Category Archives: medicine

Annals of Medical Triumph, Vol. Whatever

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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.

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Or maybe I would prefer these back pictures

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Definitely.  Better than my back.

Substances

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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.

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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.

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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.

Skin Deep

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So, after cleaning up all the scrapes and scraps and cuts and bits that came from my fight with the garden, I tried to be extra conscientious about keeping it clean and sterilized and, of course, it took about a day and a half to get infected.  I wound up on antibiotics that I finished yesterday, yay, with only puking once.  Any prescription that ends in “…xin” is guaranteed to do a job on my delicate stomach.  So that’s over, I’m guzzling yogurt to replace all the flora and fauna that the meds killed off in my gut and things will be great very soon.

In the meantime, let us turn our attention to a much more appealing topic, the ever popular Muscle Pussy.  I always try to include some example of it in my posts because 1) it amuses me and 2) there is so much of it available now through the magic of the internet.  When I was a young poof, I could never have dreamed of a day when there was such a wealth of beefcake spread out before us.

Usually, I just paste up some taut skinned youth and don’t really discuss it, but today I have to protest this beauty’s tragic choice of body adornment, or “ink” as the youth of today would have it.

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Look at that flawless, smooth, clear, satiny skin, tagged with the stupidest array of strip mall tattoo parlor art I’ve ever seen.  It looks like he just wandered in between his shifts at the Olive Garden and had them slap on whatever they had time to finish before he had to get back to work.

Oddly enough, considering what an old codger I am, I don’t mind tattoos in general, but if you’re going to cover a lot of ground with them, there should be some idea or concept that pulls them together in a cohesive style.  You know this boy, on the other hand, doubtless has Bart Simpson in there somewhere.  “Molly.”  Really?  What happens when Molly decides she’s a lesbian after all and dumps you and your beautiful tits?  And “1994”?  I remember 1994, sort of, what about it?  I know, it’s probably when he was born, which makes having this much numbnuts stupid tats just that much worse.  I can’t get over how lovely his skin is.  It’s like he has no pores.  To cover any of it seems like a waste.

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Then we have this boy, with a much more discreet and attractive… something.  And I’m talking about the tattoo, by the way.  I don’t know, is it backwards?  So he can read it while he admires his big, fat man piece in the mirror?  Is it “This end up” in latin?  Who knows?  And leopard skin hair!  I haven’t seen leopard skin hair since I was a gay young thing.  And that was a long time ago.

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And this last boy just because I thought he was pretty and had such lovely eyes.

All these came courtesy of the fascinating tumblr site Sparticus 2000 .  I cannot recommend cruising around there enough.

In Which We Give Thanks

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I hate to be the one to break it to our dear friends on the East Coast who sound like they’re suffering through a winter that still resembles the freezer door being left open too long, but the weather this afternoon here was glorious, sunny and warm, balmy in fact, perfect for lazing around and glorying in the fact that one no longer has medical apparatuses dangling out from or off of one’s bits.

Yes, chickens, mrpeenee paid a visit to the urologist today (and let me just mention how all specialists’ offices smell very particular according to their specialty.  Pedicatricians smell like baby powder and puke, oncologists smell like hard candy from the enormous bowls of the stuff they have lying around for patients suffering from chemo-induced nausea, and urologists do not smell like pee, don’t be vulgar, they smell like old guys, a stinky stew of Old Spice deodorant and all the things it fails to deodorize.) to get his catheter out. Outoutout.

I was careful to phrase all my answers in the form of a statement that included the words “Take the catheter out.”

  • yes, and take the catheter out.
  • no, but take the catheter out.
  • maybe, or take the catheter out.
  • I don’t know, just take the fucking catheter out.

Finally we got past negotiating and he announced he would fill my bladder with a sterile liquid (like we haven’t all heard that old chestnut before) and if I could piss it out, he wouldn’t have to replace the catheter.  He went over these points five times, like they were some complicated party game and he wasn’t sure I was a bright enough guest to pick up the finer points.  He then filled me up to the brim and discreetly excused himself, leaving me staring at a steel bucket and willing the pee to come.

