Monday, October 17, 2011

What's up, what's new with me?!

Whoa! It's been more than 2 months since my last entry here. Things have been pretty hectic at work, more so after I got promoted at work as head of our company's administrative department and as a result, I now work during the day (normal working hours yipee!) - Mondays to Fridays (9 am to 6 pm) and Saturdays (9 am to 4 pm). Yes, I work six days a week and you might say "that sucks" but I love my new job now since I get to be busy unlike when I was still assigned in the nightshift when I was mostly idle for like nine, 10 hours. Better to be busy than doing mostly nothing. So far, my sleeping pattern has returned to normal. I got sick for a few days though (acute upper respiratory tract infection) early this month and I guess it was because my body was adjusting to my new work sked.

Another piece of good news I want to share is that I finally learned of my viral load results after waiting for it for several months (!). As of last March, I am already undetectable. Thanks in large part to the antiretrovirals (ARVs) I've been taking and adherence to a healthy lifestyle (enough sleep, balanced diet, exercise, taking multivitamins regularly, no vices of any kind). I still have the virus in me but at least the volume is not so much anymore that it is barely detected already. I hope my next viral load results would still show I am undetectable.

I am due for my 4th CD4 count next month and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it would be higher now. My CD4 count results are as follows:
- April 2010 - 315
- October 2010 - 479
- May 2011 - 530

Well guys, this is all for now and till my next post!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Contemptuous act

I came across a blog -- -- that posted photos of guys who are allegedly HIV positive. The pics were taken from the guys' profiles in a gay social networking site called Planetromeo. Planetromeo is infamous for being a venue for searching for quick sex. It took over a few years ago.

Anyway, the anonymous blogger had explained that he came out with the blog to warn other gay guys in the metro against having sex with those whose pics he posted as they are allegedly HIV positive.

First off, the blog is a violation of Republic Act (RA) 8504 or The Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998, which prohibits public disclosure of the identities of persons living with HIV (PLHIV) - whether alleged or confirmed.

I worry about the guys whose pics are in the blog, more particularly for members of their family who may read or see the blog. True or not, the accusation can emotionally affect not only the guys but their families as well.

The Philippine National Aids Council (PNAC), cause-oriented groups and influential individuals have already been informed about the blog and efforts are being made to have it taken down.

As of this writing, the blog is still up and I hope it is deleted as soon as possible before it causes more harm not only to the persons whose pics have been posted there but to their families also.

It's been awhile so here's an update

It's been quite sometime since I last posted here.

Well, firstly because I didn't have any update on my health, not until now. I have this infected pimple on the edge of my lower lip, that is why that part of my lip is quite swollen. I started taking meds (antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs) to control the infection and keep it from swelling further. I look like Angelina Jolie except that it's my lower lip that's fuller. Hahaha.

Last August 10, I have moved to the dayshift at work after 2 years and almost 5 months in the nightshift. The transfer was brought about by my promotion (tee-hee). My sleeping pattern has not normalized yet since I only get six to seven hours of sleep at night and wake up at around 4 or 5 in the morning. Then I become sleepy between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. I hope my body clock normalizes soon. Anyway, this means that my life is "back to normal". With this, I expect my health to stay good.

I can't wait for the long weekend at the last week of the month as I will be out of town - somewhere down South - and sleep, eat, swim and have fun even if I may have to bring along some office papers with me to work on.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Terminologies clarified

In the past, I've come across news reports and people who use HIV victim/sufferer or AIDS victim/sufferer and even terms like HIV/AIDS, which are actually incorrect.

So to be politically-correct, let me mention here that there is no such term as HIV or AIDS victim or sufferer. They are called person living with HIV (PLHIV) or person living with AIDS (PLWA). This is also meant to be more humane to those who have contracted the virus.

It would also be wise to refrain from writing HIV and AIDS as HIV/AIDS or HIV-AIDS because they are two entirely different matters. HIV refers to the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS, on the other hand, is a condition characterized by progressive failure of one's immune system, thus resulting in life-threatening opportunistic infections (OIs) like pneumonia, tuberculosis, meningitis, and cancers to thrive. It's the last stage of HIV infection.

