Like gambling. You can never be sure of the outcome. You can only hope for the best. Even if the odds are 50-50, you are not exactly safe and most probbaly the bank will win because it is bigger and smarter than you.  Otherwise, people would hava made a living through gambling, if they cna turn a 50-50 odds to their favour. Similarly in my situation, it was just a 50-50 scenario. Although the doctors said earlier the result at 3 months is 99.9 percent accurate. Still there is a 0.1 percent chance, that is why they encourage people to do another test six months later to be ultimately sure. But this 0.1 per cent right this moment looks more like 50-50.  you just never know. Because not it is beyond human interpretation or dialogue. the blood has been drawn, and put to the test. The result will only come from the antibodi test which is a scientific process and not based on opinions.  So  it was still a 50-50 scenario to me. Even if i don’t show any symptoms currently, but the road  that led me here was full of clues and suspicious, so how can I be 100 percent certain.  There is absolutely no certainty, but one thing is for sure. Whatever results i get tomorrow – good or bad, is final, becasue it has been more than six mnths, in fact it is nearly a year sicne my exposure. There is no window period for me to rest on.. whatever I hear will be the final answer. brace yourself for it. This is the ultimate moment.  50-50, if it is a life and death situation still matters a great deal.  i jsut need to go a long, face the facts and find out.

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That night i didn’t go to sleep immediately. I woke up about 4am in the morning fiddling with my computer. I search the internet on a variety of topix. And i came across an interesting report.  I didn’t know how I got there… but there was a British scientist who cracked the genome code, and found God. In fact he was so inspired by his findings that he has decided to write a book that God exists.  One of the points he brought up was when you unfold a book with three billion instructions, you can’t help but marvel at the creator and his  intended purpose for his creation. He also talked about the theory of evolution, that if God sees fit to create the world the way it is, and have humans evolved to the way they are… that doesn’t make it a lesser act of creation. The was also a pay per click link to a Christian website which urge readers to say the sinners prayer and accept christ. It is about sharing the gospel through the internet.  And there was also a video of a pastor giving encouragement and praying along.  Although it was a small video, the pastor’s face look luminiscent, and was full of hope.  I watched the video for a few seconds. My dial-up modem could not take the bandwith. so I got stuck in the few opening sentence that God loves us and gave his only begotton Son Jesus Christ to die for us on the cross.  Again I felt peaceful, and I wondered is this God’s way of reaching out to me through the internet. To have a communication with Him, before tomorrow comes. Anything can happen, and it is all beyond my control. Am I prepared to go through with it, one more time?

 

 

tonight is the day before tomorrow.  If this is the last day of your life what would you do? If you know that your life will never be the same again tomorrow what would you do? It is hard to imagine. But it rang hollow because I didn’t have an answer, eventhough I wasn’t particularly anxious or worried. I  had a late dinner. i went to McDonalds and packed a fillet-o-fish and  fried chicken. I haven’t had fast food for a long while. So for a change, I decided to indulge. So is it enough to sit and have food alone by myself in the cozy restaurant. Not quite, i figured, why be boring, why not kill two birds with one one.  Why not head to the cinemas and catch the midnight show and have my meal there at the same time? So I did.I read the new movie Street kings starrin Keanu Reeves was good.  So I packed the food, and rushed home – to the cineplex near my house. Fortunately I was in time to catch the show which just started, as I eagerly  munching my food. It was a so-so picture…  but I was satisfied that I got what i wanted. On my way home, I kinda remidn myself what if today is the last day. What if my result is positive tomorrow and everything changes. Will I still be feeling this way. If my result is positive, how will I able to work, how will I feel if I watch another movie. How will I feel about everything else. I am sure my life would change.  And I realised I may not look at life the same way again.  i may cross this path but it woudl be a different expereince if i am HIV positive. Getting the disease is like being branded for life. And knowing the outcome that will turn from bad to worst, what is left for me to look forward to? I can’t even be neutral about it.  I realised that life has to happen no matter what… and it will follow the course that has been chosen for good or bad. Both ways, I realised that I will have to make the most of my life… whether i got little time left,  or a lot more time. But for tonight, I will just enjoy my food and the movie. 

