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Author Topic: Should I be wearing a bell?  (Read 3541 times)

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Offline sweetasmeli

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Should I be wearing a bell?
« on: June 16, 2007, 11:47:20 AM »
Seriously. A big clanging bell round my neck to warn people that I’m coming.

You know, in the last 2+ years since my move to the land of Greeks, I have managed to rise above the following events as a consequence of my HIV status: a date practically sprinting off after my disclosure, my HIV status being outed by a bigot in the local village, being fired because of it, being stared at, gossiped about, being refused work. Need I go on?

Something I have never mentioned to anyone is a conversation I once had some months ago with a Greek woman who I consider a friend here in the village. She told me as much as she loved me and felt compassion for me because of my HIV status et al, she would never want one of her children dating a HIV+ person; she would just be too scared for them. I remember commenting about her maybe needing to educate herself more so that in the future she could sufficiently educate her children, but I let it go. Pissed me off though.

Well, in the last 5 minutes I just had another encounter with the same woman. For the past 2 days I’ve been fatigued battling a herpes attack and consequently off work resting. I am now back in the shop, just starting my shift, when the phone rings; it’s my friend. Incidentally, it’s her shop that I work in. She said that she hopes I won’t be offended but because of what I’ve been off with she has locked the ‘family toilet’ and would I mind using the ‘customer toilet’, "just to be on the safe side". In other words they don’t want to risk catching my cooties. She said not to take it personally and she would react the same with anyone even in her family.

Am I wrong to feel offended? Am I being over sensitive? She knows I’ve got the attack (which wasn't even a full attack) under control with meds because that was explained to her. And the last I checked you couldn’t catch herpes from a toilet seat anyway. Or am I misinformed about that? And in many other ways she has been a blessing support-wise. I still regard her as a friend. But still…

I dunno. I just find myself scratching off the days until I can escape this backward place.
Four weeks, 6 days and counting…

/\___/\       /\__/\
(=' . '=)    (=' . '=)
(,,,_ ,,,)/   (,,,_ ,,,)/ Cats rule!

The difference between cats and dogs is that dogs come when called, whereas cats take a message and get back to you.

Yeia kai hara (health and happiness) to everyone!

Offline Ann

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2007, 11:56:53 AM »
Sheesh. Of course you can't get herpes from a toilet seat.

I'd tell her where to stick her job... why subject yourself to that if you don't really, really need to?

Herpetic hugs,
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  

"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline David_CA

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2007, 12:29:44 PM »
Well, I can understand her not wanting her kids to date an HIV+ person.  Besides the small risk, even if the game is played correctly, having them deal with the others health issues will be hard.  She only wants what's best for her kids, like most parents do.  That's not to say that if I had kids that I wouldn't allow them to date an HIV+ person, but IDEALLY, they wouldn't.  I would want them educated and realize that they are individuals who will ultimately do what they want to do.

As to the toilet, turn it around on her.  Ask her if she's that unconcerned with her customers that she'd risk their health.  Let her know how nasty some peoples (the public, who you don't know anything about at all) asses can be, and that you're not sure you want to use the private seat after them.  Maybe she can get you a chamber pot so you can be all safe and the locals (and family) won't be at risk, too (that is being said VERY sarcastically, BTW).  Often, sarcasm works well to make people realize how stupid they're being.  Sometimes, it just goes right over their heads. 

Anyway, at least you'll be leaving her ignorant ass behind soon.  Good luck dealing her (and the tourists).

Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Razorbill

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2007, 01:09:36 PM »
Well you note ended just as I hoped.  You don't belong in the land of the ignorant peasants.  You'll be much better off in a place where there is diversity and options for friendships.  Good luck.  BTW, where are you moving to?  Please don't tell me rural Poland or Khazakstan.

Offline cjc

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2007, 02:09:49 PM »
Damn, that's harsh. Sorry she is being a ignorant iatch.  I thought herpes was only spread through skin to skin contact and besides you have it under control.  Hope the 4 weeks, 6 days, ? hours pass quickly and you can be away from there.     Cristy

Offline DanielMark

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2007, 02:38:42 PM »
Fear can turn even the nicest people into irrational ones. I wouldn't take it too personally. You can find clods like this in any culture.  :-*




Offline xyahka

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2007, 02:43:56 PM »
Sweetie, i think you are being too ... tolerant. i would have gone straight to that woman and tell her in the face she is just plain ignorant. She can be a friend but she does not have the right to insult you nor treat you that way. If you already told her she had to educate herself and she didn't... then she is just a donkey... something we can solve i think  ::)mmmmm

I would find something written in greek about the illness or something useful, and go straight to her and tell her.. "I told you to read, but as you don't here it is... have fun. And think twice next time you speak your mind... being ignorant IS NOT A RIGHT".

