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Author Topic: The Fixin' Not to Die Blues, a.k.a. Noli carpere diem!  (Read 3314 times)

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Offline pch1013

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The Fixin' Not to Die Blues, a.k.a. Noli carpere diem!
« on: May 15, 2012, 02:37:08 PM »
My story in brief, since I'm fairly new here: I seroconverted at the age of 24, which was 23 years ago. At the time I was vaguely thinking about going to graduate school, but testing poz in 1989 led me to decide that it would probably be a big waste of time and money.

Throughout the ensuing decades, I have tended to live beyond my means; some expenses (medical ones especially, both mine and partners') were beyond my control, but most were not.  Even after the cocktails came along in 1996, I still gave in to my desires to travel, see, do, eat, and experience things that my limited income should have prevented me from doing. Hence "noli carpere diem" -- do not sieze the day! Not if it'll cost more than you can afford!

Having seized a bunch of those days, I'm now 47, dead broke, and deep in debt. I'm struggling to pay it off, but at the current rate it'll take another 15 years -- and forget about a 401(k). I'm stuck in a job that barely pays enough to meet my needs, with no prospect of upward mobility, both due to my age and my lack of marketable skills -- which I can't remedy through education, because of all my pre-existing debt.

I'm more or less resigned to my fate, and I'm incredibly grateful to have been spared any serious adverse health effects from HIV or the meds -- so far. But I just thought I'd see who else out there is in the same boat, so we can commiserate and perhaps chant some incantations against the big banks. :)
12/1/89 - officially HIV+
early 1990s - treated with AZT
1996–2002 - Sustiva + Zerit + Epivir
Nov. 2008–08 May 2012 - Norvir + Reyataz + Truvada
08 May 2012–present - Norvir + Reyataz + Isentress + Selzentry

Proud member of SFGMC
AIDS LifeCycle 11 Rider #1154

Offline Jeff G

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Re: The Fixin' Not to Die Blues, a.k.a. Noli carpere diem!
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 03:06:33 PM »
I can see myself in your post . I think one thing to remember for some of us LTS is not to be too hard on ourselves . Many of us were told we were going to die very young and we believed it so we did the best we could and tried to live life to the fullest .

I managed to travel and do some pretty cool stuff when I was under employed and living life like there was no tomorrow . I was only making enough to get by and enough left over that I could do some fun things if I planned for it , I thought why deprive myself .

I wish there was something more to say to help you but I do know how how you are feeling . 
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Offline deibster

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Re: The Fixin' Not to Die Blues, a.k.a. Noli carpere diem!
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2012, 01:00:21 AM »
Hi PCH, I don't know what field you work in or I might be able to help more. Have you tried an adult education program at the local schools or library to increase your skills? If you are computer savvy you can learn things like QuickBooks Pro, or graphic design, photo shop, which might enable you to earn extra money. You might be able to get seasonal work at a tax place like H&R BLock; I believe they provide training to their employees. Are there any counselors or occupational counselors at the SFGMC? If you give us more info about you & your experiences, skills, we can come up with more ideas.
I'm glad you're not having health problems. I have bad lipodystrophy from Zerit; the skin on my shins & forearms tears easily & then gets infected. Best of luck for the future, deibster
Poz since Dec 1992. Meds since 1995. Disability since 2005. Constantly fighting the Lipodystrophy 'beer gut.'

Prezista/Norvir, Epzicom, Cytomel, Prevacid, Coumadin, pravastatin, Fenofibrate, Remeron, Zoloft, Concerta, Flomax, Allegra180, Nasacort, Centrum, Flax Oil, Fish Oil

Offline wolfter

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Re: The Fixin' Not to Die Blues, a.k.a. Noli carpere diem!
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2012, 04:52:26 AM »
I think there are many of us who took this same approach to life.  Being dianosed in the 80's at a young age skewed our world views.  At a time when we should be making life choices, we were told to accept death.  I intended, and did, live to the fullest and absolutely don't regret it.  That was our reality at the time.

I was fortunate that completing college was a goal and I was determined to do it quickly and have returned a couple of times since to further my education.  Is there a chance you can meet with a career counselor at a local community college?  There has to be a way to increase your skills.  It might not be an easy road, but I think we've worked through worse.

I have been on disability for the last couple of years and am currently looking to go back to work.  We'll see how that goes in the current job market. 

Best of Luck
Being honest is not wronging others, continuing the dishonesty is.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: The Fixin' Not to Die Blues, a.k.a. Noli carpere diem!
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2012, 08:31:38 AM »
I've been on disability now for a fucking decade. In fact, with my current podiatry problems I'm even more disabled than I was when I first applied. The only good thing, if in fact one can view it as good, is that I was able to rid myself of the debt I had accrued in the 90's post-diagnosis/depression related over-spending by filing for bankruptcy when I went on SSDI. I went from 4-day jaunts to London to using food stamps overnight -- horribly depressing to say the least.

But I slowly adjusted to my bare bones existence and now scrape by with what I have. Once my foot stuff is more or less resolved in the next six months (I'm having surgery again in a couple weeks) I am considering taking some art classes. But for now all I do is go to doctor's -- I think when I went over my calendar from the past 12 months I tallied around 70 medical appointments, that includes all of the physical therapy sessions I had so the number is large, and three surgeries within a span of eight months.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline denb45

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Re: The Fixin' Not to Die Blues, a.k.a. Noli carpere diem!
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2012, 01:27:50 PM »
if I'm not mistaken POZ MAG had a article on this way back in the late 90's and early 2000s called "The Lazarus Syndrome"
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline bear60

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Re: The Fixin' Not to Die Blues, a.k.a. Noli carpere diem!
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2012, 04:38:55 PM »
Even tho David may miss his extravagant jet set lifestyle, he still lives pretty well.  And even tho living on a fixed income is not easy, its better than no income at all.
My partner has been on social security disability since 1995. ( I totally freaked out when he said he couldnt work anymore.)  But it was his DOCTOR who was responsible for his getting on disability. This application process cannot be done without the support of a doctor who signs the forms.  An individual cant just apply and get social security disability.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia


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