 

It is now 9.24pm. Thursday. I am still sittin in my office. Tomorrow is the day for me to get my second blood test result. As I am writing this, I can see a lesion on cusp of my left hand between my forefinger and thumb.  the wond is healing, just like others this too appeared suddently but takes days to disappear. I looked closely at my skin, there seem to be some discoloured patches. Maculo-papulo rash?  I dunno. The past few months, there have been strange rashes on my body. I took some pictures of it, which I showed to the doctor couple of days ago, which he said was non-specific  symptoms. then  the scars on my face got me scared. In fact jus a few days ago after seeing the doctor, I went home, did some check on Mayo Clinic, and I was certain, it was carcinoma – a kind of skin cancer due to immuno-suppresed state. In fact I was so worried I called all the emergency room at three or four medical centres around town, hoping to speak to a doctor about it. That night, I applied a lot of scar cream – gel like cream on the wounds on my face. When I run my finger on those bumps, it was worrisome indeed, they felt hard. and refuse to go.  ANyway in the morning the scar suprisingly subsided. When I washed my face, it seemed to have shrunk. and the blackened skin peeled off.  Well, this is another miracle. I went to my office clinic to see the doctor. I said I have only one question to ask you.. are the spots on my face cancerous? He answered you mean: “Squamous Cell Carcinoma?” I said yes, i was surprised he knew before I asked. He said no. And went on to illustrate to me how a SCC would look like. Another huge relief. Just a couple of hours ago.  Ifelt like a joke. The HIV doctor asked me to do another blood test when the answer has been confirmed.  In my heart I said the doctor knew but why didn’t he tell me? Well there have been many many panic buttons pressed during this entire episodes, and there were many many false alarms as well.  Whatever it was, I sweared I have felt like Dead Man Walking. However, right this moment, I feel fine.  I don’t know if that is a good way to feel, or a good thing to be. Afterall I am not officially cleared until the second blood test… which results I will get tomorrow. finally. A dreaded finally. The doctor is confident that everything is OK. He said whatever happened then at my last blood test results proves that I have been cleared. And he doesn’t doubt it. Well and good. Extra boost of confidence. But I reckon you cannot prepare for something good. You can only prepare for something bad. If everything is fine, I have nothing to prepare for.  I can only prepare for the worst. Will I set my outlook for the worst case scenario then. The What If? for some strange chance…  In fact looking back, I was extremely pleased with myself for being brave to do it the first round. when all the symptoms were there. With the advent of modern medication, doctors said the three months result is more than absolute.  Well today is not jsut another day. Today is the day before tomorrow. The outcome which will change my life forever.

How shall I feel, think, value and react to it.

God be with me, and help me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After about eight months since my last posting, and my last blood test, i went back to see the same doctor again for my second blood test today. Over the past weeks I noticed there were some sores, like acne marks on my face  that refuses to go away.

They were there for months, and when I touched it, it felt dry and flaky, yet it won’t peel. And sometimes I tried to peel it with my fingers but it doesn’t go away.  Now there are even more scars on my face.

 I went to see a local doctor and she gave me some antibiotic cream, but it didn’t help. Also i started scratching it, hoping it may peel off, but no, new one start emerging, and the have the same stubborn skin and texture as the original. I checked the internet for a name to call it, and I foudn the term cutaneous lesions which is one of the early symptoms of the disease. I got panic. 

never before have I felt so helpless, and sorry, than to read about the new synmptoms.  I went home, couldn’t sleep. Lied on my bed.  Refused to let it go, and checked the internet again wanting to confirm what is cutaneous lesion. 

 Then I found the answer. It is not just about the dry flaky skin, it isa general term for all kinds of skin diseases.  I don’t know whether to take comfort in that, as the past few weeks and months I have noticed rare bums and rashes on my torso and limbs. They come and go, but for sure they are not insect bites.

Not much, but an occassional red dot here and there to remind me that something is alive beneath the skin, and traying to get out.  i was just in an observing mode. wait and see if anything more serious would crop out until saw the scars on my face that didn’t go away.

