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A happy story

Here's a happy story from a female partner of a hiv+ & hep c+ male ..
I met my partner when he was working in the hiv/aids field and I had just completed a hiv/aids care & support course (lucky him!), so I guess I had a bit of prior knowledge about what could happen. I think I'm blessed to know my wonderful partner and we have grown immensely together.

When we got together I remember thinking I'd be happy to have about 3 months together ... well we've been together for 8 wonderful years now. Sure it's been hard, 1 month after moving in together he had a stroke, just a minor one, but of course at the time there was no way of knowing that. And what a rocky rollercoaster ride we've ridden together - he's had 3 Royal Flying Doctor Service evacuations, seven hospital admissions, endured hundreds of medical appointments, tests and procedures, swallowed an endless number of pills and seen a constant flow of specialists, doctors, nurses, chemists and all types of support workers. And the shoes that I've worn - of a nurse, carer, chemist, advocate, chef, housekeeper, errand runner, driver, lover, friend and masseuse. I was recently asked by a support worker how I handle all these shoe changes. I pondered for a while. This is what I came up with for partners of hiv+ people ...

Staying calm & relaxed helps, as does having an interest in spirituality. The importance of eating well (organic wherever possible) can never be underestimated. Having a pet is also a way of receiving unconditional wholesome love. Education and forums such as this one are also good support.

Do a personal care course. Some aids councils offer extensive and intensive courses, but even doing a generic personal care course would could be beneficial.

Be spontaneous and flexible. Expect the unexpected and expect it to happen unexpectedly in unexpected ways! Go with the flow, even if the flow is a raging river. Sure, your idea of a perfect Sunday morning wasn't envisioned being spent a hospital emergency dept, but you friend's day is waaaaaay more put out. Do whatever you can to make their time in hospital pass comfortably.

Take a break. This could also mean doing something small like going for a walk around the block or it could mean taking a month-long break from your friend. My favourite break is to declare a "Me Day" when I totally pamper myself. Just do whatever makes YOU and ONLY YOU happy. In my experience I have always returned to my partner feeling relaxed, energised and empowered, ready to take on whatever Fate delivers.
Look out for angels: I have found Angels appear in the most unlikely of circumstances, but they are ALWAYS around. You might not have met them before, in fact it's likely you haven't, but they will appear with some unexpected way to make your day better. Have faith - that old cliche about the "eleventh hour" remains in use because it's true!
And finally my most important creed ... Enjoy every minute and make every minute special. Life is short, life is sweet. Don't dwell on trivialities - concentrate on what's most important.
Well these are the things that work for me. There are many ways of dying and with the treatments available now, I don't even think it will be aids that finally does him in! We try to perceive hiv/aids as a mere atom in our existence.
Keep the faith!


Sent via Email Mar 18, 2004 from Brisbane, Australia.

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