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Aids Caregiving

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Epilogue): What I'd Like To Say To Those With HIV/AIDS

Gary Nelson | Posted 12.05.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

Try to see yourself as a leader, mentor and teacher. Remind yourself daily that there is no room for shame. You will find allies. We number greater than those who turn away from you and offer no help in eradicating this disease. We will move forward with you.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 15): There's A Witch On My Back

Gary Nelson | Posted 01.16.2013 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

I'm saying goodbye to Robert again as I close this series. I will miss writing about him, because in a weird kind of way, I lived our life over again. But it was easier this time. I think I can spread his ashes now.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 14): Jesus And The Crow Disciples

Gary Nelson | Posted 01.12.2013 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

The visits from Jesus always happened in those lonely hours of the night when Robert was alone with his thoughts. Were they merely hallucinations resulting from the insidious disease chipping away at his brain, or were they manifestations of his faith that our souls go on forever?

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 13): 'He's Got The Shugah!'

Gary Nelson | Posted 01.06.2013 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

I told Robert my patience was wearing thin, and then I asked him why he hadn't followed up on his diabetes diagnosis. He told me he just couldn't see going to the doctor for "every little thing." I didn't respond. My mind was somewhere else. I couldn't understand how this had happened to him.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 12): 'It's Lymphoma'

Gary Nelson | Posted 12.24.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

"It's my bad blood," Robert said. "Look under my arms. There's no muscle." He took off his shirt and showed me his swollen lymph glands. Changing his clothes had become a private ritual for Robert when his health began to fail. He didn't want me to notice the changes in his body.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 11): 'Anybody Who Gets Infected Now Deserves AIDS'

Gary Nelson | Posted 12.01.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

There were some friends of mine who stopped coming to our house, for fear they might catch something. One of them actually told me that they wouldn't be coming over as long as Robert was there. If I wanted to meet him somewhere, that would be fine.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 10): 'I Want To Live'

Gary Nelson | Posted 11.24.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

Robert was starting to sweat. His eyes were filling with tears. He was holding the knife in front of his face. His arms and head were vibrating. The knife dropped onto the blanket. Then Robert curled up into a fetal position.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 9): You're Alive Until You're Dead

Gary Nelson | Posted 11.06.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

Fevers, an occasional brush with bronchitis, and thrush were common occurrences for Robert over the next few years. Not knowing what was around the corner could be frightful for some, but Robert seemed to take it all in stride.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 8): The Truth Hurts

Gary Nelson | Posted 10.27.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

Robert had to look at his options and then make a decision about where he was going to live. I had to make a decision, too. Could I take care of Robert? The only other living being I had ever taken care of was my Persian cat.

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 4): Cool Water

Gary Nelson | Posted 09.23.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

Loneliness can devour a soul left alone for too long. So, when Robert's case worker called him with an invitation for a Christmas party, he was anxious and started to feel alive again. "Maybe, just maybe," Robert thought, "someone will save me."

Robert's Walk With AIDS (Part 3): The Homecoming

Gary Nelson | Posted 09.15.2012 | Gay Voices
Gary Nelson

Robert still had money from Jim's life-insurance policy, so he felt he'd be fine, at least for a while. His body had recovered from the pneumonia, and he had started taking the miracle drug, AZT, which promised to delay the symptoms of AIDS and prolong the lives of AIDS patients.