Intervention Update

I wanted to write a medical update from the other night. I’ve been off Jardiance for 4 days now. I have 150mg of Fluconazole in my system. They gave me a one pill dosage, instead of the 5 day treatment regimen.

I also have a topical creme that I use at night before bed, it’s a little messy, but it is what it is. I’ve cleared up and my skin condition is getting better by the day, back to the normal state of personal care.

It is vitally important for me to stress that certain side effects of some drugs can cause long lasting problems, if not caught right away. At the beginning I did not attribute the problems I was having to my drug regimen, because, as I said then, I’ve not had major issues come up before so I really did not pay attention, until the problems occurring began to really increase.

People on large drug regimens for their various medical issues, should really know what the flip side of good drugs can be. My issues, those dealing with genital issues are of paramount importance, for both Men and Women. One does not want to allow genital issues to become exacerbated and become painful and problematic.

If genital issues re not caught right away, both men and women can have long lasting issues internally and externally, that might not get resolved, hence, immediate attention to situations that have grown out of control.

I don’t usually pay attention to drug commercials on television, because usually, they show a drug then rattle off all the side effects throughout the commercial, and usually I roll my eyes.

When a drug commercial tells us that death is a possibility when you take said drug, I pay attention. You never know how one is going to react to the myriad of drugs on the market.

It was good that I had seen the Jardiance commercial multiple times, because at one point I was listening well to the side effect list.

And that saved my bacon, so to speak.

I think we need to pay attention to drug commercials if we are taking or pondering taking a new drug. That little 30 second commercial might just save your life.

Buyer Beware …

Jardiance – Drug Failure Report

A few months ago, when I started my chastity run, I started having medical issues, that went un-diagnosed until today. I thought, when talking to a couple of “men in the know” who advised that it might just be my problem and to stop. I persisted.

I am on a massive regimen of drugs, both for my HIV and my Diabetes. Both programs must work in concert together. The failure of a drug is not common for me, because I usually tolerate medication without side effects. I really do not focus on the negative, which helps me move forwards every time we begin new medication.

This time, I did not heed the warning that had been in process for almost two months.

Because I do not see my physicians until later this summer, however, I did get medical intervention via phone and fax, and took the two rounds of Fluconazole in late April and early May. The infection was stemmed, but it was not apparent that a particular drug I was taking was failing.

One of the side effects of Jardiance, a Diabetes drug, is genital infections, that, if not addressed quickly, can spin out of control and can cause serious problems, both for MEN and WOMEN.

I’ve been watching the JARDIANCE drug commercial on television here, and they do speak about all the side effects of the drug in the ad.

For some reason, I was paying closer attention to the commercial.

This morning I called the Diabetes clinic and spoke to my nurse assistant who assigns my drugs and has been working with me for many years.

The pain and problems grew over the last 2 weeks, to the point that the pain I was feeling was getting out of hand. We spoke this morning and right away she knew that I had failed the Jardiance. And she said that we would stop the drug immediately. She got me another round of Fluconazole and some creme, that I got at the pharmacy tonight.

It is important to share this information because if you don’t catch a drug failing quickly, that failing drug can cause extensive medical issues for you.

As of tonight, I am off the Jardiance, full stop. I have my Fluconazole that I took earlier and then next time I see my primary care physician at the Diabetes Clinic, we will find a new drug to put in place, because now I am off a drug that not only maintains my A1C and my sugars, and helps my heart health.

I got my new CB-6000 a couple of weeks ago, and I like it much better than the previous chastity incarnation I had, at first chosen. I am unlocked until I finish this drug treatment and my body responds to medical intervention, again.

HIV and Diabetes are critical medical issues, and if you are on certain HIV or Diabetic drugs right now, you need to know that certain side effects can rear their ugly heads and cause you unnecessary medical problems.

So take this as a warning.