Ok, i know i am a bit aggressive but you know... you are just too nice girl, if i were there i would have already involved in a big argument to defend you, because you don't deserve this!!!. In fact, if that woman has an email.... let me know. I want to participate.... also, remember you have few weeks over there... feel free to speak up your mind dear... you won't see them again!!! ... we might not change them.. but at least we can make them less donkeys though :P

I know we can look at them and remain silent... but then.... what's our contribution to a world free of stigma?? No way... i like to speak! Just my thoughts dear... off course you better than anyone else know what to do. I respect you and i whatever you do.. I'll be by your side.

Juan Carlos
(pissed off when someone bothers his friends)
13/03/07 1er diagnóstico /Peso: 79kg
19/04/07 CD4: 494 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 80kg
19/07/07 CD4: 659 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79.5kg
06/03/08 CD4: 573 (después de meses muy deprimido) /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79kg
17/09/08 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 84Kg
06/02/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 85Kg /HCV: Neg /HBV: Neg.
07/03/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg / Gym 3días/semana y Natación 2días/semana.
12/05/09 CD4: 470 /Cviral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg.
08/07/09 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 77Kg.
09/12/09 CD4: 510 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg. No medicinas aún
10/01/10 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
15/05/10 CD4: 320 /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
01/02/11 CD4: 291 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
05/05/11 CD4: 366 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
27/07/11 CD4: 255 /CViral: 138000 /Peso: 78kg.

Disfrutando y aceptando una nueva vida...

Offline Christine

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2007, 04:38:26 PM »
My initial reaction was to start screaming and tell her where she can stick her job and her toilet seat. But that won't do any good. She will just shut down and get defensive.

I think I would find information for her about transmission. Give it to her. Explain to her what it is. Then tell her how you feel. You are very hurt. Saddened that she treated you like this. Then tell her you are glad you are moving, because living around such ignorance, and bigotry is not healthy for you.

Lastly, give her some statistics to ponder. I know in the US, the fastest or one of the fastest growing group of people with STD's are women. Tell her how to protect herself.

Hand her the info, and tell her to keep it...she may need it someday.

Poz since '93. Currently on Procrit, Azithromax, Pentamidine, Valcyte, Levothyroxine, Zoloft, Epzicom, Prezista, Viread, Norvir, and GS-9137 study drug. As needed: Trazodone, Atavan, Diflucan, Zofran, Hydrocodone, Octreotide

5/30/07 t-cells 9; vl 275,000

Offline englishgirl

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2007, 04:54:17 PM »
grrrrrr... stupid woman (her not you)

after some deep breaths im with DanielMark and Christine on this one

and im looking forward to you coming back to england too!!!

lots of love

(ps lol at the fact that she banned you from the 'family' toilet but not the 'customer' one - great customer service!!)


"I'm not keen on the idea of the afterlife - not without knowing who else will be there and what the entertainment will be. Personally I'd rather just take a rest." Oscar Berger, PWA: Looking AIDS in the Face, 1996. RIP.

Offline fearless

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2007, 07:25:29 PM »
Hi Melia,

Sorry you had to go through that. These things often come out of the blue, and so you are not always ready at the time to come back with an appropriate and measured retort.

I can totally understand your offence though. It kind of reminds me when I had shingles but had to go into the office for a meeting. They made me sit in a separate room and participate in the meeting by telephone hook-up as one of the female attendees had not had chicken pox and they were scared I'd pass it on. At the time, I just went along with what they wanted. Afterwards, I stewed on it for quite a while.

Hugs honey.
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2007, 08:09:59 PM »

I don't know if you have access to this product or not, but if you do, the seat liners could work to your advantage if you a) tell her you use them and she need not be concerned or b) use them in the customer toilet and you'll be more comfy. We can buy them here--I believe they're made by the manufacturer's of Charmin and bear the Charmin logo.

So, that would be SweetAssMelia instead of SweetAsMelia  -- right?

Frankly, she's sounds a tad Howard Hughesian to me.


Offline J.R.E.

