Wednesday 5 January 2011


Sun's shining, feeling chipper, kids are cute - I can't bring myself to make you all miserable with some ridiculous coalition faux-pas or piece of callous, Cameron nastiness.

Instead, Dave keeps telling me I should tell you what happened in my op and how things are now.

It flipping hurt, that's the first thing to mention. For about 36hrs afterwards, the combination of ridiculous doses of opiates and goodness-knows what else they give you during surgery, not to mention the fact they get my entire bowel out, (probably a few other organs and things too, I don't know thankfully) check it, run a ball bearing through it to check for blockages, then slice open the ones they find, makes me feel pretty sick. I can tell you here and now that there just can't be a pain worse than trying to vomit when you've just been cut open from sternum to... well, you know.

Coughing's pretty bad too, laughing (and therefore humour of any kind) is banned and sneezing extremely unfortunate, but gagging is unspeakable. As the severed muscles try to comply with the request to gag, they scream in protest, spasm independently, then flatly refuse. You too, scream in protest involuntarily, spasm and gasp, then, if it goes on too long, and you get really lucky, you pass out with the pain or a nurse arrives speedily with an anti emetic. As a point of interest, did you know you can in fact sneeze by making a phthnnnn sound? Oh yes my friends, after bowel surgery, "phthnnn" is your friend.

Anyhow, the good news is, for the first time ever, Mr Genius didn't find a bowel riddled with blockages and ulceration and bits stuck together and bits eaten away. Just a pesky patch of ulceration that he opened up. It was so unlike me, no-one was quite sure if I'd feel better afterwards, or in fact, if something else had made me vomit and writhe so much.

So far (Day 14) I'm feeling just dandy. No pain, no vomiting, eating nice normal sized, normal consistency meals with a healthy smattering of high calorie goodies thrown in to get the weight back on. Everything seems to be in working order and for all those who doubted my fabulousness, opiates are already a thing of the past with no ill effects. Yay for me.

I can think again! I can talk to my boys and see my friends and did I mention the eating bit? I often wonder quite how I adapt to eating a mouthful or two of something bland and soft every two or three days. At first, I'm hungry - amazing how if you're genuinely starving you can feel hungry even when you've just vomited. After a week or so though, you just don't really bother - the danger zone. The weight falls off and suddenly there are no fleshy bits to stick needles into and you can't get down the stairs or talk above a whisper.

Dave is considering installing a conveyor belt to the Tesco Express at the top of the road as I rediscover the great pleasure of yumminess.
"Daaavve." *wheedles*
"Yeees?" *said with great suspicion*
"I think I might fancy a packet of scampi fries/mango/thai fishcake/slice of smoked salmon"


A few minutes later, boots are hauled on, take-away menus are dug out of cluttered drawers or cupboards are checked and the object of my whim appears. I'm a little emotional from all the trauma and drugs, so if it doesn't arrive, I've been known to cry.

I am a little childish, a teeny bit whiny, and way, way too stubborn for my own good. Not proud you understand, but alive, and in need of a little more TLC than is probably reasonable.

At times the world is a sparkly place, full of possibility and hope and tiny pleasures. Other moments I am desperate, defeated and frightened of the future, but every day the sparkles scrub away the dark places, and I get stronger.

What will I do with my three months? (6 if I'm really lucky?) Well, who knows? In the past I've crossed America coast to coast on the back of a motorbike, or emigrated to Italy or bought a house or had a baby. The heady opiate of freedom is irresistible, the energy you all take for granted, waking up and the first thought isn't "Bleurggggh". It makes me do strange things.

Still, I'm sure you'll all be the first to know ;)


  1. Don't really want to do a whole new post for this, but I'm actually rather good at giving credit where it's due, so here's something I actually applaud from the coalition and congrats on extending it. I hope it works.

  2. Really good to hear the outcome of your recent 'idyll' in hospital!

    Interesting that they didn't find what they expected. Fingers crossed that is positive and you get at least 6m opiate free-ish!

    Syzygy Sue x

  3. That's great news Sue, and you do indeed make the world a sparkly place!
    You keep us all entertained with your wit!

  4. I was a little taken aback with the 'three months'. I assume it means free from symptoms?

    Sorry, do not wish to pry.

  5. Sue a good article on Left foot forward

  6. Yep Howie ( Hey I've got a brother called Howard old habits....)
    6 months at tbe most then I start of down that staircase again.
    Course this time it'll be different.....