Be mindful of whatever is going on IN your body or ON your body. Genital issues, yeast infections can devolve into serious problems that can affect your body, both for MEN and for WOMEN.

BEWARE …

Selfish Pursuits

We’ve been focused on The Book this week, and the two fold nature of alcoholism. The allergy to alcohol and the mental obsession of the mind. Which then follows into the spiritual malady that takes place when we introduce alcohol into our systems.

When I was a teen ager, I drank with my friends. Often. Whenever there was a party, we had that party all planned out, from beginning to end. We had plans that were executed to make sure everyone went home, a little more sober, than when they drank at said party.

All these years later, as I attempted to make amends to long since friends, none of them seemed to want to reconnect nor know me today. And they all have their reasons, and I know some of them.

I was working my way out of my closet. When it comes to the allergy, I cannot square that in my lexicon. I think I bypassed the allergy and went straight to Obsession.

My shrink, at that time, was coaching me out of the closet, so I trusted, implicitly, what he said to me. Because there was nobody else, giving me advice, as to how I was supposed to “Break Into” the gay community of the late 1980’s.

He told me, and I quote “The only way in, was through a BAR. I want you to go to said bar, sit down and have a drink, hell have two. FIREWORKS will happen. Wait for Fireworks.”

That was the advice I got. And I stuck to that advice.

Drinking became an obsession. Because as deluded as that advice was, it deluded me into fantasy and wishful thinking. These fantasies and deluded thinking, took me in and stunted my mental growth from the age of twenty one until I hit thirty four, when I put down the drink for the last time.

I drank because it would bring me what I wanted. When it was good, it was good, but in the end, it got very bad. I drank for fireworks, every time.

And it was in a bar at seven in the morning, on that fateful day that brought me more than fireworks, it brought me death along with them.

When I got sick, the mere thought of fireworks, became a MUTE point. I could not get laid for the life of me. Nobody wanted to have sex with a marked human being who was going to die. That was a bitter pill to swallow. But I swallowed it nonetheless.

When Todd moved away, left to my own devices, and nobody to tell me otherwise, I took a stab at selfish pursuits once again. That did not end up good, in any sense. What it brought me was drug addiction, in a dead end location, alone, and no way out. And I had to just bide my time and hope that the cavalry would show up.

The cavalry did come.

But my drinking obsession was not over. I just could not fathom, growing up or accepting that one very important portion of my life was over. That was the second bitter pill I needed to swallow.

In the end, that black outs got too much. And I finally put down the drink and came to my next first meeting to start over again.

In sobriety, I’ve read the book, as we continually read the book during the week at assorted meetings. And I am reminded WHY I am alcoholic and why I put down the drink. Because I am not like normal people. One drink is too many and a hundred drinks are not enough.

God, it seems, is still is action mode. He’s always in action mode. it is just sometimes, I don’t want to listen to Him. At my own peril.

It is what it is.

I know my selfish behaviors. The ones we never talk about in open community. The ones that haunt every man in the rooms today. But there was another option. And I spoke about it. And now I am doing something about it.

You can’t rid yourself of character defects and shortcoming, if you do nothing about them, wishfully thinking that if you just wait them out, they will disappear, the longer one is sober.

It doesn’t work that way.

Sobriety is ever changing, if you are up for the never ending ritual of change. You won’t get better or become better, or become spiritually fit, unless you allow God to prune the bush every once in a while.

I heard it said, for one friend, that when he got sober, his sponsor told him that “if it was in the book, he believed it, and that settled it for him.”

He is Very Long Sober today.

I want to become Very Long Sober like him too.

But in order to become that, I have to work.

People Come and Go So Quickly Here. Montreal Festivals and Goings On.

It is Sunday today. And from the Wizard of Oz, and Dorothy,
“People come and go so quickly here!”

It is a sad day today. One of my best friends left Montreal with his dad, moving out East to Halifax, Nova Scotia for work. It is also coming to the end of the Semester for Universities here. Other friends will be leaving the country for the Summer, in a few days, to go back home to visit family and to work for next Falls tuition.

