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Personal Story

Reflecting on Life and HIV Outside Prison Pending My Hoped-for Release

October 1, 2018

Tim Hinkhouse

Tim Hinkhouse (Credit: Selfie by Tim Hinkhouse)

As I am writing this, we are less than 60 days out till the Oregon elections and Governor Kate Brown gets re-elected or not. As we get closer to November, the reality is starting to get to me about the real possibility of being a free man once again after multiple decades of being in prison. I have been making contact with folks that could steer me in the right direction upon release for various resources.

There is a man that I have done time with that I have always looked up to as a big brother because he looked out for me when I was over in Salem at the penitentiary to make sure I wasn't being treated badly by other inmates. After his mom passed away a couple of years ago, he had it rough out there, but he had a wife that was right by his side and that helped him out. Earlier this year when him mom's estate was settled, he bought a house in Central Oregon, where it is absolutely beautiful. When I called him a few weeks ago, he surprised me by saying that he bought a fifth wheel trailer for me to live in when I get out. He said that he is going to have an electrical station and sewer hookup made just for me to power the trailer, and I don't have to go anywhere to dump out the tanks. How cool is this of him to do that? I am truly blessed that he is in my life.

As I am getting older and living longer with this chronic illness of HIV, I am looking back on my relationships from years past. I wonder why I didn't cherish the people in my life and build stronger foundations with them so I could always have them in my life? There were people in my life that I now miss terribly. I suppose that, if I get out, I can look for them on Facebook.

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Speaking of social media, my friend going on 20 years now manages my Facebook page, if you want to find me there. I will do my best to keep up with all of your posts and interesting lives. Don't think that your life must be too boring and wonder why I'd want to be a part of it. You can only imagine how boring my life is inside prison and the joy that will be brought to me by sharing your lives with me.

I am interested in hearing from people that have also lived a long life with being HIV positive and how you have managed to survive for so long. Maybe you are doing something that I should try. Besides taking your medication, what else are you doing? Exercising? Meditation? What does your diet consist of, mostly carbs or proteins? I look forward to hearing from you, whoever you are and wherever you live.

Recently, a man wrote me from India who told me he had been living with HIV for about 15 years. He asked me for some dietary advice to elevate his CD4s. I could only share with him the things that I do for me to stay alive and healthy. He had me at a disadvantage though, he told me that he was a diabetic, and I don't have much knowledge about that. Maybe I can point him to other resources or writers for TheBody that are diabetic or have knowledge in this area.

Looking back on my blog writings, I see that on Sept. 24, 2015, I was notified by my editor that my blog was up on this site. I guess this month is my three-year anniversary of writing for TheBody, which I am absolutely grateful for. Being able to write out my thoughts and share them with you has been an absolute honor. Thank you to the staff at TheBody that has allowed me to do this for the last three years. I hope to continue with writing when I do finally get out of prison and live in my fifth wheel trailer.

Thank you to my HIV-positive brothers and sisters that my words reach out and touch your hearts. Remember to stand for what you believe in, and don't fall for anything that you don't!

Stay healthy and stay safe.

Tim

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This article was provided by TheBody.
 

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