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

Advertisements

“Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back.”

Tomorrow, “This is where we hold them! This is where we fight! This is where they die!”

Tomorrow my large intestines will pay for nearly five years of hell they have caused me. I will arrive at the Royal London Hospital for surgery at 7am. I could be in theatre as early as 8am. I will either be having part of or all of my large intestine removed and ending up with some form of ostomy, which will with 99% certainty be for life. It all depends on what the surgeons find when they open me up. Initially they are going to start the operation laparoscopically (aka keyhole) however they may have to open me up depending on what they find.

On one hand I can’t wait. It will be the beginning of the rest of my life. I should be able to do things again that I haven’t done in years that I used to take for granted like getting on a tube and going out with mates without constantly worrying where the nearest toilet is. However I have inane ridiculous fears that I know the chances of bad things happening are minimal, but my brain has decided to push them front and centre and concrete, weld and superglue into place. Of course the biggest fear is dying, however that’s probably the least likely to happen. More likely risks are post op infections, having a car crash on the way there or choking on lucozade in the next 20 minutes. I suppose what scares me the most is the total lack of control I have over the whole thing. I cannot do anything other than turn up on time, and hope for the best. I have to put my life in the hands of total strangers, and trust them to get me through it. As long as it’s not like Holby city where they are having a domestic over my open abdomen then I’m happy. I think this quite from gladiator shows why I’m frustrated ” Ultimately, we’re all dead men. Sadly, we cannot choose how but, what we can decide is how we meet that end, in order that we are remembered, as men.” I cannot do anything about this. As soon as that anaesthetic goes in, I’m relying solely on machines and strangers to keep me alive.

Sorry but I’m going get morbid, sometimes it helps me to rationalise it all. I can only hope that the majority of the time I have had a positive impact on people’s’ lives and that’s how I would want to be remembered. More gladiator, ” What we do in life echoes in eternity.” I can only hope I have had a positive impact and if I hadn’t, well fuck you because you probably pissed me off 😛 Thing is though, in the grand scheme of society I don’t feel like I have given much back because I haven’t had the opportunity because of this fucking illness. So hopefully as of tomorrow I can start.

I’m on a serious Gladiator thing tonight, watched it last night and I love that film. “Three weeks from now……..Imagine where you will be, and it will be so. Hold the line! Stay with me! If you find yourself alone, riding in the green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium, and you’re already dead!” Amen to that.

It did freak me out earlier when I got out of the shower and looked in a full length mirror. I’m not a particularly vain person at all. I will leave the house looking like a tramp regularly if I feel like it. However, I realised I am never going to look like that again in less than 12 hours time. In fact, it reduced me to hysterical tears for about 20 minutes. I know that it’s a new beginning for me though. I’l get over it.

Last time i will ever look like that.

If people are looking to visit check my facebook, I’m going to put a large status up with all the details you need to come see me. I’m not gonna have any visitors till Monday unless I am very well and on my feet etc. I’ll put my old dears phone number up so just ring her for any information you want.

“Ready your breakfast and eat hearty… For tonight, we dine in hell!” aka the royal London. (alrite the last and first were 300)

One of those days.

I am now so fed up with sitting at home doing nothing. It is fucking depressing. I feel like such a fucking waster. My life is on hold till this fucking operation happens and I still haven’t heard anything. On the other hand, deep inside, I don’t even want this fucking operation, but I would rather just get it done with and out the way so I can get on with my fucking life. I am sick of this fucking illness and everything that goes with it. Sorry I’m just having one of those days. I’ve been on the verge of tears most of today for no apparent reason. It doels not help I’ve run out of drugs again, but that’s my own fault. To be honest I couldn’t really give a fuck about them. Sick of having to take tablets everyday and inject every week. Doing all of that and more for 4 years or so and I’m still going to have to have surgery. Excellent. Might just go and drink myself into oblivion. Meh.

