Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Diagnosis, My Words

Hey folks! Here's a recent post from B-Lady, a youth participant of Beyond the Odds. Check out the site at Site relaunch date is set for August 10th!!

In January 2006, I was standing in front of my grandmother’s house by Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. It was like 10:30am. I was waiting on my best friend to come thru so I could “line him up.” This really dark skinned, southern brotha named “Bob” on the back of the 40 bus was looking all out the window. He got off the bus and walked up to me and said, “Hi.”

I was like, “Hey.” but I was on guard waiting in case I had to get real ugly.

We talked for a really long time until my best friend showed up. Quickly, we exchanged numbers and parted ways. My best friend didn’t question the situation until we went into the house. Considering that I don’t usually fool around with dark skinned men. I laughed and said, “Life is experiences.”

Two days after our first meeting, we were on the phone for hecka long at least
five hours. That's when I was like, “Well I should come over to your place. Let me get my son dressed and I'll be on my way.”

Once I got to his place, we started drinking some Patron Tequila and Seagram Schnapps and got drunk. I guess I became an easy lay as some would say. I was eighteen and didn’t know my alcohol limits.

I don’t remember much, but what I do remember is we had sex and I heard the condom break in my drunken stupor. I figured it was a gun shot in the distance, outside. It wasn't ‘til after that we discovered it had busted. But by then it was too late.

The following months were crazy. In March, I became pregnant by this person and I ended up having a miscarriage. It was not a happy time for me. In my opinion, going through a miscarriage is the worst mental state for a woman to be in. And when I told him, his response was, “that’s too bad” and offered me some candy. In May, he started telling me he had to go back home to Mississippi to be with his mother because we started coming down with the same symptoms. That's when I started
becoming really suspicious of the situation.

In June, we broke off our very unhappy courtship and I ended up very sick with the worst flu like symptoms ever and a growth on my groin stretching through to my thigh and abdominal area. Heck, I couldn’t even walk after a while. Soon, thereafter, I went to the Summit Hospital emergency room. The hospital staff explained that I contracted MRSA and could have died had I waited any longer.

In a few days of being at the hospital, I was operated on and soon after I started to walk again. I saw “Bob” on the fourth floor hospital smoking area and when I questioned whether the drug Norvir was a known HIV drug, he simply stated to me “I didn’t ask, if he was HIV positive.”

After I got out of the hospital, I ended up going back a few more times. Eventually, a nurse told me to go and get myself checked. The nurse had been my nurse every time I came to the hospital. She was a very nice person.

I took her advice. November 27th it was a rainy day I wore black and I don’t remember sleeping. I do remember, distinctly, when a white lady named Kate handed me the paper. She just slid it across the table and looked away as I read the results.

I felt like a hot egg had been cracked over my head and the hot contents were running down my body. I began laughing and then the tears came. I went numb. My mind was blank and I felt as if I was detached from my body like a third party. When I snapped out of it, I called my mom, she came, and we cried together. That’s when the white lady spoke and said that I needed to get more blood work and start my medical services.

But my stepdad, my mother's first husband who was more like my real father, was also HIV positive. So we already knew what to do. I remember wanting to just die. Wanting to walk in front of a bus, jump off the bridge or fall out and die, which by the way is a very normal way to feel after hearing this type of news. Of course, it isn't okay when you start trying to act on it. That's when you should seek help.

So far, I've come to terms with this illness. I'm not happy, but I have to deal with it. I have my son to live for as well as my little brothers and myself. Now that I know I can have children without passing the virus, I have a beautiful baby and yet another one on the way. So I discovered life was just beginning for me in a way.

Even though, I would like to be present when Satan skins “Bob” and sticks pineapples in his ass, I have no regrets. I wouldn’t change anything because it’s the messed up part of my past that defines my strong will today. I was on a destructive path and now, I have to have the will to strive. To live. It's strange but true.

For Beyond the Odds, I'm B-Lady.