"But then again he (Simon) probably prefers to spend most of his time on his stomach if you catch my drift...."
I responded in kind by telling the fish to suck my cock....at least in his fondest dreams. Or even better..... bite a juicy worm on a HOOK.
But actually the bottom feeder Gobifish was only half wrong. I have spent the last few days feeling totally FUCKED. Except that I was lying on my back ...after a double whammy that began in a place I know all too well.
The Oncology and Haematology clinic of the Toronto East General Hospital....
It's a quiet peaceful place. All you hear are the voices of the four or five nurses moving around the clinic. And the beeping machines pumping chemo chemicals into the arms of cancer patients.
But I don't go there about every two months for that. I go there to BLEED.
Ever since I arrived in Toronto I have been treated at that clinic for a disorder that although it's very common in Canada ....and potentially fatal....is still tragically unknown.
Hereditary Hemochromatosis (HHC) is the most common genetic disorder affecting Canadians. It is a crippling, potentially fatal condition caused by a defect of iron metabolism that leads to iron overload in vital organs, joints and tissues. The complications caused by the disorder are preventable if a diagnosis is made before the excess iron causes irreversible damage, and effective treatment exists.
But sometimes the diagnosis is delayed because some doctors miss the early symptoms of what is sometimes known as the Celtic Curse...because it's particularly common in people of Irish and Scottish descent. Although my Scottish dad's descendants came from Normandy. And my mum's English...
One in nine people of mostly Northern European descent are carriers of the most common type of HHC and 1 in 300 are estimated to have two copies of the gene that puts them at risk for iron overload. Up until recently, medical professionals were taught this was an extremely rare disorder, so your doctor may not be aware of it.
The treatment is to remove a certain amount of blood, slightly more than they extract at a Red Cross Blood Donor Clinic .The body then uses the iron stored in the organs to build the new red blood cells.
When I started I was going every three weeks. Soon I hope it will be every three or four months...for the rest of my life. I never will like needles. I hate them. I don't know how junkies do it. But it's a small price to pay for your health.
And besides I love my nurses....and meeting so many cancer patients in such a place....kids with leukemia ....women with breast cancer...old men with their grandkids by their side.....and becoming friends over the last few years ...and losing some of them...and watching some of them win the biggest battle of their lives..has taught me what real courage is....and I hope .... made me braver and more human.
Although not smarter I'm afraid....For the last few sessions the doctors have been trying to determine how low they can get my iron levels without making me anemic. So I really should have known better than to go over to the gym that evening with Sébastien to watch him do stuff like this...
And then start fooling around on an ultra high tech exercise bike..... Only to make it about one third up the first hill on the little screen...faint .... and crash to the ground with a sickening thud.
Sébastien had to carry me back to the bunker in his arms. Which was REALLY embarrassing. But also really NICE. Only to wake up the next morning with the mother of all head colds. That's what happens when you have to visit hospitals....
Anyway...I'm still a little groggy...but I'm feeling a lot better...At least I know that I won't have to go back for a while.
So tonight I want to end by urging ALL Canadians..even those who hate me...the ones who fall into one of the high risk groups...or anyone suffering from the symptoms of hemochromatosis...to check with their family doctors.
And ask to be tested if there is any doubt. And not to wait but do it as soon as they can. Because time is the enemy.
And life is too precious to waste...