Rodney and his story

Rodney and his story

Written By bryanboy

What does a person dying from AIDS look like?

[This is a long post so please exercise some caution.]

The following videos you are about to see is what I think THE most
effective HIV/AIDS-awareness videos ever. Year after year, a lot of
money is being spent in order to raise awareness but nothing has
changed — every day, thousands of people around the world are still
being infected. I think we need to stop "glamorizing" the image of
HIV/AIDS with all these celebrity hoolabaloo nonsense who probably
don’t know jack shit and the whole "AIDS is no longer a death sentence"
mentality but instead, let’s show everyone the REAL pain and suffering
behind it.

Have you ever wondered what someone DYING from AIDS looks like? Have
you ever seen someone in their early 40s, deteriorate away because of a
disease? Have you ever wondered what they are going through, what’s
inside their head, how they feel and what their message to the world
is? Ladies, meet Rodney, a New Zealander who suffered from HIV for 16
years before he passed away last year.

After the jump, watch the videos Rodney and his partner took during the last year of his life. Keep an eye on how he stopped himself from vomiting while he gave a message about the importance of safe sex. Listen to him stutter as he shared that doctors can’t do anything any more. Watch him as he moved from his house to the hospital. See with your own eyes how he transformed, over time, into a decaying bag of bones in a vegetative state, waiting for the axe to fall.

Click click click click!

Before we continue, I’d like to request that y’all refrain from making comments how it’s someone’s fault why they contracted the disease. It’s easy to cast the stone, say and point fingers but every situation is unique. Some people are just basically clueless and don’t know what they are doing and there are others who know the risks and do whatever it is they want to do. Some people simply don’t care. Some think they’re invincible. Some would rather chose pleasure rather that pain. Some are lied upon by their partners while there are some who go out there, chase the bug, and deliberately infect themselves (or other people). Have you heard of this 32-year old British HIV poz man in Sweden and how he had sex with over 100 teenage boys and girls and tried to infect them? It really is a big bad crazy world.

We all make bad decisions. We all make irrational, spur of the moment decisions. In this day and age, I’m sure most of us know what we’re getting ourselves into. We all lose our morals from time to time. Don’t tell me you’ve NEVER, EVER lost the plot and no, I’m not talking about sex here. No one is perfect and none of us is totally immune from making mistakes. Anyone, man, woman, child, wealthy, poor, brown, black, white, periwinkle, magenta, chartreuse, young and old can catch HIV.

So yeah.

I personally know a few HIV+ people online. Some are nice friends who happened to catch it and some are anonymous random trash-talking trolls whom I could only hope that they perish from the face of the planet soon. I don’t blame them though. They’re dirty bitches who like filthy sex. Just kidding. Y’all know karma is working well towards your favour when your enemy’s CD4 count drops to 10. OMG! I would never wish AIDS to my worst enemy. Oh who the hell am I
kidding. I have and I probably will, because I’m a mean and nasty
person. Don’t y’all want to see your enemies die from a slow and
painful death? Oo la la the satisfaction on my face knowing they’ve got
half of their body already in the grave.

However, inside every nasty
person is also human being with emotions and videos like the ones you are about to see can easily turn a glacial princess into a softie.

Let’s put HIV/AIDS aside for now. The thing that moved me the most is seeing this guy’s suffering on "tape" and again, the message he wants to share to the world.

The videos are soo raw and soo intimate, you can literally feel HIS pain poke you where you shouldn’t be poked.

Your brain and your heart.

Sooo many things went inside my head.

Are they gonna suffer the same fate as Rodney in the next few years to
come? Well, last time I checked, there’s no cure yet so basically, the
answer is yes.

How do I feel about it?

Or better yet, how do I feel knowing a few people I care about will turn just like THAT?

Many of us aren’t strangers to loss and I’m sure many of us witnessed it first-hand.

My grandfather moved to our house for a few months before he died because he wasn’t getting sufficient, round-the-clock care in his house. He was well in his mid-90s and he needed absolute intensive care. Although we had an in-house nurse to watch him, it’s still different to do things yourself rather than rely on hired help.

