After a great deal of pain and my fiance' getting me to move on it I went to the doc's. I have these tumors... and they have been bothering me, and like many, I ignored it. I work, go home, and jump online for a few hours. "I'll get to it," I say to myself.
So this pain was in my huevos, and that got me to go. Not fun pain in the least. My doc asks me if she can see the tumors. I go to unhitch my belt.
"Noooooooo, " She laughs, "The ones on your back."
I do, and her jaw drops, she turns white as a ghost, "Cafe Ole spots, fibroma... it's Neurofibromatosis type I." (A genetic disorder, and if anyone cares, here is a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurofibromatosis_type_I)
"That's what I thought. A tattooer friend, who knows medicine, told me that a year ago," Said I.
"Consider this a second opinion," She said.
This doc has known me since I was eight years old, and she used to give me sample packs of antibiotics because my family was poor. I turned to her to jokingly ask her if antibiotics would help. She was still white, she had her hand to her mouth and looked as if she might cry. Nice lady, like I said.
I stopped myself right there. "Is this what the Elephant Man had?" I ask.
She nodded, almost unable to speak, "Yes... I didn't want to say..."
I figured that, as I had seen a documentary on Joseph Merrick, although he had both NF1 and Proteus Syndrome.
I jumped in the air and
ran over to her. Granted, I wanted to give her a hug, but she's a pro, and since everyone in my mind is a potential client, I gave her a high five. "YES!" I yelled.
"Sure I am. I know what it is now, I'll find treatment as best I can fr as long as I can (there is no "out" for this, as Stoney St. Clair said about Ben Corday who had TB, "You watch the leaves fall and regrow for a few years, and then they bury you."), and I tattoo. Tattooing was a big part of the sideshow. My lady's family were all in the carnival business. So as I see it, all I gotta do is learn to paint circus banners, become a human volcano, and swallows swords. I can be my own 10 in 1."
Of course the shock wore off, and now I'm none to pleased. My lady and I will get married, but until I can get checked out at a clinic that specializes in this, my prognosis will be up in the air. Not to mention I may not be able to work for much longer behind machines. Bummer two, I just tuned my Jim Dandy's after a year with no problems and they purr like vicious kittens.
Sure, I got my books I'm writing, and I figure I can still paint flash for a while, but this has become what I always dreaded. Fatal illness. And it isn't even one I would have expected. Lung Cancer. COPD. Heart Attack, or a stroke.
Nope. Not a one. In fact, this has been with me since conception. I have been a ticking time bomb of badness just waiting to happen.
Bitter? Naw, just bummed I might have to leave the party early. Sad? Maybe that people will see me as a freak, and since there are no more sideshows, I can't go out. (I'd be tattooing on a sideshow right now if they would have me)
So now it's SSDI and Medicare for me. Sweet.
But I'm not angry. Shit, if I get real awful looking I can always use it. All the world loves a tattooer? No? Yes? They loved Stoney, and love Grime, so a big tattooed guy with deformities... maybe I'll still fit in.
Anyways, for my one friend on here, I'll be posting snippets of my book now and again.
Buy me whiskey, for I have no money for whiskey now. Oh and 11 mags. I'm out and using 9s. Yes, you feel bad for me right? (wink)