I remembered going to see the pharmacist months ago, and they even gave me some strong medicine, but the wounds are still there. That means these lesions are more stubborn than the usual ones. Other than the usual spate of rashes, my health was relatively normal, although my tongue turn yellow from time to time.

I jsut want to say that all these symnptoms were not there in my past life… I mean I never saw or experienced these symptoms before.  And also in the past weeks, I noticed things I usually don’ – messages about life and death, as though my subconscious was trying to communicate with me, and give me a signal. It is one of thsoe thinsg I want to put behind.

And I realise there could be 1001 symptoms pointingt o the disease. just google search anything with hiv, and you will find thousands of related or unrelated articles.  So this unrest will continue until I have actully confront it. I know it ain’t over till it’s over until I get another test after the six months mark. And now is nearly a year after. 

With so many things coming up in my life… I cannot afford to second guess my health. Really.  I thought if I cna find negative thigs on the internet about HIV, I reckon I could also find soemthing positive. So I search under differing keywords like the accurarcy of HIV test until I come across an article that says with the advancement of technology today, a blood test done in three months is virtually 100 per cent accurate, which means to say, after my blood test resutl came out negative in August, I shoudln’t be worried. 

In fact nowadays, three weeks is enough to give you the results, not three months. Resting on that assurance, I decided to go get my second blood test today. I really can’t tell… should I follow my feelings, my gut instinct, or my mind.  You know the truth is the results can swing both ways because i have had my share of scary unexplainable symptoms. Furthermore due to my increased body weight, the chances are,  more fat in my body could trigger more lesions. In fact there was a tingling sensation on my feet a couple of weeks back, while walking around the office. 

This is another symptom of the disease actually, which I have never experienced before. But like the doctor said these are non-specific symptoms.  I dunno what to think anymore… I have been through the mill. I have had my roller coaster ride. I have my assurance -the three month blood test was negative. 

But this is not a picnic, whatever result I get would be life changing.  But inevitable. It is not something that I can hide or run away with.  All I know is to choose and do the best with whatever opportunities and outcome I have in life.  

But unlike my previous test which is still within the window period, this one is for certain. This one is for real.  It’s been more than a year.  The doctor said it is time to close this chapter…  

 Please pray for me.

 

 

Jonah,
I haven’t heard from you. How are you? Write me and let me know what God is doing in and through you.
Expecting good reports,
In Him,
Richard
——————————————

Hi Richard.
I am back. Thanks for your e-mails. For the past month I have been lying low. I guess to recuperate from the stress I went though. Immediately after the blood test, i stopped taking all the medication and vitamins i was on. I just wanted to stay clear from all the signs and symptoms related to the disease. I stopped surfing the internet for details. I monitored myself to see whether there is any physical improvement than before and how I feel generally – my yellow tongue is still there. I felt fatigue several weeks ago, but my health is generally stable and improving, although I am overweight at the moment. My bowel movements is improving too. So you can say I am in the “wait and see” mode. As I try to put the past behind, it doesn’t mean I forgot the breakthrough that I have experienced, and my gratefulness to God delivering me from this bondage, although it seemed like a lifetime ago, the events that happened a month ago. I just try to put it behind me, while gaining my composure. One of the most important question a sister asked me was how would I live my life differently if I did not get the disease. It was a joyful question with many golden possibilities. Right then, I knew how I would live my life. Basically I will be all I can be, and allow myself to climb higher than before, to be a shining example and a contribution to others. But actually my answer was simpler than that. I said I want to allow myself to be happy. I believe the sky is the limit if I am well and I can live my life normally again. I guess most people are stopped in their minds when they think too much and focus on their limitations, but when you are delivered from death, basically there is no stopping you now. What can be worst than a death sentence, and what greater joy than to be delivered from it. Deep inside I will not forget what happen. now the path is widened for me and I can see the horizon in the end. It is time to get up and go. To be a testimony and to bring the message across that I have been healed. I remembered the dramatic events that led to my blood test. some of the postings I have yet to write. I want to compile all these and turn it into a book. And when the momentum is there… there is no turning back but to go, go, go. At the moment I am very much alive and grateful. The whole episode has been a humbling experience for me, that I do not just live for myself, and think for myself, and live my life as a means to an end, but also to be aware of my spiritual life and my relationship with God which needs to be built, and my responsibility unto others, and even myself. There is a need to seize the day, to push myself to greater limits and to make the best of what God has given to me so that I do not live in vain, and squander all my opportunities. Instead I must be productive and multiply the talents that God has given me. I am still in the healing process, not only physically, but mentally and emotinally to be a complete human being. I need to pick myself up wherever I am and just go the distance with the life God has given me, now and forever, so that my life may never be the same again, and I may be a blessing unto others and to glorify His name. Amen.