I witnessed him go from wheelchair to vegetable. I even spoon-fed him a few times and I sometimes assisted him in things like basic human function. Yes I was there to make sure he points his dick to the hole in the special chair he had in order to pee. I saw him from being able to shower on his own to the point where he couldn’t shower while sitting down and he had to rely on thrice-a-day washcloth scrubs in order to be clean. Can you imagine?

Anyway, the difference between the grandfafa and Rodney is that
there wasn’t really THAT much of a sadness going on.

Errr did I say it right? I don’t want to underestimate my family’s loss.

It IS sad but it’s not like "sad sad oh my god sad" if you know what I mean. It wasn’t a
hopeless case. No race against time, no desperation.

It’s just that we all know — even he knows — it’s coming. It really was just like waiting for Hades to pop by. My grandfather was 94 or 95 or whatever years old and according to several doctors, he didn’t have any fatal disease of some sort. None of those severe heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, pneumonia or any of that crap. It really was just "old age" — at least that’s what I’ve been told by the familia.

"OLD AGE" eh? I find that hard to believe when people in Japan live well through their 100s but Japanese we are not.

My grandfafa lived a life well-lived and he passed away as a happy, very happy man. Unable to speak, he communicated via smiles and hand gestures, the power of touch, and all his children were around his deathbed when he pulled the buttplug out of his ass.

Rodney’s situation on the other hand is gut-wrenching.

Although he had AMAZING support and care of his loved ones till the very end, there’s so much pain and fear in him — fear of losing his loved ones, fear because of the loss of hope, fear of the uncertain, fear of the inevitable, fear of venturing into the unknown (he made the conscious decision to stop medications after x amount of time), fear of death, etc.

Think about it.

We can all die at any time and when it’s our time to go, it’s our time… getting hit by a bus or any of that crap.

But seriously, what would you do if you know death is around the corner? What sort of legacy will you leave? What’s your last message to people?

Enough babble and let’s get on with the program. I lost 1,000 calories from thinking/typing already!

—-

Rodney suffered from HIV for 16 years.

2005 was expected to be rough. Options for HIV medications in New Zealand had run out and Rodney and his partner decided not to go off-shore because the isolation would prove difficult if things didn’t pan out. Rod already believed that his time was about up and they wanted to enjoy the time they had left.

They had everything they needed: a comfortable home, each other, loving friends, a healthy bank account and all the creature comforts Rodney desired.

His partner started preparing for hard times ahead while Rod engaged monthly visits to St. Vincent’s hospital in Sydney for clinical HIV drug trials. He tried to interest him in buying a house while they had the opportunity but he didn’t want to. He preferred to live is days in freedom, rather under the shadow of a mortgage. Rodney was also concerned about his partner’s well-being in case the worst happened.

It turned out that 2005 was a dream year. In April, Rodney started working as a Tip Truck Driver and for the first time in his life felt the thrill of self-suffiency and independence. His partner had taken a healthy redundancy allowing him the opportunity to spend his time at home, with him, while starting an enterprise of his own.

Exactly one year later, everything changed.

Rodney’s 40th birthday marked the end of week one of radiation therapy which continued through the whole month of April. By May, the severity of his radiation burns had taken a terrible toll on his health and the trials in Sydney had both failed, No more could be approved until his cancer had been cleared.

This is Rodney during his "healthier & happier" years. I suggest that you don’t watch this in its entirety because there’s naked man videos LOL.

—-

This is where deterioration and decay begins…

Rodney’s message to everyone: SAFE SEX. USE RUBBER!

This video almost sent me to tears. "The doctors just told me I’m dying and there’s nothing more they can do to help." In this clip, Rod tells his family and friends the bad news.

Rodney took up knitting to keep his hands and his senses busy. Radiation therapy screwed his pelvis and his body is giving up.

The last video (on YouTube) of Rodney speaking… he’s on his deathbed, all skeletal etc.

Last, but not the least, here’s his last video. He could no longer speak, etc. Embedding is disabled so I suggest that you click the link below.

There’s more where it came from so if you have the time, check out this YouTube account for other videos.

And there you have it.

