Another revolution around the sun

So, we are done for another year and what a bitch of a year it’s been for the world. Celebrities are battening down the hatches and hiding in bomb shelters for fear of being taken by the reaper who appears to be on a form of celebrity bounty hunt. I for one think that an armed to the teeth SAS regiment, with drones for overwatch should be taking Ian McKellen, Patrick Stuart and David Attenborough to an undisclosed location, wrapping them in bubble wrap, surrounded by a mile-wide minefield to protect them during 2017.

This year for me has had its ups and downs. I can’t grumble as this time last year I was still recovering from having my entire large intestine removed, trust me that will knock the wind out of you.  Now I was previously banging on about how life will not hand you breaks. Shortly after I posted that blog I managed to go and land myself a much better new job. I now work for a charity, it’s different from what I have done before but in good ways. You aren’t just chasing profit and revenue. Especially to the point whereby you put earning money above risk to people, and ignoring legislature as I have previously seen some companies do in the past. That’s not my cup of tea. This is actually about putting the people you are supporting first, which is how it should be. So it would appear someone upstairs may have be listening and actually cut me a break. I might be able to afford to move out this year at some point. There are many times when I was ready to give up in life but you just have to keep cracking on and work towards something better and occasionally with a tiny sprinkle of fairy dust, luck and a black magic spell I paid £200 for a shaman to perform, its might just work out.

I also ticked something off my bucket list recently. I was granted my first shotgun licence and purchased myself a brand new Browning Sporter, over and under shotgun. “Why do you want a gun?” I hear you cry, because if used responsibly it’s as fun as shit. It’s something I have always wanted to do and it’s a good laugh. It also bodes well should there ever be a zombie apocalypse. By the way, should the zombie apocalypse happen, gather your supplies, meet at my house where we will make our way to the coast, hijack a boat and go from there. At the moment I am honing my skills on clays, and to be honest I am happy with that. I would maybe try one proper shoot for pheasant or something but only if I was confident I could hit what I was aiming at and it would be eaten or used after which I am sure most are. I went today and hit thirty six out of fifty. Destroyed the first three stands with ten out of ten, eight out of ten and then ten out of ten. “I want to see you hit one on this one.” says the gent escorting me round. Well that sounds ominous. “This is the demoraliser then?” Fucking one out of ten and only because I skimmed it. Quickly brings you back down to earth and makes you realise how far you have to go. Practice makes perfect.

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Christmas was the usual affair of meat and alcohol although it was somewhat overshadowed but the fact I had a wisdom tooth removed the day before Christmas Eve. Why on earth I thought that would be a good idea was beyond me but it needed to come out it was agony. Now, nobody told me that if your tooth is really impacted, as mine was, THEY CUT IT IN HALF with a drill first. That was the least fun thing I did all Christmas. Once they have cut it in half, the doctor took out what looks like a mini pry bar “You may hear some crunching now” It sounded like someone was stomping on gravel in my head. Once the first half was out the remainder was dragged out with a pair of long nose pliers. That was that, done. Explicit orders not to drink or smoke for the first 48 hours or you could end up with something called dry socket, which sounds like an out of business hooker, but I am told it is actually a painful condition due to not following the doctor’s rules. Here I am now, six stiches later with next to no pain. Although, I quickly learnt the hard way, for the love of all that is holy do not put cold water anywhere near that hole or it will reduce you to a crying five-year-old girl.

So now is the time of year where we all lie to ourselves and tell everyone what better people we are going to be, that we are going to eat healthily and exercise and not kill hookers but we all know its lies and we will keep doing the same crap we do every year. What I like to do is set my expectations for the year really low then anything that goes well is a bonus.

However, after saying all that I popped down to the Royal Free to see my cardiologist today for my follow up after all the tests I had done. I had recently had a letter that basically said all the tests look good and my heart function, which was originally what they were concerned was quite bad, it turns out to be at a normal good level. So, I originally had an echocardiogram which said that my heart function looked quite impaired and the top two chambers were only working at as little as fifty five percent. This would explain why I got out of breath when I was thinking about walking. They started me on a couple of drugs, sadly not the fun kind, and then performed a cardiac MRI a bit further down the line. Now the results of this showed that my function in these chambers was normal so in theory the drugs may have worked fantastically well and allowed the function to return to a normal level. All the other tests they performed showed nothing untoward or out of the ordinary. Generally speaking, they are quite happy although they don’t have a definitive reason as to why my heart is beating so fast so have been given the diagnosis of inappropriate ventricular tachycardia aka your hearts beating fast and we don’t know why. On the bright side, I have been told I am allowed to go back to the gym. I’m going to look at getting myself a personal trainer because it’s going to be hard enough to start from scratch with a level of zero fitness. I will be one of those blokes in the gym panting and sweating a great deal, not moving far from one of the defibrillators.

