lots of visitors, but now encouragement. End of blog for now.
Sorry that it's been so long since my last post. Things have been hectic.
Last night Greg stopped by. Greg and I used to work together. It was great seeing him and catching up on old times. I found out that a lot of things have changed at the office since I left.
Greg hadn't seen me in a while, and he was understandably uncomfortable at first. After a few beers, however, it was just like old times.
I think I may have mentioned that I've lost my taste for the stuff completely; Greg and I used to really be able to put it away. I did have some wine, however. BIG MISTAKE..
I have to confess that I don't remember Greg leaving. I'm not sure if I was still awake, or if I'd passed out on the couch. This morning I woke up in the guest bedroom, feeling like shit. Evidently I was so hammered that my wife was able to get me ready for bed without waking me up.
I sat up and immediately threw up all over the bed clothes.
This afternoon I gave that group therapy thing a try.
We met in the basement of a Catholic church in Rochester, about an hour away. It is very difficult to describe; I found the entire situation incredibly surreal.
In retrospect, I suppose the meeting only served to reinforce what's happened to me, but surely I'm not like them!
About a dozen of us sat arranged on the floor in a semicircle (conventional chairs would certainly have been an issue for some of those people) and one-by-one, we took turns complaining about our lot in life. It was sort of like an alcoholics annonymous meetings in some respects...for instance, I started my little speech like the others before me: "Hi, I'm Joseph, I'm forty-two years old, and I have A.R.V."
Physically, we ranged in ages from twelve to thirty-six months. Christ, what a bunch of freaks!
What really got to me was the way that each of us made our entrance into the room, delivered by a female caretaker. It reminded me of dropping off my kids in day care years ago, except this time I was the kid. I'm not sure, but I think the ladies went into another room and had their own meeting. I much would have preferred attending that one.
I have to confess, I barely heard what the first few even said, I was so mesmerized at the sight of these tiny people maturely articulating their issues. I now understand why people stare at me when I talk.
I've just returned from my weekly doctor's visit. I go to an AR specialist, of course. I was referred to Dr. Samantha Rosco, or 'Doctor Sam', right after I was diagosed with the virus. She watched as ARV slowly transformed me from a man into the toddler that I am today.
As usual, I stripped to my underwear and slipped into a small paper robe. I stepped onto a acale on the floor, then Cindy lifted me to the exam table.
The routine is always the same. As I stood on the table, she carefully measured my head with a cloth tape measure, confirming, I suppose, that I'm not getting any younger. She took my blood pressure, then my temperature (by mouth, thank God).
I like standing on that table. For just a moment, I'm almost as tall as Cindy, Dr. Sam, and the nurse, and I can stand there and nearly look them right in the eye. Standing so high up, without anything to hold onto, makes me a bit nervous though. I steady myself each time by reaching out and touching Cindy's shoulder.
"Lets see if we've had any progress," Dr. Sam asked as she reached under the paper robe to slide my cotton brief to my ankles. I knew, of course, to what she was referring. She gently pinched my scrotum between her thumb and index finger, searching in vain for a pair of testes. "It still hasn't dropped," she announced to Cindy. I hate it when she talks about me as if I weren't in the room.
I have an undescended testical. Dr. Sam isn't sure if it's an issue or not, especially since I'm an ARV patient, but has assured us that a simple surgical procedure could correct the situation. By the time I'd gotten myself dressed, my wife and doctor had scheduled the operation for next week.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that no one asked my opinion. It seems to matter less and less these days.
I had a horrible nightmare last night.
Usually I welcome dreams, because in my dreams I'm big again. This time it was completely different.
I was small...very small. All I was wearing was a thick cotton diaper and a white t-shirt. The diaper was held in place by a single large pin in the front. The front of the t-shirt, just below the neckline, was stained a dull yellow and was slightly damp.
I was standing inside of a giant playpen, cluching the top rail that was chin height. My son stood outside the cage, watching me with a sad look on his face. My ex-wife and daughter stood just behind him, staring down at me with broad smiles.
