Tag Archives: health

A Shooting Gallery and an Hour Glass – Part Two

RTB is presents part two from a long-term observer and participant in the AIDS war, who has written an explorative, insightful essay in two parts for ReduceTheBurden.

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A Shooting Gallery and an Hour-Glass Part Two
One HIV Skeptics Continuing Journey

By William A.
for RTB

The Hour-Glass

Over the years, I began to notice the feeling that AIDS dissidents–particularly those with an ‘HIV’ diagnosis aimed at their head–seem almost shackled invisibly together… joined like some godforsaken chain-gang on a remote, dusty highway: When one of us stumbles, we all seem to lose our footing. When one of us falls we all feel vertigo. Someone else’s illness can beckon almost unconsciously, dancing off in the distance like a dark mirage…promising…shimmering…waiting. We seem to obsess about the health of other dissidents, revealing, in our often slightly mad speculation about what might be going on, this invisible connection to each others’ wellness. Or illness. An umbilical cord of wary hope. Or suppressed despair. As though someone else’s ability to survive the rain of death and hopelessness falling on us every day can make it more likely that we will defy the odds ourselves. Like anyone would, we find strength in numbers.

Nothing revealed this more powerfully to me than Christine Maggiore’s death. All these years she had soldiered on through a sea of hatred and vitriol, somehow not going completely mad from the intense scrutiny from the AIDS machine. Yet equally intense, if not more, was the almost unconscious scrutiny of many dissidents. We often live immersed in fear: this diagnosis is like being cast out into a sea of anxiety, a sea that can seem to extend beyond the horizon and it swallows people whole. Though many of us find ways to subdue the monstrous anxiety, I did notice how often others around me would ‘point’, somewhat nervously, to Christine as evidence that one could stay healthy, their trembling finger betraying the fear they felt that it was all somehow going to go pear-shaped anyway. There was a watchfulness about it. A kind of expectant waiting.

Unconsciously, many of us seemed to keep looking at her and then ‘looking at our watches’. I often wondered if she felt pressure to be the exception, or if she felt the many quiet, lonely hands clinging to her for reassurance and hope. I can’t see how it wouldn’t have been an enormous burden, however unintended it may have been by those who so understandably needed some signal, some sign of hope in a world awash with the expectation of early death that comes with this diagnosis.

I can’t help but be reminded of that, creepy scene in The Wizard of Oz, where the Wicked Witch of the West traps Dorothy in the tower-room and gingerly turns the Hour-Glass over and places it on the table, starting it flowing and saying evilly:

“Do you see that?  That’s how much longer you’ve got to be alive!  And it isn’t long, my pretty!  It isn’t long!” Continue reading A Shooting Gallery and an Hour Glass – Part Two

A Shooting Gallery and an Hour Glass – Part One

RTB is pleased to present a considered piece of writing from a long-term observer and participant in the AIDS war, who has written an explorative, insightful essay in two parts for ReduceTheBurden.

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Toronto, 1978

I had a horrible nightmare when I was about 13 years old. I found myself in a large, darkly lit space, a room eerily filled with anxiety and dread. It had no windows and no doors, but for one: on a landing at the top of a single flight of about a dozen steps. There was something behind that door. Something powerful, something terrible.

I wasn’t sure…I walked up the stairs, shaking with fear, feeling horribly exposed and vulnerable. I had to open the door. I had to see what was there. I made my way to the top, and stood there, trembling, and reached for the door-knob. I would open that door. I would face whatever was waiting there…

Yet somehow after a huge effort, I just couldn’t do it. The uncertainty of what lay beyond that looming door was just too terrifying.

And then I awoke. Continue reading A Shooting Gallery and an Hour Glass – Part One

Quitting Drugs Is Not Enough

Some folks who have read my story about quitting AIDS drugs and nearly two dozen other prescription drugs seem to think I attribute my improved health to that choice alone.

It isn’t that simple.

There is no doubt in my mind that taking so many prescription drugs, even under the care of physicians, was damaging me and my health. Quitting them was one essential step–among several–that I had to take just to recover my wits enough to move forward.

Good health, or improving one’s poor health, also requires attention to what we put into our system and how we maintain it. In my case, it also led me to rethink just about everything I thought I knew about medical care and health.

I’m only going to summarize here some highlights of the path I’ve followed to address my seriously declining health. The details and sequence of actions are vague, because each individual’s plan must be customized to fit their needs. Do as much research as possible for yourself (thank goodness for the Internet).

Good alternative or wholistic practitioners can be difficult to find, but may prove invaluable, especially early on. Seek out healers, not just doctors. When dealing with serious illnesses such as cancer, autoimmune disorders (including auto deficiencies), MS, “AIDS”, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and others, it is important to make significant changes immediately to halt the decline of health. Once recovery is underway there will be time to review and evaluate each of these areas of change to determine which ones should be made permanent.

What follows is based on my personal experience. While it is not intended as medical advice, I do hope some readers might find some valuable suggestions to improve their health. Continue reading Quitting Drugs Is Not Enough