New year, new start and all that jazz I guess then. No excuses now. I might just slowly document this over social media to shame myself into action. For those of you who know what Reddit is, I subscribed to r/discipline where I was reading some bits and I came across this which struck a chord with me.

Don’t rely on motivation for anything. It is fleeting and unreliable. Discipline, however, is unyielding. Force yourself to follow through. Things are going to come up in life that get in the way of your goals but that’s no reason to let them stop you completely.

Can’t do a whole run? Do half of one. Don’t have time to go to the gym to lift? Do pushups. Any action is better than inaction. Don’t like the food you need to eat to meet your goals? Tough shit. A little discomfort is worth the change, and at the end of it you’ll have a mind as tough as your body.”

Time to put words into actions I guess.

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Playing The Cards You’re Dealt

Life does not hand you breaks. Life does not give you what you think you are owed. It will get better is something I get told a lot. Often it either doesn’t, or it does but not to the extent you need it to. I always have had the outlook that you shouldn’t worry because there is always someone worse off than you, 99% of the time that is true. The problem is everyone’s problems are relative to them. You could be a homeless man with a booze problem, could be worse, you could be an ISIS captive in Syria. Millionaire on a yacht has just lost five hundred thousand pounds in a casino, could be worse, you could be normal and not have a yacht or have five hundred thousand pounds to blow on roulette. Your problems are relative to you and your life, and they will always seem shit to you.

Now a lot of the time these problems can be solved, sometimes they can’t and you have to deal with it. The worst ones are the things that really shouldn’t be a problem, and should get solved, but for one reason or another they don’t. I’m 28 still living at home, not earning anywhere near as much as I would like, can’t afford to move out, live month to month, can’t afford to save, will probably never ever be able to afford to actually buy a house, stressed out at work, I shit in a bag for the rest of my life, just been told 2 chambers in my heart are only working at anywhere between fifty-five and sixty-five percent and will need meds for the rest of my life. You think life would cut you a break at some point. It doesn’t. You have to make your own breaks. However, this seems harder than trying to crack a safe, in the dark with a rubber hammer.

I don’t want things handed on a plate to me but I wouldn’t mind being able to get a foot in the door at least. At 28 I’m watching my friends get married, buy property, start families, getting ahead in careers and generally making lives for themselves. I’m still lagging behind living like a 19-year-old in their first job. I got accepted into a job I would have love to have made a career out of in the ambulance service. The week before I was due to start I ended up in A&E in the Royal London Hospital and ended up staying there for 2 months, so that knocked that on the head for the time being. There was no real job security as well because due to the amount of time I had off in the past 2 years before that meant that if I had 1 day off in my first year with them they could have taken the job off me. I’m now in a job that I enjoy with fantastic people, but at times like any other line of work it gets stressful and sometimes demoralising. To compound matters, we have just have had the awful premature loss of an integral, well loved, hilarious member of staff who passed away. She was remembered in an amazing and individual fashion whereby, as per her wishes, we all turned up to her funeral in our pyjamas. Jesus Christ did we get some funny looks. She wouldn’t have had it any other way. In the short time I knew this lady you could see that she had an infectious wicked sense of humour and always had a smile on her face regardless of the intense battles she was fighting every day. She put up a fight to the end, a fight she ultimately lost but none the less a fight any battle hardened soldier would have won medals for.

Recently we also found out we are now due to lose another key member of our team due to changing circumstances in her personal life, our mother hen, the lady that manages to control 3 feral undomesticated men on a daily basis whilst managing a branch, the lady that is always there to talk to when we would rather take to an elevated position with a high powered rifle, our branch manager Tracy. It will be with a heavy heart that we see her go but now that she’s going to be a lady of leisure enjoying the sun and her grandchildren, we can’t argue with that. I’d probably leave as well. I’m debating a sex change just for the lady of leisure title.

Life has its ups and down but it’s how you deal with them and what you make of it. Sure some days you can’t face getting out of bed and you’re strongly debating on whether it’s worth wrapping your car around a lamppost on the way into work just enough for a couple off weeks of work rather than actually turn up. Then you have great days where you feel really productive, get loads done, have a laugh and can’t wait for tomorrow. You have to take the rough with the smooth. This is the same with any job, and life in general. To quote Alexandra Dumas,

“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”

Most people you encounter on a daily basis are fighting battles. Big or small, long term or short term, everyone is fighting. I want to do everything I can to move myself as far forward with my life in the time I have. At the moment I’m fighting to better my life but limited by my dysfunctional and constantly misbehaving body in the form of a pair of angry siblings. Senior Dickhead le Digestive system, which to be fair seems to be behaving for once and of course how could we forget my crappy cardiac friend, my heart, being too hyperactive and then being rubbish and only working at half pace. Still you have to crack on and make the best of things, it’s not the end of the world.

