Gwenn braved the elements on Sunday, standing in the chilled A.M. to wait in line for this season’s Red Rider B-B Gun- the Nintendo Wii!


She woke at the ass-crack of dawn, and got to the store- which opened at 8- at 5 A.M. She was going to keep it a secret, but folded a couple of weeks ago when I said, “Don’t kill yourself trying to get one.” That’s when she had to share the numerous google searches which turned up numerous message boards about numerous strategies about how to get a Wii this year.


Wii Alerts informed whenever a Wii was for sale online, but you had to get the message within seconds on email or text to have a shot. “Damn!” Gwenn said a couple of times, “I had a Wii Alert...” “Really, don’t kill yourself over it.”


But Gwenn had a challenge, and a friend joined her at Target in the hopes of procuring the gaming system.


Along the way, we’ve enjoyed some old and new holiday traditions. We took my parents to the Paramount theatre here in C’ville to see an afternoon showing of a Christmas Story. Mom brought over some cookies she bought from the holiday cookie fundraiser for the Waynesboro Church of the Brethren- the site of my first talk about living with HIV back in 1996, to a youth group.




“Some” cookies.


This year was the most we’d ever received. My theory is that Mom buys so many cookies each year, that she inspires people who have no business baking to get in on it to raise money for the church. (Neon-orange sherbet fudge, anyone?) I’m not sure the cookie-giving is actually complete, as Mom ominously mentioned that a flatbed truck would be delivering another Christmas present in the near future.


All in all, the season has been moving along well. I set up my Rudolph the Reindeer naitivity scene, we got out tree, and I got a brand-new sweater vest!



And last Sunday, when Gwenn returned at 8:30 A.M. with a look of victory on her face, I knew that she’d scored. Oh yeah, she also said, “I got the Wii!” And later that night we set it up and played with friends.




The frigid scene at Target. I’m excited. And then...


You’ll shoot your eye out! You’ll shoot your eye out!


I didn’t shoot my eye out. Or throw myself headfirst into our TV. Or get a hernia like one friend did. You won’t find my story or photos on Wii Have a Problem.com. Something was amiss just before we plugged in the system... I noticed some discoloration in my urine. I thought I’d just take notice next time I wee’d, maybe I was seeing something, my eyes googled by over-exposure to holiday lights and cheer.


An hour or so later, Andy, our friend who lives up the street, came down and helped us get set up. Then Gwenn and I played some Wii bowling, and she destroyed me. I practiced, but didn’t get much better. I vowed to extract my revenge, and thanked her again for the best Christmas present ever.


Then, as we were about to go to bed and do our nightly ritual- watch Arrested Development on DVD- I used the bathroom downstairs just after shutting off all the lights and trees and Wiis: And wouldn’t ya know it, wee had a problem: Product (RED) Urine.


This is not a common problem for me. About ten years ago I had blood in my urine, but that was from a bear hug from a friend. (Yes, a hug. It was brutal!) I hadn’t had any physical trauma, but remembered the nosebleeds from a few weeks before, which persisted for several days.


Not taking any chances, Gwenn and I went to the E.R. to get some lab work done to find out what was up, and get a blood product treatment. After receiving the clotting plasma, I used the bathroom a few times, and each time there was less blood. Finally, about an hour and half later, I was all clear.


Some HIV meds can cause kidney stones, but that’s not a listed side effect of mine. Plus, if I’d passed one it was so small that I didn’t even notice. Other lab results didn’t show anything funky with my platelets, so it wasn’t ITP like in 2005, which was good news. I kind of figured that because, in 2005, the initial blood product treatments didn’t work because my platelets were so low. (Cheap plug: Read all about the 2005 incident in the dramatic conclusion of My Pet Virus: The True Story of a Rebel Without a Cure.)


After the labs came back and the bleeding had stopped, Gwenn and I were allowed to leave the ER. When we got home we crashed out for about five hours, then we woke up late in the afternoon. We’d planned to have a few friends over, and I felt fine. Especially after I dominated them in Wii Bowling. And yes, I told them my sad story to gain sympathy.


This morning I went in to hematology for a follow-up, and there are no real answers as to what happened. So, as of now, I know two things: 1) there was blood in my wee and 2) there is Wii in my blood. Hopefully the prior was just a small blip, one little burnt-out bulb on the strand of lights that can be tucked back into the tree and quickly forgotten.


Positively Yours,
Shawn