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Author Topic: Great Expectations…  (Read 3076 times)

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Offline Moffie65

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  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
Great Expectations…
« on: August 07, 2006, 12:31:55 PM »
As we travel this life pathway, we are inundated constantly with the mantra of life, which makes room for, and entertains “Expectations”. 

I say why?  Could it be that this is one of those things created by mankind, not unlike Global Warming?  Sorry, that is a horse of another color. 

When I have the privilege to attend an HIV/AIDS Conference; there is a small, but necessary, thing which seems universal, and that is the End of Session Survey.  Annoyingly the last question is inevitably “Did this session/conference meet with your expectations”.  What a shocking question to ask!  My pat answer is “I am sorry you don’t understand the frivolousness of this question at an HIV/AIDS conference.  You must also understand that with me living with HIV/AIDS; I don’t live my life with expectations, so to answer your question honestly, No”.   I know that sometimes I am just such an ass, and love making people think about the “Data Gathering” which has become such a fetish of the Westernized World. 

When living with HIV; we are faced constantly with things which pique our expectations, and many times we either fall for it innocently, or we don’t think about it.  We expect that what the drug companies have to say about their drugs’ efficacy is actually true; in fighting the replication of this viral protein.   We have the expectation that in fact, the Food and Drug Administration, (or whatever it is called in your country of residence) did their oversight work, and did not approve a drug that would in fact, kill us.  We have the expectation that if we take our medications with a very high level of adherence; that in fact we will live a very long life.  Are these expectations acceptable for our everyday existence?  I think not for me!

Approximately 40 AIDSmeds forums members are meeting in Montreal Canada in about a week for the second time in history.  We are all excited about the trip, which has been so graciously planned by a small, but dedicated group of members, who have volunteered to make this “An Event to Write Home About”.  I have fought tooth and nail to not attach any expectations to this trip, as it is truly important to remember that if I make it to Montreal, it will be by the grace of the Creator, and I will be truly happy.  Anything, including a heart attack, car crash or plane crash can take place between now and then, and so I make every attempt to enter the day with a word of thanks to the Creator for the gift of another day/hour/ minute.

Are expectations acceptable?  I truly don’t know, but I do know they are not welcome in my life.  I have lived far too long, expecting people to be nice, governments with a conscience, people not driving drunk, and many other totally foolish and unreasonable expectations.   

I see many threads here that tend to totally have the premise of expectation, and when I read them, I sometimes answer, but usually not because the author would probably not understand the idea of entering each day without expectations. 

Last week, I had the first full week of no nausea since June 6th, and I was able to move furniture, detail a car, and work in the back yard.  I am so grateful for seven days of productivity, but my feet sure are not.   My body is feeling the action of this current cocktail, and I have more energy than I ever expected to have again.  This morning, I awoke very early with some annoying sinus congestion, and sat in front of the computer catching up, from 2:00am to 3:00am.  I then returned to bed for another hour and awoke at my normal 4:00am.  I was enjoying the first cup of fresh ground Columbian Dark Roast coffee, when all of the sudden I had to run to the bathroom because I had to heave the fine brew.  You see, I awoke all puffed up about how much energy and fun I was experiencing, when the universal energies that keep us grounded, made me sick enough to heave at 4:15.  When my sweetie went to work at 5:30, I returned to bed for another hour of sleep, and a reality check that I still need to keep myself free from expectations.

 On the other side of the coin, there are those here who a year ago this time, wouldn’t have for one second, thought that they would be in the positions of AIDS/HIV activism; and yet, here they are doing everything in their power to make a difference in this world, and in their neighborhoods.  I must say, I never expected that and it is really a wondrous thing to see a new generation of people coming along to carry the torch of progress in fighting the onslaught of this disease.  Against all of my fibers, “What can I expect from you”?

Listen guys, I am not giving you this thread to have you live like me, nor do I expect you to do anything in life.  I simply wanted to state my view and leave it up to you to either accept the view, or reject it.  After all, this is our ultimate power in this life’s trip.

Have a wonderful day!

In Love and Respect.
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline wellington

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  • Posts: 508
  • Don't sweat the little things.
Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2006, 03:02:54 PM »
I admire anyone who takes the risk to express themself! How uninteresting life would be if we didn't seize the opportunity to know our fellow co-habitants on this rock :)

Offline ndrew

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Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2006, 07:47:27 PM »
Thank you for sharing this... I am very moved.  I think you can change the world with just one post like this, it has so many effects.  The smallest things like sharing your attitude add up and become waves of goodwill.  I have no doubt that the humanity of reading all of the posts in this forum goes to the heart of my being, it gets brighter and brighter...