I wasn’t praying, but I wasn’t not praying either, looking into the depths of the bucket and thinking about faith when I remembered a charming bit of doggerel Mitzi from Clutter from the Gutter shared with us on a long gone post when I was nattering on about saints:

Something’s lost and can’t be found
Please St Anthony look around.

As soon as it finished echoing around in my empty little brain, well, they weren’t flood gates, I am an old man, after all, but gates, nevertheless opened.  Never have I been so glad to see anybody’s urine.

Praise lord and all the saints! Let your shouts be manifold!  Give thanks unto the heavens and especially Mitzi, the old darling.

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Saint Anthony of All American Guys

Dolls, Dolls, Dolls

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I may have mentioned before I have a bad back.   Much badness of back, in fact.  I deal with it by complaining (the main reason for this blog) and lots and lots of daily vicodins.  Vicodin is a miracle drug composed of hydrocodone (yay) compounded with either Tylenol or ibuprofin (so very not yay.)  I alternate between the two to avoid poisoning myself because, well, because I don’t want to poison myself.

Everything’s fine until Walgreens fucked my refill last week and suddenly I’m left with only the Tylenol one and I’m reduced to taking half the dosage I usually do.  I was worried about some withdrawal nightmare like that scene in Lady Sings the Blue with Diana Ross in the bughouse. EEks.  But no, because I am apparently tougher than Diana Ross and Billie Holiday combined.  Or maybe I am not shooting heroin.  Could be.

Anyway, what actually happened was all the little aches and pains from being a crotchety old man rose to the surface; everything I’ve bumped or bruised or banged up has come back to haunt me.  Ow. Ow. Ow. Owowowowowowow.

When I meditate, I concentrate on each part of my body in turn, start with my head and work down to my feets.  Typically what little focus I can scrape up is distracted by random thoughts like

  • Do I need more orange juice?
  • How come the professor couldn’t fix the boat to get them off Gilligan’s Island?
  • How hard would it be to spread a rumor on the web that MJ from Infomaniac is really a man?
  • Is Saki scratching the leather chair?
  • What’s that noise?

Things like that.

Now, each body part has to compete with all the ouchie ones.  I’m trying to concentrate on my right shoulder and my left little toe chimes in to remind me I broke it thirty years ago falling naked down the stairs of a bathhouse in Seattle.  Shouting at it to shut up is one thing when I’m here at home alone with the cat, another completely when I’m in the steam room at the Kabuki spa.

Finally, after several very firm discussions with the pharmacist, I got all my doses back in a row and the sun is all shiny and I am back to slowly destroying my liver and kidneys.  Get to work, slacker bitches, that’s what you’re there for.

If I had more muscles, they would just ache more, so it all works out in the end.

In a Wringer. And Back Again

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Since this is going to be yet another long, whingy post, I’ve decided to liven things up with various houseboy pictures, since that’s what you’re really here for, isn’t it? Isn’t it?

So today was mammogram day. Yay! And I actually made it to the appointment because at the last second I realized Daylight Savings Stupid Time had started and the world was an hour earlier than I thought it was. “Why does the computer have a different time than all the other clocks? Oh. Oops.” Again, Yay!


Plus you need plenty of time to get from my house to MammogramLand since San Francisco’s quaint street layout requires a series of major, seemingly unrelated doglegs to do so. Up around the shoulder of Twin Peaks (SF’s highest point and a serious roadblock to getting to plenty of places,) down through Haight Ashbury (nexus of all things hippie and free love-ish and, now, grimy,) a quick hook through the weird neighborhood that claims to be “Golden Gate Heights” but which everyone here calls “Over Behind Kaiser” (home of San Francisco’s Catholic university, one of the many, many locales mrpeenee delivered some of his many, many, many speeches on How to Start a Business, but the only one where I actually told someone in the audience “Shut up. Just. Shut. Up.” Yeah, the fact that I was able to retire rather than being fired long ago amazes me too.) and then, Titlandia.