We had the Olympics recently, two of the swimmers had Crohn’s. Now a lot of articles read “Olympic athletes overcome/beat their Crohn’s disease” ( https://themighty.com/2016/08/why-i-wont-apologize-for-having-fun-while-sick/ ) which is fantastic but slightly misleading. It gives the impression this illness can be beaten, which sadly is not the case. It can’t always be beaten. Yeah some people will suffer with next to no symptoms, or only mild ones. However, there are people that can’t beat this illness no matter how hard they try, no matter how hard they fight. There have been a couple of articles recently about people that fell like they take flak for allegedly faking or exaggerating their illness because they also go out and have fun and live their lives. I do it. There used to be a few years of my life where I couldn’t leave the house, then when I got to a certain level I could go on a night out, as long as I didn’t eat for 24 hours before hand and even then on the night out I’d have to go and use dodgy bogs a few times a night and often ran the risk of an unauthorised bombing run for want of a better word. Then the day after I would spend firmly attached to the bog with my laptop and a packet of wet wipes from the freezer but it was a price I was happy to pay so that I didn’t miss out on the last year of university.Photogrid hidden battle.jpg

We might not look like it, but we are all fighting battles. Don’t always be quick to judge if you see someone who looks perfectly abled walking out of a disabled toilet or if you see someone you know with a chronic condition or illness out having fun. You don’t always know the outer half of the coin. Untill next time I will continue to crack on with my plans of world domination. I’m just taking the scenic route.

Just remember, you’re never out of the fight.

Till the next instalment of hate, stay safe.

 

 

It’s time to book into Dignitas

What world we live in today. Half of my friends are getting married and having kids, the other half are running around catching Pokemon. We have a new unelected Prime Minister who I wouldn’t trust to preside over a toddler’s birthday party let alone run a country. Bad apples in the American police are showing that they have a total lack of discipline potentially causing a race war, only to be compounded by mentally unstable polar opposites who think the best idea is to then go out and shoot other police officers.

Our world seems to currently be on a severe downward spiral to chaos. We have Daesh/ISIS running around the middle east coming up with the most imaginative ways to execute men women and children, North Korea is basically one large concentration camp, the EU is having a mid-life crisis with an angry teenage Britain that wants to move out, America is potentially about to elect a retarded version of Hitler, they are also about 2 gunfights away from a full blown race war and as usual its pissing it down in summer time. I wonder how we would act as a planet if our average life expectancy was 1000 years and we were being attacked by aliens. We would be far more worried about our long term problems and working together instead of this constant narrative of looking after your own isolationism.

One of my big gripes is the machine gun wielding, black clad psychopaths with imaginary friends running around the middle east executing anyone that doesn’t toe their line. I have read and seen horrendous things. Children being crucified, men being blown up in various ways, burning people alive, drowning human beings in a cage with cameras attached to it so they catch every painful, panic filled, terrifying last seconds of those men’s lives, crushing people’s heads with rocks, stoning’s, being thrown off buildings, decapitations, the list goes on. Now one could argue that due to our involvement in the Iraq war, you know that one that the Chilcott inquiry just said essentially we didn’t need to have? We are partly responsible for this, we caused a massive power vacuum and we had no long term plan with what to do once we had gone in and remove Saddam and his government.  So now ISIS are running around trying to create their own little backwards country. Please explain why on earth we are letting this carry on? I know it’s not only this issue, we could pick any horrendous violation of human rights like North Korea, certain places within Africa, Mexican drug cartels, the list goes on.

Yet most of the world stands idly by. Not too fussed because it doesn’t directly affect them. After discovering the concentration camps we said never again will this happen. Erm guys, it is. It is happening, in various formats around the world.

Why as a planet do we allow these people and groups to carry on in such a manner. I’d like to think if Theresa May forgot to take her pills and started publicly executing anti-fox hunters and supporters of gay marriage at least one country would go hold on a minute, we should probably give those poor sods a hand. Yes, we have sent some drones, planes and special forces over to support local opposition in Syria and Iraq and I know it’s not a clear cut situation but do we, as a responsible country, stand up and say we won’t stand for that and go and put boots on the ground. I am well aware that one outcome of this would be some loss of British lives and the argument will be its not our problem, but it is, we helped created it and the fact that as human beings we should help those in need.