I wish you well on your journey to Montreal, I will be there in spirit.

Offline Eldon

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Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2006, 08:56:45 PM »
Hello Tim, it is Eldon. You do have a good point-of-view and it is well taken.

Offline ademas

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Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2006, 09:03:42 PM »
"Expectations are resentments in escrow." -- and old AA saying, I believe.  I always liked it. 

Whether I'm expecting the best or expecting the worst, I'm usually wrong, and it's just a waste of a perfectly good moment right now.

Nice post, Moffie.  I'll let it sink in, and be back to reread it, I'm sure.

Thanks.

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2006, 12:27:10 AM »
Dearest Tim,

From the first time we met online last year, I thought "Moffie is the one!"  Mentoring is so very important in our lives, especially for those of us living with HIV/AIDS.  I have gotten so discouraged over the past year with the RWCA re-authorization, our local Planning Counsil, every committee on which I serve, getting the Re-Entry Task Force funded, working with the AIDS Nutrient Bank but most of all the organizations which are responsible to establish these programs and the individuals who manage these organizations.  I often feel like a token, which can be taken off the shelf, when they feel inclined as a show piece to justify their job security.

When I make a comment that is not accurate, you have always been there to point it out.  Instead of being offended, I learn from it and keep on moving forward.  A few times over this past year, I have felt like giving up because the world around me (the Planning Counsil, organizations, etc) does not offer enough support for my agenda which is making sure they get paid and can continue to offer the services we all need.

I missed a meeting this afternoon, the Funding Allocation Working Group.  We have already completed the 4 possible budget scenarios for the next Fiscal Year and all that is left to do is the dumb shit.  That would be the order of importance of the non-funded service categories and with my newest addition to my drug box, I can't sleep and I get sick.  I also had to drive 30 miles up into the mountains to check of a friend because I believe her meds are making her manic.  She was fine at sunrise but last night she was sitting on her porch babbling about nothing. 

I have has less than 4 hours sleep in the past 24 hours, am zoned out right now and forgot the point I was hoping to make.  If I may, I'd like to finish later.  Have the best day
Michael

www.Commission-on-AIDS.org 

Offline zephyr

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    • Zephyr L.T.N.P. Foundation, Inc.
Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2006, 12:32:35 AM »
Hi Moffie...

Good thread! I want to re-read it in the morning, when I'm fresh, and got a better thinkin' cap on!!

Someone shared a comment from another individual with me today that made me step back and think...I'm mulling it over right now, and kinda think it goes right to this topic.

Love it, love you,

Zephie :-*
"It is character that communicates most eloquently."

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2006, 01:42:23 AM »
PART II

I spent my last working years in a high glass tower, corner office with a view from Downtown Los Angeles to Catalina Island.  My job was to find ways for employer/clients to motivate their employees in the safety arena.  My work was premised on the concept "whether real or perceived, no one does anything without a benefit."  It is from the success of that work (60% average reduction in injuries), that makes me believe we all have expectations at some level.

I have a "managable illness," no one will hire me but I still have expectations... I expect that the loss of salary, plus management incentives, over a 10 year period is in excess of $1 million and I want it back.  Last week, I was pre-approved for a $1.6 million loan to purchase a Sonoma County vineyard.  The catch was to find an investor with $100,000.00 to take second position in the mortgage.  I sent an email to several of the Executive Directors of the organizations which I support in the RWCA re-authorization because they do fund raising and should at the very least have an idea of whom to contact.  Four Directors= Zero response.  How dare I expect anything more than a free hand-out of weekly groceries or a $500.00 per year in AIDS assistance fund.

As of this morning, the vineyard was taken off the market with no contingency and no offers.  They say that something that is too good to be true, usually is.  However, this is not the first deal I have tried to wire in the last 10 years and there will be others.  With my disability income, I am still pre-qualified for a business loan with certain conditions so I keep working at it because we all have expectations, whether they are great expectations or not-so-great expectations.  Have the best day
Michael

www.Commission-on-AIDS.org 


Offline sweetasmeli

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Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2006, 02:58:39 AM »
Hi Tim
Interesting post.

I remember some time ago on the old forum, Jaser posting about being bullied at school. I cant recall exactly what I said but it was on the lines of advising him to drop all his expectations of how he wanted others to behave because if he didn't he would keep coming up against disappointment and pain, that he actually had the ability to avoid by adjusting his perspective.

