As much as I would like to defend myself and tell them, "You go juggle lab tests and work, and let me see about that," I couldn't. I have a very atypical work that doesn't necessarily need to file leave of absences. The last time I've seen my bosses was during the Holidays. Suffice to say, I worked and kicked in-between the medical routine. But I wasn't too successful I guess because they sniffed that something's wrong with me.
Telling them that I'm visiting the hospital lately would send them asking if I am still fit to work. That question is pretty hard to answer. And as if their interrogation would end with that. Much that I could do was to brush aside the text message.
Yesterday, same ol' boss texted me that we'd have a brief seminar in the coming days about insurance application, which I guess the company would like us to have. Apart from that, PhilHealth. I haven't had the chance to use my PhilHealth during the lab tests though I know they could've been in handy. The HR are complicated people when confronted so I just let the chance of using the medical insurance pass by.
This time, since it's the HR initiating the seminar, I might as well do the right thing and fix my PhilHealth because I can clearly see signs that it's going to be of value from this day forth.
My work is a great avenue for HIV awareness. I know that when I get to incorporate HIV education with my work, it will reach a wide audience—people of different shapes, sizes, sex and stature.
If only I lacked foresight, I would have done it. But I don't. I have foresight, and foresight tells me that should I get going with my interest to raise the level of awareness and educate people through my work, my bosses might easily suspect that I am positive. I'm not saying that HIV is an issue you take lightly as to not foment discussion, but should I get the gears gyrating, my bosses might know that I have one. And, familiarity breeds contempt.
Besides, they're not the few chosen people who can easily understand me, whom I can rely on without attaching their biases or stigmas against the virus, and who would not dare ask a barrage of questions should I disclose them the truth. I am just speculating but it seems to me they're not the right people that would rise above the stereotype.
I'm only waiting for my CD4 count result before choosing between two options: to defer the treatment momentarily (if result is really good) or to immediately take it (if result is unfavorable.) Come hell or high water, I'm leaning more on taking the treatment immediately because I don't want to see myself bogging down as the virus eats every square inch of my body slowly but surely. One good friend told me that if I have the option to stall the medicines at first, I should seriously weigh the probability because taking ARVs will be a "lifetime commitment."
Lifetime commitment. That sounds daunting. But whatever it takes, I'll come to a point where it's a must to take it anyway. So better start early. I just don't know what will happen and how my work will take the blow once the meds will manifest their side effects. I'm just hoping for headaches or any manageable conditions, but good Lord, not the extreme kind where I have to be confined in a hospital or at home for a stretch of days because if that would happen, my bosses will surely take note that I am really sick. And explaining is not always an easy task to do.
Something tells me that I'm now at the calm before the storm. I just hope my storm pelts gentle drizzle.