Dear friends,  thank you for your support and prayers and for sharing Jonah’s Journey with me these past couple of months. Richard i got your e-mails. Thank you for keeping in touch and keeping me in your prayers. God bless you ! One month has passed since my last post, and it seemd like a lifetime since the D-DAY of my blood test result, which is possibly the most traumatic life changing experience I have been through. Looking back I didn’t know how I have surpassed the chasm, coped and survived through the journey alone. Maybe I was not alone. I went through the whole process on a wing and a prayer with only a possible deliverance by God. My anxiety grew each day, until it hit the peak. Well though I was overjoyed and happy the blood test came out negative, my stress level was really high thoughout the ordeal, and I decided to just switch off and take time off to rest, recuperate and celebrate inwardly.  As I told a friend, figuratively I was still “lying in bed” . But the lessons learnt will remain with me forever. The great realisation is how precious life is when you are strong and healthy and where anything is possible. Nobody should be a captive of sin and diseases when we acknowledge God and put God First in our lives.  You could say my life in the past has always hit a dead end because i always saw my troubles and limitations which I was wrestling with for many years. But now i realised these imaginary troubles are nothing compared to the serious question of life and death. Now all my doubts and fears, my anxieties and procrastinations have been “nuked” by the mother of all fears, which is death itself. Now I can only look back and be grateful that I have a second chance to live. And to be plucked out from the jaws of death. I know from now on my life will never be the same again.
A seed has been planted in my heart which will grow into a big, strong, tall tree which bears much fruits… and I will live my life to the fullest – to be answerable only to God and to fulfill His
plan for my life – to fight a good fight, to finish the race and to keep the faith.
A lifetime have passed since plight, and I am trying to celebrate each day and each moment the best I can. here are some highlights in the past, which I am still adding to my list: meeting up with friends, attend cell group meetings on Fridays,  join a new church,  attended  Bernard Blessings worship service,  went for  the “opening ceremony” of a new church  called the Dream Centre, sat next to a 91-year-old man and  appreciate life more, with respect for the elderly, witnessed the National Day parade, enjoyed the grand finale of the international fireworks competition,   went back to my hometown to visit my mum and sisters for the first time in three months,  cut my hair,  saw  a friend who went for an operation to remove a kidney tumor, found new friends online with facebook.com, and on Tuesday my dominant boss for the past three years has finally announced she is resigning.  Yippee. Unbelievable but true. 

posting by Richard Peralta on THE WORD ON THE STREETS blog at http://rjperalta.wordpress.com/

Our brother is healed !
August 13th, 2007

Jonah, our brother at “Jonah’s Journey” has been battling the symptoms of HIV for three months now. Yesterday he received his final testing, and Praise God he Is NOT POSITIVE. Praise God he has been healed by the blood of Jesus! Our brother is a living testimony.

I woke up on Friday — the sun was still shining, but it was as good as the last day of my life. I knew then that my life will never be the same way again after today, as i go to the hospiral to find out the result of my HIV blood test.

The results after 3 months is 99.9 percent conclusive said the specialist.

And August 10 marks three months and five days after my exposure.

A good friend who just returned frm overseas called. I can see her name flashing on my handphone but I did not answer. I would love to speak to her, but I couldn’t. this is the day.