I learned quite a while back that expectations in life, as well as being often presumptious and unrealistic, are the most certain set up for disappointment and pain. I generally stopped having expectations of anything or anybody a few years ago - I say generally, because I'm honest enough to acknowledge how hard it is to not expect things sometimes - it takes some practice to change such a state of mind which seems ingrained in humans. And like you said Tim, many people do not and will not understand the idea of entering their days with no expectations.

As time has gone on and with conscious effort, I have learned to replace my expectations with an acceptance of 'que sera sera' and hope. Again I admit the 'que sera sera' approach also takes some practice and I have realised with some frustration and sadness that hope is/can be double edged. It can lead to just as much disappointment as expectations can. But, in spite of such disappointments, I also still realise just how essential hope is. I'm not just talking about hope about living with hiv, I mean hope about anything and/or everything in life. Admittedly some days I struggle - as a recent thread of mine revealed I've been struggling a lot these past few months. But in spite of that I'm still here!

Thanks for your thought provoking post that I totally get.

Often hanging on by my fingernails but nevertheless hanging on!

Melia :)


 
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(,,,_ ,,,)/   (,,,_ ,,,)/ Cats rule!

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Yeia kai hara (health and happiness) to everyone!

Offline Moffie65

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  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2006, 09:50:51 AM »
Thanks for the feedback guys.

In many of your answers, the thought of "planning" comes to mind, just under the surface of this thought train.  I am a hopeless planner, and in my life, there is always a plan, even for the most mundane tasks.  Some of this comes from training, and some from just hopeless traits of being a Capricorn.  I have had to really make every attempt to not mix the two concepts, and when making a plan, I have come to realize that every plan must have a contingency plan, tagged onto the end.  When a good plan works out flawlessly, then I am happy.  When a good plan doesn't work out, I used to butt my head against the wall, and push on to the goal I had set regardless of the ultimate outcome.  Thankfully, age has tempered me a bit, and now when something doesn't work out, I have to ask myself if I was pushing the universe to do something that isn't, or shouldn't be, part of the universal plan.  I know that on occasion, I have been prevented from travel, or going to a meeting, or some other thing that was not an earthshaking situation; and then at the end of the day, or the next day, I will find out that there was some accident on the road, or some catastrophic event that would have possibly placed me right in the middle of it.  So, we never know what might come into play to "steer" us out of the way of sure disaster, but we have to be tuned in to the point that we cannot be disappointed when these things don't go our way.

Expectation is very much a part of planning, but I have found that if one can keep in the back of our minds, that ultimately we are only "along for the ride", then expectations can force us to do things that might bring us into danger and harm. 

I agree also, that this is a very difficult, but rewarding concept to embrace, and for many years my expectations kept driving me to make mistakes that sometimes headed me down a path that would last for years before I realized that I had screwed up way back in '74. 

My point in placing it here is basicly that when living with HIV/AIDS, to do so with any expectations for the future, is a total exercise in futility.  I have seen many threads here and in the "Off Topic" forums, dealing with life dreams, and life goals.  I say, "get the hell off your dead ass and start living those dreams, and start making some of those life goals into "Life Realities"".  After all, there is no place in the life of an HIV+ person to be going to a job they hate, living in a situation that is repulsive, driving a car that is not what you really want, or in fact any other thing that might be "accepting" second best.  If you are in a job you don't like, it will tear at your immune system.  If you live in a place you don't feel comfort, then move damnit.  For those in the United States, there is a whole country that you have the freedom to explore, and find a place that will bring you joy daily.

OK, enough, and thanks so much for reading the jism of my mind.

In Love.
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline Christine

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  • Posts: 1,069
Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2006, 05:59:25 PM »
Moffie,
You always make me think...

I don't live life with expectations either, or at least I try not to. But, I think part of that is my effort to try and protect myself. Meaning, if I don't expect a certain outcome, then I won't suffer the disappointment of not reaching that outcome. And I wonder if that is the best way to live.

That all being said, for me living with hiv has been such an inconsistent event. Some weeks are fabulous, some weeks the highlight of my day is taking a shower. I think that inconsistency is also part of not setting expectations.

Thank you for making me think today! And, having had a bad year with nausea, I hope yours improves. I had a lot of success using Aloxi, it is a drug used mostly for chemo patients. It worked well for me.

Big hugs,
Christine
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 bobik

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    • My worksite
Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2006, 06:55:23 PM »
Hi Moffie,

What a philosophical thread!

