Friday, October 5, 2012


After my much-anticipated trip to the Neurologist and what I was sure would be a slam-dunk “bed-side” diagnosis of my Parkinson’s Disease (you have to exhibit 2 of 4 symptoms, there are NO quantifiable tests), I came home in a frazzled state of mind. Worse than my usual state of mind and felt I had been set up. I had all of my paper work and all of my ammunition; MRIs, EMG test results and corroborating documentation from leading neurologists.

The verdict? “We’re not sure you have Parkinson’s Disease; you also have malnutrition, you need your thyroid checked, you take B-12 injections every month, you’re blind. You have mild neuropathy.”  They blinked at me and here came the zinger, “You’re bipolar.” More blinking. “We must rule out stoofs.” This after almost two hours of neurological TORTURE and making me run into walls and try to touch their goddamned fingers. I CAN’T SEE, YOU STUPID SHITS; DON’T MAKE ME DO IT 20 TIMES. I am not an act in a circus.

No. Fucking. Shit. Guilty to all of the above, but for one, assbites. This shit has gotten WAY worse, every fucking symptom I just told you about over the last 2 MONTHS. The tremors, the pain, the ear-hooting, the 1000-yard stare non-vision, the neuropathy, all of it. I’ve had all of that other shit for years. So, tell me, Dr. Mengeles, why the FUCK didn’t you just come out and say “We’re going to wait until Medicare will pick up the tab in March of 2013. We have no intention of lessening your suffering until then.” Fuck you, you Nazis. And Dr. Mengele? If you ever, EVER barge into a room again and say to me “Why are you here?” in that tone of voice as your first word of greeting to me? I will behead you. I mean it. You suck. You can just goose-step right out into traffic.

This Guy Would Have Been a Better Doctor

I was all set to go off and sulk for 2 months or stay up for a month or set my hair on fire and run down Nebraska Avenue, 33605, but the last time I chose number 2, it earned me a stay at the State-Subsidized Happy Acres. Rather then eat a bunch of pills, stay up for several weeks, have a psychotic break, try to climb in the fridge, go back and play “Wheel O’ Death” with those fine folks at St. Joseph’s Hospital, I decided to write about it instead. Besides, and this is the worst, not the possibility of dying; the fact that I would do something so wantonly callous and thoughtless to JC and possibly leave him behind. That leaves me colder than cold.

One of our compatriots from the shelter died, precisely 5 weeks after Wade died. Jeff wasn’t well and didn’t really take care of himself, but he had a companion who looked after him, Dana McKinney. Ms. McKinney is a dear and loving woman. She promised Jeff, that he wouldn’t die homeless, and she saw to it. I weep now as I write this. I couldn’t always understand their connection. They were rather like 2 children. He would get a bit huffy and leave her behind, but in the end would always return where she would be waiting patiently. Sometimes, when people aren’t well, they require a great deal of patience. We all require a great deal of patience.

She would come by and visit us after we moved, every so often and they were doing okay. He was still working, but had put on a great deal of weight. I didn’t really care for him, because he could be loud, and I was concerned for her. As always, I’m on the outside. I once again, for the millionth time, have had the lesson, “Thou Shouldn’t Judge,” driven home. So has JC. He was critical of Jeff as well and worried about Dana; we needn’t  have.

They moved about 2 months ago. About 2 weeks ago, Jason, who still lives at Happy Acres texted us with a very confused message about Dana and Jeff had died. I called Dana and got an answering machine. She, then called Jason, who called me and we were on some weird 3-way phone connection. Jason is in the main Guy/Frat Party house standing next to Mike, the Manager who’s on the house phone talking with Dana, who’s on the hospital bedside phone at St. Joseph’s with Jeff, who’s in the process of dying. Jason’s on the phone with me, so we have this fucked-up round robin of death thing going on. I want to do nothing so much as hang up the phone. This is so Nebraska Avenue, 33605. Touching, yet a scramble-fuck-wheel-o-mortality of hilarious. These are dear, dear people. We really do care. Possibly because in many cases, we’re the only family we have, as fucked up as we are.

I can hear beeping and yelling from the hospital. I can hear some kind of football game “12 to 3 Bobcats!” and cheering. I can hear somebody threatening someone with a knife “Yo Dude, dem’s my Twinks; I be cuttin’ yo ass! Git yo hands off ‘em!” and rap: “BOOM-dada BOOM-dada BOOM-dada” in the Frat House. Dana’s quiet hitched-in sobs. Jason’s breathing. Mike and I are silent. I’m standing next to JC. He’s looking down at me with his blue eyes. He has such blue, blue eyes. Beautiful eyes, with black lashes. We always argue over who has the prettiest blue eyes. He does, by miles. I look down; I’m welling up. Gradually, I notice the sounds dying out, the TV goes off, music stops, the banter stops, I can’t even hear Jason’s breathing. Just Dana’s quiet  sobbing. It’s absolutely silent…. No beeping. Utter silence for maybe 20 seconds. A long time on a phone. First Dana, then Jason says, quickly, “Jeff’s gone.”
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