So I left my house. I went for breakfast, which I tried to take nice and slow…

“there is no need to rush,” I said to myself. Whatever is there is there already, there is no running away from it. The only thing is to prepare myself to come to terms with it, which is the hardest thing to do.

After paying for breakfast, i walked out the coffeeshop, and I looked around at others sitting there having their food. I  try to feel what they feel, and in my heart i wondered if they appreciate the life that they still have, and how fortunate they are if they have not contracted a terminal disease as mine was about to be “snatched” away. I figured for anybody who is still alive, and whose health is intact… there is no excuse and they  can achieve anything they

set their mind to, and it is a sheer waste if they think otherwise.

Nevertheless I try not to think of the worst case scenario…  of things falling apart when I am faced with the answer.

As I drove away from the coffeeshop, I felt my tongue was stinging. I realised the yellow tongue had started developing ulcers on the edges. What bad news. Even on the last day, I was not spared.

The disease is chasing me to the doorstep, even as reality sets in.  

it was 11.30am by now. My appointment card says 8.30am. but it doesn’t really matter.
Taking a bit time off on “the last day” of my life, is something I am deserving of. But as I drove my car into the adjacent road – the last stretch that leads to the hospital, i slowed down. The fear and apprehension at this stage was too unbearable. I decided to call the Befrienders again and this time a lady spoke to me.

I told her my fears and she said it is natural to be afraid, but I need to find the strength within me to go ahead

and to take my results. It calmed me down a bit after talking to someone, but a large part of me was still not prepared to go through with it.
As I “inched” myself forward to the hospital, I decided that I am not prepared for the answer and in “loving myself,” I made a detour to church, to reach out for someone who can pray for me, and to find any additional support to give me the courage to make this final lap.
So I reached the church which was about 10 mintues drive away.

I went to the office where a sister was working… I spoke to her more than a month ago, asking for direction to the church and she prayed for me over the phone, and what a difference that made, which caused a powerful breakdown and breakthrough in my life.

I had just called her a day before and shared my fears with her, and I decided she was the only person available at the moment who knew about my situation whom I can talk to, face-to- -face. So there i was appearing suddently at the church, where she works, and she was rather surprised to see me. I did not call her earlier, to make an appointment.
She said I should have called her, i wanted to, but i did not have her phone number. And this was an emergency to me.

So again i related my experience to her, and i told her I am not prepared to go through with this.  This is too much to bear for me.

We talked for awhile, and something she said brought courage back to me. And it was life and death are in God’s hands. And she urge me to go through with it. After all I do not know what the outcome will be. I started to feel better and I decided to go to the hospital. By then it was 12.30pm. there is a good chance the office is now closed for lunch, but i went anyway.

Along the way I try to take note of people’s look and expression, just to experience life from their perspective.  Life is the important keyword here, you don’t know what you have until you lose it. i felt numb as I went to the hospital  against my will to find out the results.

So I took the lift up to the first floor, and walked to the entrance of the clinic. Just as i was about to walk in, the HIV doctor walked out.

It was lunch break, and he was leaving. I called him. He recognised me. I said i was late. he said the lab is closed for lunch there is no way to check. He asked why I was late. i said i was too “chicken shit” to find out my status. Then he asked me to follow him and I went inside his room, sat on the same chair where I he took my blood three days ago.

He asked if i am afraid why did I come back. I said: “I needed to know.”

IT WAS THE MOMENT OF TRUTH. He typed in my code number into his computer and waited for an answer.

I covered my face with my hands, like a child in fear when watching a horror movie.

I look at his face, he seemed relaxed, and he said i was negative. What????!! I exclaimed. Are you sure? He said there is nothing on his computer screen to indicate that i was positive, but he needed to call the lab to verify.

I said how do you know? He said usually if a patient is positive, there would be a message on top of the screen to do a retest. And in my case there was no message, so he interpreted it as a negative. I asked him: “Is this 50% chance, 80%, or 90% chance i am negative?” and he answered “100%”, but just that he needs to call the lab to verify.
I looked at his computer screen. It was a blank screen which says non-printable result, but there was no direct confirmation that it was negative. So I said this is not a valid answer that i am negative.