I think I can't live without expectations. Without plans and things to look forward to. Expectations inspire me, show me what I am trying to achieve. When after some years of serious illness I got my life back I was afraid of having expectations. Things still could go wrong. But then I found out that I couldn't make any decisions anymore because of that fear. My life slowed down too much. So I decided to go and live as if I am going to be 96 years old. I can handle if an expectation doesn't come true, but sometimes when you want to achieve something you really need to go for it, expect things to happen, believe in it. Planning is rational, expectatons are emotional, and I need the emotion of expectation, of the excitement of hoping for things to happen.

Does this make sense to you?

Big hug for you, Tim!

Coen

Coen Honig at Facebook

Offline zephyr

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    • Zephyr L.T.N.P. Foundation, Inc.
Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2006, 02:04:50 PM »
Dear Tim...

You know I've been contemplating this thread of yours all week, and I though the best place to start was by dragging out my old Webster Dictionary:

expectation: n. The action of expecting, or the state of mind of one who expects; anticipation: expectation of success; to wait in expectation.

2. The state of being expected; preceded by in: a sum of money in expectation.  3. Often plural. A prospect of some good to come.

4.  Something expected or looked forward to.  5.  The degree of probability that some event will occur.



So often in my life, I found myself so busy with 'presumption' and 'supposition' about events. I realized that I was being constantly disappointed!

I think this is your main point with this thread, my friend, tell me if I'm off base.

Now, I'm very much like you, in that I do not 'assign' expectations to people, events or things.  On my bulletin board above my desk, there is a quote pinned for easy view...it says: "WHAT YOU SEEK, YOU WILL ATTRACT", an apt saying that indicates that I am ACTIVE within the process of that which comes to me.

Earlier in your thread, I mentioned a comment that someone passed onto me from a third party. The third party had expressed an expectation of events as they pertained to MY newfound activism in the HIV/AIDS cause: They claimed: "I think Loreen will get disappointed in the end."

My reply was this: "This says volumes about them. In that I no longer take anything personally, I can understand that they had a bad experience with their own efforts, and this is what I am hearing. Their reality does not define my own."

Expectations, whether negative or positive, have a way of jailing us. I equate them with 'assumptions', a thing I believe sets us up for suffering. (This is a different topic!)

These days, I live in the trust and faith department. Everyday comes with an excitement that anything is possible. I try not to 'corral' things too much, and am open to all wonders of the energy of Life.

My best,

Zephyr



"It is character that communicates most eloquently."

Offline Moffie65

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  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2006, 04:33:20 PM »
My God/dess,

It is now back on page one, and three more answers.  I got sidetracked, overhauling my Mobility Scooter for the Montreal trip.  Something of an expectation there, I might say, especially with the current news happening as we correspond.

Christine;  I am glad I was able to inspire thought, and yes, sometimes life isn't so special, and we do have to make every attempt to realize that the shit days will not last.  I know if I feed a negative state of affairs, they certainly stay that way, so that is why it is important to greet the day with thanks, and an optimistic view that it will be better.  I can say that the last real nausea day was the day of this original thread, so that aint too bad from where I sit.  It appears that the nausea has for the most part, finished, and I am adjusting to the Trizivir quite well.

Coen;  I think we both think more alike than you might immagine.  I for one, am very much like you, and it has only been with age, that I have been able to separate the emotion of Expectation from the calculation of Planning.  They do run very much together, but the main reason for the original thought was the prevelance of unguarded Expectation; which inevitably will drive some to keep going in a totally wrong direction for them.  We must all be in touch with our inner spirit in the end, for only then are we able to see when we are missing the "real" goal and spending all our time on a tangent.  It is my ultimate wish that all who are living with HIV will make sure that nothing in their lives is without "quality" for only then will they see the real life that is made for them and them alone.

Zephyr;  Thanks for placing the definition here, I should have done that in the original post, as it would have helped me to clairify.  But then, you know me, and most of what I contribute here is refrenced to life experience, so sometimes I forget good old Webster.  Your las sentence is a doozy and really sums up what is really "living without Expectation".
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline Biggums

  • Member
  • Posts: 199
Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2006, 10:31:44 PM »
Hey Tim,

Another good post.  Unlike some other posts in which I allow myself to get sucked into (totally my fault) yours always challenge me to break out of the box I've been living in, sometimes unsuccessfully for 44 years, and look at things from a fresh viewpoint.  A lot of times what you say pisses me off at first reading but only because it is true.

