I was BORN to wear heels. Really!

Something awful has happened to my foot. My big toe feels like it may detach itself from the rest of my foot at any moment. It’s gotten bad enough to give me a slight limp that I playfully try to pass of as “swagger.” Which is a polite way of saying “pimp walk.” I’m sure it fools no one. Remembering that I have health insurance, a true luxury for those in my income bracket, I made a call to a local pediatrist.
I have a friend who goes through great lengths to seek out the best doctors. I, however, will pick whoever’s closest. Which is probably why I ended up in a sun-bleached strip mall decorated with cracked walls, barred windows, and sloppy graffiti. If you’re going to tag a wall with your “art” at least make it legible and clear. Anyway, I spent close to an hour and a half in the waiting area/daycare center. I truly hate summer. First there’s the heat and then there’s all the noisy children and dead-eyed parents. An hour amongst children (that you don’t know) is possibly the longest hour of your life. I just sat patiently waiting, hoping none of brats ran over my achy toe.
I had about reached my limit when I was called into one of the exam rooms. It was a small pink box of a room that had a large chair in the center. While waiting for the doctor, a small child would float in and out of the room wondering what exactly was going on. I wondered where this child’s mother was and why the exam room door was still open. Where was my privacy as a patient? Continue reading

Phantom Friend

Every now and again a name of someone I once knew will pop into my brain. People come in and out one’s life for a variety of reasons. A long string of “friends” from my past were co-workers and classmates and the relationship would dissolve as soon as we separated; or they were people that have simply run their course and left as swiftly as the entered. Sometimes, though, I’ll think of someone and wonder why our relationship ended. Was it something I said? Something I did? It always aggravates me to have so much in common with someone and yet, for one reason or another, we are not friends.
Driving through my parents neighborhood yesterday trying to flag a man down that had a flatbed with valuable junk I wanted, I remembered a name: Angelo Espinosa. By the way, I was already in my parents neighborhood to see them. The guy with the trailing tanker desk in his flatbed was just a plus. I really want a tanker desk.
Anyway, Angelo Espinosa, a guy I haven’t thought of since high school when I first met him. He had facial hair, which back then in the year 1997, I thought was a anomaly. Only adults had goatees and beards. He didn’t have either, but he had some really dark facial stubble. I always thought, in my smooth, baby-faced head, how strange it was to see a teenager with an adult marker like permanent 5 o’clock shadow. Continue reading

Thanks to Queerbomb!!

A big thank you to Queerbomb for letting me come out and read my stuff. You guys did a great job at inspiring the youth and reinvigorating the weary. I only hope I did a good job of making them laugh.
A special thank you to Daniel Villarrial, Daniel Scott Cates, Chaaz, Meg Hargis, and D.R. Hanson for all of their hard work and big hearts.
G

Early start! But look at all the gay love!
Early start! But look at all the gay love!

"Sin" had a powerful and moving speech that was a little hard to follow.
“Sin” had a powerful and moving speech that was a little hard to follow.
People looked to be enjoying themselves. Just look at them laughing.
People looked to be enjoying themselves. Just look at them laughing.
In the end we all end up in the "Hispanic Food" aisle.
In the end we all end up in the “Hispanic Food” aisle. Serving you “after-party” realness!