The other day I was standing at the entrance to Barnet Hospital when I heard a commotion about 50 meters away in the car park. A lady began to shout for someone to get security. I could see one man leaning into a car and screaming and most people just standing and watching. So I walked across to find a man in his 50’s screaming and shouting at an elderly lady sat in her car. What had transpired was the man was waiting to reverse into this disabled parking spot and the elderly lady had failed to see him and pulled into the space. So ok the British thing to do would be to tut, mutter wanker under your breath then drive around for twenty minutes looking for another parking space. Hell no, this bloke went full Gordon Ramsey on this poor old dear and managed to fire of a string of expletives longer than the Geneva convention at her and when the old lady had dare try to show her disabled parking badge to him he snatched it off her then viciously threw it back. So at this point I and a few other people shouted at him to calm the fuck down with a bit more gusto and he turned round and realised myself and a stocky nurse were stood behind him looking none too pleased and that he had gathered the attention of most of the car park. Then it begins, oh but I’ve got this wrong with me, my wife’s disabled I’m stressed. Yeah mate it’s a hospital, it’s not like people come here for a nice day out, I shit in a bag, get over it. Most people here have something wrong with them. I informed the fella that regardless of whether the older lady had nicked his space or not, his reaction was totally unjustified and uncalled for. Luckily security arrived and escorted the bloke away leaving the older lady in tears being comforted by hospital staff. The problem was there was at least 20 people much closer than me standing by doing nothing but watch. The nurse that got involved walked about as far as I did to get involved. Yes, it’s a smaller scale but we as people seem to be quite happy just to stand by while others harmed in some way. I know I’m drawing a comparison between two drastically different situations and I’m not suggesting we set up SAS teams in hospital car park bushes to call in apaches for car park road rage.

We are a funny planet. We aren’t perfect but its home. So for the time being we better make the most of it, look after it and look after each other. We need to stop killing people because their views are different from ours. However, that being said, if there are people that refuse to give that up and are adamant they will kill people that don’t agree with them, then let’s wipe them off the earth because in the long run they will only be a negative impact on humanity. Everyone should have freedom of choice, worship, expression, speech, love and every other choice a human should have.

Ah well. My biggest problem this week is I’ve spent most of my wages and we are in a long month. I’ve got about £20 to get me through the next 3 weeks. Good times.

Until the next instalment of hate, don’t assault old ladies in car parks or join ISIS.

Are you still here?

I keep meaning to pick this blog back up but then do nothing about it. This is a combination of my chronic procrastination and also the fact that now I don’t have any problems with my ileostomy I lead a pretty full and borderline normal life. This will be the second time I attempt to make a serious effort to pick this back up regularly. I enjoy writing and if I could it would be what I would do for a career, alas this is unlikely and it will remain my cathartic megaphone to the masses or at least the 12 people that might read this by accident.

So there have been may a development in my life since the last time I wrote a proper bit on this. This is basically an elongated Facebook status. Since my last surgery life has been pretty cushty. So I am now working for a local homecare company managing their complex needs desk initially. This involved the day to day running of this desk which provides care to people with serious physical disabilities, mental health issues and long term care such as people that need live in care. However, my job role has recently changed to solely focusing on the marketing of the business for my desk and the standard elderly short calls. It’s a rewarding job and I enjoy it a lot, not to blow my own trumpet but I’m not bad at it either. The people I work with are fantastic and have found a bunch of great new mates.

It’s rewarding to see your making a difference to people’s lives young and old. It does make you question things about our society such as how we care for our elderly who, at the end of the day, are people’s mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters and in some cases a sad look at how little a family want to be involved in their care. I’m well aware there is always family history but as a society elderly care has become a very clinical thing. When you get old you go into a care home and at some point you will die there, in a hospital or a hospice. Up until the 80’s up to 80% of people died in the comfort of their home with their family looking after them. At what point did we become so above caring for our loved ones who raised us and wiped our arses and nursed us when we were sick as children. We too easily palm our loved ones off onto the care of others. Out of sight, out of mind.

So my health has been pretty good. I had surgery nearly 3 years to the day after my first to deal with a very large angry abscess in my abdomen that refused to respond to antibiotics. As a result of this they removed all of my large intestine and gave me an ileostomy which has been so much more convenient that a colostomy. I really have been able to lead a practically normally life with this without having to worry about changing bags having leaks. Yes, you have the odd problem now and then but generally it’s pretty well behaved. However, at the end of my last hospital stay the NHS finally decided they wanted to investigate my high resting heart rate, to the point they weren’t going to discharge me after my surgeon said I could go home. I promptly told them to do one and I would be discharging myself if they didn’t let me do the test as an outpatient. My surgeon convinced them that this would be ok as I had it for years and it hadn’t been a problem. So eventually I have an ECG and an echo on my heart which showed that my left ventricle had a slight impaired function so nothing major to worry about but we will refer you to a cardiologist just to make sure everything is ok.

