Posted by: aidshike | March 20, 2013

Where would I be…another day at the clinic – day fourteen

Dear Shelly,

Where would I be without the kind, dedicated, knowledgeable, selfless and absolutely amazing people that have made up the backdrop of my medical support platform?  Over the 25 years I have been HIV+ I often have described myself as a professional patient. It was only recently that I have realized that medical care does not take up so much of my time, emotions and energy.  I just saw my Primary Care doctor today and the verdict is that I am stable, healthy and vibrant overall.  This year I got the flu like so many in this area as it was going around. (I did get my shot but it is my understanding that there were numerous strains and I just got the wrong (miss) match with my shot!)

I am prone to bronchial problems with lungs that can be weak and I have had to get a prescribed inhaler and some over the counter remedies today – doctor’s orders… but all in all it was just another day at the Moore clinic for HIV+ people at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD (my new home town!) It started when I saw the lady who always greets me with a smile, and then I was setup with an intake specialist who I always joke with. Then I sat and waited only a few minutes to be called by the nurse (in colorful patterned scrubs) who took my vitals – almost exactly perfect. 98.4 with my blood pressure awesome too – 120 over 77. Then I saw my doctor who was patiently waiting for me – just about 15 minutes after my scheduled appointment … and I had been 10 minutes late!

Then she sent me to get a shot with the lady who used to wear the most funky colorful scrubs but has been told she can only wear solid blues  L Something about the difference between hospital and university employees?!? She then sent me down to the Phlebotomy lady (fun word huh – Vampires – who take my blood) She was wearing purple scrubs and we talked about how long I have known her and that I hadn’t stopped in for a while.  We agreed that this was great because today I was just getting the tests for my quarterly “check in.” So she took 9 vials of blood in pretty colors. I promised to bring her some of a great seafood seasoning I had found that we had discussed.

Then I was recruited by another lady I hadn’t seen in a few years to take a survey about my drug compliance, my sleep patterns, energy level, whether  I drank recently (NO) etc. I saw the pictures of her beautiful daughter and said how awesome her new hairstyle was. Then I stopped in to see my new caseworker (who has been so helpful in getting me rental and utility assistance this year) and waived to the caseworker I had been with for over a decade. I know all about her children and what synagogue she has attended too.  She will be my liaison when we send the clinic support funding. Thankfully I didn’t have to stop at the pharmacy although I know most of the staff there who, like most at the clinic upstairs greets me with “Hello Mr. Adler!”  It is nice to have a clinic I call home with a family of great staff and assistance.

Then I went to get a great salad with the cash I got for taking the survey, stopped at the Chapel to read the page open to Genesis (I usually read Psalms) and I got down and prayed for so many I know that sadly are struggling with surgeries, weakness, trouble with addiction etc. Only at the end did I remember to pray for myself!!!  It was just another fun day at Johns Hopkins.  I was in and out in a total time of about 2.5 hours which included a casual lunch. The clinic is so much more efficient these days.  I used to have to take the day off when I went there, often sitting in the waiting room for hours at a time.

I haven’t spoken much yet about who will benefit from the money raised by AIDS HIKE.  I have chosen 5 service providers in the Baltimore/MD/DC areas. I have received support from almost all of them at different times and it has changed my life, my health care and my emotional sanity as each have provided services that drastically affected my quality of life. There are three clinics I have gone to for varied care: The Dennis Ave clinic in suburban MD where I went for 14 years after my diagnosis and had the most amazingly nurturing lady doctor and a nutritionist that I became very close to. Then there is   the Whitman Walker clinic in DC and the Moore clinic at Hopkins I went to today.

And then the remaining two providers will be organizations that deliver food to people who are homebound living with HIV/Aids. When I had my Neuropathy and was bedridden Food & Friends made food in SE Washington that was delivered to me in Suburban MD through a network that brought the food over 25 minutes to me. I received 3 tasty meals a day – 7 courses including baked desserts my Mom loved to share with me. The menu varied regularly. Both my parents work, so it was incredibly helpful to them (and me) that I had this service. There is also Moveable Feast, an organization that provides the same food service in Baltimore. Five life savers, 5 great organizations filled with happy friendly people that have always greeted me with a smile.

So, I am blessed and have been… with these providers affecting my life so much in such positive ways. I am planning these hikes partially to give back and support so many other HIV+ people whose lives will be positively affected by the same incredible care that has changed my quality of life


  1. I almost never write comments, but i did a few searching and wound up here Where
    would I beanother day at the clinic – day fourteen
    | Aids Hike … one step at a time. And I do have 2 questions for you if you tend
    not to mind. Could it be only me or does it give the impression
    like a few of the responses come across like they
    are left by brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are posting at additional sites,
    I would like to follow everything new you have to post.
    Could you list of the complete urls of your shared pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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