easiest way to handle a client/patient

07/10/2020

So what’s the easiest way to handle a client when everything seems to be at a disarray?

tell them, “take responsibility!” It’s kinda like telling them “it’s your like, it’s your health”

do I agree, NO.

at least not always.

FACT: there are barriers in place.

PROBABILITY: saying so might seem like a barrier

FACT: taking responsibility is not as easy for everyone.

ASSUMPTION: there are issues around taking responsibility

FACT: this response is not community centered

ARGUMENT:  it is, from the perspective of a service provider

FACT: community centered response is not from the provider’s perspective

FACT: it’s not easy to provide community centered responses.

FACT: taking responsibility requires a process.

SAD eh?

I have heard this so many times before in so many forms and shapes and synonyms and simile and whatever the F figure of speech one would use.

take some responsibility since it’s your body, it’s your health.

we can’t baby you.

you’re a grown man, you should know better.

if you don’t do so, it’s up to you.

we know better, just do what we say.

Come to think of it, there’s a semblance of truth somewhere in between the letters of these statements, eh?

Problem is, the “how” of it is what some forget.

Thing is, the “why” of what brought us here is what’s we’re doing all over again.

STEP BACK A BIT AND THINK.

There is no perfect response, but sometimes we get all numb with the routine we forget about the humanity in people. We get all robotic that we forget why we’re doing this to begin with.

 

 

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Lucky 13

07.10.2020

 

It’s our 13th anniversary.

13 years with the same man.

Never thought it was possible.

At least not for someone with my track record.

13 years…. who would have known?

This also means that  within the next two weeks, I will be  entering my 13th year of my reactive HIV screening.

13 years.

*bow* =)

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AIDS CONFERENCE 2020 – my loss

07.09.2020

Ever since the COVID quarantine started, I would be one of those busiest ever.  The fam business on brokerage was craziest with the inability of the shipping lines to timely cope up with the changing and growing needs of its clients, the customs’ lack of process, bank branches are either closed or on different ops hours with queues crazier than ever, office staff not being able to commute to get to the office despite critical work requirements.

And I have been looking forward to the AIDS Conference 2020.  I did get a full scholarship but the conference went virtual with the COVID thing going on.  At first I thought I don’t mind the late night schedules assuming the slots were to follow US time  grid.

I was wrong.

The schedules became more insane in June and July, with HIV & AIDS Support House moving into our (fam biz) office to cut costs.   The ARV refill did calm down a bit with a lot of other clinics operating and barriers to refill slimming down. A bit.

So I finally got to look at the scheds and the conference is mid-way through. And I was right, most of the topics I wanted were scheduled at (late) night, and my day typically ends late night responding to social media messages after office hours.  I’d wake up before 8AM and I’d be in the office around 9.  It’s 10AM(-ish) here so it’s 7PM(-ish) in L.A. No scheduled session. There’s one at 10PM L.A. time which is 1PM here- and I have a call by 1. Pfft.

FAIL. EPIC FAIL.

Wait, ‘d like to share a video from the conference website…

CLICK HERE

I wonder how the virtual conference attendance is going for the other countries? It’s different when you’re there in the actual conference since, well, you leave your day job behind and the worst the day job can do is send you an email.

Looking forward to the next conference.

Maybe.

 

 

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In my dreams

02.17.2020

dreams

In my dreams, I tried to ran as fast as I could, away from something, or  toward something, but I seem to be running in slow motion

There I would be flying, but I seem to be flying really low, and then I find myself falling.

In my dreams, I would oftentimes end up in this place, kinda like a mall, but I can’t quite identify the place.  Walking. Walking,  And then I’d find myself elsewhere.

Sometimes, I would try to put my contact lens on, but the small circular soft object suddenly would expand and grow bigger than my eyes and I’m unable to fit them.

There I would see my father, talking to me. But I can’t seem to figure out a word he’s saying.  He’s right beside me, but I can’t hear him.

Dreams they say are by-products of our imagination, of our subconsciousness.  But most of the time, or almost always, I don’t understand them.

I don’t want live in my dreams.

They frighten me.

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Aids and Expectations

02.15.2020

Now before you get any wrong notions, “aids” here simply refer to assistance.

So many times I would get messages thanking me for this and that, I never was good with thank yous and recognitions, or maybe because I never was the type to expect anything in return.