And he asked me to return to the hospital about 2.30pm about one-and-a-half hour later, as he needs to double-check with the lab.

At this juncture there was a huge relief, but a part in me said: “wait a minute. perhaps, it was a non-answer.” Perhaps the results are not ready, that is why the lab posted the words non-printable result, which throws me back to ground zero, resetting my fear all over again that I could be positive.
I was a bit annoyed at this stage. How can the doctor simply give me a false assurance when there was no positive proof what the result might be. So now the challenge is to come back again to face the music – a double hurdle.
I went back to office, did some work. (More like waking around and surfing the internet). I left the office later about 4pm, just before office hours. Along the way the Christian lady from church called me to say she has a copy of the daily bread to pass on to me, there is a passage that talks about “suffering,” just as I was walking to the hospital. Another intervention from above? 

So I walked though the same route and headed towards the clinic. this time was suspicion that the doctor gave me a “false assurance” was gnawing at me, because right up to that point I was still uncertain.
At the clinic I knocked and opened the door, and saw a lady doctor there. 

I asked permission to speak to her for awhile. She also working at the Infectious Disease unit. She said the doctor was waiting for me earlier, but I did not come so he left. So she wanted to call him, but I said no, not yet.

I wanted to talk to her first. I wanted to know the procedure of acquiring blood test results. Is is the common practise, (as what I have written above)… for the doctor say i am negative, when there is no conclusive answer on the screen. Then she explained to me that is their procedure when it coems to HIV testing.

Anyway i related to her my fear of finding out the answer, eventhough physically i am already at the hospital. It was a case of so near yet so far. I told her, it is very difficult for me to confront the truth, because i do not know how to live with myself from now on if I am positive.

So she said there is nothing to fear, nowadays they have advance medication to treat the disease, not like before. But of course there will be some side-effects. Anyway i said my fear was more psychological than physical.
I told her about my symptoms. I showed her my tongue and she said: “That could be one of the symptoms, but it is not just that. Otherwise, it would make their life much easier.”

We talked for about 40 minutes, and she asked me if she could call the doctor to see me, as he was still in the hospital.

At the end i relented. “OK, time to face the truth….”, I said reluctantly.

Upon making the phonecall, the doctor came by immediately, but he seemed relaxed with a smile on his face, saying: “How long have you been talking to my colleague?”
He said he has verified with the lab and my result was negative.
“Are you sure?” I kept asking him, almost unbelievable. “Yes!” he said conclusively, smiling at me again, sharing a deep relief.

It was the happiest news to me. The worst day of my life, which has just turned into the best day of my life. I was relieved, and filled with inexplicable joy.
This torment and life-and death situation which has been haunting me for the past three months is now over, and by God’s grace i am still standing, though i found it hard to believe the results – because what happened was real to me. It was as real as it gets, right up to the last moment.

I was overjoyed. Praise GOD!!! for His deliverance. I am saved.

I couldn’t wait to meet the sister at the church to share with her the good news and to take the Daily Bread from her. We had tea later on for more fellowship and sharing./p>

At church, a brother called me to join their cell group meeting that night. Another “out of the blue” invitation. How can I turn down an opportunity to worship God after what I have been through.
I said: “YESSSS!” I can’t wait to go to the cell group to praise God and have fellowship with other Christians in sharing God’s word and celebrate the new found freedom I have in Christ Jesus my Lord and Saviour.

I was lost but now am found!

Amen.

