Category Archives: doctor

Annals of Medical Triumph, Vol. Whatever


I went for an MRI late this afternoon.  This was not one of those “I don’t have anything better to do, maybe I’ll go in for an unpleasant medical experience” things.   Having gone to my back doctor for more than a year, I think he realized I was not just going to go away and so he ordered one to have a little look see at what is actually going on inside my back.  Why am I whining all the time, in other words.

Sweet pancakes of mine, I had always heard how LOUD an MRI is, but was unprepared for the reality of it.  It is stick your head in a jet engine loud.  I am of the generation that shared in the hearing damage of serious rock shows and none of them were this loud.  And that was with earplugs and these sound deadening blocks on my ears.  “Sound deadening.”  It is to laugh.

They shoved me into a tiny tube after repeatedly asking if I was claustrophobic.  How I wish I said yes, maybe they would have given me drugs.  mrpeenee’s new Rule Number 1: Always demand drugs when in a hospital.  Even if you’re just visiting some patient. Then the racket cranked up.

I remembered reading about some christian who chanted “Christ’s mercy” as he was being martyred (and these pagan guys in charge of martyring were terribly inventive.  Saints are depicted usually with some reference to how they met their grisly fate; Saint Lucy with her eyeballs on a plate, Saint Agatha with her titties on another plate, Saint Lawrence, who was grilled and toasted alive, is shown holding a griddle, which usually looks sort of like a waffle maker.  In the Sistine Chapel, Jesus is getting up from his chair and turning away from all the damned with this air of “I am through with you.  Later bitches.” and all the saints form a sort of scrimmage line between him and the out of luck souls trying to scramble out of hell.  But Lucy, Agatha and Lawrence, ready to tackle them and still holding those damn plates and griddle, give it the air of very odd buffet.  Christians.  So weird.)

Anyway, I tried mentally chanting “Christ’s mercy”, but it didn’t seem to do much, possibly because I am a heathen, so I switched it up to “RuPaul’s mercy, RuPaul’s mercy.”  That didn’t do much either.  I just gave up and started hoping I would begin hallucinating soon.

They finally dragged me out.  The tech cheerfully said “Well, that was a long one, but we got some great pictures!” I was literally staggering and limping from being cramped and not moving for 45 minutes, but it was after 6:00, these guys were ready to get out of work, so they kept announcing that I just had to go through the double doors.  They had the air of a bartender shoving the last drunks out the room.

I didn’t care.  I was so glad it was over, I would have crawled out if I’d had to.  So now I’m  home eating Oxycodone and ice cream in about equal measure.  But we got some great pictures!  Maybe I’ll get some wallet size ones.


Or maybe I would prefer these back pictures


Definitely.  Better than my back.



So Saki has the tiniest little substance abuse, or just substance great fondness.  Cat nip, of course.  The heartbreak of so many happy homes.  I keep most of his toys in a charming wicker basket in the living room.  Every other Monday, the cleaning ladies gather up all the toys that have escaped and put them back in the toy box;  I expect this is accompanied by a disapproving sniff.  I’m only surprise they don’t drop in a pamphlet about Jesus is The Light.

Recently I brought one of the catnip snakes up to my room so when those rare moments of consciousness pass by I can play with Saki, poor little neglected waif.  Now in the wee-est of hours, I will hear, somewhere out in the dark, Saki licking and sucking and grunting and making Nip Love to the Nip Snake.


Speaking of the Nip Snake

I have my own substance problems.  Using them isn’t the problem; laying hands on them is.  Last summer, my pain doctor started on a quest to find something to replace vicodin in my daily life.  He emphasized it was because along with vicodin comes ibuprofin or aceteminfin. neither of which are good for your liver.  This has nothing to do with Congress’s sudden feverish attack on opioids.  Oh no.  Thus began the Summer of Annoying Drugs.  Some made me sick, some made me crazy (literally.  The Children and Super Agent Fred developed this worried look about me) and then I found Opana.  I’ve spoken about this before; just as I got used to it working really well and being a great help, the FDA pressured its manufacturer into removing it from the market.

