Friday, July 09, 2004

Emergency Room

continued from This Is How It Happens

Did I tell you how much I love my gay, gay neighborhood?

In my neighborhood, when two well-groomed guys walk into an emergency room, people don’t assume that they are straight. They assume they’re male nurses coming into their shift.

I can imagine what two straight men might experience here:

"He’s having severe stomach pains...yeah, for about an hour now...what? Am I his partner? No, dude, we’re just roommates...what’s that smirk for? Listen, I told you, we’re not life partners, he’s holding on to me because he’s in pain...leggo my arm man, this dude thinks we’re I want to accompany him? No way, he’s on his own, dude, I don’t wanna see his naked ass..."

Brian didn’t have any problems accompanying me to the ER. The gay-friendly staff never questioned who he was and why he was wearing a t-shirt from Target. They just took it for granted when we said we were partners. To be honest, I was terrified of having to be alone, not having him by my side to hear the doctor’s verdict. If I had to go under the knife right then, I would like to be able to tell him that I loved him, and to make sure he go and tell the guy at the comic book store to hold the next issue of Promethea.

The doctor examined me as I lay on the ER bed in pain. Damn, he was cute. His warm and friendly eyes reminded me of George Clooney but without the annoying political views. I tried my best to do the sexy version of my moaning and writhing in pain. He pressed the cold, metal surface of his stethoscope on my hard, glistening chest, listening to the quickening beat of my heart. He pushed and prodded my stomach under the thin hospital gown. I wondered idly if he took house calls. I could use a good massage when I got out.

Then Dr. Clooney brought two one-gallon plastic containers of what looked like milk and asked me to drink it all. It was a barium solution that is used to make your internal organs show up in a CAT scan. Just the look of it made me want to throw up.

I am serious about my so-called dairy paranoia. Dairy is the only thing that keeps me from earning my "No Gag Reflex" merit badge—something every cocksucker, I mean boy scout, aspires to have. Lactose intolerance is not glamorous enough for me; I have to have an irrational fear and disgust of all things dairy, real or faux.

For example, I refuse to eat anything made with coconut milk because it has the word “milk” in it. I refuse to eat anything with coconut in it by association. And don’t bother trying to convince me to drink horchata or rice water even though there is no dairy in it—it looks disgustingly milky.

Holding my nose and closing my eyes, I was able to drink about four glasses of the milky substance before the urge to hurl overcame me. I told the nurse frantically to give me something to throw up into. She gave me a shallow, kidney shaped metal bowl, like one might use if one were having a kidney transplant or serving Hannibal Lecter dinner. There was milky water and the remnants of my late-night Taco Bell dinner everywhere. I was sooo embarrassed. I had been telling everyone I was a vegetarian.

Later, when the doctor told me I had a bowel obstruction, I panicked for a second. Did I forget to take the gerbil out of my ass? Then I remembered—that was last week.

It was at this point that Dr. Clooney decided to admit me to the hospital. If I knew then that I would have to stay there for the next four days with no food, a tube through my nose, down my throat and into my intestines, pumping out crap, I might have demurred.

As they wheeled me to my hospital room, Brian by my side, we passed by another male couple, hands clasped worriedly, conferring with their doctor, a few beds over in the ER. We overheard their doctor say that the appendix had to be taken out; the patient had to be taken to surgery immediately. One guy gave the other a reassuring kiss on the forehead while the medical staff looked on...

*contented sigh*

...did I tell you how much I love my gay, gay neighborhood?

Next: Misery

Other posts in this series:

Part 1: This Is How It Happens

Part 2: Emergency Room

Part 3: Misery

Part 4: Discharged!

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