Hearing the phone ring and being told: “please don’t go out tonight I need to tell you something”. Now that’s the worst... because immediately your mind starts: "Maybe we've won the lotto or maybe we're going on an adventure... Just maybe?". Little did I know I was in for the shock of my life! But what I can tell you about this shock is this. Imagine yourself drinking and then deciding to drive home while drunk. You see a roadblock and you immediately sober-up quicker than Usain Bolt runs the 100-meter sprint! In fact, you would probably set the world record for sobering up! Now take that and multiply it by 100 then multiply that by a million... To those that are reading this, you wonder: "Oh come on what nonsense are you talking about?".
Here you go... Get home. You sit on the bed next to that person smiling and the next thing you get the message you never ever thought was coming. You get told that person you love so dearly has H.I.........(wait for it)......V.
I remember just being told about the virus, and because of ignorance, I was like it will never happen to me - but that was purely my ignorance.
Four words in flashing lights shine like a spotlight: HOW? WHAT? WHEN? HOW?
So, now I run to the people that have been with me since day one. That weekend it was State of the Nation at home; preparing for the final frontier; you’re throwing away old clothes; blankets; you name it. If it hasn’t been used in 3 months it has to go to the Salvation Army - arriving and taking everything you are offering.
For me, I then became a “chemistry engineer”. Looking at what could possibly combat this virus? How do I kill it? How to give this loved one their normal life back. At work, people ask if you're okay, but you're so quiet you hardly hear their words because it’s like your eardrums have burst.
Doctors visits happen and they say we need to get the CD4 count up to 600... Right now, it’s only sitting at like 30 to 60. Eventually, you start to realize your angel is still breathing and there is fight left in her so let’s do this!
I remember being told that there was a cut and it was bleeding. You get told, “it’s weird because I was looking at my blood and it seemed normal. No dark strands... Nothing...!”. Being me, I'm like: "this is no movie".
I could go on about this virus and how it has affected my family and I. We have somehow turned the negative into such a positive. It opens your eyes - makes you realize what’s important. Granted, you still blow a lid for the small things. But hey, sometimes it gets a bit much, but what I can tell you is a small message of what I have realized. And I leave it with you:
“When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.” - Chief Tecumseh