Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Homophobe Bottom Feeder and the Celtic Curse

Groan...I'm back....sort of...I think.... You know the other day, some homophobe commenter named Gobifish attacked my last post about bullied gay kids. And ended his lunatic diatribe by saying:

"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 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 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 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 S├ębastien 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.

S├ębastien 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 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...


  1. can't say i've ever heard of this condition.....whew, glad you were diagnosed and treatment is available!!!!!!! and to think that when we were kids we'd give blood just so we could get drunk on a few beer! drag you have to go through this and all.

    as for gobifish, i'm sure he'd love to suck your cock and is terribly jealous of sebastian....perhaps you could point him to some online gay dating services?

  2. Oh, Simon.:( You take care of yourself. I'm glad you've got Sebastien to look after you.

    Pay no attention to the jerks. (If you're bothering them that much you must be doing something right, eh?)

    Take care, buddy.

  3. Hrm, *hug*. :)

    I hate hospitals. Mom got cancer, grandma got cancer... resulted in man hospital trips. (i am glad to say, everything looks all clear at the moment)

    anyways, I just like you to know that I know how tough it is. And ppl may start treating you differently because they will think your fragile. Sometimes that can be the worst part.

    Anyways, take care of yourself. In many ways, you have been takign care of me :)


  4. Anonymous8:36 PM

    Simon, Gobidick or whatever he is, is sub-human no matter what political stripe he thinks he is. Please don't let it get you down. Lowlifes like that are not welcome in any civilized
    Keep on blogging and stay well.

  5. when you're do'in the contribution to all gay men even all human beings,remember to take care.Without health,without future (both yours and your supporters,haha)
    To gobifish,he can kiss your ass!!!

  6. Jesus, man. Get yerself 2000ccs of poutine, stat!

    OR send it to me. I have to make do with bad homemade putine down here. I would be happy even to have Burger King poutine at this point. Poutine, and anything from Unibroue. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Drink lots of water, etc, blah blah, for the cold. :) Get weller, soon.


  7. I have never heard of that condition before and you can’t get much more Scots with a name like mine. When I was kid they use to tell me I was low on iron although I don’t remember that diagnosis being the result of any blood tests. I was just skinny before it was fashionable, at 5’ 8” I weighed 126 lbs and I ate like a pig, age took care of that, dammit.

    You make me think of that old medical practice of blood letting, I guess this is just a modern version. I don’t envy you going to a hospital all the time for that, it’s the last place you want to be if you don’t want to get sick.

    People like gobbledick are best left ignored, if you don’t give them a reaction they lose interest pretty fast. He’s just an asshole who isn’t worth your time.

  8. Hi Scout! yeah that's why I wrote about it...because it's so common, so easily dangerous.. and yet so unknown.
    As for the Gobishit...the next time I go down to the fish market I'll ask if they know about a good dating service!

    Hey JJ!! Don't worry about me, I was diagnosed way before any damage I have absolutely no ill effects. It's like giving blood at the Red Cross four times a year. Since I can't do that because I'm gay...I might as well give it up at the hospital. Besides they give you cookies and sandwiches and fruit if it wasn't for those needles...I'd luv it!!!
    As for're right...but then he's lucky he's got show him what not to do... :)

    Hey Rashid!! How are you doing brother? Thanks for the hug. But don't worry hemochromatosis isn't like Kryptonite! I'm as strong as a horse. Anyone can faint after giving blood...especially if you exercise. Any homophobe who thinks I'm fragile... and tries to attack me... would be making a very serious mistake... And as for keeping an eye on you and making sure you don't get too gloomy. Hey it's a pleasure! :)

    Hi anonymous...thanks for the good wishes...and yeah you're right about that guy.I'm kinda kicking myself for descending to his level..And I don't blame the conservatives for him either...I certainly hope to be an annoying if small thorn in their bum...but I do know that most of them are better than that...

    Hi Ur!!

    Thanks a lot for your good wishes...but as I explained above...I'm healthy and strong....and of course very sexy!!
    :) Let me take the occasionto wish you and all our brothers and sisters in China a very Happy Chinese New Year!!

    Hi Jay!! OMG know it's funny we don't even try to make it here. We don't really make anything Quebecois.If we had a St Hubert BBQ next door...and a Mama's Pizza next to that...we'd probably be completely satisfied. I guess I gave up...when the Frenchies here told me that you can eat anything you want in long as it's on a kaiser they should talk...have you ever tried Poutine a la Italienne (gravy with ketchup)
    It's special :)

    Hi Bruce! yeah you know I had never heard of it before either. It sounded like something a camera might suffer from...or a death sentence. But actually it's harmless if treated in don't even know you have it. But if you don't it can be very serious...there are some new studies that suggest that it could be a factor in male heart attacks even more significant than cholesterol. What made a big difference in diagnosing the condition was the development of a genetic test. Before that they had to do a liver biopsy...which is just about as pleasant as a spinal tap...ugh..
    But when even the groups most at risk don't even know about it...a lot more has to be done to make sure doctors don't miss or misdiagnose it. As for your other question...the answer is... of course' just his twin brother....but yeah I am one lucky bitch. Bitch. And no I'm not complaining... ;)

  9. who is Sebastien???
    Don't make me feel upset:)

  10. The Patient Connection11:02 AM

    Hi There

    I was wondering if you would like to help us with a research blog of hemochromatosis

    We are trying to find out more about peoples experience with diagnosis

    It would be great if you could share any thoughts


    Belinda Shale
    The Patient Connection