I hate goodbyes !

The city is going through its Spring transformation. Last weekend began the very important Three Week Planting Blitz. The weekend of the 24th of May, yearly, is the weekend that “planting” takes place, as the weather is warm, and everybody who has a garden, or the popular city gardens open for planting.

Last weekend was pretty hit and miss, but this weekend was pretty ok. Garden Centers in town are busier than normal these three weeks, with people buying all their plants and flowers and veggie plants.

We had a brief rain squall this morning while I was out at The Mission.

Our planting and growing season is short, so while the getting is good, gardens, and also, the fields up North of Montreal, and in the Townships get down to business. We only get a few good months of growing before we start heading downhill into Fall.

The city spends a good amount of money in planting parks and green spaces with myriads of flowers and greenery, only for the clean up crew that comes through every fall, and just yanks whatever is in the ground, flowers, shoots and roots, and tosses them in trucks for disposal every year.

Along Ste Catherines street, new trees were planted last year as they began to rehab the sidewalks and they put in planters and new trees. They are rebuilding the entire street from East to West over the next three years. They worked on our end of the city already, down at The Forum and Cabot Square, because of all the new condos that have opened over the last three years.

The new Children’s site, where multiple condos are going up as we speak, will bring thousands of new residents to our neighborhood. All those tall buildings are going to kill our most excellent view from our living room.

If you are into fresh foods and veggies, the all important garden markets are in full swing. Up at Jean Talon, on the North End, where Little Italy sits, down near us, the Atwater Market, and up on the Plateau, there is a garden market over at the Mount Royal Metro. I saw that the community garden market down in Little Burgundy was open now, right down the hill from home.

There are several community garden markets and many community gardens that grow food for the people who live here, who, usually cannot afford the prices shops charge for good veggies and fruit and greens.

One of my friends went and got some spice plants and some nice veggies. The community markets open in the spring and offer, FOR FREE, veggies and plants for your kitchen, garden, and for those who have them, balcony gardens.

Very soon … as June opens in a few days, Festival Season begins in Montreal. With the Montreal Grand Prix, the PREMIER event of the Season, down at the race track on Parc Jean Drapeau. The city brings in Millions of dollars on the four day event every year.

If you love music, and you either live here, or close to Montreal, Montreal is the place to be for the summer. The multiple various jazz festivals, both on the English and Francophone sides are popular. These outdoor concerts bring in millions of people to the city every summer. Along with the outdoor offerings are many indoor, ticketed events that cost a little more, but are so worth the price of admission.

There are so many things to do in Montreal in season. There are parks to go to, museums to visit, cafes to eat in, bars to drink in, movies to see, concerts to attend, so many things.

This is our bread and butter, while the weather is good for every conceivable outdoor event you can think of. And only in Montreal, can you climb a mountain in the middle of the city. The biggest green space in the city.

If you have never been to Montreal, or you visit, Montreal is a beautiful city in the Summer. I invite you to come visit. Enjoy all that our city beautiful has to offer. Bring your kids, there are plenty of activities for families across the city, all summer long.

More to come.

Inside the Circle

The week has come to an end. And Friday’s have always been the best night of the week, because of the people I share company with.

I was taught a long, long, time ago, that if I ever needed anything, ANYTHING, I would need only look as far as the circle. Looking back, I never had to go outside the circle for anything. Whatever that Anything was.

Suffice to say that tonight, several key friends showed up. People I trust, whom I am able to talk to about a myriad of subjects.

My kids have been on my mental radar the entire week. I’ve been talking to my friends about how I can help them. Each person I spoke to, gave me a distinct answer.

Worrying that I could not do anything, turns out that, I actually can do something. Tonight, I spoke to several key people in the circle, familiar with my worries.

