Guest post: Being an AIDS patient in a Catholic building

Originally a comment by Kevin Hutchins the Bellinghamster on Left to the Church and its tribunals.

My HIV physician is continuing her private practise, but because so much of the work involves the hospital, she might be actually moving her practise INTO the hospital by the end of this year. She said it’s a trend in Infectious Disease specialists.

It’s a Catholic hospital which has already almost killed me before.

When I try to tell her i’m concerned about this, she says she doesn’t see anything improper happening, she assures me she’ll keep taking good care of me the same as always. I didn’t have a chance to press the issue with her because we were too busy talking about medical physiological issues for me to even have time to get into these more abstract things. I told her I’ve always trusted her because she’s helped keep me alive for years, but I have so much paranoia being an AIDS patient in a Catholic building with Catholic crucifixes in the alcoves and Catholic crucifixes on the desk staff and Catholic prayers over the intercom… and almost entirely Catholic employees… employees who are very likely to be looking less favorably on the fag with AIDS who comes into their hospital, than they might look towards some other kinds of patients, good Christian faithful patients.

The paranoia is unproductive, I try to stop myself from going overboard, I don’t want to be afraid of Catholic boogeymen, the way that some Christians get their panties in a bunch around queer boogeymen.

But they’ve already demonstrated poor decisions during my previous inpatient stays at that hospital and one time it almost killed me (but I survived, but it was incredibly torturously painful what they were doing wrong for a few days continuously) so I have shaky confidence at best. The only thing that keeps me from giving up on the situation entirely is knowing that my partner will stick by my side if I have to be at the hospital. If I had to do any more of this ALONE, I would just be too paranoid and scared and I would give up.

This is part of why i think Ophelia’s blog is so important. It helps remind the queer atheist feminist gender-nonconforming vegan pacifist that there are people who care and people who have overlapping problems, and we can all look at them and discuss them together. No matter what our gender or personal characteristcs are, no matter how weirdly different, this blog is good for making people feel like they have somewhere to voice concerns that would get them into serious trouble if uttered in most other places.

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