Thirteen years: Secret Plans

AIDS was… an illness in stages, a very long flight of steps that led assuredly to death, but whose every step represented a unique apprenticeship. It was a disease that gave death time to live and its victims time to die, time to discover time, and in the end to discover life.

~ Hervé Guibert

Secret Plans

Continued from… Fear, Pain and Meds

Both Annie and Jacques joked around with Isaac about his invitation. Annie told Isaac she accepted his invitation and Jacques pretended to be upset since Isaac asked his wife out on a date.

Isaac returned with a short email, which was once again full of jokes. He told Jacques not to be worried, because his wife would definitely be safe with him. In this short email, Isaac also mentioned how pleased he was with the contents of his “Amsterdam-package”.

What Isaac didn’t know was Jacques and Annie had a long conversation about taking a trip to South Africa. They wanted to surprise Isaac. In the email, they subtly asked Isaac what they could send Kathy, saying they were planning to send her a package too. They formulated their question carefully, not wanting Isaac to get but the faintest hint about their plans.

Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 16:30:35

Hi there friends,

It’s been three days since I last wrote to you. I wanted to write sooner, but I was watching movies and I was too tired to write. I guess it’s a good excuse, but I’m always tired, so it’s not really an excuse anymore. Watching movies and zapping from program to program on television has become an accepted lifestyle for me.

I am doing fine. I could get used to being at home. I’m also reading all my old books. I don’t even know how many I’ve read already.

Billy next door is busy with driving lessons. I think I know what his problem is. He worries too much. His psychiatrist also said he should learn to live from day to day, but he is only thinking about problems that might come.

I think I would have been depressed too if I didn’t read. Billy doesn’t read books. I immerse myself in a book and I forget about time. I guess in a way it’s good and then again, it might not be. Nowadays, I have to fight to stay ahead. I live from day to day. If I have to worry about tomorrow, I will end up in the drain. It’s not really that bad, so please do not worry.

I think I had a cold last week, because I have a fever blister on my lip. I sneezed a lot last week, but I thought I was developing an allergy for my animals. I still have some ointment I can use for the blister.

I went out for a long drive today, from here to Simon’s Town to Fish Hoek and back. I should do it more.

Lots of love,

Date: Thu, 18 Mar 1999 20:59:37

Hi there dear friends,

I’m okay, even though I didn’t feel well yesterday. Today, I am better. I’m not sick, just feeling a bit under the weather. It was hot over here today. I had my doors opened wide just to get some air moving through.

Last year roundabout this time I heard about the ‘potato medicine’. Apparently, it does wonders for one’s immune system. I used it then and stopped when I developed pancreatitis and the doctors stopped my meds.

Last night there was a program on television about alternative medicine. Moducare was mentioned again, and they stressed it’s not a cure, but it works miracles. So what do you think I am going to buy tomorrow? Doctor Bailey gave me a prescription the last time I used it. I only need the prescription so I can claim it back from my health insurance.

Not much other news here. I wonder whether the doctor is going to send me back to work. I’m not in the mood to go back, but I guess I have to. I cannot just stay at home and do nothing.

Lots of love.
Just me.

Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1999 14:46:19

Hi friends,

Kathy had a talk with Doctor Bailey. Doctor said she would gladly write a letter to the Dutch hospital, so they can see if there is any treatment for me over there. Just give me the address and I will give it to the doctor.

My visit to the doctor was as I imagined it would be. She didn’t even examine me. She just asked the same old questions. I must say though, she spoke a bit more than normal. She also wanted to know if I would like to consult a psychologist. I said no, I have more than enough support from all my friends. The doctor booked me off from work until 9 April. That is the day on which she leaves for an AIDS conference in England. I have to contact her two days before then. She says it takes about six weeks to recover fully after you had the chicken pox. Maybe I will have more strength by then. She said by then I will also know whether I have to go for a medical board, because she thinks I can do without the stress of work. So there you have the medical news.

I had a greeting card from the ward sister of the Dutch hospital. I sent them a picture postcard and didn’t think I would hear from them. They are going to send me a signed picture of everyone in the ward. It is so nice to hear from them.

You asked me what Kathy’s house looks like. Her mom lives with her and her mom is busy with quite some projects. Kathy’s house is not really her own at this moment. That is what I meant by saying that it’s ‘different’.

Not much other news over here.

Lots of love,

To be continued… Taking It Day By Day

Note: This series is a rework of a self-published book (2009), rewritten for this blog, and in loving memory of a dear friend who suffered from and passed because of AIDS. Keep in mind this story happens in the late eighties and throughout the nineties. Names of characters have been changed to protect their privacy.

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay

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