I HATE the dentist

How very strange, a good day for once (bodily function wise). Although I’m pretty sure it’s because I was hung-over all day the day before and ate jack all alas there is nothing that needs to leave my body today. Hence a good day be default. I actually don’t even remember going to the loo once today, very rare for a day like this. I struggle to remember when everyday was like this, normality. It seems so long ago and I suppose at the time I took it for granted. I seem to be spiralling into deep and morbid thought this evening after watching part of a documentary about a man who had and died from motor neurone disease. You can find his story here http://oftenawesome.org/

Stuff like that always makes me think about my own mortality and how you really can’t sit on your arse and let life pass you by. You could wake up tomorrow with a terminal illness or who knows. There is no guarantee that you are going to live to be an old man. Saying that, at the moment I am still quite happy to lie in my bed till ridiculous hours of the day and sleep like some kind of long term coma patient, only because even if I do get up or plan to do something my arse dictates what I can and can’t do so I rarely ever bother to plan anything and when I do, I have to starve myself for at least a day and a half before and live off of lucozade and redbull. Saying that I went to the dentist today for the first time in two and a half years, because honestly, my teeth have not been high on my list of priorities the last few years. I had my check up expecting to be told I need all sorts of horrendous treatments but all I need is one filling and have to stop drinking fizzy drinks. Hrmmmm I’m not going to make unrealistic goals so I’ll try and cut down instead of outright give up.

Did I mention that as a child I feared the dentist more than the blood sucking, animal murdering, hell spawn paedophile demon that I thought lived under my bed? I mean the most embarrassing time was when I must have been about 11 and I decided I am not going to my next dentist appointment with the dentist from hell whose sole purpose in life was, I thought, to inflict pain and suffering on me like some kind of Nazi POW camp guard. I worked out when our next appointment was and came up with a plan. I would hide in my garden until well after the set appointment time, that way there was no way we could go even if we were late. Now problem number one, my garden is not that large, maybe 15-20 meters long and about 3m wide at its widest. Problem number two was that I didn’t have the balls to actually “run away”. So instead I would put on every single piece of camouflage clothing I owned, face paint, scarves and all (remember, I loved the army) and hide in the small number of bushes we had in our garden at the time.

So the day of the appointment came. The appointment was arranged for around 9.30 let’s say. So I was up at 5am, the crack of dawn because I knew my dad got up early for work and I had to beat him out the door. So I got up, camouflage gear on, face paint on, ready to roll. I could have put a royal marines sniper to shame. I crept downstairs, which in my house is no mean feat due to the lack of carpets and ancient floorboards. I used a spare key to open and lock the back door behind me so as not to raise suspicion through missing back door keys. Now where to hide? I picked the bush that was actually closest to the house as it had the best and thickest cover. It was only about a meter tall, wide and deep. The bush was only about 4 meters from the back door. So I got as deep into the bush as I could, got comfortable and settled in for a long wait evading “the enemy”. About 2 hours passed before the first inkling of enemy activity appeared, my dad opened the back door, looked outside and went back in. I then knew then enemy were on alert and I had raised their suspicions. Half an hour or so later, reinforcements arrive, my mum comes out the back door and actively searches around the garden. I held my breath as she rustled the bush I was in but she missed me and returned to the enemy barracks. During the next hour both brothers came out to look for me and they also didn’t see me despite actually looking in the bush I was in. I was a fucking shit hot commando in my eyes, they had been less than a meter from me and none of them had seen me.

The ultimate test was when my dad, the camp komandant, came out to have one last proper root around the garden. I started to shit myself because he was being fucking thorough. Getting properly into bushes and shouting my name. I thought this was it, I’m fucked and going to be in soooo much trouble. He arrived at my hiding spot and leaned into the bush moved the branches about. My bum hole was now making noises that only dogs and certain varieties of bats could hear. and he looked me dead in my face. That’s it. I’m fucked. But he stood up and walked off, apparently not seeing me. SAS? they didn’t have shit on me! I should have been training THEM for escape and evasion. I exhaled after I realised I was still holding my breath for what was a ridiculous amount of time. I left it another 45 minutes as then it would be midday and well past the appointment and we couldn’t go.