I tried to speak. I wanted out. I needed clothes. But for some reason, all I could do was babble. My family laughed at my attempts to communicate. I screamed when my daughter's giant hand reached down and patted the very top of my head, much like someone would comfort a treasured pet. I woke up in a cold sweat.
And a very wet diaper.
I suppose we should sell my motorcycle. I certainly won't be riding it again, and it isn't doing anyone any good sitting in the garage gathering dust.
Cindy saw me looking at it the other day. I'm guessing she recognized the longing in my eyes, because without warning she lifted me up under my arms and planted me on the seat. I must have looked rediculous sitting there, with both of my little legs sticking out. I wasn't even able to reach the ends of the handlebars.
Cindy could use it if she wanted to...she's licensed and all. I even taught her to ride last spring before I was diagnosed. God, that seems like a lifetime ago now.
I spend a lot of time on the internet, certainly much more than most people. It's amazing how many people out are in about the same boat that I'm in. Thousands. Maybe tens of thousands.
There are web sites and blogs, there are Yahoo groups and mailing lists. All of them are chock full of people who have been infected by the virus, and every one of them has their own story to tell.
Lately Cindy has been pestering me to attend a local support group for male ARV victims. I really hate leaving the house, but the idea sounds rather interesting. It would be good for me to talk about my challenges with people who really understand.
I'm small for my age. I mean really small for my age. The doctors tell me that I'm approximately two years old. I weigh 21 pounds, and I'm just under 30 inches tall. I've looked at the charts, and that's on the small side for a typical two year old, but I'm sure the doctors know their stuff.
I seem to require a lot of sleep. I nap at least twice a day, and I sleep at least ten hours a night.
I've lost a lot of my coordination. There's no way I could tie my own shoes, and using a knife and fork to cut food is quite impractical. I have to be very careful going up and down the stairs. Usually I take them one at a time, on all fours.
Probably the most disconserting issue I have with my new (or should I say old) body is my inability to maintain bladder control at night. I tried using a 'pull-up' under my pajamas, but it wasn't absorbant enough and I wet the sheets. Being a pratical guy, I realized that a diaper was the best solution. Now here's a silly question: Have you ever tried putting a disposable diaper on yourself? It's nearly impossible; you can't do it on your own and end up with the necessary snug fit.
It's become routine now, not quite as humiliating as it was at first. Every night before I retire for the night, I take off all of my clothes, and pull myself up onto the bed. Usually she does it quickly, lifting me by my ankles and sliding a Pampers brand diaper under my bottom. In less than thirty seconds, it is done.
On the bright side, my hair is dark and thick again. I really like my hair.
I have a full set of sharp little baby teeth, and I have no problem eating just about anything. My preferences have changed dramatically, however. I no longer like spicey food, and my beloved beer now tastes downright nasty.
My mother stopped by this morning.
I love my Mom, and like my wife, she's been extremely supportive through this entire ordeal. Bit by bit, however, she seems to be forgetting the fact that I'm a man. I'm not a little boy.
There must have been a sale at Walmart, because she came bearing gifts: bags and bags of new clothes just for me. She knows my new sizes so a fashion show was completely unnecessary. Still, I could tell that she wanted me to try every thing on.
She settled herself into the leather recliner, the chair that used to be mine, and summoned me to her side. Like an obedient child, I immediately complied without a second thought. She peeled my t-shirt off and then went for the waistband of the sweatpants that I was wearing before I knew what she was doing. She pulled down my pants and wisked them away. I stood before her wearing nothing but my white cotton briefs. I don't think I'll ever get use to being this small. Looking up at her at that instant brought back memories I'd thought were long gone.
I am rather surprised that Cindy didn't intercede, she just stood by watching. And I'm not at all sure about this, but I thought that just for an instant, I caught her with a smile on her face.
I'm not a particularly modest person. As a man, stripping to my boxer shorts in front of my mother would have been no big deal. For some reason, this was completely different. I've never felt so small, naked, and insignificant in my life. I embraced my instincts and ran away, scurrying off like a tiny animal. Somehow I easily negotiated the steps to the bedroom, slammed the door behind me, and nestled in our massive bed.
