences so that I do not over indulge in any one area or sensation.

As I have begun to learn about meditation, which is allowing my mind to become more focused, and as I have begun to realize my connectedness with all then I am beginning to see the various levels of what is real. Yes, I am a spiritual being, so are you. We are living in a physical body so we can experience and learn things in this lifetime to help us in later lifetimes or in the spiritual realm. I believe what we learn can be shared with others to help them, thus bringing every living thing into a state of consciousness filled with truth, happiness, and love.

“Your thoughts affect and control your world around you and this world around you includes your physical body which is the most immediate environment or vehicle for you the thinker, the soul.”

This quote resonates strongly in my mind as I have seen it and experienced it. My thoughts created dis-ease in my body because I wanted the illness because I was afraid of something, wanted attention, or otherwise just didn’t want to accept who I really am. As I have learned to alter my thoughts into positive energy I am finding a healthy body, a focused mind, and a free spirit that is The Creative Mind, the life dreamer, the master magician.

Some have said that what we think we become. I take that a bit further. What we think, we become, others become, and the world becomes. Look around you, open your eyes and see what we have been creating with our thoughts. Yes, we all have to take ownership because we are each responsible (able to respond is what responsibility means) for what is present in this physical realm. Why can’t we realize this truth and begin to create beauty, health, and freedom so we can all experience the joy, the mystery, the fulfillment of life? We are not only affecting our physical body but we are affecting everything.

Thought for now: What are the thoughts you think about yourself, about others, about life? Are they thoughts (energy) that will benefit or destroy? Thoughts that will cause healing or dis-ease? Thoughts that will create beauty or chaos? What we think, our thoughts, create the world around us, create our physical bodies, create the events in our lives. If this is the case, then what thoughts are you thinking?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Passionate Heart Bleeds

Early morning dreams wakened the day, followed by quiet meditations upon the heart's desires, thanking the universe and the Divine for allowing me to create the life I desire, a life full of friends, social activities, financial security, and joy in everything I set my hands to, along with knowing that I am loved each moment of the day.  Thus, this morning marked an alteration from the darkness that invaded my thoughts for many days now.  The light is shining, and this time very brightly.

Over the last few months I have struggled with wondering why my clients weren't booking appointments, perhaps it is time to let go of those things that no longer benefit my life.  I promise to still be available to my dearest clients, however, I believe I'm going to move forward into something greater for my life.  Nostalgia keeps my love for the past active, remembering the wonderful moments with clients and friends, but now as a reminder of what I again desire in my life - doing something that generates great joy and happiness in my life, creates dear friends along the way, and that means a great deal to me.

It's just now turning six in the morning, and I've been up for hours.  The early morning meditation seemed to have awakened something within me, so I went to the studio to work on "A Passionate Heart Bleeds."  It is drying now, but it is also completed.  Now to put my first piece of art out into the world to see how the reactions go.  My friend Jim Frederick tells me that I should paint with my heart, not regarding whether others will like it or not.  I've painted this with my heart.  Passion has ruled my life from every station, love affairs, friendships, work, and social activities are all passionate realities for my life.  I've heard  that if one doesn't love, then one cannot live, truly live.  Many years I have kept my heart guarded behind self imposed walls, just so I wouldn't get hurt.  The walls are gone now, my heart is open, feeling, learning to enjoy the passions once more.  This time, accepting that an open loving heart bleeds because of the passion of love, loving yourself, loving others, and having true compassion for every living being.  It is through this now beating and bleeding heart that I now live, knowing that with each moment there is joy.  It is through this same bleeding heart that compassion flows, for without the pain there is no true concern for others.

Today I begin to move forward, pushing away the darkness of days past, and calling into existence the very things I desire - a joyful, exciting, loving, very financially secure physical experience for the time I have left upon this earth.  Being able financially to assist those, like myself, who are struggling in life, searching to find a way, a purpose, a meaning.

I am loved, I am love, my heart is open, it bleeds.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Give Up!

"I give up!"  For weeks now the struggle rages on; the fighters jib, jamb, and tossle, but the final outcome is yet unknown.  The only thought is to give up, to stop struggling, to stop fighting, to stop hoping, to stop all together.  The darkness of the desperate place doen't lend itself to much brightness, thus the only hope is the periodic sunshine offered by the love of a sweet, ever protective, always near and present black dog name Gracie.  My mental struggles seem as dark as her black coat of hair, but she is the current light, the one constant companion who doesn't seem to care how I feel, act, or achieve.

For weeks now I have raged against all that there is to achieve an income from sources of the past, but perhaps what was shall no longer be.  Applying for a job after not really working for over 9 years seems almost futile, especially these days when everyone is trying to find any type of work.  Thus, I give up.  I'm growing more and more tired, the eye sight is becoming more and more distorted and blurry.  The only thing that seems to bring any rest are the nightly sleeping pills.  For when there is sleep, there is no thought for the struggles of the day.

Perhaps that is why I sleep so much, so I won't have to face the day.  Months ago I gave up everything I owned so I could leave an atmosphere of very negative energies.  I often wonder if I shouldn't have gone ahead and used that rifle while I sat in my chair, for then all of these struggles wouldn't exist.

Sleeping on the floor in a sparcely furnished room, my only companion is Gracie, curled up at my feet on the blanket.  Tonight I didn't take the sleeping pill, but I just took it, as I have to sleep.  What will the morrow bring, I do not know.  Will I be able to recover and rebuild at the age of 48?  Do I even desire to try?  The only thought is, "I give up!"