The press pointedly said the drug they were removing was Opnana Extended Release.  I was taking Opana Immediate Release.   Patience is not one of my many virtues.  I asked both doctor and pharmacist if that made a difference.  Nope.  It’s gone.  And so I wound up on Oxycodone, which I have long resisted since it is so trailer park trashy and you know what a Lady I am, especially about those things I put in my body.  Which is a temple.  And possibly a bowling alley.

Then yesterday at my monthly doctor visit, the good doctor said “You know, I’ve been thinking, the only thing the reports said they were removing was Opana ER, so I started wondering if maybe Opana IR is still out there, so I checked and it is.  Why don’t we get you back on that?”

Thank god for years of government work which has left me immune to fatheads.  I did not shriek about how that’s what I said in October.  I simply agreed, oh what a clever idea, aren’t you a good boy.


Who’s a good boy?

So now I’m back on Opana.  My back and I are so very glad.  Of course, it comes in big ass pills, that I cut in half and then take every three hours, so I’m pretty much on a steady, higher plane.  OK with me.

And Saki is all nipped up, so everybody is happy.  Until our next crisis.

Calling drpeenee


Because of my fucked up bad back, several years ago, my doctor put me on a daily regimen of Vicodin.  Was I OK with that?  Fuck yes.  I like Vicodin and Vicodin likes me. I eat a bunch, climb in bed to float off to Vicodinland and Saki gets to sleep on my limp, but still breathing corpse.  Everybody wins.

Then, about a month ago, my doctor’s associate said he needed to talk to me about my dosage.  I had been bracing myself for this. Over the last couple of years, the federal government has been expressing a frowny sort of attitude towards opiates; apparently the death rate among teenage hillbillies was skyrocketing as they munched their way through Mawmaw’s medicare supplied dope.  Personally, I think white trash doper kids OD-ing before they’re able to pass on their stupidity genes is nothing to fret about, but you let loose that opinion and people get all “Dr Mengle-y.”  Anyway.

So I had to go chat pills and dolls and such.  Turns out I was supposed to be taking 8 – 10 a day and I was averaging more like 14.  I tried explaining I regarded the numbers on the jars as suggestions rather than absolutes, but nobody was really having it.  I was sort of expecting a stern “ease up on the gas, girl” talk and while there was elements of that, the doctor was mostly interested in moving me off the Vikeys.

His first suggestion, interestingly, was time release Methadone.  I must have looked as startled as I felt since he hurriedly assured me it was a pain reliever.  I nevertheless declined and so we moved on through a number of other interesting options such as Oxycodone (in case I wanted to get more in touch with the hillbilly fiends, I suppose) or extended release Morphine.  I stopped him there mostly because I was starting to be afraid the menu might turn out to include heroin if we continued on and I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear about chasing the dragon as part of my health regime.

Feeling like sort of like some Victorian Lady, I took my first dose, with firm instructions to Secret Agent Fred about which emergency room I preferred.  Step one: I felt great.  Step two: I couldn’t poop.  Step three: I itched everywhere, all the time.  Turns out I am allergic to Morphine.

Since that wasn’t working out, I reluctantly turned to the Oxycodon.  It just seems so trashy.  Also, it didn’t work.  At all.  I could have just as well have been eating Skittles.  After a few days of achy back and a punched-in-the-gut feeling, I decided to go back to the feelin’ great-ness of Morphine.  I thought I would just power through the constipation.  Oddly enough, that is not a thing.

A few poop free days of feeling sort of sick to my stomach, but gloriously sans pain, Monday afternoon, I started vomiting with a volume, explosiveness, and general exuberance that would have been impressive If I weren’t at the delivery end of things.

Off to the E.R., one I had been to many times with R Man and which I had always been impressed with.  Now that it was my turn, no such luck.  The triage nurse couldn’t have expressed her disdain more clearly if she had stamped “JUNKIE” on my forehead.  I kept trying to explain neither the Morphine nor the Oxy was my idea.  Nobody cared.


Why is this never my Emergency Room experience?