I could hear muffled voices...Mom was genuinely concerned and apologetic. I felt like a jerk. Mom was about the last person I wanted to hurt. I should have swallowed my pride, presented myself to her, and allowed her to dress me in all of the new clothes that she bought for me. Instead, I curled up between the cool sheets and fell asleep.
I really miss sex. I mean I really miss sex.
Not that I have the sex drive that I used to. I mean, it sounds appealing, but nothing works the way that it did before, and one look at my naked body in the mirror kills any thoughts of romance. Still, it would be great to be close to Cindy like that just once more.
We cuddle a lot, in fact, probably more than we used to. She curls up around me and snuggles with me all night long. Sometimes it feels nice, but most of the time I feel smothered. Frankly what I'd really like to do, is to screw the hell out of her, roll over, and fall asleep. That's not a possibility now.
Sometimes early in the morning, when she's hugging me half asleep, I remember what it was like before. When I was a man.
Believe it or not, and you're going to find this very funny, it still gets hard. I get this tiny pink stiffy for hours on end. I've done some experimenting, and my silly erection doesn't lead anywhere. It is extremely frustrating.
My name is Joe Johnson, and welcome to my blog.
I'm forty-three years old and live in upstate New York in the small town of Alba. It's in the Finger Lakes region; very pretty country but damn cold in the winter.
That's my picture on the left. Of course, I know what you're thinking. He sure doesn't LOOK like he's forty-three. Nothing slips past you, does it? Well, if you got that far, I'm sure that you can figure out the rest. I'm a victim of the AR Virus.
It isn't as bad as it could be, and I consider myself damn lucky. I can walk and talk, and have full control of my bodily functions (when I'm awake anyway). I have to wear a diaper at night because when I'm asleep, my bladder has a mind of its own. It really isn't a big deal, especially when I think about how bad it could be.
I'm forever stuck at two and a half and I'll never get any older. Of course, it isn't like I've been granted immortality. Eventually, my internal organs will wear out, and I'll croak just like everyone else on the planet. The only difference is that I'll require a much smaller coffin.
If I dwell on the everyday things that the virus has taken away from me, I'd be one unhappy puppy. I can't work at this size. I'll never drive a car again. Even preparing a simple meal is nearly impossible; it's tough to reach the counters when you're 30" tall. I have to rely on my wife for everthing. Still, things could be much worse. I could be trapped in the body of a drooling, spastic infant. I've seen those poor devils, and personally, I'd rather be dead.
My wife has been extremely supportive. Cindy and I have only been married for two years, and it is certainly unfair that she's burdened with my disability, but she's never complained. I have to confess that I'm rather surprised at how she's risen to the occasion.
Alba is a small town. I'd love to get away from this place. You see, in Alba, everyone knows me. I'm the freak. I'm the man who looks like a toddler. If we moved away, I'd blend right in as just another little boy. Wow, that would be great! How wonderful it would be to be able to leave the house without everone staring at me. However, Cindy has family in this town and is unwilling to leave.
Unfortunately, I have family in this town too. My ex-wife, son and daughter live just a few miles away. My son is five years old, and now much bigger than I am. He is extremely confused about what has happened, and who can blame him. My daughter, Pam is now fourteen years old, and is unsympathetic to my plight. In fact, she's openly delighted by it. Her mother, on the other hand, oozes sympathy. It still creeps me out when I recall the first time she saw me after I bounced.
She picked me right up, for Christ's sake! She draped me over her shoulder and patted my back like I was a baby! Thank God Cindy straightened her out! I'm quite sure that won't happen again.
Cindy treats me with as much dignity as she can, but we're both practical people. For instance, being picked up and carried about like so much luggage is just plain humiliating, but sometimes it's just more efficient. Now the high chair, that took some getting used to, but I have to agree that it's the easiest and most efficient way to go. There are so many things that I must just grin and bear like being strapped into a car seat and having to wear a disposable diaper at night.
I try not to complain. I know that I'm a burden and I sincerely don't want to make it any worse.