Friday, June 17, 2011

My 1st brush with discrimination

The discrimination I am talking about here is not at me but against another person living with HIV (PLHIV) . I don't know who the PLHIV is but I felt bad and I had to go to his defense without giving rise to suspicions that I am a PLHIV too.

Here's the story:

Thanks to Facebook, I reconnected with a male friend (let's call him Mr. Big - feeling like Carrie Bradshaw of SATC hehe) after a long time. We first met through a gay social networking website several years ago and for awhile, there was something romantic that went on between us but it fizzled when we lost touch with each other. Anyway, he saw my comment on a post of a common friend (let's call him Chinky Eyes) that we had in Facebook and Mr. Big sent me a private message. When I saw Mr. Big's profile picture, I told myself this guy looks very familiar until I added him up as a friend and saw his other photos. It was then I remembered who he was.

In our chat, Mr. Big and I updated each other on what has happened since the last time we met and what have we been up to. During the course of our conversation, Mr. Big mentioned that he joined an outdoor activity group in one of its out-of-town activities upon the invitation of Chinky Eyes, who was a member of that group. He didn't join the succeeding activities because he found some members of the group "wishy-washy" (I don't exactly know what he meant by that) and that one member of the group was HIV-positive. From the way he said it, it seemed like he found it gross to be with a PLHIV. He also also didn't want to be part of the group anymore because he was afraid that they might engage in drug sessions using injectibles with the PLHIV joining in as well (an unfair presumption, I must say). So I asked him how did he know the status of that group member concerned. He got it from three independent sources and all pointed to the same guy as a PLHIV. To quote, he also said the guy "had the look (of a PLHIV) and the skin tone." I told myself Mr. Big needs to be educated well about HIV and AIDS because you can never tell if someone is a PLHIV based on looks and skin tone alone - sigh. I felt sorry for the unidentified PLHIV and told Mr. Big that his sources committed a violation of Republic Act (RA) 8504 by identifying him and even revealing the status. Mr Big said the PLHIV still engages in casual sex (he is unsure if the PLHIV does it safely) because the PLHIV has an account in a gay cruise/hookup site.

I changed the topic as I already felt awkward but inside me, it was a scary thought that the PLHIV concerned may still be engaging in unsafe sex. I must admit that I still hear of some irresponsible PLHIVs who do so, with nary a concern for those they have sex with. I also felt utter disappointment at Mr. Big and his attitude toward PLHIVs. Then I wondered.... would Mr. Big still keep in touch with me again (after several years of silence between us) if he knew I was a PLHIV too? Your guess is as good as mine.

A letter of concern and support

I have been a subscriber of the Manila Gay Guy blogsite ( authored by Migs. It's a well-known blog where Migs writes about gay issues and stories. He also dishes out advice to letter-senders who seek his counsel on same-sex relationship, love and other matters.

I wrote Migs a letter in reaction to his post regarding young gay men "who are dropping like flies", presumably due to HIV-related complications/ailments. I used the pseudonym "Aries". I am reprinting my letter and Migs' reply, which were posted in Migs' blog last May 29.


Hello Migs.

First off, let me say that I had long been contemplating on writing to you but I always catch myself foregoing the decision for one reason or another. But your latest entry about young gay guys “dropping like flies” (if I presumed correctly – due to HIV-related complications) had pushed me to finally write this letter to you and I truly appreciate the concern you have shown about the growing HIV situation in the country by promoting safe sex, taking the test, and posting the names of clinics where HIV tests are done for free. I am a HIV-positive mature gay guy living and working in one of the cities in Metro Manila. I learned about my status late March last year after I took a rapid HIV test in a government clinic in the metro, along with my male partner of more than 2 years now, who is 10 years my junior. I received confirmation of my status almost two weeks after that initial test. My partner tested negative and still is. We are a classic example of a sero-discordant couple. I am thankful he came out negative when we both took the rapid test, considering that when I learned about my HIV status, we were already more than a year into our relationship and had engaged in unprotected sex during the early months of our affair. My partner has stuck it out with me despite knowing about my status. He didn’t ask me as to whom did I get it and how. Right at that moment after he was told by the nurse-counselor about my status, he just held my hand tightly and comforted me. On our way out of the clinic, he hugged me tight even as he put a brave front. We both decided to proceed to church where both of us poured out our emotions. As I write this, I am teary-eyed as I recall the events on that fateful day last year.

