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Pill Diary: Week 2

Fri 8 Oct 2004 In: HIV

Week 2 Wednesday More diahroea, expected but bloody dispiriting. Worse, have started to fart like a draft horse. Either would be bad, both together is bad on the nerves and the porcelain. Lomotils help but I can't go on taking them throughout every day... experience has shown that they loose effectiveness if taken that way. I'm going to have to be selective, use them for those days when I really need them and try to get through the rest of the time with as much dignity as I can muster. Stomach is queasy, have advised staff that I'll be out of circulation for the rest of the week. Tinitis continues, a constant and only mildly irritating presence, of course now that I'm thinking about it all I can hear is that bloody whistling sound in both ears. I'm really tired today, didn't get out of bed till midday, mooched around the house doing nothing. This could be the pills, the shits, or a restless night spent throwing off the bedclothes n retrieving them all night. Thursday I haven't crapped in the bed since I was about 3 mths old but this morning it happened. Just waking up, brain not engaged, small fart turned into a squirt of brown watery stuff. Grabbed sheets up around myself and bolted for the toilet. Horrible mess. Washing machine took care of the sheets and the blanket as well. Have remade the bed with several towels under the bottom sheet. Hope they won't be needed. This diahroea business seems worse than the last time I went onto these pills. The tingling in the fingers has started too, also more pronounced than last time. I notice it when I pick up something (toothbrush, pen, knife, etc., first as a numbness of the pads on the ends of most fingers which shortly afterwards feel like a tingling. Am very tired today. Dipped into my travel kit and found rehydration sachets. Mixed up with water they taste foul. Seem to have very low energy first thing in morning and early afternoon, about 2pm, when I just have to go to bed and doze. Friday Bad sweating all night last night. Too hot with even a sheet on, too cold without it. Shivering. It's as though my thermostat's on the blink. Had to replace the sheet and one towel from underneath this mornimg as they were seriously damp. 2pm energy blackout happened again, total physical and psychological crash. Appetite has all but gone but I have to eat with some of the pills so am trying to eat simple things, sandwiches, wine biscuits, a bit before the pills. Even then I have started to stare at the pills, summoning up the willpower to take them, knowing that the combination of chemicals and food will send me galloping to the toilet within an hour or so. Will count toilet visits tomorrow. Saturday Two friends visited which was nice and they were understanding about the sudden rushes to the bathroom and the disgusting noises from behind the door. They did a pharmacy visit for more rehydration sachets. Their visit helped me feel less sorry for myself which has become a depressing and recurring theme during the past few days. Tinitis, numb and tingling fingers continues, sweats at night more intermittent but worse when they happen. Woke up about 3am with sweat trickling down my face, chest and armpits. Shivering. Have extra towels under me for sleeping. Queasiness comes and goes, appetite is nonexistent. Bananas taste ok but seem to irritate my throat. I've had a tender throat before on HIV pills, this time is seems worse. I try not to cough or even clear my throat because that irritates it more. Am reading books on the couch all day but concentration is not good. Counted 19 toilet visits during daytime and three through last night. Arsehole getting very tender. Sunday Same as yesterday, arsehole very sore. Friends (bless them) bought a box of aloe vera tissues which might help, at least they will be softer. I have to go to work for at least a few hours tomorrow, will start Lomotil to bung up arse from about midnight. Have to move slowly as stomach gets very queasy. Have realised I have hardly been outside in almost 10 days, just to gaze out at the city n sip liquids and try not to feel imprisoned. Skin is getting dry and scaly, sweats last night were seriously bad, showered twice. Seem to be sleeping for an hour or so then two hours tossing and turning then hour of sleep etc. etc. Thank god for National Radio through the night. Monday Woke about 9.30am, took until 11.30 to get out the door to work, stuffed full of Lomotils. Realised when I got there I'd forgotten my morning pills, or did my mind rebel from them in disgust and purposely avoid them? Explained to senior staff some of the problems Im having, they were very good and are rostering around me. Tinitis has been less prevalent for a few days but at work it is back with a vengeance. Had to rush to the toilet about 1pm, sudden movement set of queasiness in stomach so I almost threw up in the toilet. Walked quietly home (only three blocks) and collapsed on couch. Woke about 3pm, parched, cementy taste in mouth, sweating, exhausted. Crawled into bed and, apart from visits to kitchen to top up drinks and the inevitable explosive toilet excursions (have discovered watery shit splatters almost 2 metres up the wall behind the toilet which is both intriguing and appalling. Tuesday Porridge for breakfast, but no sense of taste. Worse, the cement taste seems here to stay. Quick catalogue of miseries: shits, explosive farts, tingling and numb fingers and three toes, itchy skin, especially on face - 8th October 2004    

Credit: John Stone;

First published: Friday, 8th October 2004 - 12:00pm

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