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2007, 08:33:31 PM »

This woman is soooooo uninformed. Very sad situation. Perhaps this woman and some of the towns people, should be the ones wearing the cowbell. That way you can be alerted when they are coming near !  :-*

I was thinking like David was and turn it around. Tell her you haven't used that restroom in ages, that you were afraid of catching something from a family member !! :P

Some people won't change. Just remember its four weeks 6 days and counting.

Be tough------Ray :-*
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg






Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 9/16/16,  t-cells are at 501,   Viral load remains <40

Current % is at 12%

 65 years young.

Offline Jeffreyj

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2007, 02:27:34 AM »
I am happy for you that you will be lefaving this ignoramus...Like you need to deal with this ignorant pig who obviously wants to stay uneducated. She is sad, very sad. It is people like her that make it so hard to get rid of the stigma of HIV. It will be a positive move to get rid of this negative person.

Sorry, but she seems like a phony, also. Yuk.

Here's to  The  UK!!!!!   You go girl!   Feel better :)
Positive since 1985

Offline anniebc

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2007, 05:32:08 AM »
Well of course you should be wearing bells Melia...God forbid someone should bump into you and actually touch you, you really should give them fair warning you know...and isn't there a little deserted Island somewhere where we should all be living?...I don't know, you would think those of us living with HIV would know better than to walk the streets and mingle with the "normal" folks in town wouldn't you...but no we never learn do we.

Not too long now and you can tell her were to shove her family toilet.

As my old dad used to say "don't let the Bastards grind you down"

Jan :-*
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline manchesteruk

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2007, 07:38:49 AM »
The lack of education never fails to surprise me.  I can't believe she didn't stop to think how saying something like that might have made you feel.  I think you should get her some of these as a leaving present for a joke!

Diagnosed 11/05

"Life is too important to be taken seriously" Oscar Wilde

Offline sweetasmeli

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2007, 07:59:18 AM »
Morning guys and gals! And many thanks for your comments. :-*

Well, my friend called me this morning to see how I was, so I decided to put my cards on the table with her. I told her I felt insulted because I'd already told her there was no risk of catching herpes from a toilet seat and I wouldn't have even thought about coming to work if there was. She said she didn't know about the 'no risk' to which I responded well you do now.

I got to work this morning and the family loo was unlocked. :)
But, to be truthful, I’m not sure whether that was intentional or whether her partner just forgot.

Anyhoo…She and her family have been an incredible source of support for me in many other ways, so I can forgive (but not ignore) their ignorance about some issues. Plus I realise in the grand old scheme of things that this event isn’t exactly traumatizing or worth dwelling on. And in light of the fact that I’ll be outa here soon (4 weeks, 5 days), I think I’m gonna let things drop and just keep my mouth shut till I finish work in a week or so. If I was staying though, it would be another matter entirely…

Although, saying all that, those toilet seat covers do look kinda groovy! :D 

As far as the who her kids date issue goes, I can understand to a point (I stress to a point) her concerns there. But surely anyone with an ounce of sensitivity would think twice before sharing those thoughts with a HIV+ person. Isn't it tantamount to blatantly telling someone in a wheelchair that you'd never date someone in a wheelchair? She’s totally entitled to her views/opinions/wishes but seriously. There’s such a thing as tact.

Something else she said has triggered other thoughts, but I’ll start a new topic for that…

Oh and Jan honey, no worries, Miss Melia won't ever let the bastards grind her down. ;)

Rays of sunshine to all
Melia 8)
/\___/\       /\__/\
(=' . '=)    (=' . '=)
(,,,_ ,,,)/   (,,,_ ,,,)/ Cats rule!

The difference between cats and dogs is that dogs come when called, whereas cats take a message and get back to you.

Yeia kai hara (health and happiness) to everyone!

Offline Iggy

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2007, 09:15:00 AM »
Sorry I am just seeing this now but hell if you didn't handle it perfectly.

You are right both to be upset about what she initially did, and said, as well as your feelings that in the larger scheme of your life it is not worth aggravating yourself.

That said, you spoke up and took a chance at educating her and frankly that is probably more than anyone on that island has ever done.

As always I am impressed with you.

Offline lucas clay

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Re: Should I be wearing a bell?
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2007, 09:20:12 AM »
 Ignorant f***ing people out there, I wont disclose just for that reason.
Sorry this had to happen, i know it must have hurt you deep down in your guts i hate that sick feeling.
Like you don't have enough to deal with already.
Saying  a prayer for strength for you .



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