This simple thought may be the catalyst to finding the peace I desire, as maybe, just maybe, there will be an end to what is and a beginning of something more, just without this physical form.  I grow tired, more and more every day, my teeth hurt and need repair, my body aches and there are signs of this illness progressing.  Should I go see a doctor, the only answer is NO, as I have no desire to know what is really happening, just the hope that things might end soon, hopefully soon, so this will all be over.  After years of struggling, years of people around me only treating me badly, years of spending everything I had, years of emotional turmoil, now the one thought remains and resounds with every tick of the clock, "I give up!"

Today, "I give up!"  Let the fates determine my path, as I will no longer seek to determine or even hope what path there should be taken.  I've reached a point where I just no longer care, even the recent adventures don't hold any joy, only the knowledge of the failure, the pain, and the loss.  Today, "I give up!"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

In the Garbage I see the Rose

Challenges in the physical rhealm create experiences to grow, to learn, and to open ourselves to receive the many blessings of the Universe.  For some time now the challenge has been about finances and obtaining transportation, both which are required in order to better serve my clients in Austin and obtaining new clients in Dallas.  For several days now I've been meditating with a guided meditation about focusing the mind on what it is I desire to create in my life.

Knowing that from my numerology of my birth name and birth date, there is a Karmic debt related to money; thus in this life experience the challenge is to gain a better understanding of money, how to use it correctly (not for selfish motives, but for the greater good of all), and how to value money as a gift or tool to be used to benefit others, thereby benefiting myself.

In the past I have never felt worthy to have great financial success, as something within me seemed to always prevent me from growing into the successful person I know (and many others have acknowledged) I am.  Now is the time to begin releasing any obstacles in my own mind that have prevented such success.  For now I am beginning to understand that money is only a tool, a great tool, but only a tool that allows the freedom to create beauty and magic in the world around me.

The focus now is on acknowledging my many talents in the creative fields, how with just a glance I can see how things can be, the gift of feeling how the energies flow in a space and how the lives of those within that space are affected by what has been placed in that space.  I see beauty in everything.

"In the garbage I see the rose.
In the rose I see the garbage.
Everything is in transformation.
Even permanence is impermanent."

From friends like Harrison and Emmanuel, who have been acknowledging the vibrational energy shift and assisting others to rise above what is and into what is from a universal perspective, my focus is changing back into a space of goy, wonder, and magic as I see the beauty in every moment.

I am blessed with great creativitiy, I do see but not with my eyes, but with something within me, a gift from the Universe that allows third eye sight.  Money is readily available and presented freely to me for the gifts and blessings I can provide to others through my work, my art, and my words.

Today's focus is on a new landscape project here in Dallas, a small project, but the challenge is great, as it is about providing a private space that creates the sense of being hideen from others, free from mosquitos, and full of delightful smells and colors.  Success is where I reside in the thoughts of the creative mind, always acknowledging the purpose of such success - the ability to benefit others from my great financial success.  Yes, I shall have and do have all that I need to create beauty for others, including having the vehicle as a tool to further assist those that the Universe bring to my path.

Thought for the day:  How to you see things?  What are you focused upon?  And, what are you creating in your own physical experience?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Removing Blockages

There are times in our lives when we ponder why something isn't going the way we desired.  It is during these times that we have to stop and ask ourselves just what did we desire.  Often the way things are going are just the way we called the events, for an experience or emotion that benefits us in some way.  Yes, even anger or depression are things that can benefit us.  However, it is through recognizing that these thoughts and feelings are benefiting us that allows for us to acknowledge them, then release them so we can move forward, releasing any thoughts or attitudes that may be blocking the Universal energies from working magic in our lives.

Recently, I have asked the question, "why don't have a bookings from clients."  The answer came through very clearly.  It wasn't that my clients didn't desire my services, it was that my focus had altered to a point of seeking monitary gain over seriously desiring to assist clients.  A dear friend today suggested that I start working on the one project I had currently and that through focusing again the other projects would come, as the Universe would then recognize that I was open for business again.

Thus, today was spent working on a bid for a Landscape project in Austin.  As the day progressed my phone rang and the brother of another Austin client, who lives in the Dallas area, wanted to know if I was available to visit with them to do their landscape.  Realizing I had blocked the Universe from bringing blessings, I moved forward and released the feelings of not having, into the knowing of having.  My friend reminded me today that I have a unique gift and that I am to share it with my clients, that they all desire me because I present creative ideas and assist people in developing atmospheres that they enjoy living and working in.  

Therefore, I'm working now, eager to be of service to those we need assistance.  Still concerned over not having an auto, I'm seeking and allowing other options for transportation to surface while asking the Universe to open the door for some type of reliable transportation so that I can better serve and be readily available for my clients.  My Austin clients are very dear to me and my earnest desire is to be able to work with them and renew their knowledge of my availability.  This is an aspect that I have to overcome, that my clients have slowly become used to me not being available, so this will change.  I know that the Universe will provide the transportation, and I am thankful for what will be presented.  

Being present and available to clients is key, being always just a phone call or email away assists them in knowing that I can help them when they need assistance.  So for now I'm working towards moving forward through the "I don't have" and into the knowing of "I have" and "I can".  

Having to focus my attentions back towards work again will bring the way of life I desire, but not for myself, although I will surely enjoy it, but to see how my work changes and improves the lives of those who call me.  I'm focused, I'm Thankful, I'm open, and I'm here.  May those who have felt the lack of my presence be renewed in knowing that I am available to them, even if I have to be creative in how I get to them.

Thank you all for being my clients, friends, and family; for I know that being close in my life also means that you travel with me through the many life experiences I enjoy, even if some of you may not fully understand why or how.  Blessings to each of you that you find your way, rather it be with me as your consultant and designer or through the assistance of others.