I learned who can help me on a greater scale. I learned where I can go to find more help, specifically built to help my kids on the fluid spectrum. I told my friends tonight everything I observed and what I worried about. And with that said, I got solid solutions.

I also spoke to other friend familiar with specific kids in difficulty, and I am pleased that my friends will step up and do what needs to be done to help them. I’m gratified that within the circle we learn to trust each other, and know that if we ask for help, help will come.

Mental Health assistance for our kids is thin on the ground, but there are communities within the circle that CAN help. I know where they are now, and what solutions they offer to our kids.

You might not think we cover all the bases, but as the playing field changes, we adapt. I did not know what we could do for my kids, but I do now.

All will be well.

A good night was had by all.

Thinking Out Loud

I mentioned in earlier posts that we have a good number of young people who are on the gender fluid spectrum. There are also a handful of trans young people as well.

When I was a much younger gay man, I encountered many men who did drag, and they were very well known in our community. Many of them went on to gender reassignment. I know, for them, that the transitions took a very long time. Every one of them had to adhere to a specific schedule of transition, as mandated by doctors, social services, and psychologists.

I witnessed many of my friends make that transition, very successfully.

In today’s day and age, the gender spectrum is wide open, and I have said before that many of our kids subscribe to “Whatever you want to be today.” That is causing a bit of consternation with some of my friends.

Because these young people want to be recognized in the one place they feel safe, In A Room with us. And some of our young people have gone so far as to introduce gender neutral terminology in meetings, meaning, they want gender identifiers stripped from our meeting scripts.

They also want everyone else in the room, to wipe binary gender words from our vocabularies NOW. They wish all scripts to be gender neutral, so as not to disrespect our kids decisions to move from binary identifiers, to gender neutral identifiers.

This is causing quite a stir in our communities.

I’ve known every gay kid who has come through the pike in as many years. And I know all the trans kids who are also on this journey as well. Many of them are having a very hard time staying sober.

Which brings me to a mental health observation question. All these kids are in flux right now. They don’t know if they are coming or going. And neither do we. I worry that my kids are not getting, nor have gotten any mental health assistance. I believe they are walking the gender fluid road, all by themselves. Nobody, right now, as I see it, in front of me, are talking about mental health issues with our kids.

How do you navigate gender reassignment in the open, and you decide that you want to swing from one pole to the other, based on your desires, right now? My kids are conflicted themselves, and to me, it seems, that there is no mental health guidance for our kids.

AA is not therapy. And We do not concern ourselves with outside issues, meaning that, I might suspect there is a problem with my kids, because I see them struggling. They are sometimes angry, and upset, if someone uses the wrong pronoun in the rooms they get indignant. So that is a problem.

Who is managing the mental health of our gender fluid spectrum kids? I am not a therapist nor am I a psychologist. I only know what I am seeing in front of me.

And what I am seeing, and hearing from others, is varied, depending on who you speak to any any given moment. Most of my friends are accepting and supportive of each other. But the extent that the new gender fluid rules of engagement, are causing some folks to think on single binary terms.

Many people do not understand gender fluidity as I do. The landscape in front of us is changing rapidly, and we are endeavoring to meet the needs of our kids, as they need them, but this is to the peril of generations of meeting procedures and policies.

Our kids are battling the Bottle and the Drugs. And I am sure that mental health issues are right up there on the front dashboard for all of them.

And I am concerned. And I don’t know quite what to do, or what to say, or who to talk to about this, beyond asking some of our spectrum kids about it, but I am not sure that would be a good thing.

Confused !!!

Our Kids Are Suffering – Amended Update

This afternoon, Wednesday, I made a couple of phone calls, and asked my Ladies Calvary to help me with our girls. Right now, everyone will be looked after over the coming days. And I was assured that everyone would be taken care of.

It is always a shock for our new guys and gals to be sober a short while, most under two years, for them to witness someone with serious time under their belts drink again. But I am assured that my girls will be alright. My ladies are on the case.