A lot of the patients we’ve assisted through the years have moved on to better lives, careers and health conditions.  In the process, while I may have been there during Day 1,   I lose track of them– or they simply disappear (most of the time) into thin air.  And as bad as my memory is, I would forget about them eventually.

Some would come back telling me their sad stories of them being lost from treatment because of this and that reason.  After a coupe of deep breaths, I would still find a way to link them back to treatment.   No blame game.  Just a way forward.

Some would come back telling me that they’re now undetectable, or they’re now abroad working, or they’re in a much better place.

What’s my point?

I guess It’s not appropriate to expect anything in return when we help people out.  the world would be a better place if everyone was grateful 101% of the time,  but this is not the reality on the ground.   And some people moving on without me doesn’t mean they’re ungrateful, it simply means they’ve moved on.

I have had people expressing their anger, frustration, or disappointment over some patients who well,   have gone against their advice, or stopped treatment,  or did unprotected sex, or all sorts of what’s suppose to be right according to the whoever.

In helping people, maybe it’s best to give, and not expect a return of investment.

We do our part and well, if gratitude expresses itself somewhere along the way well and good.  Again, this is not reality on the ground.

A friend recently told me, “Good karma will find its way back to you…”

I said, “Well, tell Good Karma IO’m just a text away….”

 

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(NOT) Writing

02.14.2020

I haven’t written anything for some time.  I think this is my first one this year on this site.  There are so many things I want to write about, or  or were–and wanted.

A long time friend passed away late last year, and it brought so many realizations.  Realities that I shall not write about as I wouldn’t want to hurt his memories.   After all, we were friends first, before anything else.

I’ve had dreams I wanted to write about.  But more often than not, I’d forget about them after a few days of not doing so.

I had two health scares in 2019, one was the nosebleed as a result of high blood pressure that led to my confinement, and towards the end of December, a flu that resulted to my getting sent to the emergency room for hours.

I wanted to write about the volunteers in the community who have so much and got nothing in return,  some were bashed for their personal stance– nevertheless,  such stances never hurt the time & effort they gave for this advocacy.

I thought about writing about my childhood and how I don’t quite seem to get a good grasp of the “great” high school life that most people seem to have — or maybe because I never had any.

I felt the need to write about the lack of action of some, and my frustrations toward those who took advantage of the advocacy for their personal gain.

So many things to write about.  But I never seemed to find the time to do so.

Lately I have been juggling my time to manage & salvage the “remains” of our organization,  my full time job with my brother, daily gym sessions (which I have been wanting to write about also), taking in calls and chats to counsel people, and maintain my sanity.

So yeah, I will be writing again, just not sure how much.

But I would like to.

And I will….

somehow.

 

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Mom and Daughter, A&A

11.20.2019

Mother A was raped in their province but never sought legal remedies.  The area nurse allegedly disclosed their status and they were discriminated by their neighbors.  She went to Manila and ended up in Bulacan where she found her mother- who turned her away. Mother A has rashes and blisters.

A’s daughter is A.  She’s two turning  three this coming November 29.   Baby A has rashes and blisters. Despite the rashes, Baby A is said to be lively and playful.

At the Shelter

They’ve been placed at a shelter south of Manila (location confidential, and if you do know the location, try not to tweet about it).  They would need food though  to sustain their stay at the shelter.   As soon the doctor sees them for their skin condition, we’re expecting the need to help out w/ the meds.

The baby needs Bear Brand fortified. This is not fit for her age but they prefer Fortified since the baby “got used to it”.  She also will need vitamins and XL Diapers.

Needs

Milk Bear Brand Fortified, grocery/food (as this is not shelter provided). Medical assistance since we’re expecting prescriptions from their derma check up tomorrow.
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James’ Plight (& the hope inspired)

So I posted this yesterday:

James

(Not so) Startling tweets

There were a couple of posts talking about euthanasia. It was hard to swallow when the patient and his siblings are fighting hard to make it through each day.

There was a tweet telling the gay community to straighten up (I paraphrased, of course).

Support

Donations (and prayers) have started to pour in since yesterday so later today, I should be able to meet with the brother so we can purchase some of the meds.  We have also asked for assistance across CSO partners like the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (which has its own HIV program) and Action for Health Initiatives.

I received some messages embarrassed to share “small” donations.  Know that a 10 peso-donation will help.