Last week I went to see said cardiologist at the Royal Free Hospital. The consultant was very pleasant and took my full history and organised an ECG and an echo on the spot as he didn’t have access to my full previous results. So the long and short of it is that my left and right ventricles are only working at 55-65% and that I will need to take beta blockers for the rest of my life to prevent any further damage. He also informed me that should they not work I will be looking at a significant impact on life expectancy. Cheerful thing to be told and another problem unrelated to Crohn’s I now have. Fuck it. Got to keep your head down and soldier on. However, it does mean I can’t go near a gym as I was specifically told no exercise until they get it more sorted than it is now. There is a chance of the beta blockers actually fixing some of the damage but the way I was told the consultant didn’t sound too optimistic. It’s another thing that I will hit head on and overcome. I have good people round me and that counts for everything.

 

Until the next instalment of pure hate. Stay safe.

Woman, 23, becomes Facebook sensation over colostomy bag bikini picture

In response to the BBC…….

(Man with) IBD Versus Food

Earlier today, the BBC, through their Breakfast show on TV and the Newsbeat Radio 1 and Jeremy Vine Radio 2 programs, gave coverage to Crohn’s Disease, and they managed to provoke the fury of anyone who has the illness in doing so. Why you may ask, when all of us with an IBD, be that Crohn’s or UC want awareness of the conditions raised? It’s because the BBC have been promoting the opinions of a certain Dr Sally Mitton, that Crohn’s is heavily on the rise, it’s all because of a diet of junk food and the overuse of antibiotics, and this is being reported as a fact. And now The Telegraph’s Sarah Knapton has got in on the action and published a story under the headline of “Crohn’s disease in teens jumps 300 per cent in 10 years fuelled by junk food”, and those of us with IBDs are…

View original post 1,009 more words

World IBD Day!

Today is world IBD day! The aim is to spread awareness about Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Now one of the reason I guess that maybe this isn’t one of the most publicised conditions is because nobody likes talking about poo. Shit, crap, shite, dung, fecal matter, chocolate export, bum nuggets, logs, big jobbies.

Anyone can develop IBD – and at least 261,000* people are affected by Ulcerative Colitis (146,000*) and Crohn’s Disease (115,000*) in the UK – Although recently published data suggest that this could be as many as 620,000.

The illnesses can occur at any age, but often begin in younger people aged 10-40. There are up to 18,000* new cases a year. Both conditions are found worldwide, but are more common in developed countries.” *Figures published by NICE Guidelines (2013)               – Website for National Association for Crohn’s and Colitis

As many as 5 million people around the world suffer with IBD. It can cause a variety of symptoms from fatigue, weight loss, anaemia, abdominal pain, generally feeling unwell and of course the big one, the shits. Now that last one was something I got bad. I was going 50+ times a day when I was at my worst. I lived in that fucking toilet, watching whole bloody series of 24, and full feature length films in there.

Today is about trying to make people aware of this illness and its symptoms. In hindsight, I should have gone to the doctor about 6 months before I started to have problems but of course, your bowel habits change when you first get to uni and you instantly put it down to a bad diet, drinking too much and generally a poor lifestyle and you can even convince yourself that for six months because you don’t want to go and talk to a man in a white coat about your poo, how often you do it and of course its colour and consistency.

If I hadn’t hung around and maybe actually gone to see a doctor, who knows if it would have got as bad and as advanced as it did. You can’t live in the past and i now have to crack on with my current situation. What I would urge other people to do is not sit on their hands out of embarrassment. I mean come on we have all watched embarrassing bodies and jesus christ GP’s must drink a lot to un-see some of the stuff they have seen, so by that standard talking about your poo for 10 minutes pales into comparison. What if I had gone 6 months earlier and they put me on 1 tablet and that sorted everything out and I never had another problem, now I will never know. I don’t want you to put yourself in that position where your left wondering like I am.

Luckily now with all the advances in modern medicine we can fight this horrendous illness with various tools from drugs to surgery. Medical research is so important I have essentially scraped the barrel in terms of drug based treatment. I was on infliximab and then humira, both biologic TNF inhibitors, trust me wikipedia can explain what they are better than me. Now they are essentially the last line of defence in the war against crohn’s because once they become ineffective there is only surgery. Saying that, I think one more has just been developed but I need to do more research into it. So research as ever is still so important to winning this battle. So if you can spare it, donate a couple of quid by text. Just think of it as me saving you from having a couple of drinks and that hangover not being so bad. You can find the details below. Oh and a picture of me swagging out with my bag out #getyourbellyout

Get your belly out

Me 1 year and 9 months after surgery looking a darn sight healthier!

You can now donate to Crohn’s and Colitis UK by sending a text message from your mobile phone.

