I recently saw my ID doctor. An ID doc is someone who oversees your progress. They do stuff like check your mouth, check your ancles for swelling, check your glands, etc. They also refer for bloodwork and other suff. I never realized the downward spiral that would occur once I ended up at the VA. Initially I went to get a paper signed for short term disability from my job. What unfolded was unhinkable, medications for depression HIV and red tape...on and on. I was thinking...jeez I came for a signature and this is what I get/ It turned me into a man in survival mode like a cat cornered. I am constantly on guard living in a strange place and always on the lookout for the next zombie asking for a cigarette or a buck or two.
This place is survival mode, its a daily hustle with the usual walkers who look for someone outside to hit up for a smoke or whatever. Being an ex marine Im no fool, I know these people have probably been here there whole life living in destitution looking for their next victim. Usually harmless, they just lack self esteem, the desire to do something and the knowledge it could be any different. So, I don't blame them but I am here because I messed up in my life. I caught the dreaded disease no one wants talks about. Ive considered suicide in the past mostly because I know this is wrong, to live like this in poverty and hopelessness. Most of the homes here are ugly buildings that look like prison cells, if you look down to your right or left you will see a head or a set of hands hanging over the balconies. Nothing good. The devil loves idle hands so I guess this is his workshop. And this is why I write about living with HIV and the importance of being safe in all aspects of life. I used to use these hands to install electrical equiptment or dig ditches for conduit work but now they are idle, used only to convey a message. All the while Im in survival mode...waiting for an ax to fall. Im married and regardless of the fact I get paid for being disabled due to AIDS and the menegitis which literally fried my brain I feel hopeless. Our income is just under 50,000 a year for a family of 3 but Its a far cry from the 100,000 we were making a few years ago. Im in a 70 percent African American environment and Im a white guy from the beach. It doesnt make much sense to me but my son gets a good education which my ssdi pays. Recently I received a letter from SSA wanting me to get a medical review. I complied but I go to so many doctor appointments its all in the file. I wrote back that due to AIDS, I have nothing left and the money goes for my sons education and well being. I also said Im on the verge of homelessness living moth to month on just over a grand a month. Needless to say I got a reply saying we no longer are reviewing your claim. I guess they figure Ill be dead soon or whatever. I paid 28 years into a tax system i thought worked and when I became disabled turned the same system brought me to my knees. Im in survival mode, just am. I do everything real fast and feel like Im a rat chasing his tail but it is what it is. I have no regrets I just live day to day, embrace the fact I can still throw a football to my son and dont have to wear Depends. Its amazing what we humans can endure in the name of survival. In Durham NC its no different, maybe more so than other places...Be well.