Over thirty years of experience and it’s a schoolboy error that delays my day!

With a hospital appointment clashing with the funeral of a friend, today was not the day for further delays to happen during a routine appointment at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Sadly, a simple schoolboy error ended up winding me up. At least I don’t have to return for six months… Continue reading Over thirty years of experience and it’s a schoolboy error that delays my day!

Perhaps the Electronic Care Record can help us stop brushing HIV under the carpet in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is not that large, yet we have had many, many different systems for record-keeping within the Health & Social Care system. Historically, each hospital had slightly differing forms, and of course each hospital had its own number for you as well as a record of your health while there. To me, in a country the size of Northern Ireland this is sheer madness. It could be that one consultant in one hospital did not know what another consultant in another hospital was prescribing, or even what he thought was wrong with you. All this seems set to change, … Continue reading Perhaps the Electronic Care Record can help us stop brushing HIV under the carpet in Northern Ireland

My hearing…

For years I have suggested to my mother that, when she complains that she cannot hear something, she should perhaps get a hearing aid. However, a friend who grew up two houses to the north of us, this evening posted on Facebook that he had just had his ears irrigated. Before this evening, I had no idea that such a procedure could be carried out. However, where it impacts my life, is that I have noticed that I have to have the television turned up higher to hear it; and I have difficulty hearing people when speaking to me on the telephone. I think that I … Continue reading My hearing…

Relationships…

I am very lucky, I share a relationship – nay a marriage — with Andrew. I know that we both could not survive and would not be where we are if it were not for the other. Surfing the Internet this evening, I came across the following quotation. “Don’t let someone become a priority in your life, when you are just an option in theirs. Relationships are best when they are balanced.” I do not know who said it. If anyone does, please let me know. What I do know is that it is very, very true. Thank you Andrew … Continue reading Relationships…

Stand tall: get snapped – photographic exhibition in Glasgow

Looks like there is going to be a great exhibition in Glasgow from 14 June 2013 until 13 July. Photographer Edo Zollo presents a photographic portrait exhibition of 30 HIV+ people. Inspired by his own experience of taking PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) after potential exposure to the HIV virus, the intense feelings aroused and the unpleasant side effects of this medication, Edo was prompted to explore what it must be like to actually have a positive HIV diagnosis. Determined to expose the still widely held misconceptions about the virus, and to offer affected individuals the opportunity to share their experiences, … Continue reading Stand tall: get snapped – photographic exhibition in Glasgow

And he’s home

This morning Andrew was let out of hospital, and with the help of a friend, Pam, we were able to get him home easily enough. Many thanks to the staff at the Ulster Hospital, especially the student nurse, Aoife, who seemed to take great care of him when he was in Ward 10. Last night was an awful one for me. I slept really, really badly. I kept waking up, realising Andrew wasn’t in bed, and starting to have a panic attack. At one point I thought that I was going to have to call the out-of-hours GP service as … Continue reading And he’s home

Reversing roles can bring you closer together

This evening I am off up to the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, to visit my husband Andrew who today had an operation. Hopefully, it has done what was needed and he will no longer have a gall bladder. It has been causing him no end of pain since August 2012. It’s quite the role reversal for the two of us: me visiting him in hospital and not the other way about. For nearly all of our life together it has been me that has been the one who has needed much care and attention. Now, I get to give back some … Continue reading Reversing roles can bring you closer together

The tables have turned…

Up until recently it has been me being the unwell one in my marriage. However, since December and much more so in the last few weeks it has been Andrew. Like me, you would not know just from looking at him what is wrong. And for a while I even doubted that there was something physically wrong with him. But today we got word that he, touch wood, will be going into the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald to have his gall bladder removed. As many of us living with HIV know, it can be very frustrating to say that you are … Continue reading The tables have turned…

Guest blog: HIV Contraction Risk Higher in Female Drug Users

Gay males are often cruelly stigmatised in the media’s portrayal of HIV, and it is a common misconception that the disease is more likely to be transmitted between men. In reality, both men and women are at risk of contracting the disease and injective drugs continue to pose a risk to those that use them. Arguably, the media tends to associate HIV more with men, but the truth is that globally the number of women suffering from HIV equalled that of men more than a decade ago. In the UK, that figure is slightly less; three in ten HIV sufferers are female. … Continue reading Guest blog: HIV Contraction Risk Higher in Female Drug Users