The Reckoning, part 7

9 Apr

As I continue with my recovery I realize it’s highly essential to continue the tale of woe that was October 2011. Where I left you last, I was just moved to a single corner room in the hospital, after I was almost discharged.

About half a week in, my mother finally made it out from Ohio. It was so relieving to have her there, both as a mom and an advocate. She would bring me non-hospital food and endorse me eating treats that I knew I shouldn’t be eating. But that’s what mom’s are for, right? They want to see you happy, if only while you’re chewing.

I had a hankering for a strawberry milkshake. It probably won’t take a genius to figure out that’s not a good idea for someone like me. But mama to the rescue! She bought me one from the Mickey D’s down the street. It was really tasty, I won’t lie. Even though I had looked up the ingredients and knew what I was getting myself into.

Oh the humanity...

In my new digs, I had new symptoms. The main one being gas. But when I say gas, I don’t mean farting. I WISH I meant farting. I mean trapped air; imagine one of those metal tanks of helium filling a mylar balloon, causing my stomach to expand to the point that the pain kept me from eating anything at all.

I’m not sure if it was the dairy, corn syrup or what, but it was agony. The first episode of this was for the 16 or so hours after blasted milkshake.

A weird phenomenon that happens with UC flares is that your digestion actually lulls. You’d think with frequent D that everything’s just running though you like a river. Not so, friends! It’s more like:

Minute 1: You’re pulling your hair out in a gridlocked traffic jam

Minute 2: You’re racing down the Autobahn, gripping the steering wheel for dear life

Very abrupt. So the gas was bad because, when I wasn’t on the toilet, nothing could escape.

Also, for the sake of transparency, when you do fart during a UC flare, the smell will honest-to-god kill a puppy. So, in the rare event that I was able to break wind, it was necessary to shield my innocent guests from Armageddon.

This otherworldly stomach pain hit at least every other morning. At 7a the residents did their rounds and they’d press on my belly with cold fingers and too firm of a touch.

If it seemed bad, I was sent down for x-rays. One time my least-favorite attending physician told me he saw the films, that I had some hole in my intestine, all hell broke loose and I might need surgery. All this dumped on me at once, without my mother advocate there – probably no coincidence as I’m 100% sure he was scared of her. Yet for how dire it all was, I didn’t hear anything about it for another 6 hours.

The surgeon who periodically checked in with me told me later that my attending had misread the films, there were no issues there.

The same surgeon came back to visit a few more times. I thought that was rather un-surgeon like, considering our first meeting he explained to me the cholestomy procedure I might need, and I since had no questions for him. I got to know him over the days and I was able to make the connection. He was a UC patient himself.


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