 Just send a text saying CCUK14 and your donation amount to 70070

e.g. If you wanted to donate £5 you would text: CCUK14 £5 and send it to 70070.

The full amount of your text donation will go to the charity.

text donate to Crohn's and Colitis UK

 

“The strongest of steels are forged in the strongest of fires”

Return Of The Mack

So I have been absent from my blog for a little while now. I intend to turn that around. My life has changed so much since August the 31st 2013. That was the date I had my life changing surgery. I am now sat  here thinking about how I don’t want to have to go to work tomorrow whereas I used to sit at home utterly depressed about how I spent every day staring at the same four walls interspersed with episodes of Jeremy Kyle, wanking and of course shitting. That was pretty much my life for nearly 3/4 years. I can’t even accurately keep track in my mind because it just seemed to blur into one big haze of shite.

 

Now I have spent a year working for a large corporate estate agents in north London. It’s not something that I intended to get into but they were the first people to say yes. I had a couple of friends that were in the industry and I figured, hey people are always going to need to buy houses! The one thing I have realised is that I am never ever ever going to have a fucking snowballs chance in hell of being able to afford a mortgage or save up a deposit. Going to work every day with a colostomy is now totally natural to me. At first it was so alien, it scared the life out of me. What if my bag leaks? What if someone notices it? What if, what if, what if? Of course there have been a couple of “close calls” for want of a better word. The worst was when I had a gentleman sitting at my desk giving me the details of his property so we could arrange a valuation, which takes about 5 minutes, and I notice the foulest smell that I recognise unfortunately to be me. It was like a mixture of decaying donner kebab mixed with a tanker of crack head arse sweat. Now I instantly noticed the smell, then I watched the poor gentleman’s face change as he has started to chew on my floating arse biscuit. I watched the colour drain from his face as he thought about smashing his face into the desk to end his pain.

 

Shits gonna happen, excuse the pun. However, luckily so far these events have been few and far between and generally I’m pretty confident about my situation. Yeah I have to remember to carry bits and bobs round with me and I’m a bit more self conscious with my clothes and what you can see. For example I have just booked my first holiday in seven years and my first post-op holiday. I am bricking it a bit, leaving the safety of home, the UK, the NHS, my family and all sorts. Having to get my pale and now slightly chubby body out on the beach or at the side of the pool. Now that I find more than a bit nerve wracking. I used to, and like to think part of me is still doesn’t care about what people think of me, within reason. I mean of course, I worry about what my friends and family think but not total strangers. Sadly I now have to admit that there is a part of me that does worry what people think of me, how they will react if they know I have a colostomy. I got told by someone that had already had the operation that ninety-five percent of people that you tell or find out will deal with it well, there will always be that 5 percent that are total wankers. I have heard horrible stories about other peoples reactions from other people with the same condition that have made me want to take a chainsaw to the offending numpty’s skulls. You know what though, I cannot wait to spend seven days in the sun with my missus and a couple of really good mates. 

 

I’ve managed to work for a year a year now with minimal problems from my illness, the only bad thing at work is when I go in with a raging hangover. Yes I am still drinking unfortunately and am, of course, continually promising to stop drinking but I have cut it back. I am also still smoking, again I have cut that back and I do intend to pack it in. Half of me has the attitude that I’ve been through hell and I have the right to let my hair down and do what I want. However, the sensible side of me is in a headlock from the rebellious side as its trying to mumble “Oi Hastie! You peenarse!” You were convinced you were going to die and you didn’t, and you’ve been given a fresh start minus the active Crohn’s. Why are you acting like such an unhealthy dick?” 

 

Honestly, I don’t know why. Like I said I feel like part of me has earn’t the right to live how I want to even though I know it might not be that good for me in the long run but I do need to change it. I’m going to join the gym at the end of the month. The aim is to go religiously 3-4 times a week eventually, for at least six months. I used to be so motivated to get fit as it was working towards a goal of joining the military but because now there is no goal like that I have totally lost all the motivation to do any exercise, well other than this new fangled spare tyre looking thing I’ve got affixed around my waist.

 

I’ve managed to start doing a few things that I wanted to pick up when I was healthy again. I’ve been going clay pigeon shooting more and more regularly and now am looking to get my own licence and gun as its so much cheaper if you shoot regularly. I also sailed with a crew of 5 (including me), from Ipswich to Vlissingen in the Netherlands. We then spent a week going round the various lakes and canals, drinking lots of dutch beer, which by the way is fantastic. Unfortunately we couldn’t head to Amsterdam due to weather and time constraints. I had such an awesome time, even though I found out when I got home that I had broken my foot on the second day and continued to hobble around all week being called a pussy and being told I had only banged it. Thanks guys. Nearly as good as the time on that holiday when I dropped my freshly purchased large donner kebab in front of a group of about 50 people coming out of a club. Mildly embarrassing.  I couldn’t have done any of this 2 years ago due to what I was going through at the time and it’s made me so glad that I had the operation done because it really has given me my life back.

