Again the Phoenix Rises

Once again i call on my imagery of the Phoenix rising from the ashes to return me to life and to continuing to nurture my baby, this Blog.

Wednesday last week i developed a headache.  Kind of a run of the mill frontal aching in my head.  Thought nothing of it.  Thursday my headache remained but now it was severe.  It hurt so much i thought it was either a brain tumor or stroke about to happen.  It was so bad that narcotics couldn’t take the edge off the pain.  Friday it was better…milder but still present.

Just so happened that i had an already scheduled appointment with my primary doctor for that day.  I kind of nonchalantly mentioned my horrible headache i had experienced the day before.  He performed some basic neurological screening in his office to see if i had, or was having, a stroke.  He said, “have you ever noticed one pupil being larger than the other?”  when i said no, he asked me to go to the restroom and look in the mirror to check it myself.  Well, yes the left pupil WAS larger than the right.  my doctor said go straight to the hospital ER and not to drive myself, because “you might have a small bleed (in my head).”

i took Uber right over to the hospital.  When i told the ER clerk my doctor said i might have a bleed in my head, she moved me to the top of the list of patients waiting to be seen by a doctor.  I had a head CT Scan that was normal, but without any definitive diagnosis explaining my larger left pupil i needed to be admitted and would have to get an MRI/A of the head as well.

This morning the neurologist came in my room, looked at my eyes proclaimed it was a benign condition called Atonic Pupil.  Look it up, he said.  Furthermore, he explained that the left pupil was in fact NOT dilated but rather my right pupil was smaller than the left one.  Also, I had the MRI/A done just to make sure there weren’t any other problems or infections.  Forty five minutes of lying on a hard table, being slid into the machine and hearing all those loud sounds banging and knocking in the machine – and not being able to move at all.  The results were obtained four hours later and the results were negative for bleeding in the brain.  And apparently there were no other abnormalities such as infection or atrophy of the brain.  Good News!  So, i guess i “dodged another bullet” as they say.

my Phoenix continues to rise in the face of disease, debility, cancer, and a myriad of other diagnoses.  The Phoenix is my symbol of power in the face of hardship and adversity; it is a symbol of my resilience and perseverance; and my refusal to roll over and die, or tuck my tail and run.  i am assertive with my health issues.  i am my own best advocate navigating the frustrating maze of the healthcare system.  But most of all, i am a fighter.

Well, how does this story relate to me as a leatherboy and BDSM/Kink positive person?  First, i thought of my “toy” bags and the expression on my husband’s face when he opened the if i died.  Ugh!  Then, i thought, i will be dead…won’t matter to me at that point.  Second, i wondered how i could die never having fully lived the Kink lifestyle.  Third, i simply shrugged my shoulders and said, “what next?”  You see, i have had hiv 33 years, AIDS 27 years, had KS (AIDS cancer) 1990-1995, AIDS Pneumonia (PCP) 6 times, bacterial and viral pneumonia a couple times.  my CD4 count was 7 in 1995 so i became a hospice patient.  i got into a placebo based trial (against hospice rules) of a new class of hiv medications and received the real drug.  Two of my friends got placebo and died.  i survived and thrived.  Was thrown out of hospice for not dying.  Diabetes 1998; Anal dysplasia 1998; lipodystrophy and facial atrophy 1998; right breast lump w/biopsy & lumpectomy (benign) 2003; pinched nerve with foot drop on left 2008; Osteoarthritis 2009; Rheumatoid Arthritis 2010; Anal Cancer w/radiation and chemotherapy 2016; Cervical radiculopathy 2016.  And to be current on my list – Atonic pupil 2017.  That is why a Phoenix is at the top of my page!

Thanks for reading,
boy stray

boys of Leather, my New Club

 Years ago in my Internet searches I came across an online presence of a group or club for submissives or boys of Leather.  I returned to the site repeatedly not sure what I was hoping would be there or what may have changed since my last visit.  I even went to the Facebook group looking at the pictures, and wondering when or if I would make contact with them.  They looked “normal” like regular guys.  Friendly even!  But I didn’t do anything.

But, this year, after I was diagnosed with, treated for, and recuperated from anal cancer, I made my move.  After all, I had survived the worst of times with AIDS, nearly dying several times back in the nineties.  Now I was struggling with the living with anal cancer after receiving chemo and radiation.  The after effects were horrendous.  But I came through that tunnel walking toward the light of health, clarity, and determination to continue rising from the flames and ashes of adversity like a Phoenix to live another day more authentically.

I emailed one of the boys who was a board member.  We met for coffee with two other members to discuss the club, how one becomes a member, and to get a feel for each other.  I liked those guys immediately and have met many boys who are all friendly and welcoming.  And I am actually not the oldest boy who is a member.  After attending four meetings and having coffee many times, I was voted into the club at the November meeting.  I feel like I belong.  I have new friends.  I have a social outlet in addition to going out with our other friends.

Another group I would like to join is a club for Doms and subs.  There are educational programs, socials, and business meetings which are rotated monthly.  So far I’ve only been able to attended a couple of Meetings.  There was a demonstration event at a local Leather bar last month that I attended as well.  I wanted to participate, but shyness, insecurities and self-doubt about my abilities got in the way.  Hopefully next time I will volunteer to be the sub for some activity.  I am meeting and getting to know a few more of the members, but none well enough yet to ask one to be my sponsor.  Maybe in a few more months I can move forward with my application.  I enjoy watching the Doms and subs interact with each other as it is another opportunity to learn roles and actions in a D/s relationship.

My affinity for the Phoenix symbol propelled me to get a tattoo.  I wanted a small Phoenix on my thigh and told the tattoo artist exactly what I wanted and the size.  However when I went back to see his rendering of my ideas, the tattoo, which I think is beautiful, was over twice the size I had wanted.  However, I approved it and got it done.  My first tattoo.  Probably my ONLY tattoo.  It was excruciating pain having the Phoenix colored and it took over three hours to complete.  But it was worth it.  It is a beautiful piece of art.

Next up…Old Guard, new guard, or no guard?