Not happy with my prognosis and answers I have gotten so far, i sought further clarification by heading to UH by myself this evening. I heard they have a infectious disease unit there. I went there about 4.30pm or 5pm, not knowing exactly where the department is and who to see, but i went anyway. I tried calling them earlier over the phone but there was no answer. That’s just how public service is nowadays. You can’t seem to get anything you want by following instructions, so i decided to find my way there to get the answers for myself. my intention was to meet a doctor who can sit down and explain things to me…, but not any doctor. I need to see a HIV specialist who can give me some insights about the prognosis of the disease from the symptoms, and what is the future outcome as one is susceptible to so many opportunistic infections out there. So I went not knowing where and how, but i went anyway. I was told the infectious unit is at level five at the East tower so i made my way there, but it was already late, and the place was like a ghost town as most people have left the building. I made my way into the microbiology lab section and noticed there were many doors with doctors name on them. I thought these must be the experts i am looking for. Suddenly one of the doors open, and a lady stepped out. She is one of the doctors but not a HIV doctor, but rather a lab doctor who studies the specimens. I asked her some general questions about the clinic, and she was kind enough to call a colleague to ask for information. This doctor is a HIV specialist and he was still treating patients in the ward. So i was told to go the the clinic on a particular day, but I said why not i speak to him now, if he is available. So the doctor was kind enough to meet me at the last minute notice, because he heard that i was anxious. I met him at the corridor on level three and he took me to his office for a private counselling. I felt fortunate to meet him, as such opportunities to meet an expert has been hard to come by in the past few weeks as I was pursuing an answer. So I was very open, with him about my fears and the symptoms, I wanted to leave everything on the table and let the expert look at it. But surprisingly he said the same thing that i have been worrying too much and it is not healthy for me. in fact he was concerned about my “mental health” for going through so much stress rather than the disease itself. Anyway after talking to me for about half an hour he said he is certain that i do not have the disease. He said he had seen thousands of patients to know their symptoms even those who have been newly infected. And he said those symptoms were not in me. I can’t be sure of that, because he did not know what i have been through. Then as we spelt out the symptoms and even showed him some of the rashes on my body, my tongue, my hands, he said none of those suspicious symptoms I had were HIV related. he said, no, no, and no. Furthermore when as I went through the sequence of events, he said all those symptoms should have happened simultaneously not one after another as in my case. And then he asked a definitive question, one that could have been my saving grace, as i also discovered from the internet in the past few days that the symptoms of seroconversion is an abrupt fever followed by all the symptoms. As far as i could remember, i did not have fever. I was not bedridden and chilled. I know what fever is although on week no 6 onwards, there were at least two to three days when I felt feverish, but I took panadol and it eased off. So I can’t really be sure. According to the doctor the fever would have at least lasted a week or longer, not just two to three days. And the fact i did not have any fever… could be my last hope that this is not what i think it is. And I saw a smile on the doctors face, which is actually the reflection of the smile on my face. He said as long as I keep worrying he assures me that more new symptoms will crop up. With that, he asked to take a blood test to resolve my fear once and for all. And their tests are very accurate. This is a difficult line to cross for me, because whatever answer I get will either set me free, or keep me bound for life. But judging from his confidence, i feel compelled to get the blood test done soon, probably by next week – the defining moment in this three month journey with HIV I have been through. The doctor told me many many times based on his experienced of having seen and treated so many patients that I do not have the disease. And this is not just another HIV counsellor. He is the real McCoy from the infectious disease unit. i told him if indeed my results turn out negative. I can fly. I walked out of the hospital a happy man. relieved in so many ways that I managed to meet to right person and get the answer that I wanted. Again I praise God for it, for I could have missed the chance in so many ways if it was not destined to be… and I would have gone back home again being lost and face another sad day. I suddenly felt better and healthy again after talking to him, though earlier, my stools look suspiciously deformed and dark, when it was healthy looking just a day ago. The “weather” seems to change drastically. Anyway after that i came back to office to finish some work, and I called a friend and we chatted for a while. I find myself to be quite chatty as though I was back to my old self and I told the friend hey, today is the first time in three months I really talked to someone after being stuck in gloomy mood for awhile. Earlier today, a friend from overseas messaged me on what i mean by “that’s life” – the tagline I use for my gmail logon. i didn’t tell her it was my resignation to life after what happened, but i told her to be grateful for what she has and never ever doubt for a moment that she has a great life, as many people in this world are not so fortunate. She agrees and said me too. I hope I am slowly coming back together again, as the healing takes place in my soul, and just like I reminded her never to take her great life for granted, I guess i am reminding myself as well. Am I sick? Right this moment it seems i am far from it. Praise be unto God.