Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Out Sick

*cough* *cough* *hack* *hack* how I HATE BEING SICK! Yes...once again...I am sick. This time it's in my sinuses & nasal area, along with that comes a sore & scratchy throat that will eventually end up draining into my lungs. Luckily though...I'm already on antibiotics already for my Prostititus so this is most likely a common cold or sinus issue. Either way...I'm over being sick!!!! I have been sick soooo many times this year that I'm not sure what well is. That what i get for going out when I'm suppose to be taking it easy.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Doing My Part

In 2010 there was an estimated 34 million people living with AIDS! Here in the United States there are an estimated 1.2 million cases & an additional 20% that do not know they are infected. Those numbers are just WAY TO HIGH! I have had personal friends who have lost their lives to the disease and even closer ones that still are dealing with it. Not all were brought on by sex including a dear friend who was infected after needing blood tranfussion.

I have been an advacate of finding a cure to HIV/AIDS for years. I have walked & run for a cure, I have donated in large amounts & done anything to help in curing this nasty disease. Back in 2009 I signed up to be a partispent in a new HIV vaccine. It was a series of injections, LOTS of questions & time traveling to & from plus extra time in the doctor office after each injection. There were so many out there that are scared that the injections would put me in possible contact with the disease...but as usual I plowed through it & can honestly say....I AM PROUD to be part of something that will help my nephews & neices & MANY MANY others.

Well resently there was a big thing on Yahoo & a couple of other sites about it & how the vaccine seems to be working!!! Below is an artical & all about it:

CHICAGO (Reuters) - At an ill-fated press conference in 1984, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler boldly predicted an effective AIDS vaccine would be available within just two years.
But a string of failed attempts - punctuated by a 2007 trial in which a Merck vaccine appeared to make people more vulnerable to infection, not less - cast a shadow over AIDS vaccine research that has taken years to dispel.
A 2009 clinical trial in Thailand was the first to show it was possible to prevent HIV infection in humans. Since then, discoveries have pointed to even more powerful vaccines using HIV-fighting antibodies. Now scientists believe a licensed vaccine is within reach.
"We know the face of the enemy," said Dr. Barton Haynes, of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and recent director of the Center for HIV AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI). The research consortium was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), founded in 2005 by the National Institutes of Health to identify and overcome roadblocks in the design of vaccines for the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS. NIAID's funding of CHAVI ended in June.
Unlike many viruses behind infectious disease, HIV is a moving target, constantly spitting out slightly different versions of itself, with different strains affecting different populations around the world. The virus is especially pernicious since it attacks the immune system, the very mechanism the body needs to fight back.
"The virus is far more crafty than we ever thought," said Haynes, who will outline progress in vaccine research at the International AIDS Society's 2012 conference being held in Washington from July 22-27.
Thanks to drugs that can control the virus for decades, AIDS is no longer a death sentence. New infections have fallen by 21 percent since the peak of the pandemic in 1997 and advances in prevention - through voluntary circumcision programs, prevention of mother-to-child transmission and early treatment - promise to cut that rate even more.
Still, as many as 34 million people are infected with HIV worldwide. And with 2.7 million new infections in 2010 alone, experts say a vaccine is still the best hope for eradicating AIDS.
Teams have been working on a vaccine for nearly three decades, but it wasn't until RV144, the 2009 clinical trial involving more than 16,000 adults in Thailand, that researchers achieved any hint of success.
The test of a combination of two vaccines followed several big failures, including the stunning news that Merck's vaccine may have increased the risk of infection among men who were both uncircumcised and had prior exposure to the virus used in the vaccine.
"It had an extremely chilling effect on the whole field," said Colonel Nelson Michael, director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, which led the RV144 trial.
The Thai study tested Sanofi's ALVAC, a weakened canary pox virus used to sneak three HIV genes into the body, and AIDSVAX, a vaccine originally made by Roche Holding's Genentech that carried an HIV surface protein.
Both vaccines had poor showings in individual trials. Researchers were so convinced the Thai trial would fail that 22 scientists wrote an editorial in Science calling it a waste of money.
Then came the shocker. Results of the study published in 2009 showed the vaccine combination cut HIV infections by 31.2 percent. According to Michael and many other experts, the result was not big enough to be considered effective, but its impact on researchers was huge, says Wayne Koff, chief scientific officer of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) based in New York.
An extensive analysis of the Thai trial published this year in the New England Journal of Medicine offered clues about why some volunteers responded.
The study, led by Haynes, scientists at Walter Reed and 25 other institutions, found men and women who were vaccinated made antibodies to a specific region of the virus's outer coat, suggesting this region provides an important vaccine target.
Preparations are under way for a follow-up trial testing beefed-up versions of the vaccines among heterosexuals in South Africa and men who have sex with men in Thailand.
Once again, the trial will use a Sanofi vaccine, but instead of AIDSVAX, researchers will use a different vaccine candidate with a boosting agent from Novartis.
Michael said it has been a major effort to secure new research partners and funding, including support from host countries, as well as to persuade rivals Novartis and Sanofi to work together. The teams still need to retool the vaccines to work in South Africa, where the strain of HIV is different.
"We're really working as fast as we can," said Michael, who expects large-scale effectiveness studies to start in 2016.
The hope is to have at least 50 percent effectiveness, a level that mathematical modelers say could have a major impact on the epidemic. Michael thinks this might be the pathway for getting the first HIV vaccine licensed, possibly by 2019.
Vaccine experts are equally excited about a vaccine that Michael's team is developing with Harvard University and Johnson & Johnson's Crucell unit, which uses weakened versions of a common cold virus and a smallpox virus.
A study published in February showed this vaccine protected monkeys from a virulent strain of HIV. Animals that did become infected after repeated exposure also had low levels of virus in their blood. Safety studies in human patients are just starting, with large-scale efficacy studies slated for 2016.
The current crop of vaccines is largely designed to train immune system cells known as T-cells to recognize and kill cells already infected with HIV. While these trials progress, scientists are working on even more advanced vaccines that activate powerful antibodies to prevent HIV from infecting cells in the first place. Both would be administered before a person becomes exposed to the virus.
Most modern vaccines use this antibody approach, but HIV's extreme skill at mutating makes it difficult for specifically targeted antibodies to identify and neutralize the virus.
Teams led by Dr. Dennis Burton of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, Dr. Michel Nussenzweig at Rockefeller University in New York, Dr. Gary Nabel of NIAID's Vaccine Research Center, Haynes at Duke and others have focused on rare antibodies made by 10 to 20 percent of people with HIV that can neutralize a broad array of strains.
Researchers think a vaccine that can coax the body into making these antibodies before HIV exposure would offer a powerful foil to many forms of the virus.
Such antibodies seek out and latch on to regions of the virus that are highly "conserved," meaning they are so critical to the virus that they appear in nearly every HIV strain. By attaching to the virus they make it incapable of infecting other cells.
Until 2009, scientists had identified only a few broadly neutralizing antibodies, but in the past few years teams have found dozens.
So far, scientists have isolated the antibodies, identified what part of HIV they target and even know the exact shape they make, Koff said. Researchers are now using this information to design vaccines that prompt the immune system to make them.
"We're not there yet," Nabel said.
NIAID this month said it will spend up to $186 million over the next seven years to fund the Centers for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology & Immunogen Discovery. The new consortium is focused on making vaccines that induce these protective antibodies, with major grants going to Duke and Scripps.
Nabel said no vaccine being tested today "is likely to hit it out of the park," but many researchers do feel advances in broadly neutralizing antibodies are key to developing a highly successful HIV vaccine.
"It's really a new day when we start to think about where we are with AIDS vaccines," Nabel said.
(Editing by Michele Gershberg and Prudence Crowther)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