I Did Something Awful

I was a very angry teen. It wasn’t unheard of for me to lash out. My attacks were usually verbal in nature and almost never violent. There were only a few times when my temper got the best of me and I’d give into using my fists.
There was one night I had stayed behind in the ceramics room cutting mats for my Senior Art Showcase when an underclassman came in and started talking to me. Truth be told, I don’t remember how the chat started or what it was even about. My memory of that night lives only in small distorted clips of footage.
I recall the kid was shorter than me, his forehead coming up to my chin. I remember his full lips that were unusually pink and only parted to giggle. Then I remember he put his hands around my waist. I remember asking him to please not do that. He persisted. I asked again. This time, he insisted. I pushed him away, maybe a little harder than I should have. And when he bounced back, still with a smile on his face, I punched him hard and in the stomach. He folded over looking up at me with tears in his big brown eyes. He said nothing and neither did I.
I’ve always regretted my actions. I didn’t know how to handle my anger any better than he knew how to handle his…I don’t know…his crush? His infatuation?
I didn’t even know his name. I knew nothing about him. He knew me though. No matter what he knew or what feelings he had, it was enough for him to try to make a move. It was all handled so poorly.
I think about him often. Even more since the heights of bullying have reached a frightening high. I think of the kids who don’t have the outlet for their frustrations and turn on themselves. Causing themselves harm or, the worst, taking their own lives. I hear of the victims of bullying and I want to hold each one. I want to tell them how sorry I am they have to endure such abuse. And to those who died I want to tell them how much they were loved and what a gap has been left in the world with their absence.
I feel so much guilt for becoming physical with him. I felt I betrayed him. As homosexuals we spend an exhausting amount of time worrying about being “bashed” in one form or another. I felt like I turned on my own. I was the “basher.” It turns my stomach that I never apologized.
I have no ego to think our confrontation led to Jorge’s departure. But it has crossed my mind. I believe the events of our youth steer us into the expectations of our adulthood. What role did my teenage self play in his adult world? With luck, he moved on and forgot it ever happened.
I never said I was sorry and, if I’m being honest, my teenage self would be too ornery to ever comply. But my adult self? My adult self would hold you close, wipe your tears, and say how very sorry I was for not controlling myself.
I’m so sorry, Jorge Fuentes. I’m sorry I treated you that way.
I’m so unbelievably sorry I didn’t learn your name until I read your obituary.

 

Kidney Stones and ER Visits

If you don’t already know then let me reiterate: I AM NOT A DOCTOR.
The following is a tale of my OWN experience.