Four and half hours dry heaving in the waiting room gave way, finally, to a very cute doctor who casually explained I was having a reaction to both drugs and since they were both time release forms, I was going to be sick for a while.  See ya.

Since I am burdened with HIV, I am leary of hospitals as it is, regarding them as nothing more than big petri dishes of infection waiting to happen.  Sure enough the patient in the cubicle next to me, who insisted on informing anyone who passed by that she, too, was a nurse, turned out to have contracted drug resistant E Coli.  I had never even heard of it, but it raised what little hair I have left, especially since the only thing dividing us was a set of curtains that looked like they came from Pottery Barn and my steely resolve not to make eye contact.  The fact she got the same shitty treatment I did was only slightly comforting.

Now I’m home. off Morphine and Oxycontin and wondering if I should have held out for heroin.


You are never going to get your good rectal thermometer back just standing around talking about it.


In Which mrpeenee Reports In


It’s been a rather trying couple of weeks around here.  I had a colonoscopy, a teeth cleaning and a birthday.  It’s not exactly been leaping from heights to heights.

I can sense my longtime readers tensing up, readying themselves for a colonoscopy blow-by-blow, but I’ll spare us all that, mostly because I was completely knocked out, at my insistence, and have nothing to report.  “One step short of zombie” was my actual instruction to the nice little anesthesiologist and he came through.  I have to say, the drugs are very effective, but I remember them being more amusing last time.

My later chat with my regular doctor about the results weren’t that much more enlightening.  He brought up photos from the scan on the computer even though I insisted I was not interested in a slide show.  Since he’s also an old friend he felt free to make cracks about how a gay man shouldn’t make such a fuss over a delivery to the rear entrance, so to speak.  I felt free to mention how he should shut the fuck up.  Our conversation ended with him remarking, in a genuinely startled tone, “Wow they really went way up there.”  Great.  Maybe they were looking for gerbils, I don’t know.  I wasn’t there at the time.

Also: teeth cleaning.  I’ve always been a star pupil at my dentists, breezing through the hygienist’s scraping and sawing, lalalalahla.  This time, though, my toothy luck ran out.   My tooth girl, Penny, seemed unhappy.  Apparently, it was like the Red Wedding up in there.  I tried to think of a way to blame it all on my cat, but she wasn’t having it.  Penny was disappointed, sad and disappointed in me.  I felt bad, my gums had let her down.  Had she announced my dental hygiene would henceforth include a rosary and five extra Hail Marys, I would have been rattling those beads quicker than you could say knife.

After all that, I have to say my birthday was quite a relief.  Balmy and blue, the kind of perfect San Francisco day that reminds us why we pay so very much to live here.  Secret Agent Fred and I repaired to Neiman’s for a lovely tea.  Mine was bolstered by a couple of Vicodins and a concoction called the Lady in Red cocktail.  The menu listed several harmless ingredients, but it turned out to be basically a glass of vodka stained magenta.  Perfect.  One assumes the ladies who lunch crowd that frequents Neiman’s are serious about their cocktails.  Fine with me.

Afterwards Fred and I went off to some tasteful haberdashery for to me buy some birthday socks.  A very attractive sales clerk, a lanky doe-eyed beauty, rolled out drawersful of the most dazzling stockings.  I should mention I had all afternoon been interspersing my conversation with Fred with the announcement “It’s m’burthday, bitch.”  It seemed to excuse any possible lapse, such as when I was jauntily pointing out socks and gaily instructing the dreamboat clerk “I’ll take that and that and a box of those.  It’s m’burthday, bitch.”  He didn’t even bat one of his lustrous and thick eyelashes.  “Happy birthday, sir,” he murmmered.   It was a slow Tuesday afternoon in the store, I was the only customer and if it took being addressed as “bitch” to make a sale, well, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.


Socks.  Always an appropriate gift.

In Which Childhood is Missed


I’m pretty sure I remember, vaguely, longing to be an adult.   And now that I am technically here, I keep realizing “Wow, this sucks.”