At present, I am doing very well, largely thanks to antiretroviral (ARV) treatment since my CD4 count was already below the threshold when it was measured in late April last year. My partner is very protective of me, particularly when it comes to my health. He sees to it that I take my vitamins and ARVs on time. I have also been working out to keep myself as fit as possible. After learning of my status, I have decided to embark on HIV and AIDS advocacy work, aside from my regular job, by counseling newly-diagnosed young persons living with HIV (PLHIV) via online or face-to-face, particularly on how to cope with it and what to expect. I also join online discussions on HIV and AIDS to spread awareness of those two issues.

As I mentioned earlier, the reason why I decided to write to you is because I am saddened by the spate of HIV-related deaths among young gay men. I have known of already five deaths and I am deeply saddened by it. The common denominator of those deaths is: late diagnosis. They were clinical AIDS cases and the complications were already so serious that it was too late to save them. The earlier a person knows his status, especially if he is positive, the better are his chances of coping with it well and even living up to his 50s and 60s,.

You are a well-known personality in the blogosphere and it is my hope that you will continue to help spread awareness of HIV and AIDS. A news report I came across recently said the health department had warned that 45,000 Filipinos would be infected with HIV by the year 2016 unless drastic steps are taken by both the public and private sectors to aggressively spread awareness of HIV and AIDS and promote safe sex and other means to stop the health menace from worsening. The health department, non-government groups (NGOs) catering to PLHIVs, and advocates like me can only do so much to keep the HIV and AIDS situation at bay. Everybody – regardless of sexual orientation – has to pitch in the campaign.

Thank you once again for your concern and more power to you.


* * *

Dear Aries,

It is my pleasure to publish your letter here. I can feel your overflowing generosity and desire to reach out to our community. I particularly liked your letter because it shows that HIV can be a non-issue between partners. As the original song by Nar Cabico says (dedicated to HIV poz friends), “you can still love, and yes BE LOVED.”

One of our regular readers here is Jake who is also HIV-positive and has embarked on an advocacy to help more and more people get educated and tested. It is my honor to connect you two. His email address is, please reach out to him.

I send you positive thoughts and wishes of well-being. I am so touched by your partner’s love and loyalty to you — hugs to you both! May you and your partner be blessed with vibrant health and many, many happy years together. World Peace!


Monday, May 16, 2011

An open letter to Philhealth

Dear Philhealth,

Firstly, I'd like to think that persons living with HIV (PLHIVs) like me truly appreciate your gesture of taking care of/subsidizing the cost of antiretrovirals (ARVs) that many of us take and of certain laboratory tests that we need to undergo relative to our medical condition, especially with the approaching termination of the Global Fund's financing of the same by December 2012. It would be of great help to us - financially, that is.

But I have some gripes with the way your office is treating us PLHIVs, who do not deserve to be burdened with certain requirements and procedures that would only stress us out a lot. Do know that stress and/or depression is not good for those like me.

You have required PLHIVS still not taking ARVs to pay for the CD4 count, for example. Whether or not, they have Philhealth. A CD4 count in a certain treatment hub costs P3,000! That amount is too heavy for someone who is earning just the minimum wage or barely reaching minimum wage. What if a PLHIV cannot afford to take that count or some other lab tests because of lack of funds? He or she will never know the current status of his or her immuno-compromised health unless he or she undergoes the regular physical exams and lab tests.

Another predicament that PLHIVs face is having to ask our human resources (HR), administrative heads, or managers to sign the CF1 form, which we need to submit every time we get ARVs or every three months. The most common questions asked of us who ask our employers or company officers to sign the documents are: what is this for and why do we need to sign it? We are a loss on how to explain it. We cannot tell them we have HIV, right? Or that we need this document for our HIV treatment.

I have learned that doctors of designated treatment hubs and representatives of PLHIV groups have met Philhealth officers and asked if your office can accept payslips instead of the CF1 because of the difficulty faced by PLHIVs in having it signed. The payslips would show that the employed is a regular contributor to Philhealth anyway. But your office have reportedly turned down the suggestion saying that payslips can be faked. But your office can check with where the PLHIV is working to determine if he or she is indeed employed there as suggested also but your office said that it would entail lots of work and would be an additional burden on your part.

