So, the surgeon came to see me yesterday afternoon.
Unfortunately he'd gone from "Not sure it's bad enough to do anything" to "Not sure how much we can save"
Apparently, the 4th blockage was so narrow, my consultant couldn't even get into it. There was inflammation in between the narrow bits, or "active disease" as they like to call it. The whole ulcerated, pussy, bleeding mess of it is gonna have to go.
Cue next wave of shock at the overwhelming effectiveness of my denial. Whining "But I didn't even know" is not proving very helpful.
So, a resection. Cutting a bit away. I haven't had one of those for 15 years!!! It is Not Good News.
Resections are more dangerous. They have to cut a section of bowel away and join the ends back together again. Cutting through the bowel risks sepsis - if any bowelly matter escapes into the blood or the join leaks, Suey will be in trouble.
With a resection, the whole bowel takes a nap. The shock literally paralyses it and it will only wake up in it's own good time. Usually 4 or 5 days, but sometimes never.....
Resections are more painful. You have the external cut and the internal one vying for attention.
Worst of all though (the one we rarely even whisper) is you only have so much bowel. Mr Gaunt-Looking-Surgeon reminded me, in that matter-of-fact way that surgeons do, that I don't have much left. You lot have about 4 metres, I'm down to 1.5. Continuing his mechanical appraisal, he reminded me that you need at least a metre to survive. Odd how surgeons leave statements like that hanging, as though I could somehow stop frivolously wasting bowel.
I didn't ask what then.
So, we start to fervently hope that my messy-bit is less than 50 cms long. Preferably waaaay less. Mr Gaunt-Looking-Surgeon thoughtfully reminded me that I'm only 39 and will certainly need more surgery in the future. The phrase "conserving all we can for next time" hung in the air.
There are lots of things I never think about. Close friends and family know the unwritten code. We never talk prognosis or consider "what-ifs" We pretend that we don't know how high my risk of bowel cancer is or how badly my osteoperotic bones have already been eroded. But most of all, we don't discuss the TPN people.
As we speak, the lipidy, fatty gloop is drip-dripping into my main artery, plopping just above my heart. At this stage, it might as well be life support. I'm dangerously underweight, my bowels are all cloggy and without this frankenstein nutrition I would die. I look - even feel - remarkably sprightly for someone at death's door, but there we are.
I've joined the most unfortunate club in the world.
But real TPN people, well, they never eat again. Nothing. Ever. No lazy brunches, no coffee with friends, no early cocktails or ice-crystal gin clinking in the sunshine. No champagne at weddings, no decadent chocolate treats, no consoling chicken man-flu soup, no anniversary dinners.....
This is the "less than a metre" fate.
I said I'd never do it, said it was a bridge too far. Funny how you never know exactly how far is too far until you get there, eh?
Oh well. Following this uncharacteristic consideration of the dark side, shall we pretend we never spoke of it? I prefer it that way.
And one last thing. I will be asking to keep the putrid mess they hack away. I'm not sure if they'll oblige, but I'm going to ask if they can cut it into four pieces and seal them in separate jars. Then, when I'm well enough, I will send them as gift baskets. One to Mr Duncan Smith, one to Mr Freud, one to Mr Grayling and one to Ms Miller. I hold them personally responsible for this particular crisis.
Mainly, because opposing them had to be done and it nearly killed me, but a tiny, tiny part of me may have believed them. Believed that if I just tried harder, worked more, ignored my symptoms, stopped being such a wimp, addressed my "illness behaviour" I really could work again.
The rotting, stinking, evil mass I will be sending them, seems a fitting reflection of their black hearts. Maybe, just maybe it will convince them that forcing people to work who are clearly incapable of doing so is murderous.
Oh, and PS, let's not forget my claim for DLA was rejected, social services can't help me and there are no descriptors for ESA that would mean I qualify. According to our politicians, I'm just fine.