Which brings us to taxes.  I’ve been putting them off for more than a month, but finally knocked them out last week, yay, which is considerably better than I usually do.   My tax guy is very sweet and patient and sends me a letter in December with a checklist of things to complete and include and a number of deadlines in boldface, most of which I ignore until panic finally motivates me.  So actually grinding them out only a few days after his deadline was a great accomplishment,

And handy, too, since on Friday I realized I was no longer able to pee and by Saturday afternoon wound up in in the emergency room confronting a breezy young nurse who assured me they would have to catheterize me.  Breezily.  There are more details, but I will spare all of us them, especially since most of them involve a couple of feet of aquarium tubing being shoved up my dick.

I’ve spent the time since then mostly in bed or at least avoiding the stairs if possible.  The good news is I’m going to the doctor on Thursday morning and, hopefully, will have said aquarium tubing pulled out.  The bad news is both cats refuse to accept as nonnegotiable my points of “NO” and “Stay off my lap.”  Tyrants.

So I tried to find a picture from some cock and ball torture filth to illustrate this (as a kind of Artist’s Rendering,) but I got distracted by this, the meaning of which I have no idea.  Let’s just pretend it represents my bladder vs. me.


General Hospital


Yesterday was actually mrpeenee and R Man Gay Doctor Day. The 7:00 AM scheduled biopsy meant getting up before dawn. mrpeenee is not at his best before the goddam chickens have even arisen, nevertheless, we got there on time and settled in for a day filled with medical stuff. That’s a technical term. Specifically, it comprised another cat scan, a biopsy, and not one, but two x-rays.

Each procedure went terribly smoothly, with long, very long gaps in between. We were there for seven hours. R Man was on a gurney the whole time, hopped up on surgical type drugs. Where, I wanted to ask, are mine, but the nurses were so incredibly sweet and competent I couldn’t bring myself to give them any shit.
I had an excellent book for company and my on-going grudge against waiting room decorating to distract me. What is with them? A hospital seems like it would certainly know what is physically comfortable even if they don’t have the design skills to say no to pastels and that weird Blandanavian style furniture that seems so omnipresent. But no, seats better suited to McDonald’s with big fat depressed people spilling over the sides. I just stood out in the halls, reading.
Also, I noticed a complete dearth of cute guys. Hospitals are usually staffed with guys who look like some cross between soap opera stars and porn actors, but this time not a single bit of eye candy for distraction. I think word may have gotten out about me.
So anyway, we won’t know anything about the biopsy result until next week. Stay tuned.

Blue Skies, Shinin’ on Me

I’ve been listening to lots of Dinah Washington lately.

Especially the old Gershwin song, Blue Skies. Just last week, while ambling over to some enchiladas for lunch, I was singing the bit about
“Never saw the sun shinin’ so bright,
Never saw things goin’ so right”
Obviously, I was riding for a fall, at least that’s what I thought looking back on my carefree, humming along days when we discovered on Wednesday that R Man has a tumor in his lung.
Since we bought our house 13 years ago, R Man has had to endure cancer, pancreatitis, open heart surgery, and George Bush. I think I can be excused for thinking “Isn’t it somebody else’s turn?” Apparently not. We’re scheduled for a biopsy on Tuesday to see what’s up in lungland.
I know from past experience when I’m confronted with bad news, I immediately panic, flailing around mentally the better to imagine all sorts of terrible things; once that passes (fortunately, pretty quickly. It’s just lucky that I don’t have the attention span for long term consternation,) I drop into a sort of myopic numbness. One step at a time, just focusing on what I have to get through right now.
I also start cleaning. By the time R Man recovered from his heart surgery, our house gleamed, the envy of Martha Stewart. At one point, I vacuumed the window screens. And not just our little home. While trapped in various waiting rooms, I will straighten magazines, throw away trash and, if stuck there long enough, rearrange the furniture to my liking. I have, more than once, considered asking for a hammer so that I could re-hang the art. Receptionists all over San Francisco look at me warily when we show up now.
Do I think everything is going to be OK? Oddly, I do, sincerely. The good thing about getting through bad times is that you’re sort of toughened up for new ones. We’ll see. Anyway, I gotta go, I think I need to scour the bathtub.