We have the option though to tell our company that we will personally take over paying our contributions directly to Philhealth in order to evade questions on the signing of the CF1 forms but that would be tedious for PLHIVs, knowing how slow procedures are when it comes to government office transactions.


So we PLHIVs have no choice but to submit the CF1 form, along with the MDR every three months, and face the scrutiny of our employers, even the risk of not having our CF1 forms signed unless we can adequately explain why and for what reason is it being submitted for their signature.

I wish your office can make it things easier for us PLHIVs. We already have this medical condition. It was a lapse in our personal judgment by not adhering to safe sex that is why we contracted HIV, but do we have to be "punished" like this by your office?

I hope more consideration would be given to us because the bottom-line here is: lives are at stake.

Yours truly,
R10-AAC of RITM/"Aries"

Good numbers

For persons living with HIV (PLHIV) like me, numbers are a major factor when it comes to our regular checkups. One of the most important of the tests done like CBC, triglycerides count, and viral load, is the CD4 count, which checks whether one's CD4 or T-helper cells have either decreased or increased in number. The CD4 or T-helper cells are the immune system's fighters against any form of viral or bacterial infection. Since I am immuno-compromised, my CD4 count is in peril of being depleted if I am not taking antiretrovirals or taking any steps to keep myself as healthy as possible, which included managing my stress levels and not get depressed for any reason.

I had my CD4 count last Friday - the third to be done since I was diagnosed in March last year. It also coincided with the anniversary of my first checkup on April 16, 2010 at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, which is my chosen treatment hub. Since it has been more a year, I needed to undergo the annual checkup like CBC and other tests. The CBC, by the way, is meant to find out if my CBC level has not gone down since one of the effects of taking ARVs is a decrease in the CBC. But I was more interested in learning my CD4 count because I wanted to know if it has increased or decreased in number.

Hereunder is my CD4 count:
April 16, 2010 - 315 (below the 350 threshold which automatically placed me under ARV treatment, which started on April 26, 2010)

October 2010 - 479 (A 164-point jump)

May 2011 - 530 (A 51-point jump)

So I was delighted to learn that my CD4 count had increased further. Although the increase was lesser, I am satisfied with it but I wished it was higher. I guess my regular workout had helped my CD4 go up. I asked a fellow PLHIV how come the increase in my CD4 count was lesser this time, he said a PLHIV who is already accustomed to the ARV would usually have an incremental increase in his CD4 count in succeeding tests unlike in the past or from the time he started taking ARVs.

Three weeks from last Friday, I will ask for my viral load since it is usually available a year after a PLHIV's 1st CD4 count. Hopefully it would show that the virus in my system is already undetectable. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Missing the most important woman in my life

On the night of February 13, 2001, the eve of Valentine's Day and after months of suffering, my mother breathed her last in the room we both shared. We stayed in one room because I took it upon myself to take care of her after she became partly paralyzed almost a year before she died as a result of the tumor in her brain and then she became bedridden later on. I was reading a book on my bed when I heard her breathing become shallow and instinctively called out to my younger sister. I vividly remembered telling her "I think it's Mommy time already." My sister and I held our mother's hands and prayed. My sister told our Mom "to go in peace" so she won't suffer anymore and that we, her children and grandchildren, will be all right. And just as we finished praying, she passed away.

Despite the 10 years that have passed since my Mom died, I could still remember in clear detail what happened before and after that evening. And I miss my Mom, more so now after seeing my friends in a social networking site post pictures they have with their mothers as Mother's Day approaches.

In my head, I wondered if God took her already to spare her of the pain she would have felt if she knew about my HIV status.

I take comfort in the thought that my mother is watching over us in Heaven and praying for us as well. And soon, we will be together again.

Anger and sadness

Let me just get this off my chest first.

