The two hours was an excruciating long time I was petrified, scared and facing the overall fact this may be it I might die. Then I remembered I have been through this before. The first time I went in for my AIDS test back in 1986 after having been all over Europe and with many a man, I was back in my hometown in Waukesha Wisconsin and was the first ever patient at Waukesha Memorial Hospital to have the AIDS test administered. The girl in the laboratory was my friend from high school, I can still see the look on her face in shock that I would be there getting the test. Back then we had to wait two weeks to get the results back.
Then I hear the nurse tell my roommate he tested positive for the virus so I knew I had it, my heart sank, I was tired it was now around twelve noon, I had been sitting in the chair for about 4 hours, they said a social worker would be contacting us because we could no longer go back to the place we were. Eventually we were told we will be put up in a hotel room, and I waited for transport, I am sick, my bones aching, not from being in the chair but from the virus, the room they have you in is ventilated but the air is cold making your throat sore and for me I had the dreaded dry cough. I waited and I waited, I learned I was to be transported at 6:30pm.
The lovely nurse Monica said to me: "Looks like you are going to be with me all day". The other two people I came in with left by 3:30pm. Well six thirty came and went and finally at 8:30 I was taken to a Hotel in the valley called The Sherman Oaks Hotel. I am very grateful to them, this is a really nice place to stay.
The County of Los Angeles is providing us with 3 meals a day, toiletries, food, basic medicines for the symptoms. We have a nurse on site that we can call if we need anything or get worse. I am not going to go into the detail of my symptoms that is a little to personal and a little to early in the sickness to determine at the moment but I am doing well for the most part. The response has been incredible and the first responders deserve an extra special big hand, they really are out their saving lives!
Winner of Wall Street Journal Dartboard Contest March 2009
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