I reached out to Mommy Elena Felix who will also check with some partners for support.

I actually don’t mind having slept barely three hours responding to inquiries. Not all messages were donations, some were inquiring about the community, about HIV.  It was an opportunity worth grasping– to educate and inform.

The Longest Road

I can see how this path may be the longest and most tiresome journey for the older brother who right now, is turning every stone to get help. This is even more difficult than his personal journey when he was diagnosed himself a few years ago, and his was not an easy road as well.   Hospital bills have gone as high as 700,000 as they were referred by the treatment hub to a private hospital. As we make plans to transfer to a public hospital, the next question is: How about the bills?

Realization

The support I saw was, and is overwhelming, like when I posted about the need to assistance for a couple of kids born with HIV  weeks ago.  I saw how people rallied to call for help.  I saw how people called the attention of those who may have not-so-good things to tweet.

I saw a lot. I read a lot. I felt a lot.

I saw the heart in many, and the hope in everyone.

 

 

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Jose in Need

11.08.2019

Help.

Jose is an unemployed 30yo stage 4 HIV1 patient from Pampanga, he is in need of Genotyping. His cd4 was 3, then 4 after 6mos, and recently at “xxx”. ARV started June2018. No history of o.i. yet but has hepaB co-infection.

He has applied for assistance at their regional Social welfare office but was told to wait for a call, indefinitely.

He never missed a dose of ARV ever since, he’s never lost to follow up and is fighting to sustain his treatment. Let’s help this one.

Pls help. Send me a private message.

For assistance, please send me a message to:

 

 

 

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J’s Last

11.04.2019

I met J some time 2011-12.   I would then see him from time to time in blue bars but we remained in contact on Facebook.  A few weeks back, he disclosed his status  and said he’s been positive since 2013.  He said he was undetectable as of 2017 when he stopped ARV.

Reason:  Hub was too far from his place in Cainta.

Reason2:  He maintained a healthy lifestyle.

J has always been physically fit. Toned. Abs and all.  There was a point that he had to go into sex work to put food on the table.  He had a partner who’s HIV+ around the time that we met but back then, he was still negative.

2-3 weeks ago, he messaged me saying he had difficulty breathing and he easily gets tired.  I was concerned he had pneumonia and we talked about him getting back to treatment. Options were given to him, nearer hubs, private hubs. and of course, his old hub.  He decided to go back to his old hub.

The Monday after we talked, he went to his hub and was confined.  He never came out since then.  He would message me from time to time, asking about indigency certificate, and ARV.  He would tell me about the condition of the ward he was in.

October 29th, J messaged me to find someone who can accompany him inside the ward.  His family never came back for him after his sibling brought him there Day 1.  I was able to reach out to JF who was there on the 30th,   @iamae1995 (from Twitter) also helped out. Bren was there also.  It was Bren who informed me that tubes will have to be inserted since he was critical.  Bren also guaranteed that J’s social classification inside the hospital maintained an NBS (No Bill Status)

Saturday,  J messaged me asking whether or not he would let the docs do the tube insertion.  I was glad he messaged me since I was thinking he wanted to survive the fight hence, he was asking around.  He asked if the tubes were  going to be permanent and I said it’ll only be until such time that he gets better.

Saturday afternoon,  we got word from the doc that J signed a DNR and he removed his tubes. @pozmatt2011 was the last one scheduled to go to the hospital to assist, he got there past 7 in the evening.

J died a few minutes before Matt got there.

I saw it coming.  This is why I detached myself and never went to the hospital.  And now I wallow for not seeing you. For not being there for you.  I thought it was gonna hurt less.  I thought I was not gonna shed a single tear.

I was wrong.

J,

I’m sorry. I should have been there for you. Physically.  Your death caused more pain knowing that your family was not there for you, even in your death.  Your friends have been raising money for your cremation and they’re half way there.

Your pain must be over now. Mine will pass– soon.

Life was not easy on you. For you.

You’re gone now.

And in your departure, you finally beat life’s pain.

Your death shall not be in vain as we continue to help others, your passing refueled my passion to help others.

I am mad at your family,  I may not know the dynamics that led to them not showing up at all, but still, I’m angry. I know you wouldn’t want me to be, but I still am. Sorry.

You go and rest now.

I will see you soon.

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