This morning, I opened my account in a social networking site and read a private message from a friend who informed me that I was mentioned in a post of a pozzie in his blog/journal/diary whatever-you-may-want-to-call-it so I looked for the journal based on the info provided by my friend. To my utter shock and dismay, I found out that the journal writer was someone I had a heated exchange in private sometime last February about a bad kind of advice he posted in the forum on HIV and Aids of Since I am more responsible that he is, I won't mention his name and the URL of his online journal at tumblr. com. Anyway, this pozzie posted a private conversation we had over at Yahoo messenger wherein I advised him to be more circumspect and careful when it comes to dishing out advice to other pozzies, especially to those who are newly-diagnosed. What the fuck!! And for what reason did he post what was supposed to be a private conversation?!

I immediately texted the erring pozzie and told him what I discovered and what I can possibly do against him for his post. His reply? "Easy easy. And cd4 mo. Delete ko na." Just that. The nerve! So I told him to think twice before posting anything that might incriminate someone. I checked his journal and the post is gone indeed.

To all poz bloggers out there, please be more careful about posting anything that might put someone, especially a fellow pozzie, in a bad light.

Anyway, going to another topic. I am saddened by the recent HIV-related deaths. I learned of three deaths in just a span of two weeks. The first one, a newly-diagnosed pozzie, died of an opportunistic infection (OI) in a hospital in the metro, the second one died in a treatment hub, and the third one died in his hometown of an OI as well. All three were in the prime of their lives when they passed away.

In the first case, I don't know if his parents knew about his status but it is presumed that his partner does. To make matters even bad after the demise of their son, the parents spent thousands of pesos for tests and the hospitalization.

As for the second case, the pozzie who is from somewhere in southern Philippines passed away in the treatment hub where he had been confined and only his partner was with him. The predicament faced by the partner of the deceased is that the parents of the pozzie didn't know about the status of their son or his death. So sad.

In the third case, a poz friend of mine called up me up last Sunday and informed me that his ex-boyfriend of 7 years had passed away in his hometown in southern Luzon due to HIV-related complications. His ex-partner had been in denial about his status and didn't undergo medical intervention.

Those were very sad news indeed. I hope they rest in peace and may God comfort and strengthen the loved ones they left behind.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I am a pozzie but I am still me

Don't avoid me because I have HIV, we can still hug, eat together, shake hands, and even kiss each other on the cheeks....

Don't say I cannot love someone else anymore because I have HIV, I still have feelings....

Don't say sex is a no-no for me because I have HIV, I am still human and my libido is still intact....

Don't pity me because I have HIV, I am still "normal" and can be productive like anyone else....

And lastly, don't take it against me for being careless and contracting HIV, it was a lapse of personal judgment and what i need the most is love, understanding and acceptance. :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

And so a year has passed

6:12 a.m. March 27, 2011 - In my room.

Exactly a year ago yesterday (March 26) , I learned that I was HIV positive. Well, not that it was confirmed yet that time but I came out reactive when I took the HIV antibody test at the Manila Social Hygiene Clinic. The blow-by-blow account can be found in my April 12, 2010 blog. I got the confirmation of my HIV status on April 12 but I consider yesterday as an anniversary of some sort so let me greet myself HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

A lot has happened since March 26, 2010. Coming out with this blog so I can write down my experiences, taking baseline tests at the MSHC, going to my treatment hub - Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to have my blood and physical exams to taking antiretrovirals to going through the awful side effects of ARVs like fever, rashes that covered almost my entire body, joint pains and lethargy, going down with shingles in June last year, attending a self-empowerment seminar for HIV-positive persons, bouts of folliculitis on my scalp every now and then and severe cellulitis on my right lower calf last January 2011 that required hospitalization and a minor operation. These are just physical difficulties I went through and I haven't even talked about the emotional and psychological effects I experienced but suffice it to say, I overcame all of those.

I also met many other persons living with HIV (PLWHIVs) - the politically correct term and it feels good to know and talk to those who have the medical condition as I have and see that they are going just great. :)

Listed below are things that have I accomplished since March 26, 2010:

1. I carried out my personal advocacy of helping spread HIV and Aids awareness by joining Philippine-based forums on the topic and sharing what I know about the medical condition.

2. Advised other PLWHIVs, especially those newly-diagnosed, and family members of PLWHIVs, through email, calls, text, face-to-face counseling or peer support as some call it.

3. Practiced what I learned in the self-empowerment seminar I attended in June last year to help me cope with the emotional and physical challenges relative to my status.