That Particular Time

My foundation was rocked
My tried and true way to deal was to vanish
My departures were old
I stood in the room shaking in my boots
At that particular time love had challenged me to stay
At that particular moment I knew not run away again
That particular month I was ready to investigate with you
At that particular time

We thought a break would be good
For four months we sat and vacillated
We thought a small time apart would clear up the doubts that were abounding
At that particular time love encouraged me to wait
At that particular moment it helped me to be patient
That particular month we needed time to marinate in what "us" meant
At that particular time

I've always wanted for you what you've wanted for yourself
And yet I wanted to save us high water or hell
And I kept on ignoring the ambivalence you felt
And in the meantime I lost myself
In the meantime....I lost.....myself
I'm sorry I lost myself...........I am

You knew you needed more time
Time spent alone with no distraction
You felt you needed to fly
Solo and high to definewhat you wanted
At that particular time love encouraged me to leave
Aat that particular moment
I knew staying with you meant deserting me
That particular month was harder than you'd believe
But I still left
At that particular time..........................................................AM

Monday, July 9, 2012

Revisiting A Pivital Moment In My Life

Sunday, May 15, 2011...I had worked all day, though it was not a hugely busy day at The Grand Floridian but I still put in my full 8+ hours. After getting home, my love & I decided to go out to a local bar to hang with a few of our friends. My love had a nice day off so he offered to drive us to the bar. We're traveling down the freeway at 65 mph, music was on & happened to be new album just purchased. The next set of events happened in seconds & yet in my mind, it was a ten minute slow motion live action horror movie.