I’ll leave it up to you on what to make out of his story.

Let’s talk about fashion now.

I love you all, as always!

24 Comments

  1. Kikimoist

    Yes very moving, but sorry you are such a hypocrite. More than one occasions you “joke” about contracting AIDS so you can lose weight and now you are touch by this man and want to lecture everyone about the important of AIDS? Common now brother…give me a break.

  2. Oh wow look at you. Back to the future is that chu? Time capsule is that chu?
    Don’t you just LOOOOOOOOOOVE living in the past? You wouldn’t know evolution and change even if it landed on your face. People like you are the reason why others never evolve. I bet you put others down at the signs of them changing, constantly thrusting elements from their past in order for them to stop evolving.
    Get over it. You may hang on to ancient relics but there are others out there who look forward to the future.

  3. OMG, I tho’ bareback sex was just hot, but now I think it’s gross and so risky, I WOULD NEVER have sex without a condom for real. dayu, this is very touching, thank you BRYAN for bringing this topic around.

  4. Bryanboy, how sad naman! I didn’t even bother to finish the article after the jump or look at the videos.
    Honestly, I subscribe to your feed because you’re so upbeat, show beautiful things and mostly make my day but this is way too depressing. I get what you want to come across but you can do better to get the message out.
    God bless!

  5. I’m sorry but you make it sound like the situation nowadays is hopeless for anyone suffering from this disease.Many of my friends have it, and let me tell you, it doesn’t have to be like this at all. In fact, I know a person who has been HIV positive for 15 years without ever taking a pill. Yes, back in 1990/1998 there was no hope for a cure, let alone a way to keep the person healthy and alive. But today, there is over 20 kinds of medication etc etc. All I’m trying to say is, there is nothing wrong with raising awareness but it IS wrong to frighten everyone and imply that at some point everyone is going to suffer like this man did. Because that is simply not true.Yes there is (yet) no cure for it, but the medication nowadays is good enough to keep you healthy and alive for many years to come.
    Also, the video or the story doesn’t say what year it was he got infected. The majority of people who have access to medication and and are yet close to the end is because they have been infected back in 1990 -1995 and by now run out of treatment options.
    Anyway, chapeau for article.

  6. Thank you for sharing with your many readers the heart wrenching story of Rodney. :( It helps us to see the different side of HIV..

  7. i agree with kikimoist. it takes a man dying in videos for you to feel something, even when you’ve joked about contracting AIDS before… and not to mention anorexia and bulimia. is this a ploy for people to see your softer side? so are we supposed to believe that you’re deeply upset now? choose a side bryanboy.

  8. Wow, BB, I’m always surprised by the number of people who openly try to badmouth you for having an opinion – whatever it may be. It’s amazing how many pseudo-moralists there are out there who just can’t wait to get onto their high horse and pontificate from some fictional moral high-ground. I’m not sure I get it. Perhaps once you get internet famous, it’s inevitable you attract assholes from all walks of life with more time on their hands than they know what to do with.
    So many of these clowns seem to insist on taking you more seriously than you intend them to. Is it not clear that *so* much of what you say is tongue-in-cheek? Do these people really have absolutely no sense of irony?? It saddens me.
    And when you try to be serious, they manage to find something wrong with that too. I don’t get it. I really don’t.
    Don’t let them get you down. Just remember: you’re hotter than 99.9999% of the world’s population. That’s a lot of people who will potentially hate you for your impeccable bone structure.

  9. cest moi

    While i applaud you for making a post like this, stop with the anorexia/bulimia jokes. I love you, but seriously.