Have you ever had a kidney stone? It hurts like a mother fucker. I should know as I am trying to pass one as I write this. The damn thing won’t let me sleep so why not jot this down for the curious types out there, right?
I thought it would be a quick process, but no, I’ve been dealing with this for close to 4 weeks. I’d say the pain is anywhere from a noticeable but painless twitch in my side to a holy-shit-someone-give-me-a-bullet-to bite-on kind of sharp stab. The ER staff kept asking, “scale of 1 to 10, where are you?” I’ve been mostly floating between 1 and 5, but today I shot straight up to a modest 9. Also, because saying 10 is too attention-seeking for my taste.
Apparently, there are 4 different kinds of kidney stones. I have 2 stones and no idea which I have. Maybe it’s a variety pack and I’ll be surprised with each delivery. One is on the move, currently making a clumsy exit down my right ureter while the other is still lounging about in my right kidney. I know this because I just got home from the ER.
I was confused when the doctor ordered a CT scan. Two weeks prior I had gotten an ultrasound as recommended by my primary physician. Didn’t they have the results on file? If she had looked at them, she’d know it was not kidney stones but I was having a gallbladder attack. The nurse who called me this past Wednesday with the results said very clearly that my kidneys are fine and that I have gallstones and a fatty liver. I knew that, why didn’t my ER doctor? Maybe because she’s a doctor and knows the differences between the two and can tell them apart just by looking at you; whereas I, not a doctor, was going by hearsay on the internet and the results from a different medical exam.
I won’t say I was given the wrong test, because it did find the gallstones and fatty liver. Neither of which, as it turns out, was giving me hell. But they said specifically that I had perfect kidneys. Four days later, I have a new doctor telling me I have 2 kidney stones. And even more confusing, there were no signs of gallstones. Uh…What? How? Well, the CT scan apparently gives a better picture of your kidneys. The doctor explained, “this machine is better at picking up kidney stones than an ultrasound could. That doesn’t mean you don’t have gallstones or that your other exam was inaccurate, but this test didn’t seem to pick them up.” I wanted to know if every doctor knew that bit about CT scans being better for kidney stones. My primary doctor didn’t know. To be fair, I should say she didn’t seem to be aware of the difference.
As frustrating as this situation has turned out to be, I want to clarify that I’m not angry. I don’t think anyone is at fault or that anyone is lacking. Both doctors (and nurses) did what they believed to be the best for my health and I’m grateful to them. But sitting there for close to 2 hours waiting for results to come back, I became curious as to how many times this must have happened. How many people prolong their medical issues by never questioning their doctor’s word?
I was taught that you should always do as the doctor says. For the most part I do. Sort of. My neuroses keeps me from strictly adhering to medical rules. That’s neither here nor there. Anyway… In that moment of sitting on the bed in the hallway of the ER, I started thinking about the ordeal I went through for my teeth when I was a teen. My dentist said to pull my wisdom teeth. My orthodontist said pulling my wisdom teeth would cause my teeth to float which could lead to a life of braces. My periodontist, caught in the middle, basically said, “pull ‘em or don’t pull ‘em. You have enough room in your mouth to accommodate either decision. Wear a retainer if you’re concerned about floating teeth.” I was under the age of 18, so ultimately, the decision went to my mother.
But it got me thinking about how in medical science, there is no one way to do things. Each professional you speak with will have their own take on a matter and we are taught to never question it. Except that it is okay to question your doctor. If I have taken anything away from the kidney experience is that it’s okay to question your doctors word. Have them explain their decisions. Ask about the medicine going into your body. Find out more about the machines they are using on you. And when they give you an answer, question that too! When I asked the nurse what she was putting in my IV, she simply said “nurofen’ and left it at that. Oh! Okay. And what exactly does that do? What should I expect? Is it possible to have an allergic reaction? ASK! It’s okay to make sure you understand the process.
Also, it’s okay to say NO. If you’re not comfortable with something the doctor recommends. You CAN say no. Now, it’s important to really consider the consequences of denying certain treatments, but just know that if you don’t want to follow through you can say no. As someone prone to addiction, I had to say no to the prescribed hydrocodone. “It’ll really help with the pain,” she said. I get that. But it could also leave me popping pills once this is all over. I had to say no and ask, “what else you got?” Instead, I got non-habit forming ibuprofen. Sure, not as strong, or as effective some would say, but it’s a compromise that we, me and my doctor, could agree on and, honestly, it’s been working just fine.
It should be a priority to know what your getting and what your options are. You should always ask about alternatives or even second opinions. Any doctor (or nurse) who becomes annoyed or impatient by your questions is a doctor you don’t need to be seeing. You have every right to know what’s happening to your body, what’s going into it, and why. It’s easy to become intimidated by the doctors insistence, thinking, “well, they’re the doctor and they now best.” But if you’re not comfortable with something they are recommending then say something. Say No or ask why. I can’t help but wonder if I could have cut this 4 week hell in half if I had just asked more questions or spoken up.

Let me just throw this out there for all my phobics: If you’re like me and you deny treatment out of fear (which i did during my first ER visit, I’m embarrassed to report) then maybe try a conversation. Even just talking about a certain treatment has made me become more open and more comfortable. Talking about it, getting the facts, and understanding the procedure usually eases my fear or skepticism and I’m more willing to say yes to treatment. As phobics, we are more than comfortable saying no to, well, LOTS of things. It is of utmost importance that in a moment of health crisis that you weigh your fears against the possibility of feeling better.

Where Have I Been?

Aside from being busy building an unstable empire, a couple of weeks ago I was hurried to the ER for sever pain in my side. It was my right side so I immediately thought it was an appendicitis. It was not. In fact, we (my doctors and I) have no clue what’s going in my abdomen. Just pain. It’s gotten better since then, but there’s still some discomfort. It can get pretty intense at times but nothing I can’t just wait out.
In addition to the side pain, I also peed what looked like cola. The doctors identified the discoloring as excessive amounts of blood in my urine. Which means, to them, that I must be having kidney problems.
I’ll be going in for an ultrasound soon to see if I have any stones causing trouble. Originally they thought I may have already passed one. However, I’ve always heard that it hurts. “It’s more painful than childbirth” I’ve read. I didn’t experience any of that. Just pain in my side and bloody pee.
My theory, thanks to hypochondria and internet access, is that I have developed an intense urinary tract infection perhaps brought on by the E.Coli virus taking up residence in my ureters. But I’m no medical professional.
So…who knows…
Hopefully I’ll get some answers from the ultrasound.