-My honey was talking about a particular track on the cd as I looked out the window, looking up I thought to myself, "man, that's a bright moon".
-The road starts to curve left & yet the car continues forward, just then we are driving on the divots on the side of the road that let you know that you're not on it.
-I look over & see my honey completely slumped over in the seat.
-Looking strait ahead I see the on ramp coming up on the right, headlights speeding up to get on the freeway & a sever drop off on the other side of it.
-I grab the steering wheel to try to keep us from hitting the guard rail & move us away from upcoming traffic
-We hit the guard rail on the right which threw us left.
-All this while yelling "WAKE UP!"
-Next thing I see is a beige cement wall with headlight shinning at it as we HIT the wall
-I see nothing for a moment
-Now I see us bouncing off the wall & back into it
-Bounce off the wall again & back into it again
-Bouncing a 3rd time against the wall but scrapping along it until we stopped

At this moment, I looked around me briefly, checking for any oncoming traffic that may be hitting us....none.... I take a HUGE breath throwing my head back into the seat, held it...& exhaled! Then after a brief moment, I looked to my baby who was by now starting to look around & asking, "'what happened"? The windows were all smashed up, airbags (thankfully) deployed, radio from the dashboard in my honey's lap. Upon our senses coming back to reality, I realized that my watch was now halfway up my arm & I could tell that it was broken just by looking at it. The car started to fill with a little smoke & upon seeing my honey's head bleeding tremendous amounts of blood, for the first time felt queasy & had to open a door for fresh air. My poor baby had NO idea what had happened & no one was stopping to help us out. Since I had my seat laid back, I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket & called 911, telling them exactly what had happened & where we were. My honey & I are now fully conversing, going over what happened, if we were ok, etc.

I helped keep my baby calm while the ambulance arrived. They asked me for some of my information & upon asking my honey the year, it escaped his mind. He could not remember the year but instead answered the same question twice with a year 2 years before he was even born. Immediately we knew he had suffered a concussion or possible something worse like a stroke. We then were separated as I was taken out of the car. I found then that I could not get out of the car on my own as I had splitting pains in my right side lower abdominal area & I couldn't move my left foot at all.

Now, at the accident scene I was given a huge shot of morphine to relieve the pain that I was in or so that I was told I was in. As I'm laying on the stretcher, I was answering all the medics & police questions. At the accident scene I must have seen 15 meds/police & talked to more then half of them. I was then told that both my left wrist & left ankle were broken & I was not to attempt to move them anymore & got to have pants partly cut off me. They also cut my t-shirt off which just happened to be a vintage t-shirt given to me from my baby that he wore back in the day & it was my 1st time wearing it out. All along I'm asking them how my baby was. As I'm taken to the ambulance I see some of the medics working on my baby who was on a stretcher by then himself.

I remember the ride to the hospital as the inside was lite in a soft white-blue light, it was cold & I had them get me a blanket. I also remember being told that we were not going to be turning on the siren as my injuries appear to be not life threatening. While in transit to the hospital, was asking the medics if the hospital we were going to was part of my PPO network & if the ambulance was as well. The med next to me asked if I was a fireman or cop because I was WAY to coherent then I should be.  I also remember going across the railroad tracks & thinking "Jesus...that sucked!" (as in going fast over railroad tracts while strapped to a board with a neck brace on....not a nice jolt).

After arriving at the hospital, I am rolled into the emergency room & doctors & nurses are coming out of the wood works to see me & say over & over again..."Yep, that's a broken wrist & ankle"...Now, remember that I'm in those nasty hard plastic neck brace & strapped to board...all that I can see is the white ceilings with the little black dots in them, overhead florescent lights, & heads. Heads of all shapes & sizes...all looking at me & agreeing on the fact that I'm broken.

I'm then taken into a small room were I'm moved to the bed & given more drugs to help with the pain. For the next hour I'm bombarded with doctors & nurses coming in, answer questions, lifting this, wiggling that, & me being ME kept asking them about the PPO status of the hospital & asking any doctor not part of the network to not see me. This goes on for 3 hours. During which I have been unable to contact anyone I know. Each time I try to call, no signal & no one was able to get me a phone to call out on. It wasn't until the hospital Chaplin came in & she got me a phone that worked. Unfortunately I remembered my sister being out of town & being still fairly new to the area & coupled with the fact that my phone was new....I only had one number memorized to call...MOM...back in AZ where she could do very little. But she took all the info & got a hold of my sister.