  10. Thanks for bringing more attention to HIV/AIDS, BB. Its an important issue and I’m so proud of you for posting this. *hugs*

  11. Arthur, for millions of people who DIE from HIV/AIDS year after year, it is a hopeless case. Unless there’s a cure, the future is still grim.
    Not everyone in the world has access to adequate medication let alone adequate care. It costs thousands of dollars month after month to go on these meds. Some countries, such as India and Thailand, produce cheaper and generic yet ineffecient medications hence the lifespans of the infected are much shorter.
    It’s easy to paint a rosy picture when you live in a magical place where access to treatment, literally and financially, is available freely. But for the majority of people who live outside that magical place well, tough luck. It’s all about Guns n’ roses knocking on heaven’s door.
    And why is it wrong to frighten people by presenting someone’s experience with the disease?
    Are you telling me it’s NOT true that HIV/AIDS victims will suffer like that man did?
    Is there a less-tragic way of suffering IN THE END when all meds fail you?
    FACT: the hiv virus gets drug-resistant over time
    ANOTHER FACT: you can get drug-resistant hiv strains
    Whoopeedoo! Let’s all engage in hot, horny bareback sex please breed my tight brown cornhole with your hot white poz high viral-load creamy population paste because all it takes is a couple of pills every day for the rest of my life and I’m not gonna suffer like this man did because medication nowadays will keep me healthy and alive for many years to come then.
    Ultimately, prevention is better than cure.

  12. Yes, i agree with bryan on this one. i think its time that ad campaign focus more on the real aids issue by showing the real realities. as always the old cliche works, prevention is the cure. i also agree with the ads that i saw on tv, that parents are also one key by teaching your child and making him/her aware of these realities, it will have a significant impact in their life

  13. MM — are you sure you’re not my dentist? Your comment is synonymous to a good root canal. I swear to god you eloquently took the abscess right out of my mouth.
    Oh how I wish I knew the answers to your questions. Trust me, I’ve been blogging for four years now and I, too, wonder why there are so many jackasses around. To be honest with you, this is minuscule to what I’ve experienced in the past. God knows how many times I brought the worst out of people. There will always be assholes, “famous” or not, online or offline. You know what they say — do 1,000 good things and nobody is gonna remember them. Do 1 bad thing and it’s gonna be magnified, scrutinized and remembered forever.
    The internet only makes it easier for trolls because they *think* they can be anonymous online. I bet you my fat arse s/he wouldn’t have the balls to tell that to my face in person.
    It’s fun to bite their bait every once in a while, to you know, exercise my mind. Look at Noelle for instance. Noelle acknowledged that I joked and at first glance, it seems she got “it”. However, if you read her comment closely, she contradicts herself by questioning me and why I wrote this entry. Clearly she didn’t get the serious tone of my post. What does she do? She goes around sackriding someone’s comment and drags my petty banter that was made in the past. Take note of the snide remark at the end of her post.
    It’s just another day at the circus. Call it ‘occupational hazard’ if you must… but it’s not so hazardous if you use assholes to your advantage.
    There’s 2 ways to handle it, really. You can sulk, cry and spend your life correcting what people think of you (which is utterly, utterly pointless… I wasn’t born to be Miss Congeniality. I can’t please everyone… they can rub my bollocks and wait for aladdin’s genie to come out of my dick hole for all I care but I was born to be Miss Universe.)
    or… you can have a little fun at THEIR expense.
    I always tell myself, “if I can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
    I didn’t go to Wonky Hilton’s School of Scandal over nothing. Shame is the new fame and haters are guaranteed to bring food, website hits, publicity and attention to the table. I say live it up! Provoke them. Give them what they want from time to time. Give them an illusion. Play with their misconceptions about you and go against the grain by proving them right.
    If they are smart, it would’ve crossed their minds that from time to time, I calculate my moves with extreme precision; it’s my show, I pull the strings and they’ve only seen Act 1. But smart they are not. At the end of the day, I show various sides of me. Some are real, some are serious, some are for “fun”, some are fabricated, some are fake and for attention purposes. I’m leaving it up to THEM to draw upon it. The narrow-minded ones who are quick to judge, especially the ones who have a one-dimensional view on things, and cannot distinguish what’s real or not are people who are clearly not worth my time and effort.
    LOL ;)
    PS. now that you know my secret, i’m gonna have to poison you and make sure you foam in the mouth.