 

Ok there are some things that I really will never be able to do again, well it would be sensible to never do them again such as contact sports like rugby, boxing, martial arts. All things, that in an ideal world, I would like to have given a good go at. I mean I guess I could do these things but I can’t imagine going into a ruck in rugby with a full bag would be the smartest Idea. Although potentially it means people wouldn’t tackle me due to the fear of ending up coated in fragrant material. 

 

At the end of the day these are small losses in my eyes. I still can go and enjoy watching England play at twickenham one day, because lets face it I was never going to be that good, walk of hours in the woods, get on the tube, go to work and generally live my life.

 

Small prices to pay for the ultimate prize.

 

Me and Emma

Me and the missus after a day of shooting

Soon I will be back, watch this space…….

I got my life back

So first things first. I didn’t die. Large point of winning there. I am now sat at home I my own bed finally, surrounded by mountains of medical supplies and medication.

I spent 13 days on ward 13D in the Royal London Hospital. It was an interesting if slightly longer stay than I anticipated.

I arrived at 0700 on the 31st to be admitted to the ward. After being told I was about to be dragged downstairs for surgery that was it I cracked up and could not stop crying. I was beyond shitting myself. I got taken down to the anaesthetic room pretty quickly where I was cannulated and given a first drug to make me a bit woozy. “I don’t think it’s working I feel……oh wait, ‘fuck that’s working” I dribbled as time slowed down. I was then told the next one would put me out. “PLEASE JUST DONT LET ME DIE!” I desperately asked before I blacked out. “Don’t worry you’ll be fine the anaesthetist replied. Then it all went dark.

Woke up about 5 hours later, with 1 drain in my stomach, a bag for life, an NG tube, 2 drips, a catheter and 1 drain where the sun will never ever shine again. Oh and bout 20 staples up my stomach. To say I was a little bit fragile is being generous. I don’t remember much of the first 2 days other than trying to reply to text messages and only being able to type absolute drivel, that and the fact that my morphine button appeared to be doing fuck all for my pain relief. Cue the anaesthetist. “Hrmmm ok” says he “we shall try you on fentanyl see it that makes a difference”. It didn’t. So I was switched back to morphine at which point they say “hrmmm, maybe you are just very tolerant to it” so the anaesthetist stood there and continually upped the dose until I could feel it starting to work at which point I take over with my magic button. He informed me that although fairly normal to be tolerant to it, I did have a higher than normal tolerance, one that you would usually see in drug addicts. I guess there goes my career as a drug addict, I couldn’t afford the amount I would need.

The next couple of days passed in a relative haze. I was obviously a lot more drugged up than I initially thought, I could have given Amy Winehouse a run for her money. On day 4 I think, the morphine pump came out and I was on oral morphine if I requested it, tramadol and paracetamol. Now as good as morphine and tramadol are as pain killers they also slow down your digestive system. Unbeknownst to me, I had a nice case of ileus which is basically where your digestive system is still asleep from the operation and general anaesthetic. However the doctors hadn’t discovered this yet and I was feeling good so out came the NG tube and down went water and soft food to test out my ability to keep stuff down. A litre of bile later and we work out I failed. I can confirm vomiting after major abdominal surgery is one of the most painful things I have ever done. So back down goes the NG tube. Now this NG tube was quite thick and during the process of putting it up my nose and down my throat into my stomach I threw up pretty much the entire contents of my stomach so I couldn’t help but think it was a bit of a redundant exercise as there was now nothing to aspirate out to stop me from being sick.

So due to the fact I for want of a better expression, had not had a shit, my guts were still declared asleep. I honestly thought they were going to have to call in some form of rectal exorcist. “I COMMAND THEE SHIT TO BE EXPELLED FROM THIS VESSEL OF THE LORD!” and then projectile shit everywhere as I climbed the walls of the ward and made my head turn 360 degrees. So I was back on fluids in the form of an IV and back off soft food and only sips of water. I was formally told that they suspected I had a case of ileus and I would just have to wait about for my guts to perk up and they would encourage them along with some laxatives and other bits and bobs.

I found where I had written in my diary on the 6th day.

“I am 6 days post op. I have just had one drain removed, need one more removed, which will hopefully be tomorrow. As soon as my stoma starts working and I can hold my food down then my NG tube should come out hopefully along with the catheter. I was in a lot of pain last night but slept from about 10 till 4am the I passed a bit of gas which instantly felt better, but it feels like there are pockets of trapped gas in other places which are agony. Now we have catch 22. To get your insides started you need to be up and moving, however doing that feels like you have been hit with a mid size car, possibly a small mini bus. I’m going to get up and wander around in a bit with my visitors later as I would love to start eating and drinking again.