I can see how unrealistic expectations have taken a toll on me.  When I was younger I would drive out to the mountains, park my car and scream at God for being gay, beggin him to change me.  Then hating him for not doing so.  Or how many times have I fallen in love with straight guys only to know it would end in heartbreak.  Or working suck ass jobs because I thought that is what was expected of me.  The list goes on and is pathetic.

The thing is old buddy, I am afraid I have reached a point where all of these broken dreams and stupid expectations have drained me.  The things I would be focusing on, losing weight, finding inner peace and joy, devoting my life to others who I can help, etc., etc., damn those are the things that are so important yet because I have burned myself so many times, I am almost paralyzed to move forward now.

Don't want any pity because you won't give it anyway, and that's not what I need.  Just keep doing what you are doing and know there's one guy out there at least who desperately needs to hear it.

I'm rambling huh?

I love you Tim.
44 year old gay man .......just broke up with the only man I've ever really loved.

You can love completely without complete understanding.

Offline zephyr

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    • Zephyr L.T.N.P. Foundation, Inc.
Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2006, 11:24:46 PM »
"...I AM ALMOST PARALYZED TO MOVE FORWARD NOW."

Biggums,

My forums brother, I was just where you are a short year ago. I spent ten years in that place, until I found AidsMeds. It didn't appear so on the outside, but, on the inside, that's exactly what it was.

I totally get where you are with this. What you've expressed is stunning in it's honesty.

Sending you <<<HUGS>>> combined with the wish that you find a reservoir of strength you didn't know you had.

 :-*

Zeph

"It is character that communicates most eloquently."

Offline Biggums

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Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2006, 12:11:05 AM »
Thanks Zeph,

I know I am not alone out here but it sure feels like it at times.  Like Tim, I am a planner and I wish at times someone would just give me some bullet points on what I need to do to turn things around.  Maybe I am just tired and burned out or maybe lazy too.  I just am sick of myself and wish things were different.  Thanks for understanding, it really does help.  And the hugs are welcome sis.  I hope to share some triumphs even some small ones with you soon.  Thanks for being an encouragement to me and so many others.
44 year old gay man .......just broke up with the only man I've ever really loved.

You can love completely without complete understanding.

Offline gerry

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  • Joined AM Feb 2003
Re: Great Expectations…
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2006, 12:34:24 AM »
Moffie, thanks for starting this thought-provoking thread.

Zephyr: "These days, I live in the trust and faith department. Everyday comes with an excitement that anything is possible. I try not to 'corral' things too much, and am open to all wonders of the energy of Life."

Thanks for the reminder that it's ok to have faith (not in the religious sense).  I have often wondered how long I was going to be able to tolerate working in underserved communities witnessing one heartbreak after another with the clients that we serve.  I found my second wind after I left my first job of 9 years and moved to an even more challenging community with an unusually high substance abuse (esp meth) rate.  What I took with me with this move was to lower my expectations for results while retaining the same zeal for advocacy, compassion and support when warranted.  What it did was it instantly lessened my burn-out.  I'm probably logging more hours at work (including taking it home) now than at my old job but I am kinda liking the challenges better.  From time to time, I am even gifted with pleasant surprises. 

Case in point, there was this middle-aged heroin user who I saw for a minor problem not related to the drug use.  During the visit, I took a little time to ask him if he was still actively using and he did not deny it.  I just mentioned my usual advice that when he is ready to go into treatment, we could help him with referrals.  At the back of my mind, I wasn't too hopeful.  He came back a month later complaining of back pain.  First thing that came to my mind was he wanted to get some prescription narcotics.  I took a little more time and decided I would need to get an MRI to figure out if his pain was real.  Turned out, he actually popped a disk and needed surgery, which we facilitated for him, including getting temporary medical coverage.  While waiting for his surgery date, he made a move that surprised me.  He started the process of getting himself lined up for a 6-month inpatient drug treatment program which he would do as soon as he was done with surgery.  The surgery went well, the back pain was gone, and he did not ask for any more pain meds other than ibuprofen.  He is scheduled to start inpatient drug treatment in a couple of weeks.  Last time I saw him, he thanked me for listening to him.  I was actually a bit embarrassed because in my mind when I first met him, I really never gave him a chance, I just did not verbalize it.  I even told the nurse, who would have thought that this person might turn out to be one of the few success stories for us?  I was glad to be wrong about him--at least that's what it's looking like.

 


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