  14. BB, that comment proves you’re much smarter than your blog often makes you out to be. I think the problem is that at first glance, it is easy to mistake much of what you say for a naively shallow pithy tidbit of mindlessness. The fact is if you look closely, it’s pretty clear what is meant in earnest and what in jest. But it would seem most are confused by the fact that you haven’t crafted your internet persona to be a one-dimensional tv-style character who prefaces everything he says with “oh, now I’m joking” – cue studio laughter. It probably scares the shit out of people.
    It worries me because I suspect that the same apes who choose to take issue with everything you say probably sit in front of a television every second night of the week and mindlessly swallow everything MTV feeds them. Uncritically and without the least bit of hesitation. Such is the world we live in.
    …But we’re ethically responsible because we don’t like asians dressing up as black people and think ED jokes are a no-go zone, BB! Don’cha geddit? It’s the internets, BB, and we’re here to nitpick everything you say until it chokes on its last breath of life.
    *sigh* Stupid unwashed masses.

  15. I’m sorry, but if your ass have not realized that BB is portraying a “character” 99.9% of the time, then you’re just a dumb bitch.
    People come to his blog for entertainment, and that’s exactly what he does – provide entertainment. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be serious from time to time.
    Maybe he was so moved by Rodney’s story that he just felt the need to share it to the world. What’s so wrong about that?
    Not all people are one-dimensional for Jesus’ sake. People can be complex and offer more than just one “role” in life.
    Get over it.

  16. Hey Bryan,
    Very good post. And your retorts are on the money. Your great selling points are your ambiguity (in so many ways : D), your ability to take people off guard, and deliver blogotainment fabuleaux with a side order of intelligent fierceness. And maybe, just maybe, a hint of vulnerability?
    But if one of your personas is vacuous, (as it should be, it’s so hot right now), unfortunately you’re going to attract vacuous viewers.
    I think you’re great, your blog is very addictive, and you do the whole thing very well. : )
    Cool to see an NZ connection on here too. Come visit sometime!

  17. bryan,
    you MUST watch this:

    incidentally, the first part of this video is like your intro.
    P.S.
    I haven’t seen the entire documentary.

  18. BB is still a mincing, shallow, vulgar, consumerist, foul-mouthed fag to me, even though he occasionally reveals a more introspective, emotional element to himself.
    But it’s his choice to present himself this way.
    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

  19. lisalisa

    whats the topic about?
    OH thats right, the life and death issue of AIDS AWARENESS!
    where did it end up?
    how this post and subsequent comments make a BB feel

  20. I agree on the de-glamourizing the image of HIV, but to say it’s a lost cause, is something I’m not for.
    We should speak out for AIDS awareness and prevention, but also for a cure, I doubt we’ll find one in our lifetime, but I certainly hope someday we will.

  21. Please don’t think for a moment that this is a gay disease.
    Please stop with the fantasy.
    New infections are hetero and more than a few are married.
    You are not immune because you are straight.

  22. i find this so amusing. first of all bb, why are you being so defensive with noelle’s remark? a popular blogger like yourself should understand that you put yourself out there, and therefor you should take the criticism that comes along with being a blogger who at times blogs about lude, crude, and sometimes funny things. don’t you enjoy stirring up things. to get a reaction from people… whether positive or negative. you speak your mind, why can’t the people who read your blog speak theirs? and if you’re playing a character 99% of the time, then you shouldn’t be hurt and defensive towards what people say because it isn’t the ‘real’ bb. you’re awesome and don’t let the things people say get in the way

  23. Hey Bryanboy,
    I might not agree with all of your beliefs but with this one I agree wholeheartedly. I am a PETA activist and despite the fact you constantly call us PETArds, I refuse to retaliate, knowing that someday you might come to the realization of what we are fighting for. As for you postinh this blog, I understand how some people fail to realize that others change, some for the better, some for the worse. We have no right to judge anyone except ourselves. We have no right to bash or name-call anyone because no one ain’t perfect, and we shouldn’t feel better knowing others suffer while we are healthy and happy.
    It just goes to show how some people are so sadly twisted. This is reality. HIV kills people and no matter how we justify our moral failures, we should always be aware of the consequences of our actions. As you’ve said, prevention is better than cure. The fact that you’ve posted this should remind us of the things that we do have effects in the long run.
    So bravo Bryanboy. And hurrah for evolution.

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