Fluids. Lot of Fluids.


Yet another charming visit with Diane von Austiberg comes to an end, too soon, too soon. Did I mention we went to the fabled Chez Panisse? Did I mention it was deeeeeeelish? Indeedy.

Thrift stores all over town are now beaten to their knees by Diane, Destroyer of Other People’s Crap. Over the years we’ve been shaking them down, we’ve noticed junk stores are becoming an endangered species here in San Francisco. I guess rents are just too expensive. Plus, now plenty of them have abandoned used furniture the better to focus on worn out sweaters and stinky wool sport coats. The suggestion that they have simply run out of furniture because I have bought it all is totally unwarranted and you should stop listening to R Man, anyway.

Diane left Tuesday, I started feeling off on Wednesday and woke up today, Friday, sick as a dog. A quick trip to the doctor reveals what I thought was a bad cold and sore throat is “a little fluid on your lungs,” a diagnosis that I know from bitter experience can lead to bronchitis, so when doctorman started writing a prescription for antibiotics (and codeine cough syrup! Hoo hoo! Score!) I was not arguing.

I am such a bad patient, I can never remember the names of the medicine I consume, so I always refer to all the antibiotics I have ever choked down as Astromyacin, even though my doctor patiently assures me there is no such thing. I think there certainly should be since it is such a kickass name, I’m sure it would be terribly effective. The current batch of Astromyacin (or whatever the hell its real name is) had better be working since it’s already making me feel like I’ve been punched in the gut and placed under the french fry lamp at Burger King.

But mrpeenee, you ask, what is the good news, the sunny side? Let’s see…. 1) this didn’t happen while Diane was in town, yay, and 2) I was supposed to leave Monday for a conference in Minneapolis and now I don’t have to go. See “hacking cough” “punched in gut feeling” and “contagious.” I’m sure Minneapolis is a charming city and I was not pouting about being sent there for a weak, but sticking around San Francisco instead is ok with me.

After all, somebody has to keep an eye on the houseboys, like dear little Petit Diego here, cause as soon as I turn my back, I’m sure MJ would be in there fomenting all over the place. Tramp.

Zap, zap, zap. Ouch, ouch, ouch.


I had an odd shaped little bump appear on the side of my face so I dropped by my doctor for him to have look see. A childhood on the Texas Gulf Coast and the resultant annual severe summer sun burn has left me with a heeby jeeby reaction to anything that might be cancerous. Of course, this wasn’t anything, but then Mark, my doctorman, asked “As long as you’re here, do you want to deal with some of those broken blood vessels on your nose?”

My people originated in Ireland, England, Germany, that broad swath of Northern Europe where all forms of cabbage are so very popular and where pale skin evolved as a away of dealing with seeing sunshine only a couple a weeks out of the year. That was fine until, like my family, they had the bright idea of migrating to Texas and California where fair complexions are a real hazard. Consequently, aside from the silly old melanoma issue, I have a nose as I enter middle age that looks like it was modeled on that of W.C. FIelds. It’s basically a kind of faint magenta with a tracery of blood vessels; rather like having a map of Ireland printed on my nose. Pretty.

I know from past experience the “Let’s deal with those” that Mark was so casually referring to is a torture involving an electric needle that fries the vessels. It’s true, they’re gone afterwards, but it’s also true IT HURTS. I have mentioned, have not I, what a coward about ouchies I am. Mark’s answer is that I should take a deep breath and hold it during the electrocution. He claims it will help, but I suspect it’s really to keep me from shrieking during each zap.

I know this is what Ladies go through regularly with electrolosis to shape eyebrows and such and all I can say is you go girl, you’re better woman than me. When my pal Jen was describing her waxing process, I was laughing, but also feeling sort of vaporish. She got to the point where the waxer demanded Jen hold her buttocks open (“You help.”) and I thought my I saw my life pass before me, like a drowning man. Jen’s boyfriend is terribly, terribly cute, but I think if someone demanded I spread my cheeks prepatory to ripping the hairs out with dried wax, I would turn lesbian and learn to love my hairy crack.