But I got there and after being processed in by the entirely brainless chicklet who addressed me as “Miss Marshall,” answering a long questionnaire printed with copious amounts of pink ink and which asked me a lot of impertinent questions about my period, the whole thing turned out to be a breeze. I suppose if I was one of them gals with big, juicy Lady Bags, squishing them down flat would have been a problem, but I’m not, so it wasn’t. I’ve had rougher tit play on a date. Or “date.” Then the doctor cheerfully announced “You probably don’t have cancer.” Yet again, Yay! Although I would have preferred a little more emphasis on “don’t” and less on “probably,” but that’s just how she read her lines.


I know from bitter experience with R Man’s heath issues the time to press for details is while you have the doctor in your sweaty grasp and before she can palm you off on the next specialist in line. But I have to hand it to sister doctor, she was not having it. Despite my best efforts all she did was retreat further and further into weasel language: “probably” became “possibly” and then morphed into “maybe.” Arrgh. “You maybe don’t have cancer.” Really? You went to medical school for that, did you? I could do that good with a Magic 8 Ball and a bottle of vodka.


Then, because all specialists like to spread the wealth around, she referred me on to a surgeon, and be quick about it, no messing around, chop chop. (You get it? It’s a joke, “go to the surgeon” “Chop chop?” Oh, never mind.) I know I should have clarified that this was not for breast augmentation, but I just wanted to get home to Saki and my vicodin, so I let it drop.


So now, more tit work! Once and for all, Yay!


Show Us Your Tits

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Fucking irony. I knew putting up a post about how fabulous I was and how I had triumphed over my old job was asking for karmic trouble, but I vaguely thought it would take longer than this. Less than twelve hours after I posted about how my old job was cracking up without me (below,) I was sitting in my doctor’s office mentioning how my nipple has been hurting for a while. After he squeezed on it (ouch,) he announced, with a perfectly straight face, that I had to have a mammogram.
Have I mentioned, or at least implied in the past, that I am a male? If not, let me make clear, I AM A BOY. Boy parts, boy plumbing, pee standing up, the whole bit. So whenever I have read stories about mammograms, I have winced in sympathy, but a tiny, unworthy part of me would still think “Well at least I don’t have to look forward to that.” Hah. In fact, hahahah.
Also, my whole adult life I have been self-concious about being so flat chested. I always longed for big slabs o’ pecs like the mens I lusted after.



Instead I look a lot like Miss Jane.

Maybe not even that good. To now go from having concave tits to googling “breast cancer, men” so very much not what I had in mind.
My research so far has turned up “Mammograms: they shove your tit between two pieces of plexiglass and mash them together. Probably hurts.” Also, don’t wear deodorant. OK, check. And try not to go during your period. Uhhhhhm, again, OK, check.
I know, I know, our sisters have had to regularly put up with this and I am a whiny putz for complaining, but I have no titties. What, exactly, are they going to mash down on? I suppose that’s just something for the techs to worry about.

Hell in a Handbag. A Nice Handbag, but Still…

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Sweetums, once again mrpeenee begs that you bear with me. We’re fighting back the world of chaos on multiple fronts. Before we delve into the sordid details, here’s some houseboy bits to make us all feel a little cheerier.

Chaos, the one: Project Runway begins shortly and I have given up cable. What a fool I was.