Tuesday Night

Most people in recovery know what the word “powerlessness” means.

Some choose to learn the definition, others hang on for dear life to whatever it is they are holding guard over, until they can’t bear that pain any longer … Then they reach the jumping off point.

I watch people, I listen to them talk, and I wait to see what decision they are going to make, either to buckle down and do what needs to be done, or they choose to jump back into the canyon where there is no light.

The fellowship offers to us a tool kit, to build a ladder out of that canyon into a life what will be fruitful and prosperous. But the pain it might take to get to freedom from alcohol and drugs seems so arduous, that they just cannot bear the pain of sobriety, so they resort to the pain of addiction to soothe the pain of honest pursuit of sobriety.

Our kids are suffering. And I don’t know what to do about this ! They all know me, and have seen me in action for a long time. I have engaged many of them in conversation, I give them jobs at meetings, I support them and show them nothing but kindness.

Yet, still, they are miserable. There is nothing I can do for someone who chooses to live in misery and active addition. I can’t save all the kids I know, right now, who are suffering needlessly.

Women with time, who sponsored many of our latest crop of young ladies, have drank again. Recently. All my girls are besides themselves with grief and sorrow, anger and resentment, and then forgiveness.

Our LGBTQ kids are suffering as well. Because the spectrum of sexual identity has broadened into this amalgamation of “what ever you want to be today” has reared its ugly head.

Do you know what it is like knowing that you have kids on this spectrum, girls that want to be boys, boys who want to be girls, trans kids in the middle of transition, or at different stages of the game, who drink and drug, because they cannot bear the pain they are in right now ?

Not many straight alcoholics in the rooms know what to do with a kid on the spectrum. Most old timers will tell you that sexual orientation is not their responsibility. Some old timers will not even deal with kids on the spectrum, and a good number of them don’t do Gay either.

My kids are suffering. I know this for a fact. I know how many kids are on this sliding scale right now, some are sober, and some are not. I’ve had experience in dealing with trans issues, because over the years I have tried to help our kids, whomever they are, which ever direction they are traveling.

The pendulum is swinging widely and quickly. And a good number of my kids are struggling to keep it together. And I don’t know what to do, besides sitting each one of them down and read them the riot act, and give them a plan, like they would listen to anything I have to say to them.

But you know what the book says …
“THE ALCOHOLIC WILL DRINK AGAIN.”

I’ve been watching my kids come and go, and come and go. Whom ever they are talking to, has failed in keeping them sober. One, because they lack the tools to do the job, OR, those sponsors have drank again.

Which does not help our kids stability. You take on a kid who needs help staying sober, then you go off and drink again !! What the FUCK !!!

I’ve been watching folks with some serious time, do nothing. My peers, do nothing. They come to meetings, warm a chair, and they watch our kids crumble in front of them, and still they do nothing. Tonight, My heart broke every time I heard one of my kids tell the story they told tonight.

And I am powerless to do anything. Because nobody wants to hear what I have to say, and not many people believe anything I say, sitting in any room. But I have the time and the experience to speak truth.

People do not like the truth, I have said this before.

The I-phone generation want it NOW. They want sobriety NOW, they want happiness NOW, but they don’t want the pain or struggle to get there. They’d rather struggle in the drink rather than struggle in sobriety.

Sobriety is a struggle. Until it is not a struggle any longer.

Our kids are struggling. And they are not listening to simple advice. They are too wrapped up in their heads and their misery, to even pay attention to advice given, even if it comes from a chair, within a meeting, and not directly from a human being standing in front of them.

The rule is the girls work with the girls and the boys work with the boys! I can stand at the line and offer advice from behind my line and not cross the rule. But long sober women with time and experience ARE failing them, so what we we supposed to do, let our kids struggle until they die ?

What the Fuck am I supposed to do now ?

I wish I had the answer, I could use it right about now.