The view out of the window is amazing here. Just a shame it’s so bloody hot. I want to be out in the sun relaxing. I’ve changed my bag on my own twice already. It’s easy and quick enough. Part of me can’t help but wince when I look at it and think it’s disgusting, but fuck it. It’s really not that bad and its kept me alive which generally is a plus point unless I’m due to be the next Hitler. There’s a couple of nice older blokes on my ward who have also had quite serious ops. There is a guy called Peter who is somewhat less sociable and I have come to know him as chunder man. As that is all he seems to fucking do, and I had a feeling it was self inflicted (I found out later, it was, he’d nearly killed himself with booze, even though he was apparently a qualified nurse). I’m sure he had some very genuine problems and serious things wrong with him but he was such a fucking moaner and so fucking rude. I could count the no of times I heard him say please and thank you on one hand. He had such a dull monotone voice, so I suppose it was a good thing he decided not to speak to the rest of us really.”

They removed my catheter later on that day and I went for a stroll and even made it outside however the river del urine, failed to flow. Hour after hour passed by which point I am absolutely busting for a piss. Nurses are starting to give me worryingly sorrowful looks like, “I know what’s coming next!” and of course they did, and what was worse that was so did I. If I didn’t have a slash in the near future one of two things would happen. I would damage my bladder, possibly tearing it and causing the need for further surgery, or I was going to get re catheterised. You’ll never guess what ended up happening. The calming convincing words of the nurse were “don’t worry, I’ve got lubricating anaesthetic gel” Fantastic me thinks. Not so much. I can promise you that it felt like a combination of deep heat and chilli powder being projected up my japs eye by a pressure washer. To be totally honest its wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be but it still wasn’t nice. That catheter stayed out till 2 days before I had to go home and I slowly regained the ability to urinate under my own power without the need for flowing water audio CD’s.

After a few days my guts perked up after a long walk and a couple of cigarettes (they always make my guts go like clockwork, ironic cigarettes contributed to me getting out of hospital) my guts finally kicked in, but obviously we had to make sure it wasn’t a one off. So I had to remain in for a few more days. Now came learning to change my bag, I swear to god the first few times I did it I thought it was the most disgusting thing I had ever done in my life and I was like fuckkk. This is for the rest of your days. But I thought to myself “have a can of man the fuck up and get on with it you pussy! this shit is keeping you alive” no pun intended. So I volunteered to do my first one and it was pretty easy to be honest, just needed getting used to what looks like an angry dogs penis covered in poo sticking out of your stomach (on a bad day). However my favourite day was when my stoma nurse came to watch me do a bag change my stoma decided this would be the best opportunity to kick off and projectile shit all over me, her and the bed. Half a degrading hour later and its all relatively clean and new bag on, so the stoma nurse leaves. Alas I notice a leak, so I inform the nurse who insists on helping which was lovely of her however when she cut my bag to size she unknowingly clipped the inside of it, thus creating a hole. So we carry on unawares and finish off with no dramas. 10 minutes later “My god what smells like decaying corpses being cooked in a vat of tramp sweat?” says I. Ah that would be you , you dickhead. I notice the leak so time for bag change no 3 within 20 minutes. I decided to fly solo on this one and managed to do it with no problems. That was my baptism of fire for bag changes and touch wood I haven’t had anything as bad since. I mean I even managed to change a bag recently in underworld in Camden with no lock on the door, piss and sick everywhere, no toilet seat. So with shirt over head, foot on the toilet and back on the door I proceed to have the worlds quickest bag change whilst using everything out of my man bag as there was no where to put it. So I’ve come on some way from 30 minute bag changes in the hospital bog.

2 days later and I was declared fit enough to release, beating my projected discharge date by about 3 days. My god I cannot tell you how good it felt to be home. Since then, I feel like I’ve gotten my old life back and I am some semblance of the person I was before all this utter bullshit walked through the front door of my life, bent me over and repeatedly arse raped me. I got on the tube and buses for the first time in 7 years. My god I have missed that. Did remind me how wanky and rude 90% of the British public is though. Anyways that’s enough for now. Much love I’m off to do a bit more living and what not.

[I have had this blog post open on my laptop since I left hospital but I literally have been too busy actually having my life back and being able to do things that I haven’t been able to concentrate and sit down and finish it. I also blame my blatantly undiagnosed ADD problem. But this is where I am going to leave this for now and will whack another post on later in the week as I have been concentrating on other writing stuff at the moment and now I managed to get this one up it like and can now go back to random smaller bloggages. Apologies for the absence, I’m not used to having a life you see.]

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