November 10, 2009

November 10, 2009
Getting Ready For World AIDS Day

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Tuesday and I hope you are having a safe and great week so far.

I currently have tendonitis in both arms so I am having to skip workouts for a few days. Even though I am not able to work out, I still have to do my daily protein shakes because of HIV wasting. My shakes help ensure not only that I get enough calories every day but also help me keep on muscle mass. On a typical day, I have to take in at least 2500 - 3000 calories just to prevent weight loss. Now this might sound like heaven to someone who has weight problems. But to someone else with HIV wasting, it means eating from the time you wake up until the time you get to bed. So for us, eating becomes a chore and not the enjoyment some might think.

This morning, I had to head to BCCC to take care of some local matters. Through my project, I had been approached to help ensure someone get the necessary help getting assistance through case management and Ryan White services. While I am more than glad to help anyone from my community get the necessary help to keep themselves alive and health; it means I occasionally have to be the bad guy. Well at least as far as members of the Department of Health are concerned. I also ran into several people I know from our local community and gave out some issues of the current HIV Plus magazine which features a story about me on the inside cover.

Then I had to rush back to the house to pick up George since he wanted to go to our local World AIDS Week committee meeting with me. After we arrived Max introduced me to a young lady from University of North Florida who was wanting to film people talking about HIV and AIDS for a project she was doing. Because the meeting was literally getting ready to start I told her I would be glad to help by doing an interview after our meeting.

It is always great seeing the other people on our World AIDS Week committee. I am personal friends with many of the members in every day life. With all the traveling I have been doing this year, our meetings are the only time I get to see several of them. As I am responsible for doing every month, I gave a report on our upcoming local Teddy Bear Touchdown at the appropriate time on the agenda. It has been a very rough year for our committee at large to raise the $20,000 we need to hold an entire week of events this year and was addressed during the meeting also.

After the meeting, I met with the young woman from UNF. She interviewed me about the early days of HIV, Dab the AIDS Bear, my Teddy Bear Touchdowns and what I thought about the current status of HIV and AIDS in our country. The interview took about twenty minutes and I was glad to help out. Anyone who knows me knows that if you stick a microphone in my hands I can speak for an hour without even blinking so a short interview was a walk in the park. Then Heather followed me over to the office so we could discuss what others items we will need to purchase with our monetary donations for this year's event. I owe her and Nathaniel a huge thanks. They have had to arrange the local events with very little assistance since I have been traveling since August raising donations for our events around the country.

Because I have hardly slept the past couple of nights, I was so tired after meeting with Heather. I was hoping to get a nap in this afternoon; but no such luck. I had a ton of phone calls and emails to return. I also have been trying to schedule a conference call with Robert Brening, Bob Bower, myself and a hopeful national sponsor from the west coast for our organizations. Some of our Ambassadors of Hope had emailed in almost three hundred pictures but I only had time to download and process about fifty of them. Hopefully I can get George to help me with the rest of them this coming weekend. I also had some local business to attend to while I am here for three days before heading back out on the road. So before I knew it, the afternoon was gone and it was time to go pick Gary up from work.

After a quick dinner, I am so burned out I am going to turn in early this evening. I am hoping to get a better night's sleep so keep your fingers crossed for me.

That was my day. How about yours? Drop me a line and let me know. Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab