Monday, June 26, 2006

Is It Over Yet?

I am sooooo ready to be done with this place! I am sick and tired of the stupid meetings that should only last 15 minutes but drag on for 2 hours b/c my boss begins to regale us with stories about her children that I would be better off not knowing. You know like when her 35 year old daughter (who works upstairs and just moved out of my bosses house a few years ago) has gastrointestinal problems! Like I want to know this! We had a meeting about a week and a half ago to discuss the Leadership Team Meeting (this is what used to be called the heads, as in heads of the sections, meeting but with the new people at top, they felt a name change was needed. Whatever! This place is losing employees everyday but let us change something innocuous like the name of a damn meeting!)

I am tres tired right now so I may not be making much sense. Apparently I can't have coffee late in the day b/c it kept my brain running like crazy last night and then Jerry woke Emma up and she was up for like 2 hours so I am exhausted. Not to mention Jerry's snoring! God help me I was about to start beating him.

So I think there will be no working out this evening. I already did a pilates this morning and a walk away the pounds on my break.

More later....I am fading fast!

Ok, I am back...and somewhat rejuvenated! Jerry had a headache so I got to bring the girls this morning. Claire is too cute sometimes (well most of the time except when she needs to go in timeout!). I was flat ironing my hair and she says to me, "Mama make me pretty too" while holding a piece of her hair. It breaks my heart on one hand b/c what makes her think she is not pretty and then on the other hand it is kind of cute. As crazy as my kids drive me, I love them bunches!

Trying to get in as much reading at work as I could the last few weeks being that I won't be able to to that much longer! Just read And the Band Played on: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic. My God, talk about thoroughly researched! As you can tell by the title, this was about the early years of the AIDS epidemic and how the disease was basically allowed to run rampant by the federal government, the medical community and even the gay community itself. The first documented case of AIDS was reported in 1981 but they did not know what it was. All the doctors knew that many gay men were coming down with a form of skin cancer that was a very treatable cancer, Kaposi Sarcoma, but would eventual die of just really weird and unsettling diseases; disease caused by bird droppings that normally had no effect on someone with a healthy immune system were killing these men.

What is so sad about this whole affair, and what upset me the most, was how the medical community seemed to dismiss other doctors when they said they had cases that were not in homosexual men. The pediatrician who knew he was seeing AIDS in babies born to drug addicts was written off, the drug addicts had to be gay, etc. This type of thinking from people with degrees and whom we trusted with our lives. It is gay cancer, it does not effect us. To me, it is logical to assume, that while it may have shown up in gays first, it would eventually spread. How many men were still in the closet in the late 70s and early 80s unknowingly infecting their wives, or bisexual men. And what really floors me is the attitude of the blood donor clinics. When the CDC had an inkling that AIDS could be spread through blood, they wanted to blood banks to begin testing the blood for the hepatitis antibodies. There was no HIV test at the time (they had not even found the HIV antigen that cause the disease). This was effective in getting 88% of the infected blood out. But the blood banks wouldn't do b/c of what else...MONEY! The banks said the CDC had no proof, just a few possible cases! What how many people have to get it before you do something! They agreed to ask the donors if they participated in any high risk lifestyles. What are they going to say "Yeah, I like to have sex with men!" Please, the donors would lie and then end up infecting the people who received transfusions.

The hoopla about violating peoples civil rights and their right to privacy was ludicrous and it was being touted by the gay leaders! Hello, thousands of gay men are dying b/c you won't close the bathhouses and you will not encourage the city to put forth any type of very direct educational programs b/c no one can tell you that you can't have sex anymore blah, blah, blah!

The book just sickens me. How the scientists had to fight and fight real hard to get any money from the Reagan administration who was trying to cut domestic spending. Ridiculous. The treatment of AIDS patients by the doctors and nurses assigned to care for them, in some cases was atrocious. I hope if I had been of an age where I was aware of what was going on, I would not have acted in this manner.

What was really heartbreaking was the knowledge that so many of these young men (and they were young) had just recently come out of the closet into a very hostile world. Many did not have the support of their families and died alone. The author was gay and also had contracted AIDS. He took the test about a year before he finished the book but did not want to know the results until he finished b/c he was afraid it would taint his reporting. He died in 1994.

This is and awesome achievement, well written and is seen by many as the definitive account of the spread of the AIDS virus in America. If you have seen the movie, I would read the book b/c there seemed to be a lot more in the book. It is not light reading, 600 pages, but it is fascinating.

1 comment:

sassymoll said...

Hey, have you read the book by Louis Cataldie, the coroner of EBRP when Derrick Todd Lee was on his rampage? It's pretty good; it's called Coroner's Journal: Stalking Death in Louisiana. I'm going to look for And the Band Played On now...