I describe myself, rightly so I think, as a long-term survivor of AIDS and HIV. I offer as evidence my being diagnosed with HIV in 1989 and my long, slow recovery from AIDS-related Cryptosporidiosis in the early 90s – the effects of which shadow me to this day.
Over the years, due to a serious accident and other incidents, I have also been treated for major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II.
My mood has been mostly stable, arching towards a bit of depression after Christmas.
With the approach of Bell Let’s Talk I find myself taking stock of my mental state and wondering, what’s next?
While the good folks at the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry work on my smile in a major . long overdue way, I feel optimistic, not having realized how isolating broken teeth have affected me.
But now what?
I sometimes still tie my survival, and my right to pull the plug, to my mother’s life (no pressure, Mom!), having made a commitment to myself to live as long as she does.
But if I get a nice set of teeth after all this oral surgery is over, I won’t want to squander all that with a shortened life – certainly not of my own doing.