I have to get an HIV test at least every three months for my doctor to continue renewing my Truvada prescription, which I can only get refilled twice (thus a total of three months' worth) before the refill can be done. My previous doctor was more lenient about this recommended regimen for people on Truvada, but I suppose objectively it's best for me to get tested at least that often regardless, particularly as long as I continue fucking around. (And I don't say that in any particularly negative way, for the record; I simply mean it as a literal description of behavior.)
I'm only mention it now, actually, because it accounts for the much-increased experience with syringes, which is slowly but surely corroding my reactive nature to it. I still breathe a little heavily, but don't quite hyperventilate as much. I still avoid looking at any needles, which I will likely keep doing indefinitely -- but, when I went to get blood drawn at Virginia Mason Hospital after work yesterday, for the first time in quite some time I elected to have it done sitting up in a chair rather than requesting that I be laid back in one of their reclining chairs. And, it went fine. Probably because I quite deliberately looked away from the arm being used for the blood extraction.
The phlebotomist did ask a couple of times if I was okay, especially after I told her I should not look at it. After the second time she asked, she added, "You are feeling a bit cold. But, that could be because of the bike ride." I had my bike helmet with me and had just ridden there from work. I actually have no idea if my skin feeling cold to her was from the ride or from the shot or some mixture of both. She asked if I needed juice or water and I said no, and I was able to stand up and walk right out of there pretty much just fine. Hooray!
Just a couple of weeks ago I got my annual free flu shot at work as well -- so, another shot. Again I avoided any eye contact with any of the syringes, but I did have it done while sitting up in a chair there as well. Both times my breathing got heavier during the shot, but it was over very quickly and I was otherwise fine.
I don't know how many more years I'll continue getting blood drawn at least every three months, but that's a hell of a lot more often than just once a year as had been the case before. It could be like this for several years or more. 'm likely to get more and more used to it as time goes on, I presume. I'll probably always want to look away, but maybe one of these days I can actually go through with it without any change in my breathing.
After riding the rest of the way home from there, I made myself my third dinner in a row that incorporated the spinach artichoke dip Eric sent home with me after their Halloween party last weekend. Sunday it was on a veggie burger; Monday it was used as a spread in the middle of a bagel sandwich with an egg; last night I used it as a topping on nachos that I created by breaking four taco shells into four pieces each (this worked very well, created the perfect sizes for picking them up and holding what was topped on them). I did go over to Trader Joe's for a bit of supplemental shopping, a few vegetables and bananas. I already had some leftover salsa at home, and I chopped a surprisingly spicy Field Roast "Mexican chipotle" veggie sausage for a veggie meat element. The salsa had mango in it which was a little odd but it still worked. Chopped some mushrooms, and all that with the spinach artichoke dip baked at 350° for ten minutes made for a super tasty dinner.
I think I'll use up the last of the spinach artichoke dip for actual tacos tonight.
As I ate my dinner, I decided to give a second chance to Maria Bamford's Netflix series Lady Dynamite. Currently there's just the one season -- season two is coming November 10 -- and when I tried it upon its first release in May of last year, I could only get through about three episodes. I found its shrill and manic energy a bit much. But, I really love Maria Bamford, and keep reading great things about it, and always knew that it was constructed with an impressive number of layers, and gave it another go. I guess this is one of those things you just have to be in the right frame of mind for. I watched four episodes last night and found them all hilarious. It probably helped that I knew what kind of tone I was in for this time.
It was somewhat jarring to see Patton Oswalt's guest spots. They were clearly filmed well before the unexpected death of his wife, which occurred exactly one month before Netflix released Lady Dynamite. I've long followed Oswalt's career with great interest and have always found him hilarious; the Netflix comedy special he just recently released, Annihilation, in which he discusses the death of his wife in recorded comedy for the first time, is wonderful.
[posted 12:21 pm]