4. Linked up with non-government groups like Pinoy Plus and the Youth Aids Filipinas Alliance (Yafa) and I now serve as a consultant of the latter organization. I conducted a seminar on Understanding the Media for the youth ambassadors who were trained by Yafa last January.

And how am I doing so far? I am great - just great! Indeed, being HIV-positive is not a death sentence. I am living proof that despite my status, those with the same medical condition as I have can still lead happy, "normal" and productive lives. The adjustment period (physical and emotional) can be daunting, especially for the newly-diagnosed but it will pass. Believe me, I've been there, done that. :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Almost a year

Three days to go and I mark my 1st anniversary as a HIV-positive individual on March 26. I am still gathering my thoughts and write them down when that day comes.

So far, I am doing just fine. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Glad to serve

Almost a week ago (January 24), I delivered a lecture on Understanding the Media to the participants of the I Am Positive training seminar organized by the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and the Youth Aids Filipinas Alliance (Yafa) Inc. held at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

The participants were all teenagers, who were previously screened and then selected to serve as youth ambassadors for MTV Staying Alive and Yafa.

Being a consultant of Yafa, I attended the second day of the seminar (January 23) to observe how things went and when I learned that the speaker on the topic Understanding the Media didn't show up, I volunteered to take the speaker's place, being a former journalist/editor. And so it was decided I would give the lecture the next day.

The night before, I couldn't sleep well because I was outlining the topic in my head. I did manage to catch a few hours sleep and early morning of January 24, I went to the seminar venue. I bought two newspapers (a broadsheet and a tabloid) to be used for the lecture. My talk went smoothly and from the looks on the faces of the participants, I could say they understood the topic and learned many things about the media since they were going to face media persons sooner or later.

I stayed on even after my talk ended and left the venue at past 3 p.m. with a sense of fulfillment that I was able to serve and help young people learn more about the world around them, about the media in particular.

There was no token nor any certificate of appreciation for the lecture I gave but it was completely okay because being able to serve and being able to help mold the youth of today to become responsible and learned members of society was more than enough reward for me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A not-so-good start of the new year

Happy New Year everyone! Belated, that is.

It's been quite sometime since I last updated my blog. The holiday celebration and a family problem had kept me preoccupied. The latter had me uber-stressed and emotionally drained that I was afraid my CD4 count might have dropped significantly. It was also my first time to experience vomiting spells when I get too stressed out - something I never had before but I think it could be blamed on my medical condition.

Things were looking up towards the end of the year up to the first week of 2011 until I landed in the hospital last January 10 and stayed confined for the next three days (until last January 13) due to severe cellulitis on my lower right calf. Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and underlying tissues. It usually strikes the lower legs among adults.

Several days prior to my confinement, I noticed a pimple-like growth on my lower right calf and I just ignored it. However, on the morning of January 9, the pimple-like growth had become swollen and that night, I could barely stand up and walk due to the excruciating pain and I was already feverish. I also noticed a red line running up from the wound to my right thigh.

I went to the head office of our company's health maintenance organization (HMO) to have a checkup and was referred to a surgeon in a private hospital accredited by my HMO to have my wound checked since all wounds are referred to a surgeon.

After examining my wound, the doc's prognosis was severe cellulitis and he recommended my immediate confinement because the infection was spreading, which caused my fever. So, I ended up staying in a hospital, during which a minor operation was performed on my lower right calf where the cellulitis was located to drain it of fluid.

It was my first time to be in an operating room and to be operated on so I was so nervous and shaking all over. The air-conditioning system at the operating room's waiting area was in full blast so it made me shiver all the more.

I had prepared myself for the pain that was to come during the operation since I had been warned about it but I never expected the injection of the anesthesia and the minor operation to be really painful that it jolted me and I screamed out in pain. After about 15 minutes or so, the operation was finished but I had to stay in the operating room for a little longer because my blood pressure shot up during the operation and even after. The docs and nurses had to make sure my blood pressure stabilized before I was wheeled out to the recovery room and then back to my hospital room.

My recovery is proceeding smoothly and going well. My wound though is taking sometime to heal but I can now stand with not much pain anymore but I walk with a slight limp because my wound would hurt every now and then. As I write this, I am back at work and I hope to be completely hale and hearty for the rest of the year.