Chaos, part deaux: Saki, the evil and adorable cat has gone on a hunger strike over the kitchen renovation. It’s too disruptive, I’ve moved his food bowl, the kitchen is sealed off, he’s mad. He hasn’t eaten since Monday night. Today, in case you haven’t been paying attention, is Thursday. Consequently, Nursemrpeenee has loaded up a syringe (oh, I just happened to have it lying around) with chicken broth and am occasionally blasting it down his throat. Yes, we’re living in a kitty nourishment shooting gallery.
Chaos III: the side effects of my AIDS medicine, Atripla, which I had long since overcome, have decided to rear their nasty little heads. It’s possible this is related to the fact that I was absentmindedly taking two of the pills each night instead of the prescribed one. I have no idea how long I have been stumbling along like this. Last night I looked down at the dose in my hand and thought “Wait a minute….”
So now that I’m not poisoning myself semi-accidentally, maybe things will get better. Till then, I can look forward to waking up each night in an agitated panic, gasping for breath like a crazed poodle and, worst of all, in the middle of a hot flash. Yes, it’s true; my HIV meds bring on the menopause.
I’ve looked this up, out of the almost 800 men participating in a test on this drug, only one reported this side effect, feeling like he was nailed down beneath the french fry heat lamp at Burger King. Great, I win the lottery.
In happier news, the widely reported birthday of internet malcontent NormaDesmond (Happy B.D., old girl) has reminded me that Jason, over at Night is Half Gone posted recently that his version of Aries, my own sweet, sweet horoscope identity is this

God love you, Jeisean.

Health Chat

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Tonight, we continue our occasional series “TMI Theatre.” The scene opens in Doctor Mark’s office:
mrp: Would you hurry up. What are you, a baggage handler?
drmark: I don’t know why you make such a big deal about this. You’re a gay man.
mrp: So, you have patients who enjoy this? That’s even creepier.
drmark: Shut. Up. And by the way, you win the prize for this week’s largest prostate.
Proving that snappy patter is worthless when you’re standing bent over an examination table with your pants around your ankles and the good doctor’s finger up your butt.
I believe it’s traditional to describe ones prostate at this point in terms of the fruit kingdom, typically a grapefruit or a watermelon. I prefer to think of mine as a guava. Stupid thing has never done anything for me except lead me into a series of wacky misadventures and now it demands to be taken for several walks every night out of my cozy bed and into the much less cozy toilet.
Also, you know that corn syrup ad? Yes, you do, it’s all over the Overweight Housewives Channel. It’s the one where two soccer moms are preparing to slurp down a gallon or two of some sludge based soda and one meekly advances some polite concern about consuming corn syrup as part of their bacchanal. “You know what ‘they’ say….” she mewls.
The other one turns on her and spits out, in the most condescending tone possible, a diatribe justifying the glop, including the fabulous rejoinder “Corn syrup is all natural.” So the mousy one is put in her place, corn syrup reigns and they go off to explore their new-budding lesbian love, or whatever.
Just once, I want to see the mousy one shriek “Get you, Mary. Don’t talk to me in that supercilious tone of voice, you slagheap. And by the way, arsenic, strychnine and bird droppings are all natural, too, but I don’t plan on consuming them either.” And then she would clock her, right beneath her smugly raised eye brow, knocking her to ground where she would kick her and smash her and pulverize her. Did I take my meds this morning?
Houseboy Seamus Feelpatrick assures us he never eats corn syrup.

We believe him.

Chemo Land

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Somewhere along about the second hour of R Man’s chemo treatment today, I started thinking about those crackpots who fake having cancer. I understand people do a whole range of blazingly stupid or bizarre things and this just seems particularly unsettling because I am currently involved in it, but still, the phrase “what the fuck were you thinking, asshat?” comes strongly to mind.

R Man’s chemo went smoothly, he’s in good spirits, the nurses are very sweet and chipper without being obnoxious, and I can tell by the time we finish round four of the treatments, I am going to have to Take Steps against the so-called “decorating” in the waiting room. Grey and mauve and fluorescent lights; a day spent there and I feel rather unwell myself and I don’t even have cancer. I think the frauds who hoax their friends into believing they have cancer should be sentenced to spending some hard time there.