I finally emerged from my hide and now in true commando style walked hysterically crying to the back door realising I was in the shit and this tactic would lull the enemy into a false sense of security and gain their sympathy. I entered the kitchen and into my mum’s arms who was moments away from calling the police apparently. She demanded to know why the fuck I had been hiding in the garden. Through my blubbering tears I told her I didn’t want to go to the dentist because I hated it that much.

“Hold on Hastie, what dentists appointment?”

“The one today at 9.30 that we’ve missed”

“No?! That’s Tomorrow…………”

“FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!”

Step One: Begin vomiting words onto laptop

Where on earth do I even begin. The begging I suppose.

Right, well about 2 months ago I walked into St. Barts hospital, up to the first floor and instead of turning right as I normally do into the medical outpatients wing I turned left into surgical outpatients. I was due to see a surgeon for the first time to discuss ” the possibility of surgical options” which is a nice way of saying we definitely need to chop you  up a little bit but don’t want to scare seven shades of shit out of you.  I checked myself in and took a seat. To be honest, I can’t even remember what was going through my head, I think on a subconscious level my brain was stopping me from thinking about it. I don’t remember walking into the consulting room just vaguely bits of the conversation, I don’t know if that just because of my abysmal memory or because I had so much going through my head at the time.

To cut to the chase, and my god are these people blunt about what has to be done, they want to take all of my large intestine out, leaving me with a bag for life, and I’m not referring to those big orange fuckers from Sainsburys.

Yes sports fans, I am due to have an epic bit of shit surgery, but on the bright side it will be keeping me alive for the forseeable future and if I can get my head round it, it will only improve my day-to-day quality of life. They want to do it as I have a 20cm stricture in my large intestine and a shed load of active disease aswell. So they figure fuck it, lets get rid of it all and be done with it.

I’ll sum up the last few years with the main points of the story. Now I have been in a pretty sad state of affairs for the last 4 or so years. I was first properly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in my second year of University and eventually in my 3rd year it had become so bad that I was hospitalised for a short stint, although it seemed like years. see below.

This is what happens when you don’t eat all your vegetables

So during my stay I was fitted with one of the above bad boys, a naso-gastric feeding tube, aka a long yellow straw that goes up your nose, down your throat into your stomach and feeds you with this ideal diet which helped to pack weight on me. This was because at 6′ 2″ and weighing under 8 and a half stone I was massively underweight.

Since then I have been on various drugs, some which work, some which don’t. Currently I inject myself once a week with Humira, a drug, which to be fair, has worked wonders for me although it does have some pretty shitty side effects that I have somehow, so far, managed to avoid. Also I’m on Azathioprene, another immunosuppressant, and clomipramine, which is for my fantastic anxiety attacks I get due to constantly having to worry where the nearest fucking toilet is every second of every day.

Now since being diagnosed, I just about managed to graduate university in Industrial Design with a 2:2. I’ve only managed to do one full-time job, and even then I struggled. I cannot tell you how much I hate not being able to go out and work a full-time job and earn a half decent wage. At the moment, I have been properly signed off work until after this operation.

I go and see my surgeon in just under 2 weeks, where they will discuss the procedure with me in-depth and put me on the list for surgery which unfortunately does mean another 3 to 4 week wait till it actually gets done.

I’m now at the point in my head where I just want it over and done with. Its going to be a shit procedure with bullshit things like having to have catheters and drains hanging out of me when I wake up and then 2 months of recovery at home, but if and when I come out the other side of it my life should change dramatically for the better. I’m so fed up of spending what feels like half my life in various toilets and having my life dictated to me by some shit fucking disease whereby I can’t go out and work, I worry anytime I leave my house and only feel comfortable enough to venture to a handful of places.

However, hopefully soon all of that should change =D

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.