Saturday, May 1, 2010
I can’t sleep that night. It wasn’t the heat or the noisy neighbors. Not even the small space I had to occupy while sleeping. I was restless and thinking about what I did in the past. In a way, they’re hunting me. Faces materialized before me, bodies I interacted during my exploring days. Then I began counting. One, it was the doctor from not so distant neighborhood. Two, it was the one who played pool. Three, it was the dentist I didn’t like. Four, five… I lost count and finally fell asleep.
“Whatever happens, I’m here…”
Words comforted me and made me more secured. I knew I had to do it, not for anyone’s sake but mine. What makes it scarier is the thought of losing something special - something that makes me happy. I can’t deny the fact that whatever the result might be, that something might change, after all humans tend to cloud their thoughts in times of uncertainties and times of trials, specially when it involves something that can’t be healed – something that could spread and kill. But I trusted these words told to me and instead of being scared I felt an excitement deep inside me telling me that everything will be ok.
I woke up early that day. Lack of sleep won’t hinder me on pursuing the initial plan. I tried to condition myself to be ready for the test. No matter how I do it, the beating of my heartbeat beats faster each second passed. I can’t deny how scared I am. I’m scared of the test result but nothing is scarier than the thought of losing something special.
As I ascended each step going to the clinic, faces began to reappear inside my head. One, two, three…
“HIV test?,” the nurse asked me when I approached her.
“Opo,” I answered.
“Tara pasok ka and fill-up mo ‘tong form. Maupo ka,” she invited me in.
I accepted the paper and carefully read through what was written on it. I can’t clearly think that time because of fear. I never thought it was that scary. I’m so scared that I can’t even begin to describe it.
It was August of 2009. I was drinking alone finishing a bottle of Jose Cuervo while my ex was doing some University work on his laptop. It was almost empty when I finally went to bed and my ex decided to sleep too. I was not thinking straight and we did it – unprotected.
Months later I found out that my ex were doing it with some other guy – way back before that night. Apart from being mad, fear slowly building up. What if’s and worries came hunting me.
“Hindi ka sure sa age mo sir?,” the nurse asked me.
“Ah kase kala ko year, age pala kaya binura ko ‘yung una,” I lied.
“Sige sir proceed ka dun sa room *** para makunan ka ng blood sample. Bigay mo lang ‘tong paper.”
I accepted the paper and headed straight to the room indicated on the paper.
I’m scared of needles so I had to think of a happy thought while the nurse got blood sample on me.
“Ayan na, hindi naman masakit dba?,” the nurse told me while she put a ball of cotton where she inserted the needle. “Balik ka na dun sa taas para antayin and result.”
Again as I ascended the stairs, my mind counted voluntarily. One, two, three…
While waiting for the result the nurse and I chatted and she told me about stuffs regarding HIV and AIDS. I really can’t think well because the longer I wait the scarier it becomes.
After a few minutes, one guy entered and handed the nurse some papers. Those papers held the result of the test.
“Saan ‘yung kay Chris?,” the nurse asked the guy.
“Wala ba dyan?,” the guy replied.
Hindi ko na yata kaya ang delay, hihimatayin na yata ako.
“Kunin mo ‘yung sa kanya para malaman na natin,” she told the guy while she looked at me.
“May kasama ba STD tests yung sa kanya? Malamang after 2 days pa ‘yun,” the guy replied.
Nako ‘wag naman ganun katagal. One, two, three…
“Oo ‘yung sa STD 2 days pa talaga ‘yun. Pero sa HIV madali lang. Ask mo dun kung ano result ha,” she instructed the guy.
While the guy left us she began talking to me again. About the ABC’s and stuff.
“NR,” the guy informed us after a few minutes.
“Congrats Chris, hindi ka infected ng virus,” the nurse informed me.
Sobrang happy ko and was relieved to finally know that I am free of HIV. Life changing talaga siya. Sana just to be sure have yourself tested na din.
The Curious Cat