During this WHOLE TIME....I'm asking anyone & EVERYONE about my baby...how was he, is he ok, can I see him, whats going on....ALL to no avail. All I'm being told by those few that would answer me was, "Your not immediate family, even if you are his domestic partner," I remember at one point while tears are streaming down my face...I asked the Chaplin the same thing a 3rd time....she looked around the room, back at me...eye to eye & with a small smile nodded a YES! Then luckily our friend Dougie came in the room who the Chaplin had been able to contact. He then filled me in on my baby while trying to keep anything from sounding to horrific. I was just so thankful that he was alive & going to be ok!

For the next several hours I was taken from this place to this place, be it x-rays or scans or whatever, saw 40 or so doctors, 100+ nurses. After finding out about my baby's health, all I wanted was to get off the stupid backboard!!! I was in more pain from that then the injuries from the accident. I say that with true convictions as once I was cleared to be off the board & the neck piece removed...I actually felt a TON better! At this time I'd like to remind you that I've now been put on several injections of pain meds including a pain med that is supposed to have put me into a state of amnesia to help the mind forget or not remember the pain. I remember the whole thing! I felt the pain in my body...not once during this entire time did I ever lose conscience & though the meds were working, I never was fully out of pain. To the point that several doctors & nurses where extremely surprised by how alert & easy going I was. Some even asked if a doctor or military expert as few can stay conscience all the meds that I was on.

Around 7ish in the morning, a new group of nurses came in with a doctor, looked again at my wrist & ankle, left, then the nurses returned & advised me they were going to reset my wrist. I then had a numbing pain killer injected into the area of the bones to be set, which hurts like a bitch, then 1, 2, 3...CRACK/CRUNCH/POP/SNAP & GRIND...my wrist is back in place. Now...this was the FIRST time I felt true pain since the entire accident happened. I mean coming strait up off the bed taking 2 or 3 nurses with me...PAIN!!! Then shortly after the setting of my wrist, a nurse team came in & advised that I'm now off to have my ankle & wrist surgery at which time I DEMANDED that I see my baby before I'd allow ANYONE to put me under. They scrambled around for a few moments, then wheeled me out of my room & over a few doors to where my baby was. His doctors where finishing up putting a metal halo on him for a fractured neck vertebrae & we couldn't sit up to be with each other but we were able to clasp finger tips together. He was pretty heavily sedated but we talked for a few brief moments assuring each other that we were going to be just fine & with a last I love you...was whisked out the door. I remember looking up at the female nurse taking me to the operating room, seeing the white tiles with little black dots...taking a HUGE sigh & then just simply passed out!!!

I awoke later that day in my own private recovery room, cast & bandaged up. My orthopedic doctor came in & advised me on all my injuries & what he had done. Apparently the ankle was totally shattered! Even to the point that he couldn't get all the bone pieces out but he got most, then put the ankle back together with 6 screws, 2 pins & a metal plate. My wrist was also shattered but not nearly like my ankle, only 5 screws & a plate. I also had been bruised up quit a bit but nothing more serious. I then found out that our estimated speed when slamming into the wall was 75 mph because once my honey passed out, his foot just when strait down on the gas pedal. EVERY single doctor & nurse kept telling me how lucky we were to have lived through that...unfortunately the car did not & is now in automobile heaven. The doctors were running lots of test on my honey trying to find out what made him pass out. As of a year later, the only thing we know is that it was possibly caused by the double blood pressure meds that he was put on just 36 hrs prior to the accident. We also don't really drink but once in a blue moon & nothing else came up in his blood. I also learned that I work extremely well under huge amounts of stress & in times of crisis. I also learned that pain meds, no matter how extreme they are, don't stop my memory or cause me to sleep, they just ease the pain levels.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Life & The Complications That Follow It

Here is my current life & the complications that follow....oh, I already labeled the blog that, so now I'm just restating the obvious....OR....am I making a bigger point....

We already know about my ankle & all its issues...so just 13 months later I fall about 5" landing square down on that leg, hyper extending the knee, riping muscles & tendons, bruises up & down my leg, nothing broken but more pain in that ankle....Doctor puts me on pain meds....leg/ankle hurts less but can't concentrate or drive as my eyes feel like the way Cookie Monsters look....my stomach slows down as well from side effects of the meds....can't lose weight while ankle/leg hurts & also can't be running while on pain meds....need to be eating healthier to counter that....found out my body can't process Oxalate....Oxalate is found heavily in food rich in antioxidants like berries & fruit, all green vegetables, tea & even peanuts....can't eat regular tree nuts as I'm allergic to them, so switch to yogurt....I'm currently on antibiotics for Prostitius for the next 3-6 months & can't take them with milk products.....while on them, I'm also not allowed to be exposed to very much sunlight as it causes the skin to burn 50% faster....end result.....
get fat eating Twinkies while sitting on the couch numbingly engaged watching Spongebob!