You and Your Kids are Gross

Okay… Here’s the thing…well…let me start with a story.
In fourteenth century Europe (boring already, right? Stick with it. I’ve got a point. Maybe) the superstitious and simple people lived in fear of cats. So many believed the common cat, especially the black ones, served as a link to or were the animal embodiment of witches – the brides of Satan. It didn’t help that the Pope even said that cats were some evil bitches in league with the devil (I’m paraphrasing). Anyway, in religious hysteria, all manner of people went on a hunt for each and every devil-cat. “They are evil and need to be destroyed,” so demanded the European religious leaders ( I assume). Sadly, the people listened and they just about succeeded in eradicating the feline. The European cat population had fallen to an all time low. Meanwhile, with a natural predator taken out, the mice and rat population shot through the fuckin’ roof! If you paid any kind of attention in school, you’ll recall that the various parasites that live on rodents (and don’t forget there was an overabundance at the time) carry a plethora of nasty diseases, such as the black fuckin’ plague. Hmmm…Very real plague vs. fictitious devil-cats. Who’s gonna win? So yeah, the black death killed 1.5 million people which is, like, half of Europe at the time (I know because I know how to operate Google).
I’m gonna let you mull that over for a bit.
Now…because I am not a parent I have not voiced an opinion on the anti-vaccination movement. I have no dogs (or children) in this fight. I do, however, know children. And I care for them deeply. I also happen to care for those who, unfortunately, have impaired immune systems. And, if I may be frank, I would like to have those people (and others) not killed off by your disgusting disease-infested rodent-children because of what you think you might know about science. Get your god damn filthy children to a fuckin’ real doctor.
“Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” If you haven’t heard that before then, congrats, you are a dum-dum. Also, if you’ve never heard that quote before just know that I made it up. It’s all me and my wisdom. Don’t bother Googling it. Trust me. I’m a doctor.
Now go watch “Contagion” and wake the fuck up.
“Masturbating with OCD” now on sale on Amazon!
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A Day in Oklahoma

12:58 PM
Lord help me, I’m in nature. Been here 10 min and I’ve already twisted my ankle.
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1:15 PM
Y’all, I just saw a roadrunner. I’m in the middle of a god damn forest in Oklahoma. I’m pretty sure they filmed the Blair Witch Project here.
2:00 PM
Don’t be jealous but I get to spend the day at J&R Bing n’ Things/ department of motor vehicles.
3:05 PM
I know it’s weird but I’m weird so whatever. Anyway, when traveling by car and I have to stop to use the bathroom I LOVE to go from stall to stall to scan the walls of all the profanity, crude penis drawings and dirty jokes. I stopped at the Texas/Oklahoma welcome stop not really expecting anything written on the wall. Although I wouldn’t be surprised to find some sort of “Fuck Texas!” tag. Instead, I went into the last stall of this nice restroom and was met with blood splatter on the tiled walls. I peed and got the hell out of there.
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Sadness, but whatever.

UPDATE: I’ve been doing by hardest to juggle some pretty big stuff. But, It would seem I’m just not able to do everything. Between the books, the 7-room house, the 6 animals, and the new restaurant (plus potential projects), I have decided to let “Ask a Gay Guy” go after 3 years of “hard” work. Thanks to everyone who made it fun. A big special thanks to Josh Little, Byron Webb, and Casey Agold for being my writing partners. It bums me out that I wasn’t able to keep it going, but…whatever…I guess it wasn’t meant to be and I should use this to launch into other things.

You can still get your fix of catty advice by buying books 1 and 2 from my website,
G.